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New Main Rudder
Thu Jan 8 0:00:00 EST 2009, San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina

A new main rudder was built of stainless steel. It has been painted with primer (epoxy paint), and will later be painted over (with antifouling paint) and be the same color as the rest of the bottom of the hull. In the picture, the new rudder is about to be raised into place.

Sat Jan 24 4:22:24 EST 2009 | george Ray
Any progress on beefing up or replacing the auxiliary rudder?
Main Rudder
Wed Jan 7 0:00:00 EST 2009, San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina

After removal, we were able to have a good look at the main rudder. It was built of plywood, covered by aluminum, attached to a stainless steel shaft, with an aluminum bearing fitted over it. The plywood is visible at the top of the rudder blade.

Cutting off the old main rudder
Tue Jan 6 0:00:00 EST 2009, San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The main rudder was seeming suspicious, and I was unsure of its condition, so had it removed. In the picture, the rudder shaft is being heated to force it to expand and break free of the bearing it is seized into, so the rudder can be removed.

The main rudder was built of aluminum over a plywood core (see picture in next entry). Aluminum and steel don't tend to work so well underwater on the same boat (different metals cause electrical currents to flow between them, causing one of the metals to corrode), and the combination is generally avoided.

Mon Jan 5 0:00:00 EST 2009, San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Late last month I arranged to have the boat hauled out of the water for maintenance and modifications. Yacht Club Argentino was very kind in letting me use their member's haulout facilities. In this picture, the keel has been lifted most of the way up, so the hull is not far off the ground. The use of old barrels and pieces of wood to support the boat out of the water (instead of adjustable jackstands chained together) is how things are done here (there are a lot of boats here, so it must be adequate).

Different Vehicles
Fri Dec 19 0:00:00 EST 2008, San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina

While most people either bicycle, drive or use the extensive bus and train systems, I see quite a few horses pulling carts around here also. It seems like an ingenious solution for getting stuff around in a country where there is lots of grazing land, and imported cars and parts are very expensive. The carts are made from old cars or trucks, with boards used to make the box.

Liferaft Test, Part 4
Thu Dec 11 12:03:00 EST 2008

Now that the liferaft had been inflated, a check of the functionality and expiry dates of all the equipment inside (sitting in front of the raft in the picture) was done.

The sun canopy has been pulled down over the liferaft in this picture. Underneath (not shown, but inspected), are pockets that hold water to keep the raft relatively stable.

The flares, flashlight and batteries were out of date and replaced, and the expiry dates on all equipment were recorded in the liferaft logbook.

The test is not finished at this point--a few days must pass without the raft deflating to be able to certify it. I expect to have the raft back aboard sometime next week.

Liferaft Test, Part 3
Thu Dec 11 12:02:00 EST 2008

Liferafts have a bad reputation for not always inflating. I was glad to watch my raft successfully inflate, then dismayed at the continuing hiss of air out of what I thought was a manual inflation valve. The air was actually from an overpressure valve, as the CO2 cannister is apparantly larger than necessary to inflate the raft at room temperatures, so the raft vents the excess air out. After a couple of minutes, all the noise stopped, and the liferaft remained inflated.

Liferaft Test, Part 2
Thu Dec 11 12:01:00 EST 2008

I got to do the honors of pulling the inflation cord (which causes the gas bottle to inflate the liferaft) to test that the whole system worked. With a bang and a lot of hissing, the liferaft began inflating....

Sun Dec 21 13:52:44 EST 2008 | George Ray
How great to get to know your life raft up close and personal. It looks good in the pictures.
Liferaft Test, Part 1
Thu Dec 11 12:00:00 EST 2008

Periodically, liferafts need inspection. The period seems to vary by either manufacturer or country. Bombard, the French company which made the liferaft on Issuma, wants inspections done every three years. Argentina expects them to be done every year. By Bombard standards, it was almost time for my raft to be inspected, so I took it to a local chandlery that said they could do it.

I checked Bombard's website, and they don't seem to have any authorized service stations in South America. I figured it wasn't that important to have an authorized service center inspect it as long as I could be there to see the inspection done (there are horror stories of inspection stations claiming to inspect rafts but really not bothering to). The local chandlery (Costanera Uno) actually sent it off to a liferaft inspection company, IDP, located outside the center of Buenos Aires. After a few taxi rides, I went into a converted house where the inspections were done.

In the picture, the liferaft has been unpacked from the plastic box (not shown) and plastic bag (on the right) that it normally lives in (the plastic bag surrounds the liferaft inside the plastic box, and keeps water out of it).

Mon Nov 8 15:33:51 EST 2010 | Herby Marina
dear friend, next time send it to use, that you cant inspect, and share some mates.
Sat Dec 6 12:00:00 EST 2008, San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I motored Issuma upriver to San Fernando (a suburb of Buenos Aires) last week. Yacht Club Argentino was kind enough to let me use their location in San Fernando, which has haulout and repair facilities.

San Fernando and the surrounding area has thousands of pleasure boats, and seems to have several fibreglass boatbuilding companies, and several chandleries (yacht equipment stores). The picture above is one of the local chandleries. I don't think the horse eating the dandelions has anything to do with the chandlery, but it seemed to make for a nice picture.

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