08/02/2012, Auckland, New Zealand
The plans we picked up from the designer were for Seaforth's sistership, Samasaan. The two yachts are virtually identical, but as Samasaan is the older sister, Seaforth had to be just a little bit different. The plans show the gas locker up forward, whereas Seaforth's gas locker is down aft, borrowing some space from the capacious starboard lazarette. The door to the aft cabin is hinged on the opposite side to the door in the drawings. The most important difference though is that Seaforth's keel is 4 inches (100 mm) further aft than Samasaan's.
Apparently the original owner of Samasaan wanted to install a diving compressor in the lazarette down aft, so Laurie Davidson allowed for the weight of a compressor when he did the keel location calculations and mounted the keel 100 mm further forward to account for the extra weight down aft. In the end the compressor was never fitted so apparently Samasaan has always trimmed slightly bow down.
Samasaan is now owned by a lovely couple, Chris and Monica Cotter and she's currently in Malaysia waiting for the Cotters to settle some business in NZ and return to their cruising adventure.
Actually, after talking with Chris and Monica we've realised that Samasaan isn't built to drawings either ... she's also got the gas locker aft and the cabin door hinged the same way we have. Put it down to creative licence in the building process.
So, Seaforth isn't quite a "one off" custom vessel. Bloody close though. :)
27/01/2012, Auckland, New Zealand
A new year and a new start. Well, not a new start really, just a continuation of the struggle toward the goal. That's the only way I know ... just keep going till you get there.
2012 should be the year that sees us move onto the boat and embark on our personal voyage of discovery. It should be the year we untie the docklines and slip over the horizon on a schedule determined by weather and by whim. Its a scary thought in some ways ... but exciting too. I'm looking forward to it and feeling somewhat frustrated that we haven't been able to sell the house yet to actually shake the shackles and get going.
Patience. Its a virtue I'm told. I've never been that virtuous really.
19/12/2011, Auckland, New Zealand
So, it seems as though people are actually reading this collection of rambling nonsense known collectively as a blog. Good luck!!
You're welcome to read and, if you wish to, comment. I hope you're not expecting enlightenment though. This is very definitely a case of the profoundly visually impaired providing guidance for the non-sighted when it comes to enlightenment.
Just hope we can string a few coherent sentences together and manage to post them up here on a consistent basis.
13/12/2011, Auckland, New Zealand
So reality is that a sailboat is made up of a collection of different systems. There's the electrical system, the engine and gearbox, the plumbing system, the refrigeration system, etc. All of these systems interact but are generally discrete units that individually and collectively conspire to frustrate and bankrupt the boat owner. Potentially, one of the most frustrating systems is the refrigeration system.
Refrigeration is, strictly speaking, a luxury. Humans have survived for millions of years without it, but it sure as heck makes life a lot easier and more interesting. Being able to store food longer without it going off is really quite handy and it certainly helps to be able to have a cold beer to celebrate life, the completion of a particular task or just to cap off a great day. The problem is that refrigeration is "white man's magic". By that I mean that the specific means by which coldness is generated from electricity (which, by the way is another category of "white man's magic") is a complete and utter mystery to me (and many people if we're being honest). Yes, yes, I know there's something about refrigerant gases being compressed and changes in pressure in a static volume resulting in changes in temperature (that's Boyles Law in action .... nothing to do with Susan) and I know there are things called compressors, condensers, dryers and TX valves involved but the actual working and principles of it still remains a bit of a mystery to me.
We have, up until quite recently, had an engine driven freezer system on Seaforth to complement the electric fridge, which operates just like a domestic fridge. The engine driven freezer system relies on having the engine running. An electric clutch is switched on and the compressor does its thing. Ideally, after 20 minutes or so, the freezer compartment is getting pretty cold and it's all good. The freezer, however, will only get colder while the engine is running so for most of the time (it is a SAILboat after all) the freezer is quietly getting warmer. It requires constant and manual monitoring and frequent running of the engine to keep frozen stuff frozen. In short it's a pain in the ass.
Not long ago, one of the rubber hoses that links the compressor to the rest of the gubbins let go and spewed its ozone depleting (yeah, right!) gassy goodness all over the place so we've taken the opportunity to remove the entire system from the engine bay. We will (eventually) be replacing the engine driven freezer system with a seawater cooled electrically driven unit that will be controlled by a thermostat and will be self regulating .... just like a domestic freezer. Hopefully it will be efficient and trouble free.
05/12/2011, Auckland, New Zealand
OK, so I'll admit we're not normal. We're pretty strange in plenty of ways and I'm sure there are lots of people that look at us and what we do and just shake their heads. How many people build their own racecar and then race it having never done anything like that before? How many people build their own road car having never done anything like that before either and then tour the South Island for 2 weeks as a shakedown? How many people travel half way around the world to go to motorsports events? How many people are mad enough to give up everything that constitutes a "normal life" and go cruising around the world in a yacht?
Actually, that last one I can answer. Turns out, there are roughly 10,000 small vessels currently cruising around the world. Soon to be 10,001.
27/11/2011, Auckland, New Zealand
Seems like every man and his dog has a blog these days. They're like opinions and a$$holes ... everyone's got one and most of them stink.
It's a documented fact that most people who write status updates, tweets or blog posts never read what anyone else is twitting, myfacing, spacebooking or blogging. Face it, we live in an electronic age of "It's all about ME, darling!" where we kid ourselves that our brainfarts may actually mean something in the wider scheme of things and assume that everybody is terribly fascinated about how we feel about the way our hair sits today. Well guess what? This blog is no better .... and may very well be considerably worse than most.
If you've come here, perhaps stumbled by accident through the maze of the modern information superhighway, seeking wisdom and enlightenment, or entertainment and amusement, the answers to life's really big questions, vast quantities of kinky porn or maybe a cure for athlete's foot then I'm afraid you're going to be very, very disappointed.
This blog is principally an electronic diary for our benefit, a record of our thoughts and thinks, trials and tribulations, successes and "sucks asses". If it provides comfort to some of you in the form of a continued confirmation of our existence, or a track on our whereabouts and antics then that's all to the good I guess. But you really shouldn't expect too much from reading this blog (and we won't be offended if you don't bother). If we fail to update the blog with our daily movements (bowel and otherwise) and locations it could mean that we've been slaughtered by pirates, sunk without trace, that our life is so fantastically fascinating that we don't have time to document it, that fish are literally leaping out of the sea into the boat faster than we can catch them, or that we're too pissed to post .... or possibly, that we've got a massive case of CBA (can't be arsed). The safest bets might be the two last ones.
Don't say you haven't been warned.
BTW the cure for athlete's foot is to pee on it. You're welcome.