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SEAKA, On a Solo Voyage Around Australia in 2015
06/03/15, Camden Haven River

Cleaned the hull off on Thursday. Started to load on books etc.
Found a place for all the anti-foul gear.
We will be hauling out at Horizon Shores at Jacobs Well, last week in March or first week in April.
Have almost finished tiller fitting for the windvane, which is finished.

Hoping to get out Monday or Tuesday for a test sail, then its the big food purchase on Wednesday.

Rapidly finishing of all the home jobs.

23/02/15, Camden Haven

Unfortunately the yacht on our local slip at present has some issues [wet etc] and other bookings for survey's, which means I would not get up until the 9th March or there about's.

So I have decided that we will slip at Yamba, which has a travel lift, as the costs are much the same and the pressure to get away will be gone.

Just have to sort out the windvane connection to the tiller and we are ready to go.

Getting close now, first weather window after the 14th March is the planned departure date.

Refit Progress February
06/02/15, Camden Haven River

Well I have reached a major milestone today with the successful installation of 56 cm of new sail track [my design] on the mast.
This will allow me to put in a reef correctly. We actually went sailing today on the mooring when we had the mainsail up!

My sail maker will now fix the boom bag and make a new bag for the inflatable dinghy which I have decided to carry roped to the starboard rail just forward of the mast.

Tomorrow night or Sunday I will spend the night on board to sort out the wiring to the mast head lights. They work, just not with the right switches!

I will be having a final flush, during that time onboard, to remove the last of the unnecessary gear.

The horizontal wind vane I'm building is now at the painting stage with only one support bracket to be fitted to Seaka and a small weld when I do the final assembly. Its looking really good.

On the 23rd I go up on the Laurieton slip for 3 days for anti-foul [4 coats this time] and a polish.

Sailing date is still around the middle of March.

Refit Progress
Fine & hot

Last week I finally got the AIS to talk to the Garmin Chart plotter and the Chart plotter to talk to the Raymarine DSC VHF radio.

Went up the mast yesterday to try and sort out the anchor light problem. Found that it was working but only with the navigation light on???? So came down with nothing achieved, will have to spend a night onboard [so I can see what light is on] to see exactly what is going on.

I have finished the interior of Seaka!!!!!!

The boom bag and associated sail track have yet to be resolved.

Work on completing the wind vane is progressing. Have only to construct the actual wind vane [on top] working parts, assemble and paint. The attachment to Seaka's stern is underway and evolving. Thought I had lost the use of the stern ladder but will be able to re-install it for those times that I get in the water.

This weekend I will do a bit of gluing to the dinghy and will install the 2 tie down points next week.

Now scheduled to go up on the slip in Laurieton on 23rd February for 3 days. Four coats of anti-fouling going on and a polish to the topsides.

When I come off the slip will begin to load food stores, top off water and fuel etc.

There will be a couple of test sails off Laurieton to check all working parts.

Getting things done. Quick update.

Have had success with the AIS and we are now getting plots on the chartplotter.
Spoke to Raymarine this morning and as a result may have solved the issues with the DSC radio and GPS locations.

May also have an answer to the sail track problem, will see tomorrow.

Constructing Seaka's new Windvane.

With my plans to go around the block it had become obvious from comments of friends, already half way round, that I was going to need a wind vane steering system.

Over the last few years I have visited many windvane sites and as the cost of the commercial products became clear I started to concentrate on the home built variety. I investigated all the commonly visited web sites and did a fair bit of reading. From time to time I made the decision that this one or the other was going to be the one I would build but I never did really start. Even as late October this year I was talking to Ramona [Seabreeze] about his home made windvane and preparing drawings to build a copy.

Then I picked up the September copy of the English sailing magazine, Practical Boat Owner []. The article that caught my eye was about a new design of home built windvane called the Hebridean Windvane. It's actually a HORIZONTAL WIND VANE. I then found the web site of John Fleming [] the designer, and gleaned what information I could. I decided that there was enough information to reverse engineer the windvane, but most importantly, it would be cheap and quick to build. I decided not to import the components as this would have cost over one thousand dollars plus the assembly costs. It took me about two weeks to prepare the required drawings and material list. While I thought I had the design down pat, I was to discover as I built the windvane that some information was not as evident as I thought and it took careful reading and viewing of photographs and videos to extract the information.

See Album for: Hebridean Wind Vane; First examples.

Looking at my stock of timber I discovered some Blue Gum that I had had for some 20 years, so it was well seasoned. With some Tasmanian Oak I had, as well as buying a 2 m length of Pacific Teak flooring for the pendulum vane, there would be enough timber to build the windvane. .

My first action was to get all the timber dressed at the Laurieton Men's Shed so I could begin construction. The first part built was the main frame, which I made of three parts to be laminated and screwed together. The pendulum blade was reduced using an electric planner. I have changed the original design of the wings to make them easier to construct. I have spent about 16 hours doing the woodwork so far.

See Album for: Port side of the frame; Centre part of the frame; Starboard side of the frame; Cutting the mortise for the vane part; Frame assembled; Port side of the frame assembled; Starboard side of the frame assembled; WV almost complete.

Next I made up the stainless steel parts to my designs as the original seemed to be fussy in some cases. I welded the main pivot block [originally bolted together] but didn't quite get this part right so I had several goes at drilling the right size holes giving me four alternatives. I didn't realize the cost of some drills [the one I needed, but didn't buy, cost $50!] and if building a seconded windvane would use slightly smaller SS pivot rod, luckily the Laurieton Men's Shed had the laths to reduce the pivot rod. I have spent about 4 hours on the steel work.

See Album for: Reducing the SS pivot rod.

At present I am constructing the upper vane part, but this will require the expertise of the Laurieton Men's Shed laths again to complete [around the 12th Jan 2015].

See Album for: Vane part requiring lath work.

In the mean time I will be gluing and preparing the wood parts for painting, completing the final bits of SS fittings and assembling the finish components of the windvane. Mounting the windvane on Seaka is still in development but it will be mounted using SS tube and Bimini fittings. I am trying to lighten the weight of the fitting as the Pacific Teak is fairly heavy.

See Album for: General layout 1; General layout 2; Side position of WV in use; Stern position of WV in use.

So far I have spent around $150 on timber, stainless steel bits and pieces including fixings, $120 on paint and glue and $100 on rigging parts. Final costs should be under $500 plus my labour.

Solo Around Australia from 2015

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