06 July 2015
It’s a beautiful sunny day here on the Gold Coast and we are surrounded by the noises of a busy shipyard. Boats are hauled out and returned to the water around us every day. People are painting and fixing and making their boats look beautiful all around us! We are at The Boatworks in Coomera, and have been here for a week now. We feel as if we have kind of come home in a way – it wasn’t so long ago that we were here painting and antifouling and getting ourselves together after being left back in February. People here were so incredibly kind to us at such a difficult time and it’s lovely to reconnect with so many of them!
We really copped some damage through the trawler incident – and not just the things we already knew about with the electrical issues.
We came in last Monday and as soon as we were out of the water we could see things that had been impacted. The prop shaft was not sitting right – we could see it immediately – it was off balance and wonky. We had it all inspected immediately but to see properly what was happening it had to be removed. It took Brad from Everything Marine (the business that had been so, so kind to us last time) a few days of wrangling to get it out and then we could see what had happened – it had a small but significant bend in it.
The prop itself is ok, thankfully but in addition to the prop shaft we also have to get the stuffing box repacked and the stern gland properly adjusted.
Under the hull there was also damage visible, due to the trawler’s chain. And all our anodes – which never show any sign of electrolysis, were all crazy – all eaten away and all needing to be replaced.
Happily the rigging was not affected and we have not found any other damage.
Right now we are waiting……parts are never easy to find for Argos – she is a beautiful boat but it’s always difficult when it comes to her uniqueness! Being made in Canada is part of it as everything is imperial but the engine is not standard and neither is anything much else. The prop shaft is, of course, not standard and so to source and ship one to us is both costly and time consuming.
The electrical work will be carried out while we are here too and all the proper checks conducted so that when we do get to go back into the water, all will be well.
But while we are waiting for the repairs to be carried out – and I must just say how incredibly happy I have been with our insurance company, Youi who have been excellent – we are busily doing jobs that are easier to manage while out of the water.
Erina is a little work horse – seriously hard at work painting the external wood work. We only painted most of it 2 ½ months ago so this time around she is using a more protective top coat so that it lasts longer and the maintenance isn’t so time-consuming in the future. She gets out there as soon as the sun is up and takes breaks only to get coffee – I am so impressed with her and proud of her. I find I have to keep a close eye on her here though – a good hard working girl who loves boats is highly desirable apparently to everyone around us!!!
I have been working inside, on our shower which was re-painted about a year ago but not properly sealed at the time. So needless to say the paintwork only looked good for a few weeks before it all started to peel away again and look worse than before. I am having my first lessons in the use of 2 pack paints and proper surface preparation. It has been quite time consuming but I am getting a great result and I am finding it very satisfying to be able to learn from people who are excellent at what they do and to actually get these jobs done right.
I remember in the past the many comments people would make about Argos and how much maintenance she must require. The comments were always dismissed with a laugh but the reality is, to care for her properly there really is a lot of maintenance. And a great deal has been neglected for too long. It’s quite a job now and some days I do find that I feel just a touch overwhelmed. But I do remind myself to tackle things a bit at a time – one job is enough for each day. In time we will have invested enough time and effort to have caught up a little and then it won’t be quite so much of a job. Then it really will be just maintenance!
I am also working every day on my manuscript – for a book I hope to see published by the end of this year about recovery themes.
And Liam – he too is busy but not so much with boat maintenance. On our second day here the shipwright doing the inspection and repairs noticed all the rope work we have on board and asked who had done it all. When Liam identified that it was him, he was immediately asked if he could make some rope shackles for them – apparently they need a lot and had not been able to find a good source of them. Liam was of course quite delighted – at the recognition – and the opportunity to be paid for what he is so good at doing! He has made fifty in the last few days and loves making these very useful items. He hopes to be paid at least partially in rope so he can make some for us and do other decorative things. Who would have thought that Liam would have found such a flair for this ancient art!
We expect to be at the Boatworks for another week or maybe two – and if we can I hope to get the hull repainted. I painted it when we were here in March but the old aluminium tinny has made a mess of all my hard work and I have decided to try and tackle it again so that we look even more beautiful as well as fixed when we go back in to the water.