Aug 21 - New photo albums posted

Sue's posted several new picture albums. Enjoy!

Aug 17 - Durban

We've spent the last few days in and around Durban with our dear friends Fleur and her sister, Gaye. Seeing the area thru their eyes and memories was incredible, and we visited so many beautiful places. Gaye's hospitality is unsurpassed, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing her family (Antony, Tillanie and their daughter Kenia) and meeting her friends. Fleur, part of our Florida family, is returning home this week, having come back to Durban to visit; fulfilling a promise she made many years ago when we departed Florida to come see us when we reached South Africa. Well done, Fleur; thank you, again, so very much! See you all soon!
Pic: Fleur, Sue, M, Gaye; a cloudy day at the Umhlanga Pier, near Durban. Ships in the background are anchored, waiting to enter Durban harbor.

Aug 9 - Code zero extension

We've rarely flown our code zero as the attachment point was aft of the headstay. Please don't ask how that happened. The sailmaker missed it, and what's worse, I missed it. So, flying the sail meant probable chafe on the halyard as it went across the headstay and we weren't willing to risk it. For a couple of years I've tried to come up with a means to allow the tack and drum of the sail to be attached; most schemes involved the use of a removable stainless pipe, secured thru a captive stainless upside down u-shaped welded flat bar forward and a large bolt aft going down to the deck. Uggh. When we got here to the ZYC, I put forward to the team we worked with (Morgan 0832369564 and his partner Jacques 072 609 5741) my dilemma to see what ideas we collectively could come up with. The chosen solution is an elegant one, in my opinion. We had 1 1/2", sched 40, 316 SS pipe shaped to follow the curve of the bowsprit, which is 2" SS pipe, and extended it forward of the bow pulpit enough to avoid chafe of the sail when hoisted. Down the middle of the pipe going fore and aft was fitted a 7/16" thick 316 SS plate, welded to the 1 1/2" pipe forward, the existing bow pulpit, and also the existing plate top and bottom that our headstay and bobstay attach to. The entire structure weighs less than 8-10 kg, and there are holes drilled which allow the attachment of shackles, etc. The finished unit looks like an extension of the bow pulpit, and polished, appears quite natural. The workmanship is beautiful, it's massively strong, and the code zero will be able to be flown without concern for chafe. A job well done.

Aug 8 - Happy Anniversary!

We have so much to be thankful for! Here, we are celebrating another year together, along with our new friends at Porky's restaurant in Tuzi Gazi Marina, Richards Bay.
Pic: Lorecan, Lawrence, and Anne of sv Sea Shoes.

Aug 7 - Splash

The work's been done and we're back in the water; what a good feeling it is! Here's our punch list for this quick 9 day haul out: 1. inspect and repair (minor) rudder damage 2. apply penetrating epoxy sealer, epoxy primer and 4 coats of anti-fouling paint 3. fix paint scratches in flag blue hull paint 4. lightly compound, then wax entire hull 5. design, fabricate and install a SS bowsprit extension for the code zero sail (I'll discuss this in detail, with pictures, very soon) 6. service Maxprop propeller 7. attach new shaft collar anode 8. change Frigoboat keel cooler anodes 9. service the refrigeration unit (again) 10. change all the halyards to 3mm tag lines 11. soak all lines in cleaner and fabric softener 12. empty and clean areas of bilge storage we haven't gotten to in a looong time 13. top off with diesel. All's well, no drama at launch; Infini is looking quite spiffy and we're looking forward to getting away for a bit of exploring next week.

Aug 1 - Haul-out update

Two coats of epoxy have now been applied below the water line. The first was a penetrating epoxy sealer, which has a shiny, clear finish. Next came an epoxy primer, gold in color, which goes on prior to the bottom paint and binds to the penetrating epoxy as well as to the anti-fouling paint. We don't recall Infini ever having had a gold bottom!

July 30 - Haul-out update

Some good news. The area on the rudder was closely examined and found to be chipped paint; there was no damage to the fiberglass below. For the repair, a small amount of epoxy was applied to the area. Then, there will be 1-2 coats of penetrating epoxy applied over the entire hull, followed by a tie coat of a different epoxy primer, finished with the application of Sigma bottom paint. The work crews start at 0800 and knock off at 1600 hours. Last night we went to our first ZYC Happy Hour at the Pelican Bar upstairs, which goes from 1830 to 2030 hours. Drinks are discounted for everyone, and Club members get a further price break. For example, a Hansa or Castle bottle of beer is less than $.70USD, cheaper than bottled water! Food may be ordered from the downstairs kitchen, and is served upstairs at the bar seating area. A book exchange, other Yacht Club burgees, various photos and trophies, CD music, and a few TV's round off the decor. We've met a number of the Club members, and can attest to the laid back, friendly atmosphere here. We've been impressed with the fact that most anything needed for boat building or repair can be found locally or easily shipped here. It's been a good welcome!
Pic: The area of rudder we were concerned about before cleanup and epoxy repair.

July 29 - Haul-out

We weren't happy with an area on the leading edge of the rudder just at its bottom on top of the lower bearing. It appeared we had hit something, but it was difficult to evaluate in the water. It was apparent that bottom paint was missing; the question was whether the fiberglass had been cracked and water ingress occurred. The Zululand Yacht Club has two means of hauling boats; a travel lift and a dolly. As the cost of the travel lift is many multiples of that of the dolly, we chose the latter; the first time we've used a dolly during our ownership. At high tide, we came onto the dolly, which is allowed to back into the water by means of a very large chain and wire on a drum high up on land in a garage, moving by means of a huge motor and gravity down the slipway. The dolly can accommodate up to a 30 ton vessel, so Infini was no problem. We gently eased up on top of it, and tied multiple lines to the strong steel side to starboard. Thus, a vessel is sitting on its own bottom and secured to the dolly to starboard. When set, the drum slowly winches the dolly out of the water and onto land. Back in the boatyard again. Tomorrow will be a pressure wash and we'll more fully evaluate the rudder.