It’s been a busy week both on and off the boat. Our sails were returned from Ullman Sails, Durban but we’ll forego putting them on as we’ll be departing soon for our visit to the USA. We’ve walked over to Tuzi Gazi Marina a few times (a 15 min walk) to see friends, as well as welcome Stuart & Sheila (and crew, Curtis) of sv Imagine into Richards Bay (from Madagascar). Anne, Lawrence and Lorecan are leaving for Jo’berg as their son, Ryaan, is getting married in about a week. We had a surprise birthday party for Anne, and actually managed to get everyone aboard without her knowing about it; more good times! Aboard, Jacques installed our salon table supports and is repairing a paint area on the topsides. We’re really cramped and crowded down below, as our packing begins both for a trip to the game parks as well as our visit home. All the aforementioned sails had to be brought down below as we're expecting very strong winds and rain to arrive during our weekend excursions. There’s hardly room to move around; getting anything, especially if it’s below any berth, is quite the exercise. Of note, we ate bunny chow for the first time at KNK Curries. For those of us who’ve never heard of bunny chow (that be us…), it’s curry (lamb, chicken or beef) placed into a hollowed-out ¼, ½, or God forbid, an entire loaf of bread. Not knowing any better, I ordered the ½ loaf; Sue showed admirable restraint ordering the ¼ loaf; OMG; it’s not for the faint of heart. Delicious, and we’ll be returning to KNK again (it’s at Tuzi Gazi). There’s usually some activity going on at the Yacht Club, and we’ve been to several braai’s (BBQ – remember?), another surprise birthday party, and just to hang out. We’ve arranged our rental car and accommodations for the weekend; more on that next.
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.
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.
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.
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!