The first, completed yesterday, was to make a cover for the dinghy's new cover. Yes, that makes no sense but, unfortunately, we discovered that the very smart storage cover that came with Dinghy McDingface, bought in NZ only a couple of years ago, was made from a material which just seemed to dissolve in sunlight. After only one season it was held together with sticky tape and an email to the Auckland retailer was met with a reply along the lines of, 'We've complained to Zodiac but they just say the cover is for transport and not for deck storage' which seemed a little bizarre since the dinghy won't fold down to go into a locker, unless you happen to have a superyacht. We contacted Zodiac in France via their Facebook page and were told much the same thing but, after a lot of wrangling, they relented and said they'd send us an new cover. Result! Except for the fact that the material was the same as our old one so we knew it'd last no time at all if we exposed it to Australia's harsh sunshine. So we've spent about $300 on UV-proof Sunbrella acryclic canvas and some proper zips (the one in the Zodiac cover was a joke) and set to work in the hot sunshine.
|G and the Awesome Machine|
|Di marking out the new material|
|The new Zodiac cover sewn into the Sunbrella canvas|
|Done - after a long, hot day|
|Inside the light fitting, the bulb was fine and the connectors weren't a ball of corrosion. Hmmm, so what's the problem?...|
Of course this would have melted the insulation and the cable gradually corroded through in the salty air. We carefully pulled it out, with a thin line attached but, unsurprisingly, it broke half way.
|The melted and very corroded cable - amazing that it kept working for so long!|
|Fully waterproof, good for 50,000 hours and uses 20% of the power.|
The final little maintenance story is a happier one and we are proud to announce a new record on Maunie - our quickest-ever haul out. We decided to get the boat lifted out at the little yard in the marina to rid her of any pesky Australian barnacles (which are tenacious little buggers), replace a sea-cock ball-valve that had seized and swap propellers. We smashed our previous best and our lift-out to relaunch time was only 3 hours!
|8.00 am and all is calm for the lift out. Just as well as we had to come in backwards to fit the travel-lift and going backwards is not Maunie's forte|
|The yard is tiny but there are some very helpful engineers on hand when needed|
|Brad applies the pressure - the tool can pull up to 10 tonnes and we needed them all. When the prop finally parted company with the shaft it did so with a startling bang.|
|Maunie's original fixed-blade prop is back|