Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

It was all going to plan until the wheels fell off

Long-suffering followers of this blog will know that Maunie's teak decks have been a source of trouble for the past few years. In the heat of the tropics the caulking between the planks degraded and we started to have water leaks so we've systematically cut out the old sealant and replaced it (a painfully slow job) knowing that it was only a temporary fix. 

Cutting out the old caulking in the tropical paradise of Chesterfield Reef 
After 21 years the teak is worn and in some areas the planks have cracked and lifted. Meanwhile her hull still bears the scars from when she dragged her anchor in Suva and the Coppercoat antifouling is wearing pretty thin after 8 years good service.

So we've decided to do a refit this summer to attend to all three issues and, rather than pay hugely expensive yard labour charges, we're tackling as much of the work as we can ourselves. The biggest challenge so far has been to access the nuts and bolts fixing a wide array of deck fittings which has meant removing all the head-linings (ceiling panels) below decks and finding just how difficult it is to access some of the nuts.

Di is a much better size than Graham to access some of the trickier fittings!

Lifeline stanchions and other deck fittings painstakingly removed

Lifelines, handrails and self-tacking track removed

Graham gets to grips with the mast wiring.
So far we've clocked up about £3,000 of labour costs (based on boatyard pricing) and the good thing is that we know how everything is fitted. It's given us the opportunity to re-think the location of many of the fittings that we've removed so that when we replace the deck (with a synthetic teak-alike system called Tek-Dek) we can minimise the number of bolt holes that we have to drill through it.  We can't say it's been fun, and the recent wet weather has hampered us a bit, so Graham became quite cabin-feverish when he spent 7 days aboard on his own to start the job whilst Di went to stay with her dad. On the only sunny day of the week he was delighted to get off Maunie and do a 5 mile walk along the coast path and back into Dartmouth.

Looking across the Dart entrance 

The Dart, with Kingswear village across the river

On river entertainment as the sailing cruise ship Sea Cloud comes in
 Anyway, we've made good progress and were due to be lifted out of the water at a little boatyard in Totnes  on Thursday morning. Unfortunately the night before we received a call to say that one of the wheels of the boat hoist had suffered a puncture which, on closer inspection, proved to be caused by the wheel rim itself corroding! A replacement didn't arrive until Friday by which time we'd missed the tide and now the neap tides are too small all next week to be able to lift us out. So we've lost 10 days of our planned programme which is a bit of a disaster for us so we're re-thinking timings and plans to make up for lost time. The big unknown for us is how difficult it will be to remove the old teak and what state the deck will be below it. Fingers firmly crossed!

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