Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A Little Bit Of History

Trader Boat, August, 1997
Last month marked the 13th year of our guardianship of Crystal Blues.  From the moment we saw her advertised in the August 1997 addition of Trader Boat we fell in love.  Owners John and Jenny invited us to Townsville for the weekend, to stay aboard and go out for a test sail (motor really - there was no wind...somethings never change.)  She passed our inspection and then the surveyor's, with flying colours and a month later she was ours.

A lot of water has flowed under the keel since then and for both of us it has been 13 years of fun packed adventure.  Crystal Blues was advertised with "every electronic gadget imaginable" - though we don't think the previous owners imagined Neil's passion for technology! 

Fortunately we both enjoy working with our hands and don't mind get dirty.  We continue to enhance and titivate Crystal Blues.  The worst job we have tackled on Crystal Blues was sandblasting in the forward locker  and the scariest was catching and removing a banded sea snake from the machinery area, in New Caledonia. We have enjoyed sensational sailing, beautiful anchorages. Continuing to do boat jobs in exotic places is still high on our agenda!
Three blades broken.....

Something Old

Just for something different we replaced the raw water pump impeller again on our Onan Genset (AKA the Insatiable Beast).  Two hours and 35 minutes of running is an all time record for such undistinguished lack of service. 

Something New

Life's Good  - LG 1055LDP
Our electrolux washing machine died whilst we were at Boat Lagoon last year. It was 5 years old.  Unfortunately Electrolux did not support this machine in Asia and the cost of importing new parts from Australia was prohibitive.  David and Kris from SV Taipan discovered a compact LG washing machine in Singapore, an LG 1055LDP

Yesterday we installed our new washer and the lazerette is again fully populated with machinery.  Even though the machine came with Singaporean plumbing and electrical fittings we had enough changeover parts to make good and within a few hours Ley was happily watching the first wash.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Keeping Busy

Boat jobs in exotic places......


In 2004 we installed an electric macerator to our marine head in order to comply with Australian boating standards.  After much research and talking to other cruisers, we purchased the Jabsco Quiet Flush Conversion system.  We also fitted a Y valve between the fresh and salt water supply and mainly run the system on freshwater, when it is plentiful.

For just over 6 years the toilet has been maintenance free.  It has happily flushed and macerated its way around Australia and Asia.  A few months ago we noticed that the pump was making unusual sounds - time to source a new one.  A replacement Jabsco macerator pump and seal kit was supplied by Jessie at MarineTech in Singapore for 1/3rd of the price that was quoted to us in Australia (how can there be such a huge price difference?)

The whole change over took less than an hour and the system is working perfectly again.  Six years maintenance free, for a marine head rates to us as exceptional service - given that we have been living aboard all that time!

More Work!
Wow another long weekend!  We quickly made a plan to go back to Telok Sengat, on the Johore River in Malaysia, so we could relax and tick off a few more boat jobs.  There are still quite a few incomplete projects from our 2009 refit and we planned to tackle  the control side of our refrigerator and freezer system.  Running the 12 volt power cables over and under and through the boat was fairly painless and we are much closer now to completing this project.

Another impeller bites the dust!
Closing the valve on the salt water inlet manifold.
Unfortunately our genset demanded our attention, by shutting down as it devoured yet another water pump impeller. Okay, it was time for an oil change, so we stripped down the genset, lavished TLC in the form of new oil and a fresh impeller.  The genest ran for just over two hours on Sunday and when we started it this morning it ran for a whole 2 minutes - yep chewed up and spat out another impeller.  We spend way more money and time on maintaining this genset than any other piece of machinery or equipment on the boat.  Although Onan were extremely generous and helpful to us initially ( they took away our first lemon and gave us a new genset for free after 2 years of continual problems.)  Yet here we are still pandering to an insatiable beast!

and Play
Good food, friends and fun in Penang
Ley's high school girlfriend Judi Scott, decided to have a pre 60th birthday bash in Penang, Malaysia last week.  Neil had work plans to be in India so Ley flew north for a few days.  Luckily for us there was a wonderful Indian festival happening so between temple visits, partying in the street in Little India and fine dinning at the local cafes, we all had a ball. Here is a link to some of our favourite eating places in Georgetown.

Happy Birthday Judi!