Wednesday, 14 November 2012

She Floats !

We hauled Crystal Blues out of the water back in March, here at Boat Lagoon in Phuket. We initially intended a short stay on the hard, but this eventually turned into a larger commitment to refurbish the hull inside, in areas we had not previously touched.  Doing that refit work now, here in Thailand, was easier and less expensive than tackling it elsewhere in the world in future years - and we have great local resources here in Phuket.
Floating At Last, image by Dana Fowlkes

So the refit has been extensive (again), and Crystal Blues is better than new in many areas - certainly the hull, rig, machinery and electrics are far far better than they were when we initially moved aboard. In the seven months here we've tackled an awful lot of projects, discovered new ways of working and even found parts of the boat we'd never seen before.

If you're "into boats" you can check the partial job list at the end of the story.  In that same seven months we've managed two visits to Australia, a northern Thailand holiday and Neil has spent many weeks working in India.

On November 1 we re-launched - and what a great feeling it is to be floating again.  The travel lift picked us up at 8.30am and Crystal Blues spent an hour hanging "in slings" whilst we touched up the anti-fouling paint under the keel. By 9.30am the procession to the water began, and we splashed around 10.00am, an hour or so before high tide.  We spent the next 30 minutes checking for leaks in areas we had serviced, before giving the yard crew the all clear to remove the slings and move the machinery away.

Unfortunately Murphy was lurking and he did have the last laugh - the engine started first touch, but there was no way to get the damn thing into gear.  The gear shift was frozen !  It took another 30 minutes to sort that one out, before we moved into a marina berth under our own power for the first time in seven months.  The balance of the day was focused on re-checking all the under water bits and completing the never-ending job list.   Air conditioning and refrigeration were re-commissioned the next day, along with the communications and network systems.  Life is returning to normal at last .....

We moved out of our apartment on the 8th of November and have been living aboard (blissfully) since then.  We plan to leave the marina for a shakedown cruise this coming Friday.   Then we'll head for Langkawi to re-provision and stock-up in that wonderful duty free island, before coming back to Thailand for the Christmas / New Year period.   If you're planning a holiday in Asia please do make contact with us - the best weather on the west coast starts right now, and extends though to the end of March.

But life isn't all play - Neil is involved now with a new start-up AV consulting firm here in South Asia, there is however plenty of time of time for sailing.
Using the Dremel to cut out a non stainless stand pipe.

The Work List ......

Refinishing the aft bilges, forward bilges, aft tanks, forward tanks and other areas (this was the really big job, including new steel in some areas)
Improvements to plumbing and fluid handling
Completing wiring and supports for additional solar panels
Applying anti fouling paint below the waterline
Servicing the shaft seal
Servicing the propeller
Repairing and touching up the paint system on the hull
Waxing and polishing the hull and decks
Polishing the Corian bench tops in the galley
Re-running refrigeration pipes
Upgrading the refrigeration compressor controls
Needle Gunning
Install new condensate drains for the air conditioning
Upgrade air conditioning compressor installation
Install new bilge pump thru hull and plumbing
Install new (additional) automatic bilge pump for the forward bilge
Replace the UV cloth on the genoa and staysail
Washing all sails
Fit a new anchor strop
Fit an additional spacer to the boom vang
Make and fit a new forward deck awning
Main engine service, filter change etc
Fit new starting batteries
Fit new solar panels & controller
Fit new wifi antenna system
Fit new large screen Sony flat panel TV
Remount AIS transceiver
Fit new wi-fi transceiver
Fit new network RAID storage
Fit new location brackets for washing machine
Paint starboard section of saloon (also a big job !)
Custom latex mattress front cabin - very comfy!
Tanks Refurbished

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