Saturday, December 13, 2014

Haul Out, Survey, and Sale

I returned to New Zealand late in November to prepare Ladybug for sale. She had swung around a mooring for 8 months under the watchful eyes of Rob and Jo - cruising friends off Blue Moon who have built a house in McLeod Bay. It took a few days to clean her up but on the whole she was in good shape and I motored up the river to Dockland 5 boat yard where she was hauled out at the end of November.

Apart from the usual bottom paint I planned to replace a ball valve on the head discharge and buff and wax the hull. A potential purchaser had hired a surveyor to take a look at her while hauled out and I was fortunate to be given the use of a locker to store gear and sails in to allow the surveyor easier access to the hull inside.

New reinforced nylon ball valve - made in New Zealand

On haul out I found a couple of blisters on the skeg beside the area  I had repaired last year. I must not have gone far enough in addressing the delamination I had found on the last haul out. I ground these, removing the unbonded laminate and filled with epoxy. Removing the old head discharge ball valve proved to be difficult and while freeing this up, I twisted the bronze through-hull, breaking its seal with the hull. So I ended up removing the through hull fitting as well and cleaning this up and rebedding it. Doing this showed me how thick the lay up is at this point in the hull - about 18 mm or more than 5/8 of an inch, I was also fortunate in being able to buy a locally made ball valve fabricated from fiberglass reinforced nylon. This should not corrode like the bronze one.

Through hull hole showing thickness.

Murray Reid, a surveyor from Keri Keri, arrived on Sunday morning and spent a good part of the day poking around the boat. He found a few things during this survey and a later one that I am glad he spotted, including corrosion issues in the propellor strut and its mounting bolts that required removal and rewelding of the strut and replacement with new bolts. Getting at the nuts on the other end of these bolts was interesting. At first I thought I might have to remove the fuel tank, but fortunately the builders of Ladybug had thought about this issue and provided access in the cockpit locker that required unscrewing a plywood sheet and moving an exhaust hose out of the way. A local welder ground out the old corroded weld and renewed this and I put it together casting in place an epoxy shim to re-align the strut with the propellor shaft. Bolting the strut back on and re-bedding it was a challenge as I was working on my own and had to use vice grips on one end of each bolt and run up and down the ladder a dozen times to tighten the nuts evenly.

Propellor strut removed so I can work on it.

Corrosion in weld - probably due to leaving welding detritus in between two welds (one per side) when the custom strut was fabricated

Corrosion in bolts - possibly due to galvanic corrosion from painting the bolts with copper bottom paint

This is what the bolts should look like.
Other things I dealt with during haul-out were to replace two additional through hull ball valves thaty Murray condemned and to re-zinc and grease up the Max-prop. Brian, the potential purchaser did the latter work and helped out during the launch day, having arrived the night before to look over the boat. Brian stayed on Ladybug for 4 nights going out for what may be a record test sail of three days duration.

Since the launch, I have re-aligned the engine, restitched the UV strip on the small jib (thanks to Roz and her Sailrite sewing machine!), stitched a dodger zipper back on, and rebedded a couple of ports. On Brian's last day on board, one of the galley sink drains fell off, so I have replaced the corroded metal parts with plastic (thanks to Rob for the parts for this job!).

Brian has decided to buy Ladybug and I have offered to help him deliver her to her new home on the South Island. Brian and I will sail as far as Picton together and I will then fly back here and on to Auckland and Canada shortly after.

Ladybug looking at her best with a waxed hull and new bottom paint

It is sad to be leaving Ladybug and finding a home for all the things we have on board will be my job for the next few weeks. I will carry home three suitcases as excess luggage so am quite limited in what I can take. We looked into shipping goods to Canada from NZ but the cost was $2000 for 8 modest boxes...

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