Rudder Maintenance

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Our boat is now 25 years old. In that time I don’t believe the rudder has ever been dropped.

Last time we were out of the water I thought about it, but we had the hull soda blasted, faired and a new barrier coat + antifoul applied. We also replaced the PSS Gland and at that point the chequebook really began to hurt.  In the back of my mind I was concerned about rudder, I knew it was ‘wet’ but figured it could wait. We were working long hours, going to have a baby and not intending on anything more than local cruising, another year wouldn’t hurt.

Ignorance is bliss right?

So out of the water again sure enough a cursory investigation made it pretty clear things were not all well with rudder.

Water had been intruding of course and there was some movement between the rudder blade and stock.

After removing the rudder it also became clear the quadrant was showing signs of fatigue and corrosion.

While these discoveries can be demoralising( and expensive), I figure it is wiser to lose your rudder in a perfectly equipped boatyard than in the middle of the
Tasman Sea. More lessons learn’t.

New Cockpit Table

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A cockpit table has always been high on our things to do list as a nicety sorely lacking from our otherwise comfy and hospitable boat but it has stubbornly remained in our too hard basket……until now.

Attempts at designing and building my own have always stalled.  Relatively expensive materials/hardware combined with my limited flair for engineering have always left me less than inspired. Likewise local  and international options have generally been ill- fitting, expensive or both.

Then I came across the SnapIt range of cockpit tables. Texas based my initial thoughts again were it would be too expensive and too hard.

Yet as I did some measuring I realised that they actually manufacture a perfect Iolanthe size table, to fit Iolanthe’s pedestal and rail diameter off the shelf for $145 US. Not only would they deliver to Australia, but as they offer free delivery in the US they discounted the international delivery costs appropriately as well. Nice.

Now it isn’t varnished shiny teak, but for just under $200 US delivered to my door I now have a great, snaps in place, stable and good looking cockpit table.

Check them out here (no they didn’t give me any kind of discount for a review…..darn should of thought of that :) )

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Sammy turns 2 (weeks)

2 weeks old with a Christmas under his belt and a new year begun and Sammy seems to be taking life his stride so far.  

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Between the four of us,  some of the time, some of us are getting some sleep. Which is about all that can be hoped for if my blurry recollection of Sophie’s first few months are anything to go by. 

Sammy met the boat today. Josie is quite keen to get out sailing.  Balmy weather, regular sea breezes it is hard not to want to. 

Which does mean that yes the title of our blog was perhaps a little shortsighted and will need modification in the future! ( Notepad is at the ready for brainstorming during 2am feeds).

When it was initially created Sailing with Sophie was basically for friends/relatives to find photos of Sophie and us while we were cruising and so was thus named! 

Meanwhile the list of boat jobs is quietly building steadily, we will be out of the water early Feb, there are new electronics to install( dedicated post coming on this) a new dodger, the genoa needs repairs, the liferaft needs a service and there are a 101 little jobs that seem to never end .

Our newest crew member!

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Introducing Iolanthe’s newest crew addition Sammy.

Arriving early with some drama he has been a brilliant surprise Christmas present! We are stoked and absolutely besotted.

He is also the reason why we have been a bit quiet of late, lots of boat projects waiting to start , lots of ideas and plans for this year but for the time being we are taking it all one moment at a time and enjoying the joys of a new bub.

Heading North in 2015

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We don’t like to use the word ‘plan’ too loudly, particularly when preceded by the word ‘cruising’. After much discussion, however, we may have some idea of what we are up to next.

Fellow cruisers with bubs Windtraveler wrote a fantastic post last week about the state of limbo they find themselves in and it is one that resonated very loudly in our ears.

We have actually come very close to selling Iolanthe a couple of times. Feeling entrenched back into careers and busy lives this year, it’s been heartbreaking accepting that we are currently not living the dream we bought Iolanthe for.

Basically, we need to go cruising.

Our happy complication is that we are about to increase Iolanthe’s crew by 1. With bub’s arrival imminent this means that the plans we have for cruising into the Pacific or Asia are on the hold for a time.

So the plan then?  A ‘take it slow’, relaxed cruise up the East Coast of Australia next year.

Spring is here

After a very wet August, Spring has finally arrived here in Sydney!

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A week of high and lows

A week of high and lows

East Coast lows that is….

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A weather phenomenon – The NSW equivalent of mini cyclone, one of the most famous East Coast lows did this….

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Which was enough to keep Iolanthe marina bound :(

 

And the High? 

….We Baked.

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Not only did we bake, but this was our first time baking onboard with our new Omnia Stovetop Oven.

We baked Chocolate Brownies using Carolyn’s recipe and indeed the inspiration for the Omnia Stovetop Oven also came from the great reviews and recommendation on her site The Boat Galley.  For our first try the results were very acceptable. We will keep practising, maybe bread next. 

(For those who noticed yes we were using a saucepan as a mixing bowl. The mixing bowl was ‘borrowed’ by the skipper to catch drips from a leak in the anchor locker :( )

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