Tag Archives: boat

OceanGybe – Webisode – 11 – Ayam Makan "Chicken Meal" – Indonesia

After surfing epic, Indonesian perfection all day, the OceanGybe boys are hungry for more than waves and head to the local market for dinner supplies. “Kami mau dua ayam banyak, saya potong” translated from Bahasa Indonesian into English literally means, “We would like two big chickens, we will kill them”, but when you order a chicken in Indonesia, it arrives warm, feathered and definitely clucking.

WARNING: If you are squeamish (like Bryson…see him gag @ 06:48), a vegetarian or from PETA, please be advised, chickens are killed in this video and you might not want to watch. Plus there is some great surf!

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OceanGybe – Webisode 09 – Garbage Study – Vanuatu

With exception to the plastic trash throughout high tide lines, the Rowa Islands of Vanuatu are paradise. With Khulula at anchor near an uninhabited beach, the crew of OceanGybe conduct yet another garbage study. This webisode is brought to you by KING Bleach.

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OceanGybe – Webisode – 08 – The Legend of Yasur

As Khulula and her crew approach the archipelago of Vanuatu after a week at sea, they spot a smoking volcano, known as Yasur, on the island of Tanna. Mount Yasur is one of the world’s most active volcanos and the crew take a tour to investigate closer.

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Our Dingy is dying

I hate our dingy.

Our dingy is dying a slow and terrible death.

Our dingy has a 5 year “holds air” warranty but it has only been three years.

Our dingy needs to be pumped up every 3 hours to stop it sinking. Continue reading

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Goodbye Khulula

As I type this, the darkness and gloom slowly increases as Hugh is slowly taping over all the remaining windows on Khulula. The dehumidifier is working overtime trying to remove the residue of my forepeak cleaning experiment – taking the fresh water hosepipe into the cabin and spraying down everything.

The acrid eye-watering smell of vinegar has been a constant for the past four days. Our hands are wrinkled and pruned, not my hours in the water swimming, surfing and snorkeling, but hours spend cleaning and preparing Khulula for five months on the hard. Continue reading

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The virtues and benefits of keeping your bottom clean

I have a point to ponder for all you thinkers out there…

Having a dirty bottom is a very undesirable situation to find yourself in when part way through an open ocean passage, miles from land. Not only does it severely hinder ones performance but, quite bluntly, it just slows you down and cramps your style. For example, look at any racing yacht: One of the most important preparations one can do is to clean one’s bottom prior to departing, thus leaving on your race/trip/cruise with a squeaky clean and performance enhancing er.. bottom. The funny thing about bottom cleanliness is that the most marked hindrance to performance is experienced in lighter winds, and is barely noticeable in strong… perhaps that is why we did not notice the state of Khulula’s abominable bottom in the strong winds between Bali and Cocos Keeling. Continue reading

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Adventures in Engine-less Sailing

So after 5 fantastic days exploring the beaches, reefs, and lagoon’s of Aneitym as well as being welcomed into the village of Anagawat, we reluctantly weighed anchor late last night for an overnight sail to the island of Tanna. I’ll leave the full description of the past few days to another member of the crew, as I’m sure my prose won’t do the experience justice. But to give you an idea of the impression that was left on us, as we ate dinner last night and reflected on our first taste of Vanuatu and its people I did hear the words “best place yet” from more than one person. Now, back to the title of the blog, Engine-less Sailing!?! Well, um, uh, yeah, at the moment we can’t exactly start our engine. Continue reading

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On the Hard

Busy days while on “The Hard” -by Ryan

Location: Ashby’s Boat Yard, Opua, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
December 2007

Over the past 6 months, “We’ll do it in New Zealand” had become a catchphrase aboard Khulula, always when referring to certain jobs and modifications that required more than a MacGyver solution of duct tape and chewing gum…. Now, standing on New Zealand soil, the emotions and soaring spirits accompanying a successful passage from Tonga still pulsing in our veins, that comment had finally caught up with us. As the dust from arrival celebrations and happy reunions with friends settled down around us, we started to see the length of the “To Do” list peering at us through the murk. On arrival at the customs wharf in Opua, Khulula was in a sorry state – the front hatch leaked, the mast leaked, the rudder post leaked, the headliner sagged with moisture, the oven did not work, the auto-pilot was not working, the AC battery charger was broken, the refrigerator not longer got cold, and everything was damp due to lack of ventilation. We could not ignore it any longer. We booked an appointment to haul Khulula out of the water for Friday Nov 30th, 2007

The next three weeks would be a nightmare of howling winds, pouring rains, flapping tarps, full body fiberglass infused itchiness, paint fumes, grinders, marine sealants, rusty fittings, large invoices, sanding dust, respirators, and endless quantities of New Zealand Meat Pies, Tea and Cookies. During the whole process, Mother Nature decided that there should be a downside to the incredible luck we experienced on our passage from Tonga to NZ, and rolled in a 14-day cycle of back-to-back cold fronts which lashed us with wind and rain as we gamely attempted to make things stick and bond to Khulula’s hull… I have to say that in those two weeks, we saw some of the worst weather I have ever seen in my life. Sure, in Vancouver it rains for two weeks straight, but is it ever accompanied by 40-knot winds? Had we been in the weather-immune indoors, I realize it would not have appeared so bad, and that getting drenched day after day under the racket of a flapping and bucking tarpaulin (I will never forget that awful noise) magnified the severity of the weather….

Two and a half weeks later the three of us were standing on a completely refurbished and modified Khulula foredeck. Monday, and having just put the finishing touches to the boat, we unanimously agreed that it was all worth it. One of the great accolades of the human memory is its ability to forget pain, while remembering all the good times.

So what did we accomplish in these two weeks? Below is a listing of the large projects, before and after pictures to follow!

The front hatch
Task assigned to: Ryan Robertson

And endless source of frustration and moisture, Khulula’s original front hatch was cracked, opaque and leaky, hard to open and close, ugly, and infinitely scabby. This task involved replacing the trapezoid shaped curved hatch with a new, flat and square hatch. It involved chopping a large new hole out of the foredeck, building the curved deck up to a flat platform, filling the overlap hole of the original hatch with some deck-like substance, fibreglassing the new structure to the hull, and finally installing the new hatch

Heavy weather Dorade Vent installation:
Task assigned to: Hugh M. Patterson

Ventilation was something that did not exist during heavy weather on S/V Khulula. When the weather got rough and waves were sweeping the decks, the crew had no choice other than batten down all the hatches, companionways and portholes. The result? Zero airflow or ventilation. Slowly but surely the interior temperature and humidity inside would rise until all surfaces were moist; and this moisture ultimately turning to mould. Very uncomfortable. Heavy weather dorades are ingenious devices that allow air in and out of the cabin, while keeping water out. Any respectable offshore boat has the tuba shaped bells of the offshore dorade attached to their decks.

This task involved removing two of the deck winches, cutting a 4″ hole through the deck, glassing in a 4″ PVC pipe, then glassing the offshore dorade to the deck.

Removing headliner and repainting interior roof:
Task assigned to Bryson Robertson

The original headliner inside S/V Khulula was nothing short of ghastly. Constructed of a vinyl layer over a ½” sponge under layer, the headliner is designed to form a barrier between the interior living space and the fiberglass roof of the hull. In Khulula this liner was not only the perfect location for a mould colony (in the foam), but was sagging in a variety of places, reducing headroom. Added to all of this, a previous owner had painted the vinyl with a white paint that had never truly dried and was still tacky. Excuse the pun. We wanted it gone, with every fiber of our being.

This task involved ripping out the entire old liner, rerouting electrical wires, sanding the rough fiberglass under the liner, painting and priming, and the endless job of adjusting wood trim, remounting portholes, hatches, and anything else that interfaced with the roof.

These were the major three tasks, and highlighted each crew member’s pet peeve on the boat. For me, the forward hatch had got to a point that I could barely look at it, and every time a new item of gear got soaked from salt water drips from the hatch, I would dream of the day I could take an angle grinder to it.

Below is the complete list of tasks that we had compiled during our transit of the Pacific Ocean, a list which is now on it’s knees! Feel free to peruse it (it still gives me shivers), but before I let you go, I have a few thanks you’s:

1) Mike and Adi, Shane and Jo – thank you so much for opening up your homes and playing host to three dirty, fibreglass coated fellows, day after day. We couldn’t have done it without you guys!
2) Deano, Melmal, Adi, Jess and Mattie D – thanks for the free labour! I still chuckle at the comments of the other laborers in the boatyard: “How on earth did you three convince three good looking young girls to come and work on your boat!?” It is a testament to the caliber of our friends…
3) Pete, Val and Stu – Thank for the tools, the advice and outpouring of help. Before starting this project, Hugh and I made a trip to Auckland and raided Pete and Stu’s shop for grinders, sanders, compressors, drills, air tools, routers, chisels, shop vac’s and a heap load of other tools.
We could not have done it without all your help, HUGE thanks!

Without further ado, the list (you may get bored after the first or second page…):

Install 1-way valve in engine bilge pump & syphon break
Install bilge pump under engine (needs syphon break)
Build new bow pulpit w’ superMAX mounting!
Buy new sails
Check and tune all other rigging and lanacote mates
Clean RACOR fuel filter
Engine oil change (to be done every 150 hours)
Sand down and Epoxy wood transom (stern of boat)
Add extra chain rode on main anchor
Fiberglass in a guard for bilge pump thru-hull in lazerette
Construct Dingy oars
Fix auto-pilot
Fix fridge
Fix keel stringer
Fix Main sheet blocks (new plates needed)
Fix/replace oven
Inspect and grease all seacocks
Install 2nd bow anchor roller
Install air vent for starboard quarter berth
Install padeyes to strap down dingy
Install propane sniffer in lazerette
Make roller for stern anchor at Pete’s shop
New A/C charger
New gasket on diesel tank
New roller furler line
Non-slip on companionway stairs
Patch gel coat chips on deck
Plug for main anchor chain hauser (2″ dia)
Plug starboard anchor chain hauser
Plumb inside manual bilge pump to thru-hull
Re-align mast head wind instruments
Rebuild forward hatch, make it mo’ better
Rebuild head (marine toilet)
Re-build inside manual bilge pump (valves are bent)
Re-mount hand rails on deck
Re-mount watermaker in more better location
Remove headliner and paint
Replace scupper through-hulls
Replace seacock on engine water intake through-hull
Replace Yanmar fuel filter
Re-seal rudder post at transom (join at deck)
seal all deck fittings!!!
seal leak above aft port quarter bert (close to aft)
Seal leaky bolts in outer track
Seal manual bilge pump in lazerette
seal mast and collar
seal sailing instrument wires
Seal water from coming up rudder post/replace rudder bearings
seal window above galley
Sump/baffle system for bilge
Tighten headstay
Transmission oil change
Build shelves in starboard pipeberth
Cut new, firmer foam for sette cushions
Draw Electrical Diagram
Fiber glass bulheads in starboard settee
Fix stainless anchor chain guide pin
Install anchor bash plate
Install new spin halyards / main sheet / Reef lines?
Make stainless guards for Dorado’s
New Aft pulpit
New bolt on boom goose neck
New leach line in 135 genoa
New, larger capacity batteries
Patch boot strap paint
Patch rear bimini where boom wore through it (sew at Jo’s)
Platform for hydrovane
Plug watermaker inlet to black water tank (1/2″ or 3/4″ plug)
Rebuild cabin top winches
Re-mount GPS
Sand/varnish lee board
Sew new slugs on Main Sail
Sew straps on companion way cover
Silicon around sink in galley
Tent/cover for forward hatch to catch rainwater
Touch up deck paint (Pettit Marine Paint – Easypoxy – 3518 Sandtone)
Varnish wood inside
Varnish wood outside
Weld another set of surfboard racks
LEDs in Boom
Re-splice frayed dock line
Sew dingy anchor rode bag (out of canvas)
New belt for autopilot (Raytheon model # 4000?)
Re-seal port deck organizer again (old hole needs sealing)

Yup, yup, that’s why we procrastinated…

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Photos: Boat Work – NZ Refit

Khulula has a new hatch, dorades, roof, transom, pulpit, anchor roller and much more!

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Contented Consciousness – Or, how to spend 3 weeks in paradise.

Week 1 – Work on Khulula, work on a super-yacht
- Hugh

At the dock

It is no secret that all boats require maintenance, but the types of problems people have when offshore cruising are astounding, endless and universal, almost. Broken wind vane? Yup, we’ve heard of 2 already. Dead radar? 3 and counting. Engine stopped? 4 so far. Struck by lightning? 2 boats since Panama. Leaks? Everybody. A common saying is that cruising around the world is simply fixing your boat in exotic locations. To be honest, I didn’t think the same rules would apply to us. We all take special pride in repairing and re-building things that were never meant to be fixed; ‘certified repair technician’ and ‘return to manufacturer for service’ are challenges not stumbling blocks. I also figured we’d avoid fixing things while underway. Well, I was wrong. We’re starting to live by the ’1 job a day’ rule. If you fix 1 thing a day, you can just about stay on top of the repairs, a satisfying feeling. For some it even pays, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Occasionally the jobs are bigger and require 3 people for 5 days, ago. which is how we ended up docked at the Marina Taina in Papeete 2 weeks Without too many boring details, the problem goes like this. A plywood bulkhead (thingy used for strength) in our boat had become delaminated and detached from the hull. Attached to that bulkhead is the chain plate, with in turn the rigging is attached to, the rigging that holds up the mast. So without a strong bulkhead firmly attached to the hull, the mast was in danger of falling down! Not an imminent danger, but enough to cause us concern. Our solution? New plywood, big bolts, and lots of epoxy and fiberglass!

Since getting at the bulkhead involved clearing out half of the main cabin, including water tanks and most of our remaining canned food (lots) we decided to spring for a space at the dock for a few days. We needed a place to pile all our stuff, saw wood, cause havoc and generally decompress the boat. Within moments of tying up we’d quickly unloaded sails, boards, jerry cans and other miscellaneous gear to make room for the chaos that was about to ensue below decks. Being tied to tera-firma also gave us the chance to better socialize with a few other yachty-types.

At ~1.25$/ft per night the marina wasn’t the most expensive in the world. The cost adds up quickly though, which is why dock fees are generally avoid by most cruisers on a budget. On the other hand, for a super-yacht with 5 – 6 paid crew, a fuel tank as big as a small swimming pool, and an absentee owner who might just rule a small country, it is a pittance. So amongst our neighbors were multiple +100ft sailboats and powerboats and their crews. Khulula looked positively miniscule among them. Fortunately, the crew on most of these boats are super-cool young folks who like boating and are out to see the world while getting paid to do it, a good bunch to hang out with.

“How white is your boat?”

After being around weather-beaten cruising boats all the time the first thing you notice about a super-yacht is how bright and shiny it is. Ryan was constantly ogling their rust-free stainless steel, and even asking around for some polishing tips! As I learned, the crew’s number one job is to keep the boat in ‘as new’ condition 100% of the time. Which is why they have a crew of 5 or 6, full time.

For the most part, the owners of these boats are content to use them for only a few weeks a year, flying into the various exotic locations where the crew has delivered the boat. Don’t even start doing the cost per minute calculations of these vacations because the numbers will boggle your mind. Did you have the absolute, maximum amount of pleasure in the past 4 minutes? Good because it cost you $7000! So when the owner is coming to sail for a week, as was the owner of the Beagle V, the boat better be ready. Apparently the boat wasn’t quite shiny enough, nor quite white enough, because they enlist my help (can’t imagine why) to help polish for a few days. Which how I ended up working on a super-yacht.

After 4 months off, waking up at 7 am on a Monday morning to go to work (for someone else) was a bit of a trip. It’s funny, because despite what Ryan and Brys say, I have no trouble getting up at 7am on a normal day on the boat. But faced with the prospect of a 9 hour work day, it was pretty difficult! Not to mention that the novelty of being on a really fancy boat wore off pretty quick, and soon it was just work!

Well, I’ve now got 3 days of polishing under my belt and I’m happy to share all my newly acquired skills with you Ry. By the way, I’ve blown the rest of this year’s budget on a pneumatic sliding door for our main cabin, all the super-yachts have them so I figured we needed one too.

Week 2 – To Teahupoo. No, wait, back to Moorea

With Khulula back together and my dose of 9-5 done for a month or two, it was time to escape the bustle of Papeete and the marina for some more laidback spots.

At the marina we met Suzi, a welsh native who called Southern France home in between multi-month adventures around the globe; another like-minded sailor, surfer and all-round world traveler. She was currently on boat laid-up waiting for engine parts and also eager to get away from Papeete for a few days of sailing and exploring.

The plan was to go the legendary Teahupoo first and then maybe back to Moorea. The weather forecast I had for the day we set out called for 15 – 20 kts of wind from the east. Since Teahupoo was only 30 miles, it didn’t appear that it would be too tough to get there. Well, soon after getting out the reef pass, the wind built from 15 to 29, and then to 30 knots right ‘on the nose’. A long beat we were not looking forward to, so when the gusts hit 35 knots I decided it would be much more comfortable to turn around and head downwind to Moorea 1st. It was a good decision, as shortly thereafter the wind built to a steady 40 knots, with one gust to 47! It was the strongest winds we’ve seen so far on Khulula and fortunately she handled it just fine. With a scrap of the headsail out we made 7+ knots to Moorea and were safely in the lee of the island in a few hours. Whew!

We spent the next few days again anchored in beautiful Opunohu Bay, making day trips for surf in the dingy.

Coming soon:

Week 3 – Teahupoo, hanging out solo and meditations on experiences of the past little while, plus checking out the beaches, and the wave(s)…

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