Our Catamaran’s new, new anti-foul. [SEA JAPAN EP:28]


The old adage
Never enough time to do it right.
But always enough to do it again.

Every now and then you got to admit to a mistake, stop crying and deal with it.

And this is what this story is about. How to blow 1200 dollars, or as I like see it How to keep fit and help support a local business.

All this started a couple of years ago when I began  a big above and below waterline overhaul on Tiare, removing thru hulls,  replacing the remaining metal thru hulls with composite,  manually scraping both hulls to remove 15 years of anti-foul, repairing the dings and scratches, sanding it all smooth, twice. Repainting the topsides and then multiple coats of epoxy barrier coat below the water line.

Now early on I had researched the paint system I needed. It was to be all one company and all products working together.

A few months after launch I started noticing that bits of the epoxy undercoat were showing through the anti-foul.

And to top it all off, this year was the worst year for barnacle growth the local fishermen had seen. Ever.  Historical levels of barnacle!!

A butt clench, wallet shrinking moment as I realised what I had done,  and that I needed to haul out, and not my usual thrifty “between the tides” type of haul-out, but a proper haul out, where you actually pay someone money, 

Once out of the water, I scrape off the barnacles, water-blast the hulls, then hand scrape all while the cement the barnacles use to “concrete” themselves on with, I had some help with this, (Thanks Nagi and Tom) Then hand scrape off all the new old anti-foul, then repair all the little scratches that the scraping had created,  then sand it all again, water blast again, then apply a coat of the recommended vinyl barrier paint, wait a day, then apply the new new anti-foul.

After checking with the paint company they also recommended, along with the  anti-foul I originally planned to use, to also apply a vinyl barrier coat before antifouling, You know, just to be 100% sure that everything sticks. Actually I think they were just trying to make it idiot proof.

And this is where the problem lay, I had used different paint companies for the epoxy barrier paint and for the anti-foul. Originally it was going to be one company and all their chemistries work together, no worries, but by the time i got around to buying the anti-foul I had forgotten this rather  crucial  bit  information. Ouch.

So here we are, Tiare is about to come into the local fishing boatyard, its a bit windy but thats ok as I have Tom in the tender to push Tiare around.

The costs start when the lines get thrown

There it is, six days and 1200 Dollars

What I came away with?

Well a thinner waistline and a lighter wallet for sure, but I now have  the proper paint system applied, and the knowledge that I also have an extra protective vinyl barrier coat on Tiare. Which is a good thing.

Steel or Synthetic (Dyneema) standing rigging. [SEA JAPAN EP:27]


This week is part two of our decision to replace our 55 foot Wharram Catamaran’s standing rigging.

Sailing and cruising around Japan brings its own rewards and challenges. One of the challenges is trying to do maintenance and replace gear. Japan has all the stuff required but it is either very hard to source and/or it’s very expensive.

The choice between new synthetic (dyneema) standing rigging, keeping the old grungy stainless rigging, or go with new stainless was a choice based around our location in Japan’s Inland Sea, the time left before we had to re-step the masts and the actual dollar cost.

If it hadn’t been for the rather fortuitous meeting with the Australian synthetic rigger guru, Peter Greig, then the outcome would have been very different.

New Dyneema Rigging. Long Bury Splice how to: Part One. [Sea Japan Ep:26]

Decided to replace our old stainless wire standing rigging with new synthetic dyneema rope using the long bury method and low friction rings.

This video is an interview I did with an Australian rigger Peter Grieg.
I took this video, with the idea that I would use it as a guide when I did my own synthetic rigging. I was not intending to put it out on YouTube.
Other than adding a couple of bits for clarification, the video is unedited and starts when I turned on the camera.
It’s not organized into a step one, step two… Rather it is a simple hands on conversation with a very experienced rigger, who has a passion for spreading the word on synthetic rope and its many benefits.

This is Part One:
Peter goes over how to calculate, or measure, the length of the replacement synthetic stay.
How to correctly do a long bury splice in dyneema.
How to add a single and multiple low-friction rings.
Goes over his “width of palm plus thumb” rule.

Next Episode Part Two:
What I learnt in handling Dynice Dux dyneema.
Making my own s/s fids.
Mistakes I made.
What I would do differently.
Would I still go with dyneema or stay with stainless if I had a bigger budget and more time?
Breakdown and cost of the new synthetic rigging, covering(sheath), tools and low friction rings.

Rebuilding a rotten wooden mast [Sea Japan-Ep25]

When we originally bought Tiare she had varnished masts

Which looked fantastic, but being in the tropics, with all the high UV were just too much maintenance.

Each year a new coat of varnish had to be applied, meaning going up the mast to sand and varnish. Just too much hassle

After a couple of years living onboard we discovered that the aft sail collar had worn through  the covering of glass that protects the mast from hard knocks.

This had allowed the tropical rains to run down the mast and into the wood.

It didn’t take long for the heat and humidity of the tropics  to turn the wood to mush.

The damage was bad enough that we really needed to pull the masts out   and rebuild the first 6 feet

I also wanted to paint them white, no more varnish and no more sanding!

We couldn’t do this in Thailand due to visa limits , so we carefully sailed down to Lumut, in Malaysia.

Once the masts were out, we found the Masthead had also rotted out .

Bottom of the mast was rebuilt with wood, the masthead we replaced with aluminium.

Once the work was done we re-stepped and continued cruising.


After cruising for a while we noticed that cracks started to appear in the aft mast, first on the paint, then the fiberglass.

Initially at the top, then further down.

But we were cruising remote places well away from the  resources needed to either drop or lift out the masts.

So we filled, or covered the cracks trying to stop any more water getting in, and  kept an eye on them and hoped for the best.

Had been ten years since we had bought her, and really done almost no major maintenance, other than to keep her, and us,  safe.

Well last year we were finally in a position where I could give Tiare her much needed maintenance / overhaul.

and could finally crane the masts out and  assess the damage, and perhaps have a good cry.

And yes, it wasn’t pretty.

Looked like the fibreglass had not stuck to the wood. It just peeled off. Water had gotten underneath and rot had set in. Only this time the main damage was to the top 6 meters. The masthead, now being aluminium had no issues.

The forward mast appeared fine, no cracks and I didn’t want to jinx myself by disturbing what wasn’t a problem. 

So the forward mast just got a cosmetic overhaul, new primer and top paint. plus a fancy streaming light and deck-light.


The damage to the to top 6 meters was fairly extensive. 

Luckily the mast is made using a birds-mouth construction technique, and where the lengths of wood were glued together the damage had not moved from one length to the next due to the glue between the two pieces of wood.

I could save half existing mast wood, but needed to replace the rotten lengths.

But, suitable spar wood is very expensive in Japan, So I looked at alternatives.
replacing the mast with aluminium would be nice, but thick walled aluminium of the right diameter were not cheap and shipping to me in Japan, made it even  less so.

We simply couldn’t afford either new wood, and definitely not a new mast

The only option left was to use the some rot and insect resistance wood that I had bought for the office deck.

This is Hinoki, or Japanese cypress, very rot resistance, which sounded good to me.

I also had  enough lengths available to do the Job, finishing the office deck would have to wait.

Removing the damaged wood, was scary, hoping that the remaining wood would hold the weight and not break, If that had happened the whole job would have become seriously more difficult and my trust in the repair would be undermined. I didn’t want to be in rough seas wondering if the mast was going to break.


I applied Ethyl glycol, or antifreeze, to stop any further spread of dry rot or fungi, It also has the benefit of showing up areas where water had penetrated the mast.


After selecting the lengths that had the least amount of knots making the replacement strips was fairly straight forward. Simple calculation based on the diameter of the mast, and the number of pieces. Tiare’s mast has eight sections, I needed to replace four of them.

The wood I had wasn’t long enough for some, so it they needed to be joined with health 12:1  scarf.

My youngest son was down for the holidays and helped out with the scarf joints.

Once I had this done I could cut out the birds-mouth,. 

Miso the Bernese Mountain dog we were looking after enjoyed the time too. Like most dogs, being close by was the best possible place to be.

There was also some stiffeners to make that fit inside the mast, I think here you can see why its called a birds-mouth joint. The joint increases the surface area of the glue bond.


Once the rotten sections in the mast had been removed and scarfs made, and the new wood cut and then scarfed to length. It was time to glue the new wood into place.

Getting a close fit with new wood to the old hadn’t been easy, Seeing the epoxy squeeze out as I tightened the clamps up was a big relief. As it meant the joints were a good fit.

Looping then twisting the ropes around the mast really put the pressure on the joints.  I was surprised at how well this worked.

After that it was waiting a couple of days for the epoxy to set before I could roll the mast around and start rounding off the new wood to match the circumference of the mast. 

Any low parts were made up with epoxy filler.


After the mast has been rounded, filled and sanded smooth.  

It was time to prep it for a layer of fiber glass. 

This layer of glass is really there to stop any hard objects from making holes and damaging the protective paint layer and letting in water.

This time instead of very light weight layer of glass, and keeping in mind that the mast is supposed to flex, I opted to use S-glass, which is around 30% better in everything over standard, or normal, e-glass. 

It’s stronger, more flexible and also more expensive.

How ever I did manage to find a very good price for a roll of 8.95oz cloth. 


This our oldest son Sam, who unlike me, is a boat builder, and  actually knows what he is doing.

Once the glass is all on and cut to size, the peel ply is ripped off, which an incredibly satisfying experience! not unlike peeling off dead sunburnt skin, but with the added pleasure of extra noise.

Next is to add 3 coats of high build epoxy primer, sanded down to a smooth finish.

And then a final 3 coats of finish paint.

The paint I used was the same as the hulls, only white. It is a flouropolymer resin, designed mainly to be used on offshore structures, very hard wearing, long life gloss retention, and anywhere other than Japan, would be out of my budget.

But, being made in Japan it ends up being more affordable than other well known brands of marine paint.

Each coat of paint took an hour, 30 minutes per mast, per side, and only one coat could be applied a day.

Only in the early morning before the sun got too hot.

So six days to apply the primer and another six days to apply the top coat. Can only do one half of the masts at a time.

And I needed a couple of days to let the paint harden before I could roll the mast over to do the other side.

And there was a deadline as I had to have the masts out as the area was booked for a construction project.

It couldn’t rain, or we would have had to step the masts before the final coats of paint were on and hardened.

We made it with a day to spare.


The big day had arrived.

All that work is now falling into place.

The standing rigging, new lights, new wood, new paint, blocks, everything, is ready for the final step.

Im really pleased with the results and more importantly, no longer worried about the mast falling apart.

Another benefit is that I now have the confidence to build a completely new mast should I need to .

It’s not difficult, a new wooden mast really is a low tech, simple step by step process, 

I feel a new build would have be easier than trying to do the repairs I did. 

But money constraints meant that a new mast was never on the cards. 


A decision about what to do with the standing rigging had to be made, whether I put the old wire rigging back on , make up some new wire rigging or were there other options?

Given that our budget is really really tight, perhaps just reusing the old rigging would be the only choice.

But life constantly throws unexpected opportunities, and a chance meeting with an Australian rigger provided the answers.

But that story is for the next episode.

Back to the Sea! [Sea Japan – Ep24]

Short video on putting Tiare our Wharram 55″ cruising catamaran back in to the water.

Being dragged up onto a rough, unused and old concrete fishing ramp had its draw backs, no electricity and no water, but these were offset by the cost (free) and there was no officially imposed time limit, which allowed me to work and earn, as I worked on the repairs.

After nearly a year out on the hard, it’s time to slip Tiare back in.
But will she go in smoothly? I’m not too sure and just a bit nervous. This is a one shot. No hoist to lift her back out if there is a leak in the new thru-hulls, it’s all or nothing!
We waited until the conditions were right, tides at the months’ highest , the winds light, extra hands to pull and push.
But with no moon and no lights it didn’t go quite a planned.

Having Tiare hauled out for a year, gave me the time to deal with many of the concerns I had.
-The number and quality of thru hulls.
-Damage to the grounding plates on the hull.
-Cracking around the rudder lashings.
-The rudders splitting due to the damage received several years ago during a bad typhoon in southern Japan.
-Paint system was getting thin and the number of dings that needed attention was growing.
-Sail drive leg paint system was failing and had some water ingress.

If you watch until the end, that low angry animal growling noise, is Tiare grinding against the concrete wall 🙁

Update regards Covid19

Due to the Covid19 virus we are no longer taking mixed group tours until further notice.
Tiare will be available for single households or family groups only.
The health and safety of our customers and crew are of primary importance and we look forward to welcoming you aboard Tiare in the future.


What has been happening? [Sea Japan – Ep23]

Has been a while since I last uploaded a video.
In this video we
1/ Travel to Sado Island in Niigata to an open day for a Miyadaiku trade school
2/ Enjoy a local Shrine festival
3/ Hang the rudders back on Tiare

Video gets me close to current times.
Next video will be up to real-time

Part of the delay is that I have been trying to find a direction and purpose to the videos, other than as a personal diary.
So this episode I swap over from Go Sea Camping to Sea Japan, although the adventures of SV Tiare will continue.
I really hope to show Japan as the absolutely fantastic cruising destination it is.
But more on the direction of this channel over the next few episodes.

Hope to have Tiare up and sailing towards the end of August,
Next episode will cover the exhausting, yet somewhat successful, drama of getting Tiare back into the water., along with problems and solution to my aft mast issues.

Music from Artlist.io
1: Spring in Barcelona by Ian Post
2: Burdens by Derek Gust
3: Vietnam Theme by Hanjo Gabler
4: Burnin down the house by Saint-anyway
5 Brown Eyed Girl, written by Van Morrison and performed by Sam, Tom, Taiga and Micheal live at Okappa cafe

Painting the hulls – Scrape • Sand • Paint


Well, I have finally done it. I’ve gone and painted my topsides.
And prepped my hull for a new generation of anti-foul.

This is a major milestone for me. Tiare has needed a hull repaint for a number of years, slowly becoming a little more drab with each small knock the tender makes on the side, and with the passing of time wearing thin the top-paint.

Now that she is on the hard, and I have access to some high quality and affordable paints, along with the time to spend on doing the preparation work. It feels good to take my time to do it right.

This was my first repaint and a steep learning curve, I  definitely acquired some new skills. Paint scraping is an art, sanding and painting is a trade.

Doing it right means I take all the old anti-fouling off, scrape and sand back to the hull’s base coat, and then apply several layers of super smooth epoxy coating before a final coat of a modern super slippery, long lasting anti-foul.
I have not yet decided on the final anti-fouling system, there are a few options available but I will make that decision closer to when I re-slip Tiare.

Took longer then I had anticipated, as my hands seized up daily after four to five hours due to  Carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you’re my age, and a tradie, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re reading this and you’re young, look after your hands!! Waking up every night at 2am, with your arms and hands on fire gets tiring real quick.
So although one hull side would take around 18 – 20 hours total to scrape clean, it would actually take around 5 days. And there are four sides!
Fortunately, we have an onsen/spa (hot baths) close by, a soak after a day of scraping felt really good and made the CTS manageable.

I didn’t do a roll and tip, as that really only works well with paints that are thinned out. Thinning out a paint reduces its gloss and you need to put more coats on to make up the thickness.
What I did was a coach or carriage style as it allowed me to put on just four thick un-thinned coats of top paint.
I wasn’t going for a mirror finish, as that takes considerably more effort in sanding and preparation, I think my hands would have failed if I had tried, and then there is the stress over the final application of the top coats.
What I wanted was multiple coats of solid un-thinned top paint of at least 3 coats (I ended up with four coats).
I am very happy with the results.

Marine Paints from CMP

For the epoxy primers and the top-sides finish coat, I have used CMP (Chugoku Marine Paints) here from Japan.
One of the deciding factors on using CMP was that they make their paint AND catalysers here in Japan.
When I order the paint it usually takes a week or so as they make it to order, it arrives very fresh 🙂 All 4kgs or 18kgs of it.
It is also inexpensive, e.g. 4kg of white is 6000¥ ~ 60 USD for a quality two-part urethane, with the top end Fluorex Finish at twice the price at around 12,000¥ ~ 110USD.
18Kg of epoxy primer, Bannoh 1500, was 12,000¥ ~ 110USD. 18 kg did four coats below the water line.

Links below

Coach painting

CMP – Chugoku Marine Paints

Bannoh 1500 ( .pdf )

Click to access bannoh1500_en.pdf

Fluorex Finish ( .pdf )

Click to access fluorex_2p_en.pdf

Final repairs to our rudders plus a typhoon


With the starboard side rudder wood dried out. Both rudders are ready for sanding, glassing and filling ready for epoxy undercoats.

The starboard back stern repairs are all done and we go through a couple of typhoons. Nothing major and I enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being on the hard in a very sheltered area.

Next video it’s all about scraping 12 years of old antifoul and getting the hulls ready for an epoxy primer and new top coat.

Rudder Repairs, Woodworm, Kimonos & Fireworks


This episode I discover some unwanted guests in my SB stern post.
Find out that a scraper is my best friend, and I visit Yuge island’s summer festival.

Woodworm, every old sailing boat novel I read as a kid mentions the dreaded woodworm.
So what appeared to be a small crack in the paint, turned into a “worst case” scenario of woodworm boring through my sternpost, a real stomach dropping moment.

But although was bad, the epoxy glue lines seemed to have stopped it from spreading further.
So was a matter of taking the plunge and cutting a large chunk out of the sternpost, took a bit of nerve to make the first cut.
After that was a relatively simple job of carving a replacement part, fortunately I had been carrying some very hard wood onboard since Malyasia some 5? years earlier.
The wood, locally known as Chengal, a traditional boat building timber is very hard, glues well is rot resistant and also easy to work.
Wikipedia link here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neobalanocarpus

The rudders are off, the port side needs a simple scrape before fairing and new anti-foul.
Without a vacuum system electric tools are no good, plus I find that a simple scraper is the most effective tool for removing old anti-foul.

Yuge Island had its annual summer festival, the weather holds up and it was a fantastic afternoon.

Next video I repair the starboard rudder, which was damaged when we dragged in a typhoon 4 years ago.