With the bitter winter weather looming, I knew I had to get Tiare hauled out and complete the long list of essential maintenance tasks before it was too late. But just as I was about to make my way to the boat yard, a last-minute emergency boat repair delayed my plans.
As the days turned into weeks, I watched in growing nervousness as winter proper approached, knowing that time was quickly running out. The thought of not being able to complete the necessary repairs weighed heavily on my mind.
Finally, the boat yard released the other vessel and I was able to access the boat ramps with Tiare. But as soon as she was safely up, the weather turned against me. The low temperatures and bitterly cold winds made progress on the repairs a constant struggle.
But finally, the repairs were complete, and Tiare was ready to slip back in. Despite the challenges I had managed to complete the work that needed to be done. And as I looked out at the stormy winter skies, I knew that Tiare was set for another year.
Imagine my excitement when I received quotes for ready-made trampolines for our 55-foot Wharram catamaran! Wow was she going to look smart!! But my heart sank when I saw the sky-high price tags. Thousands of dollars? No way could I afford that.
But being the budget guy that I am, I decided to use the trusty method of 5mm double braid line and thread my own.
With seemingly endless threading Under and over, under and over, until… shit! over then under! Easy mistake and had to undo the last hour of work.
But you know what? The satisfaction of threading my own trampoline and the money I saved made it all worth it.
Tiare and Sea Japan is getting closer to casting off
Get ready for an adventure as we prepare for our journey aboard “Tiare,” a Wharram Islander 55 sailing catamaran. We’ll be following in the path of the old sea captains who sailed and traded their way around Japan during the medieval period.
It is going to be a journey filled with excitement, discovery, and an opportunity to explore one of the most diverse, fascinating, and challenging cruising destinations on the planet.
Join us as we share our adventure with you and discover the rich history, culture, and beauty of Japan.
I totally suck at taking Tiare out for a sail. Definitely an episode for all the armchair sailors out there. Pacific Solo – YouTube Channel MacKenzie Sheppard – Film Director
Well this was a sad day out, good winds and a captain that was missing in action :/ Tiare needed tighter rigging and the new sail was left forgotten in the cockpit. What was I thinking? On the positive, we all had a laugh and I learned some good lessons.
After a 10 months away earning some boat bucks, I’m really looking forward to diving back into finishing Tiare. And with any luck going full time into creating these videos.
I FAILED! 6 DAYS IN A COMMERCIAL YARD TO REDO TIARE’S ANTIFOUL!
The old adage Never enough time to do it right. But always enough to do it again. Damn.
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 newold 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 newnew 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.
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.
The summer heat is ongoing and slows progress down. Fortunately, I am working under the boat and in the shade but still, the humidity and heat takes the energy out of you.
Replacing our metal thru hulls and valves with Trudesign Composites. http://www.trudesign.nz/marine.
Learn how to remove extremely well stuck thru hulls and drill holes for replacement thru hulls, along with a quick look at some thru hulls that had been eaten from the inside out.
Now Tiare is out of the water, I take down our Sillette Sonic Drives to replace the anodes, bellows, shaft seals and clean and fill the corrosion pitting on the lower legs, then give acid washing a go before acid etching and a repaint.
Last winter I discovered that the SB side leg had water getting into the shaft so hoping it was just the shaft seals that needed replacing.
The PS leg pins were getting sloppy in their brackets, the answer was to fit some steel sleeves into them. Along with adding some high wear aluminum epoxy, to replace what the corrosion had eaten away around the pins.
And finally, time to grind off the 5 year old bitumen I had put on in Malaysia, and give the legs a good clean and fill up the bad pitting. Replacing grungy black/brown with a nice bright white.
Well it has been a few months since the last video.
Quite a few things have happened. Winter has gone, Spring has been and gone and we are now into the rainy season.
Sam our eldest son is now in living in Japan, Tom has gone up to Hokkaido for six months as an IT intern. And Tiare our 55 foot Wharram sailing catamaran was hauled (dragged) out and ready for a 12 month maintenance and makeover.
There is a very long list of jobs.
Would have liked to take more video of Tiare as she was hauled out but totally forgot about the video until she was out. Shame.
But the biggest factor that makes taking kids cruising and the level of success is you.
Its how you approach the issues of safety, health, education.
And it’s your OWN expectations that are going to influence your life afloat.
In my mind, there is no doubt that taking your kids for an extended cruise is beneficial on so many levels.
Kids will accept things readily and adapt. It’s your own values and actions that often bring the conflict, especially as kids get older.
If you are the type that is constantly stressed, has a “my way or the highway” attitude or find it difficult to adapt, then cruising with older kids is going to be challenging.
Especially when it comes to what you consider to be the right way. As you know better, cos you’re an adult.
YOU’RE THE ADULT SO YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO DEAL WITH IT.
We have seen a number of cruisers with teenagers that have given up simply because they couldn’t deal with the kids “attitude”.
From where we were it was more a parent inability to just let it go. Laugh it off.
And I know it’s not always easy to be so relaxed. There is so much for you to worry about their imagined future.
What I have learnt is that cruising kids have a pretty good grasp on what life is really like.
After all they are traveling the world by sailboat, they learn that most people are poor, by our standards, that most people don’t have the opportunities they have, that most people have to work very very hard just to get by and that the world is a really big place and to succeed takes an effort. All this while they mumble, yell and say life’s unfair and sucks. Of course not all teens are like this 🙂
Safety is a biggy. For us the biggest concern is falling overboard while underway. Setting an example is key,
If they need to wear a lifejacket outside of the cockpit at all times, so should you.
If they need a lifeline attached, so should you.
Other than falling overboard, learning to swim and gaining confidence in the water is a must.
Being able to climb back onto the boat unaided
Swimming around with a fitted life-jacket is a great way to build that up, along with a knotted rope over the side.
Most other safety issues are obvious. you’re surrounded by water and often in a strange country, where language and customs are not like back home.
We have found that most places are “more” relaxed about children and they are more openly accepting of kids.
Being able to read the sea state, understanding waves, rips etc on beaches is also important as a lot of time will be spent hanging out at these places.
The “look” don’t touch Rule, which is not only good for their health but also good for the environment. Lots of pretty looking animals have parts that break off inside you, should you pick them up.
We found an essential piece of equipment was a good pair of jewellers tweezers and a freezing spray. Digging out see spines is difficult and painful without these.
Can use an ice pack but takes longer. Stainless Steel flat head and sharp nose tweezers. A sense of humour.
Get yourselves immunised. Lots of weird diseases.
Fortunately being on a yacht you can anchor off far enough that the worse of the mosquitos.
Although we did learn that an on-shore breeze bought the mozzies out as they knew they had an easier* time to get back to land.
So the usual cuts, grazes, sprains and broken bones.
Taking a first aid course is a good idea. Along with books that show you what to do. Have them available for the kids to look at the pictures or read.
The biggest health issue for us was infections from scrapes and ear-ache. Making our own ear drops for after swimming, a solution of alcohol, vinegar and water.
Things we have dealt with
Cuts n Grazes
Learn first aid. Let the kids be a part of it. Don’t make a drama about it and be prepared. And a sense of Humour
This is again more about the parents than the kid
Any of the established systems, like GSCE, Calvert for younger and the various Govt’ school systems will do well, it’s up to you.
We found that our kids did well, got through the work with high grades. Sometimes a day at school would take three hours, others 8, totally depends on where we were.
Friends and the beach, snorkelling close by and school would be done in dusted in 3 hours, other days it would be getting close to “ Dinner not ready until you finished your school work” 🙂
When we started out there was not the choice of internet-based schools we have now, also the internet was not as well developed.
We used Calvert, which we found to be fantastic, truly impressed with the material that arrived and the feedback from the onshore teachers.
When they out-grew that we moved on to Wolsey Hall and the English based GSCE system.
Did they miss out on areas, possibly, chemistry labs?
But that was made up for being in places where they could see geography, physics, history, biology, maths, reading etc had direct practical experience.
Obviously, everyone has different abilities and skills. Our middle son never wrote anything down, no notes nothing. But he always did well, passed with high grades, even today he still doesn’t write notes!
Cruising is as much about the community of cruisers as the places you visit.
With kids onboard, you meet others and friendships amongst the are made instantly.
And not just within their own age group, everyone helps everyone. It was great to see my own kids look after and play with younger and also get on and be part of a much older group as well, no peer pressure.
Also, they learn to talk and work with other adults, Helping cruisers with tasks and being treated as equals is great for their personal growth.
And as you cruise you meet so many different people with totally different lifestyles, from “freedom fighters” to owners of large global companies and everyone in between.
The old saying “that it’s as much about what you know as who you know” is very true, and you do get to know a lot of interesting people.
Cruising kids seem to turn out as well balanced, rounded kids with a good sense of what’s right.
You have a unique opportunity, no bubbles of peer pressure, allowing them to explore different ways to think. Listen to others.
Cruisers come in many many different shades, often shades that you would not normally have the chance to associate or hang with
This week I go over some of the myths and questions about Catamaran compared to Monohull sailboats. Based on my own experiences living and sailing on both.
1 • COST more $$$
2 • NEW KID on the block?
3 • Cant SAIL upwind
4 • Can’t handle the WEIGHT
5 • In marinas = $$$
6 • Maintenance are 2 X $$$
7 • CAPZISE!
8 • Motion … BAD
9 • Downright UGLY!
10• ARE more Comfortable
Cat or Mono
Are Catamarans faster?
Are Monohulls more traditional and romantic?
Are Catamarans more expensive to buy and maintain?
Are Cats nothing but a modern floating apartment block or the safest way to cross an ocean?
Can a Catamaran out sail a monohull upwind?
Self-righting, sinking or floating?
Opinions are based experience cruising/living on both a monohull when I was younger and on a catamaran with my family, as well as working on both as a tradie doing repairs for others.
I’m not talking high performance or racing boats but cruising, safe passage-making, live-aboard i.e. Cruising boats for everyday folk.
Nor am I talking about the big sparkly new ones either, although a lot of what I say covers them.
Obviously not all mono or cats(multihulls) are the same, different markets, price ranges, performance and comfort levels, and underwater profiles. But am happy to over simplify and make broad a generalisation to prove my point.
Why give away everything that we had built, for something as unstable as a sailboat? With no job and no real plan on what to do once the initial savings were exhausted.
The question why?
Is still something I think about.
At times it seems obvious, the shared experiences, stories with other cruisers, of seeing the kids mature, and in our own personal growth. But these are just the results of our decision. Not the reason why.
Even today I am still trying to understand the why?
What follows is unscripted & unintelligible.
Just like life.
As usual with a Wharram catamaran this is not complicated.
With a few basic tools, a simple homemade (boatmade) tripod and one of the mainsail blocks, plus plenty of humour, it makes for an enjoyable day, well at least for me !
Taiga helps me pull out the motor and the Beast add his muscle to get the motor onto the cockpit table so I can work on her over the next month.
Main reason to pull the motors out is to install better sound insulation in the engine bays, redo the electrical cables on and around the motor and also move the instruments to a new location.
Engine is a Kubota 3 cylinder 24 Hp, marinized by Diecon and weighs around 120kg or 264lb. Enough to make it a three person job.
Also SV Freelancer drop by on their way out of Japan. Nick and Rika spent a few days here in Yuge and we introduced them to Yuge Island and of course the sun shined 🙂
Next weeks video will be a “Introduction” or “About us” type of video, not decided.
This years winter projects and beaching a power catamaran.
I go over what I hope to achieve over the next four or five months aboard Tiare as I get her ready for another season in Japan.
Australian cruising friend Graham visits Yuge Island and beaches his Malcolm Tennant power catamaran for a prop clean.
Beautiful clear day with light winds along with a good tide window make it a great opportunity.
Trying to find my “style” in video. Pushing myself for weekly uploads to force myself to learn the video, editing and organisational skills needed to make this work.
I’m still treating this as a diary for myself and my kids to look back on. yes its edited, so not “real” but it is as real as it’s going to get given the public nature of it, still, I hope to show a little of who I am.
Just a few more days until I fly to Hokkaido and sail a 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter through the Tsugaru Straights between Hokkaido and Honshu, the main Island of Japan and then head off down the Pacific side of Japan keeping close to the coast so as to avoid the fast flowing “Kuroshio” current that runs up the Japanese archipelago. Total distance around 1200Nm and expected passage time will be / maybe 10-14 days.
The episode is just me talking with a few pictures and sailing routes, plus a bit at the end about how it felt spending time watching my kids grow.
Next Episode will have lots of sailing and boaty stuff.
This week we remove the sails, survive two very wet typhoons and I get ready for a 1200 Nm adventure sailing from one end of Japan to the other, Hokkaido to Kagoshima, on a newly refurbished 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter.
The sail from Hokkaido to Kagoshima will be a true adventure for me! I don’t like cold weather or water, it is a 28 foot traditional sail boat and we are on the wrong side of Japan with sailing through the “missile testing” grounds for North Korea.
But am determined to make the most of it. Will be a fantastic experience to sail this coast line on a traditional classic small boat.
explore – relax – recharge
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