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 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.
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.
Decision time. Do we wait for a weather window or give up and truck her down to Osaka?
The last episode on the frustration to sail SV Freelancer, a 28 Bristol Channel Cutter out of Hokkaido and down to the warmer seas of souther Japan.
While waiting for a weather window to open I spend time around Esashi town and learn what it is like to live in a cold climate, plus experience big seas, high winds and freezing cold snow from the comfort of shore.
Next week back to normal with updates on Tiare’s overhaul and looking back on how we have managed to survive sailing and cruising with kids and dog onboard without a fixed income.
Waiting for the break in the weather before winter sets in and it gets too cold. The break never came.
The adventure of sailing down from Hokkaido in the top of Japan to Kagoshima at the southern tip of Kyushu wasn’t to be.
The weather beat us and ground us down. Weeks of waiting for a window that would allow us to beat the lee shore didn’t happen.
Frustrating for the owners Nick and Rika who were hoping to set off on their new life.
However as much as the frustration was at not sailing down the option to truck her down was still available.
As long as winter didn’t arrive too early and make the roads impossible for such a journey. But that is for next weeks video.
Video put together on my phone as we wait for a weather window to sail south from Hokkaido to Kagoshima. Test the new Pelagic autopilot do some last minute maintenance and repairs. Go for a test sail and wait out a monster storm. And finally get that weather window.
Has been a slow week as we wait for a 24-36 hour weather window so we can set off sailing south from Iwanai on the Japan Sea side and get through the Tsugaru Straight and into the Pacific.
Once through to the Pacific Ocean side we have better weather and generally away from a lee shore. Plus a lot more ports to run too if the weather packs in.
Sailing south down Japan in November is not the best time of year is cold and the weather doesn’t give us much of a chance.
Have done the last prep on the boat. All stocked. Fueled up. Sails tested. Autopilot is working (we think) and have a 24 hour window to get down as far as Esashi (95Nm) before the window closes. Then a wait of 24-48 hours before we can duck around the corner and heading for the pacific and the east coast of Japan.
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.
Last tour for 2017
Wet, windy and wild weather as we try to head off for a three night sail around the western side of the inland sea of Japan.
Plans made a few weeks before certainly don’t hold up to the reality of a strong North Easterly and with the largest typhoon of the year just a couple of days away I make a dash back back to the safety of Yuge Island as soon as the tour finishes.
It was a very wet and windy few days.
I have altered my idea of an enjoyable and stress free (for me) cruising holiday around this area.
Starting next year cruising tours will be more focussed on the practical aspects of sailing. This is not only from a simple safety point of view but also to enjoy the sailing experience. Tiare is an awesome “sailing” vessel and being able to tie basic knots, know how to make off on a cleat, safe use use of a winch, as well as the physical dynamics of sailing will go a long way towards keeping safe and everyone getting the most out of their time aboard Tiare
This video is a few days early as I will be away most of next week on tour.
This week we have another group of girls onboard, we put down a new mooring (the third leg) build a couple of Fender Boards and then get Tiare ready for next weeks adventure, a sail around the western end of the Inland Sea of Japan.
Tiare is beached for a few maintenance jobs that can only be done out of the water.
I learn the meaning of patience and we also make her ready for a lunchtime cooking group.
At the end of the week I start getting ready for putting out a “third leg” on our mooring.
Tiare is not your usual production catamaran, she is a Wharram Islander 55 and has been our home for seven years. The last two years have seen us “settle” in the inland sea of Japan while our youngest son finishes high school.
Being in one place has given us the opportunity to alter Tiare to fit in to what we would like in a world cruising sailboat. And to start creating a source of income that can travel with us.
Wharram catamarans offer an affordable alternative for everyday people to cast off and cruise the worlds oceans. Where simplicity means the freedom to stay out for longer.
We hope these videos will inspire others to look at what it means and takes to live aboard while sailing the world and that Japan must be one of the most interesting cruising destinations on the planet.
explore – relax – recharge
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.