Welcome to Zenitude’s blog where you can follow us while we travel slow in our Lagoon catamaran. We update this blog frequently when we are cruising to let family and friends know where we are. Check the complete story of our adventures that started in 2006 when Zenitude became our home and cruising our way of life. Graciela and Oscar

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Back on board and almost ready to go

It’s been already a month since we moved back to Zenitude and only now we are almost done with all the projects we had underway.

These are some of the things we have been working on:

Tested the new engines with a 4 hour run at different RPM’s and took several measures. We have gained in speed as expected but currently concerned with the alternator’s behavior as charging batteries seems to go very slow. Volvo confirmed this is standard behavior to protect the batteries. We will need to see how long we’ll have to run the engine at anchor to charge the home battery bank. The old engines didn’t have Volvo alternators and the behavior was a bit different.

Testing engines around Gold Coast Waterways

Installed a separate VHF antenna for the AIS as the splitter that allowed us to share the VHF antenna between the AIS and the VHF radio kept giving us problems all the time. Installing the antenna was easy, passing the cable all the way to the nav. station was a not that easy but eventually we managed.

Installed a Satellite TV antenna and now we can watch and record all the sporting events, watch the news (really?) and lots of movies. Same story, installing the antenna was easy but passing the 2 required coaxial cables from the antenna in the transom to the antenna controller and Foxtel box sitting in the nav. station was even a bigger pain, but again somehow we managed. By now we are quite experienced in passing cables, I can say
The new antenna

Antenna controller and Foxtel box on top of nav. station

Changed several hatches, some of them had sun damage as well as they were allowing water in when hit by heavy rain.

Oscar designed and built a ‘walking trail’ in the bimini under the canopy to make it easier to walk on top of it, this is needed to reach the back end of the boom. 

Installed a new deck table that we haven’t been able to admire so far as it’s been permanently covered for protection while we are continuously working.

Had a new canopy made for the bimini by a fantastic shop in GCCM. It was time to replace the old one and we decided to have it professionally done. They did an exceptional job. They have also done a carpet to go on deck under the table, which also looks great and is very practical. The carpet has a back material that sticks on the floor without the need to put any hardware on deck and it can easily be removed.

The new canopy, very neat

The new table (covered) and the carpet

Upgraded the Raymarine software version. The wind instrument has been behaving strangely lately but there was not change with the upgrade. Contacted Raymarine and it turned out that our serial number was in a list of recalled instruments failing due to the use of inappropriate glue on the instrument itself. Raymarine immediately replaced it with a new one. Unfortunately the problem was not solved. After several tests the conclusion is that either the wind vane in the top of the mast or the cable connecting to the wind vane are defective. We are calling a rigger to take care of this job up the mast hoping that we don’t need to pass yet another cable, this time all the way down from the top.  

Replaced some of the running rigging that was showing signs of damage (main halyard, genoa halyard and topping lift).

We’ve emptied, cleaned and re-organized at least half of Zenitude’s storage places, found stuff that we’ve forgotten we had and got rid of things we haven’t used for years  to make room for new stuff desperately needing a place to stay. 

Fixed many of the damage caused by people coming to work on board, the best way to avoid this is by doing the job yourself, but that is not always possible for us.

But not all is work and we certainly enjoy the Gold Coast. Here is a picture of a peaceful evening with a full moon raising over the horizon in the marina.

We are now almost at the point where we can leave and start enjoying some sailing, so I’m now looking at weather forecasts, twice daily I confess, and hoping for a nice window to take us slowly north. The end destination this time is the Whitsundays, but the first stop may probably be Mooloolaba.