This blog comes with a warning of being somewhat boring, so apologises in advance!
As most would know, Pendana is up at Abel Point Marina (apparently now spelt Abell with two ‘L’s’ after new owner took over the helm) and the family and I have been back in Sydney for a few weeks with the children’s school back in full swing. That being said, there were a few jobs that needed attending to before we head off to explore the islands next month, and as such, I was only too happy to jump on a plane and fly back to get the jobs done.
The three items needing attention were the small oil leak below the engine turbo fan we had developed on our last journey, my Armstrong tender ladder needed to be tested and detailing of the much used and loved Caribe tender needed to be done.
Pendana has a keel cooled Cummins N-14 NTA diesel engine which to this day has not missed a beat, not given us any reason for concern and not until recently has ever showed any signs of leaks anywhere. On our final few days cruising last month around the islands I noticed a small amount of oil on top on our TwinDisc transmission which was a little alarming. Tracing the oil back the leak appeared to be coming for a seal just above the TwinDisc transmission chamber. This section is where oil is fed into a fan to allow for less friction which basically sucks air in for the engine and pushes used heated air out as exhaust. Anyway, as most would know my mechanical skills are on par with that of a newborn babe so I decided to ask my marine mechanics if they would fly up to Abell Point Marina and help me fix the problem. Thankfully they agreed.
I also wanted to attend to detailing the tender. Our tender is a DL15 Caribe and to tell you the truth has had no love over the past almost two years and has delivered faultless performance during this time. As she was looking a little worse for wear and really quite dirty to say the least I wanted to spend a few days bringing her back to some acceptable standard as it was long overdue.
Finally, I wanted to make sure the new tender ladder mounts that Murray and I (fellow N57 owner) had installed were in the right spot and that the ladders worked as described and demonstrated by the CEO of American Company, Armstrong Ladders whom I had met at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in Brisbane earlier in the year. In fact, Murray was so taken with them he decided to order a set for his tender.
Before being able to board the flight which would take me back to Pendana, (which if the truth be told, I was missing terribly I needed to attend the Sydney International Boat Show in a formal capacity as author of “From Family to Crew”. Who would have ever thought!
The Sydney International Boat Show is Australia’s largest boat show attracting some 70,000 visitors over five days. With all the major brands represented at the show it’s a great place to catch up with the latest and greatest offerings. One thing that I was surprised with was that Nordhavn were not represented at all. With Riviera selling some $70 million dollars-worth of boats this year alone and Horizon selling eleven boats this year between 50-90ft (including their EP series which is a direct competitor to Nordhavns offer) I have to say that I feel Nordhavn are missing a trick and missing out on some valuable sales in the Australian market.
Photo above of Boats on display at Boat Show.
I guess selling any boat in any market is hard enough but placing barriers for consumers to jump over is a sure fire way to lose sales to one’s competitors. To tell you the truth I am somewhat frustrated by Nordhavns lack of exposure in the Australian market and while a few sales have been made down-under I can’t help but think what could have been the real sales number if a much more aggressive approach had been made in the Australian market. Sorry for the rant but I just can’t help myself – hate seeing great products go under represented because in tough times every dollar counts!
In all fairness, I did ring Pete Devers who represents Nordhavn in Australia after the show to ask why Nordhavn were not there and he said he was busy with the commissioning of a N68 which had recently arrived. I guess if I were the owner of that new boat I would want Peter to be focused on my commissioning as well!
Sydney International Boat Show
That being said, the show went well and not only could I see most of the new products available we were able to sell a few copies of “From Family to Crew” thanks to the support of local specialist book distributor, Boat Books Australia. It was great to meet so many Nordhavn die-hards on the day and to meet the folks who actually parted with their hard earned dollars to buy a copy of “From Family to Crew”.
From Family to Crew Table!
With the boat show over I could get back to Pendana to see to the jobs that needed doing. The morning of departure came and with a spring in my step I headed for the airport for the flight to Hamilton Island and the connecting ferry ride to Abell Point Marina.
On arrival and approach to Pendana after the six and a half hour door-to-door trip she was looking magnificent partly to do with a guy named Corey who was looking after her while she is up there and partly due to the magnificent big blue sky overhead. This part of the world is truly beautiful and with the sun rays beaming down I can truly understand why it ranks as number three in the world of cruising destinations.
The next morning Dean from “On The Water Sydney” (www.onthewatersydney.com) arrived to help with the seal replacement and once he had settled in we headed for the engine room. Within the hour the job was complete but not without a surprise. As it turned out it was not the seal, which Dean replaced but rather an O ring which was at fault – luckily I had a spare on-board and luckily I had Dean!
Photo above shows where we replaced the seal and O ring.
The following day Dean left to head back to Sydney much to his disappointment, and I started in on the tender. If anyone has ever tried to clean a Hypalon tender before will know that it’s not a easy job to get the grit and grime to come away from the rubber tubes. Being one who likes to make sure he does things in the most efficient manner possible a few weeks earlier I placed a call to the boys at SternFirst (http://polymarine.com.au/index.php?route =common/home) in Sydney who suggested I use a product called Inflatable Boat Cleaner and Inflatable Boat Finish. In fact the boys at SternFirst said they would send me one of their valet kits for tenders that had everything I needed. So with valet kit in hand and after reading the instructions I was ready to make a start.
Photo of the Valet Pack which had everything I needed!
With tender cover off, I started spraying as directed the cleaner to the tenders tube. Within 30seconds the grime literally fell away – wow. I decided to use a bit of elbow grease as well and the results were remarkable. Getting Hypalon rubber clean has always been difficult but with the Inflatable Boat Cleaner the grime, grit, dirt and engrained filth just washed away. On completion I went over the tender again with the second bottle provided with the valet kit and once dry applied the Inflatable Boat Finish which is a like a polish giving the tender a brand new look. Getting carried away I decided the following day to polish what little stainless the tender had, as well as use the GRP polish to give the GRP a once over. When all was done Pendana’s tender looked almost as good as new. Some assorted photos below of Pendana’s tender.
Now onto the Armstrong ladders as it is a two man job and seeing as I was on my own I decided against attempting to lower the tender in the water by myself risking injury and potential damage to god only knows what – so the test and report on the Armstrong ladders will have to wait. One thing I was able to do, however, was test that the ladder grips that Murray and I had installed a few weeks earlier were in the right place. I am pleased to report that they were and that the ladder easily snapped on and off as per demonstration some months earlier. Now all that’s left to do is test it works. Report with photos to follow.
Photo above showing the Armstrong mounts all in place.
With all jobs compete I ended up spending a few days relaxing and wishing I could take Pendana out for a spin. One problem with Pendana is that she is too big to take out on one’s own. I am sure it could be done but I am equally sure it wouldn’t be prudent and as such I resisted the temptation. As another perfect day was once again upon us I was tempted to ask a passer-by, “Hey would you like to come for a spin on my boat?”, then I realised that the person I asked may be unstable, overpower me and throw me to the sharks. Then I thought I would ask a woman, but again that may (would) sound a little creepy so again I resisted and did some dusting instead. Grrrrrr.
With a few things back in Sydney to do in the next few weeks it is once again time to say goodbye to Pendana and tuck her in until next time. With the marina abuzz with activity due to the 25th Annual Whitsundays Regatta it was time to leave, a little too much sail for me!
Photo above of marina with yachts everywhere.
On leaving I noticed a N57 named Sea Voyager from Melbourne was tied up. I went over to say hi but the owners were unfortunately not aboard. Wow, three Nordhavns all at the one marina in Australia – that may well be a record!
Photo above of N57 Sea Voyager