Pendana Back in The Water

Nordhavn Pendana and Atlas two N62’s

Pendana Goes Back In The Water

Pendana is finally back in the water after what turned out to be a longer hard stand visit than originally planned. She is spick and span and all items on the 2013 work list have been completed to exacting standards thanks to the folks who work on Pendana and the service received from Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM). I have said it before and I will say it again, GCCM is truly a remarkable marine facility.

Before I launch into all things Pendana I must say that the GCCM Expo, held a few days prior to Pendana coming out of the water (which I attended) was a fantastic show and one that I believe meets the needs of the general boating public far better than the razzle dazzle of either the Sydney International Boat Show (SIBS) or the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS).

Attendance for the GCCM EXPO this year came in at a very respectable 21,326 for the three day event which considering the event has only being going for three years clearly demonstrates that folks like a little less razzle dazzle and a bit more substance which GCCM Expo delivers in a very relaxed way. Compared to the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) which has been running for almost twenty years the GCCM Expo is only 6,852 visitors away from being a bigger show. Note: SCIBS had 37,571 over four days while GCCM Expo is a three day event so on a like for like basis there is no doubting the very impressive numbers from the GCCM Expo. In comparison, SIBS had 58,901 folks attend the show over five days or 35,304 on a like for like basis (i.e. three days) so there is no reason for the GCCM Expo staff and management not to be very, very proud of what they have achieved. Who knows, in the years to come it may well become Australia’s largest boat show! Again, if you haven’t been to the GCCM Expo then lock in the dates for next year’s show as it is well worth a visit and when you consider that all money received from gate sales (a gold coin donation) is donated back into services that keep all of safe on the water making it truly a win-win for all!

Gold Coast City marine Expo

Photo above of GCCM EXPO.

I am pleased to report that Pendana is now back in the water after having its annual haul-out and check-up. Pendana was out of the water a little longer than had been expected due to one of the ABT-TRAC shafts being ever so slightly twisted. I know of a few other boats using twisted shafts but considering the risk of losing stabilization while underway I decided to have ABT-TRAC (Stella Marine in Australia) do the upgrade and replace both shafts with the new and improved upgraded version. 

Nordhavn pendana on youtube

Picture above clearly shows slight twist in shaft.

So, how does a shaft become twisted? The general feeling is that heavy seas (in the older shafts) can create incredible force and as such result in a twist. Reversing very quickly with the stabilizers not being centred is another, having the yoke loosen on the shaft itself overtime (guilty your honour) and finally hitting an object that does not create enough force to break the stabilizer (which they are designed to do on impact) but does create enough force to twist the shaft. Note that this all relates to the older type shafts that Pendana had and not the new upgraded shafts offered by ABT-TRAC. 

As it stands right now I have no idea how our shaft became twisted. I also do not know for sure that it wasn’t already twisted when we bought Pendana but I do know I don’t ever reverse quickly and I also know that I have not hit anything (not that I am aware of). We have been in some heavy seas and maybe enough to create the twist to the older model shaft but I fear that potentially the issue with our shaft was more likely caused by the loose yoke. Either way making the decision to replace the shafts with the upgraded and no doubt much stronger shafts was an easy one. At the end of the day I guess this is all about proactive maintenance and picking up these sorts of issues before they become a living nightmare one has to deal with in open seas is the whole idea of the proactive approach we take with Pendana’s maintenance.

Pendana Nordhavn 62 Whitsundays

Before faulty shaft was pulled


Shiny new shaft installed.

ABT-TRAC and their exclusive agents here in Australia (Stella Marine) were fantastic as usual and Gary, Nu and Alan were a pleasure to deal with.

Another major job that we completed while on hard-stand was to have all of our heads (toilets) replaced. Seabreeze Industries and more importantly Jason Holden their service manager replaced all heads and installed them in record time. The main reason to move away from the pedal activated head to the new electronic head is that we have had on occasion to odd guest accidently overflow the head forgetting to ensure the pedal was placed back in the neutral position. Also, as this pressure system is a lot like an aeroplane toilet, only with water, some of our younger guests were a little frightened of pushing the pedal. There is no doubt that the new and improved electronic heads will alleviate both of the above issues and I can’t thank Seabreeze Industries and Jason Holden enough for making this all happen.

Pendana Nordhavn 62 Whitsundays

The old head in the fwd cabin.

Another one of the old heads is removed.

Hydraulic failure on Pendana

Jason Holden installing the new head.

New electric head

Completed new head in fwd cabin.

Also while on hard stand I decided to pull our main shaft, add new cutlass bearing (which was required) and re stuff the packing glad. The folks at Watsons Engineering in particular Brad Manttan performed flawlessly and other than the old cutlass bearing which was encased in a copper tube taking some time to remove all work was carried out with the utmost care and on time.

Pendana Nordhavn 62 Whitsundays

Brad Manttan from Watsons Engineering.

Brad getting ready to put the main prop back on.

Whitehaven Beach

The photo above shows David Hunter and Andreas working hard on cutting and polishing Pendana’s Hull.

GCCM Marine Expo

The photo above clearly shows how, with a little love and attention to detail, a hull can look as good as new. 

In the photo above the right hand side of the hull has been cut and polished while the left hand side hasn’t. One can clearly see the difference. Dave and Andreas spent two and half days doing Pendana’s hull and all I can say is that it looks simple amazing. They both spent another few days doing the rest of Pendana from the top down and Pendana hasn’t looked this good for a long while. Simply stunning.

We also replaced all the steel cables used the lift the tender out of the water as well as the cables used with the flopper stoppers. Instead of using cable or chain we went with a remarkable product called Dynex Dux. Never heard of it? Well nor had I up until recently. Dynex is a high strength synthetic rope produced by Hampidjan of Iceland from DSM Dyneema fibre. In a proprietary process the fibre is made into ropes that exceed the strength of steel cable with the fraction of the weight. Dynex does not store energy like a conventional rope or wire cable so the risk from recoil is largely eliminated as is hand injury from broken wire strands. Developed originally for use in the marine and fishing industries the rope is a first choice to replace wire in towing, mooring and anchor systems by large vessels all over the world. I must say that it is pretty amazing stuff!

Photo above of Dynex cable.

The photo above shows the new mooring lines being made for the Caltex sub berth upgrade at Kurnell, Sydney, Australia on the super braider at Hampidjan Works Lithuania.

Also, while on hard stand Andy and Benny from ADG Marine and both shipwrights to the stars did what they do best. What Benny can do with fibreglass has to be seen to be believed. This guy never uses bog as filler preferring to do the job properly the first time, thus ensuring it doesn’t need to be done again. Words fail to do justice to this man’s talent so I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Anchor repairs all done.

Photo before Benny worked his magic.

Fibreglass repair

Photo as Benny starts working his magic.

Alan Robinson from All Marine Electrical

Job Done! Incredible.

Andy from ADG Marine also did a number of jobs to his usual exacting standards and while there are too many to mention I am happy to say that my teak decks have been sanded and renewed. Photo below shows a before and after of the swim platform which has always been in need of little TLC which it received at this year’s haul-out in spades.

teak repair


teak repair


Also while on hard stand the boys from On The Water Sydney flew up to replace the systems coolant. This is a bit of a process as it requires draining the block (engine) and then breaking the line in the Walter Keel Cooler so we could get access to the coolant going to the keel cooler and as such, be able to suck out the old coolant. 

coolant N14 Cummins

Diagram above shows were the line was broken.

Needless to say Matt and Dean had no issues at all in doing this and now Pendana has new coolant. Most coolant will last for five-seven years and the reason we changed the coolant early is that we could not get the same coolant in Australia that was used in Pendana while in the USA. As such, we decided to bite the bullet and replace the USA coolant with Australian sourced coolant making management of the coolant far easier all round. As most would know one should not mix different types of coolant together because they can in certain circumstances changes your coolant from a liquid to a solid jelly like substance which won’t keep your engine cool!

Keel cooler

Photo above shows the fitting that leads into the keel cooler. By breaking the coolant line here we had access to both the hot and cold coolant lines.

One of the last of the major jobs to be done was to re antifoul Pendana. The Antifoul we use is from a company called Seahawk which is an American family run business that I believe provides a truly amazing product. The product we use is called Biocop TF and is an ablative antifoul that I expect to last at least four to five years. The current antifoul which is also a Seahawk product has lasted four years and looks almost as good as the day it was applied. Antifouling a boat is NOT an annual job if you use the right product to begin with, use your boat and have the hull cleaned by divers at least three times per year. 

Before new antifoul was applied by Steve Cox from SLC Marine. What Steve doesn’t know about applying antifoul is not worth knowing.

GCCM Marine Expo

After new antifoul had been applied.

While on hardstand at GCCM and just as an aside, Atlas, which is a Nordhavn 62 owned by the most amusing Craig Brent-White who just so happens to be a Master Mariner 1 who is flown all over the world to manoeuvre 1,000ft vessels with beams twice the length of Pendana in tight quarters or lay cable in several thousand foot of water arrived to have his antifoul applied and a few small jobs attended to. It was great to catch up with Craig and was good to exchange ideas and have a chat. Watching Craig manoeuvre Atlas is like watching a master class of how it should be done. No doubt for Craig, Atlas is a mere baby compared to what he is used to.

Anchor repairs all done.

Atlas returning to the seas!

Once Pendana was finally lifted back into the water we let her sit at the GCCM Fuel dock for twenty four hours to allow the hull to relax so that we could have Watsons Engineering and the very capable Brad, perform a final check on the shaft alignment. As expected, the shaft was perfectly aligned and required no tweaking whatsoever which again proves the talents that exist at Watsons Engineering. 

Pendana took on some 5,000 litres of fuel and then Captain Mark James (a Gold Coast local), Nu Sims from Stella Marine and I headed out to sea to give her a thorough work out. Checking of any leaks on the stabilizer’s, ensuring zero vibration on the shaft and making sure the new coolant added to the engine expelled any air bubbles that were in the system (which there were none). After two hours at sea we decided that all was as it should be and as such returned through the Gold Coast sea way and tied up at the Marina.

I must confess to being somewhat in awe of the talent that exists in and around GCCM and the folks who work on Pendana all treat her as if it were their own which is how in my book, it should be. I am not an owner that walks away during the hard stand process as watching the stabilizer’s being removed, the shaft pulled, the antifoul being applied, heads installed or the cutlass bearing being replaced is too good an opportunity to learn more about Pendana and coming from such a low knowledge base as I do, it is all very useful information which will be stored away for the future.

The plan from here as we approach Christmas is to either spend Christmas up north or bring Pendana home. At this stage our plans are somewhat in the air. Either way by the time we arrive home on Pendana we will have covered some 2,500nms/4,630klms and would have been away from her home port for a touch over six months.

Finally, may I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for the year ahead as this will be the last blog entry for the 2013 year. I sincerely hope that the holiday season brings with it the time needed to relax. Thank you for taking the time to read the Pendana blog and thank you for all your comments, encouragement and support over the past twelve months.

Now it’s time for me to sit back, relax, enjoy time with the family and friends and of course enjoy the festive season. 

Safe travels



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