Jalan-Jalan Yacht

Technical in Trini January 2012!


We arrived back at the boat with a long list of  MUST DO’s  and  HOPE TO DO’S


We are on a tight schedule for launching as we have to be up island by beginning of February.


John had been in touch throughout the summer months with various companies in Trinidad to try and ensure that parts and work dates were in place for our arrival.


It seems to have paid off and so far so good.




You may recall Otto decided to give up the ghost the day after the transmission did last year and so we had to sail for 7 days without it.  We always knew we relied heavily on it on long passages but hand steering for that length of time emphasised that we were going nowhere without a replacement for this season.


John had ordered another Raymarine SPX10 Smart pilot/course computer from a company called Goodwood.  They work out of Crews Inn at Chaguaramas  and the guy and his son are both British trained.


After a day of complete and utter disruption on  board with every locker emptied in order to run cables etc  we should be good to go. The calibration still needs to be done now we are in the water. The hiccup came when they tried to run a new aerial cable down the mast.  The conduit that holds the cables had dropped to the bottom of the mast and trapped the wires which meant he couldn’t run a the cable. So he replaced the connectors and stripped the wire back to non oxidised cable. It seems to have done the trick as we now get good VHF reception.  The alternative was taking the mast down and that was a road we didn’t want to walk.




We had been having problems getting replies from Budget Rigging and in the end John had phoned them to find out what was going on.  Transpires that the guy who did the original rigging report had moved on to Grenada to work as a project manager for a company up there.


Anyway the two local lads who had been trained up by him were still around and after a couple more phone calls and a face to face with the girl in the office they arrived to do the work.  That all seemed relatively hitch free in the end.


Torque Limiter:


The saga goes on and on and on.  We knew when Fred Marine in Guadeloupe did the repair on the transmission that we would need to tackle the issue again.  It became apparent after a few months of searching /phoning from home that sourcing a new  torque limiter was not going to happen.  They are made in Japan and were not available at time of request.  Long discussions with various engineers and Island Packet led us to the conclusion that a drive saver and spacer would work equally well.  Fortunately a fellow cruiser and Island Packet owner just happens to be an engineer.  When he heard of our difficulties he decided to have a spare on board and through his endeavours we were able to get a spacer with all the right component parts, bolts etc. Island Time kindly shipped it down from Vermont when they came back to Trini.


FIND  – one good engineer?


Well we seem to have managed to source one.  He came along and remove the gear box and new part and returned two days later and reinstalled it.  He also aligned the engine which had moved a little and had 3 loose engine mounting bolts (could have been nasty). He replaced the seal on the gear box as well.   He needs to come back now we are in the water and finish realigning the engine.


It was quite impressive – the engine has lain idle for 7 months and started  first turn as she went back in the water.




Word of  mouth is a great way to find out things and source good craftsmen.

We have had umpteen quotes for canvas work over here. All have left us breathless at price quoted and we’ve gone no further.  However when we got back this year the windows on the spray hood had popped from the banding that holds them in place.


Hopefully the spray hood will be returned to its former glory  and refitted at the beginning of the week by Sean.  He comes higly recommended and seems quite reasonable.  Fingers crossed.




We were quite delighted with the condition of the inside of the boat. The wood had no mould and the doors were well fitting so there was no evidence of any damp.  However we did have/do have some issues with mini cockroaches.  Ugh!!!!   You can get a bit obsessed with the little blighters so oodles of boric acid laced over honey and roach houses were put in place to banish then once and for all.  Trouble is they lay eggs which take a while to hatch so just when you think they are all gone- new ones appear.   Think they may have come in on someone’s shoe when they were on board costing work just before we arrived!




Dear lord if I see another hot gun and scrapper I think I will divorce the man( Santa take note!).


John decided that the varnish was tired, chipped and not shiny so we would take it right back to the wood and start again.  No amount of persuasion that we ought to wait till the end of this season to do such a big job would sway him otherwise.  So it began

4 days of burning 10 years of varnish from the wood. Then there was the sanding. Did you know you get to sand it more than once with lots of different grades of sandpaper.  Had to be a man that dreamt up this form of frigging torture.  Day 6 I was walking round the yard talking to myself as there was no cat to kick!!!!

Then of course comes the day when – yes it is agreed that perhaps a coat of varnish can be applied.   6 coats later  (i.e. 4 days) it is looking great and then  ???????


The wind changes direction and all the dust and muck from the filthy yard rises and  YUP – lands on your almost but not totally dry varnish  !!!!!!    Expletives were colourful to say the least.


Let’s just say it is currently a work in progress – ahem!





The usual sleepless night before the ‘SPLASH’ as it is referred to by the American cruising fraternity.  Were all the seacocks in right position? Would the engine start? Would the lift driver manage to steer her safely from her place on the hard down through the yard without hitting anything/one or removing bits of the roof from the buildings as it head to the water?  What if…….etc.


Well it is just as well these guys do the job a lot because it truly takes some skill. I got to stay on board and sit in the cockpit like the queen. Did the regal wave a couple of times but then I’m too modest for more.


Our anxieties were unnecessary as Michael, the boat lift driver, popped us gently into the Caribbean just after 2pm on 19th January. The engine started and so too did our 3rd season sailing out here!


It will be interesting as we move to a new hurricane place at the end of this season to see what other yards offer.  Time in Powerboats has been generally pretty professional and well done.