< February to April 2014
The Marina in Lanzarote has been a great place to regroup. It has just about any facility one could want. I duly took advantage of the technical dive center, took a burn on a CC Re-breather, completed a 50m rated Tri-mix course and am looking forward to visiting some sites and wrecks that were previously well out of reach.
The work done by the boat yard has been pricy but exemplary, the only drawback has been waiting on parts which at times took 4+ weeks and incurred bloated transport costs.
The autopilot now correctly operates independently of the plotter and network information is likewise available to all instrumentation individually.
A dedicated external GPS receiver was installed for the plotter which was running on its own internal one that constantly lost fix and caused all sorts of drama.
The whole external Nav console in the cockpit has been properly sealed as it had taken in a ridiculous amount of water during bad weather, which no doubt also contributed to the erratic and unreliable functioning of the equipment inside. A water-tight access hatch has been installed and now allows non-gynecologists access to the pilot motor and wiring.
Having redesigned the davits, I was somewhat anxious that the result would fall short of my expectations (mostly cuz I'm not much of an draftsman and zero of an engineer). The inox guys shone and produced exactly what I was looking for, manufactured and finished masterfully to include a drawbridge-style teflon dive platform that also gives easy access to the tender.
The port engine was removed as it was leaking oil, luckily it was only a gasket, which was replaced and after a good clean the engine was re-installed with a marked improvement in performance.
It was then noticed that both engines were running clockwise, that in conjunction with the 2 blade volvo props that were installed by the previous owner in Cape Town, made for grossly inefficient performance under power.
I subsequently bit the $ bullet and spent a couple year's worth of Guinness money on a set of Gori 3 blade feathering propellers. These practically doubled the performance at cruising speed from 4-5 knots @ 2.2k RPM to 7-8Knots @ 1.8k RPM.
Besides the safety factor at sea and the savings to come on diesel, the power of the new props and correctly setup motors easily overcome the vessels inherent windage and it can now be maneuvered effortlessly when docking without having to touch the steering at all. (savings on dings and scratches also)
The water maker has been correctly installed and now in perfect working order, not having to carry around 1/2 a ton of water should further improve the boats performance.
The fancy Italian electronic bilge switches that belong only in a showroom were replaced with good old fashioned float activated ones. Non-return valves were installed to prevent seawater from entering through the overboard water ports during rough seas. My dry boat OCD is now well under control!
The remaining work is minor and more about the way I want things than necessities. The following month or so will be spent cruising the local islands, putting the new / repaired gear though its paces, before moving on to the Med, any takers?
Rubicon Dive Centre
OC Tri-mix Rig and Deco Cylinders
Newly Added Davits & Platform
Playa Blanca Beach
Typical Lanzarote Coastline