After a long time, a visit to the boatyard

It’s been a long time, but Oia still exists, of course.  We’ve been living in NYC (and Singapore — visa issues, long story) since early 2012 and Oia has, sadly, moved to the back burner.  She’s spent the year slowly undergoing refit in the B&V yard in Langkawi, with remote guidance from me, but until a few weeks ago I hadn’t actually been to Langkawi to see the boat since February.  I just returned to NYC after spending about five weeks in Singapore with Charlene, and while I was there we took a quick six day trip up to visit the boat, see how things are going, clean her up a bit, do a few little projects, and gather some stuff to bring home.

Over the last few months it’s become clear we’re going to be in NYC for the foreseeable future, and I’m not going to have the kind of free time I’d need to bring Oia here myself.  I got some quotes from delivery captains, and some other quotes from shipping companies, trying to find some way to bring her to NYC.  Unfortunately, getting a boat (literally) halfway around the world is a costly proposition and I haven’t been able to find any reasonable options.  We’ve decided that rather than leave the boat languishing indefinitely in a boatyard in Malaysia, we should put her on the market.  A very difficult decision, but certainly the most rational one.  I’ll probably make a “boat for sale” post shortly.  I did take some time to meet with some brokers while we were in Langkawi, and did some other pre-sale prep, mainly cleaning the boat up and taking a bunch of glamour shots.  Over the last couple weeks I’ve put together a pretty detailed dossier for the boat, and it will be listed with the brokers soon.

All that aside, a fair bit of work has been done on the boat since I was last in Langkawi, although I’ve been disappointed at the pace — there are still a number of (mostly small) jobs to be done before she can go back in the water.  I’m going to get on B&V’s case more aggressively over the next month or two to wrap all that stuff up so she’s ready to launch.  Seems likely the boat will show better to potential buyers if it’s in the water, but we’ll see how she does while she’s in the yard for now.

Anyway, one of the jobs the yard did was to revarnish all the brightwork on deck.  This is most noticeable on the nice teak caprail around the gunwhale.  It looks incredibly nice:

Here’s a closeup:

Very happy with how that turned out.  The new dodger forward-facing portlights were installed with 12mm polycarbonate, replacing the tiny old “tank windows” I used to have to stand on tiptoe and squint to see through.  Cosmetically the yard didn’t do a super job of installing the glass, but it’s not terrible, and functionally these windows are a vast improvement over the old ones:

Here’s the view from inside the cockpit — lots more visibility:

A bit of work got done in the engine compartment.  Most importantly, I had the yard fabricate me a new waterlock box for the engine exhaust.  Here it is:

This is basically just a fiberglass enclosure that acts to prevent water from flooding the engine via the exhaust outlet.  Pretty surprising there was never one in the boat previously, but with a new engine, I didn’t want to take any risks and wanted a proper exhaust system.  The only annoyance with the waterlock was that it required a bit of adjustment to the exhaust pipe on the engine.

I also replaced the old through-hull speed log paddle sensor with a small through-hull and seacock for use with the watermaker (and maybe the galley foot pump, via a couple of Y-valves):

The speed log was never used and unless you’re racing I think you can usually get by pretty well with speed over ground from GPS anyway.  The new seacock was only loosely installed when I arrived.  I used some teflon tape and hand tightened it, but in retrospect it probably needs some pipe dope as well, so I’ll need to do that (or have the yard do it) before the boat goes in the water.  There’s no plumbing to the new seacock for now, and no real immediate need for it, but while the boat was hauled it seemed like a good idea to make the swap.

The new custom boarding ladder is on the boat, but still needs some tweaks to be properly mounted and usable.  I’d still like to put some teak steps on the crossbars, too.

The real big job that was done while I was away was an overhaul of the rig.  The yard pulled the mast down, removed the whole furled mainsail setup, and (mostly) replaced it with the necessary setup for a slab reefed mainsail.  There’s still a little more work left to be done that they’re working on now: reinstalling lower portions of the main and trysail tracks, and installing some reefing hardware.  I was pretty happy with how everything turned out so far.

The gooseneck was very elongated for purposes of the furling setup; they cut it down but reused the same attachment points:

Here’s the mast below the gooseneck.  The mast wiring still needs to be reattached, and I didn’t have time while I was there, so I’ll have to leave that to the yard.  Most of the halyards are all in place, but the topping lift got removed for some reason.  I wasn’t too inclined to climb the mast since the backstay is off for the Travelift, so the topping lift will have to be re-run some other time.

While the mast was down, I had it painted.  It made a huge difference.  Previously, the mast and boom were chalky and left a residue behind every time I touched them.  Now they’re shiny, just like the hull and deck — new paint jobs all around.  The yard was pretty thorough with their mast painting, and the spreaders also look shiny and new:

Here’s a closer vew up near the radar, where the sail track is finally exposed after being rendered useless by the furled sail for so long.  I didn’t get to raise the slab reefed sail while I was there (a little more hardware still needs to be installed) but I’m 100% sure this is a better solution than the furled setup.  In this photo, the track on the left is for the mainsail, and the one on the right is for the storm trysail:

When I arrived, the newly painted boom was propped up on the ground.  I got some help getting it up on deck and got it in place:

Here’s the joint at the gooseneck with the boom installed:

The main change to the boom was that the external sail track on which the clew of the furled sail slid was removed, along with all the sealant that had been filled into the groove on the boom.  The foot of the mainsail will now be fully attached to the boom by sliding in the groove.

Here’s another view of the whole foredeck, all cleaned off for some broker photos:

Some other random stuff that was done either before or while I was at the yard:

  • New cutless (prop shaft) bearing was installed
  • A new custom bearing for the rudder stock is currently being fabricated
  • The gasket on the big hatch in the center of the dodger was replaced since it was leaking
  • The raw water drain has been removed from the outlet that drains onto the deck, but hasn’t yet been teed into one of the cockpit drains.  That’s the eventual objective though, since it keeps hot salt water off the deck but keeps the drain safe from submersion.
  • I installed a new tube for the bilge pump pressure switch
  • A new bimini frame is all fabricated, but it’s not installed awaiting the canvas work
  • Stanchions were re-bedded everywhere and are now very solid

I spent a lot of time cleaning things up, taking photos, and packing up stuff I really wanted to keep.  I wasn’t able to bring everything, unfortunately — and there’s some chance I won’t be able to make it back to the boat before it’s sold.  C’est la vie.

When I left the boat, I made sure the deck was completely tarped-over — and then, on the advice of the yard owner, made sure the tarps were covered too, with some black netting type stuff that supposedly slows down the inevitable deterioration of the tarps in the tropical sun:

It was certainly a bit sad to leave Oia this time, since I don’t know when or if I’ll get back to see her again.  She’ll be on the market soon, but I’ll be continuing to shepherd along the last few jobs that need to get finished before she can go back in the water.

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