Over the 2 years, 2017-2018, Kathy and Wayne have completed a major refit on Ambler.
The Perkins (4108) 4 cylinder diesel auxiliary engine had to be extracted for a rebuild. Also to be extracted was the massive rusty steel ring frame built into the boat which supports the mast and rigging loads via the chainplates.
Ambler was slipped at Tamar Marine's boatyard, Launceston. A crane was organised to lift out the 450kg mast, which was then lowered and stored on 5 wood pallets placed on the chandlery roof (thanks Tim). Then it was a matter of unbolting the steel ring frame from the chainplates and structural beams that connect the rigging loads through to 2 main bulkheads and the hull itself. Two 1 inch plywood load bearing beams also had to be cut to allow the frame to be lifted. A chain hoist was then set up over the mast hole in the deck and about a ton of load was applied before the beam began to move off its over 40 year old bed. It was then a matter of maneuvering it around towards the front hatch. We made an A frame hoisting rig on the foredeck to ease out the 80kg steelwork in one piece then slipped it overboard and into Phil's ute. A trip to Val's at Beaconsfield for a new stainless (Bling Frame) to be made using the old crusty as a template. The reinstallation went well and the bolts through the beam married up well to the chaiplates and plywood beams that spread the loads throughout the hull. Two new 1 inch plywood panels were shaped and epoxied in where the previous cuts had to be made, then drilled and bolted to the . The mast was then craned back in.
For the engine extraction a hatch was cut in the cockpit floor and fabricated to allow access to and removal of the oily, smokey Perkins. The engine was lifted out then bolted to a modified engine work stand to enable the engine to be stripped completely in the cockpit. Four different companies in Launceston were used to rebuild the disassembled various bits then all was reassembled again in the cockpit, painted bright yellow, so any future issues of fluid can be identified early and rectified. Then the engine was lowered into position and the hatch re sealed. New sound proofing was installed and a rebuild and rewire of the battery compartment was done as well.
The hull was antifouled then Ambler relaunched and towed by the 8ft (2hp) dinghy to Tim's mooring for the recommissioning of the Perkins. All went well and we motored back downstream to Ambler's mooring at Deviot.
We also spent a lot of time replacing the old copper electrical wire for tinned copper as I had found a few had heated and one smouldered due to terminal corrosion. The main cabin roof was insulated with foam mat and a new roof liner material called Digi Foam was installed for cold climate voyages ahead.
We also had some mountain biking adventures over the two years with many weekend rides at the Blue Derby tracks. We also got away for some MTB touring around the NE corner of Tas and a 2 week ride from Melbourne to Adelaide along backroads, railtrail, farmland, national parks and desert.
Plans of another voyage were made and Kathy had a 2 year leave without pay application approved. I also officially retired having reached 60 in 2018.
Early this year Ambler was slipped at the Tamar Yacht Club for 10 days from 8th February. A Fleming windvane steering system and a new Lowrance echo sounder and transducer was fitted along with the usual scrub and antifoul.
We moved on board Ambler on Wednesday 24 Feb and sold the Toyota van on the 26th leaving us free to sail. We spent all of March cruising the Tamar while we worked on the various chores and stowage to get Ambler ready for sea.
We departed the Tamar River on Monday 1st of April 2019 at 1030 bound for Hobart. With SW15 easing to near calm before a 10 knot NE filled in then backed to NW 10 as we passed Swan Islet before midnight. We passed Eddystone point at 0530 with a light W of 6 knots. A Northerly of 15 knots filled in just north of Bicheno which we made good use of arriving to anchor in Wineglass Bay at 1830 having covered 180nm since the Tamar River.
Wed 3rd April we departed picturesque but rolly Wineglass Bay next morning and sailed 12nm in through Schouten Passage to anchor at Morey's Bay.
Thur 4th we left Morey's Bay Shouten Island and sailed 25nm to Prosser Bay near Triabunna.
Continuing blog updates on the next post soon.