I think we left Melbourne at the right time! Winter has well and truly set in now with wind, rain, hail and even snow. And it’s COLD downsouth!! Sunshine and 25 degrees up here.
We are now on the water enjoying a rest … and the sunshine!As per the previous four years, we left The Bossa in the hard-storage yard at The Boatworks over summer, this time in a new expanded storage yard. The Boatworks is continuing to grow at a great rate with neighbouring land being acquired, new buildings, a much bigger hard-storage yard and plans that cater for the super-yacht owners, including a launching ramp and maintenance facilities for them. Work has already begun on these. There’s even a tavern and swimming pool on the horizon. Great facilities and trades, a caring staff and a clean well run complex that really does cater very well for the coastal cruiser. So many of us use The Boatworks so it’s always great to catch up with fellow yachties who, like us, are cruising north for the winter.
The workyard … and the launch …
As always we had a long list of jobs. Neville returned on his own a month ago so most of these were crossed off before I returned (good planning on my part). However, it’s the unforeseen jobs that can gather momentum and take extra time (not to mention the $$$). Fortunately, we only had one or two, and they got sorted quickly. So rather than bore you with the whole list, I will mention a few. The first being … our improved solar.
When we built The Bossa we installed four glass solar panels. Two on our transom and two larger ones on our cabin roof. These panels are now 5 years old technology and along with acknowledging the power demands of our boat, we decided at the end of our 2018 cruising season we would upgrade our solar panels this year. This would mean less use of our trusty portable generator (Honda 20i) and more use of the free northern sunshine! (See pics above!!)
We organised MC Stainless on the Gold Coast to fabricate a stainless steel bracket to hold two panels on the targa. The bracket was made on time and to the specs we asked for. Simple, lightweight, strong and discreet. A third panel has replaced two smaller ones on our cabin roof. Neville fitted and wired all three panels and he even has an app on his phone which tracks the sunshine’s work. We did think about an extra two panels on the roof, but we are hopeful three in total will do the trick. We will always have our Honda 20i as a back up especially for those times we don’t get the sunshine we need, but to date, our batteries are full by lunchtime! Early days we know, but we are very happy.
Oh, one more ‘job’ I will mention … our new tender motor. Our Mercury 15hp 2-stroke motor is 15 years old but running well, reliable and trusty. But … 2-stroke motors are no more. They are out of production. So if we have to replace our 15 hp in the future, it would be vwith a heavy 4-stroke motor. It’s always a trap visiting boat shows! We spotted a 2-stroke Mercury 9.9hp at a good price and with only a few in stock (remembering they have stopped making them), we decided to upgrade. It’s much lighter (for the old guy to pull up the beach) and it will last our remaining years on The Bossa we think. We even got a good trade-in for the old one. Our son wasn’t too pleased (he likes speed and it was half his), but it really was a no-brainer.
So, we have turned left. Next stop Mooloolaba, then the Wide Bay Bar and Fraser Island.
So good to be back 🙂
(Reminder … if you touch/click the photo you will be taken to a larger screen sometimes with a caption too.)