Yes we are back on The Bossa, our home away from home.
While it hasn’t exactly been a “sunny” Queensland with endless days of rain in the workyard and now a gale warning on the water, there is always much anticipation returning to our home on the water.
There’s also a less exciting list of jobs too!
Bossa Nova is now 8 years old, so a few things needed tweaking for this season, along with a few exciting and chosen improvements. There’s always the annual maintenance of antifoul, polish, cleaning, rope and engines and there’s also the unexpected maintenance like the cockatoos chewing out our masthead light and of course, another bloody pump that needs replacing (remember we have 19 pumps on Bossa Nova). But this year we also worried about The Bossa’s interior as Queensland’s very wet (and humid) summer meant there was the possibility of more mould than we’d normally see. Fortunately, with our twin fans and de-humidifier running on a timer, along with vacuum sealed items and surfaces wiped with vinegar and water, it wasn’t too bad. Phew!
We splashed last Friday after a full-on four-week stint at Boatworks. But wow, we got a lot done. We have new sails, a new extended cockpit roof, a new lithium battery system to power us along, new bow seats that have been on the agenda since we launched way back in 2013, new bright orange screecher and spinnaker rope (new ropes look so lovely) and a new masthead light along with a few others bits and pieces … and of course a smaller bank balance! That’s boating.
Neville’s exciting project this season was to get a lithium battery system professionally installed. This project has been ‘on the go’ since we built our boat. We made a decision during the build that we’d wait for the technology and knowledge to get up to speed, which would hopefully coincide with our big and heavy batteries dying. (They did die, but unfortunately, one year too early.) Lithium batteries are much lighter and smaller, and soak up power much more efficiently. It meant completely rewiring The Bossa, a big job. In combination with two larger engine alternators and our existing upgraded solar power, we are expecting to have much more power available. And we do! We are seeing big charging numbers from our engine and solar, while also enjoying better power efficiency and of course, the weight loss.
Extending our cockpit roof really was a no-brainer. The extra protection from the sun (and rain) will be welcome.
And our sails! Wow, they look great. So white too. We replaced our screecher last year when it fell apart in Cairns so we knew with the main and jib being the same age, it was time. Little did we know our sailmaker would have so much trouble sourcing Hydra Net sailcloth. Supply and consequently price took us by surprise but they are on now and look so good. While expensive, these sails will carry the load and keep their shape for the rest of our years sailing on The Bossa … hopefully.
So, after a slight hiccup with our autohelm which had developed the ‘zigzags’, we are now off to the Manly Boat Harbour for a few days while we fly home to celebrate our little Ava’s first birthday. Then our season will begin!