May 08

installing the rebuilt rig

Finally the rig was ready to be restepped on the new mast step, amid ships and a meter to windward from the old mast track.

Chriso from all waterfront constructions came over with the crane barge to step the 20.5 meter wing mast.

Everything went really smoothly the biggest worrie was that the mast support pole would not fit but it all worked out perfect even the pre spliced dyneema  rigging was the perfect length.

The work is far from over next job is to rebuilt and modify the boom followed by a total reorganization of the deck layout to suit the new rig.

crane in place the lift the mast

attaching the mast support pole

the rebuilt rig finally standing

Apr 12

rebuilt progress

It has been slow going, the repairs and the rig modifications on gaiasdream, the weather has been dificult to put it mildly, rain is not good for working with epoxy.

The mast is in one piece once again and for extra stifnes extra glass was laminated on to most of the mast.

New spreaders had to be built as well since the old one got bend.

Also a new mast step  has been built and the hull reinforced to take the load.

Weather depending I hope to paint the mast and the support pole this weekend.

Apr 01

rig modifications

The rebuilt of gaiasdream is going well.

The mast is back in to one piece and is being reinforced to make it stiffer.

Like I said in the last post I’m modifying the rig, the mast will be mounted amidships on the windward side of the main hull, I just finished the new mast base.

There will be hank on and roller furling head sails.

With these modifications the rig will be simpler and more reliable.

Ready for the planed long voyages.

pics to follow soon.

Feb 16

dismasted

On Thursday the 9th of feb gaiasdream was 11 miles offshore sailing at 10 knots close hauled in 23 knots of wind. When a stainless shackle gave way in the windward rigging. I could not get quick enough to the main sheet, the diamonds could not take the full load and gave way resulting in the mast breaking in halve and going over the side.

Damage to the boat it self minimal, but the mast is broken in halve so is the mast suport pole, and the mainsail is beyond repair.

I’m already in full repair mode, the mast should be glued back to gether next week, I will post updates from the repair work, I’m also taken the opportunity to modify the rig, more about that later.

rig under tow

rig under tow

bottom mast and boom

bottom mast and boom

whats left

whats left

Video

Gaiasdream at sea, doing 10 knots in 11 knots of wind.

Nov 25

Pacific Vaka’s

 

Pacific voyaging society.

Last Wednesday four pacific vaka’s arrived in Sydney for the opening of the World Parks Congress with a message that Climate change is already affecting there islands and that the rest of the world needs to act.

Gaiasdream was in Sydney harbour to welcome the Vaka’s and escort them from the heads past the oprea-house and the Sydney harbour bridge to the Australian maritime museum.

Today The Vaka’s prepared and departed Pittwater, NSW, for their voyage to New Zealand.

We sailed with them on Gaiasdream untill they were well outside the heads.

the arrival of the vaka's in sydney

the arrival of the vaka’s in sydney

the vaka's on the beach at bayview

the vaka’s on the beach at bayview

Hanui departing pitwater

Hanui departing pitwater

IMG_20141124_130510We wish them fair winds.

 

Jul 24

The 14 year old Red Dingy goes electric

One of the most recognisable dingy’s in pittwater is my trusty 14 year old tender to Gaisdream. With her attractive lines, striking red colour and trade mark love-heart in the rudder, she has been immortalised in the sketch books of a number of local artists and even features in one of the postcards on sale at the local shop.

She was designed as a rowing dinghy, that also had the option of installing a dagger-board and mast so could be sailed, but the most common means of propulsion was via the small outboard motor that I fitted into a well in the center, making here an ‘in-board, outboard’.

It has been my dream to convert the Red Dingy to be electric for a long-while now, and turn her into a rowing sailing electric boat, with more power as an electric dingy than she has as a petrol outboard,
and over the past few weeks the stars aligned to make it happen.

The first task was to remove the trusty 3 hp outboard from, rip out the old engine well where it used to sit in as an inboard-outboard, and fill in the hole in the hull.

At the same time, I needed to build and install a new propeller shaft as well as construct a new and bigger rudder, which of course, needed to have my trade mark love heart.

A big part of the job was raising the aft floor to create more floatation for the extra weight of the battery bank since the boat is self draining and more space was needed under the floor for the engine components and the batteries.

At the same time as putting the electric conversion in place, I also gave the boat some tender loving care, with a fresh coat of paint, and some minor repairs, so that she looks almost like new again.

The electric propulsion system consists of 5 main parts, I) the 2kw brush-less motor with a 3 to 1 reduction chain drive, ii) the controller for the motor, iii) a joy stick to control it, iv) 3 12volt 100AH batteries to run it with, and v) a special 36 volt battery charger built into the boat.

So far we have discovered that at just over 5 knots we can run for 2 hours and at 4.5 knots we can run for 3 hours, and that the recharge time for 80% battery usage is about 6 hours.

The red boat still can take heavy loads and she is doing an awesome job as people and cargo mover, and is being used evey day as a commuter boat

Since she gets charged with 100% Green energy, she is a carbon neutral boat. Also we have gone from spending about 12 dollars a week to about 2.10 dollars a week in running costs, it shows that being climate friendly can also be good for the hip pocket..

testing system

testing system

3 of 100 ah 12 volt batteries

3 of 100 ah 12 volt batteries

engine with controller

engine with controller

under floor batteries and engine

under floor batteries and engine

the finished product

the finished product

Jul 30

gaiasdream back to sea

Great news gaiasdream has been repaired and went back to sea to day for seastryls. The improved system works well and the other small improvements seem to work fine. Unfortunately the winds have been light in the last few days but it was a great start. soon when there are stronger winds I will push her hard just to make sure. It was no easy feat to remove the mast car with out removing the mast, but it all went according to plan.

mast on jacks with mast car removed

mast on jacks with mast car removed

mast on jacks to remove mast car

Image

update from the bridge of gaiasdream

Update from the bridge of GaiasDream

With a series of lows rolling across the base of Australia, I decided to leave for the first leg of the Pacific voyage on the back of a large low-pressure system last Wednesday. Sailing out of Pittwater past the heads I was greeted by an angry sea and a 3-4 m swell. Coastal advisories were in place for dangerous swells and I soon found myself broad reaching into a messy swell. GaiasDream was handling it well and I was particularly pleased that the recently added davit for carrying the dingy along-aside was working well with only occasional wash coming onto the dingy.

A few miles offshore, and having suffered a number of jarring impacts from beam-on waves, I looked down an saw some ball-bearings on the deck. My first thought was that these ball-bearings must have come from my sons sling shot, but then shortly after I saw some more ball-bearings and realized they were coming from the base of the mast, which I had packed with ball-bearings to enable the mast to shunt along the track. I thought I had engineered the track and ball-bearing system to withstand three times the expected maximum force so seeing ball-bearings on the deck sounded alarm bells for me. A quick investigation revealed a broken bearing casing and I could confirm that the ball bearings were coming out of the bottom of my mast.

At this point there was no way to tell whether the broken ball bearings were due to a weakness in the material or due to un-anticipated stress. However I was immediately aware that if enough ball bearings failed, then I would not be able to move the mast, and that would leave me literally stuck. reluctantly I realized I needed to turn back and immediately set preparing to shunt and return back to Pittwater. Luckily the shunt went smoothly and I  made it back inside the heads and made it back to the mooring.

The positive news was that despite heavy seas that would have severely puts the brakes on a mono-hull, Gaiasdream performed well easily reaching speeds of  11 knots in winds of  14 knots hard on the wind. She is a fast stable craft, even in heavy seas and is easy to handle, even singlehanded. the new challenge is redoing the calculations for the ball-bearing system and replacing and modifying the  ball-bearing system to ensure they do not fail under load. This will require lifting the mast and with our  22 meter mast that is no small challenge. This will happen this coming week.  At the same time we will do some other minor modifications. After this small refit we will do some sea trails to make sure things are fixed and up to it. We will keep you updated for the new departure time for pacific project.

mast car

mast car

 

broken bearing

broken bearing

Jun 11

voyage

Because of an illness of my son Joshua, gaiasdream’s departure has been delayed.
The new departure is set for early next week around the 18th of June, weather depending.
Preparations are in full swing, among lots of other things, I did an success full HF radio check with yacht “spice” which is 500M away, witch will tomorrow depart Bundaberg Australia bound for Fiji.
I will be sailing single handed bound for the Kingdom of Tonga, where I will take on a crew for the rest of the voyage. More updates soon.

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