Janna’s upgrades continue

Everyday, the forecast says, that it will rain the next day. The next day the forecast is the same. For few days we fell for the bait and postponed our boat maintenance to the next day. At least we had chance to advance our translations. So the forecasts were helping us in a way.

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Chainplates have to be strong, but the crew also appreciate when the water does not leak around them

When we finally understood the recurrent method of Taiwanese meteorologists’ predictions, we got back to work on Janna. Last week we replaced lower shroud chainplates and decided that it’s time to replace also the two cap shroud chainplates. That gave us a chance to reminiscence over our first attempt to cross South-China Sea from Hong Kong to Kaohsiung, when one of our cap shroud chainplates broke. We had to return of course and quickly have a new one made. But the machinist that we found only had SS 304. When we finally reached Taiwan, we had new chainplates from SS 316 made and now after two years, we decided that it’s about time to use them. I still remember quite vividly how we had to disassemble Janna’s cabinetry in order to be able to remove and replace the broken chainplate back then in Hong Kong. For some reason we remembered that it’s a complicated work and we were procrastinating accordingly. The main excuse we used these days was an unfavorable forecast.

Jana kneaded some dough in the morning and the smell of baking bread filled the cabin, which we started to dismantle. We found out that it’s actually pretty easy and we were finished quite quickly. So we got down to it. As a fabulous Czech songwriter Pavel Dobeš says (in my feeble translation):

Only boulders and people have the guts

To let go and fall down on their buts



It’s a good idea to stretch before attempting to repair a small boat




Jana is cleaning bulkheads where one of the chainplates go


Luckily our landing was quite soft and now our mast is really ready for a bit of blow. Or so we tell ourselves, as we did before, and perhaps if we remind ourselves frequently enough we will start to believe it… Boat is supposed to be ready for an Eskimo roll or a somersault and everything should stay in its place. Particularly the mast. And the keel. And the rudder. And much water should not enter the boat or one should have the means to return the water back where it came from. Everything else is just cosmetics.


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Many a time few more hands would be useful


That’s why we decided, naturally following the recommendation of seasoned seamen, to attach the washboards to the boat and prevent losing them overboard. That’s tomorrow’s task, because today we entertain a friend and the weather forecasters got it right this time. It really rained. For about 10 minutes.

Most of the really big repairs, i.e. repairs we were not looking forward to doing, are done now. We are not always looking forward to repairing our boat, because when you disassemble something on a boat, usually there is an unpleasant surprise underneath and instead of two or three hours you end up buried in it for two or three days. One of the most successfully postponed repairs still on the “todo list” are our leaking portlights. Especially the one above our navigation table (where we station our laptop during a voyage) leaks quite reliably. In this case we are right to expect something foul is happening in those aluminum frames, which are screwed with stainless screws. Galvanic corrosion is oozing everywhere.

For a while now we’ve been contemplating how to even start. When we take the portlight apart, we might not be able to put it back together and that would leave a really big hole. In fact, a freak wave, which are, according to recent research, quite frequent, could knock the window out and it is advisable to have something to cover the hole. We are not getting ready for Southern Ocean, but it might be a good idea to have something ready, just in case.

We’ve decided for a rather simple design, which costs a little and which would not require drilling the boat. We will be able to use these storm covers only after the window got smashed, but since we hope that will never happen anyway, we are content with this solution. At the same time, though, these covers have solved our problem with disassembling our portlight, since we can use them as temporary windows, which will be leak free.

But that’s a task for next few days.

Naturally we keep a TODO list, with tasks with different priority. But once in a while, one of us comes up with an unexpected addition. Two days ago, I have decided that we need to rethink our LPG cylinder mounts. So far we have use teak chocks where a life raft used to be lashed. We threw away the life raft, screwed a big plywood plank on it and screwed the cylinders on top of that. It was a quick and dirty job which we done in Singapore few years back. The result was quite unsightly, but we had other things to worry about at that time, such as learning to sail with our new boat.

When we moved our dinghy from the foredeck on the cabin top, we realized that it’s quite difficult to switch LPG cylinders when the dinghy is on top of them. Thus I have announced my desire to improve that situation, took a crowbar, pried the plywood away and refashioned the teak mounts into smaller and better looking shape. Saw, rasp and sanding paper are my good friends now.



LPG cylinder mounts before




Old mounts ready to be butchered




LPG cylinder mounts today



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