Sugar Shack has been an incredibly trustworthy yacht and home. Since we bought her in 2010, she has never failed us, she has delivered us across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans putting well over 40,000nm under her keel. Besides general maintenance, we have not had to do a major overhaul. Until now….the boat repairs and projects have been piling up, but we could not get to most of them because we either did not have the resources or the expertise.
Arriving in New Zealand has been a blessing in that we now have access to both the resources and expertise to get many of these repairs done. Most we will do ourselves (or shall I say, Matt will do himself), but some we are hiring contractors to help us out.
The starboard engine needed some serious love. The coolant neck is cracked. Matt had been gluing the coolant neck onto the coolant manifold but it really needed to be re-braised (type of welding). The problem is the entire manifold had to come off in order to get the part to the welder (Absolute Stainless). And this piece has not been removed in the boat’s life (22 years and counting). So, Matt had to finagle the bolts using a new ¾” impact hammer.
He finally removed the piece after using much elbow grease. One of the owners offered to come pick it up, but Matt had to carry the beast a few hundred yards to the parking lot.
They were able to fit us in right away, despite the shop being incredibly busy and way backlogged. He contacted us the next day and said that he was able to braise the coolant neck with no problem. Top left is the glued coolant neck and the other three show it re-braised properly.
1 Problem Solved: 1 Problem Discovered:
Slight problem – when Simon at Absolute Stainless was cleaning up the rusty exhaust elbow on the manifold, it started to crumble. Well $hit!
We contacted the Volvo dealer (as this is a Volvo part) and they informed us that the part is not available in NZ and it would take several months to get it. Considering we can’t use the engine without this part, we opted to ship this part in at a whopping $250USD shipping. But we got it within 2 weeks!
In the meantime, Matt replaced several raw water hoses that were looking ratty and difficult to see through.
Once we got the exhaust elbow back on the manifold, he installed it back on the engine.
Next, the alternator bracket. He had to take this off because it had a crack in it and needed to be welded back together. You can see that we have welded this piece several times. The alternator is very, very heavy and when under load while under passage it tends to put a lot of pressure on this huge piece of stainless steel. The blue arrows indicate new weld.
Matt took advantage of the situation since the engine was really accessible and torn apart. he cleaned up all around the engine, painted special rust repellent then volvo green paint on the engine.
The starboard engine after a very long spa treatment.
A Few Other Odd Jobs
- Replaced fuel tank caps, gasket and lid (port/starboard)
- Sewed new fender covers for our large A4 fenders (old blue cover, lower left corner, new black covers)
- Received new Highfield 360 PVC Dinghy. Our sailmaker took us to collect our new dinghy from All Marine. He will graciously store it for us at his barn until the canvas lady can make her dinghy chaps. Talk about great service!
The events from this blog occurred in early December. We find fabulous hiking trails in Whangarei in our last blog post.