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Thread: What Have I Done

  1. #1
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    Default What Have I Done

    A few months ago, I posted a thread asking for advice about keeping a boat in New Zealand's Bay of Islands while living in Australia. Lots of great responses. However, a big part of me thought it was unlikely the boat purchase itself would pan out. Surely my offer would be rejected, or survey would turn up some grievous issue? Surely someone responsible would have me committed to an institution before it was too late?

    Nope. What can I say? Tumblehome like this should be illegal.

    IMG_3360.jpg

    Circumstances have stubbornly refused to intervene. So it is that I have now landed myself in some very serious trouble indeed. Myself and my very supportive partner, Marie (who fortunately loves boats, if not quite at my level of obsession) have become the proud and (for my part) rather daunted owners of "Kishmul", a 1971 S&S 36 'One Tonner' built by Brin Wilson of New Zealand, currently berthed near Auckland.

    Designed as an offshore racer, her hull is triple-diagonal cold molded NZ heart kauri. Teak cabin sides and cockpit, fiberglass over ply decks. 5.6 ton total weight, (of which 2.6 ton is a lead fin keel), 6'2" draft. 20hp Yanmar with around 300 hours on the clock. Comprehensively restored 11 years ago, though now coming due for new sails and some deferred maintenance on her finishes and rig.

    Current plan is no longer to keep her on the water in NZ in the short term, as it just seems too hard to exercise adequate supervision while we're here in Australia and at this stage of my career. Instead, I'll go over again in about 2 weeks, pull her out and store her on the hard for a year or so (I found somewhere cost-effective, and run by boat people to boot), propped up professionally and thoroughly covered. During that time, I'll fly over a few times for a week or so at a time to strip and redo the approximately 1 acre of external varnish and some other miscellaneous jobs, like rebedding deck hardware. Ultimately, I would like to fair her topsides and give her a light cloth sheathing to make her waterproof, as there is some plank and fastener print-through resulting from moisture cycling. However, that is a big job and a long term plan. In a year or so, we'll redo her rig, put her back in the drink and either do some sailing in New Zealand or sail/ship her across the ditch to Australia.

    Right now, I'm focusing on the logistics of getting her safely transported and stored and trying not to think too much about the magnitude of the commitment I've taken on. Most people would consider buying a big boat at our age to be a Very Bad Plan. However, she is in fantastic condition and I'm certainly counting on being able to do the vast majority of maintenance on her myself.

    Equally concerning, my sailing experience thus far is limited to my own homebuilt GIS and crewing on other people's boats. Kishmul is far more boat than I currently know what to do with. Why I'm constitutionally incapable of buying some nice little fibreglass trailer sailer, at least as a 'stepping stone', I really don't know. I guess you only live once.

    Reassuring posts such as 'it's going to be ok' and 'you did the right thing' would be much appreciated.

    IMG_1405.jpg

    IMG_1409.jpg

    IMG_3347.jpg

    Also, I'd be very keen to hear from people more experienced than myself regarding where on the coast of NSW might work to keep a boat like this. We're in Canberra, which makes the closest port Batemans Bay, but access to other cruising grounds/destinations without lengthy coastal passages might be worth driving further for. Pittwater is lovely, if a bit crowded and full of complete wankers. Her deep draft may make some NSW bar crossings a sketchy proposition.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Take a long vacation and sail your beauty home where you can use it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    You've found a lovely boat! That's always been one of my favorite S&S designs. I suspect that you'll soon find that she's far easier to sail than that "nice little trailer sailer", but there are more strings to pull than on your "Goat". First thing to do is find some quiet water and practice under power so you have confidence getting in/out of slips. You'll soon find that she'll turn in her own length, especially with that fixed prop. Well done!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    OH dear lord that's bluidy gorgeous.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    I guess you only live once.
    No guessing about it.

    Best of luck ( and a bit of envy) from Long Island, New York, USA.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwater View Post
    Most people would consider buying a big boat at our age to be a Very Bad Plan.
    Now that is something I have never heard before!

    No time like the present!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Beautiful boat & a great idea!

    I like the sail her home idea - as long as you do a week or 2 of coastal sails first to find any issues.

    Oh - btw - she is small & manageable. You coulda been really stoopid like me.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    You certainly did te right thing, and yes it's going to be ok. I think now would be the right time to book some of those "refreshing courses" offered for charter captains. You know the ones titeld "Engine maneuvers, learn all about prop walk!", "Hoisting spinnakers without competent crew. Dousing also included!" and my two all time favorites "Med moor in a crosswind made easy!" and "Anchoring in crowded waters without anybody yelling!"
    You got a beautiful boat and varnishig will grow on you. Enjoy!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Beautifully built boat by one of the best yards right at the height of their knowledge and success.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Lovely boat. Rick (RFNK) has a nice thread about sailing from NZ to Oz, I hope he jumps in because I can't find it.

    I think you should budget some time for sailing in Kiwiland.

    I'm actually surprised the authorities are letting you export her.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    You are a wise man with a perfect wife. Well bought.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    BB is a good choice. BTW never, never try the Narooma bar!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Lovely boat. Rick (RFNK) has a nice thread about sailing from NZ to Oz, I hope he jumps in because I can't find it.

    I think you should budget some time for sailing in Kiwiland.

    I'm actually surprised the authorities are letting you export her.
    I don't think there are any restrictions on modern classics. I'm not sure when the threshold for the antiquities act ends, perhaps 1949?
    Historically it was tested when the 1901 Logan Iorangi was packed up and exported to AU. She was basically seized on the docks when she arrived in Sydney and stayed there for a couple of years under a bond that was negotiated between our gummint officials and the owner at the time.

    A lovely boat like this has languished on the market without a local buying her, my view is tough bananas ....we don't deserve her anymore, let her go somewhere she's appreciated.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Direct flights from Canberra to Hobart? Best cruising grounds on the planet.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Bah humbug. I'm sure its nice but I also reckon Brightwater needs to plan some cruising in the Hauraki gulf and Bay of islands . plus plus plus.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    How expensive is it to fly from the east coast of Australia to New Zealand?

    She is a truly awesome boat. I had guessed 'Mull' from that first photo.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    There's a lot of Canberra-owned boats in the marina at Batemans Bay. Folks use the marina facilities as a quasi holiday house
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Thanks, everyone, for all the comments and kind words! Great to know I'm not alone in my lunacy and I'm glad others think she's as gorgeous as I do. She's a fairly extreme example of IOR design, and some say those are an acquired taste - I'm pretty keen on it, though.

    Definitely not ruling out keeping her in NZ for a while and doing some cruising over there - from my admittedly limited knowledge, NZ's coastline is much better than ours . However, it will have to wait until finances permit as the rigging needs quite a bit of work. Re the option of bringing her back over right now, I've decided against that for the same reason - I'll have to pay GST (10% of purchase price) on entry, plus the cost of re-rigging, doing whatever is needed to equip her for the Tasman and paying a delivery skipper to assist. Financially, that doesn't suit right at this moment as the purchase was a bit of a stretch in itself, so for us it makes more sense to spend a small amount on storage to defer that for a year or so.

    Fully agree re doing some sailing courses, Rumars - they're absolutely on the list!

    Hugh, what makes you say she'll be easier to sail than a trailer sailer? Embarrassingly, I have little real idea how she handles - prior to purchase, we took her out for a 'sea trial' but there wasn't a breath of wind to be felt, and I unfortunately couldn't stick around in NZ longer to try again. Unsurprisingly, her former owner tells me she's built for heavy weather and goes upwind very well. She even has a sizable trim tab on the back of her keel, which is charming! However, I hear these narrow-sterned IOR boats can be a bit 'corkscrewy' if you try to go dead downwind with a spinnaker up.

    I think I am in the clear regarding the NZ authorities, based on her construction date. I admit I am a little sorry about stealing a beautiful boat from the Kiwis. However, while gorgeous, her historical value is not huge - she certainly wasn't raced as successfully as her One Tonner sistership, 'Young Nick'. And as JohnB said, she's been languishing on the market over there for quite some time. My intent is certainly to treat her right and maybe some day a Kiwi will steal her back.

    More photos to follow when I get some time this evening, in case anyone's interested!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Brightwater I know my post reads funny but I really ment it. The best value courses ar those designed for refreshing charter skipper skills. They take place on weekends and don't cut into your vacation time, and they are focused on a specific topic. For two days you do only one thing. It's like learning parallel parking, you repeat it until you can do it. Out there in the big blue it's easy to drive the boat, you do what most cruisers do, trim the sails to a plesant shape and engage the autopilot or windvane and enjoy. The complicated bits ar at the beginning and the end. You must maneuver in and out of a crowded area under motor, and park the boat without scratches and yelling. So you identify the skills you lack and work on them one by one. And take your wife too, it's more fun to learn it togheter. As I said for a conversion to a big boat you need handling under power and docking skills and in your area crossing bars safely. Further down the road is handling the spi (this I would do on my own boat), and anchor handling (can be practiced without an instructor in a secluded spot). Preparing for a big crossing would mean reading up and practicing heavy weather strategies and learning about weather patterns and routing. That you can do by yourself.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Thanks Rumars, I appreciate it. I'll look into charter courses specifically, though I think some sail handling, trimming and navigating courses wouldn't go astray either! Will also be doing my best to sail with experienced people as I think one of the most stressful parts of handling any boat is directing (and being responsible for) inexperienced crew.

    A few more detail shots - the first three are what gave me the confidence that she was well put-together, and worth paying for a survey.

    Heavy-gauge stainless stainplates bolted directly into massive hull/deck knees - these were probably replaced 10 years ago.

    IMG_3310.jpg


    Big cabin top/cabin sides knees as well. The rig is single spreader and the mast is, as JohnB has aptly put it, an alloy tree trunk. No running backs, thankfully, but when finances permit I might consider replacing the mast with something lighter with more spreaders to reduce weight aloft. I quite like its glossy black finish, though I'm told black masts are a little passť. Needless to say, the paint is not in quite as good of a shape above decks.

    IMG_3332.jpg


    Keel bolts - bronze, I think, rather than Monel. Still bright when you scratch them. I'm guessing they were replaced 10 years ago.

    Attachment 13639


    The interior has a fairly minimalist aesthetic. General layout is racing-oriented, with lots of single bunks. We're never likely to sleep more than 4 on board so I might make a few changes down the line (such as a small dinette that converts to a double). I would also love to install a low-profile hatch overhead (custom built in wood, of course) and possibly replace some of the very dark wood with teak or white paint to brighten her up a little. The portlights are also non-opening currently - while I'd eventually like to replace them with (offshore-rated) opening ones for ventilation, I would prefer that they not have externally visible frames, as I don't want to spoil her sleek aesthetic.

    IMG_3335.jpg


    Generous hatch forward above the V-berth for sail handling and star-gazing - should be lovely to leave open on warm nights after I make some mosquito screens. It is currently all wood - I would consider insetting it with some Lexan or toughened glass for additional light when closed.

    IMG_3307.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Brightwater; 04-04-2018 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Non-functional images

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Very nice! Clean & simple.

    May I suggest some caps for the bolts through the cabintop? They will really tear open a head exposed that way. Various types are available (or you can make your own wood ones).

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Finastkind.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwater View Post
    .
    Hugh, what makes you say she'll be easier to sail than a trailer sailer? Embarrassingly, I have little real idea how she handles - prior to purchase, we took her out for a 'sea trial' but there wasn't a breath of wind to be felt, and I unfortunately couldn't stick around in NZ longer to try again. Unsurprisingly, her former owner tells me she's built for heavy weather and goes upwind very well. She even has a sizable trim tab on the back of her keel, which is charming! However, I hear these narrow-sterned IOR boats can be a bit 'corkscrewy' if you try to go dead downwind with a spinnaker up.
    You're quite right about "corkscrewing" but they're very well behaved and telegraph loads and movements quite well. I got several hundred miles in a friends Catalina 38, with virtually the same lines. I was amazed at how easy the boat was to sail. DDW with a following sea can be painful, but everything else is butter. You have a very good boat on your hands

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Take a long vacation and sail your beauty home where you can use it.
    exactly - ask a few friends to come, take 3 weeks and sail home. life is too short. On the other hand, if you can't take the time off - hire an competent captain and crew and they'll sail her home.

    The ability to own a nice boat is far different than using one. Keeping and paying for a boat 3 hours by plane away is much like not having one except for the debt.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 04-04-2018 at 12:15 PM.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Looks nice down below. An alternative for better ventilation would be a couple of small opening hatches in the cabin top. Lexan in the forward hatch is a good idea. As for the mast, black is always in fashion!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    They only get squirrelly when driven past hull speed under kite, you don't do that cruising and you don't need to do that if you don't want to.
    Its a nice age of boat too in that they don't have the humps and bumps that came a bit later , still nice fair hulls. They had big rating restrictions on their rigs so often ended up with some weird mainsail things going on , invariably a bit small and with giant genoas. Often that became corrected later as they dropped out of the racing fleet . Slightly longer boom and or taller masts for a better jib/ main area balance.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Bah humbug. I'm sure its nice but I also reckon Brightwater needs to plan some cruising in the Hauraki gulf and Bay of islands . plus plus plus.
    Well yeah, you guys do have it pretty good.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    exactly - ask a few friends to come, take 3 weeks and sail home. life is too short. On the other hand, if you can't take the time off - hire an competent captain and crew and they'll sail her home.

    The ability to own a nice boat is far different than using one. Keeping and paying for a boat 3 hours by plane away is much like not having one except for the debt.
    Ted,

    I agree, but see my post above - unfortunately finances dictate the current course due to import tax and the need to replace quite a bit of her rigging.! We’re thinking of it as putting her on ice while we get everything sorted the way it needs to be.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Very nice! Clean & simple.

    May I suggest some caps for the bolts through the cabintop? They will really tear open a head exposed that way. Various types are available (or you can make your own wood ones).

    Cheers Garret - I didn’t know about those! I agree the bolts aren’t super attractive and a bit dangerous. They are dome nuts so could be worse. Considering eventually adding some very thin varnished shiplap planks to warm up the ceiling a little, though there isn’t a ton of spare headroom so every millimeter counts...

  30. #30
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwater View Post
    Cheers Garret - I didn’t know about those! I agree the bolts aren’t super attractive and a bit dangerous. They are dome nuts so could be worse. Considering eventually adding some very thin varnished shiplap planks to warm up the ceiling a little, though there isn’t a ton of spare headroom so every millimeter counts...
    At 6'5", I get the headroom issue. That's also why I notice protrusions... Rounded acorn nuts will help & I'd thought of mentioning some wood around/over them. Wood is softer than steel!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  31. #31
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    Default

    I have dome nuts on the underside of many of my deckbeams and matching divots in my head. Those caps look good! Where do you get em?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  32. #32
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    That pic was swiped from http://www.pro-dec.com/

    Google for "bolt caps" to see a zillion options.

    People don't realize just how much padding hair is! I used to give my dad grief about the constant scabs & scars on his head & he'd reply "Just you wait."
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  33. #33
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    That's reassuring John, thank you. I don't think she even has a kite at this stage!

    Financial considerations aside, what do you think of the idea of (eventually) replacing her mast with something a bit lighter, with more spreaders, and maybe synthetic rigging? I imagine one could lose a huge amount of weight aloft. Bit absurd talking about it before I've even sailed her properly, of course, but fun to consider.

    Hugh, great to hear about your experiences with the Catalina 38. I might see if I can find out more about that boat...

  34. #34
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Garret, there are few reasons in a man's life that make him glad to be of average height, but owning this boat is certainly one of them. I'm 5'10", and anyone much over that will be stooping a little (or a lot, in your case). Pretty remarkable for a 36-footer, but she has neither the hull depth of a full-keeled boat nor the freeboard of a modern Beneteau etc.

    If I ever get around to redoing the interior layout, maybe I'll consider lowering the floors an inch provided it doesn't reduce structural strength.
    Last edited by Brightwater; 04-29-2018 at 05:31 AM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: What Have I Done

    Good luck with her.
    As other say she looks like she will be a great cruiser. Definitely fast and comfortable uphill. As for sailing dead down wind. I'll let you in on a secret. Only people racing do that. The rest of us tack down hill to avoid rolling and broaching. Means you don't have to pay quite so much attention to what you are doing on the helm. Often tacking downwind is not any slower.
    What I do know is that you will find the loads in that large genoa something surprising.

    Without knowing what your experience some of the following may be irreverent.
    Over here (NZ) the coast guard offer a number of training courses. I would assume that you have something similar locally that you can do. While these are only theory they do help with confidence.
    Things like Radio Operators License (VHF), Boat master which covers lights at night on boats and ships, bouys etc and some basic weather.
    https://www.boatingeducation.org.nz/courses/

    Then the Coastal Skipper and Ocean Yachtmaster courses. These cover things like navigation, weather, trip planning etc.

    As you say some local sailing on her first including some good heavy weather sailing to test your sail handling systems and reefing and a few night trips around the top of the corromandel to get your confidence up in unpleasent seas.
    Zane

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