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Join us as we sail around the world - share our joy, experiences, trials and tribulations as we proceed.
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SEP
18
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Glass and paint work now done

The glass and paint work on Revelations is now finally done. Garth Walker completed the glass and repair work during the last week of August 2016 and spend the past two weeks fixing all the deck fittings and doing final touch up work. What initially started as a small project, quickly ramped up and became a massive laborious and very expensive exercise. I am really happy that this work is now behind us, but soon to be replaced with another major project - replacing and repairing equipment damaged during the lightning strike.

However, our claim with the insurance company is still not settled and we cannot commence with this critical work. In the end, I gave up dealing with the insurance assessors as I find them to be a bunch of thieves. I had to resort to legal action and I am happy to report that our attorney is making progress towards a settlement. It is almost unthinkable how much difficulties one can have with an insurance company to get them to pay a fair settlement. Quite frankly, I am extremely disappointing and shocked at their cheating ways to reduce what they rightfully have to pay out. Hopefully, a settlement will be reached within the next month or so.

Here are some final images Garth Walker who did the work at PowerBoats, Chaguaramas, Trinidad emailed me recently.

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1094 Hits
AUG
10
0

Fittings

I received some images from Garth Walker, Trinidad showing some of the fittings being refitted to Revelations. Garth is now almost done with all the work he was commissioned to do on Revelations and he should complete the project by end of August 2106. There are still other work we have to do on Revelations but this will have to wait until we can get back to Trinidad.

Fittings

  1380 Hits
1380 Hits
AUG
03
0

Anti Skid almost done

Garth Walker from Trinidad emailed me some images of the anti skid work they have done on Revelations. As yet, I haven't seen the work but it seems like Garth has done a very professional job on Revelations. By sounds of things, they seem to be almost done with the anti skid and the next step will be to refit all the deck fittings they removed. According to Garth, all the work on Revelations should be done towards the end of August 2016. I certainly hope so as the Rand to US Dollar exchange rate is most certainly killing the available budget in leaps and bounds. 

AntiSkid

 

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1101 Hits
JUL
21
0

Spray painting continued

Based on a timelime previously received, I thought that the spray painting would be done be now. But it is not. Unbeknown to me (or perhaps due to lack of clear instructions), besides respraying the entire topsides, Garth Walker also started spraying the targa bar and bimini. Perhaps the targa bar and bimini looked bad to the rest of the newly sprayed yacht. Anyway, he is almost done with the bimini, and targa bar, he also did a bunch of other small repairs and patch ups. He taped off the anti skid areas and will be applying the anti skid within the next couple of days. Here are some images he emailed me today.

Spray1

  1062 Hits
1062 Hits
APR
05
0

Adding more green energy

A huge problem we encountered lying at anchor was keeping the batteries charged. We have a big battery bank consisting of 12 x LifeLine GPL-31XT 125 amp AGM batteries - giving us a total of 1500 amps. To charge the batteries, we have 2 x 180 watt solar panels, 1 x 13 kva diesel generator and 2 Yanmar engines with 35 amp Balmar alternators each. At the time of constructing the yacht, we thought that we had ample charging capacity and indeed we never encounter any problems on the short sailing stints we did whilst we were still in Houtbay, Cape Town, South Africa. We would often go sailing for a couple of days, drop the anchor at some remote locations and thereafter we would return to our mooring in Houtbay. The solar panels and the odd running of the generator kept the batteries at full charge and we assumed that this would be sufficient for our world cruise.

But then we added another 2 deep freezers and never thought to revisit our charging capacity. Fully loaded when we left Cape Town on our world cruise, fridges and 3 deep freezer fully stocked with food, we soon started noticing that we had a problem with our battery charging capacity. We managed by switching off the freezers as they became empty. The problem again surfaced when we arrived in Brazil, restocked the yacht with food and then anchoring for extended periods of time. In particular, when we arrived in French Guyana, we found that we had to run the generator for hours every day. We also have a Mastervolt charging system on board which manages the charge going into the batteries. When starting the generator, the full charge would go into the batteries but Mastervolt reduces this as the minutes/hours ticks away. After running the generator for 4 hours, to protect the batteries, Mastervolt only allowed a tiny fraction of the amps generated to go into the batteries. This is uneconomical and it makes no sense to run a 13 KVA generator whilst only 1 or 2 amps are allowed to go into the batteries.

To overcome this problem, we will now be adding another 3 x 145 watt Kyocera KD145SX-UFU solar panels and 2 x Air Breeze Marine 24 VDC wind generators to our charging capacity. Our calculations show that this will give us between 180 and 300 amps of charging capacity - and the beauty is that it is green energy. A custom made stainless steel structure will be manufactured and fitted to the back of Revelations to accommodate all this equipment.

KYOCERA-KD145SX-UFU Specifications
Air Breeze Specifications

GreenEnergy

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1196 Hits
JUN
03
0

Goods ordered

Unable to wait any longer for some suppliers to get back to me with prices, I decided to go ahead and order the replacement parts we need to repair Revelations from mauriprosailing.com in Texas, USA. We need to get going as we only have another two months left on our Brazialian visa's and we still need to get the parts to Cabedelo and then only can we commence with the repair work. We also bought a new compass to replace our existing but leaking compass and some blocks to allow us to control the spinnaker from the helm. Maurisaling claims that the goods will be ready for collection within the next 3 to 4 days after which a courier service can collect the package and ship to us at Jacare Village Marina, Cabedelo, Brazil. Shipping is not cheap, it actually costs more than the parts we ordered! Then I still have to pay a clearing agent to clear the goods with Customs as duty free - at 100%, the import duty on marine goods  in Brazil is extreme! Such excessive taxes must surely have a huge negative impact on the local boating industry. In addition, the import process is lengthy, excessive red tape and damn complicated. From a yacht owner perspective, Brazil is the last place you want to do any repairs - especially importing parts.

Ordered

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1413 Hits
DEC
21
0

New screetcher sail tested

With almost all the crew on board, we got Revelations ready for a quick spin around the block, rather sail a couple of miles in False Bay to test the newly manufactured screetcher sail. This is a beast of a sail and weighs a ton! With a fresh breeze blowing, a perfect day for sailing, we eased out of our mooring and slowly motored to open waters. To overcome our problem of a twisting screetcher halyard, as a temporary measure, Brent rigged up a 1:1 purchase and the electric winches took serious strain lifting the heavy sail to the top of the mast. The screetcher was then unfurled and in it's fully opened state, filled one half of the sky. A quick change in direction and the screetcher was hard at work - pushing a 20 metric ton yacht at 8 knots (about 15 km per hour) through the water. That takes a lot of power and it is all free clean energy! At almost full revs, our twin engines can barely do that.

It was a real struggle putting the beast back in it's cage! Joe and Patrick combined really struggled and had to strain hard to furl the sail again. Wow! This was really hard work! Once tamed, we headed back to our mooring in False Bay Yacht Club. It was a bit tricky to get Revelations back into the tight space allocated to us.

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1130 Hits
DEC
09
6

Last minute details

Yesterday and today was spend attending to last minute details - some successfully whilst a couple not done.

We had to go the the bank and get a NEP form filled in and stamped. This is a declaration to the South African Reserve Bank about the value we will be taking out of the country (yacht value, personal effects value, etc.). But this opened another can of worms with more red tape and bureaucracy. So more driving up and down getting various bits and pieces together to obtain this document.

We felt that we need more rocket distress flares than the minimum specified for Category A as stipulated by SAMSA. Category A is a category of yachts allowed to go outside the South African territorial waters and cross oceans. We bought an additional 4 x 300 meter height red distress rocket flares.

We had our spiffy helm console cover altered at BCanvas and fetch it a couple of hours later. We also pick up our black canvas rope bags which was ready for collection the past month or so.

We popped in at the dive shop to buy the remainder of our dive kit - but again walked out empty handed. The BC I am interested in was still not available and again a barrage of very confusing sales talk about the best regulators caused us to abandon the process. Way to much double talk and confusion to make a good buying decision.

We also bought 100's of meters of rope (like thin ski rope) for trading with fishermen when the possibility lends itself.

Then we dropped in at IMTECH and gave them a mouthful about the incomplete AIS system and the navigation software which does not interface correctly with the chart plotter. Three days of work on this costing many thousands of Rands without any success is no joke!

Steve Searle came back with the reconditioned B&G autopilot system, climbed into the engine room and fitted everything.

The guys from High Pressure Systems came around to start up the Bauer dive compressor we have on board. A whole new pile of worms emerged from this causing further delays and more money to get it all sorted.

A computer expert came around to check out the "something wrong with the PC" PC. As suspected, no fault of any kind was found and the PC was given a clean bill of health. I'm now wondering what the AIS and SailMail experts will say next!?

Then a visit to Central Boating where we bought 2 x Lewmar 90 mm HTX Single Blocks for the spinnaker sail and a bunch of other stuff.

All in all, another R40,000 to R50,000 spent getting Revelations in state of readiness to start our world cruise. But with this, more things are sorted in our bucket list. Hopefully all this running around, endless red tape and frantic buying frenzy will all come to pass. Damn, it is so difficult and full of shit to get to leave. All these years, we have been dreaming about this part of our lives and genuinely thought it would be an exciting phase. But sad to say, for us there is very little excitement in most of this. Our experience has been heaps and heaps of damn hard work and endless frustrations. We meet people on a daily basis and they all expect us to be incredibly excited about all of this. Is this expectation simply because they do not know first hand what's involved or is the problem possibly us!? Don't know the answer to this - all I know is that we have been working our arses off to get to this point and encountered piles of shit mostly everywhere and causing endless frustrations for us. Hopefully all of this will fade into the background once we get going? What do you think?

LewmarBlock

  1543 Hits
Recent Comments
Sterkte julle 2 met laaste voorbereidings. Julle is op die hond se stert. Hoop, glo en vertrou dat die frustrasie en pyn alles die... Read More
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 04:05
Dont you get the msg........they dont want you to go......... Good luck with all the last minute details no one tells you about un... Read More
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 05:19
Dankie Pieta, dit was omtrent 'n onderskatting van voorbereiding. Is net soveel goed om te doen, so min tyd, soveel mense wat mens... Read More
Thursday, 11 December 2014 19:05
1543 Hits
DEC
06
0

Fiorentino Shark drogue

We finally received the Fiorentino Shark Drogue from the USA - barely in time for our world cruise. In rough weather and strong winds, to prevent the yacht surfing down the wave, the Shark Drogue will be deployed at the back of the yacht. this is a drag device and will be like a brake slowing the yacht down by a couple of knots. In an emergency, this device can also be used to help steer the yacht. The stainless steel shackles are surprisingly big and robust! Now we need to go to sea and test the drogue - become familiar with how it works.

SharkDroque1

SharkDroque2

  2553 Hits
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2553 Hits
DEC
06
0

Spiffy new helm cover

We had a spiffy new canvas cover made for the helm - covering up the steering wheel, instruments, throttle controls, etc. A few years ago, we lost a couple of instrument covers due to strong wind. We were shocked at the price to buy a replacement plastic cover. The one simple plastic cover cost us close to R1000.00!!! "Yeah, that's the price! Take it or leave it!" The manufacturer knows that the custom sized cover can't be bought anywhere else so they charge rip-off prices. To prevent this from happening again, I had this bright idea (read dumb arse idea) to cover all of this with a soft woven fish net. It never really looked good but hey, it did the job - never lost a instrument cover since. But over time, it started looking worse for wear and in the end, it was a sight for sore eyes. But this new cover looks the part and will provide the required protection ... and it looks a bit more classy. You see! Retirement must be good! I'm even getting some class now! Laughing

SteeringCanvas

  1331 Hits
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1331 Hits
NOV
28
0

Dinghy mast & sail rig

We had this nice powerful inflatable dinghy on the yacht, complete with a skipper steering console and a 30 HP electric start engine. A few years ago, we lowered the dinghy into the water and we all piled in as we wanted to go ashore. Still attached to the yacht by a rope, the engine started, we untied the rope and pushed ourselves away from the yacht. Then as we floated away from the yacht by the strong winds and the current, the engine died. Over and over, we tried to start the engine - to no avail. Finally the battery ran flat and as much as we tried, we were unable to manually start the engine. By now, we were about 300 meters away from the yacht and the water was ice cold. We had no oars, no radio, no anchor, no supplies, we were rapidly drifting away from the yacht and there was no way we could get back. To add to our problems, one of the inflatable pontoons sprung a leak and started deflating. Fortunately there were other yachts in the area and finally somebody came to our aid.

Now imagine this shit scenario on a remote island somewhere on the wide open ocean!
Hey man, that might be the end of your life!!!

Once back in our home port, I got rid of the whole damn thing. We then started building a more lightweight dinghy, this time making provision for engine, oars and emergency mast/sail. The new dinghy has been completed for awhile now and you can read on the build elsewhere on this website. We are now busy building the emergency mast and sail, a carbon fiber mast which can be dismantled in 4 sections and together with sails, can all be stowed on the dinghy itself. This arrangement allows us to motor, sail or row the dinghy and we will hopefully never be in the same situation again of not able to get back to the yacht. At least we will be able to sail back to the yacht when all else fail.

DinghyMastSail

  1312 Hits
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1312 Hits
NOV
27
6

Special Alternator brackets

We have these additional extra large 150 amp Balmar alternators attached to the engines. Although one would tighten the fan belts, after a couple of hours motoring, the fan belts will be loose again. The loose fan belts will then slip over the drive pulleys and not turn the alternators correctly - one would then not get the maximum power these alternators are able to generate. So we had this extra bracket fitted to each alternator - a simple solution which makes it impossible for the fan belts to come loose and slip.

BalmarBrackets

  1428 Hits
Recent Comments
The extra highlighted bolt assembly should only make the belt easier for you to tension if the alternator is in a difficult to ac... Read More
Thursday, 27 November 2014 18:06
Howzit DX! I also thought the bolt on the right would be more than sufficient but kept finding the fan belts loose after motoring ... Read More
Thursday, 27 November 2014 19:28
All good...I see you are now full house and tugging at the mooring lines to leave. I am sure the mod will stop the bolt slipping ... Read More
Thursday, 27 November 2014 20:57
1428 Hits
NOV
19
0

New Pactor Modem 4 Dragon DR-7400

Several years ago, we had a Pactor 2 modem installed on the yacht. For those of you who is not familiar with these modems; by connecting the modem to a PC/Laptop and a HF radio, once can send and receive emails via radio from anywhere in the world. One can also download GRIB files (weather forecasts) to be used in navigation software and a host of other things. This is just the short story and of course it is vastly more complex than just this.

But technology has moved on and this modem is now considered old and slow compared to new equipment available. A couple of weeks ago we ordered the latest Pactor 4 Dragon DR-7400 from Robert Ravensberg, Duxbury Networking here in Cape Town. Robert came around last night (yes, you read correctly, it was “After Hours") and removed the still working Pactor 2 modem. This is quite remarkable considering that the Pactor 2 modem was install some years ago, in a very damp and humid environment and was never switched on. He installed and connected the new Pactor 4 Dragon and loaded the Winlink/Sailmail software. After creating accounts on the respective website, he configured the software on the PC and BINGO! Everything worked!

For you folks back home, receiving emails via radio and Pactor Modem is nothing like you what have on your PC/Laptop or even mobile devices. Receiving emails via Radio is sloowwwww - very slow! So do not send us pictures nor any attachments - it is way to big and will probably take days to download. We will probably never receive such an email as the connection will be broken longe before the email is downloaded. Only send “plain text” emails - not even HTML emails.

Another job done well and without the usual bullshit! Seems like there are indeed a few efficient companies around Cape Town! Laughing

PactorDragon4

  1367 Hits
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1367 Hits
NOV
19
0

New Pactor Modem 4 Dragon DR-7400

Several years ago, we had a Pactor 2 modem installed on the yacht. For those of you who is not familiar with these modems; by connecting the modem to a PC/Laptop and a HF radio, once can send and receive emails via radio from anywhere in the world. One can also download GRIB files (weather forecasts) to be used in navigation software and a host of other things. This is just the short story and of course it is vastly more complex than just this.

But technology has moved on and this modem is now considered old and slow compared to new equipment available. A couple of weeks ago we ordered the latest Pactor 4 Dragon DR-7400 from Robert Ravensberg, Duxbury Networking here in Cape Town. Robert came around last night (yes, you read correctly, yes it was “After Hours") and removed the still working Pactor 2 modem. This is quite remarkable considering that the Pactor 2 modem was install some years ago, in a very damp and humid environment and was never switched on. He installed and connected the new Pactor 4 Dragon and loaded the Winlink/Sailmail software. After creating accounts on the respective website, he configured the software on the PC and BINGO! Everything worked!

For you folks back home, receiving emails via radio and Pactor Modem is nothing like you what have on your PC/Laptop or even mobile devices. Receiving emails via Radio is sloowwwww - very slow! So do not send us pictures nor any attachments - it is way to big and will probably take days to download. We will probably never receive such an email as the connection will be broken longe before the email is downloaded. Only send “plain text” emails - not even HTML emails.

Another job done well and without the usual bullshit! Seems like there are indeed a few efficient companies around Cape Town! Laughing

PactorDragon4

  490 Hits
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490 Hits
NOV
08
0

Other things we have been doing

Like I said, it has been quite hectic here on Revelations as we are involved in a number of things. Some of these projects are done and dusted, whilst others are in various stages of completion;

Scuba gear
We havd since bought new scuba tanks - a 15 and 12 liter Faber scuba tank for myself and Sue respectively. The regulators went in for servicing, but instead we receive a rather complicated service report giving us a range of complcated technical data. Arggghhh, so frustrating dealing with some people/companies. We did not want a technical report - we wanted you to service the regulators. But not to worry, we will take it elsewhere - hopefully they will understand what we are lloking for.

Compressor housing
We also stripped the Bauer Mariner 320 scuba compressor and removed the bulky heavy duty frame. Instead, we made a fiberglass base for the compressor to stand on. The entire setup will be covered with a durable canvas which we can tighten at the base. Pictures will follow later.

Compass calibration
For some time now and as we added equipment in close proximity to the compass, we become aware that the compass was inaccurate and not showing the North, South, East and West directions correctly. So Sue managed to find somebody who can calibrate the compass. This person told us that we require a compass calibration certificate to check out and leave South Africa on our world cruise. we certainly did not know about that! But it is now all done and certified.

LED Lights
We also removed all the candescent lights in the sallon and cabins - this was replaced with expensive LED lights. Not only will these lights last longer, they also use less power and it is certainly much brighter.

Yacht stamp
Some time ago, I created a design for a rubber stamp to be used on all our yacht papers and this has now been ordered. In addition, Sue have always fancied a paper embossing stamp for the yacht - soon we will have our own paper embossing machine!

Diesel conditioning system
At long last, the diesel conditioning system was finally completed. This system feature HUGE fuel filters - see packet of cigarettes for scale.

DieselConditioning

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1202 Hits

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