October 29, 2005
Telaga Harbour Marina
Messing with Boats Part VII
Leaving Bali on a seven-overnight voyage to Singapore , Pacific Bliss appeared to be in good shape (we call it a State of Grace ).
However, on the second night, in the wee hours of the morning on my birthday September 9th, all navigation instruments failed. They just went blank Within a few minutes, I traced the problem to an underrated fuse (6A), which we installed in Bali during our repair of the instrument system. I replaced the fuse with a 15 A fuse and all was OK again. However, there was a short rush of adrenalin (dry mouth) with the prospect of having to hand steer for several days.
The main GPS has a fickle grounding problem: It works only (intermittently) if a USB cable is plugged into the laptop. The repair would require a tedious tracing of the connections; there was no time for that. So we used one of our handheld GPS units for the computer electronic charts. Once the handheld was powered by the 12 V battery bank, it worked reliably for the 1000-mile passage from Bali to Singapore .
In Singapore , we could take care of a number of problems, which were present for a while:
Still unresolved: RPM indicator jumps erratically if the battery bank is fully charged.
In Singapore we got hit by an indirect lightning strike just as we were ready to leave for the Straight of Malacca: Autopilot went dead. Replaced it right away. However, after taking off, we found that our Radar did not work. This was bad, because for overnights in heavy ship traffic, radar is a must.
In Port Dickson, we had it checked; the prognosis was that the display unit was bad. No replacement parts were readily available and this unit had not been manufactured for the last three years.
Now, in Langkawi, we are pursuing repair, or replacement with a new system.
Problem: If a new radar has different cable and connectors, cables need to be pulled through the mast and the boat, which is almost impossible. So this quandrum is still unresolved, but we have time till next April to pursue solutions.
In Langkawi, we had near-mutiny on board by my esteemed navigator and scribener, Lois: Problem: 80% humidity, 95 F, the boat was unbearably hot. Spraying ourselves with mist at night did not work anymore. The fans merely moved the hot air around. The choices were to put Lois up in a hotel with AC or cooling the boat. Installed second fan in master berth and repaired another cabin fan. After searching the hardware stores in the main town of Kuah , we found that there were no 1 HP window type air conditioners available on the whole island! Luckily we found Paul, who is running a store called Nautical Bits for used marine equipment. He had one used unit in his store (150.-US $). Installed this unit at the port front cabin window. Works like a charm. Brings the humidity down to below 40 % and cools the cabin. Even our sleeping quarters are cool at night, now we even need sheets to cover us.
On the way to Langkawi, up the Malacca Straight, we hit a log twice ¾ both times on the port hull. Made small damage on port hull. Working from the dinghy, patched the crack with adhesive silicon, also patched the part under water.
We also hit a fishing net, wrapped around Port propeller, just when dawn came, shortly before Langkawi. Stopped boat and dove with flashlight, cut the net loose with a knife. No damage to the propeller.
Now we are preparing PB for storing in the water for 5-6 months. Here's our list so far: