Evolution Sails & Stella Water-maker

Square top main and genoa
Docril canvas covers & turret top
New Watermaker, the Dessalator desalinator ditched
Lagoon L400 water tank locker tweak

and other smaller ticket items...

...last years upgrade has been brilliant and all working better than expected. 2021's upgrade finishes all the external big ticket items that hit all yacht owners every ten years.
Evolution Sails

Main, Genoa & Screecher - Evolution Sails

The team at Evolution Sails - Gold Coast, were contracted to redesign our sails with the following requirements:
1. Square top,
2. Similar or better sail area without extending the boom or mast,
3. Improve sail shape & performance,
4. Improve into wind performance, and
5. All 3 reefs to be controlled from the helm.

Result on the previous sail areas are:
- Main size was increased 13% to 63.83sqM, the
- Genoa size increased by 3% to 39.85sqM, and
- Screecher/Code 0 remained much the same.

There are now 5 battens (2 more than previous), and two reworked factory batten-cars. The resultant modifications allow much improved single-handed reef changes - ALL FROM THE HELM.

The spinnaker even managed a new sock and neck, allowing easier 'snuffing' of the spinnaker from the helm via winch. Their service is exceptional.

VERY HAPPY FOLLOW-UP: We have found that the increased main sail area, is forcing us to 'reef' earlier (1st reef in around 15-20kts), as it forces more rudder deflection to keep the rudder centred.  If we don't, the rudders cause unnecessary drag.

Love the full wardrobe of sails.

Docril canvas

Docril Covers - Trimright

We have given up on Sunbrella, their fabric has gone downhill in the last 10-15 years. Say hello to Docril.

Contacted Cayne from Trimright - Gold Coast. He strongly recommended Docril.

Docril is a  100% solution-dyed acrylic fibre. It uses Teflon to protect the fabric, thus creating a barrier that reinforces the water repellency and delays dirt adherence.

More DOCRIL information is available here.

We have chosen to weather-proof the sides (with windows of mosquito netting) and mosquito net the aft section, given that there is little water and wind access at the best of times.

While the space was always there, it's much more usable in all weather conditions. In fact, double the comfort factor.

The helm too got a facelift with new clears. The very large zipped windows allow great ventilation through summer while keeping warmer & dry through winter.

Coupled with ALL sheets and halyards now leading to the helm, passages should be more safe with little need to venture outside the helm.

HAPPY FOLLOW-UP: Love it, nothing broken yet and we certainly have seen some bad weather in the last six months, winds and rain to 45kts. 
Have had many pull up and compliment the exterior. You get what you pay for...

Stella Water Maker

New STELLA Watermaker

The original factory installed desalinator was built by Dessalator. It worked very well as a 12V DC unit, however, water quantity was 35-40 litres per hour with TDS levels in excess of World Health Organisation standards (600ppm+), this was after changing membrames, filers & sensors.

We wanted a higher output (around 70 litres per hour) and had battery power to spare. We needed to get this TDS down below 300ppm.

STELLA water-makers utilises a  12V DC low pressure pump to provide low pressure water (through the filter system) to a high pressure pump. The 240V AC high pressure pump (at 4-6 amps), pressurises the water to 800+ psi before forcing it through the single 4-foot membrane.

What is super cool is that there are very few moving parts and no electronics (except for the auto-flush). This allows us to make precise adjustments to water quality. The result, 111ppm, watch our video here.

VERY HAPPY FOLLOW-UP: We continue to get sub-100ppm since the video was made. Really, really impressed, HUGE thank you to STELLA.

Two years on...130ppm with same membrane. Their followup service is amazing, very quick, fast delivery considering we needed the component in the Loyalty Islands.


Professional repair done 'Overseas' ?
Offshore, trade professionals had 'repaired the known LAGOON 400 water penetration problem' below the port water tank. This was done prior to sale and our purchase of the yacht in Australia in 2020. To our amazement (and that of the Surveyor), areas visible were perfectly repaired, faired and painted. One less issue that we 'ticked-off the pre-purchase assessment'. Or so we thought...

Minor bulkhead separation from the lower hull section
It wasn't until we serviced the freshwater pump inside some months later that we noticed the unusual 'back-end' of the repair, accepting that it had been done professionally and that the yacht had got across the Tasman Sea (which would test anyones skills at the best of times), we let sleeping dogs lie.

12-months on and after some tapping and getting a 'hollow-sound' in patches, we did some more investigating. On closer inspection, some areas had not been sanded correctly prior to laying the glass and subsequently had started to separate from the lower hull section, picked up by a 'hollow sound' when tapped. Given its 'difficult-to-get-too' position, the hollow-sound would not have been picked up by our Surveyor.

Further inspection revealed two areas with damaged/rotted timber core. Its was here that our cleanup started with cutting-out and sanding of the lifted sections to raw glass before the repair and relaying of new glass.

However, in the hard to get to repair places, fibreglass sanding, sealing, and glueing, was not done correctly and separation of their laid glass had started to occur.

It was by chance that we located the lifting piece of glass. The cleanup started with cutting-out and sanding of lifted sections to raw glass before relaying to a solid section. At the same time, we moved our water-maker from the port aft room to the port forward room, laying plumbing and electrical securely through this repaired area.

We then top-coated the area, making it easier to see any possible issues in the future.

Lagoon L400 Galley

Glassing coves of Bonding Cement

LAGOON (as well as other popular production manufacturers) use a non-resin-based adhesive bonding system for many major non-structural components.

This rubbery adhesive works very effectively absorbing bumps and movement for many years. We noticed some areas where the adhesive coves had started to separate and have chosen to start a replacement of their coves, with resin and glass.

Very similar to that of another cruising family - Sailing Nohoa (episode the Biggest Boat job yet).

We have chosen to make this an ongoing proactive 'to-do' job, as we locate the joints (and/or movement or squeaking).

HAPPY FOLLOW-UP: After 1200nm, the squeaking has stopped with no evidence of any deterioration.

Highfield dingy and tohatsu outboard

Highfield Dingy & Davits reworked

We chose to purchase a new 4-stroke 9.8 Tohatsu outboard. Finding a workable balance of 4-stroke extra weight vs environmental pollution of a 2-stroke was inevitable.

This extra weight modifies many small dingy transom heights, and resultant efficiency of the dingy in the water. Trial and error urged us to raise our transom height 50mm. This was then made in aluminium and fastened to the transom and painted.

We can now get on the plane with two large adults and a 4-stroke 9.8 outboard.

The davits and pulley system have been changed. The new 'purchase system of the pulleys' now allows easier lifting and stowing of the dingy.

'NOT HAPPY', then 'HAPPY' FOLLOW-UP: Not very happy with both choices here. We chose the recommended (by retailer) 9.8 4-stroke, it does not plane with two people. We have also had to have the transom raised to prevent water ingress. Not happy with either...
So...have bought a secondhand 18hp. It now goes like a rocket.

Victron Colour Control

Victron Battery Electrical touch-up

We chose to move the Victron Battery bank and at the same time individually 'circuit-break' each battery. This is to aid easy access in a workable area in the event we need to isolate a battery, and keep the rest of the batteries operational.

As we rely heavily on electrical, we are using the 'what if...' theory and preparing for the unknown.

HAPPY FOLLOW-UP: After 1200nm, still waiting for a problem to test the system.
"Come on Murphy"
Careful what I wish for...

2-weeks in 7-minutes 

Catamaran haul out

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