Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cruising: Doing repairs in exotic places!

We flew into Nuku'alofa last night from the Gold Coast, via Auckland. Picked up at the airport by John, a Tongan of at least 200 kg. Then we stayed at the Waterfront Lodge, close to where Nimrod had been left by the delivery crew.

Reassuring to see that she was afloat and not obviously vandalised. I'll swim out to her in the morning.

No one misses an opportunity to tell us that Tonga is a monarchy, and was never colonised. It is also very Christian; ie nothing happens on Sundays.

I think it might be illegal to work on our boat on Sunday, but we have lots to do.

Fix the steering.

Royce created a double car to replace the single car that broke on the way over. One theory is that the starboard cable had a connection point in front of the connection point for the port cable, so that there was a wobbly moment as the steering moved, stressing the car.

So I redrilled the connection. One is exactly above the other.

Another theory is that the car was too flimsy. Royce fitted a second one.

Some of this will be more interesting to other Seawind 1160 owners than the social readership!

Several other missions too.

Replace the Raymarine i60 Wind instrument.

Replace the LED navigation lights.

Refit the trampolines. Royce recommended using 4mm black Spectra cord rather than the 5mm double braid, which had worn through. 

Replace the toilet pump switch. 

Fill the boat with diesel fuel. This was far more complicated than you might imagine. It involved booking a ute to carry a 200 litre drum to come to a public wharf. The bloke expected us to somehow pour it from this drum into the tanks, using a large hose, without any pump or controlling nozzle. The hose was fatter than our tank holes. Recipe for a big mess! Eventually we persuaded him to go and get a hose with a nozzle, which we then filled the tanks slowly using a Mr Funnel filter funnel. You can't trust diesel in the Pacific to be clean.

Then the outboard, which had gone for a swim as Royce left the boat, although it worked, had a very erratic rate. Basically 'flat-out' or stall. The culprit was probably the 'slow running jet', which had probably been faulty before the swim. Discussion here. We found an English ex-pat engineer with a tribe of strong young Tongan sons who took the outboard away to clean the carburettor. Main lesson relearned: when leaving the motor for any length of time, detach the fuel hose and run the carburettor empty, so prevent the fuel, and/or seawater, from evaporating and leaving 'varnish', or salt, blocking the jets. Discussion here.


  1. Hi Guys, looks like you are getting ready to adventure again! I love the pigs, snouting out shellfish perhaps?

  2. What a wonderful adventure you're having!! Love the photos :)