Refit year 5
Time for a somewhat bigger refit again
After four seasons it is time for a major refit in order to continue cruising in safety, comfort and style. The refit work-order for the winter months of 2016/17 had almost 100 individual points, which are too many to describe here. Many of these are not even noticeable for my guest, since they are pure maintenance. Examples of the smaller points are:
- pressure-test and change the heads of the spreaders in the engine
- changing the gasket of the interior water pump in the engine
- major service of the sails with new UV-covers
- fix a minor drip-leak at a mooring cleat and in a dorade vent
- wash all carpets, upholstery, duvets, pillows etc by professional laundry
- change silicone in bathrooms
- drill hole under davits to allow water exiting
- grease rudder bearings
- change ends of rod steering system and take out one shim to minimise play in steering
- major service of outboard and both inboard engines
- service all winches
- polish mast and booms and grease with paraffin oil
- take apart and service hydraulic back stay tensioner
- new winch handle holder on mast
- polish entire hull, superstructure, companionway glass and put Boracol on teak
- new rubber seals under all cockpit and deck storage hatches
- repair and improve pneumatic arms on all deck storage hatches
- add lock on anchor box hatch, so anchor chain is not lost in case of a knockdown
- fixed a disturbing squeaking sound in the top bunk in side cabin
- strengthened look in forward head
- annual examination of all fire extinguishers, many of them replaced after four seasons by new ones for safety reasons
- annual professional inspection of life raft and all 8 life jackets. One had a very small leak in the bladder. Thus, two new life jackets are purchased, both with PLB’s (AIS emergency transmitters) meaning 9 annually serviced life jackets are provided for a maximum of 6 people onboard.
- Replacing the old vacuum suction pump for vacuum packing food, medicines, tools etc.
- Special vacuum-boxes for the above for the fridge to keep food more fresh under longer legs
- Replacing the 12V emergency battery to power the onboard emergency systems
- New aft deck flood lighting
It would lead far too far and bore most readers writing about all 100 points. Following, I just wanted to give you a taster of what can be observed as new and what improvements can be experienced by returning guest.
The new blue stripes
Like with so many Hallberg-Rassy boats equally sailing in the sun, the blue stripe in the gelcoat does not last too long. Especially if you are sailing in the Mediterranean or in the tropics, it is just a matter of time until you choose to paint the stripes with a UV-resistant paint.
After the sailing season of 2016 I felt it was time for us. Despite annual polishing, it began to look “milky”, dull and flat at the end of each season. However, I wished to regain the shine the boat once had when being new.
When you have the chance to choose colour, why not change it? We looked at loads of different shades of blue, going for endless walks in modern marinas in Northern Europe and in the Mediterranean, checking for trends, developments, tendencies and fashion in colours. We looked at all sorts of boat brands, power as well as sailing boats. Gaby, who is very good at colours, clearly made a distinct observation and pointed out the various shades of blue and began to compare these with branding, boat size and elegancy.
You wouldn’t believe how many shades of blue there are! Even “Hallberg-Rassy blue” has not been the same throughout the decades and shifted quite significantly throughout the years.
After a lot of research, we chose a very elegant dark blue colour. It didn’t take long until we were questioned by other Hallberg-Rassy lovers: How could we not choose the “traditional HR-blue”?! Gaby kept firm, however: This is what she believed in and dark blue it should be. And besides, there is no “traditional HR blue”, anyway.
I am not sure what you think, but HR owners, who keep their boat at Adams Boat Care and who have already seen it, have asked Anna if they could get the same on their own boats for their next refit. And who knows, maybe even future new Hallberg-Rassy’s will follow the same world-wide trend and change to a stylish darker blue colour in due course?
Personally, I am very glad I did not give in, withstood the pressure and followed Gaby’s taste. I wonder what my guests will say, who join me on my sail training legs this year…?
The teak deck
For the season of 2017, the teak deck was fully refurbished, including light sanding of the entire deck.
There was also a minor scratch on the starboard foot-rail that has annoyed me ever since it happened a couple of years ago in Montrose in Scotland. You know the feeling? Each time I looked at the scratch, I got reminded of spring tides and too long mooring lines which made my poor boat touch the ugly pier in the industrial harbour of Montrose and got hurt! It hurt me just as much! So, it was time to replace that part of the foot-rail. I’m sure nobody else saw it, but I did! And that was bad enough…
The teak in the cockpit was never changed during the major refit in 2013, so it was time to change the teak in the cockpit, I reckoned. The ribbens are now wider and of the same width as the rest of the deck.
The seal between lead keel and hull
It is hardly worth mentioning, since guests would not see it anyway, but we decided to re-seal the joint between the keel and the hull. There was a small hole in the very front of the joint with water getting in there, running along the seal and then exiting through a second hole half way down the keel on the port side. Similar to the gills of a fish, so to speak.
The major job was to take off the old seal and make sure that the joint is still good between keel and hull and that no water would be able to enter the boat or get to the keel bolts. Tests proved that all was safe and sound, and the joint was properly resealed after the check.
Proper deflectors for the bow thruster
My guests have been asking why they can hear a humming sound in the forepeak which happens when the boat sails fast, especially in some swell. Due to the boat’s movement forward and sidewards water was not properly passing the tunnel along the hull and, instead, was pushed into the tunnel. A spinning bow propeller was giving an unpleasant sound down below which could be heard in the entire boat.
On many brands of boats, tunnel thrusters are installed according to the manufacturers’ instructions: Deflectors shall, especially on sailing boats, be installed in front of the bow thruster in order to ensure that the water is led past the actual tunnel and hence reduce drag.
Guests will from this year on not hear any turning of the bow propeller, since Adams Boat Care built the same type of deflectors as found on many other sailing- and power boats around the world. Other customers who had their HR’s at Adams Boat Care had this important work done at the same time, so we are a couple of HR-boats now having this type of “nostrils” on our boats.
Another of these examples, never seen above the water line, but too beautiful not to be shown here: The newly polished propeller, making sure that fouling is minimised, efficiency is maximised and that the fish can be mirrored in the propeller! :-)
New gas hoses
One year before it was necessary (thus already after 4 seasons instead of the stipulated 5 years), I decided to change all gas hoses. Just to be on the safe side.
More about gas safety can be read here.
New Sodastream and Nespresso machine
The water quality onboard is the highest possible, thanks to the Seagull IV sub-micron filter connected before the special water tap. This is important to encourage guests and crew to drink enough, avoiding dehydration.
In order to also being able to offer this tasteful water as sparkling water, a Sodastream machine has been installed. In order to match the black colour of the same, a new black Nespresso machine was also purchased at the same time.
The Nespresso is working hard onboard Regina Laska and it stopping to offer a continues flow of coffee would not be appreciated. So after four seasons à 6 months of hard work each year, my old Nespresso machine will get its well-deserved retirement in the summer house of my sister.
Electrical Toaster added
For my British sailing guests (and others as well, of course!), I can mention that they will get their desired electrical toaster for their breakfasts. Besides, finding fresh continental bread can be hard in some places. Further, it can be nice to reheat bread that is a couple of days old during longer ocean passages. An electric toaster should solve this request.
Therefore, toasted bread can now be served as an alternative onboard.
Carl would not be Carl if he didn’t find some special carpentry work for Regina Laska each year. First of all, he redesigned my wine-glass cabinet, since he found a more beautiful way of building the shelves in plexiglass without any pillars. Photo to come.
Secondly, he found my plastic boxes I used to have in the galley to bee too ugly. Especially since they could be seen through the dark plexiglass doors of the cupboards even when these were closed. So he asked one of his carpenters, Patric Charvat, to make new beautiful dividers in mahogny for the cutlery in the drawers and in the cupboards.
New mirror with new light in forepeak
My (female) guests have requested a mirror not only in the side cabin and the two mirrors in the forward bathroom, but also one additional mirror in the forepeak. Of course, I wish to fulfil this wish, so for all guests staying in the forepeak in 2017: You will have your own mirror with a make-up light above it.
In addition to this new mirror, some of the old mirrors are also being exchanged, since they got some stains in the ends due to moisture.
New gratings in both bathrooms
Guests have been mentioning that it makes a squeaking sound each time they use the bathroom. This was due to the old gratings on the floors had begun to loose its glue in between the ribbons. We do not wish to disturb other crew sleeping while one is going to the toilet, so this had to be fixed, obviously.
New gratings have thus been made for both bathrooms, whereby the aft head floor has been lowered by a couple of centimetres to give enough headroom for myself, being so tall. Now I can even I stand upright in the aft bathroom.
New Elvstrom gennaker
For the active sailing guests, I can mention that I have invested in a new deep blue gennaker to go with the new blue stripe. The old gennaker was over 10 years old and according to a long meeting with Elvstrom Sails, I was explained how much gennakers have developed during the last decade. My gennaker has been used quite extensively and hence it was time to replace it by a modern gennaker in a sock for deep downwind courses.
Of course, Code-0 was also discussed as an alternative, but quickly dismissed on a classic mast head rigged boat with a nice big 135% genoa per se. The furling mechanism of a Code-0 sail on the top of the mast is simply too easily interfering with the fore stay on a rig like Regina Laska’s, where the fore stay goes all the way up to the mast top. On a modern partially rigged boat (larger main and smaller genua/jib with forestay not going all the way to the mast top) a Code-0 would make a lot of sense, fulfilling the wish of more sails with wind from abeam or forward thereof and with enough space for an additional furler at the top of the mast.
On a HR46, it’s on downwind courses one would love to get a bit more sail power, while with winds forward of abeam, I feel I can use the existing large 135% genoa under most circumstances, even on days with quite light wind. Besides, upwind is, generally, not a preferred direction for a cruiser, anyway, according to the saying: “Only racers and idiots sail upwind – Gentlemen sail downwind!” :-)
New red/white light over outer navtable
So far, my students doing night sailing have worked with a head lamp or torch during their night watches. While this worked all right, I think it would be better to have a fixed installed light on a swan neck to lit up the chart only. This light can also serve as light for the food often placed here during cozy dinners under the hardtop.
A new Flex05 red&white light, similar to the one already installed at the lower navstation, is now installed also over the outer chart table. Foto of the installation to follow.
Ship’s Medical Store
After my recent 10-days medical training, I chose to update and enhance my medical onboard store with medicines and medical equipment by far surpassing what is stipulated by the Maritime Coastguard Agency for commercial offshore sailing. Many thousands of Euros worth of medical equipment has been invested in Regina Laska, hopefully never to be used. The 10 day training gave me also some insight how to use it all in an emergency situation. It will all be nicely stored in several new Pelicases.
The medical course was so valuable, by the way, that I will organise a shortened 4-days STCW course in STCW Medical First Aid in Malta during the spring of 2018. Information to come regarding this course within shortly.
New innovative navigation tool installed in nav-area
A new navigation tool for classical navigation bought in Malta has been installed in the nav-area in order to give a better overview while sailing offshore and for planning purposes. :-)
Ready for launch
Shortly before the launch, the new name in a more stylish font, yet similar to the old one, was put in place.
Then, finally the doors of the shed were opened to let in the fresh breeze of spring.
Regina Laska is ready for launch and new adventures!
The annual shake-down cruise from Vindön/Orust to Cuxhaven was cold. Very cold actually. But thanks to the (heated) hardtop it is highly comfortable to sail and down below it is always nice and cozy onboard! The hardtop is really worth each and every penny if you sail in a cooler climate.