…last but not least

This year it was our goal to finalize the whole deck project and the stern was the only area left.  In the following two weeks – once again well protected inside the workshop of the yard – the deck job was carried out with our usual routine (see the years 2021 & 2022), so this year I want to underline the more extraordinary issues.
As usual we started with the disassembly of relevant fittings like toe rails, cleats, the pulpit, hoods and so on. But despite the years before we left a significant amount of hardware untouched, e. g. the genoa tracks, winches, the Monitor supports and the rudder bearing support.
Under deck the two pipes, which contained the MOB buoys to port and starboard, had to go. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible to get access to the nuts which together with the bolts hold the toe rails in place. Furthermore we intend to go with one buoy only in the future, cause the 12 ft long pipes cost significant space below deck and they weren’t really watertight…
Another challenge was the heater, to be precise, the exhaust system. We also needed to remove it to get free access to the cockpit locker at the stern, but it was seriously corroded and was literally crumbled. Unfortunately, it turned out, that no replacement parts for our Volvo Ardic 41-D heater were available anymore. The decision was made to replace the whole unit and to buy a brand-new modern diesel heater (see below for more details).
Everything else went as expected and after the two weeks were over, the whole deck from bow to stern shines in new splendor. We are very happy with the results but see for yourself! It not only looks really great, also we know that we worked hard on every inch of the deck and are confident that we produced a stable and rock-solid coating for the years to come. Cleats, hoods and other fittings were replaced by shiny versions made of 316L (1.4404) and will definitely have a very long life.

Some new stuff and minor projects
Besides the replacement of the deck fittings we purchased some other new stuff: As our new radio station features an AIS receiver the outdated C.A.R.D. radar detector had to go. The same happened to our masthead VHF antenna (corroded socket) and the respective antenna cables inside the mast and under deck. In fact, we replaced the whole VHF system between the masthead and the antenna splitter. Our second, redundant VHF line between antenna splitter and stern antenna worked well in the past and we didn’t touch it. Some minor projects consists of:
– EBERSPÄCHER 4 kW Airtronic D4+ diesel-fired heater
– ICOM IC-M510E VHF-radio station with DSC, ATIS, GPS and AIS receiver (!)
– SEIWA 701i chart plotter (used)
– SHAKESPEARE 5215 VHF masthead antenna
– HIGHLEXX VHF- cables (15 m + 7 m) plus gold plated sockets & plugs with Teflon dielektric
– LED cabin lights at forecastle and sail stowage area to port
– Pulpit add-on frame rebuilt with stainless steel
– Frame for heater control panel and PV charge controller (3d print)
– Two new sockets for solar panels + test of whole PV system
– 48 W Siemens solar panel re-plugged and test  run ->  2.7 Amps (almost performs like new)
– Small and lightweight 40 W JWS-solar panel now plugged and test run -> 2.5 Amps
– Application of new anti-slip strips to floorboards and cockpit ladder
– New hoses for blower
– New hoses for sink outlet and drinking water
– New 3/4″ hose for outlet nozzle of bilge pump
– Disassembly of corroded and outdated diesel heater

The Keel
To date the keel issue is unresolved as we are still negotiating with the yard about scope of supply and money. I’m quite confident that we’ll find a solution which will be OK for both parties. Most of the work lies more or less in the hands of the yard, so I will report about this issue later. However I attached some pix about the current status (Dec. 2023). The captions give some additional information.

After the completion of the deck, what will be the next? First of all, Rolling Stone should urgentlty come in touch  with seawater again, so 2024 will hopefully be happy sailing. Of course the keel topic must be resolved first. Regarding our work the hull will be the next big milestone. There are some open seams of the outer mahogany layers, so this issue definitely needs some attention. Second, we want to change the colour scheme of the hull from beige to a dark blue. Smaller projects are the cabin including sliding hatch and a new teak wood layer for the cockpit settees.