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Topics - Australis II

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General Discussion / Australis II is no more :(
« on: January 06, 2015, 05:34:37 am »
Sitting in KL airport waiting for a flight back to Oz after a depressing few days - one of which was spent paddling a liferaft to shore. :(

Yes, it's horrible and so so sad to announce that our beautiful yacht Australis II is no more after we experienced a steering failure off a reef in Indonesia when we ran over some fishing floats and nets in the dark and could not turn the wheel and with the wind behind us, got pushed ashore across a reef.

Fortunately both my crew and I managed to grab most of our personal belongings and take to the liferaft once Australis had well and truly grounded and we managed to paddle ashore to a small beach after activating the epirb.

We've made some good friends in this forum and just wanted to let people know we were safe as the media in Australia, Indonesia and France had reported that while the yacht was found, the crew was still missing.

More soon.

Fair winds,

Australis II  :(

General Discussion / Average purchase price
« on: September 28, 2014, 03:45:19 am »
We sail our Australian registered Antigua 44 WT ketch back to Cairns over Christmas and will be importing the vessel into Australia. Part of that process involves a customs valuation to determine import duty and sales tax. I'll be using an agent and gathering all the relevant data I can but wondered what was the average price people are paying for a 44' CSY WT in reasonable condition?

Before we purchased Australis II (formerly Wind Rose) we had a look at a 44' sloop rigger CSY in Brisbane called Tactless II which I believe is now in Melbourne. It was selling for $135,000 AU but was in very bad condition but I'd love know what she was purchased for so we can present some historical and current valuation figures to Customs. We also met a couple passing through Cairns who purchased a 44' WO CSY cutter rigged sloop in Tin Can Bay - but I didn't get the opportunity to discover what they had paid for her either :(

Any thoughts?


General Discussion / I was happy to sleep in the bath….
« on: August 06, 2014, 03:55:29 am »
For some reason, my wife doesn't believe I can demolish 60% of the house in preparation for our renovations and still leave one room we can live in for 6 months. The plumber has even offered to run a pipe through the window with a faucet; I can run an extension lead across the road to the neighbours shed; we'll have a builders Porta toilet on the road verge and I've even offered to run a clothes line between the scaffolding and the cement mixer — what more can one man do?

So we're going to need somewhere to live and with the new owners of Sutera Harbour Marina in Borneo upping the rents and dropping the benefits of our membership, its time to bring our 44' Antigua ketch Australis II back home to Cairns.

My intention was to run across the top of Borneo, scoot along northern Sulawesi and then drop down through Indonesia past Ambon and out into the Arafura Sea for a Thursday Island Australian customs check in and a leisurely sail down the Great Barrier Reef where we'll become live-a boards for a while.

The previous owners sailed in from the US along much the same route and I have all their way points as well as paper charts. I'm just about to organise my Indonesian CAIT and sort out my crew when I discovered Malaysian authorities have just declared a dusk to dawn curfew across the top of Borneo from Sandakan down the West coast to the Indonesian border. With increased Philippine piracy, gun running and resort raiding as well as the recent shooting of a Malaysian policeman and the kidnapping of another — it's not likely to reopen soon.

So I now have an extra 1000nm to travel going down the West coast of Borneo, past Kalimantan and island hop across the arc of the Indonesian Archipelago and try and make for Gove or as a fallback, Darwin.

I'm planning on departing Borneo the first week of November and while I realise December/January is the start of Queensland's cyclone season, after 12 years of sailing the region at that time of year - like most Far North Queenslander's, I have found it's either going to be light northerly westerly winds 85% of the time with the chance of a cyclone the rest. Those odds change considerably as you start getting into February but I'm hoping to be back painting and decorating by then.

Borneo down to Kalimantan and the top of Australia from Darwin to Cairns is pretty familiar territory but Indonesia heading east will be a new one for me. Any cruisers out there traversed this route? All advice and observations most welcome.

I still think we could have survived living in our bathroom for 6 months…

Fair winds

Mico/Australis II

General Discussion / Vessel List
« on: January 18, 2014, 07:26:40 pm »
Thank you for posting the new vessel list in the drop box - it's great to see who is about.

Here is some updated info on Australis II.

Ketch rig with deep keel and Ford Lehman 90hp diesel engine
Vessel home base at present: Kota Kinabalu, Borneo
Crew home base: Cairns, Australia

Fair winds,

Australis II

General Discussion / When the engine says no...
« on: December 31, 2013, 08:11:39 pm »
We'd been pushing into 15 - 20kts on the nose and accompanying swell most of the day with motor and all sails hard on but finally arrived at the small gap between North and South Verde Islands north of Puerto Princessa, Palawan.

With darkness falling we turned into the 2m swell and dropped our sails before turning back toward the gap in the reef. Our Garmin charts were hopeless for this area but we had Navionics on our ipad which gave a bit more detail and  seemed to indicate a narrow entrance but clear passage if we kept somewhere in the middle.

With Robin on the bow trying to identify the various fish traps scattered across the entrance and daylight fading fast we were feeling pretty relieved and looking forward to a sheltered anchorage.

…and then the motor died :(

…shortly followed by the wind :(

There is that 'frozen moment' when you look your partners face and see that blank, blood drained expression of 'ohhh ^^&*(((#####'

Fortunately it only lasted a  minute or so and about to enter the surf line, we unfurled the headsail and drifted shoreward as the wind dropped along with our hull speed. We were committed as there was simply nowhere else to go and there was no room or hull speed to turn back out to sea.

…and then I spotted a mast sticking up behind the mangroves.

….grabbing the VHF we called them up as we drifted past the first breaker and tried to pick our way through the gloom.

To my amazement they had a listening watch and were quick to inform us that we were only a few metres from running aground. The deeper water, contrary to the charts, was up hard against the reef and the large fish traps - not in the middle at all.

Hull speed is now 1.5kts and the head sail is collapsing as the wind dies altogether and we do a radical turn and hug the edge. Yep! - deeper water.

We had just enough forward momentum to make the anchorage and drop the anchor astern of a white American flagged sloop called 'BEFORE' who had been guiding us in.

Standing on the bow of Australis and thanking them profusely, they yelled back 'you're a CSY aren't you?'

We replied, 'a close cousin - an Antigua' to which they replied:

'Do you know a vessel called 'Soggy Paws'? - we've been cruising with them on and off in the pacific.'

Ahhhhh it's a small world and to Sherry & Dave, Lee & Richard on BEFORE send their best regards!

Turns out we had taken on some dodgy fuel and the primary filters had glooped up. After a change of primary and secondary filters and switching to the good fuel in our forward tank and our 90hp Ford Lehman was humming along nicely by lunchtime the following day.

We're now back in Puerto Princessa for New Years as immigration are closed and we won't be able to leave until the 2nd but we wont be bored. Today our new genset started puffing some white smoke and the temperature gauge started to climb so we shut it down immediately to discover the raw water pump impeller had decided it would have a nervous breakdown and shed all bar one of its blades.

Two hours of fishing out little bits of black rubber from the genset hoses and heat exchanger was a lot of fun but she's now purring along. We then thought we'd have a look at the main engine water pump impeller seeing we had all the spares out and scattered across the saloon.

Unfortunately, unlike our Northern LIghts genset impeller cover, which has hexagon nuts and easily loosened with a ring spanner, the Ford Lehman has pan-head screws which we can't access because the oil cooler heat exchangers for the engine and gearbox are in the way. I could just get our smallest flat blade screwdriver in there and possibly undo them, but there's no way I'm going to be able to tighten them up again without removing the heat exchangers. Always the way!

But as the saying goes, 'if it's not broken….'

The main engine exhaust is pumping out water just fine so we'll leave it for now although I have just found in one of our holds, a brand new, spare Northern Lights raw water pump complete with hexagon nuts on the impeller housing cover. I'm hoping they are the same thread size as the Ford Lehman pan-head screws. If so, when it comes time to change the main engine impeller, I'll swap them over and may just be able to avoid having to remove all the oil coolers.

Oh the joys!

Fair winds and a happy New Year to you all

Australis II

Engines and Drive Train / Fuel transfer pump
« on: December 03, 2013, 04:50:05 am »
Had a win yesterday while we were provisioning for our trip up to Palawan later this week.

Australis has the big fuel tank under the stairs just in front of the engine but it also has a massive tank under the forward V berth, which till now has been empty as the previous owners mentioned that the small Facet Fuel Transfer Pump sitting atop the main diesel tank did not work.

After pulling the pump I rigged it up on the bench and when it was connected to a power source it ran with out a problem but attached back to the fuel line running from the forward tank, no suction whatsoever (I put 20lt of fuel in as a test).

Also did the big blow down the fuel line in case there was a blockage - bubbles came out the end so no problem there.  :(

I then did the obvious thing - poured myself a Jim Beam and coke and had an instant epiphany!  :P

What a twat! I had missed the obvious solution. The fuel transfer pump needs to be as close to the 'drawing tank' as possible - even better if it is below the tank.

Unfortunately I have no room to mount the pump below the forward tank but by simply mounting it on top and turning it into a pump that 'pushes' rather than 'draws' the fuel along the 25m or so fuel line, it was soon transferring fuel to its little hearts content. Problem solved and we've now doubled our cruising capacity. :)

Fair winds,

Australis II

PS - I think that calls for another Jimmy don't you?  :lol:

General Discussion / Marina maintenance - Borneo
« on: November 27, 2013, 04:21:21 pm »
Greetings from Borneo  :)

We've been here 2 weeks and close to being able to head out of the marina and a trip up to Palawan in the Philippines.

Unfortunately we blew our new Xantrex battery charger the moment we turned on the shore power and we're still trying to track down the fault before I reconnect another battery charger and let it near our new gel batteries that went in last week We have a sparky dropping by on the weekend so hopefully we'll sort out the problem then. I've tracked it down to either an earth or negative return fault as we seem to get power to our main board but no further. The 12v system's working fine and we're getting by with power leads for our shore power.

Spent some time atop the mast and our TacTic wifi wind instruments are now all on line and we even managed to replace two ball valves while in the water without a drop of water coming in! A few months ago when I sailed Australis to Kudat for her haul-out I was short two of the new mylar/kevlar ball valves and used a couple of local plastic valves as an interim until I could return.

Before I left Oz I was in our local Whitworths chandlery  and saw this large red foam plug with 'stepped sides'. It looks like a cone and according to the instructions - you jam it into a damaged hull or leaking thru hole and it stays in place and swells up to seal the damage. As soon as I got to the marina I jumped in, jammed it into the aft toilet outlet thru hole and after a nervous disconnecting of internal plumbing, was able to unscrew the plastic ball vale and replace it with the new one. Not a drop came aboard! :ohmy:

Feeling like we were on a roll, we tackled the forward toilet outlet and in a few minutes, had replaced that as well. Unfortunately, our foam plug is now looking a bit worse for wear but I'll certainly be buying another next time I'm in Oz as part of our emergency kit.

We also installed a fresh water deck fill while we had all the plumbing gear out and some new LED lights in the cockpit and believe it or not - I think I've run out of jobs to do :lol: so we'll be lazing about the resort pool until the sparky arrives :P

With our new autohelm working now and a wifi remote controller - we are sooooo looking forward to our first long distance cruise!

Fair winds,

Australis II

General Discussion / 44\' WT plans
« on: November 07, 2013, 04:47:33 am »
Wow - was pottering about online this afternoon trying to focus on writing some TV commercials and researching Palawan - our next cruising destination in just a couple of weeks, when all these drop box files showed up.  :ohmy:

Whoever posted the 44' WT plans - you're bloods worth bottling! Thanks a big bunch  :)

Although we have an Antigua 44 WT and there are some slight differences in layout - I'll be checking out the rig and sail dimensions as we are wanting to install a self furling staysail shortly so those plans will come in very handy.

I also realise that the last post we did was about heading up to Kudat for a haulout. Wow! - was some adventure!  I'll be posting a report on that shortly.

There just aint enough time in the day!   :P

Fair winds

Australis II

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