One of the reasons for our visit to PSS boatyard in Satun, Thailand, was to determine what course of action we needed to take to tackle osmosis in our Oyster 435. We had dealt with the biggest blisters in the Maldives, but knew there was more work to do…
This is the second in our series of articles about SY Esper’s complete refit in Thailand for Sailing Today magazine. The interior of SY Esper, our Oyster 435, took a beating when the saloon hatch broke open during a storm in the Indian Ocean, but the veneer had been steadily deteriorating for some time before that.
The first in a series of articles on Esper’s complete refit in Thailand, originally written for Sailing Today magazine. We are reproducing the original articles on FTB complete with new photographs… Remaining on a pontoon in India for two years, despite basic servicing and upkeep, had led to some general deterioration of our boat. But for SY Esper to stand a chance of completing a passage to South Africa, she needed to be in the best possible shape. So we spent a full season planning, servicing and preparing.
We undertook a complete refit of SY Esper in 2014. We were told it would take three months, BUT we knew it would probably be six months. Pretty soon nine months seemed optimistic, then as we kept adding new jobs we reached a year! In February 2015 we left PSS Shipyard with what was almost a brand new boat. Here’s the whole refit squished down to a couple of minutes.
As you can imagine, when we dropped the hook in Bass Harbour, Langkawi, 25 miles away from PSS Shipyard, we did absolutely nothing for a whole week. It was bliss.
Finally, after one year and one month in the yard, Esper launches!
Would you believe it? More to the point, would we have believed it? One year in the boatyard calls for a party. Plus there’s some much-requested boat updates in the video clip, which also covers a rather strange phenomenon in the yard.
2015 and we’re close to hitting a year in the yard. For those of you asking why we don’t just leave and finish the jobs at anchor, Liz has her answer in this week’s video clip.
As Christmas approaches we are inundated with rain, rain and more rain. It’s just like being back in the UK! We still had fun, attending a Burmese wedding and rehousing some little animals.
Yes, you read that title right. Esper has finally been revealed to the outside world and we witness the first ray of sunshine on that beautiful shiny hull, and we even got the masts up, though not without a headache or two.
We said goodbye to s/y Totem this week but not before Behan pulls off an amazing fund-raiser for the workers kids. We also visit the workers’ homes next to the boatyard.
This week’s video clip is a cracking one. The younger crew from s/y Totem spend a week project managing Esper’s refit, discuss life in the boatyard and adopt, albeit temporarily, three lost kittens.
It’s been a busy week both in the boatyard and in Satun town. We’ve finally extended our pushpit, and we were invited to the Loi Kathrong full-moon lantern festival and the ordination of a young monk.
The swimming platform is pushed through the transom and into custom-made brackets, counterpoising it. We clean up the Aquadrive and coupling system and take a look at the veneer that’s been varnished with polyurethane.
In this week’s refit video we show you how we bedded down our genoa track with butyl tape. No Sikaflex, no 3M, no polyurethane adhesive, just tape. Also I get to hang out with the locals, now that I’m fully entrenched in my new abode.
It’s a short one this week since it was Eid and our workers took most of the week off. All except Nut, that is. He’s made real progress with the mains/charging circuit.
Dang the varnisher’s back, as are the electricians. The sparkies have finally installed the LED dimmer switch and it looks good. Dang is preparing the boat for its last coat of varnishing whilst I remove the old stuffing box in preparation for the new PSS Dripless Seal.
Lots of fiddly jobs this week. That’s what the project is coming down to now, a collection of odd jobs, all interconnected in some way, and typically all held up by the late arrival of a vital material. This week we also play with butyl tape.
This week has probably been the most eventful to date, and I’m not just talking about Esper’s progress. On Wednesday half of Chebilang turned out to watch a fishing boat burn right down to its hull, whilst a ferry bottoms out when being jacked up on a cradle. Other breakages include feet and motorbikes.