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Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:00 pm
by Nick
We bought Avy-J (a Morgan Giles 30) for £3,500 in August 2017 using the proceeds from the sale of Catherine's Merc. The plan was a budget ocean going yacht for £10k max that we could sail to the Canaries and use as a Winter hideaway and occasional cruise round the Canaries (+ maybe Madeira and the Azores)

We launched the boat, sailed her down to Balvicar then took her out of the water again. The original insanely optimistic plan was to launch in May last year. This then slipped to August, then September, then May this year. May this year it WILL happen - we have already incurred getting on for £3k of yard storage fees which we had not originally bargained for, and if I get any older then pipe and slippers may overcome my desire for another Biscay crossing.


So - what have we done to the boat, what have we purchased so far and what is still to get and do?

~ Checked and rebedded the leaky chainplates
~ Cleaned up the backstay chainplate (mild steel embedded mostly in the fibreglass, but with a very rusty cross-brace which half disappeared with hammering and chiselling prior to rust treatment and repainting - my engineer says there is plenty of metal left)
~ Painted most of the insides, much of which was covered in Artex
~ Refurbished heads compartment, fitted new through-hulls and new Jabsco Twist 'n lock
~ New through-hull fitted in exhaust outlet
~ Refurbished Whale Gusher manual bilge pump
~ Fitted new electric bilge pump in shallow sump with field sensor switch
~ Designed and had made a new gas locker to hold 2x Camping Gaz 907 bottles, with marine regulator and leak tester
~ Refurbished the Neptune 2000 cooker
~ Removed leaking aluminium fuel tank and had it repaired
~ Refitted tank with all new piping to/from engine, including easy-prime inline bulb
~ Complete engine service (filters, anodes, oil, impeller, belts)
~ Fitted engine stop pull in cockpit
~ Designed and made engine cover steps
~ Had steps made for top of engine cover to bridgedeck
~ Had new bridgedeck deckplate (hardwood) made - still to be fitted
~ Treated cockpit seat covers with Woodskin
~ Woodskinned hatch cover, grabrails, liferaft mount rails
~ Designed and had made a new double bow roller/forestay attachment. The original below deck plate was very corroded, the new construction is to be bolted and epoxied in place as soon as the weather improves
~ Knocked out and replaced the anchor locker bulkhead, drilled new drain hole for anchor locker (clamshell cover in post)
~ Installed shorepower system with consumer unit, one socket in battery locker for CETEK battery charger, plus two 10A double sockets with USB ports
~ Fitted 1-2-both switch, rewired batteries, added new engine start battery, refurbished battery locker
~ Refurbished the main instrument panel, fitted 12V cig lighter and USB sockets, voltmeter, bilge pump switch
~ Fitted Standard Horizon 1700 VHF with GPS (yet to be tested)
~ Fitted new Echomax 230 radar reflector to mast
~ Removed and washed all halliards
~ Got Owen Sails to fit spectacles in the Main luff cringles
~ Purchased new VHF aerial (Salty John) plus cable, plus Windex for masthead - all still to be fitted
~ Purchased new Arctic 3-core cable for tricolour and (new) steaming light (still to fit), plus LED bulb for tricolour
~ Bought external ducting for mast cables as there is no internal duct - still to fit
~ Acquired Navik windvane minus water vane. Had an old water vane that was cracked - got this professionally repaired. Navik still to be fitted.
~ Bought 2hp Yamaha 2-stroke outboard plus Avon dinghy and outboard bracket - still need oars
~ Catherine made curtains and duvet covers for forepeak, cut/sewed duvets to shape
~ Bought Masutec 33A AIS transponder/plotter - still to fit
~ Bought 2nd hand 4-man liferaft (Ocean Safety ISO) and had it serviced
~ Bought 40m x 8mm galv. anchor chain (second hand) plus 30m octoplait
~ Got 9Kg Knox anchor as primary (no windlass on boat!)


~ Check and rewire all electrics as necessary
~ Fit Navik (probably the single biggest job?)
~ Replace hatch cover top with new wood
~ Fasten down cockpit plywood seat covers and bridgedeck wood
~ Get and fit danbuoy (would prefer inflateable??)
~ Fit Masutec, decide inside or out and if keeping Garmin 128
~ Fit either splitter for AIS transponder to use masthead aerial or seperate pushpit aerial for AIS
~ Check engine exhaust elbow and replace if necessary
~ Wire mast - lights, VHF and replace halliards (easy, all moused). Fit VHF aerial and windex.
~ Fit new bow roller/forestay attachment point
~ Finish off anchor locker, paint, splice rope to chain, get chain hook.anchor snubber
~ Fit deck organisers and mast foot pulleys for reefing lines
~ Fit rams horns or similar for reefing lines (thinking of caribiners on dyneema - stops slipping off hook)
~ Rig jackstay attachment points
- Mount liferaft on deck
~ Masses of cosmetic work inside - tiding up woodwork, headlining, re-sealing galley sink, new arrangement for locker doors etc
~ Scraping, antifouling, polishing
~ Tighten nuts on propellor (important!)
~ Find and stop remaining deck leaks (into stbd quarterberth and lazarette)
~ Stow everything including spare anchor - partition lazarette?


~ Solar panel for hatch garage . . . this is maybe essential before we go
~ Sink in heads - this is nice to have, not essential , so can wait
~ Make fridge - this is nice to have, not essential , so can wait

If anyone thinks of anything I have obviously forgotten then please let me know.

If peeps remember, I said I would welcome help with a lot of the work on the boat and offered a week's holiday on board in the Canaries for a day's solid work. So far only Ian has taken me up on this. He has pipe-fitting skills and advised and helped me plumb in the fuel tank after it was repaired. He's a very experienced sailor as well, so I am hoping he and Uta will take us up and enjoy a week aboard and sailing Avy-J when she is in her new home.

Darren Taylor has been absolutely brilliant. he fitted the gas locker in return for IT help and a 'new' laptop. He has also replaced the anchor locker bulkhead. His woodworking and fibreglass skills are stupendous. You can contact him via his website ([i]
) Darren is planing to crew for us across Biscay.

Thanks are also due to my friend John, who helped plumb in the gas with - as usual - no thought of reward other than helping a mate.
Another good pal, Robbie, wired in the batteries for me. Am hoping he may return to help with some other wiring issues, but he is a very busy man.
French Marc designed the bow roller solution and will fit it when the weather warms up a bit, but I have crossed his palm with silver as he needs the money.
Otherwise I have struggled on in ignorance and occasional dismay, with lots of helpful advice from the PBO forum on YBW.[/i]

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:59 pm
by Mavanier
Thanks for the update. It's true that boat jobs always take about five times as long as you think they will!

As you presumably already know, fitting s Navik isn't really a big job. I've done it twice, both times it took about a day, and that was with the boat in the water.

Solar panel is definitely worth doing. They are so cheap now it's silly not to. Four or five years ago I added a rigid 50w panel and charge controller for well under £100, all off eBay, all still going strong. And prices will only have fallen since then. I could have saved money on the controller but decided to get a 20A one in case I added extra panels at a later date.

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:20 am
by Silkie
Will it pay?

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:14 pm
by Nick
Silkie wrote:Will it pay?

As in show a profit? It's a boat, don't be daft! Still planning to offset some of the marina fees in the Canaries by renting her out on AirBnB, but we don't really know

a) If we will get there
b) What will happen when we do

Not so much a plan as cautious optimism. Brexit isn't likely to be helpful.

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:50 pm
by spuddy
I was going to say it sounds like the best sort of partner: classy but robust. However that should imply low maintenance....which is where the analogy breaks down.
Sounds pretty much like my state of repair - 90% done and 90% still to do. Boat still operational for jaunts of a few days but for owt longer I've got to get further down the list of jobs.

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:46 pm
by Aja
Just out of interest, do you need a special insurance policy to let the boat out as an airbnb?


Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:56 pm
by Nick
Aja wrote:Just out of interest, do you need a special insurance policy to let the boat out as an airbnb?


The boat will only be insured 3rd party , so I haven't looked into it.

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:05 pm
by sahona
AIS. I fitted a modified Decca aerial (which you find lying around everywhere nowadays) cut and SWR'd to maritime band, and mounted on the davit for the rib. It will double as an emergency VHF aerial if the mast comes down. The connections are handy as I mounted the AIS engine next to the radio and only need a simple adapter from BNC to PL. The Decca mod involves removing and disposing of the filter board in the base ( I made another base altogether as the plastic original suffered from UV crumble,) before chopping the top down to suit. ( I could measure if you need the dimensions but they are best done on the meter in situ) Otherwise, any old vhf aerial you can scavenge - most of them are discarded due to coax issues rather than broken stainless!

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:56 pm
by Nick
Cheers Sahona,

I have been given an old VHF aerial I am going to use to test the system, but may go for a splitter to simplify things and increase the range.

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:55 pm
by sahona
I originally ran mine with just a wire to the underside of a stanchion. It worked well enough to display anything that was within my sphere of fear.
You of course will need a xmit-tuned beast but it needn't be aloft, and the facility of an instantly available VHF emergency rig is a no-brainer imho.
If anyone else is interested, the final length of the Decca is 1003mm from tip to the screw fitting in my case.

Re: Avy-J - the story so far.

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:19 am
by Nick

Well the anchor locker new bulkhead project is finished apart from the hard point for the bitter end fixing. Thanks Darren, brilliant job. Marc has assured me we will be fitting the bow roller the first nice day after Wednesday next week, then the anchor locker can be danbolined and populated with chain and rope.

There is a new hatch garage cover to replace the disintegrating bit of plywood that was there, and the old instruments have been taken out of the bulkhead and the holes glassed over (Thanks again to Darren for both of these)

The morse cable no longer slips in ahead (thanks to a quick fix suggested on TOP by Salty John (shame he doesn't post here after the debacle of many moons ago) and the cockpit unit/handle has been resealed, cleaned up and painted. I haeb made a cover to go over the gubbins on the other side (in the stbd quarterberth) out of an old tube heater cover.

And the control panel is resealed and refurbished ina temporary bodgy sort of way prior to eventually building a new one.

Toerail stanchions fitted midships to replace the non-existent ones and guardwires refastened, new bullseye on the extra stanchion

Hull and deck have been pressure washed and she is looking a lot cleaner.

New woodwork round sink to hide dodgy edges/sealant, and started on cleaning up the rest of the wood prior to varnishing/woodskinning. Whale hand pump refixed more securely and spares kit bought of Ebay for when the drip gets too annoying. Ordersd a Bahco scraper for removing inside varnish etc after watching Darren using one yesterday - great piece of kit.

Gas cooker is fixed and reinstalled.

Next week I hope to fire up the engine to test the new fuel system and make sure all is well. All engine service items are now complete, including a new exhaust elbow.

Major jobs still to do are mast rewire and fittings, instruments and electrics, and fitting the Navik.

Won;t have the time/money to fit an inner forestay for a while, so I would like to carry a spare heavy duty roller furling jib for fitting for longer passages where strong winds are expected, 6mm luff tape, maybe 8m luff, 3m foot, something like that. If anyone has anything suitable lying about please get in touch.