Week 17. – Phase 2. – Back on board.

Well after two weeks in France we are back in the USA and back with our girl.  However this time our time here is even more limited and we need to get ready to leave.  I’ll tell you more about that later. 

Since we’ve been away Charleston has been experiencing a lot of rain.  We were a little concerned about this before we left so had covered all the hatches with plastic just in case and am happy to report that all was well on board and dry.  That was a huge relief. 

So this week we have been full steam a head. It always takes a little time to get organised. After giving KB a well deserved clean down, as all the rain and wind had left our nice grey deck brown with dirt, we got stuck in. 

You will remember in our last week of work we gave the engine room a coat of top coat. It continued to rain pretty hard at the beginning of this week so Morgan spent three solid days pretty much in the engine room.  He installed the engine muffler which he had to first fibre glass a elbow and reducer to prior to installation, he connected both exhaust’s and installed brackets to ensure minimal vibration.

He also connected the raw water system to both the main engine and generator.  He installed the fuel filters for both engine and generator and plumbed the fuel line from the day tank to the filter to the engine and back to the day tank.

He installed the teleflex control cables to the exhilarator and gear box and connected the lever outside. The water heater was bolted into place as well. 

Its really coming a long nicely.  You might think how much time can one person spend in a engine room, well it was completely stripped out minus the generator, so he’s pretty much rebuilding our entire engine room from scratch.

We bought new cawl’s whilst we were in France as the old ones were pretty fried from the sun.  All the dorade box threads had to be re- tapped before the cawls could be installed.

We continued closing up some of the openings in the cockpit. 

New latches were installed on the cockpit lockers and we also started working on the pedestal.  Originally the pedestal had teak on it but this was removed as the teak was starting to lift of.  We’ve decided to keep it simple and clean and put a painted marine ply instead with a vanished compass block. 

With getting this ready we also inspected the original compass that unfortunately needs a little TLC.

We got our new anchor roller back from the machine shop this week and got that installed.


Old roller versus new roller.

At the end of the week once the weather got better we decided to concentrate our efforts below the water line.  First Morgan added another application of filler to smooth out any uneven crevices.  Once this was dry we gave the entire hull, below the waterline, a light sand down.  Between us this took about 4 hours to do. 

We had a few small spots of metal show through, so after a good de-dusting and clean down and some gardening to remove the weeds that had grown around KB we applied a coat of fresh primer to the hull.  A second coat of  primer was applied to all the shines. 

Its nice to finally have a uniformed hull.

With the current time pressure we have on us, we also spent a fair bit of time this week working on the registration and insurance process.  Its amazing how much paperwork this involves.  We are looking at two different options for registering KB and various Insurance options.  Hopefully things will come clearer for us this week and we can start to finalise things.

So lots happening this week, lots of small jobs not worth mentioning but still time consuming. 

Lets keep pushing on.


Bonjour from France.

I actually wrote last weeks update from here in France as we left the USA last Saturday, but because we were surprising family I didn’t want to say anything and carried on as normal.  Yet the last week was far from normal as we prepared KB to be left alone for a few short weeks. 

So here we are visiting family in Paris and Bordeaux.  Its good to take a break and enjoy some family time in Morgan’s home country.  Just a few weeks and fingers cross we will be back with our girl to hopefully continue the interior and then get her in the water and sailing south. 

We can’t wait.  We miss you already Kata Brava.

Week 16. – Phase 2. – All about the Engine room.

This week’s update is going to be super brief.  We really haven’t done a great deal outside of the engine room.  It feels like its been a slow week, but we have progressed in the Engine room. 

Morgan spent a good part of the beginning of the week working on getting the shaft aligned.  Its really not an easy job and one that requires lots of patience.  He had one frustrating day as several times he got it close and then once he tightened the bolts the engine would shift just the slightest.  I think I heard every french swear word possible and needless to say I stayed out of his way that day. After lots of patience he was finally happy with the result. Phew thankfully that is over. 

Once this was done and he was happy with the rest of the test installation of the other items going in the Engine room he made various brackets out of steel and got Jimmy to come in to weld these in place. Of cause with welding being done in the engine room everything else had to be protected. 


Jimmy welding the muffler nuts in place.

With any welding comes a clean up and then priming of the areas welded.  However its looking good to see sea water strainers and fuel filters mounted in place. 

Whilst we had Jimmy with us we got him to re-weld the join of one of the hatches we have been fighting with.  Now we have to think of a way to get the hatch frame to conform with the deck and hatch base.


Jimmy welding the deck and hatch join. 

Continuing in the Engine room Morgan also installed the shaft loc and shaft seal. 


Shaft loc and seal in.

With most of the the additional items ready to go into place officially we decided to give the entire engine room its final coat of grey top coat.  Again not a easy task in the now tight engine room but at least that is now done and the rest of the installation, plumbing and wiring can go ahead. 

In continuing closing up we also got the transducer housing installed this week.  We had two holes previously so installed our new transducer housing in the starboard side and installed the old housing in the port side just incase we need it for the future.  So thats good, two more holes closed. 


Transducers in. Notice my eye in the top transducer looking in. 

So for me whilst there has been lots of engine room work, its been a bit of a slow week.  Just cleaning and organising and helping Morgan where possible.  I got to give the fridge and freezer a deep cleaning this week which was a first since we had the boat.  Its all looking much better. 

Just wanted to give you an update on that pile of sand like substance that was placed in front of KB a few weeks back . Its being trucked away daily and slowly slowly the pile is going down.  To give you an idea of how its progress here’s a update photo for you. 


The progress on the pile of sand like substance in front of us.

Well like I said its been a bit of a slow week so will end here and give you an update again soon.

Have a good week.


A Wedding in the Seychelles – Our one year Anniversary.

Today we celebrate our one year Wedding Anniversary.  Thats right a whole year already.  For those of you that know us well you’re probably thinking exactly what we are ‘where has that time gone’.  For those that do not know us, yes a year ago on the 16th May 2016 we finally tied the knot.

I had given up on the idea of getting married and out of the blue on October 2nd 2015 nearly 12 years after we had been dating Morgan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 19.02.30

His proposal was made on a beach.

image1It was our last weekend before a long 5 week trip and we went away to Port Douglas in Cairn’s Australia for the weekend.  It was to be a weekend of relaxing and kite surfing for Morgan. 

Little did I know he had planned it all and had even set up the go pro’s to film his proposal.  So there we were on the beach and he returned from kite surfing and the long awaited moment came.  I was so happy and of cause I said YES.

We talked about when we would get married and we both agreed sooner was better than later.  So seven months later whilst on a long stop over in the Seychelles we said ‘I Do’.

We didn’t have a big wedding, however we had with us everyone that was special to us.  Morgan had his parents, his brother Jonathan, his sister Anais and his sister Sarah, her partner Stephen and their daughter Tullula.  I had my Mum and Pete.  It was the first time in 16 years that all of Morgan’s family was together in one place and for me it had been 4.5 years since I had seen my Mum and Step dad Pete.  We talked about inviting friends, but considering how special it was going to be to have our families all together for the first time we decided to keep it small and intimate.  It was perfect. 

Our wedding took place on the beautiful beach of Anse Intendance on the Island of Mahe.  It was one of the wildest beaches we had seen. 

The day of our wedding arrived and the skies had opened up and the mountains around us was clouded with rain. Everything was pre-arranged and it felt surreal getting ready to meet everyone at the beach.  As the time drew nearer the skies cleared of the heavy clouds.  I remember feeling completely calm.  It was a moment I had dreamt about, a moment I had wished for and a moment that was finally here. The ceremony was short and sweet and in many respects quite emotional. 

With in 15 minutes it was over and we were on the beach drinking champagne and eating cake.  The day ended with dancing to our own two person band right there on the beach whilst the sun set. Later that evening we had a wonderful meal at the ‘La Scala’ restaurant.

It was probably one of the most simplest weddings imaginable.  It was by far more than I had expected and the perfect day.


The most amazing setting.

Week 15. – Phase 2. – Lots of little things….

At this point, Week 15 4 years ago we were packing up Kata Brava and about to start on a new adventure.  A post will follow on that.  Funny thing is, is that its roughly at the same time of the year to.  So have a look back at what we were doing 4 years ago. https://nomadicadventures.net/2013/05/18/week-15/  So that makes 30 weeks of solid work so far.  Wow.  We still feel we have 8-12 more weeks before KB will be somewhat finished.  However we have been prioritising and sometimes you just have to take the plunge. So we will see how much more time we get on the hard in the weeks to come.  Another idea is to just get her in the water as soon as possible and take it from there.

Sadly we still haven’t done anything to the two heads and the aft cabin, but right now they are not priority.  As soon as Morgan is happy with the engine installation we will make some progress in the forward head so that we can at least have one bathroom functional.  That will nice as the forward section of the boat with the exception of the head is all ready and clean. Its almost live-able.  Oh yes we do need plumbing and electricity as well right, although we do have parafin lights fitted throughout the interior.  Well its a good thing we are working inside now.  Hopefully things will start to get done. 

So this week we basically finished up the exterior painting of the hull.  Morgan wanted to add the boot line and paint the gunnel white.  We figured being steel the gunnel will always require work, therefore white would be the easiest color to touch up on in the future.  So Monday we spent pretty much the entire day taping up KB and protecting the red hull. It was a little nerve wrecking putting tape over our three day old paint job but it needed to get done sooner rather than later as the weather forecast for the week was for the temperatures to sore. 

Once covered up, Morgan gave the gunnel and boot line area a light sand.  Whilst he did this I went on deck and lightly sanded the small areas that required a little more of the white top coat.  If you remember we did the white top coat markings first and then mapped out the non skid.  There was just a few trims and edges that required a little more of the white top coat touch ups.  It was 17:30 in the afternoon by the time we were ready to start painting.  Morgan rolled and tipped the first coat of top coat on the gunnel and boot line whilst I did the touch – up painting on deck.  Having a little left over top coat at the end of the day Morgan also gave the swim platform a light sand and another fresh coat.

Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon saw the second and third coat of top coat on the these areas.  Then Thursday morning we took of all the taping and plastic just before the temperature got up to mid 30’s with a sweltering hot wind.  Morgan had talked about his ideas of the gunnel and boot line coming together on the stern quarters previously, but it was great to see it in real life. The hull and deck painting is now officially completed.  Just in time to as this was most definitely the hottest and dustiest week we have had so far. 

With the hull completed we also put the swim platform in place.  I gave the stainless steel support rods a light wet sand and they are looking good.  We still need to get a wooden deck for it, but for now its where it will be.


Our swim platform in place.

Early in the week I also took apart 2 of the three big hatches again.  I removed the bonding compound that basically came of in my hands and was not at all adhered to the frame.  I then cleaned this up and lightly sanded the frames and then we added bonding compound again in place.  We left this for a few days before cleaning up the excess and putting the handles back on. 

Its quite frustrating as on Saturday it rained and luckily during the day whilst we were at the yard and we could see slight leaks here and there.  At least this time we could pin point exactly where it was coming from.  A loose screw here, or loose handle there. Its quite the process and Morgan reminded me that we are dealing with a slightly rounded deck and old hatches.  Although they have been powder coated and look like new these hatches that have been manipulated before so it is natural to take a little time to get it right as much as we would like it to have been perfect from the beginning.  We’ll get there.  For the third hatch frame we are thinking the base which is connected to the deck was probably distorted slightly from when we used that opening to raise the water tank out 4 years ago.  So that might need a little more work and straightening out before we bond the hatch again.  The Master Cabin big hatch is slightly different to the other three big hatches.  We will have to add a small trim to the wooden frame so will do this at a later date.  So far all of the small hatches are fine.  We are not going to install the two on the pilot house just yet as later down the line we will like to remove the teak of the pilot house roof and re-bond it.

There’s been tons of other things happening as well. The deck grates and cupboard hatches have been cleaned and re-installed. 

Morgan has been working on the companion way hatch.  The sides of the hatch had started to split, from being exposed in the elements so whenever it rained water would penetrate through.  So this week he took of the hatch and re-fibre glassed the area’s over.  Eventually we would like to make a new hatch and doors, but for now we will make the ones that we have more efficient.

You will remember a few weeks ago we had to open up the fuel tank to dispose of the nearly 200 gallons of old fuel.  Well this week we finally got around to cleaning out the fuel tank properly.  There was just the slightest bit of sludge and fuel at the bottom of the tank.  So Morgan got in there and used the shop vac to get the last out.  I then gave the fuel tank hatch a good clean up and removed the old existing seal and replaced it with a new rubber gasket that I made from the template.  Sounds like a simple job but it took the two of us a little while to get the gasket in place without losing it in the tank.  Whilst in the process of making gaskets i also did a few for the thro holes.     

I also got the stantions and lifelines back on board and in place this week along with the mast guard rails.  Its nice to see the deck nearly all back together again. 

Morgan has been installing various items in the cockpit as well, such as the stern locker vents and the throttle lever.  Everything is a slightly different shape to what was originally there so, templates/support plates and backing plates are being made to ensure we are closing up all of the holes. 

Lots of interior cleaning has been going on this week aswell.  Its good to get started on this.  We got the port ceiling back in place in the saloon this weekend.  This side was slightly different from the Starboard side so again this was a two person job as we needed to glue the frames in place first and then screw the slightly oversize panel back in place.  

I also got the panels back in the drinks cabinet.  Yep thats right there is a very nice drinks cabinet on board.  Funnily enough there was a old wasps nest in there also. 

When we bought KB, her thro holds and vents were all open and the boat was full of wasps nest.  It wasn’t too much of a problem initially as it was winter and therefore not that many wasps.  However once spring came so did the wasps and they were not happy that we had taken over their home. 

A few times this week we have wished we had a spare pair of hands, for helping with holding or lifting etc.  Always having to rely on one another makes the process just that tad slower.  However any additional hands would most probably be at a cost to us, so for now we will struggle on slowly. However there has been some big changes at the yard recently and a new owner has taken over since the beginning of the month.  Already there is such a positive change.  The old owner of the yard was a real character, luckily we didn’t have to deal with him much, but lets just say we are happy he is no longer in charge.  Everyone seems a lot happier and friendlier now and the yard has all of a sudden become more of a pleasant place to be. 

Any spare moment Morgan got this week he has spent in the Engine room.  There’s a lot to do in there, with all the remaining parts for the installation finally with us, and the exterior painting done he is finally getting to organize himself. 

This week he has been working on the engine alignment.  Its not easy doing it on his own or at best with the two of us.  Its a big engine to manipulate up and down or side to side to inline correctly with the shaft.  With things finally in place we also had to relocate the bar holding all of the wiring from it’s location to slightly higher so that the muffler could be in the right position for the exhaust.  Lots of other parts are being temporary placed in position like the fuel filters and seawater strainer’s etc. so that he can start thinking about where to mount or run connections. Three of the four engine room sea cocks is now in place. Its now starting to become a bit of a tight squeeze in there.

This weekend he also put our new battery bank in place.  Nothings connected yet but at least that eases up some of the space in the container.

Thats all for this week.


Week 14. – Phase 2. – All hands on deck.

This last week has been a bit of a slow one and we’ve stayed pretty much in the same areas as we did the week before.  Our mornings started of with our attention on the hull.

Monday – It was blowing like crazy with winds of 25-30 knots gusting higher.  So we lightly wet sanded the hull by hand with 220 grit sand paper.  This took us nearly 3 hours with the two of us going non stop.

Tuesday – No wind and calm so after a proper clean down and then wipe over we got the 3rd coat of top coat rolled out. 

Wednesday – We had a similar forecast with no wind and calm so after a wipe over again we got the 4th coat on. 

With the calmness unfortunately came the bugs and both days as we applied the paint they would go and stick to the hull.  Rather frustrating as once they were stock there wasn’t much we could do.

Thursday – Another full sand by hand this time using 400 grit wet sand paper to get a smoother finish.  Wow this was quite a process and took the both of us 6 hours to do.  A whole day of sanding and we were pretty exhausted.

Friday – Windy again, but with a pretty smooth hull we got her washed down and applied the 5th and hopefully final coat of top coat.  Its takes us exactly a hour and 20 minutes to apply the topcoat.  Once we start we can’t stop.  Rolling and tipping. 

Unfortunately on the final application there was quite a bit of dust in the air that consequently you can see on the hull however I think we have both decided that this is it. 

The pile of sand that was unloaded from the ship is still there in front of us and daily trucks are slowly taking it away, however it could be weeks before its all gone.  We figured in our currently location there will always be something that will prevent the perfect finish, to windy, to hot, to wet, to buggy or to dusty. 

Unless you inspect the hull up closely its is looking pretty good and shiny.  Its definitely not bad for a pair of amateurs like ourselves. The vivid red is a striking color and have come out even brighter with each application. 

This week one of the workers from the docks shouted to us and said its looking good and that we were doing a great job.  Its definitely nice to get compliments like that.

Unfortunately we’ve taken a slight step backwards this week also which is a little frustrating.  The three big hatches we installed last week all have a slight leak and it would appear that they don’t have sufficient bonding compound under the plexi.  So these will need to be done again. 

Our afternoons have been spent on the deck again.  We’re slowly getting all the deck hardware back in place, the windless, the chain lock, the winches, the cleats, the tracks, cockpit hatch hinges and the helm station rail.  Everything seems to take double the time it took to remove.  With the prep before and a clean up after the days are flying by.

With the deck tracks back on I have also started the process inside of putting back the ceilings in the Saloon, midship cabin and galley.  All of these areas are getting a good clean up in the process.

In between all of this Morgan has been putting the steering system back together.  Will have photos of this next week.

This week we also received our sail order from www.zoomsails.com.  Zoom Sails is owned and operated by our friends in Langkawi Malaysia Phil and Astrid.  We met Phil and Astrid last year whilst we were in that part of the world. Phil owned a sail loft in New Zealand for over 10 years. The sails are designed by Phil and manufactured in Sri Lanka.   So we now have a great sail package from ‘Zoom Sails’.


Our sails have arrived from Zoom Sails. 

Thats our week.  A bit slow but moving in the right direction.  Stay with us.


Week 13. – Phase 2. – Vivid Red.

This week is going to be short as we have concentrated our efforts in three areas, well perhaps four.  However there’s lots of photos to show you whats been happening.

Monday was a complete wash out….literally as we had quite strong rain here in Charleston.  The saying ‘it never rains unless its pours’ seems definitely true for this part as we even had flood warnings.  So we didn’t have a productive day physically, instead we ran around trying to get some paper work sorted.  We are currently looking at registering Kata Brava in St Helena.  Whether it will happen we will see, but its a lot of paper work that the British Registry requires, so we’ve spent a fair amount of time this week trying to get on top of this. 

The deck – We continued our efforts this week on the deck.  After Mondays down pour we could finally concentrate on the remaining of the taping up and plastic protection as we prepped to get the non skid areas done.  The tape had held up during the down pour, however the area’s of white needed to be protected with plastic.  By the end of Tuesday afternoon we applied our first fresh coat of primer to the areas that will be non skid. 

After a complete wipe down on Wednesday the first top coat was applied and immediately as we did this Morgan also sprinkled a layer of non skid particles over the paint. 

The following day I gave the deck a light sweep to get rid of any of the loose particles and then a second coat of top coat was applied on top of this.  We mixed the shade of grey ourselves using a white and black interlux perfection paint.  So the deck has changed Colors three times this week, from a dark grey primer, to a white top coat and then finally the finished product, grey. 

We waited two days before removing all of the tape and protection.  This weekend our deck was revealed and its looking very nice.  We are super please with the outcome.  All those hours of taping up has definitely paid of and the rounded edges gives a great finish.

Hatches – With all the painting happening this week, there was a few days where we ended up coming home early, and when I say early I mean by 6pm or just after as appose to the normal 8pm or later.  As there wasn’t much we could do with fresh paint everywhere, we wanted to get the hatches finished.  You might say we are spending a lot of time on the hatches but its honestly amazing how much time it takes to assemble them all.  Once we had bonded the plexi in the frames all the parts had to be fitted.  You would never believe how many parts there is to a hatch, so if you don’t need to, don’t take them apart.

However its all been worth it as with the deck completed this weekend we started to install the hatches.  Wow what a change it makes.  All of a sudden Kata Brava is looking like a yacht again and no longer like a project.  For sure there is still tons to do however its made a significant difference.  Its great to walk in the boat and have day light streaming in as appose to having to remove the wooden fibre glasses covers we had made.  By the end of the weekend we had installed seven out of the eleven hatches.  I also gave the dorade boxes a final coat of top coat and got them back on deck as well.  Our existing cowl’s are a little weather beaten so we’re look at getting new ones over the next few weeks.  Its coming together and its looking great.

The hull – Mid week we decided to take the plunge and after a good wipe down we applied the first coat of top coat on the hull.  We used the rolling and tipping method to apply it. It was a little stressful and it took a while before we could find the rhythm on our nicely sanded smooth hull.  Coupled with the heat and slight breeze we had, the first coat was not easy.  As soon as we did it, I was slightly gutted as the colors of the filler and different shades of paint beneath showed up quite well under the top coat.  Morgan reassured me that with coats this wouldn’t be a problem.  So the following day after a light sand and a wipe down we applied the second coat.  Hmmmm again the colors was still quite prominent. After a sleepless night and a slight confrontation we agreed we needed the hull to be uniformed.  So we lightly sanded the second coat of top coat and then applied a coat of primer again.  So we were back to full grey and back to square one. 


Back to primer and back to square one.

Its funny how the difference in color changes the way we saw Kata Brava.  Grey gave her such a cold feel, where as her new color makes her seem more alive.

This weekend we lightly sanded the primer and started again.  We got two coats of top coat on.  We will probably need to apply a few more coats before its finished but we are happy with the color.  We are finally getting a technique to apply it, its not all easy out in the yard battling the sun, wind, dust and bugs but we’re hoping that by the 4th coat it will be looking good.  Its not as smooth or as shiny as the original coat, and we’re guessing that this is because of the grey primer and less sanding in between, however we’ll get there.  Kata Brave is now a beautiful vivid red 🙂