Wake up, winter is gone!

After a long but pleasant drive we arrived on Krk last week.

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The weather was nice but not so hot, excellent to get some repair and maintenance done. There was hardly any water in the bilge so the tarp did its work but I knew about at least 1 leak on deck and I found another as well. Unfortunately the new one was above the bookshelf and ruined my “Adriatic Pilot”.

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Both of these I re-bedded, and I am sure I have some more work to do in that department. I then installed the solar panel and the Votronic MPP regulator, pretty straightforward and works immediately. No more worries about empty batteries. On the Monsun forum (www.forum.monsun.nl) I found a good tip on replacing the cabin lights with LED’s and that’s what I did as well. More energy saving. I put together the new radar reflector and I changed the old wet exhaust for a new Vetus LNP model. This was not so easy as I had to laminate some wood on the inside hull which is holding it in place. By re-working some of the water pipes we now also have a pressurised cockpit shower.

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I replaced the 220 V battery charger with a new Sterling 20 watt charger, re-greased the seacocks, sanding & varnishing where needed, a big spring cleaning inside and outside, filled all the diesel containers, new sheets for the genua and set up the anchor arrangements (we have now 3 anchors on board)

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Ready to go into the water!

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It is still snowing here, I wonder if it ever stops.

Temperatures in Croatia look a lot better, pity it is a bit too far away to drive there in the weekend. At least I could finish the preliminary holiday route. Nothing fixed in stone because it will depend on the wind and weather. Illovik, Molat, Rab, Silba and Dugi Otok are on the list and hopefully we get as much South as Brac and Hvar this year. I prefer the Nothern part of the Adriatic as it is more quiet. My 2 tillers (1 spare) are also ready and shiny from the Epifanes, I also ordered chain and rode for the Rocna, a new radar reflector and I am setting up a solar energy system. I will build this up complete with panel, regulator, cable and fuses at home. This will hopefully save me some time installing it when we arrive at the boat. This will give us some additional power to stay longer away from civilisation. It will also help to keep the batteries topped up while we are away from the boat.

Some things which need to be done are new running rigging, netting between the life lines and we will need a new steering autopilot since the previous one, an old Autohelm 1000, broke finally last summer.


New tiller

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Old tiller, now renovated and will be our spare.

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Rocna arrived!


One thing our surveyor wrote to me in his report, before we bought our Hallberg Rassy Monsun, was that the anchor was a bit small for the size and weight of our ship.

The anchor in question is a 12,5 kg CQR on a nylon rode.

John Vigor, in his perfect book “the seaworthy off shore sailboat” recommends a 16 kg plough anchor for boats 31-40 ft in length.

Now, we do plan to anchor a lot more in the future and therefore we need to have an absolutely mega safe anchor system. Normally when anchoring for the night I sleep on deck with the GPS alarm set. A good anchor will avoid a grumpy captain who didn’t sleep the whole night. Nobody wants a grumpy captain.

Anchors must be one of the most popular topics in boat and yacht forums, but also in yacht literature. Having read a lot of these and doing a lot of research and asking questions I choose a 15 kg Rocna with 50 meters of 8mm chain. Yes, I know it is a bit on the heavy side and an expensive choice but since I am not taking any risks with safety I will not have it any other way.

The CQR will be our spare and we have also a 8 kg Bruce which is normally standby when we are manoeuvring in close quarters (long keel!). I remember wanting to throw it out going into the Marina port, coming from Split, with a 30 knots headwind when I was passed by two big motor boats, at the last moment, just before the entrance and who then blocked everything because they couldn’t decide where to berth.


Wanderer in Croatia!

When we bought our Hallberg Rassy Monsun….

After sailing two Albin Vega’s for many many years, having two growing up daughters and some savings in the bank, we decided we were ready for a bigger ship. The new ship should be pretty, classic, strong, long-keeled, high quality, big enough for four but still be suitable for single handed sailing.

I researched (yes, already for years) and looked at a lot of ships but the Monsun always came on top of my lists.

The Monsun looks like a bigger and prettier Vega and when we first inspected her on a cold and rainy day in Holland we were sold immediately. So much space inside (yes, I know this sounds funny if you have a Bavaria but this is comparing with the Albin Vega), standing head room and bunks where you can fully stretch. Outside a deep cockpit and everything looks sturdy and seaworthy. After another inspection with my father we couldn’t find any fault with her except that the teak deck needs replacement.

On the other hand, she had a brand new engine, sails in reasonable shape, well equipped and my wife liked her too (not unimportant) and we could make a good deal with the broker.

Now we still had to get her to CroatiaImage