Onwards & Upwards
We were caught in such a problematic and expensive situation. On one hand it made logical sense to sell Troskala three years ago and claim back some of the money we had invested into her, but on the other hand we could not cut the emotional ties we both shared and on the final day of closing a deal to a Canadian who wanted to buy her we pulled out.
Troskala provided us with the dream of escape, she gave us the possibility of sailing to far away horizons. For that dream we have paid heavily in marina fees over the past three years not to mention the cost to re-fit her ready for another ten years of sailing.
Although I managed to perform basic maintenance over the three years of her being on the hard I was unable to give her the full attention she deserved and she quickly deteriorated in the Caribbean sun. In hind-sight I should have paid to have her professionally covered to try and protect her from the harsh sun and 30*C+ temperatures.
We found that after three years all of the upholstery and curtains had perished. I only had to touch one of the curtains for them to fall apart in front of me. Our beautifully varnished interior also took a hit and faded in most areas internally and our external varnish no longer existed. The cost to rectify the upholstery has reached $3,700 and the varnish $4,000. We could have protected ourselves from these costs better if we had hade her covered.
We are now coming to terms with the expense of a yacht. I don’t think you ever truly realize how expensive it is to run a yacht even a small one at that. But we had no choice and we both knew we did not want to sell her. It was time for a new adventure; a chance to pass my Ocean Practical exam, a chance of a new career on a new island and the only vessel I wanted to begin this journey on was Troskala.
Improvements were needed. We had managed to put away some money and I was happy to spend some of it upgrading Troskala for the next ten years. I say ‘I’ as I believe Carlotta would spend the money on better things than a boat. Anyway, it was clear she needed some attention and this was the time to get some things completed that we had failed to complete before leaving London.
It is always a good idea to compromise in any relationship and when it comes to a boat Carlotta had to have an input in the improvements we were about to undertake. All work on Troskala has been carried out by Work Bench Virgin Gorda. At the moment we have to say the quality of their work is outstanding.
Carlotta decided that we needed a fridge, so this was the first upgrade. We have now installed a top-loading, keel cooled Penguin fridge. This is not a bad idea and something we really needed whilst in the Caribbean and it will make food on passages easier.
My big change was to finally remove the old fuel tank, check it, clean it and re-fit, but this time with a fuel gauge. I decided to have all windows removed, cleaned, resealed and re-fitted as most of them had started leaking and all the sealant had perished in the heat.
I decided to replace all the electrics onboard. We were still running Troskala with her original wiring and after over thirty years it was time to have a full refit. I have had installed LED lighting throughout Troskala and have installed extra lights in the heads, engine bay and lazerette. We have installed additional 12V sockets near the navigation table and fans to cool the forward cabin and saloon down. I decided to replace all our instruments and have to moved to a full set of Raymarine navigational aids, which consist of a chart plotter and two multifunctional display. (photos to come). All transducers were replaced at the same time.
We have upgraded our Rutland wind generator from the 913 to the 914i, as the bearings had failed on our precious one and it cost nearly more the replace them here than buy a new one.
I had our engine mounts replaced. This was not a necessity but more of a safety procedure. One of the mounts was beginning to look slightly worst for ware and it is not something I want to have to think about in bad weather on our passage.
I have replaced our old fuel filter with a racor filter and water separator. I hated the old CAD296 filter and I am pleased with the new one and its ease of use.
We have fitted an electric bilge pump to supplement our manual one. This is something I always wanted but never managed to get round too, so this was a good time to get one installed.
I have had all my seacocks replaced. I had installed DZR’s three years ago and all of these had started to show signs of corrosion. I decided to install Marelon plastic seacocks through out Troskala. I have become used to these seacocks as they have been installed on the past two yachts I have worked on and I am now more than happy in taking one apart blindfolded.
We have ordered a new light-weight spinnaker pole, which arrives this Wednesday. Those of you who have read a previous blogs can probably remember the amout of curing associated with our current pole.
That is about it. It goes without saying that within the next couple of weeks Trosksla should be polished and her bottom painted. I believe she will look and feel like a new boat. There is only two weeks to have her completed before we start her sea trials so the stress is mounting and my faith lies with Work Bench BVI.
I will try to keep you all posted on the progress and I look forward to sending you photos of some of our new kit.
P.S. My gratefulness goes to Antonio Alvarez who has kindly offered us a new SSB radio in exchange for a day sail on Troskala. Words cannot express our gratitude to you and your family.