Haul out

So what does the bottom of a boat look like after its been left on a mooring for 5 years?

We had no idea what we had, and the hull could have been a basket case but, after pressure washing we found 20 coats of various paint even with shells between coats!  But most importantly the hull was sound with some relatively minor areas that needed attention.

Well that was really the turning point for us, we now had a floating holiday home that not only moved but was worth the time , effort and cash to turn it back into a Yacht.

So we scraped and scraped and scraped some more, until we were happy.

Then the yard manager came by and said “you are getting there”, so we spent 2 more days scraping with some much appreciated help from Umby and Luke.

We set aside a week and it rained for 11 days, there were some superficial concrete repairs to do like these…..

You can see your the exposed mesh still in good condition, and thankfully ferrocraft in Brisbane used the proper 13mm square welded mesh and not chicken wire as some were done in

And a pretty big one like this!

The process I used was to chip away all the affected area with chisel and hammer until hard concrete was reached, and let me tell you it is HARD!!

Then the area was treated with phosphoric acid to kill the rust in the mesh, The phosphoric acid makes the rusted material, and rust affected concrete turn black

after that was dry (from acid and rain) they are  filled with Megapoxy P1, a concrecious 2 part mix epoxy that is a real pain in the backside to work with. Then a fairing skim coat was applied over the top.

Here’s “The Admiral” at work sanding fairing coat

2 Coats of Altex Primer-shield and she is starting to look good!

Then a coat of hard antifoul and 2 coats of soft

And its back in the water, Yippee!!

Time to Relax         

It’s alive!

Well after some months cleaning and putting shit in the right place, we finally got the engine running, woohoo, we have a floating holiday home that moves!!
The engine is a 56hp Yanmar that has only 500 hours on it, and was then rebuilt as it ingested some water and was left sitting resulting in rusted bores. So it was removed and rebuilt with new liners and pistons and then sat for another 4 years unstarted ……..

Not a thing was connected, the engine wasn’t even bolted down and there was a jam tin full of nut and bolts, but we finally found homes for them all.

Greg spent day after day in the engine room and removed the injectors and oiled the cylinders and wound it over 100’s of times before he tried to start it, but it would only run with fuel in the manifold.
So off came the injector pump, stripped on the captains table and gummy residue removed, she fired into life.

But Captain Greg was not happy and decided to remove the injector pump (again) and the injectors (again) and sent them away to be professionally cleaned and tested. They were all in such good condition nothing was replaced except seals.

Fit it all back up and bingo, she runs like a charm.

Now all the engine parts have been re-installed we have a clear dinette table.

Ok let’s go for a run!

Tears ran down Tonia’s cheeks as we motored out to Pulbah island, she couldn’t believe we have been able to get Ocean Piper running let alone move her off the mooring she has been slave to for 5 or more years.

We were over the moon and spent a few days at pulbah doing more cleaning and tidying up a few loose ends in the engine dungeon.

Shakedown #1 done!

Captn Greg 

The inspection

So we found a boat that matched some of what we were looking for, over 38ft still floating and cheap. Winner!

Best we have a look at it and see what sort of a project lays ahead should we go ahead and buy it.


First impressions

The previous owner Geoff (nice guy) paddled me out while Tonia waited on shore with instructions to come back and get her if it was any good.

And there it was, been sitting on the same mooring for 4 or 5 years unvisited until the day before when Geoff thought he should wash the bird crap off the deck before we came aboard to inspect it.


It was BAD, crap every mixed with the engine parts that had not been put back together since the engine was rebuilt, rubbish, sails, and more mold than an English castle. But underneath all that was some good bones and floating there for 4 years without a bilge pump things were looking OK.

So I sent Geoff back to paddle Tonia out, waited with anticipation to gauge her response, which was “this is not so bad”.

On the way home Tonia and I discussed what sort of a project we had just seen and as neither of us are afraid of hard work and a decent project it took only half an hour an we rang Geoff and told him we would take it.

Shit we have a yacht………..

Finding Ocean Piper

Where to start?

Some years ago during a trip to Tasmania on our motorcycle, I had too many beers and decided I would like to sail round Australia one day!

Tonia’s response was something like “that’s nice darling” and immediately went back to level 2 bazillion in candy crush.

Well that wasn’t a no!

Anyway that started nearly 3 years of research and looking at boats for sale, yes there are a lot of boats for sale. It probably took an hour to decide that “pretty” boats would never be in my budget and that cheap boats were cheap for a very good reasons.

So at a car rally at Lakes Entrance I ran into a good friend of mine Andrew, and Andrew sells boats.  He sells catamarans and they cost more than pretty boats.

The conversation went something like this:

Greg: Andrew I am looking for a monohull

Andrew: I don’t sell mono’s

Greg: That’s great!  Plenty of people with monohulls upgrade to cat’s, next time you get someone wanting to trade one in tell them it’s worth nothing but you know a guy that might take it off their hands.

Andrew: Haha, oh hang on a minute I might know of a boat for you……

So that’s how we found Ocean Piper.

Captain Greg