This is our beautiful Matilda - she is a 43 foot Hans Christian, Christina model. We have been her owners and living aboard her since 2010. In June 2014 we cast off the dock lines and have been cruising the Australian East coast full time. Since July 2016 we have been sailing through Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
·500 grams bread mix (we use Laucke) ·300 ml tap water ·1 level teaspoon yeast ·Canola spray for the loaf tin
·You will need a mixer with the
·In a large mixing bowl mix all
the dry ingredients
·Add the water and continue mixing
with the dough hooks until the mixture until it doesn’t stick to the bowl (to
stop it sticking you may need to add 1 tablespoon of bread flour at a time) –
approximately 10 minutes
·Leave the dough in the bowl,
cover with glad wrap and let the dough rest until doubled in size –
approximately 20 minutes
·With the dough hooks knead the
dough again for 5 minutes
·Remove it from the bowl and
roll out flat to approximately 25/30 mm thick and the width of the loaf tin.
Then roll it up and place in the greased loaf tin, cover with oiled glad wrap
and leave for 1 ½ hours
·Pre heat the oven to 220
·Remove the glad wrap and bake
for 25 minutes, once out of the oven remove from the tin immediately so it doesn’t sweat and let the loaf cool on a
This recipe can be halved for making pizza
bases, just don’t let it rise the second time before putting on toppings. Pizza
bakes for approximately 20 minutes.
You can use exactly the same dough for
bread rolls - just roll the dough into balls instead of a loaf – the rest of the
method is the same.
If you want a raisin loaf – add a cup of
mixed fruit, two tablespoons of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of raw sugar when
you knead it the second time. The rest of the method is the same.
Chilli sauce can be made many, many different ways and like the sweet chille option. We like to keep it simple and tend to do this when the chilli's are on special. If you want to make it and they are not on special then you can substitute the chilli component with red peppers by using 1/2 and 1/2. Remember also that the heat comes from two sources: size and seeds. The smaller the chilli the more intense the heat and seeds in increases the heat also.
INDENTIFY YOUR CHILLIES
The following recipe yields us a good full jar or two small jars.
You will need:
500 grams of chillies
3 cups of sugar (any sugar is fine: raw, white, caster)
3 cups of vinegar (we use white), the vinegar is a preservative
garlic is optional, usually about 3 cloves
Chop up your chillies (and capsicum if you are using them) and garlic.
put all your ingredients in the pot.
simmer the mixture until the sugar dissolves, stay with it and stir it often
then bring the mixture to the boil and simmer until the sauce thickens which will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
check it regularly
Keep in the pantry until opened but then must be kept in the fridge.
My earliest experiences of working with epoxy were as a young boy helping
my father put together frames for the next boat he was starting to build. Part
of the experience was learning how hard uncured epoxy is to remove from the
skin or the garage floor.From memory back
in those days it was soap water and a small scrubbing brush that almost removed
the first layer of skin while removing the uncured adhesive.
Epoxy adhesive is almost a universal item in most onboard tool kits.
Knowing how to use it properly includes how to remove any in the event that you
accidentally put some epoxy adhesive on yourself or something else that may
cause problems, here are a few ways you can remove this material. You can
choose from a reasonable safe and simple remedy to more powerful removers. The
reality is that skin contact with uncured epoxy should be avoided due to most
people building up sensitivity with prolonged contact. Use gloves, cover-alls
and work carefully, then if you do happen to come into contact with the
product, here are a couple of tips to remove it easily.
Vinegar: Most people I have talked to have vinegar on board, besides being
great for poring in the head to remove calcium buildup it’s also good as a
general cleaner. I have found it’s great to remove epoxy adhesive from brushes
as well as your skin. Soak a paper towel or cloth then place it over the area
of your skin that has the epoxy. When you can see that the epoxy adhesive
begins to soften wipe the area with the cloth to remove the adhesive. I have been
told you can remove cured epoxy adhesive with vinegar, doesn’t make any sense
and when I gave it a go it didn’t work.
Citrus-Based Hand Cleaner: I have found a citrus-based waterless hand cleaner can also remove uncured
epoxy on your skin, while its not as good as using vinegar due to the need of
having to reapply the cleaner two or three times, it is effective. Rub the hand
cleaner on the affected area remove with a cloth or paper towel then wash the
Acetone: Acetone is effective, if you plan to use acetone, caution is
advised, work in a well-ventilated space away from any ignition sources and
read the MSDS so you are advised of the dangers. Just like vinegar, you can use
acetone to remove residue on your skin. It works as well as vinegar, however
acetone is flammable, volatile and may cause harm in the long term.
Isopropyl alcohol: You can use isopropyl alcohol to remove uncured epoxy adhesive,
again caution is advised; work in a well-ventilated space away from ignition
sources while not as volatile as acetone its still quite flammable. Soak a
cloth and apply to the affected area then wipe clean.
Epoxy/Lacquer Thinners and
or Toluene: are a generic group of organic solvents
that work similarly to acetone, there are different formulations. Fumes are
easily detectable, they are not quite as volatile as acetone, yet they are
still highly flammable. Inhalation of organic solvents can cause tiredness,
confusion, through to unconsciousness and even death, contact with the skin is
not recommended due to the irritating properties
We received a new starter motor to keep in our spares kit, and now I need to install it and check it out before packing it away. While this may sound like an over kill, I can tell you that after years of receiving new gear that doesn't work there is no way to know if its OK unless it is checked out. The upside to fitting and testing the starter is I now know that I have the tools and ability to change IT. I have to say tools are as important as the spare parts, you can have all the spares in the world, but you will need some way of fitting them.
If “IT” quits working and you don’t have the capacity or the tools to repair what ever “IT” is, and
if you don’t have a spare “IT,” you and your crew will need to be able to survive
without “IT” for the rest of the voyage
So what’s the best
thing you can do about “it”? Perhaps the thing on the top of the list for anyone
contemplating an offshore voyage is to make totally sure that all systems are
in excellent working condition before leaving the dock. Not an easy thing to do
if you don’t use your boat regularly, for reliable systems it really appears to
be use it or loose it. Progressive maintenance and tweaking things as they show
signs of wear and tare and the odd drop of oil and polish help grease the
wheels so to speak.
The larger the
boat, the more complex the systems can be and with this added complexity you
have a higher potential for failure. Bigger is better, but only if it works,
the same can be said for newer, it’s good but only if it works. Another problem
creeping into system reliability is the fact manufactures are building obsolescence into a lot of systems
they now produce. So if you have a component that is warranted for 3 years make
sure you have a spare when you’re nearing the end of the third year.Unfortunately this forced retirement of components
could end up making it too expensive for some of us to keep maintaining a vessel
properly. Instead of being able to refurbish system components sadly
replacement is the only answer due to being deliberately designed that way. The
flow on effect will be that some people will be forced into two options, retire
from boating and sell the vessel or go to sea with a vessel that is not in the
I would like to bring
up Plan B, what happens when one of your systems fails to function. In this day
and age where one component can be a major part for several systems you need to
be sure you have that component as a spare and know how to change it. Of course
there is still the option of keeping systems separate and spread the load so to
speak. Whether you loose functionality due to the separate units not
communicating together is purely conjecture.
What are the crucial systems onboard your boat?Is itsomething that
could compromise the safety of the crew or the vessel like a leaking rudder or
propeller shaft? Perhaps it’s reduced performance like damaged rigging. What
about the loss of the chart plotter GPS now that electronic navigation is
usually the primary source of positioning. A head pump failure could certainly make
life uncomfortable for all on board and the loss of cooking facilities could
make the crew contemplate mutiny. There are a lot of systems onboard a cruising vessel that can compromise safety or
make it uncomfortable for all on board. On a vessel with a large complement of
crew the loss of the auto pilot would not be a serious life threatening
problem. Uncomfortable and tiring yes but with the right crew rotation on the
wheel a serious problem can be averted. However the same failure on a vessel
with a crew of two could compromise the safety of the crew due to fatigue and
the inability to trim sails and make rig adjustments without two on deck.So it’s a case of identifying your primary
systems keeping in mind the number of crew and passengers on board.Some service systems may become of primary
importance once the crew numbers decrease.
If you want to take
one spare of everything you’re going to need a bigger boat. The solution is to
identify the most probable failures in each system crucial to satisfactorily
completing the voyage. You will also need to have the tools, ability and parts on
board to repair these systems. Even if you do have the ability and parts is the
boat going to be stable enough to allow you to undertake the repair. You already
have a good idea what you need for the essential boat function, items like
hull, steering, rig and sails. Consider these systems very carefully; a failure
here can be disastrous. The keel bolts working loose, broken steering cable,
hydraulic steering pump failure, a failed gooseneck, cracked boom or a broken shroud
will all require immediate attention. All have the capability to affect your
performance and have the ability to threaten the safety of vessel and crew. Even
though we are not racing the loss of performance is a big problem, and may lead
to major change of direction or port of call if the vessel cannot be sailed on
Before setting off
into the ocean, prudently consider your bilge pumps, and while those who know
me may think I have a fascination with bilge pumps I do know when there is
water in the boat these are the most efficient way to clear the water out of
the bilges quickly. Being in the bilge trying to clear the water with a bucket
while in a sea way is firstly not an easy thing to do and can be slippery and
Depending on the
weather, during the first few days of a voyage you are likely to have more
water on board than you’ve seen before. If you haven’t pulled up the floorboards
and thoroughly cleaned the bilge the chances are that you will find the
strainer or pump blocked with the remains of a fur ball that has accumulated there.
The cause of blockages does not stop at fur balls, any work over the last
couple of months or for that matter years if not properly cleaned up can just
add to the collection of debris in the bilge, particularly nasty items known to
have quickly brought damage to bilge pumps are screws, sawdust, cable ties and
last but not least hair.
Chances are you rarely
use your manual bilge pumps, and I know from experience if the diaphragm is
more than a couple of years old, it won’t last when you really need it. Clean
the bilge, and by that I mean really clean the bilge,this may
mean you get the garden hose in there and wash the muck that accumulates under
the floor boards into the sump and pump it out, refurbish the manual pumps, and
take along rebuild kits. Take along a whole spare electric pump(s) ready to
install with extend wires and lugs on the cables if necessary. Have the pumps
all set up ready for an easy hot swap.If
you have a back up/primary engine driven pump check the PTO/ clutch and give
the pump a new impellor and grease the bearings and fill the grease cup if
necessary, put several litres of water in the bilge and by pumping it out it’s
a great place to see how the pumps perform. While talking about impeller style bilge pumps
it’s a good idea to check the internal cam, that’s the bump that you can feel
or see inside the pump at the inlet and outlet ports. This is important for the
correct operation of the pump, if this cam is worn the pump will certainly not
operate at its rated output. Make sure your pumps are in good order, I have
heard of some boats that have had to have someone pumping intermittently for
most of a voyage.
Where do you place
systems like electrical, instrumentation, information, communication, plumbing
and refrigeration? Some people place these into the support system category as
they are less likely to threaten the over all safety of the boat. But there is
nothing like a failure to upset the crew and this is certainly a quick way to
plunge crew moral into the dumps. Those of you, who sail with a significant
other as a crew member, I will let you in on the fact that this can be
disastrous and will certainly reduce the fun and quality of the rest of your voyage,
remember the old saying ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’.
If the engine won’t
start or run long enough to recharge your batteries, what systems will stop
functioning? Cruising boats or should that be crews, are becoming more reliant
on electricity the loss of power can certainly be a problem. To start with there is the loss of a GPS
position, navigation lights and radio communication. Perhaps visibility is
reduced and there isn’t enough power to run the radar, the list is getting
longer and longer. Another problem to add to the growing list is that your gas
stove probably won’t function any longer without power, well that is unless you
have the right components so you can bypass the solenoid. Tea and coffee isn’t
very tasty when made with cold water, and a cold can of beans and biscuits for
dinner doesn’t bring joy to many crews.
Below is a list of things that have happened while under way that I have
either heard about or have been involved in. You could ask yourself what if
these things happened to me.
engine refuses to run for any length of time due to ongoing fouled fuel filters
from the muck in the bottom of the tank becoming stirred up now the boat is
away from the dock and is in the ocean proper.
time during the past twelve hours the battery switch was left in “BOTH”. There
was no procedure to check the battery levels before they became critically low
and now “BOTH” will not turn over the engine.
fresh water pump has failed, how will you get water from your tanks?
shaft bearing/packing has been leaking for a couple of days. The electric bilge
pump that was keeping up with the ingress by running intermittently every couple
of minutes has sucked up an old cable tie blowing the oversize fuse and will no
longer run after clearing the cable tie and a fuse replacement. You now find
the manual bilge pump fatigues crew members quickly due to an ineffective pump
short flexible hose connecting the gas bottle to the gas regulator starts to
leak; the good news is there was minimal gas loss by turning off the gas bottle
tap. But how are you going to cook now?
Admiral comes on deck and tells you the head doesn’t seem to be working.
the busy shipping channel all the daisy chained instruments (GPS depth speed
wind etc) stop functioning and the vessel position on the chart plotter
disappears thanks to a short in the active GPS antenna power cable
the dishes the captain forgot to completely finish the job and most of your
cutlery went over the side with the dirty dishwater; you have limited other
for the ballast tank pump has failed and by staying on this tack you won’t make
land fallany time soon.
single electric winch for halyard and sheet control has seized, how do we now
hoist the sails and control the sheets.
Get your crew and
sailing friends together as a group discuss the following systems and recognise
the most likely failures you could experience in each. Once you have established
that the existing systems are in a good condition, insure that you have the
skill, tools and bits and pieces to deal with a failure.
· Hull·Rig·Sails·Steering· Engine· Plumbing
·Navigation· Instrumentation· Electrical· Communications· Refrigeration· Information
Is your idea of
fun repairing crucial boat components in the ocean? If it isn’t then rebuild
and service your systems before leaving the dock. From first hand experience repairing
crucial boat components in the ocean is not fun and it’s not an easy thing to
do unless you get becalmed.Strangely
enough that never seems to happen when things start to go pear shaped. The strategy
of taking along a repair kit for one of the systems that is showing the first
signs of wear and not rebuilding it before you leave port is not very sensible
or practical. Rebuild it now; carrying a heap of spares is not a substitute for
well maintained and reliable systems.
Check over your
motor fuel system pipes. All those rubber hoses have a habit of getting brittle
with age and fail when you least expect it.What ever you do don’t over look the little hoses between the injectors,
these are usually a lot smaller diameter than the standard fuel pipe sizes. Some
times the engine will fail to run due to sucking air into the fuel system, but
the really annoying problem is when one of the pressure pipes cracks and sprays
the whole engine compartment in fuel. I don’t know what it is about the smell
of diesel in a rough seaway but it has been known to accelerate the route to
sea sickness. Check your motors secondary fuel filters, these are the ones
attached to your motor. These filters are often put on the motor during the
last stage of assembly and are painted with the rest of the motor. The flow on
problem is they are now camouflaged and some have never been changed until they
are so blocked they no longer pass fuel.
boats tell you when they are not happy. Judge this for yourself but I have
found most things start to make a noise before they fail. Keep your ears open
and when you hear a new or strange noise, check it out. One of the boom bails
on our vessel was starting to fail; the day before it failed I could hear a
high pitched squeaking noise coming from the boom. The problem was trying to
isolate where the noise was coming from but with persistence we found the
culprit before it parted. When setting up your boat try and make it quiet down
stairs, search out sources of noise and find ways to make them quiet. This way
any new noise is a signal that some thing has changed and needs looking at,
even if it is not failing. If the weather permits take a walk around deck and
look at all of the rigging connections, shackles pins, blocks and check for
chafe on sails and sheets at least twice a day. Take a screw driver with you
and make sure there are no screws loose on the furlers or boom fittings. It is
much better to catch something before it fails than having to deal with it
after it has. One system that has been shown to have a high failure rate is
steering, someone needs to inspect the steering system (cables or hydraulic
fluid & leaks) and rudder bearings, cotter pins in the quadrant on a daily
basis when under way, put it on the daily checklist.
You do have a underway check list don’t you?
If not perhaps while you have the crew around discussing the probable failures
it would be an easy thing to make notes and nut out a daily check list. Keep in
mind a walk around check isn’t a major investigation it’s a visual check. It
can be likened to the checks before you start the motor, check the fuel filter
water separator, oil, coolant and belt(s), then once the motor is running
ensure the exhaust is spitting water. Most of it is simple and a no
brainer.When doing walk around boat
checks its things like looking for chafe and loose items, broken strands of
rigging wire, it’s only when checking under covers and below decks it may
become complicated. You may need to wait for some crew to be on shift, for
example when bunks are built above machine spaces like the steering space. Another
good management tool is to take a reading of systems when running. Any changes
in the data will show problems developing.As an example look at the current draw for the auto pilot when working,
any slow increase in the amount of current drawn while operating over a couple
of days can be an indicator some thing is becoming tighter, or the boat is
becoming badly unbalanced.
Redundancy: a part
in a system that has the same function as another part and that exists so that
the entire system will not fall over if the main part fails. While easy to say
it’s not always easy to attain redundancy in all systems. Due to the nature of
use, operating long distance from shore self sufficiency and redundancy needs
to be engineered into the systems. It is quite common to see dual types of
battery charging, perhaps large motor driven alternators with back up
alternator regulators, wind generators, solar systems and separate battery
banks for radios and emergency motor starting. Simple redundancy in the
plumbing system, if the fresh water electric pump fails a manual hand or foot
operated will avert problems until repairs can be made. Electric fuel oil feed
pumps are inexpensive these days and can be permanently plumbed and wired in.
With a little thought given to the plumbing and filters they can do service
either being a lift pump if the mechanical pump fails.Or if the source of the fuel is doubtful used
to remove contaminants in the fuel while under way.
system is one system I have put time into setting up and installing some redundancy.
As a back up for the chart plotter I have a laptop that is set up to run a
navigation program. Well it’s set up to run a couple of different
navigation/charting programs on the laptop just incase one becomes
corrupted.The laptop can be connected
to either the integrated instruments or can be used stand alone using a hand
held GPS. I have a plug permanently wired in so the hand held GPS can be used
to input position data should the primary and secondary GPS receivers both fail.
Having a second depth transducer installed and the cables run incase the
primary transducer fails, it can be connected up quickly if needed. A second
depth instrument does service as a slave display but can be put into service as
primary with a quick change in the set up. So we should not be with out electronic
position and depth information for any length of time.
Tools and spare
parts and what to do about them, in the planning stages before setting off ask
the professionals; well it doesn’t have to be a paid professional, start with
your sailing friends. I am sure you will have an idea who has had the right
answers the most times in the past. Then if you do get stuck there is always
your local boat builder, sail maker or your favorite diesel mechanic. Get their
opinion of what you are likely to need in the way of spares and tools. When it
comes to tools make sure you have the big ones, nothing is more frustrating
than not having the spanner or socket to do up the very large nut on the rudder
shaft or tighten up replacement sea cocks. If weight is an issue go through the
tool kits and spanner rolls and remove the spanners and sockets you don’t have
nuts/ bolt sizes on the vessel, but you want to be sure.
Spare Parts: What
will you need? This is a list from my boat and includes items we consider important
for cruising but this list should not be considered comprehensive. There are a
lot of items not listed like seizing wire and grub screws and special fittings
for the furler for example. It’s not easy selecting tools to take and you could
easily take way too many. Like the list of spares there are tools I haven’t
listed like the wood working tools stored away incase we want to do minor
As every vessel is
unique even the production line models have various options during the build,
so if you have deep pockets then head off to the dealer with a list of parts
you feel should accompany you on your travels.