The steering has now been fixed. The rams had to be removed as the hydraulic fluid was finding it’s way past the ram seals causing the rudders to be out of sync. On dismantling it was found the wrong seals had been installed at some stage causing the ram piston to rub against the ram cylinder. New seals were installed and everything re-aligned and bled. The system is now good but the rams will need replacing once back in Perth.
With the weather not looking good there was a window of opportunity to sail to Bremer Bay overnight. We headed off at 10.30 am Wednesday morning and sailed into a hole. No wind and flat calm. We motored for 6 hours before the wind shifted slightly to the SW, which was right on the nose. The swell had also swung around to the SW as well. I thought about tacking up the rumb line but this would have added many hours and placed our arrival way too late, as the SW was due to increase. We continued motoring and all was good until the starboard fan belt de-laminated, taking out the bilge pump and some minor wiring with it. I quickly replaced it with a spare. The belt had come away from the alternator but stayed on the crankshaft and water pump. Having replaced the belt on the original pulleys we continued on and arrived at Bremer Bay small boat harbour at 5.45 pm, some 6 hours longer than our anticipated arrival time. In Esperance I had arranged to use a 60 foot charter boat mooring, which was not beeing used. On arrival the owner helped us tie up, as it was a new mooring but had no buoy line attached. We are now sheltered from a strong SW wind warning due in on Saturday.
Friday was a rest day so we arranged a lift into town where we stocked up on some minor items (coffee, sugar, biscuits, carrots and sweet potatoes), and then had a well deserved beer and lunch at the local tavern.
Today (Saturday) I checked all the belts and found out why the belt had de-laminated. The starboard engine has 2 pulleys on the crankshaft. The outer one must have been used for a extra alternator or pehaps a fridge compressor, which are no longer present. When new belts were installed in Sydney they put the belt on the outer pully, causing the belt to be mis-aligned. Have now put the belt on the inner pulley and all is good. Lesson learnt……always check the work done by others.
We are now sitting out the strong SWester and look like leaving for Albany late Sunday or first thing Monday when the winds will shift to south to SE then East. Now just checking all systems and doing minor maintance.