An enforced sabbatical from sailing

Our previous post described the circumstances surround a racing incident that caused some serious damage to G-whizz and to our friend’s boat “Aetos”. It went on to simply say that in the process some historical damage was found to be present from a grounding a few years prior.

The damage was delamination inside the hull that had kept itself invisible until Billy Olsen from Olsen Marine Surveying had a look at G-whizz post accident damage repair. The damage while fairly extensive was not visible from inside the boat, it was concealed by cabinetry, was not visible from outside as the hull showed no damage nor was there any damage or marks on the lead keel bulb.

The back ground to this damage is that Ann and I were using G-whizz as a quiet get-away when ever the opportunity arose during COVID restrictions. on one occasion we picked up a courtesy mooring just off Milk Beach at the north Eastern entrance to Rose Bay. Now one would expect that a 10 metre long 5 ton yacht with a draft of 2.1 metres would be comfortably accommodated on a public courtesy mooring with a stated maximum capacity of 20 tons. Wrong and I now check the depth available on any mooring other than G-whizz’s home before committing to a stress free stay. We were about to settle down to dinner when I glanced at the chart plotter which indicated that we only had 0.3 of a metre of clearance under the keel and there was still just under 1 metre of ebbing tide to go. In all fairness to the persons who laid this mooring we have subsequently witnessed a 120 foot yacht (somewhat above the stated maximum weight) hanging off the same mooring and now suspect a boat of similar size may have dragged the mooring to shallower water.

A hasty decision to leave was made and as I was climbing the companionway steps a large power boat passed by very close at speed, the wash from that boat lifted us and dropped us onto the seabed – twice – it is difficult to describe the noise and vibration that resulted. Subsequent inspections and hull servicing failed to indicate any damage.

Gutted but on the mend. (Looking forward from the companion way).

The collision damage was repaired by Buckingham Marine Services at Woolwich Dock, but it was decided that it would be less expensive to truck G-whizz to the Central Coast and carry out the extensive repairs on real estate that is a lot less expensive than the hard stand at Woolwich. A decision that proved to be advantages as in the mean time I was diagnosed with a cancer that would require 12 or more months of treatment. This diagnosis would mean that we would not be using G-whizz for quite a some time which relieved the shipwrights from the pressure to get the job done quickly as possible.

While G-whizz was out of the water and mast removed the decision was made for Diverse Rigging to renew the standing rigging, service the boom (Outhaul, reefing etc.) and supply a new furler and assorted running rigging.

G-whizz Elan340
Returning to Woolwich Dock Behind a big Volvo.

G-whizz is back in the water and looking like a new boat after about 9 months, while some detail work still needs to be done, mainly due to systems not being used for a long period (Fridge for instance) she is ready to sail again, a concept that has given me added incentive to regain my strength and get back behind the brand new Jefa steering wheel, and yes it did leave a bruise as I bent the old one in the prang with Aetos.

Mast on the way out.

Once again huge thanks to:
Mitch Buckingham at Buckingham Marine Services
Jason Neuhaus at Diverse rigging
Billy Olsen at Olsen Marine Surveying
Trevor Robinson at APS Marine Electrical
and probably a surprise to most Club Marine Insurance