Sunday Island arrived in Malta on 11th June 2022 and sails into Mellieha bay to anchor.
We enjoyed a few days in Malliieha swimming, scuffing, sailing, snorkeling and enjoying an anchorage. While at anchor I installed our new solar panels of 3 x 175w panels and Victron solar charge controller.
Installing new solar panels
Our starter motor did not work on arrival so I removed it from the engine and took it to an auto electrician for diagnostics and repair. After two unsuccessful attempts from the auto electrician the engine still would not start, so on 15th June we sailed south to Manoel Island in 5kts of wind to be hauled out for some works.
Sailing dinghy with kids
The primary reason for the haul out was to address some corrosion issues in the hull identified in the survey. We also had a number of other works including; Repair corrosion
Paint cabin and caprails
Re caulk parts of deck
Replace engine mounts
We arrived at Manoel Island and hauled out at 1430 then went to the office to complete paperwork and discuss works required.
On Thursday morning at 0730 works commenced with a pressure wash, then we began drilling into affected sections of the hull to assess the level of corrosion.
Areas where corrosion were less than 3mm on the 6mm plate could be filled with weld then ground flat, other areas would need to be cut out and the Aluminium plate replaced.
While this was happening I sanded the old antifouling from the hull to make it flush and to identify any other areas that required attention.
By Friday afternoon works were progressing slowly and I met with the yard managers to make a plan to get the job done more effectively. We had only been allocated one fabricator and one spare hand and I found that I was required to constantly supervise the workers and do much of the work myself.
Over the weekend the yard workers had time off and I commenced sanding the deck, cabin sides and caprails and removing caulking where required.
Re caulking decks
On Monday a new project manager from the yard attended and agreed the plate needed to be replaced in 3 frames below the waterline. We then measured and marked the frame positions and started cutting.
Sunday Island is not constructed as other sailing yachts as she has a lifting centerboard so ballast is in the bilges rather than the keel.
Once the plate was cut out we began to remove the ballast. The only way to get this done was with a good electric chain saw and a number of good quality sharp chains. By Wednesday evening 22 June we had the plate cut out and ballast removed.
Plate cut out exposing ballast
Now for the heavy part of removing ballast. After Sunday islands hull had been constructed molted lead ballast was poured in over sand, and additional lead ingots had been placed over the top and secured with epoxy, tar, and then lined with a type of epoxy barrier. The chainsaw cuts through the lead relatively easily, however the epoxy that secures the ballast and the sand and tar blunts a the chain.
Holes in the bottom of the boat
By Friday 27th June we had removed most of the ballast, I continued to tidy up the inside of the hull over the weekend and start fitting the freezer and also commenced painting and fairing the cabin sides. This time of year in Malta all painting or epoxy work needs to be complete before 10am, so I had many early hours starting at 0530 sunrise to get the job done. Most days I would get home to Emilie’s fathers flat at 6pm, and some days not until after 8pm!
Building the freezer. Emilie could not believe my slim profile could fit in such a small hole.
The next week we continued to tidy up ballast and cut the plate to tack weld into place. On Wednesday 29th July I had the yard employ Kamoy engineering, who are certified DNV welders to weld the 5083 6mm Aluminium plate.
Plate welding was complete the next day and was NDT tested by a third party to check for cracks or weld defirmaties. Once this was complete I could begin to paint the bilges with Jotun Mastic 80 epoxy based tank liner then line the bilges with rubber mat.
New plate welded in place
During this week the yard also serviced the engine and fit the new engine mounts. I also managed to get the starter motor working and engine started.
On Friday morning I was on the job early putting primer into the new Aluminium plate. The yard then assisted me to cut the ballast into manageable sections and loaded it onto a pallet then lifted it to deck level to be passed through the deck hatch and put in place. It was like a very heavy and large game of Tetris to make sure ballast was fitted as tightly as possible and secured well in place.
Sorting out the ballast inside
By Midday Friday the temperatures were nearing 40*C and the yard had knocked off for the day. I continued to fit the ballast, securing it in place with expanding foam. I then spent the afternoon fairing the hull before being picked up by Emilie and the kids to go to the beach for a well deserved swim.
Over the weekend it was early starts at Sunrise to paint the cabin sides, cockpit snd caprails before 10am, before moving on to fairing the hull. After this was all done I began to clear up the interior mess and reconstruct the interior that had been dismantled for hull works. Emilie came to the yard to help masking prior to the antifouling and also help to clean up the interior.
Fairing the hull
On Monday continued painting cabin sides and I began to paint on the antifouling. By Tuesday afternoon all the antifouling had been applied and we had a few final jobs remaining prior to launching the next day including securing ballast and re mounting the interior table. I also fitted the new B&G speed log and depth transducer and put in a new through hull fitting for the new Spectra watermaker.
Wednesday morning we were almost ready to launch. While the yard fitted the propellor back in, I met with the yard managers to discuss the job and negotiate the final invoice. On schedule SY 1030 on Wednesday the 6th July we re launched Sunday island.
Emilie and the kids joined as we motored around to a Marina berth to begin putting Sunday Islsnd back together and clean her enough to move back onboard.
Finished job ready for launch
Thursday morning we packed up our gear from Emilie’s fathers flat and moved back onboard. It was another sweltering day with temperature in the high 30’s or early 40’s. While Emilie did some shopping the kids helped me to launch and clean the tender dinghies, then re-Tune the rig. When Emilie returned we decided it was too hot to stay in the Marina so we set sail for our 8 hour passage to Sicily.
It had been an exhausting yard period for me working 14+ hour days, but we got the job done on time and in budget!