About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bravo refit, week 1

It's begun...our long awaited major work effort started on Monday, as we hauled out of the water, pressure washed, and gently set down in the cradle that will be our home for the next (hopefully) 6 weeks or so.  All went right on schedule.

On Tuesday morning the real work began.  Don from Riverside Boatworks is the shipwright we'll be working with most closely, and we began demolition to get at the fuel tanks.  Both have proved to be worthy adversaries, not totally unexpected.  In order to remove the port tank, we needed to remove the watermaker and the cabinetry that it sat on.  This (the cabinetry) was pretty much trashed in the process, and will need to be reconstructed.

We've found the place where the port tank developed its diesel leak in Ecuador, a corroded point under the tank at the low point.  The tanks were apparently installed in the hull before the deck was put on.  Nice idea for the rascals building the boat.....not so nice when you need to remove the tanks 30 years later!  No way would they fit out of the openings of the boat, so we needed to cut them up and remove in pieces.  Very smelly, messy work, using a grinder to hack up the 2mm stainless steel monsters.  But by Friday afternoon, it was done, the last of the two tanks, in pieces, lay on the ground.  We'll save the bits to make patterns for the replacements.  In order to fit them into the boat, the new tanks will each need to be built in three tanks, plumbed together to work as one after getting them below.  No fun!

Watermaker being disassembled.  Tank is behind the bulkhead on the left (with access panel opening)

Same bulkhead, watermaker and cabinetry now gone

Bulkhead cut away to expose forward face of the tank.  It's an "L" shape, with this the vertical leg, and it extends aft under a seat in the shower.  Not an easy beast to remove!

Tank has been pulled forward. 

Sparks and grit fly everywhere as the tank is cut apart with a grinder.  Large hose is for exhaust blower

And out comes the first part, into the cockpit

Finally the tank is out!

In order to remove the starboard tank, we needed to remove the AC generator which lives above it.  This was a planned project, as we need to do a full service on it in the shop.  Needed to remove the cockpit dodger and framework so that the boom truck could lift the generator (nearly 400 lbs) out through the companionway.

Cutting away the fiberglass and teak plywood panel hiding the starboard fuel tank.  This tank wasn't leaking, but we thought it best to replace the two at the same time.  The generator can be seen above the tank

Cutting up the tank.

Pieces of port tank on the ground.

We also plan to tear out the existing freezer box and build a new one with new, improved insulation to save lots of electricity, hopefully.  So we had a refrigeration tech come out to vacuum out the old refrigerant gas (protecting what little ozone is left down here!!!), and tear out the copper refrigerant lines.  We'll reinstall the gear after the new box is built, along with new galley counters.

Now then, just so you don't think it's all work and no play for the Bravo crew, the weekend saw us at the Whangarei rodeo....a pretty big deal for these parts...of course the usual events, bull riding, bronc riding, both saddled and bareback, calf roping, barrel races, all good.

That's gotta hurt

So does this!!!

Headin' for the hot tub....

One event unique to New Zealand rodeos was the sheep chase....just for kids.  The herd of sheep was released into  the ring.  All had ribbons around their necks.  Then a herd of kids was released from the other end of the ring, and the object was for them to get a ribbon off a sheep.  Good fun for all, well probably not the sheep, but that's the way rodeos go.

All in all a successful week.  Bravo is now totally torn apart, but hopefully next week will start the fabrication of the new tanks, as we move on to other projects.  Happily we have friends on another boat who are back home in Norway for a visit.  They wanted their boat looked after in their absence, and invited us to live aboard until our work is done or they return.  Looks pretty obvious which will come first!!!  ;-(    


  1. What a huge project!! I was wondering if you were staying on the boat and was relieved to read at the end that you have someplace else to be. Hope it all goes well. We saw Anne and Mark for a few days here in Vancouver and plan to see Hugh and Anne in a few weeks in Port Ludlow. It has been so great to reunite with old cruising buddies. Hope someday we can see you guys again. Cheers Howard and Lynn

  2. Hi Cindi and Adam: Just catching up on your blog and see you are having quite a major project going on. We are flying to New Zealand on Tuesday and will start with heading to the South Island before coming back up the East Coast of the North Island. Hope you have a chance to do a bit of exploring in between the boat works. And we also hope to catch up with you before we head back to Australia. Cheers! Evelyn and Jens (SY.Segwun)