Spring time down under - getting ready for summer

It's spring down under, and although it's still rather rainy in Adelaide, I decided it's time to get Arriba ready for the southern sailing season.

I decided to focus on two things, my standing rigging and my engines.

I don't yet have a way to climb my mast solo, so I enlisted the help of my local sail maker, Luke Burrow at Adelaide Sail Loft, to inspect my rigging with me (and also to discuss a new mainsail which I'm very excited about). First, we went around Arriba and inspected everything at deck level, the stanchions, staylines, and the stayline attachment hardware (plates, swages and turnbuckles). Then the fun part, i.e., going up the mast. Luke, being both the lighter and more knowledgeable than me, naturally volunteered to go up in the bosun's chair.

Luke up Arriba's mast
On the way up the mast Luke checked all of the stayline and spreader hardware - all good. At the top, he discovered that my jib halyard shackle was badly bent and the pin on the verge of falling out. Good find! Can you imagine losing a jib halyard and the jib blowing down while under way? I can! This once happened to me with a screecher halyard and the sail ended up dragging in the water under the hulls, making it impossible to retrieve without rounding up.
Bent shackle vs. new shackle
On the way down he checked my mast lights (navigation, steaming, deck lights, etc.)  Only my fore deck light was not working, due to a rust-encrusted light bulb. While not critical to sailing, it is absolutely critical to attracting squids at night :-)
Rusted light bulb vs. new light bulb
Luke departed and I switched to my attention to my engines.  My twin Volvo Penta D1-30 diesel engines were serviced less than than a year ago and my starboard engine has been running flawlessly, but my port engine has been sucking air into the fuel system, resulting in loss of power followed by stalling. It typically runs only 5 hours before I need to bleed the air out. As Murphy would have it, the last time it crapped out was the worst possible moment, when was I entering Wirrina Cove harbor. (Fortunately cats have redundancy in the form of a 2nd engine, but once you're accustomed to parking with two engines, parking with only one is nerve wracking.)  I checked all the fuel hoses which seemed to be in good condition. I tested for leaks with soapy water and found none, so suspected a gasket or o-ring might be the culprit. I found not one but two dodgy o-rings and a dodgy gasket.
Deformed gasket (top) and o-rings vs. new ones
Time will tell if my air leak has truly been fixed. I'm heading back to Kangaroo Island in a few week's time, and can give my port engine a 10-hour workout if there is little or no wind.

I still have a few more things on my "spring marine" to-do list, such as checking my batteries, scrubbing my hulls, inspecting sacrificial anodes ("zincs"), etc., but I've made a good start.

OVER.