NZ Apr-Dec 06                          

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December 2006

Lest you get the impression that the cruising life is all about fun, relaxing, endless happy hours, and beautiful sunsets, this update is about the more mundane aspects of what goes into making the boat ready for all that fun! Since April, Shear Madness has been in New Zealand undergoing a refit - maintenance and service of her major components.  She is now eight years old and constant exposure to sun and salt water take their toll on even the best built and maintained equipment. Bradley has been quite busy these past few months managing and overseeing the refit and we have done as much of this work ourselves as possible. Here are just of few of the things that have been done:

1. Hauled out of the water for a complete cleaning and waxing and inspection of all through-hull fittings, keel, rudder, and propeller.

2. Engine overhauled and components rebuilt

3. New mainsail and headsail designed, made, installed and tested

4. All hydraulics fully serviced and rebuilt (roller furling system, vang)

5. Anchor re-galvanized

6. Interior wood varnished

7. Exterior cap rail sanded and oil-varnished

Shear Madness out of the waterBradley oversees the re-launching

8. New navigation lights on bow and stern

9. New anchor light installed on top of mast

10. Curtains cleaned with special mold removal

11. Dive compressor completely serviced

12. New docking lines and staysail halyard

13. New fender covers and lines


Varnishing the campanionwayDuring varnishing the main hatch was closed for days - we had to enter and exit via the master cabin hatch

14. Mast and boom waxed

15. All stainless steel polished

16. All fiberglass cleaned and waxed

17. New stove installed

18. Barbecue serviced

19. Remodeling of anchor locker

20. New stereo installed (step 1 of new entertainment system)

Cap rail newly sanded with 3 coats of oil varnishRe-installing the roller furling gear

21. Refrigeration motor replaced

22. Microwave oven repaired

23. Added jammers and blocks for runners

24. Software upgrades for electronic charting system (plus Windows updates)

25. End caps for steering system made and replaced

26. Washing machine repaired

The new stoveEnjoying our first sail after the refit

27. Water pump problems diagnosed and fixed

28. Gas alarm replaced

29. Dinghy bottom painted and tubes repaired

30. Leak at rudder fixed

After seemingly endless hours and quite a few unexpected "surprises", Shear Madness is ready for another season of summer cruising on the north island of New Zealand. Stay tuned for our next adventures!

For Golfers Only!!

During this time, Shear Madness was at Gulf Harbour Marina, adjacent to the Gulf Harbour Golf Club, which was home to the New Zealand Open from Nov 30-Dec 3. Unfortunately the weather was not terribly cooperative, with strong winds and intermittent heavy showers. Scott Strange attempts a birdie putt at Michael Campbell looks on (he made the putt).The first round leader was an Australian, Scott Strange who managed to be 4 under par despite the conditions. I went to watch the second round. The shortest walk from the marina is to the 11th tee, so I got there at 9:00am and there was a group teeing off. I watched them tee off and decided to follow them. Besides me, there were three other spectators tracking this group. I happened to see the caddie and he had the name Strange on his jersey – sure enough it was the group with the leader!

Strange birded that hole and as we walked to the next tee, it became apparent that we were not at the US Open! The players and caddies all walked with us four fans. Turns out Strange’s caddie, a Kiwi (New Zealander) named Mick, is quite a character. He’s been caddying for 34 years and is now mostly on the European tour. He’s back in NZ for a brief holiday and to caddy at this event. He was very friendly and it seems like I was the only one he had to talk to. So for 17 holes we chatted, joined occasionally by Scott Strange and the other two players, also Aussies – Luke Hickmott and Steven Jones. What a fun day! Strange is a very solid golfer – currently ranked 212 in the world and 14 on the Asian tour. He recently won the Philippine Open. He finished one under for the day  in 4th place,  paired in the next round with national hero Michael Campbell (who won the 2005 US Open). Kathy with Strange's caddie Mick Mato

It was a bigger crowd for the weekend and everyone was following Michael, who is like the Tiger Woods of NZ. It was fun because I still got to hang out with the players between holes and even got to chat a little with Michael. I only got to walk the back nine as we had errands to do in the morning. At the start of the day Scott was -5 and Michael was -6. When I joined them, Scott was -3 and Michael was -6. Then Scott birdied 3 in a row and Michael made one bogey. So when we got to 14 there was a leaderboard and Scott was tied for the lead! But from there it went downhill. He finished with bogey, bogey, double, and a scrambling par to finish at -2, 4 shots back.

On Sunday he was paired with Peter Lawrie from Ireland, both at -2. Lawrie had a good start with 3 birdies in the first 4 holes. Scott just kept grinding out pars. The wind continued to blow 20-30 knots all weekend, so it was a huge factor! Scott ended up even par for the day, which was a good score. After 15 holes, Nathan Green from Australia was in the clubhouse at -5 and Michael Campbell and the other leaders were still playing and at -6. But Green eneded up winning by 1 and Scott ended up tied for 8th at 2 back. So it was a lot of fun to be part of the action.

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