Waratah in Durban.

August 5 was the big day. ‘Waratah’ was skidded out of the shed, and loaded onto the big special truck from Murray Transport in Durban. Unfortunately we suffered a bit of damage to the hull during the process, which had to be taken care of in Durban. No structural damage luckily, but some cosmetic work was in order.

At first light on August 6 we left Welkom for Durban. Big transports like this are only allowed to travel during daylight, and we hoped to cover the 600 km to Durban before dark. We also needed two escort cars with flashing lights and warning signs, one ahead and one behind the truck. With little traffic on the road the trip went smoothly, and we arrived at the Marina Yacht Lift facility in Bayhead around 16:00. There ‘Waratah’ was lifted off the truck, and was secured and supported on land. The travel lift of Marina Yacht lift has a maximum capacity of 60 tons, and the manager Enock and his crew did a great job.

The boat builder Wynand, his staff of 4, and myself slept on the boat that night. The next morning Wynand had to go back to Welkom for urgent business, and left 3 of his staff (Roedie, Karl, and Riaan) with me to help me finish up.

After that, unfortunately things started to go very wrong. It’s a long story, and I will not elaborate in detail, because we are still in the process of finding a solution. The bottom line is that I was literally high and dry in Durban, with an unfinished boat, a lot of rework and modifications to be completed, and some essential equipment still missing.

Roedie stayed with me for another 10 days to secure everything on the boat, so it could be stored for a longer period of time. The plan is to come back early next year, probably around Chinese New Year, to finish everything. I was running out of time. I had to go back to work in Shanghai, and also prepare for moving house again before the end of September.

All in all very frustrating. The good thing was, that I had the chance to meet a lot of very friendly and helpful people in the maritime and boating community. They gave me great advice, helped me to make ‘Waratah’ watertight (there were still leaking windows and hatches), and cover her with a tarp to shield her from sun and dust.

About Stranded Mariner

Marine Engineer and passionate sailor and cruiser, working in the marine business in China.
This entry was posted in Boats and boating, Dix 43 project. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Waratah in Durban.

  1. South Ozzy Sailor says:

    Hi Stranded Mariner,
    First of all you are to be congratulated on putting in all the resources necessary to create such a magnificent vessel, not many people realize what it takes to undertake a project like this, as all yachties know (or should know) building a customized yacht, Will cost more than you can afford, WILL take longer than the time you have and WILL take away all the remaining sanity you had left from deciding to start the project in the first place.
    I have been following the project on this blog since it began, and I have been impressed with the amount of research you have undertaken throughout the building process to ensure you had the best products to suit your needs and in creating a safe yacht to go anywhere in with confidence. Too many owners think they know it all, but you have not been afraid to ask the questions and / or weigh up the options.
    I feel for you with the disappointment and chain of events at what was to be the launch, and can truly understand your frusrtation, but one thing I have learnt in twenty years of commissioning engineering projects, is every project no matter what, suffers set backs and requires some form of rework.
    When you return with a fresh set of eyes I am sure you will find the problems are not as bad as you first thought, and when you are finally on the water with the wheel in your hands and a smile on your face that threatens to crack your head in half, all of the disappointment you feel now will fade into insignificance, so don’t dwell on it mate its not worth it.
    After all that and getting back to the start, the reason I started watching your blog in the first place is because at some point in the next few years I wish to build a aluminium Dix Vickers 45 AC, I know I must be mad too!.
    Your blog has been a great source of information, inspiration and some great laughs, I spent some time in Taiwan a few years back and can really see where you are coming from with a lot of the humor on these posts
    Thanks very much,
    South Ozzy Sailor

  2. South Ozzy Sailor,

    Thank you very much for your long comment, and your warm words of encouragement. I can’t wait to go back to Durban and finish Waratah, and as you say, once I will be standing behind the wheel, all hardship and frustration will be forgotten.

    I wish you all the best with your Dix project, and hope you can keep me informed.

    Best regards,

  3. Hallie says:

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