Back in Lagos

When we come back to Lagos after a nice summer at home in Sweden, a rather intense month awaits before we have to leave Lagos to sail south. We are going to launch and do a lot of work on Sally before she is ready to face the Atlantic again.

We traveled back to Lagos in early September and landed in sunny and warm weather at Faro airport. The ordered taxi did not show up and it turned out that he forgot about us. Luckily there was another taxi we could take and we arrived only half an hour late. From now on we will use official taxis, they cost about the same as the private drivers.’s worst landlord?

For the first few days in Lagos, we have rented a small room from New Village Guest House. When we get there, it turns out that the room does not correspond to the description on that provided the room. We contact the landlord and request a room that corresponds to the one we rented, i.e. with a balcony, window and double bed. He says that that room is rented out to someone else. The room we got instead has no windows or balcony, instead of a double bed there is a bunk bed because the room is so narrow. The door to the room is made of glass and faces a stairwell where there are 3 AC units humming under the stairs. It is damp and smells of mold in the room, ugh, we don’t want to sleep here!

As the room does not correspond to the description, we request the money back, which the lessor does not agree to. We contact, which in the end does nothing because the landlord has too high an average rating from customers. When we look at reviews about the landlord, it turns out that there are several who have had experienced the same thing that happen to us. There was even one who wrote that he had been threatened with death by the landlord!

Actual circumstances are apparently not enough for Booking to take action against rogue landlords. The landlord did not refund a penny even though we did not stay in the room for a single hour and we had a long conversation with

Luckily, we were able to stay on the boat instead.

Boat work before launch

Before we launch the boat, there are a few things that need to be done.

First of all, we put the bottom plug back. When we leave the boat on land, we unscrew the bottom plug so that the boat cannot accidentally be filled with water.

Then we need to paint a new bottom color and new antifouling on the bow thruster props, as well as polish and wax the hull sides. Then the seawater system in the engine and power plant must be drained of glycol. These are jobs that we let the yard do. They have good equipment to take care of glycol and supply engine with cooling water when running on land. It will probably be a bit more expensive than doing it ourselves, but we save a lot of time by not doing these steps ourselves.

The rigging screws have begun to corrode and the chrome plating has loosened in places and Seldén, who supplied the rig, is replacing them free of charge with a new model of stainless rigging screws that do not need protection. The new rigging screws are locked with lock nuts instead of split pins and this means that we don’t have to use the large aluminum rigging screw covers. There are both pros and cons with protection over the rigging screws. On the one hand, the sails and booms probably wear less when the covers are on, on the other hand, it is not as easy to check the rigging screws and the wire terminals under the covers, which were hard to lift up. They used to stick to the deck bracket of the stay.

The new rigging screws look really solid, unfortunately a stop nut is wrongly threaded and Seldén will be sending a new one with the right thread that we can fit after the launch.

It is noticeable that the environment to the south with higher humidity and salty air, means that many things corrode much more than at home in Sweden. Now we take the opportunity to tidy up oxidized through hulls and check that the strainers in the water intake are OK. It turns out that the strainer for the water intake to the watermaker has started to rust. It will probably last a while, but it’s time to buy a new one (if possible).

We have bought a new spray hood (the canopy over the entrance), the old one is very worn and leaking water and Hallberg-Rassy has delivered a new one to us. It fits perfectly. The speakers in the cockpit have broken while we have been away from the boat and the shipyard is taking it upon themselves to replace them with new ones, which is appreciated by us 🙂

Sally has a so-called isolation transformer built into the shore power connection and it sits there to prevent something called galvanic corrosion.

This means that you have to rewire the boat’s ground connection so that it connects to the shore power ground cable when the boat is on land. When the boat is launched, the boat ground connection must be connected back to the boat’s own electrical ground.


After an intense week, it is time for launching and at the appointed time the lifting crane arrives. It is fascinating to see how precisely they can maneuver the large crane between the boats, there are tight curves in places. But everything goes smoothly and after just under an hour later Sally is back in the sea again and I check that no water is leaking in anywhere. Everything is OK and we can start the engine to move in to the dock, but first we take a little test trip out to sea to feel the wind and waves again, lovely!

Jobs after launch

There is still a lot of work to do and we have berth in the marina for three more weeks before we have to leave. The boat has become quite dirty from all the sand from Africa. Given how dry it is in the Algarve, I imagine some of the sand also comes with the northerly winds across Portugal.

Everything that was unprotected is covered by a thin film of fine sand. It is not enough to flush with water to make the sand disappear. One must use a cleaning agent and wash with cloth or brush as well.

As we wash the superstructure, we discover that the leak at the navigation site comes back to life and a it requires a lot of detective work to find where the leak is. We suspect that water is leaking in via some screw that fastens the air vent or some fitting in the ceiling above the navigation site and then further inside the false ceiling out at the window. I re-seal the air ventand fittings and finally no more water comes out, nice.

Unfortunately, we also find two other leaks. It turned out to be the screw holes from the old bimini brackets that we unscrewed when we made changes to the bimini before the departure with ARC 2019. There was no time to make a permanent fix, so I just sealed the holes with silver tape 🙂 Now the tape had dried and fallen off.

Blocks and traveler cars have open ball bearings which also need to be cleaned so that the bearings are not worn unnecessarily by the sand. Detergent, brush, water and a little patience are all that is needed.

When we left the boat at the yard before the summer, we pulled all the halyards (ropes with which you hoist the sails are called halyards) inside the mast and the part that was unprotected we placed in a box under the dinghy which is stored upside down on the foredeck. We had also removed all other ropes and loose rigging to protect them from sand. The only ropes we had to wash were the thin ropes we attached to the cases to be able to pull them back up from the mast without having to climb the mast top.

The cabinet doors in the boat have modern spring-loaded hinges, the kind that usually sit on kitchen doors. Unfortunately, they don’t work so well if the cabinet door is small. On the one hand, the door becomes very difficult to open, and on the other hand, the hinges stick out in the door opening and it is easy to tear yourself on them. It also means that they are in the way of larger items you want to store in the cupboard.

Now we have decided to replace the hinges on all smaller doors and replace them with piano hinges. We bought piano hinges by the metre, and Carina cuts to the right lengths while I mount the new ones. Now we get to use the small vise we have with us among the tools. It makes it much easier to hold the hinge when sawing it off.

Since the previous bow batteries died, I have planned to replace the two DC/DC converters that handled the charging with a better charger. The two DC/DC converters installed as chargers by Hallberg-Rassy had two problems. They were not built to be run in parallel, and they had no contact with the shunt that measured current and voltage across the two series-connected batteries. This caused them to have different ideas about what voltage the batteries had and I suspect that one of the chargers then charged with too high a voltage and destroyed the batteries prematurely. Now I will mount a more powerful DC/DC charger that also has a connection to the shunt that measures voltage and battery temperature.

Almost all the rope guides for the preventer that sit on the guard rail has breaked and I have found another all metal model that seems much sturdier. Before we go out on a long sail again, I take the opportunity to replace the ones that are about to break. Should they break during sailing, it can be messy to repair. Things tend to break when the weather is bad, it’s dark and I’m off duty and probably sleeping.

Rig washing with accident

Before we set up the sails, we will wash the entire rig to remove any sand stuck there. I will also take the opportunity to inspect all fittings, wire terminals and electrical cables.

To be able to rinse properly, I bring the water hose up. What I didn’t think about is that it gets quite heavy and that creates a lot of stress on the hose connections. The hose holds together for a while, but eventually gives up and decides to let go of the flush nozzle. It’s the kind of flexible hose that contracts when the pressure goes away and the end flaps wildly and the water sprays uncontrollably in all directions on the way down. Down on deck, it settles down and targets the boat neighbor’s skylight, which is slightly open.

Carina, who takes care of the halyard I’m hanging from, doesn’t see that the hose has come off, and it’s only when I call out to her that she understands that something has happened. The boat neighbors have also started bringing life down in their boat. They were apparently sitting with their newly purchased iPad installing a navigation software when water started spraying in through the skylight. Finally, Carina manages to divert the hose and turn off the water on the bridge, without losing control of the rope I’m hanging on to.

The iPad could be saved and the neighbor’s mood was fine again after we have had a chat and give them a bottle of wine.

Ready for departure

When we feel we will be finished in time, we take the opportunity to enjoy some of what Lagos has to offer. Walks in the beautiful surroundings, lazy days at Meia Praia, sunset from the rooftop bar in the center, socializing with other sailors in the marina and tasting good food in the restaurants in town. We will miss Lagos, but that’s always the case with wonderful places you visit and part of the life living a sailing boat traveling the world.

Up next

Before we leave Lagos to sail to the Canary Islands, we will check that everything is working and make a short sail and stay at anchor off Meia Praia for a couple of days.

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