Having called around to the local yards and engineers, all of whom have said “yes, we can do that in winter” or “sorry mate, I’m more on the commercial side”, I consulted with the gent who acted on my behalf in Conwy when I purchased Blue Opal. The suggestion was a yard in Pwllheli, and having spoken with them (and they, in turn, to their friendly engineers), Blue Opal will move from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli in the coming week.
The trip plan is roughly – leave Dun Laoghaire in the mid-evening on July 6th, get out past Dalkey Island, bear south-east, and sail until we see Wales. Depending on how fast we go, we might arrive off Bardsey Sound a bit too early to go through it, and will thus go outside Bardsey Island, either inside or outside Tudwal, and meander on the flood tide to Pwllheli. High water Pwllheli is 1530 local on Saturday 7th, and the channel to the marina and harbour should be safe to enter two hours either side.
Another V34 owner has shared some photos of how his stern gear was replaced. Open heart surgery is about the only description that fits.
“Pippin” had her metal stern tube replaced with a GRP one, and that sounds fairly sensible to me; it’ll avoid one form of trouble, though it may create another that I’m not aware of.