Monday, 26 March 2012

Davits, the last major job !

What a surprise last weekend was! We were expecting to be shivering in the forecast sea fret, while the rest of the country was experiencing record March temperatures - It was a little misty when we arrived on Friday afternoon, still very pleasant though, but Saturday and Sunday were just lovely! The point of this visit was to fit the dinghy davits, which I was expecting to be a bit of a job to put it mildly, spending hours worming my way into the machinery space behind the stern cabin, mastic gun, and spanner in hand wasn't my idea of fun. In the end the job was not as bad as expected, and with some help from Sue, holding a spanner on the outside nuts, the job was effectivly finished on Saturday, allowing the sikaflex adhesive sealant to go off overnight. On Sunday we inflated the dinghy and attached it to the davit falls - disaster, the blocks were hard up to the davits but the dinghy was still swinging free. After a couple of hours, and much coffee, we found a way around the problem, which would actually reduce the strain on the eyelet patches on the dinghy. The davits were supplied with a four to one purchase using double blocks, but by using two single blocks with snap hooks directly on to the stainless rings attached to the dinghy, we were able to pull it tight on to the davit arms. I just need to fit a couple of eye bolts to the bottom of the transom board to allow the same system at the stern, and all will be well. One unforeseen problem was that the stern navigation light will be obscured by the dinghy, so I will have to fit a second light to the wind generator pole at a suitable height, and arrange a switch from one to the other; not a major job though. Once we had the dinghy in place I could measure up and position a bracket for the outboard motor, and decide positions for the MOB sling. On Sunday afternoon we took 'NJ' out of her berth, and motored over to the fuel berth to fill up, then returned to berth bow in, to make the dinghy more secure. If the weather allows, we will take her out for a sail next weekend to make sure everything is working as it should, and arrange a lift out so that I can change the hull and bow-thruster anodes,and have the slime powerwashed off the hull and rudders ready for departure.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Final Push ( Update 2 )

What a glorious weekend, I hope we aren't using up all this summers' good weather ! We now have a fully clothed boat ! The new, small ( 105% ) jib has been run up to check fit, taken off, and the standard ( 135% ) genoa fitted. The new North Sails mainsail has been fitted ( after some confusion with how the batten pocket closures work !! ), reefing lines connected, and the sail hoisted and reefed to all three points. The stack pack and spray hood cover have also been re-fitted after valeting, and now look considerably less mouldy. While we were out of the berth to allow the main to be raised, we took the opportunity to find an empty alongside berth, and re-fit the life raft, which is now on the starboard side of the pushpit. New hoses, regulator, and changeover valve have been fitted in the gas locker, and a secure strap down housing for the printer mounted. Changing the engine battery isolator switch seems to have cured the starting problem ( new battery not required after all ! )with the iron sail bursting into life with no no problems at all. Still waiting for the backing plates for the davit mounts, but not in a desperate rush for these, as we won't get back to the boat for a week or so.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Final Push ( update )

I now have the new gas hoses, and the sails are back from cleaning - we might even get to have a sail this weekend ! The davits have been shipped, and should arrive tomorrow, so everything is starting to come together. I expected to have to go up the mast to sort out the masthead tricolour light, but having taken another look at the wiring from the mast it seems as if some rather odd colour conventions have been used - black is usually negative in a DC system, but in this case blue has been used ! The upshot of this is that I now have a working tricolour lamp, and an additional bonus of an all round white anchor light that I didn't know I had - all without climbing the mast - excellent !
NJ & Best friend Mettlesome in Hartlepool Marina