Monthly Archives: July 2014

Launched at Last!

The Boss and I arrived at Baltic Wharf on Friday to find that they had nicked our boat and put it beside the launch slipway. There seemed to be quite a bit to load on, food, clothes, and stuff, but there was stuff to get rid of, including the power cable and ladder.

Rowan had completed the canopy and the cockpit enclosure ( a good case of “just in time”!). It proved its worth during the next 3 nights afloat. Thanks to LNR Marine.

Anyway, the guys were very good, lifted us into slings, gave us plenty of time to antifoul the patches where the chocks were and under the keel. The launch went smoothly; I checked all the seacocks and were, at the time, fine. However, when we were sorting ourselves out alongside, I realised that I had not checked the depth and speed transducer mounts. Both were unusable; the depth ‘cos I couldn’t get the depth transducer fully into the mount – probably caused by debris and muck at the bottom of the mount. The speed log blank was seized solid! We later found that a heads seacock needed tightening.

The trip down the Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth was event-free. We had booked a berth at Darthaven came in alongside Starboard side to, but like our Rival (the previous Cuchulainn) she kicks to Port in astern which makes stopping at a starboard berth a bit more of a challenge.

By this time, we had created another list of bits we needed, for example, torches and a replacement hand water pump, ‘cos the old one leaked air back into the pressurised side of the water supply. This made the pump operate at the wrong times! The pressure switch appears to be a bit dodgy so that may need replacement but it’s old and may be unavailable which equals a new pump! We also discovered that the water tank leaks from the inspection cover and, in several places, around the fibreglass cover. This is a winter job and, despite tightening up all the screws & bolts, it will still weep a little bit of water, particularly when heeled or overfilled. (Moral: don’t do either!)

Our launch coincided with a Cargreen Yacht Club Cruise to Dartmouth, so on Sat we joined 6 others at the Floating Bridge pub for dinner.

The forecast for Sunday was W to NW 3 or 4 occasionally 5, with thundery showers; we were going west into the wind. Great! No chance for a proper first sail! It was a motor all the way back to Cargreen from Dartmouth. The weather was very sunny, all the clouds were nearly all inland and around Yealampton, there was a substantial thunder storm with loadsa rain. We left our berth at 08:30, topped up with some diesel (and discovered another winter job – replacing the filler hose and bleed hose!). We cleared Dartmouth just after 09:00 with a light tail wind. Within an hour it was about 8 knots and enough to fill the mainsail when I raised it. You can tell that this boat has been in the Mediterranean with all the Saharan sand/dust still embedded in it despite the serious cleaning it got this winter!

We did manage to sail with both sails up and no engine for 15 minutes! The wind had backed enough to the SW but it didn’t last, genoa came back in and the cast iron genoa came back on!

By the time we got to Start Point, the tide was beginning to turn foul against us so our average speed dropped a couple of knots and once clear of Bolt Tail SW of Salcombe we were managing only 4 knots over the ground. (No boat speed or depth!) The adverse tide lasted all the way up to our mooring at Cargreen where we used the tried and tested method of the Boss driving and the Skipper picking up the mooring. It was lovely and quiet after the bustle of Dartmouth. The meal was from out-of-date tins and lots of Lee & Perrins! The Skipper was heard to mutter nasty things the next morning – the resident gulls clearly had had a party on our brand new cockpit enclosure and left lots of nasty white muck. &@$£%€∞#s!!

Our small dinghy was full with the bags that we brought back from the boat and we were met by D & A who were very kindly giving us a lift back to our car that we had left at Baltic Wharf. We are very grateful to them.

It was a full-on 4 days but the boat is just about ready to go; the list isn’t endless but grew a bit during the trip.

PS Photos afloat to follow…


Launch Date in Sight

The launch date has been set for Fri 18 Jul. So now we MUST get everything ready!

The clamp for the bilge pump is now installed, although with all the twists and joints in the tubing, I managed to connect it up the wrong way first time. It blew instead of sucked, not good if you want to empty the bilge of water!

The deck is now painted a rather bright white and is really non-slip! It took a while to mask up all round the deck fittings and I also cut pretty curves in the masking tape. The end result is fine but it certainly shows up how rough the rest of the deck is!

First main coat of antifoul is done, we’ll complete the top coat probably on Mon.

First coat of Antifoul

First coat of Antifoul

Jobs left are just tidying, putting cushions out, collecting together all the stuff that we need. We did acquire some melamine plates from the skip plus a kettle, but we threw that back when we saw how scaled up it was!


Final Jobs for Seaworthiness

These jobs are getting the nav lights to work; having a working bilge pump; painting the deck with non-slip; antifoul the hull.

In the last couple of visits,  I can’t work out why the wire from the switch panel to the anchor locker doesn’t work! So I’ve rewired it along a very torturous route: from the starboard side of the anchor locker, the cable went through the bulkhead into the cable duct. It was threaded through a deck gland to keep it waterproof. The cable went across to the port side duct into the heads locker, down to the water pipe duct. I pushed the cable through with the help of a bit of PTFE spray, to the galley. Under the galley and through another duct eventually to the cockpit locker. The final bit was up to the switch panel. However, it needed two attempts to get both lights to work! I had tried several other routes but the obvious one along the duct at the edge of the boat is blocked by the steelwork for the chainplates.

Over the past two visits, I hoisted both sails so Cuchulainn now looks more like a yacht ready to go! The weight of the sails is much less when compared to our Rival 41! I will probably leave the tack lines for the mainsail until we’re afloat as they are not essential.

I’ve given up with the leaks from the windows and have put a quadrant of Sikaflex around them all. Today there was no evidence of any leaks; only time will tell.

The bilge pump is partly done but I’m waiting for the replacement clamp. I hope it doesn’t hold me up.

I have marked the anchor chain at 10metre intervals and got it into the chain locker. But I discovered that the CQR anchor doesn’t fit through the stem fitting – it’s too big. J has given me a Bruce anchor that will fit, so I’m taking that down next time. I also need an 8mm allen key to undo the chain swivel.

Next visit will probably be on Thu/Fri when both days are forecast to be dry and I will be able to paint the deck.

Launch Date Closer

My book of jobs to do on the boat is now all on less than one page, so the launch date must be close! This entry is an amalgam of 3 visits to the boat over the last week.

The remote mic for the VHF now has a glassed-in bracket in the starboard cockpit open locker and a holder. I’d made the bracket from fibreglass as well. This morning, I did a radio check with Brixham Coastguard who came through “Loud and clear”. The radio/CD player now has new speakers in the cabin to replace the corroding, black boxes. They are smart looking,  flush mounted on the forward saloon bulkhead. Just need to connect them up tomorrow.

We STILL  have leaks from the windows, despite all the Creep Crack Cure I’ve poured into them. They have got one more chance before I break out the black Sikaflex to go around the frames. It was a remedy that worked on our Rival.

I’ve been having “fun” with an enclosure for the calorifier which I had hoped to finish today, however, the broken bilge pump above it and the replacement of all the tubing has put that on hold. The part I need is a plastic clamp, on order with Mt Batten Boathouse. Quickly please as it’s holding me up!

The deck is now sanded ready to be painted. I need a couple of dry days so that I can mask up the deck and then paint. Not this week unfortunately! The antifoul was put on by the previous owner (not many nice things can be said about him, suffice it to say that I have a Small Claims Court judgement against him but await him to pay me what he owes). I rubbed down what I could reach with the hose (about half); I’ve now extended the hose and will do the rest tomorrow. I’ve got the paint ready to go. The Boss seems to think that it is her favourite job, bit I;m not sure! The topsides look much better because I’ve feathered back the edges of the worn paint on the port side and replaced the stripes and from  a distance one cannot tell that there is damage there or that the paint job is pretty bad!

Very dangerously, I’ve been thinking about the running rigging and how to reef from the cockpit. I’ve just installed two extra blocks for the tack reefing lines (forward end of the sail) plus deflectors to ensure that the reef line pulls in the correct direction. Graeme from Harris Rigging showed me the way to do that. The boat is beginning to look like a yacht with the mainsail and stackbag rigged. Note to self – get an up to date photo!

Not everything is going well, I’ve discovered that the bow light won’t work ‘cos there’s no power to it. Somewhere in the cable from the anchor locker end to the switch panel there’s a break. The cable is well hidden in a cable duct, probably down the starboard side and almost certainly inaccessible!  This may be a rewire job! Bother!

Significant jobs left are: Deck paint; Antifoul: Bilge pump; Calorifier; Bow light. Light iIS at the end of the tunnel!