Monthly Archives: November 2014

Winter Work!

Winter work started in earnest on Sun! The Skipper went down to finish clearing stuff out, sleeping bag, pillows, &c. I thought that I would make a start on clearing the cockpit locker of the 200litre fuel tank.

I had bought two 25litre cans and pumped out the diesel from the existing tank, however, only one was needed, oops not much fuel then! Removed the webbing that secured the tank, removed the fuel connections, rotated the tank thro’ 90deg and removed it much too easily! It’s now stored on deck. Anyone know someone who needs a perfectly serviceable 200l fuel tank? One’s going cheap-ish!

That left the supports: a very small amount of cutting removed what glass fibre that was securing the platform meant that I could very easily lift and remove it. I pulled most of the fibre glass of the side of the locker wall ‘cos no attempt had been done to grind it back to get a good adhesion (EXCELLENT! = nice and clean locker!) The supports took only a couple of kicks with my heel to remove them and virtually all the fibreglass. I have no idea how 200 litres of fuel (= 180Kgs) would have survived in a very rough sea. What I thought would be a 2 day job was done in half a day. Lovely, but I will pay for it later!

Cockpit Locker after old tank was removed

Cockpit Locker after old tank was removed but I’ve already removed most of the debris and water

The Boss came to the boat on Sun to help with re-seating the boarding ladder on the transom, definitely a two person job, me inside and her outside. The Boss went shopping and stuff, while I got one with cleaning the debris out of the cockpit locker and starting with the design of the platform for the new tank. More later….

Where the new fuel tank will go

Where the new fuel tank will go

Another long job was the removal of the lid for the water tank, under the Starboard saloon berth. It leaked from around the join. The forum had stories of using long levers and even a car jack to remove it. I undid the 50 screws holding it (I did forget one!). Got a screwdriver under the lid, followed by a wooden wedge and hey presto, off it came. Although I had to cut the tubes ‘cos I couldn’t remove them. We now have a smelly, slimy water tank to clean, sterilise and put back together with the correct sealant, instead of the rubbish that was there. At the same time, I’m replacing the glassed in copper tubes with proper bulkhead connectors and adding a contents gauge. The Boss has promised to do the cleaning! There is osmosis inside the tank in the fibreglass; I’m going to ignore it but ask the Sadlers Owners forum for their thoughts.

I enjoy being at the Yacht Haven Quay, I went to see the office to ask what can be done about the boat being chocked bow up. I said that I knew it was bow up but didn’t really mind but the gas locker was filling up with water, could you do something about it. Quick as a flash, Will said, “well drill a hole in it!” No Will! Anyway they’re going to re-chock sometime during the week.

Now Ashore

Why is it that whenever we decide to lift our boat out at the end of the season, It is seriously chucking it down with rain and blowing a hooley! On Tue 11 Nov, the Boss and the Skipper drove to the Sailing Club and she dropped me off to go shopping while I set about taking the boat down-river to Plymouth Yacht Haven Quay.

First job was to remove both mooring strops and leave a slip line. All was going fine, when I saw that three landing craft were travelling downstream at hull speed creating significant bow and stern waves. A small boat on the other side of the river heeled +/- 20 or 30 deg, I had to sit in the bottom of my dinghy to remain safe. They ignored calls to reduce their wash and continued to create havoc all the way down the river. No doubt they did the same going through the Weir Quay moorings. The Marine should learn to respect other river users. I suspect that they won’t/shan’t. Rant over!

That’s when it started raining and with it came the gusty wind. The autopilot helped with the steering , but during the gusts (32knots recorded) Cuchulainn needed to be hand steered. Going past the Hamoaze needed the same, to avoid running into the buoys and the Cremyl post.

By the time I arrived at PHY Quay, the wind had moderated and coming alongside was straight-forward. I tied up and met the Boss for a cup of tea. We removed the sails, dinghy, and some of the other stuff that lives on a boat.

D and A from the Club arrived in a rain shower for lunch and curiosity! Thanks for coming!

Ashore at Plymouth Yacht Haven Quay

Ashore at Plymouth Yacht Haven Quay

We went to Mt Batten Boathouse for a few bits and met Merv who said he would service and winterise the engine that afternoon. (see below). We returned home with a car-load of stuff and another cup of tea.

The boatyard lifted Cuchulainn, early on Wed morning, by the time I got there, later than planned because I re-discovered the reason I don’t travel in rush-hours! I left the guys chocking and bracing the boat. There was plenty of other stuff to remove, including the string.  (String = sheets, halyards, lines (reefing &c), an uphaul; sailors have names for all the different ropes). I also discovered another leak in the forecabin which I treated with crack cure (watch this space); the water in the forward bilge may come from an open vent, I hope it does and not the chainplates! Re-seating the plates is a tedious and lengthy job.

A discussion with Gavin from Mt Batten Boathouse, ended with all four engine mounts being replaced as the front two had gone “soft and collapsed”, the after two would soon follow. They will be replaced with new and the engine re-aligned all in one job rather than two about a year or two apart and will coat almost twice as much. The good news is that Merv got the fridge working and I don’t need a new one. So what I save on one job, I pay out on the other. That’s better than paying for both!

Next visit is on Mon to check the leaks; re-seat the stern ladder that’s loose and as it’s the main way onto the boat now it needs to be fixed. We will drain the water as it now has a drain, put in today, and I can start clearing the cockpit locker and drain the fuel tank before removing it and replacing with a sensible sized one and getting the cockpit locker back.