Saturday, 26 October 2013

Emptying the anchor locker

Went to Mersea with Julian today, not nearly such a nice day as Thursday; it was raining when we got there, and felt as though it would stay that way all day despite the forecast. Luckily it soon dried out, and we got all the things done we wanted to.

The forepeak is now empty of its anchors and anchor locker, with the bolts though the stem finally accessible for checking. The floor bolts that were not replaced in the bow when the ones in the main cabin were done back when we first bought Robinetta can now be reached too. I think we'll ask Paul Drake to check them and replace if needed, he's coming to have a look at Robinetta on Monday.
Julian did some epoxying at the stern where the cap rail had been pulled up, and he also removed the rotten strip of iroko that covered the gap between the fibreglassed deck and the transom. That will have to be replaced, but its a simple enough job once we find the right bit of wood. After that he sanded down the mast where it had been damaged by the gaff saddle.

A good days work once the weather relented. The more we can get done this early in the maintenance season the better!

The diesel leak has been traced by Olly, when he winterised the engine for us. The fuel lift pump diaphragm is leaking. We've decided to get a new pump rather than just the diaphragm as the costs are pretty similar once the labour is factored in. Julian will buy it, then Olly will fit it when he gets the engine ready in the spring. He's pretty sure that that is the only leak, but time will tell.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Where the water comes in

Today was my first chance to get to West Mersea for a while due to work and weather, but it was a great day to go. Bright warm sun shine, and only a little breeze. The yard had moved Robinetta again, as the car park had been shrunk to only fit about ten cars, and she should not need to be moved again this winter. That meant I was able to get the electric hook up in place, so now I'll be able to brew up with the electric kettle.

The decks were damp with dew when I got there, but since I'd brought the heat gun and now had power I could burn the loose paint off the foredeck bulwark, which dried out the wood before I smoothed it down with the sander. I last painted this area before we left Shotley, and its not in bad condition overall, so I did not try to strip it totally. It's got a coat of grey metallic primer on all the bare bits now, and I'll probably leave it like that until the spring.

There is a distinct gap between the deck and the hull on the port side of the foredeck. The stopping has failed, and the caulking beneath is very loose. This may well be the source of one of our leaks this summer. 

As the wood of the hull dried out in the sun it was possible to see where a couple of areas stayed damp, as water trapped inside the hull leaked out. Paul had packed the one at the stern with bitumen when he recaulked it, but it looks as though it will need more attention this winter.

With the weather so perfect for it I sanded down where the mooring had abraded the antifouling down to bare wood and gave it a coat of underwater primer. The wood was in good condition and dry, so it made sense to get paint on it.

The old cooker had to go, so that went in the car to take to the dump, then I put the cover on the foredeck. There's rain forecast for tomorrow, and I want to keep it out of the boat as much as I can.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Mast out

We heard that the mast had been taken out on Friday, so headed for Mersea. Julian got on with undressing the mast, while I weatherproofed where the mast goes through the deck.
It was sunny and warm for the time of year, so we got fish and chips from the Oyster Bar and ate in Robinetta's cockpit. Very pleasant.

While I was emptying the fresh water from the tanks (which needed draining) I used it to clean up the foredeck and wash the cabin sides and remaining cockpit cap rail, all of which were in dire need of Varnol. They got one coat, which will give some protection over the winter.

Next time I go I must remember to take the foredeck cover. That will make the boat a whole lot drier inside!

The electric bilge pump was not working, so Julian looked at the fuse which seemed fine to both of us. He then renewed all the electrical connections, but it would still not work, and when he looked at the fuse again it now seemed broken.... Grr. A new fuse, and it worked, but the pump was not sending the water up the pipe any more, just spraying it around. Julian fished around in the bilges and found the missing 0-ring, mended the pump, put it back in position, then declared himself done for the day. I don't blame him!