Sunday, 25 February 2018

Cold, cold, cold...

Far to cold for doing work on the boat..  mid-day and only just 4' C, but with the east wind (direct from Siberia) it's absolutely bitter..  we also have a yellow alert snow warning (don't eat the yellow snow) for Tuesday and Wednesday, so no let up..  but despite that the clock continues to tick and we are launching in a little of four and a bit weeks..!

Some stuff has been happening, however...

The outboard is in for a service.. expected back in a week or so...

Tiller pilot (job #3 on the winter list)...

I've fitted the DriPlug 2-Pin Plug I bought last summer to the tiller pilot, the socket will wait for later, as there's no point wiring it up until I can drill holes in the boat and fit it, I'd only have to dismantle it again as part of the fit..

I have wired in an inline fuse however, as my intention is to wire the tiller pilot wiring direct to the battery, albeit I will be wiring the positive to the switch panel side of the isolator switch so that when that's off, there'll also be be no power to the tiller pilot socket/circuit...

...I put some amalgamating tape round those joints when I'm on the boat..
The inline fuse currently has a 15 amp fuse in it, Raymarine recommend 12 amp, and will provide some protection to the circuit. The cable I'm using is 2.5mm² two core tinned (marine grade) thin wall so is rated for up to 27 amps.

https://www.boatoon.com/de/shop/details/expose/raymarine-st2000-plus-pinnenpilot-2192/
The cable run is likely to be no more than 2 mtrs so 2.5mm is over-spec but as Raymarine say in their manual (extract above) when in doubt err on the heavier side, so I went heavier.. 

I've also been giving some thought to where I will mount the pilot... Raymarine guidance is as follows:

Source as above..
....when I measured up (and excuse the old picture - it was just handy to show measurements - and yes, when I measured the tiller was straight.. ) I show the following..


So I have two options...
  1. I fit a bracket on the cockpit side that will bring the tiller pilot 3" closer to the tiller
  2. I buy (or make) a push rod extension so I can mount the pilot on the coaming
...currently going with 2/. as my cockpit lids are hinged and a bracket is going to interfere with it fully opening. Anyone got any views as to whether 3" is enough to need a rod extension?

More anon...

Boarding ladder (job #7)..

That'll be fitted before I go back in the water... I have two aluminium plates on order that I'll be using as a kind of super sized washer to spread the loads..  these are 30cm x 10cm and 4mm thick..  plan at the moment is to
  1. Drill holes in the plates to match the fitting (following)


  2. offer up the ladder to the back of the boat and mark the attachment points - needs to be low enough that the bottom rung is under or near the surface of the water (though I will put an extension on the bottom rung in the form of a metal pipe on a piece of line attached to the bottom rung)
  3. drill holes (the point of no return)
  4. grind off the inside of the transom around the holes to an area equivalent to the aluminium plates..  wipe down with acetone...
  5. put a nice thick'ish smear of thickened epoxy on the back of the plates, bolt the whole lot through, and partially tighten up, which should squish the epoxy out nicely and form a bed as I tighten the bolts..  
  6. ..once the epoxy has gone off tighten some more..
... the intention is that it will only ever be used when the boat is in the water, so that water will also provide some pressure dampening..  I think that'll be good enough... 
Elsewhere, let joy be unconfined a new power tool has entered the household - I have my first ever angle grinder..  

...and why would I need such a beast..  well I have a plan to address the issue with the ==>

Outboard pad (job #10)

...the lip of the outboard inset has some cracks in it, the top of the pad is coming away from the transom (in yellow), but as you can see I have bolts, and a drain pipe going through it so unless I really have to I didn't want to take it off completely..  I plan to cut along the red line (wood cutter disc in the grinder) and remove the top couple of inches..  check what then needs doing, repair, and then replace with a strip of new marine ply to the same size, which I'll through bolt... sounds easy... 


Monday, 12 February 2018

Slowly, slowly...

...45 days to launch but the weather here is still bitter, no snow yet in my part of the world but it's forecast for tomorrow..  ambient temperatures are 5 and 6' Celsius at the moment but we have  F8 and F9 winds forecast for the next few days, from the north, oh, and with rain...  better get my thermals out

So what's been happening...

The cabin paintwork has been cleaned - first painted this [clicky] back in 2015 and although the paint work is still good (thumbs up for Homebase bathroom emulsion!) with the best will in the world it is cold and damp for 5 months of the year so we'd picked up some mould in the interim...

....all nice and spanky new back then in 2015...
...these were a fortuitous buy however, well worth the fiver..  cleaned up paintwork a treat...  according to the data sheet they are basically Isopropanol soaked disposable clothes - all I can say is they were very good...


...I also took down those curtains and gave them a wash - now they've been up since I first launched back in 2013, and basically they've lasted about as well as I could expect - they are faded to buggery, but structurally still sound - a wash later and I've now re-hung them - they still do the job but they're no longer pretty..  I may consider giving them a dye job at some point, a darker colour would be more suitable...

Next, a trip to the chandlers has resulted in a 2.5 litre tin of anti-foul being purchased - went with the same brand/make as last year and the year before..  the price is good, it works reasonably well, and anyway, the EU has banned anything useful in anti-foul so I don't really see the point in spending more for the quality brands when they only have a slightly improved level of uselessness... 

....while I was there I also picked up a West System Epoxy Repair kit..  we'll need at least another 5-10 degrees of ambient temperature before I can start using that though!

If we don't get it (and 5-10 degreesis a big ask!), then this weekend I'll start wiring up the fixed VHF, and the tiller pilot, ready for better weather and installation...