...and we're in....

...thank goodness for that..  need a rest!

...that officially ends the winter maintenance...
...grabbed a couple of hours on Tuesday evening for one final splurge..  managed to get a second coat of paint in the bilges, a coat of paint in the forward bilges, and that officially, is that...   there's no foot fall so hopefully the titivation exercise will be in good shape by the end of the year..  it certainly looks neater...

....I brought the hoover down, so I then finally managed to get the rubbish out of the bottom of the keels, and also out of the transom locker..  it doesn't do anything for the boat, but it makes me feel better!  

Done...   harbour sticker on, and go home for a beer.. 

So this morning I troll up at 9 for my lift-in, and find half a dozen boats on the slipway already..  looks like I was an hour late..  I blame t'other Dave who'd also told me 9, and who trolled up 15 minutes after me, so was even later... 

Just time to whack the engine on the back, load up fuel tank, bag of basics, and she was lifted and plonked on the shingle....  I was going to grab a lift out on the rescue boat to put the mooring gubbins on my buoy, but the tide was haring in so I headed for Sparrow and reclined in the cockpit with a coffee to have a chat with the owners in the boat next to me..

Scarily short time after and with a helpful shove from Ray the beach-master and we slipped off into the harbour, engine burbling happily..


15 minutes later I was on the mooring, putting the gubbins together (and I applied that water proof grease to the shackle again, as that was a success story last lift out)..  time to stop, smell the ozone and the salt (I've missed it), and then, joy of joys, I used the VHF in anger for the first time ever and called up the rescue boat for a lift back to shore..  and it worked!! Amazeballs... 

Beautiful sunny day - fastest lift in ever - 3 hours from arriving to going home -  mast goes up Monday hopefully!

Last check list of the winter.. how did I do?

Well not too damn bad actually... so in addition to the following, I also transferred sails, sail cover, and two humungous cushions (that were going to be thrown out as being too "tatty" but were far too comfortable to do that, and to be honest improved the overall ambience of the cabin - which says a lot about the cabin...)..   we also now have a rather natty "Hurley Owners Association" sticker in the side cabin window..!

1/. Finish the tiller pilot fitting - done...

Rather than use the attachment that came with it, I had a bit of a brain wave, so rather than drilling another two holes in the boat (never a good idea, even above the water line) I've used the eye strap that was already there (that is use for tying off the tiller)


Used a scrap of hard plastic sheet from the spares box to give me a little more clearance and jobs a good'un..  rock solid, but hinges out of the way when not used..  the hook dangles, but it clears the cockpit sides so won't mark...  the cockpit locker opens almost completely in hinged back mode..  a triumph this one...


2/. I have decided a switch IS needed for the dri plug, so that when it's not in use I have an easier way of turning off the magic wand than physically unplugging it...  also done, very pleased with this one as I was again trying to over engineer it - 25mm hole, and the switch was mounted behind the bulkhead, with the actual switch in the cockpit locker just above the plug...

...the washers are over engineered but I happened to have four with the right sized hole..
..there's access through the bulkhead anyway, so I just re-opened the join above the inline fuse and lead one to one side and the other to the otherside of the switch, and got it right first time...


Had to test it with the magic wand of course, and as that was out I connected everything up, and all worked ..  looking forward to trying it in anger..

3/. Windex..  assembled and attached...  I wash my hands now - it is in the hands of fate, but she is as solid as I can now make her...


4/. Coat of floor paint in the bilge over the stringers - one coat on and already looking good - sods law of course as I was painting under first stringer it dislodged some crap I'd missed with the hoover so I've left it, and when it's dry I'll hoover it out before putting in a second coat...  I'll do that one morning/evening this week...


..and as a reminder this is what they looked like before!



5/. If there's time I'll do the tender with any leftover floor paint...  there wasn't unfortunately - Tesco beckoned with open arms (other weekly supermarket shop locations are available)

6/. Stick on the harbour sticker (the topping out ceremony) - funnily enough forgot to do this, but as I'm down for the second cut at some point before I go in Thursday I'll do it then.

Just the two things left then..  second coat, and harbour sticker..  I'll put the mooring back together on Thursday, either when I'm on it, or just before...  mast goes up Easter Monday...  fingers crossed...

Last check list of the winter..

...that appealed to me...  might struggle to make three though... well unless you include family... 

Less than a week to go, one more maintenance day left (Sunday)...  priorities, priorities...  in order...

1/. Finish the tiller pilot fitting - it needs to be screwed to the hinge and the cup hook fitted..

2/. I have decided a switch IS needed for the dri plug, so that when it's not in use I have an easier way of turning off the magic wand than physically unplugging it...  I have a switch, it'll go in the locker behind the plug...

3/. Windex..  shudder...  assemble and connect to the mast head..

4/. Coat of floor paint in the bilge over the stringers, and in the bilge sections in front and behind to keep it neat..

5/. If there's time I'll do the tender with any leftover floor paint...

6/. Stick on the harbour sticker (the topping out ceremony)

Let's see how we get on..

The dogs nadgers..

From this..


..to this..


...but not without having to spend far too much time in the hole....  thinking I might double up the joists next winter to give me a little more working room underneath..  anyway, two coats all over and a third thick one on rudder and water line and she was done in just over three or four hours in total..


...tools of the trade, I can almost smell it again..  the purchase of a pair of knee pads made the job a lot easier this year, but it is still the most loathsome job you have to do on a boat, and for little or no benefit other than a couple of months more of weed free sailing than if you didn't do it at all...  still we shall see if this years unguent is any better or worse than previous years...


..but the best bit is taking off the masking tape! 


That's it...   she's ready to go in, so any bits and pieces I do now are jam on the toast..  glad that's over though..

Wires, wires, wires...

....another good but tiring day on the boat..  yeah, it's time for a "more ticks than a mangy dog" post.. 

Not so many photo's unfortunately as it was a 'finishing off' day....

So the following are now officially "done"

Job #3 - Electrics:  the VHF came back from Standard Horizon via the Chandlers this week (excellent service by the way from Marine Superstore at Port Solent and also Standard Horizon) - Standard Horizon diagnosed a faulty screen and replaced it free of charge..  before (re)fitting, I permanently wired in the data lead for the GPS using the wiring combination I identified last time, blanked off all the wires that I'm not using - I have taken the decision not to permanently wire the GPS into the power as battery usage (double A's) is minimal, and it's just an extra complication...  powered up the GPS, crossed my fingers, turned on the VHF.. screen good, MMSI good, lat/long being delivered, RESULT!

Mixed up some epoxy gorilla glue and stuck some cable organisers to cabin roof and side to make the cable run neater, I also (while I had it out) stuck another in the quarter berth to take the aerial cable (which feeds through from the transom via the cockpit locker, through the bulkhead and into said quarter berth, then I micro cable tied all loose wires together and lastly, with the last of the glue I had a couple of small cable clips that I stuck underneath the companionway step - they will hold the GPS feed cable out of the way.. 

Next, I completed the anchor light installation by amalgamate taping all the joints, and routing the positive cable via existing and new cable clips - powered up everything and tested for power at lights and deck plug - all good - DONE!

Moved to the mast head, took off the anchor light reflector, gave it a good wash, replaced, taped - DONE!

First coat of paint was put on the tiller pilot fitting - I've bought it home for anther couple of coats this week and I'll fit it next weekend..  I'm increasingly thinking that I might want to fit a power switch for the pilot electrics, but rather than rush the decision I'll see how it plays out this season - I can either install a switch in the cockpit locker next to the plug, or move connectivity into the switch panel - on balance the former I think if I go that way..  while the paint was out, and I had a decent hoover with me, I cleaned the shelves either side of the companionway and gave them a coat of paint - they get a dreadful hammering with all the keys, padlocks, cans and whatever that normally live on them - they look a lot better now..

Next job #8 - the keel reinforcements.. looking significantly better following previous work..  hoovered out dust and other loose material, and  I gave them the second and final coat of epoxy primer - once they're dry I plan to paint the bilges with the same garage floor paint I used on the tender, which has proven to be pleasingly hard wearing..  picture once they're done...  the following was pre-'first primer coat'


Next job #12, and I checked the whipping on the genoa/main/topping lift eyes... in my view they look OK so I'm going to consider the job done, but I may double check once the rig is up and I can get easier access..

I was on a roll so the final job of the day was to start on #4 to replace fore hatch hinges - this is what they currently look like (albeit a little rustier as this was taken 3 or 4 years ago) - they are common or garden galvanised gate hinges that have been bent twice to fit the hatch - they sit on what look like plastic pads - I'm keen to make sure that I don't drill any further holes through the deck so whatever solution I come up with needs to utilise the same pads/fixings.. at the moment I am thinking wooden blocks on top of the pads, standard stainless hinge attached to rear face of the lid, and the block...  got as far yesterday as cutting the blocks - we'll reconvene next time as the next step was to unbolt the hinge and it was close the to the end of the day, and to be honest, I was knackered!

Lastly, the outboard service has been completed - no issues identified, and I've collected the engine - job done!