Friday 15 June 2012

A Multitude of Jobs

On the back of last week’s holiday we have a multitude of odd jobs to sort out this coming weekend in preparation for our first solo coastal cruise next month.

One of the most important jobs will be fixing the VHF radio which decided to stop receiving on the way back from Wells. It is still transmitting but for some unknown reason isn’t able to receive messages. Hopefully this will just be a dodgy connection somewhere in the wiring. If we cannot fix the problem this weekend it will be a new VHF set to be installed ASAP.

Next up we need to assess the new outboard bracket and the modifications needed to Naughty-Cal to ensure that it is a secure fit and that the outboard will be safe and securely mounted. We know that we need to have one of our stainless steel rails shortened and welded and that this will mean drilling a couple of new mounting holes in the transom but it will be a worthwhile modification and will mean that we can take the dinghy and outboard on holiday for the first time this year.

The alternator belt is still squealing despite being changed so we need to take a closer look at this to see if we have a more serious problem with the system or it just needs some more adjustment. It will also give us the opportunity to check the engine over and make sure it is in fine fettle. In the next couple of weeks we will change the engine oil and filter to keep her running sweet and reliably.

We have a couple of items in the cabin that need refitting. The shower room ceiling panel rattled loose during a bumpy sea leg so this needs screwing back into place and also the escape hatch interior trim needs refitting to the saloon roof. The sealant has been giving way for some time but the bumpy ride saw it give up the ghost completely. Some cleaning and new sealant is all that is needed here so these jobs should be fairly quick and easy to complete.

Liam has taken the stainless steel navigation loop to work for some repairs and modifications. The VHF aerial mounting suffered some damage during the worst of our choppy crossings so it has gone for some repair and welding work. Whilst the loop is at work the navigation lights and anchor lights have been rewired. These have been playing up for some time but are now working as they should with the aid of fresh wiring throughout. The flag pole for the Lincoln flag has also been repaired as it was showing signs of stress cracking at the mounting point.

At some point between now and when we go back to Wells we are also going to change our props again. The new set that we have currently fitted are very smooth and amazingly undamaged after 200 miles of use but they are not performing as they should at higher speeds. They don’t seem to be moving enough water, causing huge cavitation issues and a big loss of performance at the top end. We know that the spare set of props we carry are right so we will swap them and use the new set as a get you home emergency set.

On top of this little lot is the usual task of refuelling. We have come back from the last trip with just a quarter of a tank of fuel remaining (approx 60 litres), so over the next few weeks we will bring 60 litres of diesel at a time to ensure that Naughty-Cal has enough fuel to get us to Wells next month.

The last task, which is the endless one, is to get Naughty-Cal clean, both inside and out and ready for the next holiday afloat. The interior will once again get a thorough clean with any junk and unwanted clutter removed from the boat. Shedding unwanted and unneeded weight has a big effect on her performance being such a small boat.

Hopefully we can get Cal ready for her next adventure in plenty of time. The trip is one we have done many times now so there isn’t as much passage planning to be done barring working out the tide times throughout the week. Let’s hope this has the makings of a successful first solo coastal cruise.

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