Tuesday 28 February 2017

Sorting the Paperwork

With the boat ready to drop back into the water in a few days it was now time to sort out a few bits of paperwork. The invoice for the time ashore came yesterday and is ready for paying, the insurance renewal was due so was also paid yesterday and then there is the Canal and Rivers Trust licence to pay for as well.

In recent years we have only been licencing the boat for nine months of the year. It seems silly paying for the three months that the boat is laid up ashore. Granted it only saves us around £100 but that is £100 that could be better spent on parts for the boat then being wasted paying for something we are not using.

The last licence ran out at the end of December so I will buy a six month licence today which will see us through until the end of August and then a three month licence after that will see us through until we are ready to lift the boat out once again.

Monday 27 February 2017

Back to Work

After another weekend of working on the boat we are now back to work for what will be for me anyway, a short working week. 

On Thursday evening after work we will head back to the marina so that I am on the boat ready for the relaunch first thing on Friday morning while Liam heads back to Sheffield to work again.

We discovered over the weekend that our batteries really are on their last legs now. They are always a little sluggish after a period on the battery charger ashore, so we decided that at a few points over the weekend we would switch off the charger and let the batteries do some work in a bid to wake them up from their slumber. But this was to no avail. They really are suffering. So Liam is going to order a pair of new domestic batteries this week and will fit them on Friday evening after work. We knew they were getting ready for replacing so it is no great hardship.

Sunday 26 February 2017


We had an early start this morning to make the most of the weather.  The paint was applied first thing to give it the most time possible to dry.

We then set an outing waxing and finishing a few bits and bobs off in the cockpit.

Naughty-Cal is now ready to relaunch on Friday morning.

Saturday 25 February 2017

Busy Bees

Today we have been busy busy working on the boat hoping to get it finished by tomorrow evening.

Today we have completely polished the cockpit and dashboard, changed one of the blue cockpit led lights, resealed a few bits in the cockpit and fettled a few bits in the galley.

Tomorrow we need the weather to be better and minus the rain as we have to apply the antifoul paint and apply some wax.

Friday 24 February 2017

A Wee Incident

I had a wee incident with the hull primer last weekend and thought I had gotten away with there being no photographic evidence until this morning when this photo cropped up.

There was a little splash back!

It took an age to get off. Metallic primer seems to like to prime anything, skin included!

Thursday 23 February 2017

Indian Fakeaway

As regular readers of the blog will know, at the back end of October Liam and I set about trying to eat a bit better and a bit healthier.

Well up until now thing are going very well. We are both losing a steady 1 to 2 pounds a week and more importantly we are both still enjoying the food that we are eating.

Last nights evening meal was a very tasty, all homemade turkey curry with wholegrain basmati rice, sweet potato pakora and garlic and coriander wholewheat flat breads.

The pakora are easy enough to make. For these I baked a sweet potato the night before. Scooped out the flesh and added to a bowl with finely chopped onion, beaten egg and curry powder. Form into balls and cook in the air fryer for 15 minutes.

For the flat breads Liam mixed low fat natural yoghurt in a bowl with grated garlic, chopped coriander and wholewheat plain flour. Formed a dough and rolled out into flat breads. These were then dry fried in a large pan.

The whole meal was delicious, tasty and really quite healthy for a curry.

Wednesday 22 February 2017


We always like to keep Naughty-Cal looking at her best. She may be getting on for 14 years old now but that is no excuse to let her start to look shabby.

At the beginning of each year she is treated to a full machine polish and lots of wax to hopefully keep her hull and topsides glistening and gleaming but also to help keep them clean throughout the year. The wax and polish help to stop dirt sticking to the gel coat and scratching or scuffing it. A quick rinse off with the hosepipe is usually all that is necessary to keep her looking spotless through the summer months.

Towards the end of the season as the wax starts to wear away cleaning tends to require more elbow grease and some car shampoo is usually applied to help with the cleaning. This year we were a little lazy as we didn't wash the boat before we brought her ashore, which of course just meant that we had to do it last week before we set about polishing. These jobs always catch up with you in the end. There is no getting away from them!

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Counting Down

Naughty-Cal's time ashore is almost over, just one last weekend should see the work for this year substantially finished and then a few more days propped up on the hardstanding to make sure that everything has dried properly before she is ready to be dropped back into the water on the Friday.

We will still have a few odd bits and bobs to finish off while she is in the water, most importantly the full engine service which this year will include all of the belts as well as the usual oil and filter, fuel filters, crankcase filter, supercharger oil and impeller. 

But the engine service will wait a couple of weeks. For the first weekend afloat at least we want to chill out and enjoy the fruits of a winter of hard labour ashore. 

Monday 20 February 2017

Early Start

We had an early start this morning to get from Lincoln and back into Sheffield for work.

After a very productive weekend it was a shame to have to come back as we could easily have finished hat we have left to do today.

But never mind another weekend awaits and we can have an easy weekend at that, assuming the weather of course decides to play ball. We need just one more dry day to allow us to apply the antifoul paint and a couple of coats of wax to protect the deep shine on the gel coat throughout the year. Fingers crossed that the weather gods are on our side!

Sunday 19 February 2017

A Long Day

We got up early today with the intention of having a long day of polishing. And it has certainly felt like a long day but the rewards are a now gleaming boat ready for a couple of coats of wax applying next week.

Saturday 18 February 2017

Ploughing On

Today we have been busy ploughing on with the multitude of jobs still to do on the boat.

Liam has finished the hull repairs ready for priming tomorrow. He has also fitted the refurbished trim rams to the sterndrive and dropped the drive oil and replaced with new. As part of the trim ram repair he has also replaced the hydraulic fluid and whilst in the engine bay topped up the power steering fluid.

While Liam was busy with that little list I polished the roof, gave the hull sides a good wipe down as they were filthy, polished the bow and under the bathing platform.

So a productive day. Hopefully the same again tomorrow should see us on target to finish next weekend.

Friday 17 February 2017

A Spring Roll

Who doesn't like a spring roll with their Chinese meal? We certainly do but with our healthy eating regime we are currently undertaking, which is working wonders for our health, we have had to stay away from fried food.

Well a recipe flashed up on a website which I thought we could modify and make it so that we could have spring rolls again and it worked great, they tasted just like the real thing.

For these I used four sheets of wholewheat lasagne which I part boiled until soft. While the lasagne sheets were boiling I dried fried some mixed stir fry vegetables with some chinese five spice until soft. Take a lasagne sheet, add some vegetables and roll up. I then stuck them in the air fryer for ten minutes until they crisped up. And hey presto you have spring rolls but minus the deep frying.

They had the texture and taste of a genuine spring roll. We were very impressed and served them alongside our king prawn thai curry and wholewheat noodles.

Thursday 16 February 2017

A Handy Gadget

Getting into the engine bay of a Sealine S23 requires one to be a dwarf contorsionist! So to save Liam the effort of clambering in every time he needs to inspect something at the back we have picked up a handy little gadget. 

We have bought a small USB powered camera that plugs into either our phones or tablet that can be threaded down into small spaces and beams the pictures back to whichever device it is plugged in too. It has a series of LED lights in the camera end so that even in dark areas we can get a decent picture back. It also allows pictures to be taken or video recorded to look back at at a later date.

The camera is also waterproof to IP68, so when we get into some clearer water in Scotland this summer we plan to attach it to the boat hook and have a gander below the water.

This whole device cost us the grand sum of £10 including delivery and is small enough to stash away in an easy to reach location. If it does get lost or damaged it won't cost the earth to replace.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Buoy, Oh Buoy

This summers trip to Scotland will bring with it a series of firsts for us. The first time we have trailed Naughty-Cal, the first time she has been out of England and the first time she will spend time moored out on a mooring buoy.

Which also means it will be the first time that Liam and I have had to pick up a mooring buoy!

Now the theory in itself isn't rocket science, it should in theory be easier then docking alongside a pontoon. But we all now that putting the theory into practice can be anything other than as simple as it sounds. 

The picture above is of our usual cruising partners boat Nitty Gritty on a buoy on the south coast. They have both agreed that the best place to pick up the buoy is from the rear of the boat where the sides are lower. The bow is far to high to thread the rope onto the buoy unless there is a pick up buoy and pick up line attached.

No doubt the first time we have to pick up a buoy it will be a fraught experience but by the end of the week on the coast we should have the technique down to a fine art. After all we will be getting plenty of practice as pretty much everywhere we intend to visit has them.

Tuesday 14 February 2017


Over the weekend in between the rain showers I set about plotting a few of our planned courses into the chart plotter for our big summer trip.

We have a vague idea of where we want to visit and when but a lot will of course depend on the weather and sea conditions.

Our first leg is the very short, less then two mile in fact, hop from Inverness Marina at the mouth of the River Ness to Clachnaharry Sea Lock at the start of the Caledonian Canal.

The exit from the River Ness will take us towards the Kessock Bridge to avoid the sand bar which has formed at the mouth of the river. The bar is handily marked by a buoy so we shouldn't have any issue avoiding it. Once out into the fast flowing estuary beyond it won't take us long to reach the entry to the canal and then we can have a week of milling around as and when we choose, whilst always keeping an eye on the weather for our final week on the coast.

For the west coast section of our trip we have only charted the first couple of legs so far as plans could well change depending on the weather and sea state. The remaining legs can be plotted nearer the time when we are sure where we are heading!

Monday 13 February 2017


Despite the wind and rain we had a fairly productive weekend and we have hopefully, weather dependent, set ourselves up to finish on time in the next couple of weekends.

The epoxy filler had finally gone off on the hull so between rain showers Liam set about rubbing it down and dotting in a few last minor bits. The weather is set to be fairly mild this week so by next weekend the last of the repairs will be ready to rub down and get some primer on ready for a coat of antifoul once the hull is polished.

Whilst it was raining we set about some inside jobs. I cleared out the whole of the galley, thoroughly deep cleaned it all and then sorted through the assortment of odds and ends of food and decided what was worth keeping and what could be resigned to the bin. In the end most of it went in the bin.

Liam kept himself busy replacing the remote control to the cockpit LED lights, again. This time they work perfectly. While busy wiring in the remote behind the dashboard he also found a few wires that were corroded and needed replacing so he has done that as well.

Liams next job was wiring in the new bilge pump. The plastic cover of the old one got damaged last summer so it was time to replace the pump. He has however noticed that the float switch is also broken so I have ordered another one to replace it with next week.

The last of the jobs were outside jobs so done rather quickly on Sunday given the freezing cold and rain. One of the stern drive trim rams has been removed as it has developed and ever so slight hydraulic fluid leak. Liam will replace the seals this week at work and refit the ram next weekend. The final job was fitting the new trim tab ram bellows. A tiny job but important none the less.

Sunday 12 February 2017

A Brief Interlude

We did get a brief interlude in the weather yesterday which allowed us to get a few outside jobs finished.

Today we have a few minor bits to finish off and take off and then we think we will probably head home.

Saturday 11 February 2017

Please Stop Raining

It is a wet and miserable start to Saturday here in Lincoln. Not ideal as we have outside jobs to do today. The forecast says it is due to stop anytime soon.

So while we are waiting for it to stop we have had a spot of breakfast. A quorn sausage and black pudding muffin with a reduced fat plastic cheese slice.

Excuse the paper plate. We use them while the boat is ashore to save on washing up.

Friday 10 February 2017

Where's the Boat?

Work today has taken me to York. A lovely city but one we have only really visited by boat. So it seemed odd today to be there without Naughty-Cal.

The photo opposite was taken during our last visit to York way back in 2010! Doesn't seem so long ago.

After this years big trip to Scotland we are planning some more sedate local cruising for 2018 and York is high on the list of places we plan to visit. We have not really done much in the way of local cruising in the last six or seven years so it is high time we paid more attention to our local waterways, rather then heading out far and wide.

Thursday 9 February 2017

All Alone

We got the news earlier this week that our cruising partners and Nitty Gritty won't be joining us on this summer's grand tour of Scotland.

They have been having trouble finding transport to get Nitty Gritty up there and the prices they have been quoted just don't stack up and don't make the trip a viable option.

This is a great shame as we were really looking forward to another great holiday away with them. Despite this we are still going and will make sure that we have enough of an adventure for all of us. 

For us and Naughty-Cal the planning continues. 

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Finalizing Choices

We took the opportunity at the weekend whilst we caught the trimmer in his workshop to finalize the design details for Naughty-Cal's up coming cockpit retrim. 

We made the final decision on the fabric, we have stuck with the same daring fabric as we initially chose but have left the detailing of the contrasting piping in the capable hands of the trimmer. He can decide which colour will work best.

We have made several amendments to the original design and are adding a couple of extra bits to make the upholstery work for us. Quite why these extra bits were not original standard fit we don't know but they seem to make sense, as you will see later.

The timescale has slipped a little. It was initially set at mid this month but has now slipped to mid next month. Not a big problem by any means. We want it doing before our summer cruising starts in earnest but for now what we have will suffice.

So watch this space. Hopefully in the next four or five weeks Cal should be sporting a whole fresh look which should hopefully finish off the cockpit spruce up nicely.

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Before and After

I was mightily impressed with my efforts on the teak cockpit table and shelf over the weekend. The transformation from a faded grubby table to the now glistening bright teak really surprised both Liam and I.

It wasn't a quick process, the teak cleaning is a two part process followed by several coats of sealant to keep it looking fresh. But I hope you will agree that the difference is quite outstanding.


And after:

Hopefully the teak will keep this colour a little longer this time around. We are also aiming to retreat it the weekend before we head out on our Scottish summer trip to try and keep the clean and gleaming effect all year.

Monday 6 February 2017

A Little Set Back

We had several successes at the weekend but one major set back. The epoxy filler being used to carry out a couple of minor repairs to the hull beneath the waterline didn't go off overnight on Saturday due to the cold temperatures. So the hull work which should have been finished this weekend now roll into next weekend as well and most probably, looking at the temperatures forecast for next weekend the weekend after that as well.

But we can work around it and get the other outside jobs of cleaning, polishing and waxing slotted in around the hull work. It shouldn't set is back too much. 

We did also find that one of the stern drive trim rams has developed an ever so tiny leak again whilst putting the stern drive back together. So that is another job to add to the list before we get put back in the water.

Despite the set backs we did get quite a bit of work done. The stern drive is back in one piece again, the trim tabs are clean again, all of the anodes are back on and cleaned up and the cockpit teak is looking as good as new. So it wasn't all bad news by a long way. The end is in sight for this year's period ashore.  

Sunday 5 February 2017

Scraped It

The cleaned trim tabs are now sporting their cleaned up anodes. The new bellows are here at home awaiting fitting next weekend.

After a lovely Sunday lunch in the Woodcocks we have decided to head back home and spend the rest of Sunday chilling  out.

Saturday 4 February 2017


My two jobs for today have been scraping the trim tabs and cleaning and treating the teak table and cockpit shelf.

Both jobs have turned out well.

Friday 3 February 2017

Another List

Another weekend has rolled around and this time we are spending it at the boat getting a few more jobs crossed off the list before relaunch at the end of this month. It is rolling around quick again and we still have a miriad of jobs left to tackle.

For this weekend the list of jobs includes:

  • Rebuilding the sterndrive and filling it with oil to flush out the last of the water contamination.
  • Scraping the trim tabs.
  • Refitting the cleaned up anodes to the trim tabs and drive.
  • Cleaning the teak cockpit table and shelf with Wessex Teak Cleaner.
  • Resealing the teak cockpit table and shelf to keep it weather and spill proof.
  • Fitting the new engine bay bilge pump.
  • Repairing and patching in a few areas of loose and flaky paint on the hull.
  • Priming the above mentioned areas of hull.
This little list of jobs should keep us busy for the weekend. As it is going to be a busy weekend we plan to have a couple of quite nights in both tonight and tomorrow evening. But it won't be all work and no play as we intend to finish by early afternoon on Sunday and then treat ourselves to Sunday lunch and a few early evening drinks in Woodcocks.

Thursday 2 February 2017

More Freight

This week there has been an announcement from the Canal and Rivers Trust that a deal has been struck for more freight to start working along the Aire and Calder once more.

The official notice is here below:

"Canal & River Trust are pleased to announce a new freight operation on the Aire & Calder Navigation.

The operation is due to start week commencing 20th February between Fleet Lane upstream of Lemonroyd Lock and Goole. In the initial stages we are expecting approximately 2 freight barges per week.

Any skippers planning passage on the Aire & Calder Navigation who require information on freight barge movements can contact the NE Administration team by calling 0303 0404040 or by email at the following address  enquiries.northeast@canalrivertrust.org.uk"

This will now mean that there are three commercial boats once more working their trade on this waterway. A waterway built for these big working vessels but that has been distinctly lacking in commercial traffic for a few years at least.

Plans are also afoot for yet more commercial traffiic on the Aire and Calder which should hopefully make it the once more commercially busy waterway that it once was. Great news for the trade and great news for the leisure craft who also share these waterways, as with the extra commercial traffic will come extra expenditure on the waterway. Good news all round.

Wednesday 1 February 2017


It has come to the time of year to decide which antifoul paint we will use on the hull of Naughty-Cal this year.

For the last seven years we have used Premier Paints, Premier One Can with great success, however last year it didn't seem to work quite so well. Looking around the marina did seem to suggest though that other brands were also not working perhaps as well as they had. It could just have been a bad year for fouling.

So we have decided to stick with the Premier One Can again for this year and give it another chance. However if the results are still not good this year then we will find something different to use next year.

We have a few areas of flaky paint to deal with this year so we have also ordered a can of primer to reprime the areas in question prior to applying the new blue paint.