Trina’s been off this week and has smashed her way through the job list.
Last weeks jobs
- The cracks around the top bracket on the rudder have been grounded out, sanded and filled.
- The chunk of deck around the genoa track has been filled in. Same goes for a bit on the bow where I drove into a pontoon in France. Trina’s a boss at fibreglassing, seriously impressive stuff!
- We have a rope cutter from R&D fitted.
- Excalibur’s topsides have been polished.
- One of the stopcocks in the starboard cockpit locker has been boxed in. I was worried something might clobber it in a heavy sea.
- The bilge pump is 99.9999% installed.
- The starboard cockpit locker has almost been boxed in.
- Heat exchangers back in and coolants been replaced. We fired up the engine and it started first time no problem, though a few leaks appeared from pipes here and there which have now been seen to.
- The rudder brackets back on. The tiller feels super smooth and returns immediately to the centre when let go, a noticeable difference from before.
- All the seacocks have been serviced. I’m still weary of these Forespar Marelon seacocks after the handle broke off on one of them a couple of years ago.
- New exhaust stopcock and a new bit of pipe.
- Liferaft is back in place.
Boat yard life
Last weekend Ola who’s converting a very large coal barge to a live-aboard had a BBQ in the yard. Good times were had.
There’s plenty of interesting people around here, all with their own projects. Theres a chap opposite who’s been sanding and filling his hull for the last 6 weeks. He built the ferro cement boat himself some years back.
Whilst I’ve been away from the boat a few guys have expressed their concern about us crossing Biscay in August with Trina. Perhaps this beard of mine has made me less approachable, or gives me the appearance of a seasoned sailor as I haven’t received such concerns. Either way we’re not paying any attention to the scaremongers. Their advice isn’t purely fiction, but we’re doing all we can to mitigate a rough passage.
We haven’t been able to go into the bar without someone making a comment about Trina’s overalls, “I wish my wife would…blah blah blah” this and that. Quietly proud, but it does get a bit much after a while.
I spent most of my weekend dodging guys in boiler suits with cups of tea wandering around looking for chats, and come Sunday I just ignored them as I spent the day polishing the hull. When there’s no time pressure I’m sometimes one of these guys, but not this weekend.
How to polish your topsides
I’ve never polished my topsides before. Trina did the research. This is what we did
- Wipe down any loose debris with a cloth
- Paint on Silky cleaner, it’s like a gum and lifts off any staining. Worth contacting Silky for the right product
- After removing Silky. Smear 50cm square patches with 3m cutting compound, and use a car polisher
- After that use McGuires Wax with a car polisher
Note to self use one of those platform ladders next time, and buy 3 multi packs of kent car care 8 piece polish and wax sets.
Our route to Falmouth
We’ve realised we really don’t have much time in July to sail to bloody Falmouth! Our plan was to sail over the weekends and stop in Gosport to get some work done.
I think I’ll have to do some night passages after work, and at weekends do a couple of 24 hour passages with Trina on the long trips. July’s going to go pretty quickly I think, and the idea we’d have a chance to enjoy stopping off at some of our favourite places along the way is highly unlikely.
That’s about it. 35 days to go. Excalibur was launched today as I post this. Still got a 101 things to do, but feel we’ve accomplished a heck of a lot in the last 6 weeks. As long as nothing major pops up I think we can deal with what’s left on the job list.
Priorities are starting to change as we draw closer to our departure. More administrative jobs are creeping onto the todo list. Off the top of my head the priorities are now:
- Fit genoa track and stanchion base
- Finish bilge pump install
- Fit external outhaul
- Load grab bag
- Check we have all documentation and insurance
- Finish boxing in cockpit cupboard
- Engine service
- Check SSR certificate
- Cockpit locker catches
- Fit tri-light
- Buy Navionics charts (Central and West Europe + Central and South America)
- Install cigarette lighter in cockpit for Search light
- Install jackstays on coachroof
- Buy Danbuoy light
- Check floating lights
- Check lifejackets and buy spare gas cylinders
- Replace lifejacket harnesses
- Setup Sat phone
and finally…the boats been a mess for the last 6 weeks, and it was only when Trina came on board and commented that the toilet (which hasn’t been used since we’ve been out of the water) was stinking the boat up did I notice how much it stank! So on Sunday we had a bet between ourselves on the England vs Panama game that went something like “If Panama scores a goal Tim has to change the toilet pump, if they don’t Trina has to change the toilet pump”. Tim has to change the toilet pump.
We need a new wager for the Belgium game, any suggestions?