Friday, 31 March 2017

Scrubbing, scraping and sanding

Photo of scraping Ravensdale's trim tabs

Scraping the trim tabs attached to Ravensdale's stern.

The weather has not been kind to us over the past few days.

We had a couple of beautiful days of sunshine after the boat was lifted out of the water last Friday, then the wind and rain arrived making it virtually impossible to get anything done outside.

Not only did the bad weather stop us getting on, but I’ve been unable to do anything much at all since Tuesday night into Wednesday morning when I developed a truly awful stomach upset.

I won’t go into detail, but really not what you want when living on a boat (or at any other time come to that).

Meanwhile, Phil has been pushing ahead with work that needed doing inside, like fitting a servicing kit to the loo that flushes straight out into the water. Obviously, this one is only used while at sea.

He has also been trying to find out why only one of Ravensdale’s two trim tabs is working.
For the uninitiated (which included me until I did the yachtmaster offshore course), trim tabs are movable flat plates connected to the stern of a boat, used to control the angle of the boat in the water without the need for constant manual adjustment of the controls.

Photo of Sue wearing protective mask while scraping trim tabs

The Darth Vader-style mask stops me breathing the antifoul dust

I became very well acquainted with our trim tabs after spending the best part of two days scraping and sanding them before I was struck down with the dreaded lurgy.

For some reason, the port trim tab moves when the controls on the console are operated, but the starboard one refuses to budge.

The hydraulics for the trim tabs are under our bed so Phil had to wait for me to be fit enough to get up before he could get under there to have a look.

And, having done so, we are still none the wiser.

The pipes all seem to contain hydraulic fluid and the motor can be heard operating when switched on, but the starboard trim tab still refuses to budge. It seems further investigation is required.

Photo of inspecting trib tab hydraulics under bed

Checking the hydraulics on the trim tabs through an inspection panel under our bed

Earlier today it was blowing a gale at a time when there was a particularly high tide so we took a trip around to the lighthouse and then out along the prom to see what the waves were doing.

And we were glad we did as we got some fairly dramatic images. The sea was like a bubbling cauldron and enormous waves were crashing against the sea walls.

Photo of waves crashing against the sea wall at Maryport promenade

Waves crashing against the sea wall at Maryport promenade

I got caught by a couple that smashed into the wall close to where I was standing while taking photos. You would think I would have moved after the first one, but I’m not that sensible when it comes to getting the photo I want J

Photo of Phil scrubbing the fore deck

Phil scrubbing the fore deck

Since we got back, Phil has been out cleaning and scrubbing the deck, which is now looking lovely and white. Not sure how long it will stay that way, but it’s definitely looking good for now.

He has also been sanding the starboard side of the hull using 1000 grit wet and dry sandpaper to remove some black marks.

I’m taking today off as I’m still feeling a bit under the weather and want to recover properly before I start doing any hard physical work.

Photo of our newly-arrived radio licences

Our newly-arrived radio licences

And anyway it gives me a chance to catch up on my blog.
Almost forgot to mention that our RYA short range certificates permitting us to operate VHF radios turned up in the post this week so we’re all official on that front now.

The weather is supposed to improve over the next few days so I expect we'll both be out scrubbing, scraping and sanding in earnest again very soon...