Saturday, 13 May 2017

Trim tabs, sunshine and seagulls

Photo of Ravensdale's troublesome trim tabs

Ravensdale's troublesome trim tabs

Ravensdale’s relaunch has moved a step closer thanks to the perseverance of the engineering firm that is trying to mend her trim tabs.

It was beginning to look as though Forth Engineering of Maryport wouldn’t be able to source the parts needed because the company that made the motor had gone out of business, but after much calling around, they tell us they have ordered the parts, which should arrive early next week.

And they’re hoping to come and fit them on Tuesday.

It will then remain to be seen whether the rams on the trim tabs are working, but hopefully that will be less difficult to sort if they need to be serviced or replaced.

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.

When we bought the boat they were both set at different angles. We questioned this and were told that they were set for the boat and didn’t need changing and rather naively we accepted this explanation.

However, when we got Ravensdale out of the water at the end of March for antifouling, cleaning and a few minor (or so we thought) repairs, we discovered that they didn’t work at all.

The port trim tab moved when the controls on the console were operated, but the starboard one refused to budge.

Photo of Phil checking the hydraulics on the trim tabs

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

Initially, Phil was trying to sort them himself, but we eventually decided to get them serviced and asked Forth Engineering to take a look.

Meanwhile the marina’s boat hoist has been out of action after a problem occurred while it was lifting a large concrete boat out of the water at the start of this month.

The hoist lifts up to 25 tonne and the vessel weighed less than 20 tonnes so it should have been easily able to take its weight. Hydraulic experts decided it may have an “intermittent fault with a winch valve” so the relevant parts had to be changed before it could be used for large vessels again.

Photo of Ravensdale in the hoist when she was lifted out of the water

Ravensdale in the hoist when she was lifted out of the water

However this has now been fixed so as soon as Ravensdale is ready they will be able to put her back in the water.

We decided to use the extra time out on the hard standing to do lots of jobs that we had intended to leave until we were back in the water.

And we've had some beautiful weather for getting the outside tasks done. We had about a week of wall-to-wall sunshine, albeit with some pretty chilly wind, but the rain arrived yesterday.

In fact, it was more comfortable outdoors than in as all the windows around the main saloon behave rather like a greenhouse. One day when we left the windows closed while out shopping we returned to find the temperature inside the boat had gone up to 32C with the heating switched off.

Photo of polishing one of the aft deck lockers in the sunshine

Polishing one of the aft deck lockers in the sunshine

Photo of the new anchor connector

The new anchor connector

My outdoor jobs have included using rubbing compound on the lockers on the aft deck before polishing and waxing them and cleaning the chrome guardrails and stanchions.
And Phil has fitted a new anchor connector to allow smooth launching and retrieval of the anchor.

He has also been working on the frame finishing trim around the windows. Just about every window had gaps where the trim was too short so he has been using the existing trim to fill the gaps and we've ordered new trim to fill in the missing sections.

Photo of removing the old frame finishing trim

Removing the old frame finishing trim

Phil has also fixed “Lift here” stickers at the points where the boat slings should be located during lifting operations and “Do not lift here” stickers above the new transducer and paddle wheel for the log to save them from damage.

Photo of one of the new "Lift here" stickers

One of the new "Lift here" stickers

One strange thing about living on a boat is not having a shed or workshop to work in, which means we have to find other places to carry out jobs that would normally have been done in the shed.

Below is a photo of Phil using the worktop in the galley for a spot of soldering.

Photo of the the galley worktop being used as an indoor work bench

The galley worktop becomes an indoor work bench

Photo of the worktop being used for its proper purpose

The worktop being used for its proper purpose

Yesterday we decided to take a complete break from working on the boat and headed off to the Lake District for the first day of Windermere Boat Show at Ferry Nab Jetties at Bowness on Windermere.

Photo of visitors to Windermere Boat Show

Visitors to Windermere Boat Show

Photo of a quiet start to the show

A quiet start to the show

Photo of a new boat that at £312,866 is well out of our league

Phil admires a new boat that at £312,866 is well out of our league

It was fairly quiet while we were there, but the event is only in its second year and we were told that Friday was also the quietest day last year.

It was interesting to look at some of the new boats on show even though we would never be able to afford them.

But more interesting to us were the stalls manned by companies providing services to boat owners, such as canopies and upholstery, electronic gadgets and electrical rewiring, new and used tenders and local marinas.

While we were at the boat show the new ropes we had ordered for our fenders arrived so it looks as though my next job will be practising my newly acquired whipping skills once Phil has cut them to length with our new rope seal hot knife.

Photo of seagulls nesting on a nearby cruiser

Seagulls nesting on a nearby cruiser

In the meantime, it seems that a pair of seagulls have built a nest on the flybridge of one of the other cruisers on the hard standing here.