First of all, replacing the reflector for the searchlight which was losing its silvering and hence effectiveness, big time. It looked like water had got in through the front bezel seal. Getting the new reflector had been fun - no UK dealers shown on the web so an email was sent to the US manufacturer who pointed us to a UK distributor. They then were very helpful, found the part number and price but then forgot to order it. It then went onto their next stock order and got delivered to us at the wrong address. Kind of the typical comedy of errors you get with low volume boat parts. Luckily it wasn't an urgently needed item!
Still, a new reflector, bezel and seal later we are capable of dazzling incoming aircraft once more:
There was one warm day though and so we managed to polish about half the starboard side of the hull. The rest of the fun is to come...
We actually worked for a few hours too. Yes, worked! Well, it wasn't too hard and it wasn't paid and so we cannot make more of it than to admit that we crewed for Steve the Waterbus man (and dad to Bronwen the spaniel) who had a couple of school trips and no crew. 3 hours out in the Bay on board the "Princess Royal" with various school children, teachers and Bronwen wasn't too bad.
See Waterbus website for more info - you might spot a picture of Bronwen there, taken on our phone. Here is the boat (and by the way, we stole this picture. When we were crew there were no fenders trailing in the water):
Next, a replacement for the flybridge B&G display that shows speed, depth, wind strength and direction etc etc was fitted. This little guy had been a bit sick ever since we bought the boat with a couple of "lines" out across the screen. It wasn't a big deal as everything was still perfectly readable. However, it slowly deteriorated to the "what depth is that saying" point and although all the same stuff can be read from the plotter alongside it, this wasn't ideal. Andrew (yes, the Welshcake person) found one second-hand on eBay as they are no longer made (of course). He kindly got it for us and it had been sitting in the pilothouse all winter waiting for the nicer weather (didn't want to leave it out in the cold up there until it was going to be used!)
Of course, removing the old one was fun - someone had put sealant underneath it rather than relying upon the gasket the manufacturer supplies. Steve had some old fishing line and that carefully sawed through the sealant and loosened the old unit. The new one isn't 100% perfect - it has a small line missing but it is 99% better than the old one so a good step forward thanks to Andrew who is a complete star:
The wind speed got a little higher over the weekend though - 57 mph gusts here and worse predicted for tonight (65mph or so). The start of springtime?
One of the "irritants" was a bulkhead light in the main cabin. Some time ago the switch failed but as it had 3 terminals, the other pair could be used. Then the thing packed up again so it was time to get another switch. Tracking down a supplier was easy enough, finding the part number courtesy of the manufacturers excellent website was OK too. However, the supplier would only ship a customer's first order to the address that their credit card is registered to, as fraud avoidance. Not ideal when afloat. Eventually the little switch arrived via Essex and was soldered in. No need to wake up the crew when light is needed now - this should increase on-board harmony but reduce the fun:
What else? Well, the regular fuel filter replacements were completed (8 of them in total - main engine 2 primary and a secondary; wing and genset -1 primary and one secondary each and the polishing filter). The little wing engine was also treated to some new coolant as it was time to do so. Luckily changing that lot isn't too bad - about 3 hours including bleeding the engines afterwards and cleaning up / disposing of the old filters & coolant etc.
The steering system hydraulic reservoir needed a "pump up" too, it was last re-pressurised in May 2014. It is fitted in the pilothouse and hidden amongst various cables and Furuno boxes so dead easy to access. The system runs with a low pressure in the reservoir to ensure any oil lost from the system is replaced by oil from the reservoir and not air. As we have a helm position higher than the reservoir, on the flybridge, a little pressure is needed. The Nordhavn book suggests 20 psi plus. We run at between 5 to 10 psi having heard of some people who popped out the reservoir seals at 25 psi or so! The local hydraulics man supported this. Even taking a picture of the reservoir is hard owing to limited access:
Departure from Penarth? Well, the weather forecast is pretty grim until next weekend so we are unlikely to head off before then. Time for more maintenance perhaps.....