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Old water tank removed

We took a long time to decide that we would take out the original stainless steel water tank. As with lots of jobs it was daunting. However, in fact it was relatively straightforward. Using the man overboard block and tackle I was able to get it out whole.

Very glad we have done this. It was sitting in a bit of a puddle (looks like it blocked the last bits of water running into the deep section of the bilge).

We already knew the inspection hatches were grungy. We had seen some rust on internal welds. Now we can see that the welds for the baffles are rusting on the inside and outside.

So very happy we have done this.

We can see that we will be able to fit all our batteries in the aft part of this space, that keeps them together and the weight very low). Very happy with that.

We can then have a smaller water tank in the forward end (we will have other water tanks elsewhere). Having multiple water tanks is also a good safety feature. If there is a problem with one you haven’t lost all your fresh water in one go.

So very happy 😁 Jane is going to attack it with bilge cleaner now while I rest my back, that is mostly precautionary but I have had a few more twinges.

A day for Sustainable health

The past few days working on the aft cabin have been hard on my back and knees. It is a confined space, the floorboards had to be up which means you are always standing on a slope and stepping over beams while crouched over. Plus lots of ladder climbing.

So I ended up with a very stiff and achy back and a pulled something behind my right knee.

Today has therefore been about recovery. We had a nice brunch, lots of sleeping and a lovely walk along the “Swellies” which is the stretch of very fast moving water in the Menai Straits with lots of rocks and islands.

This evening we spent some time in the NWVYC reading pilotage and charts and it all made a lot more sense. With our plans we can be sensible and cautious which basically means

  • From the North East, go through the Swellies 2 hours before high tide Liverpool. (this direction seems a little more forgiving)
  • From the South West go through the Swellies 2.5 before high tide Liverpool
  • Make sure we have updated your chart very recently before crossing the bar at Caernarfon, the channel can move by a mile in winter storms. Also check that all the channel buoys are in position as they frequently drag.

Absolutely no need for us to ever go through the Swellies at less than ideal tide time, we have nothing to prove.

As with our cruising from Chichester Harbour in the past, crossing a bar like Caernarfon is a chalk and cheese issue. In good conditions you wonder what all the fuss is about. Try to push it in bad conditions and you can easily be utterly terrified at best and lose your boat at worst. When it comes to these choices we are pretty risk averse. So we would divert or heave to, waiting for safer conditions. This is the kind of thing that puts me off racing. So while taking part in the Three Peaks race appeals in many ways, I’d also be useless at it 🤣

No way am I going to cross a bar or go through the Swellies, even in a race, except at the right time and conditions. We would probably lose 24 hours just from my caution by the time we were past Beaumaris 😊

Aft cabin new bed is usable

Nearly 11pm and our new bed is usable to sleep in. Actually apart from the new “entrance” with the mattresses on it looks almost the same.

However, underneath it is very different. We just need to do some adjustments to the bed boards, finish the step and adjust the mattresses (to create the seat) and we are ready for painting, insulation and headlining.

My phone camera flash isn’t very good but here are a few pictures of the progress.

The underbed support is functional rather than pretty, however, it is a lot more rigid than before and the boards much better supported.

We have a huge new storage space that isn’t subdivided so it can be used for large stuff. Also the possibility of a small amount of quite inaccessible new storage that can be created without getting in the way of the steering mechanisms.

Fitted our dehumidifier, an Ecor Pro Dryfan DH1200 INOX

I’ve fitted our dehumidifier. We bought it during lockdown.

It is all stainless steel and capable of removing 10 litres of water per day at 27°C. It has a built-in humidistat and is set to only come on if the humidity is outside the desired range (can be set to on or off or between 10% and 90%).

We figure it should keep the inside of the boat very nice in the boatyard. However, what we really hope is that we can extend the life of electronics, clothes and food if we can keep the boat drier while cruising. You don’t have to save all that many things from mould, mildew or corrosion to recover the £640 purchase price.

It does give off warm dry air (a nice feature normally in the UK, less so in the tropics) into the cabin. The “waste” is warm damp air (like a tumble drier). We have chosen to have this blow into the cockpit, at least for the moment, hoping this minimises the chance of sea water getting into it.

We will see how well it works, I’m tempted to put one in the forward heads where we will shower and dry clothes.

There are disadvantages

And two come to mind this morning.

The first is that working in tight spaces is uncomfortable. I’ve tweaked something behind my right knees while working in the aft cabin. It has been painful overnight. So more caution today.

The second is that there is a problem with making comfortable beds in a snug boat. We enjoy staying in bed in the morning, especially when there was a rain shower, bed seemed even more attractive. So another late start 😂🛏️🛌😴

A slow day, mostly preparation

Or in other words, we didn’t achieve much today.

I managed to tidy up the two ex-wardrobe bulkheads. Then we collected some tools and blades from Screwfix, got some timber from B&Q and got some shorts because it has been hot.

So hot that I had a quick swim. About 20 metres and then I decided I was about to die of hyperthermia 😂

We’ve started preparing to rebuild the aft cabin bed and the new seat. However, we are waiting for some longer screws to arrive (using stainless steel Torx – can’t find A4 so these are A2).

As it is so warm I installed the extra Lagun table mount in the cockpit.

With our Comfort Seats and wine it is very pleasant.

Once we get the longer screws we should be able to finish the dry fit fairly quickly, then we can epoxy all the joints and get the aft cabin ready for a) the cushions to be adjusted b) painting, insulation and headlining.

It will be good to get that all done so we can start sleeping in there again which makes it easier to work on jobs elsewhere.

Sleeping without an aft cabin

The aft cabin is still very much decimated. So we are sleeping in the saloon.

Jane has the port side U-shaped seating area. One day we will be able to make a proper double bed here. For the moment just the rather narrow cushion with the middle section filled in with all the backrests (basically provides a soft landing when you fall out).

I’ve got the wider starboard settee. But I also have the enormous super king size duvet which nearly toasted me alive last night. The shark changes allegiance fairly frequently.

Open plan Rival 38 (temporarily so)

I’ve done a first rough cut back of the forward wardrobe as you go into the aft cabin.

I’ve also removed the, mouldy, ply lining (to allow us to add insulation) and the ply trip to the underside of the side deck (access to the nuts for a stanchion base – I’m really against having these hidden behind glued in furniture). Just needs a bit of tidying up and then we can have some neat shelving all the way from the chart table to the aft cabin bed.

To complete the open plan look we’ve cut the access hatch into the lazarette. This will allow us to fit the new chainplate backing plates (also for the mooring cleats) as well as all the inside bits for whichever wind vane we end up getting.

We will make it so the “hatch” gets a good watertight seal when we refit it. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about Butane or Petrol fumes into the aft cabin because we don’t have either on board.

Confusing earth wiring

When buying Vida, our surveyor included concerns about the earth.

We knew that the engine was “earthed” by a jump lead to the stern tube (and the jump lead was very rusty).

I’ve just found these wires connected to the anode that is bolted through the hull.

Quite a collection! We have green/yellow, back, blue and red!

Hardly surprising that the earth wasn’t working!


Diesel gets everywhere!

One of less pleasant things we originally found on the boat, when we bought her, were some incontinence pads. We thought they were there to catch water from leaks (we found that mostly these were from the windows, but also some from mooring cleats and other deck fittings).

However, I’ve just removed some plywood that was bonded to the hull as a sloped part of the floor as you enter the aft cabin. The plywood turned out to be saturated in diesel. So maybe the pads that were under the floor of the aft cabin were to absorb diesel.

We think that the diesel tank, on the outboard side of the corridor to the aft cabin, must have had a bit of a leak. The plywood covered a section where the grp covered foam stringer was cut away. This left a bit of a groove that the diesel must have run along.

It is well over a year since we removed the diesel engine and fuel tanks. Hopefully this is the last bit of diesel impregnated wood to remove.

Smelly diesel impregnated plywood
Where the wood was.