Thursday, 20 March 2014

We've moved....but not far

A hectic time since we last updated when we had storm after storm battering the UK coast and in particularly, it seems, the south coast. One night in particular had us a tad edgy and concerned as the pressure change caused higher tides than predicted and with 2 hours to go we had already reached the HW limit of 4.4 metres. The water crept higher moving inexorably up the pilings that hold the jetties in place. 
 By the time the tide had peaked we were 1.2 metres over predictions and the jetty had risen to within 30cm of floating off. Hannah had additional lines strung from bow and stern in the, probably vain, hope that we would stay put should the worst happen. One jetty was a hand width from floating off..... Not a happy time. No engine, no sails, no anchor bent on and the widespread flooding caused all manner of creatures to make an appearance....

It drops through with a centimetre or so to spare..
 The engine duly arrived and was trundled down the jetty, dropped down through the skylight and took up residency on the saloon floor whilst we tried to sort out the other relevant bits. New engine beds was the starting point and it was after taking 3 days to work out the measurements that I decided that getting Paul to add a bit of professional help. What a difference! He organised my thinking, got me motivated and we moved forward. With a prop shaft now too short to reach the gearbox flange he came up with a delrin spacer to allow us to make a rough alignment. 

No more bad backs or twanging hernias
  Fed up with trying to raise the engine I got him to make a bracket that bolts across the beams directly above the engine so, with the aid of a chain hoist, we can now easily elevate the weight to change mounts etc. A small thing but it makes life so much easier and we can simply remove it until the next time we need it. When you consider the life of a boat versus the life of an engine I have to wonder why designers don't have something built in that allows this type of action.

Since October we had been in regular, monthly contact, with Itchen Marine, a yard we had used before to work on Hannah. Various delays occurred and it wasn't until late February that we were told they might be able to lift us in the next few weeks. With no engine we would need time to organise a tow and asked for a weeks notice. In the event we got less than a day, managed to persuade John to dust off his keys and drag us down river. As he rarely moves his boat these days the props were heavily fouled so steering and movement were laboured. He dropped us on the fuel dock and I wandered off to let the yard know. A launch was on its way back from the Hamble (the next river down) to move us into the hoist so we carried on un-shipping the bowsprit and then found a tug alongside us, large warps passed over and we were off. The launch arrived as we cast off but the tug skipper took us through the narrowest of gaps delicately manoeuvring the two vessels into position between other tied up boats and delivered us to the hoist. Had I been steering Hannah in under her own power I'd have been chuffed with how it all went but his skill was a joy to watch.

The "metronome" seconds after she'd hacksawed it off
So out of the water for the umpteenth time, hull doesn't look too bad and a week on we have got the prep work almost completed. Perhaps one last pass with the grinder. The weather has been great, warm sunny days so much has been completed. The shaft and prop are off  (thanks to Bee tenacity with a hacksaw; a blunt one at that which still cut through the 1.25" stainless shaft) and we're trying to pin down a suitable prop to match the engine... We alternate days between working on the engine or attending to the hull. Bee sanded/burnt off the old stain on the capping rails and we've managed to get two coats on before rain stopped play. We hunted around online for some additional tins but found to our horror that production seems to have ceased on it
Emerging from a session with engine beds..

A month or so ago I was told of another ferro boat in this yard and wandered down to have a look. Wild Knight is a huge boat and is up for sale as the owners health dictates a change of plan. Although over 22 metres or so in length Phil and Rose comfortably manage her by themselves and she would surely make a very comfortable world cruiser. I had a look around last night as Phil showed me over the systems, machinery and installations that he had put in. Very different from Hannah of course but not every one wants to wander the oceans in the way we do. You can see pics/details here and if you're taken - make an offer, the worst they might do is say No!

And finally. When the sails arrived back from the sail makers we wanted to look at two in particular; the mizzen and the “new” ghoster or whatever these things are called. The ghoster is a cracker - just what we want to help move us along in those gentle breezes that otherwise have us drifting. The mizzen had had a second reef put in and, as an experiment, a balancing reef but the latter wasn't successful. However once we I'd finished messing we went to tie up the mizzen but could not find the sail ties anywhere. We emptied all the sails out of the locker, checked in the stern locker, the deck box and then up to the container to root through everything we have stored up there. No where to be found and the conclusion was that the strong winds had taken them overboard from wherever I had left them. The search took place over several days but we had to finally accept they were gone.......and then Bee emerging from the engine hole via the cockpit happened to look at the small bag we keep tied around the mizzen where we stow the sail ties when the sails are up.......... I think it's time we went back to sea!

R. Itchen

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you made it through all the terrible storms. The new engine sounds wonderful!