Tuesday 21 February 2012

Reinforcements ....

.... A heavy squadron on the horizon in the shape of Admiral Bursill, master of the universe, is closing fast to help deal with the troublsome anode. Hopefully he will also be able to shed light on AS's complex electronics. There are various dials and boxes of tricks that do goodness knows what. Everything seems to work though, except the central heating and the fridge. Mind you even I could see that the bundle of corroded compressor bits and pieces in the bilge were unlikely to function as intended.

Monday 20 February 2012

Manic Jewler strikes again

Alan bless his socks keeps up a constant barage of suggestions encouragement and advice in between frequent tea breaks. He was on the phone at 0930 on Monday to report on his findings into the anode problem. A flexible drill extension was the suggestion so we went shopping at lunchtime to buy one and related bits. Now got to wait a couple of weeks to get back to the boat. Hopefully by then the mast will be out and well on the way to being re-rigged.

Sunday 19 February 2012

First outing.

Better day. Sunny if cold. No resolution to anode but fuel filter changed water seperaror too. Motored to fuel pontoon. Went for a potter. Engine ok. Removed compass for service. Couldn't free locking mechanism on steering. Not a 'must do'. Added Genoa tracks to 'to do' list - may be source of leaks.
Alan emerging from AS
Oh and I found the padlock that I thought was in the bilge which led to buying a new one which resulted in dropping the key and having to break into the boat!!!!!

On the fuel pontoon

Saturday 18 February 2012

One of those days

Got to the yard with Alan about 0930. Long natter with Paul who runs the yard. Then on with the jobs. Greased steering mechanism. Locking device seized. Left to let oil soak in. Replaced impeller. No problems. Then onto engine anode. Big problem. Old one disintegrated in block but seems to have gone very hard. Very inaccessible. 4 hours of chipping and drilling very little progress. Exhaust pipe in the way. Gave up. Went for food. Dropped key for new padlock in the drink. Locked out of boat. Had to break back in! Fell over a bollard coming out of Indian. Bed.

Alan in repose after a hard day on the tea!

Friday 17 February 2012

Early days

So the first thing was to decide what I had to get done before the trip to the Medway. The trip from my home in London is about 3 hours so I couldn't nip over after work of an evening. The boat had been sitting in her berth more or less unused for the last 4 years or so and looked pretty sad as a consequence. However, more importantly as far as I could ascertain her standing rigging was 20 years old or more; so that was top of the list and I engaged the local yard to do that. I hope that by now the mast will be out and they will have started work. I'll be there at the weekend so will find out! My efforts started three weeks ago when I went up with my pal Alan. We got the sails off which whilst grubby seemed in reasonable condition and I sent them of to Jeckells for a clean and service. The dodgers and spray hood were green with mildew and came out of the washing machine greener than they went in so I suspect they will have to be replaced. I took the jib sheets off too which were also green but thankfully the washing machine was able to make a reasonable impression on them. The main sheet looked even worse but was very professionally spliced on to the blocks so couldn't go in the washing machine. Successive hand washes in a bucket got rid of most of the grime and I'll have to do the same with the kicking strap.
Took the cushions home which were very damp. All but two survived the washing machine and re-fitting in one piece. My son's wife to me will repair the two.
The rest of the weekend was spent on the electrics and the engine. The original Bukh 10hp diesel, tiny by today's standards seems to be in good order and I suspect will remain for some time to come. Changed the oil in engine and gear box and changed the oil filter. Replaced the dead service battery with one of Zoetje's for now. The new anode wouldn't fit but I was told later that I needed to chip out the remnants of the old one first.
This weekend's tasks are to finish the engine service.

Thursday 16 February 2012


I bought Arctic Smoke in December 2011. I should have saved the money for a rainy day but....
She was one of Peter Webster's early E33's built in 1974 at his Ropewalk yard in Lymington and according to papers that came with her, is hull No 2 and was exhibited at the '74 boat show. Sadly Peter Webster went out of business a couple of years later but a number of other yards built the boats throughout the 70's and there was a later renaissance during the 80's. However, I was particularly pleased to find a Peter Webster 'original'.
I wanted a solid sailing boat capable of ocean cruising - my initial objective in that area objective being an Atlantic crossing in the next few years. I love wooden boats and still own a very pretty clinker Folkboat but wanted something a bit more comfortable for the crossing and something that I might be able to entice the wife on a flat calm in say a Dutch canal. I had spent ages renovating Zoetje and couldn't face the prospect of doing it all again on a significantly larger scale, so I was converted to plastic. A traditional shape, long keel, and good sailing qualities were all prerequisites however and after a lot of research the E33 was on the top of my list.
Arctic Smoke was the second one I came across and was quite by chance the better of the two. She had clearly been owned previously by people who took their sailing seriously and although she had been pretty neglected over the recent years the good husbandry and care of earlier owners was still evident through the grime and mildew.
First step then was to get her fit for the trip south to the Medway over Easter (2012).

Arctic Smoke prior to purchase