Tuesday, 26 July 2005

jobs, jobs and more jobs...

This coming weekend is a ‘doing’ weekend. We are soon off for a week’s cruising, and there are a few things that we would like to have done before we set off. Firstly, I’ll be going down alone to try and get on with the forepeak berths. This is the major task. There are a few slightly less critical jobs that I would also like to get done. These include replacing the stern light with the new one that I have. The old one is just fine other than the glass is cracked.. and its so old, that its not worth trying to source a new glass for it…. I also need to fit the voltmeter that I bought, and putting a bit of sealant around the dorade vent that sits in the foredeck, and seems to very slightly leak. During the weekend, C finally decided that owning an Oppy was not her cup of tea, and so we have put it up for sale. Within 24 hours I have had 3 enquiries, and the first potential buyer is visiting tomorrow evening with in his own words “a pocket full of cash”. The money raised from this is funding two major purchases, firstly a compressor based cooling unit for the cool box. We had toyed with getting one of the standalone coolboxes that plug into a cigarette type power supply, but having seen that they consume and average 4amps, compared with 0.74A for a fitted unit, we decided that it was worth paying the extra. Plus we get a load more capacity. It’ll be nice to have genuinely cold drinks an board rather than cool on Friday evening, getting to room temperature by Saturday evening, and mildly warm by Sunday afternoon! Secondly, we need a set of dodgers. The cockpit set up on Maggie is without coamings, typical of a 70’s IOR boat, and while this is perfectly OK space wise, it can feel a little ‘open’ and a set of dodgers will help enormously. I am hoping to measure up on Friday night, and get them made and delivered in time for our week off…. Time will tell…. I might even see if I can slip down Thursday afternoon on the way back from work and get a head start! On the subject of the cockpit, the seating area is a little limited on space as the winches have clearly been placed with racing in mind, and intrude a little when you are trying to cruise. I have stared long and hard at the location of them, decided a viable alternative exists, and will be moving them soon (but not in time for our week off!)… this will free up considerably more seating area, and make the cockpit far more inhabitable. So back to the forepeak. I’ve made the upright section, and temporarily fitted it in place. A couple of weekends back, I made a template for the first storage divider, which also forms a structural part of the berths This I will cut out this week, and then take a number of appropriately sized square pieces of wood in order to facilitate making the other dividers on board. Hopefully this will be done by Saturday evening. And with the resins and filleting compounds that I have on board, hopefully fitted. I then just need to make a cardboard template for the berth tops, which I will then cut out at home to facilitate easy transport, and finally fit them on board. I am hoping that with a bit of luck I can get back home Saturday evening to cut out the berth tops, and then go back down Sunday evening to finish them. Final stage will be varnishing, This may well (I suspect almost certainly!) mean that I have to go down a couple of nights next week in order to finish, and SWMBO is OK with this… good of her, as its school holidays, and she’ll have the kids much of the time, so she’ll be tired! I’ll probably go and live on her for 2 or 3 days, and although disappearing to work during the day, at least I’ll be able to work on her in the evenings. What we won’t have time for is to make the foam cushions, and get them covered, but we’ve decided that the pilot berth cushions will fit temporarily, at least enough to get the kids into the forepeak, and give us a bit of personal space for the evenings without having to sit in the dark! Other jobs that need doing…. I checked the oil on Sunday, and while its still OK, it’s a bit on the low side, and I need to top it up… it uses single grade 30 oil, so I need to source some, and fill it…. I’m told that most decent motor factors still stock single grade oils…. I am warned that use of multi grade will almost certainly cause the gearbox to slip…. Dire indeed! Finally, on the subject of our weeks cruise, we have decided to not be too adventurous for our first week aboard, and therefore we are planning to get down to Ramsgate, spend a day there to keep the kids happy (it’s a longish passage for the kids from Ipswich to Ramsgate – probably 12 hours), and then do a quick passage across to either Boulogne or Dunkerque…. depending on the wind… we might then come back via Dover…. Or perhaps depart via Dover…. All weather influenced of course…. The tides are actually quite friendly.. which is handy as the week off wasn’t booked with tides in mind…. The optimum departure time for a Ramsgate- Boulogne trip on the Monday is 0747….. great!…. We may also be cruising in company… I previously mentioned my next door neighbour with his shiny new Jeanneau…. He has the same week off, and he’s never done a cross channel, but keen to, so we have discussed a crossing in company….suits me… he might not want to stay with us however when we have arrived, having grown up kids that have left home, he might not fully want to fit in with our idea of a good night out finishing by 21h30!… plus we will probably want a port based day or two to keep the kids happy, whereas he might want to get on, and explore other ports… we’ll see….

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