Thursday, 26 August 2010

Autohelm high-low-high

I’m not sure if I have mentioned previously, but 2 days into this trip my autopilot packed up…. I discovered a week later that the belt was knackered…

I found a supplier online, but was waiting until I got home to organize it… and at every port along the way we’ve found a chandlery and asked if they stocked spares… with a negative answer every time…

Until Brighton.

Here, a truly excellent chandlery, very very helpful, said they could get one next day… and indeed they did… a ‘high’..

So this afternoon I started to fit the new belt… only the gearbox felt stiff, so I removed the four retaining screws to see what the cause was…. To have 23 little tiny cogs spread themselves across the cockpit…. Sh*t…. a ‘low’

2 hours of careful reconstruction, with grease and needle nose pliers, and hoorah… it was back together… and the cabling which also parted on disassembly also repaired… refitted and (big fanfare) it worked!!!! The final ‘high’..

So hopefully tomorrow the weather will let us move on (probably to Eastbourne), and not have to hand steer the whole way!

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