Over winter we have been carrying out routine and major maintenance and some improvements, including:
- Removal of the centre plate and lifting rudder for overhaul.
- Stripping back all underwater surfaces to the bare aluminium, priming with five coats of epoxy paint and then with CopperCoat antifouling. This should last ten years or more, compared with 18 months. This is an experiment as it is popularly claimed this is unwise on an aluminium hull. We shall see.
- All ten seacocks have been stripped down and the balls and their seals replaced.
- The stern gland and cutless bearing have been replaced
- We now have a gas bubble leak detector and can switch the gas supply on or off from the galley without going outside.
We have had so much to do that, at times,it felt we would not be ready in time. But we were launched on Friday 15th April and the very next day had an excellent fast passage to Portsmouth, where we are moored on the Portsmouth Sailing Club pontoon. Here we can complete victualling for our Baltic cruise. Because the boat will not be back until the autumn of 2017 or 2018, we need to stock up on spares and also UK goodies.
We plan to set sail eastwards around May 1st, weather permitting. We look forward to welcoming Dan aboard as extra crew for the passages to the Netherlands.