Page published 31 March 2023
It was 13 March and a fortnight after we had asked for the boat to be ready to move to Norfolk. Diana and I were on our way home after returning our grandchild to her mum and we dropped in on the marina at Buckden. We had arranged to pick up a box file containing the service history and other paperwork relating to our boat.
The paperwork that we were handed when we called at the marina.
Pick up the paperwork? Why not pick up the boat? Unfortunately, the boat is still in pieces! After the survey the gearbox had been removed and sent to a guy the folk at the marina knew. It turned out he was either based in Norfolk or was happy to accept commissions from there. It made Diana and I wonder if it had been the right decision to have the work done at Buckden, when it would have been far easier for us to keep an eye on things if the boat had been in a yard near us while the work was undertaken.
We have no quote for how much the work on the gearbox might cost. We do have quotes for the repair to the soft GRP on the starboard corner of the transom. Because of the delays in fixing the gearbox we are now considering having that repair done at Buckden too. Our original plan was to have had that done locally. Keeping the boat ashore while the GRP was repaired would allow us to do the simple TLC jobs that we knew we were capable of doing.
However, it is beginning to reach the stage where we think it would speed things up if we get everything done at Buckden. That way, when the boat is ready to move she could go straight in the water and we'd do any TLC work we could with the boat afloat waiting until the end of the season and a haul-out over winter that would allow any remaining jobs to be done with the boat out of the water.
On the good news side, we learnt at the beginning of the month that we now have a new Webasto unit installed and are told that the warm air heating is working. We also have a the windscreen wiper fixed. We had asked the marina to check what it would take to fix it, but we are told they have just fitted a new motor. I know a different unit to the original has been fitted. That was to be expected with a boat as old as ours, but I did want to discuss how close any replacement would be to the original, as I am fussy about how may holes would be left if the replacement was a radically different shape to the original. We still have no idea how much that is going to cost or how close to the estimate the cost of the new central heating unit was.
Once home and having had our evening meal I began to sift through the box's contents. Apart from a selection of keys I'd classify them as a mixture of "library materials", such as equipment installation guides, engineering manuals and user guides, and "service records", invoices and receipts for work done.
The service history we have only appears to cover work undertaken for the last two owners, but that is probably adequate to get an idea of how well maintained the boat has been. I guess it should have been something to ask for sight of before we made our offer. I'll take a closer look at that material another time.
The two engine workshop manuals and engine handbook which is more of a user guide.
Amongst the various equipment manuals we have a number date back to the mid-1980s although, as might be expected, those for the engine date from the 1970s. The smaller "Handbook" is dated 1973 and covers a large range of engines only some of which are marine engines. It's aimed at users like me. It starts with a diagram showing the four actions that take place in a four stroke engine that I remember seeing first in a physics text book at school. I had understood that the most Safaris would have been fitted with Perkins 4.107 engines, so I am slightly curious about the workshop manuals that have been passed to us, but believe that the 4.107 and 4.108 engines are remarkably similar.
The Obsolete Heater Manuals
The Paperwork for the Fridge
The collection of items about the old Webasto air heating system date from the 1980s with the Installation instructions, dated 11/1985, the spare parts list dated 3/1987 and Operating Instructions dated 5/1989. The last of these still had a Webasto compliments slip clipped to it. If Craig Slawson's database is to be believed the boat was sold to a private buyer in 1990 when it left the Johnson's Yacht Station hire fleet. That suggests to me that the new owner had to write to the manufacturer for the instructions as the boatyard was unable to provide a copy. Unfortunately, the box does not contain the documentation for the new heater.
Similarly, there are both "Instructions for Installation" and "Instructions for Use" for the Electrolux RM212,F fridge. The first of these has a code that may tell an expert when it was published but not me. However, the "Instructions for User" is clearly dated 9/83. That probably means our boat has a fridge that was on the boat before it left the hire fleet, and has served seven different owners since then. I'm guessing seven owners on the basis that that's the number of name changes the boat has had.
Toilet and Water System Paperwork
Various Navigation and BSS Material
Of unknown date is a small eight page leaflet covering both installation and use of the stove, entitled "How to use your 2500 Range L.P.G, Cooker or Hob Unit". I guess that is likely to be of 1970s vintage. We also have an installation and user manual for a couple of models of Jabsco toilet, dated 1999. I assume we have one of those on our boat but the evidence I've seen so far suggests that the toilet is original and the paperwork acquired later. From a sister company, PAK, there are installation guides for a water pressure pump and accumulator tanks
The one installation guide we have for a non-marine product is the helmsman's chair. That was bought from Argos and is a Hygena Nitro Bar Stool. The assembly instructions are dated 18/03/17 so, I guess, was probably bought by the last but one owner.
When I find time, I'll go through all the invoices that will reveal how the two previous owners had the boat maintained.