Page published 31 July 2023
I managed to find a little more time to attend Singing the Blues on Saturday 29 July. I went with the aim of getting the wiper working. This time I took not just spanners but oil, grease wet'n'dry paper and a few other things I thought I might need to clean off some of the rust on the wiper arm pantograph.
However, on arriving at the boat I decided to take a couple of photos. I had discovered the day before that the "extra" door that had been removed from the aft cabin by the previous owners, and then put aboard before the boat was transported, lacked a door handle - perhaps the reason the door had been removed? I feared it might be difficult to find a matching replacement, so to ease my online search once back at home I wanted a photo of the one on the shower room door.
The door handle I need to match should we decide that the aft cabin door is to be replaced.
Another of the photos I had been meaning to take for some time was of a warning notice I had found. Like the one about Potter Heigham Bridge it provides further evidence of our boat's hire fleet past. This one is found in the cubbyhole beside the helm. For those not familiar with them, this size of three-pin socket is used on boats for equipment that requires a 12 volt supply.
A warning notice found by a socket near the helmsman's seat that displays the boat's hire fleet origins.
With all this wandering about the boat, I found myself getting increasingly annoyed by the mountain of stuff strewn about the boat. The day before I had removed the two fenders that had decorated the transom. As I left I'd just thrown them in the small well by the aft cabin door. They needed a more permanent home as it was awkward manoeuvring past them.
The trouble was that there was nowhere obvious to put them and I was already having to struggle over the ropes and a life ring that I assume had been put inside when the boat was moved from Buckden. They were on top of a pile of carpet tiles. In fact, most of the carpet tiles had been lifted all the way from the back door to the bench in the saloon under which is the engine. I assume that had been done when the gearbox was being lifted out.
On the cooker in the galley bed there was a further stack of carpet tiles and there were more on the bed in the back cabin. Also on the bed was a red ensign and flag pole and a pair of sleeping bags that weren't there when we had the viewing back in November. They added to the other bedding that had been there. On top of that, the majority of the cushions from the saloon had found their way to the back cabin, but that was understandable, given that the men at Buckden would have needed access to the engine.
Except for the saloon seating cushions I found myself fetching everything mentioned out of the boat, plus two more balloon fenders that were in the forward well, and putting them in the car to take home. Only then did I feel I had room to work on the wiper.
During the course of all this activity I discovered something I'd missed while taking the photo of the door to the shower. The Formica facing to both sides is beginning to lift from the plywood. On both sides, it's lifted from the hinge side. On the outside it's lifted from almost half the width of the door, on the inside a little less. So that's another job to go on the list!
After I had done what I could to clean up the components and put them all together I took this short video, here set to repeat, showing a couple of sweeps of the working wiper.
After the clear out, cleaning up the components of the wiper assembly, as well as I could, was a simple task and I soon had it working and adjusted so it swept the full width of the window without running over the frame. It will be interesting to see if the effort was worth it. Boat wipers often seem almost entirely ineffective.
One other thing I did achieve was getting the sliding roof over the saloon to move a little more easily. I applied the tiniest amount of Castrol LM grease to the runners. I still have half a can of the stuff that I bought in the 1960s to service the A35 van that had in those days. I think the runners can probably take a little more grease but I'll leave it for a while in case the grease deteriorates and ends up making it stiffer.
The one other thing I wish I had found time to do was to take photographs of the peeling Formica on the shower door, but I needed to get home! I could swear it hadn't been like that the day before. Once home I ordered some spray adhesive and that should be delivered before I next go to the boat.
Now read about Further Cleaning and Clearing of the boat.