Page published 11 August 2023
In my last report, detailing my activities on 29 July, I commented on how there were piles of carpet tiles in various places on the boat. The following day I was back on the boat and decided that I should get them into a single pile. While doing that I discovered one that had two sets of equally spaced oily marks. It would seem that part of the gearbox had been placed on the carpet and then moved.
I found other tiles that were particularly dirty. It seems that Marlex Marine had begun getting the gearbox out and it had only been an afterthought that the tiles ought to be lifted. The result was that I spent Sunday evening shampooing all the carpet tiles.
Two sets of marks found on the carpet that can only have been caused where the gearbox was removed from the boat, photographed here on our kitchen floor.
Apart from the carpet tiles I brought home a car full of other stuff that was cluttering the boat and preventing the stuff still on board from being moved around.
Fenders, shore power cable, bow, stern and side screen boat covers now decorate the floor of our garage.
Amongst the stuff that found its way back to the house were a red ensign and flag pole, half a dozen mooring lines and the four large "balloon" fenders.
I have never quite understood the desire of people to hoist the Red Ensign on the Broads. It's a flag intended originally to show your nationality when at sea and there's really no need for that on the Broads as your Broads Authority registration number does that for you. There was a time when hire fleets would have their company pennant or burgee hoisted somewhere on their boat, but this tradition disappeared as motor boats came to predominate.
Back in the 1960s, when I first started sailing on the Broads, I saw the Red Ensign as something that said nothing more than "I'm a private boat", not your riff-raff hirer, a piece of pure snobbery.
The mooring lines came home for the same reason as the carpet tiles. They went in the washing machine and were back in the boot of the car the following morning.
I brought the fenders home - there are still six or eight on the boat - because I'm really not sure why so many fenders might be needed. Why would you need more that one towards the bows and another near the stern to hold you off a mooring? I left the straight fenders on board as I though they might be useful once the boat was launched.
The last of the items were the four boat covers. One each for the bow and stern and two to cover the windows on each side. I certainly see the point in the bow and stern covers. The two cockpits drain into the bilges Anything that stops excess rain accumulating there has to be a good thing. I'm less clear about the side screens. They are clearly a recent purchase. Were they bought to attempt to stop condensation running down the windows and then onto the cabin linings or were they seen as a anti-theft device, a simple way of discouraging thieves from trying to enter the boat.
As for the horseshoe lifebuoy. I doubt that will return to the boat!
These objects remain in the boot. Until everything is tidy on board it's not clear where the best place to stow them will be.
I took a day off boating for my 75th birthday on 1 August. By then all the bedding, which had also been brought home on Monday, had been laundered and was awaiting return to the boat when it is ready to launch.
Also brought home and laundered over the last couple of days is all the bedding found on board.
Now all that the bed has on it are its protector and the cushions from the forward facing bench in the saloon.
The aft cabin now looks very tidy, even if things aren't quite where they belong. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the saloon. We're still waiting for the gearbox to be returned to the boat. It's been sitting in the shed since Friday after being reassembled.
The reason it's not on board can be seen faintly though the saloon window. An old wooden boat was found sunk on Monday and that had to be recovered and its engine removed and disassembled to allow it to dry out, before it began to rust and seize up. I did a little inspection myself. Pressing hard with my finger inside the white chalk-marked rings that identified where the water had been entering. It wouldn't have taken any pressure to get all the way through. The mahogany was more like sponge in texture.
Unfortunately, the saloon is still full of clutter, mainly the engine cowl and shelf, but some bits that will be fitted along with the gearbox.
Now read about the surprise BSS Failure