Page published 4 September 2023

Go to Top Wednesday 30 August - Rudder Fixed

Last Wednesday I reported that a Rudder Problem. on Singing the Blues was found. I'd left Moonfleet to sort it out. On the Friday Diana and I had dropped into the yard to see how work was progressing We saw that the anti-foul in the area to which the anode was attached had been cleaned off so there would be a better electrical connection.

We also wanted to warn them that we'd be having our granddaughter with us between Sunday and Thursday so I'd not have time to do any work on the boat. However, today Diana planned to stay at home with Isabel doing some baking with her. That gave me a little time to pop to the boat to check on progress and take some photographs. I found that the prop had been re-fitted after the replacement of the cutlass bearing and the rudder had been reassembled, now sporting the two washers that should massively extend the life of the assembly.

The rudder re-installed on the boat

The cutlass bearing has been fitted and the rudder has been refitted with much better anode contact.

Go to Top Wednesday 30 August - Tank in Place

After taking the picture of the rudder I popped inside the boat to find the new stainless steel fuel tank was in place but, although a scattering of tools surrounded it, it did not appear that work had started on connecting the various pipes. I recall seeing the tank's filler cap and dipstick lying on the side deck outside, but took no photograph of it. It turns out that sighting should have been recorded.

The partially fitted fuel tank

A nice new shiny diesel tank was in place on its stand.

Before going home I had a brief chat with Kathy about the tank and their current plans to get the BSS examiner to re-visit and the boat launched. We briefly talked of about the tank and she reminded me that I had said that it wasn't worth having a bung installed to take a fuel level sensor, so one hadn't been ordered.

The partially fitted fuel tank

I was a little disappointed that, unlike the tabernacle I had made for Just 17, the weld marks had not been cleaned, but that won't effect its function.

We called in at the yard again on the Thursday after returning Isabel to her mother. I had another chat with Kathy, with a clear indication of deep frustration, she revealed that the tank hadn't been connected as it had to be returned to Marine Weld to be rebuilt. It seems that, as is normal, Marine Weld had put in baffles to stop the fuel sloshing about inside the tank and, as is common when fuel sensors are fitted, these were mounted horizontally. But those horizontal baffles then prevented the dip stick, fitted in the filler cap, from reaching to the bottom of the tank.

Go to Top Saturday 2 September - BSS Issues Rectified

One of the things we had talked about with Moonfleet's Kathy when we met on Thursday was that we now had the two items, other than the tank required to rectify the BSS failure. A new fire extinguisher, which exceeded the minimum "5A-55B" standard required, that we had ordered was already at home and a new stainless steel "DIESEL" label was expected in the post by the following day. In return Kathy said that they were working towards launching the boat on Monday and that the BSS examiner would call sometime during Monday.

You'll recall that on Monday 14 August I wondered whether the BSS examiner was less than 6ft tall and that was why he'd failed to spot the Diesel label near the fuel filler. Since then I decided to clean it up, only to discover that rather than being metal, as I had assumed, it was plastic. This discovery happened after I attempted to buff the sign to a new brightness with a sheet of "wet'n'dry". Rather than improve the shine the label turned black. It appeared that I had removed the top layer which, rather than metal, turned out to be rather worn white plastic.

The new label, that eBay said would arrive between Wednesday and Friday had arrived on the last of those days and today I found time to get to the boat to glue it in position. I considered fitting the label in the position that I believed the BSS Examiner had expected to find it but, in the end, felt that when alongside a diesel pump and about to fill the tank, it would be better placed on the deck beside the filler cap, rather than on a vertical surface beneath the galley window.

The new diesel label glued in place

This time the DIESEL label really is metal, stainless steel, here viewed through the galley window.

After that I went inside the boat to tackle fitting the extinguisher bracket on the wall of the galley. The decision on exactly where to mount it took some time as I wanted to hide as many of the existing holes as possible with the bracket.

Go to Top Saturday 2 September - Clearing the Galley Walls

As well as fitting the bracket the other thing I had wanted to do was to remove most of the hooks and other brackets that were on the walls. One thing I am very grateful for about Singing the Blues' fit-out is the Formica that forms the galley linings. In many other Safaris the entire boat is lined with wood or wood effect finishes, sometimes with the galley in a contrasting plain finish. On our boat the galley is lined with a blue fleck on a white background and that disguises old screw holes wonderfully well. I was aware that most of the old screw holes were filled with Blu-Tac, but I have now replaced all that I could with a white bathroom sealant. It could be that in time, that will be replaced again with some silicone filler that might better match the gloss surface of the Formica.

The extinguisher fitted to the cabin wall

I took some time deciding where best to put the new extinguisher to best hide as many of the previous holes as possible.

Galley walls, now devoid of various hooks and brackets

The only items left in place on the other side of the shower door were the towel holder and the fire blanket.

By the time I left I was pleased with the result. Only a carbon monoxide detector, a push-in towel holder and the fire blanket were left on the galley walls. I'm not comfortable with the position of the blanket as it seems to be sited rather low but, until we have a better idea of how we'll use the space, it may as well stay there. While some hooks might be needed, currently, I feel the galley lacks high level shelves or cupboards and it seems to me likely that those might be preferable to having everything hung on hooks.

Next read about the BSS Approval and Launch of Singing the Blues.

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