Page published 2 October 2023
The cruise to our new mooring on Saturday had shown up a few things needed to be tackled. I still had to refit the shower room door and first I had to re-stick the Formica panels on each of its sides. I did that at home, before leaving for the boat.
Another job that needed doing at home was cutting a number of lengths of line. I had some spare that had been used for various lake maintenance chores and I planned to tie the lengths to each end of a number of the fenders so they could be hung horizontally. Although some had suggested that horizontally hung fenders never seemed to be at the right height for any mooring you would choose, I just didn't like to have a forest of vertical fenders hanging over the side of the boat. I didn't take any photos of what I achieved as you couldn't really see the result with the boat moored.
My first photo of the day shows the shower room door now in position, but without a handle.
Once at the boat I started by fitting the threshold strip for the shower room door. Then I hung the door itself. That went well, except that I had forgotten to bring the handle with me so, when I took the photo, you'll see the handle was still missing.
Next on the list of jobs was trying to find the missing strip of carpet. I had found it was missing when I relaid the tiles before setting out for Coltishall. My assumption was that, it had gone down into the bilges while Dylan was working on the engine. There's a hatch at the end of the dinette bench that allows access to the engine. It would have been easy, while scrabbling about on the floor, for it to have got pushed into the bilges.
The missing strip of carpet could easily have got pushed through the hole once the hatch beside it had been opened.
I lifted the seat cushions to lift the board under them to gain access to the bolts that hold the hatch at the end of the bench in place. With the hatch open and on my hands and knees I fumbled about under the engine hoping to find the missing bit of carpet. It wasn't there. All I found was that my hand slopping about in a layer of oily water in the tray under the engine.
However, I did find that the end of the bench was over a main joist and it was possible, if the floor boards had been lifted, that the carpet had slipped down on the other side of the joist under the floor rather than under then engine. However, at the time, all I worried about was how to get my hands clean and the area under the cabin floor is still to be searched. Perhaps I should have realised that the oily water under the engine was a sign that not all was well, as it had been much drier before Dylan had worked on the engine. We were to discover the truth on our Anniversary cruise the next day.
A photo taken to show what had been done to get the lockers beside the helm's seat cleaned and ready for use.
To the left of the helm's seat are a range of lockers with shelves. We expect to use the taller one as a food cupboard. I removed the lining sheet on the top shelf to take it home to get it cleaned. My photo also shows a rubber mat on the shelf in the lower locker. This had just been placed there after it had been taken home and cleaned.
This is a photo I had taken a few days earlier to show Kathy how close the prop shaft coupling was to the floor.
To cure the knock, caused by the prop shaft coupling fouling the floorboard I trimmed a couple of layers of the plywood. It did the trick.
Having photographed the shelves it was time to go home for lunch. I returned to tackle the next job on the list. Diana had discovered a knocking sound on our Shakedown Cruise. When under way if you stood on the floor immediately outside the shower room there was a regular knocking sound.
It was clear that the prop shaft coupling was catching on the floor. I was concerned that somehow it had been reassembled slightly higher than it had been during our River Trial as I was constantly passing backwards and forwards over that area of floor during that short trip and would have heard it. However, all the team at Moonfleet dismissed that idea and said the cure would be to remove a small area of floor board, so that is what I did. To test what I had done I started the engine and it did seem to have done the trick. Incidentally, the engine started within a second, with no attempt at trying to pre-heat the fuel.
I discover that, in the right atmospheric conditions, the Formica is lifting on the cabin door in the same way that happens on the internal doors.
Although I had been in and out through the front cabin door several times while trimming the floorboard I had failed to notice that there was a problem with the door. Only after finishing all the jobs I'd planned to do inside and I came to tackle the one outside job I had in mind to do before our Anniversary Cruise the following day that I noticed the issue.
I opened the front door one more time and realised that like the internal doors, the Formica facing on the outside of the cabin door was lifting away from the body of the door. It was not something I was aware of let alone had planned to so that's another job to go on the list of those to be tackled later.
The outside job was to remove the remains of the old mud weight line and replace it with something that would last. I picked on one of the four matching mooring lines we had. That may have been a mistake as it would be prettier to have matching fore and aft mooring lines to both port and starboard. I can see myself buying another length of matching line, in spite of having others on board that would do the job.
The chosen line for the mud weight was a very tight fit and I spent some time pushing it through the short length of plastic piping that had been used on the old line. It seemed a good idea to have the pipe take all the scuffing that would occur as the line passed over the bow. In the end I managed to get it through. The only issue that is left is that being a braided line it will not be possible to splice it and produce the neat result achieved with the old line.
As for the mud weight itself. I was horrified to find that the local chandler want about £95 for a new one. I say new, but all of those on display were unpainted and rusty. I was talking about this to Phil at Moonfleet on Friday when checking on the progress of the engine repairs and he managed to find an old one in his shed. It was missing its loop to attach a line, but he said he'd send it off to Marine Weld to have a stainless one welded on. I have no idea how much it is going to cost, but he assured me it would be much cheaper than a new one.
The original mud weight, photographed as we set out on the Shakedown Cruise.
The new line threaded through the plastic pipe and awaiting a new mud weight.
Next read about our Anniversary Cruise in Singing the Blues.