Friday, June 01, 2018

Maintenance update

I'm finally getting around to posting this in June – I need a record of winter activities because otherwise I forget what we had done!

Kalessin came out of the water in January and had a new set of standing rigging, supplied by Evolution Rigging which has taken over from the delightful but inefficient Big Nige. I'd been considering a new engine, but realised that the rigging was last replaced in 2005/6 and because the rigging is only insured for 10 years, it was time to prioritise new bits of wire.The foil on our dear old Rotastay genoa furler was cracked, and as Rotastay went out of business some years ago, it could not be replaced. So we now have a brand new Furlex. Evolution also replaced he VHF cable and aerial – the aerial was last replaced in Spain in 2006, but the cable may be much older. VHF reception is now noticeably better. The whole lot, along with replacing the gooseneck bracket and various other bits and pieces, came to just under £4,500.

Her Coppercoat, expensively applied by Suffolk Yacht Harbour in 2016, has proved less good than we hoped. After only two seasons, including one winter in fresh water in the Vilaine, it was coming off one side of the keel and the other side of the rudder. Why?

SYH agreed to make good the damage. Despite the supposed 10-year warranty, SYH only guarantees Coppercoat for three years, which is disappointing. Still, we were well inside that time. Josh (who runs the yard) bithered and dithered and didn't do much until I hassled, and finally finished the repairs just before the launch so I didn't see them.

Lindsay serviced the engine just before we went out for the first time. He phoned me to let me know that he is a bit worried about the age and reliability of the engine, especially if it's just Sam and me on board. I explained that I really wasn't sure if I wanted to spend £10k+ on a new engine and new prop - as the vast majority of new engines turn the other way, we'd have to replace our Darglow feathering prop. And we might end up spending more than the boat is now worth and only doing 50 hours on it. It would, however, be very nice to have slightly more than 18.5hp. He has promised to look out for a good reconditioned engine which we could fit next winter.

Still, at least we are back on our wide pontoon in our old location, which is lovely. We are next to an absolutely brand new lifting-keel Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349, which focuses the mind when coming into the berth. She's only actually a foot (30cm) longer than Kalessin, very slightly narrower beam (3.44m to our 3.5) yet somehow they squeeze in twin wheels compared with our nice old-fashioned tiller. Bizarrely the standard engine is not much more powerful than ours (21hp). I thought all new sailing boats had 50hp engines these days.

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