Fixing the last

This week has really passed by in a blink! Mostly I’ve been trying to finish off the necessary jobs I have to have in place before I leave for Spain.

I’ve bought a 33 kg Rocna anchor, even if they said that it would be hard to get it here before the weekend, it will most likely appear on Monday. But it’s okay, since I keep one eye on the weather all the time and it seems that Wednesday is the day to go. It will be slow sail, but I will get back to why it is a good choice.

I tried to change the oil filters once more, after going to Cork and getting a tool to remove them, but realized that I only had two fuel filters, one for the engine and one for the external filter. I was short the oil filter. So, I ordered three oil filters and two of each of the fuel filters. I mean, it is better to have a filter in hand than ten in the shop, right?

One project that I have had on the back burner was to put the bow lights in place, they have been laying around in the boat since I bought it, probably longer than that. It looked like an easy job, since all the cables where there and I just had to put the lights on the pulpit and connect them. But as all projects it grew, pretty quick. I started by measuring the voltage on both sides, starboard was good, port was only 7 volts. Bad sign.

So I traced it back, into a junction box that was full of copper oxide, and the cables just fell apart as I touched them. So I spent a few hours in the chain locker, replacing most of the wiring. I removed the junction box too, obviously it didn’t do its job anyway. I did a temporary fix, which we all know is the best way to make something permanent, and now the lights are connected and working. We’ll see for how long, they were a rather cheap and was already showing signs of giving up. I hope they will last a few days anyway.

I finally managed to seal the thruhull for the bilge pump as well, and as that was fixed I could attach the hose too, so now if the bilge pump is run it will actually pump the water overboard instead of having it run back in under the engine. Great win! A tip if you have to work with stiff hoses that is hard to push onto the thruhull, I boiled a liter of water and held the tip of the hose in it for a few minutes, then it slipped on easily.

The bigger job that I have been postponing for too long now is to fix the issues with the installation of the oven that hindered it to gimble properly. It seems like someone has left a pan on and didn’t notice that the wood to the side of the hob was being burnt by the open flame that was led to the side by the pan. So someone decided to put some stainless plates on the side of the wood to protect it.

Which is a good thing!

The only problem is that it was tight for the oven to gimble even before, and now it turned out to be impossible. At least in one direction. I’ve been thinking that worst case scenario I could just change tack and use it to heat the food and then tack again if needed. But to be honest, it is a lot to do just to be able to heat some food. So I went for a little more permanent solution, at least until I decide to rebuild the galley. I’m still collecting impressions and ideas for that, by the way.

What I did was using my router for the first time, and for those that have never used a small, flexible router before I just must say I’m in awe! What a magnificent little machine! I mean, yeah, it got a bit rough since I was working in situ and I was cutting away 2 mm off the full width which meant that I only had support on one side of the router. I’m just amazed how simple and easy it was. It was so easy that I even forgot to stop when I did one side, so I took out a little too much, oops! The parts where I couldn’t get close enough I just used my multitool and sawed it away, super easy. Before I reattached the stainless I gave it a quick sanding just to knock down any missed high spots.

I also added four more screws on each steel plate, because when they got warm the plates expanded and since they were attached in each end they had no where else to go than to push out over the hob about a centimeter. I hope that it won’t happen any more now.

This means that the boat is getting ready to sail. I’m still waiting for the anchor, but I hope it will be here in the beginning of next week, as well as the oil filters. Then I can have those projects completed as well, and be ready to go. Ah, yes, one more thing. I need to get jackstays, long webbings used when off shore to secure myself with, going from the bow to stern on both sides.

I wrote earlier that I’ve have had an eye on the weather and Wednesday will most likely be the best day to depart. It will be a slow sail, almost five days, in relatively easy winds and waves. I can go on Tuesday or Thursday as well, but I had a sail yesterday and the auto pilot is misbehaving when reaching or going downwind. It is probably something with how I trim the sails, but I can’t see it struggling really, it just slowly goes towards wind until it is so much off course it gets confused and do an even harder turn up against the wind by 10-20 degrees, usually depowering the sails. I have had it going into fault mode twice too, once in this kind of situation and once when setting the sails. Not sure what it is about, but I will have to figure out why it behaves like this and what I can do to circumvent it. Maybe it is a setting, or something. I did the sea trial, basically letting it steer in a big circle, in the tidal current and it complained that there was too much play in the steering system to function, but there is no play. I might try to do a new sea trial on a slack tide to see if it will fix things. I also have it in “advanced mode” to make it learn the seastate and steer better, maybe I have to dumb it down a bit? Anyway, I’m not leaving for a sail of almost five days without knowing that the autopilot wants to come along.

This weekend will hopefully be filled with sailing, testing and hopefully sorting out the last issues.

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