Sumara was lifted out at Chichester Marina on 23rd November. It was my intention to get her back to London and haul out at South Dock Marina but sadly they said it was full. Strangely when I cycle past there seems to be loads of space.
My mast was accidently taken out a week too early to my surprise. I always like to be around during any lifting operation but it seemed to have taken place without mishap. The boat lift was smooth and professional and Sumara was lowered gently into a really solid cradle. The staff sometimes lift 16 boats a day which seems incredible. I was surprised to see the amount of masts left standing. That doesn’t happened in Scotland! I have to varnish my mast each year but I really believe all masts should come down each year. I remove all the rigging and inspect it from end to end. All the split pins are replaced with new ones and all the running rigging is washed. The mast is then placed on my own trestles and coved in a heavy canvas cover. You can see it just behind the boat. In effect no wear and tear takes place for four months of the year and everything is checked. That’s got to be a good thing.
The engine oil has been changed and I have run antifreeze through the block in a closed loop. I have forgotten to top up the diesel tank but I will when I go down next week. The engine block has got rather rusty mainly due to a constantly leaking water pump. It is a Johnson pump and the engineers tried out four new pumps and eventually gave up. It cools the engine fine but drips constantly. If anyone knows how to solve this I would be very grateful to hear. In the meantime I will give the engine a good going over with a wire brush and some rust proof paint. I’ve looked at POR15 but it looks over the top. I may try Brantho-Korrux “3 in 1” and see how I get on.
The inside of the boat has been cleaned with a mixture of processes starting with fresh water, then Dettox and finally Ambercleanse Foam Cleaner. I like to have a large roll of Blue Roll to hand. The bilge is completely dry now but may get grubby after the engine clean and repaint. The aft bilges will be repainted in the spring. The whole boat is covered with a heavy cotton canvas cover. It amazes me how people buy rubbish sweaty plastic dross from BandQ and tie it over their pride and joy. In the first breeze the eyelets pull out and they flap like mad. My cover does need renewing now but it is 15 years old and has saved the boat so much wear and tear that it has been a very good investment. I use an aluminium scaffolding ridge pole as the weight of heavy snow is too much for timber sandwhich battens. Key Clamps and plastic end stops make up the support posts. It is a very tough frame and capable if withstanding storm force winds.
I will off load my wonderful Aqua 70 chain chain onto a pallet. It looks as good as new with no rust signs.
I have special winter wash board with extra ventilation holes. It means I can varnish the other ones at home and the boat is well aired. I will put a small tube heater with a thermostat on board just to keep the worst of the cold away.
Snug as a bug.