Goodbye 4.108

November 2012. Friday the 16th dawned a beautiful day in North Wales. I was very lucky that on the chosen day to take Sephina over to Beaumaris my youngest and her boyfriend were staying with us. As they are both Yachtmasters it was a relief to have competent helpers. As the weather was calm and settled the exit from the Marina was as simple as it could be. We set off and pushed the tide to exit the Conwy River and were soon navigating the swatch way to Beaumaris. We were scheduled for a 11:30 arrival and we were bang on the money. The guys at ABC Power Marine were ready and we edged our way into the new lifting hoist and were soon captured and lifted. Firstly I was delighted by the professionalism of the ABC staff and secondly I was delighted that the coppercoat showed absolutely no barnacles what so ever. A good investment. The lift took Sephina into the yard and she was awarded pride of place outside the main shed. Inside the shed was the reason we travelled to Beaumaris, the beautiful Vetus 4.65 and Ron the marine engineer who has adopted Sephina's mechanicals. It was because of our trust in Ron and the team at ABC that influenced our decision to re-engine. Sephina is in good safe hands. We are off to Gran Canaria for a weeks R&R and in a sort of coincidence it is the week the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers departs for the Caribbean.  We hope to see some of the boat preparation to help inform the remaining work. I hope to be able to catalogue the engine replacement for other 406 owners who will be in the "new engine project" sooner or later. I will start a New Engine section so I can add articles and photos as the project progresses.


New Engine

After a great season sailing and with the added confidence that my wife and I can sail Sephina on our own we turn to preparing for the Winter. So far I have planned installation of the Satelite communication system, upgrading the battery charging system, fitting the inner forestay, adding the holding tank and forward electric toilet and finally putting in a new engine. Yes a new engine. It's the only thing left not renewed. I have started an article in the refit section and will try and post the progress. So Sephina will go over the ABC in Beaumaris for the engine later this month and then a couple of months later return to Conwy to be on the hard for the rest of the work to be done. So next season she truly will be a new boat!

Change of gear and friends..

Teak Deck Oyster 406

Week 81. Suddenly things have changed. Not only am I not the most qualified sailor in the family, now I am not directing activities. Today Barry and I were scrubbing and cleaning the deck and the girls were servicing winches. A year ago my youngest would come along to the shed and sit bored, clean and wait for the time we were going home. After her Commercial Yachtmaster training at UKSA she turned up and took my winches apart. I just had to watch as I had no idea what she was doing. Even my wife was infected and became enthused. Her cleaning gene aligned with the technical gene produced an awesome combination.
The middle of the week had been stressful as my assumption that the mast would travel over to the marina with the boat was suddenly shattered. The boat left and the mast remained. It turns out that at 60 foot it is too long for the team in Conwy Marina to transport. This is when you need friends. The one thing that has been a joy over the last 20 months has been meeting the team at TLC. When the chips are down they exude confidence. "We will get it there don't worry".  Firstly Barry arranged for a transport company to move it but when they turned up they also realised it was a bit big! They would do it but were just not sure it was going to be OK. Discretion the better part of valour we had a rethink. Carl the engineer from TLC returned from his holiday and called in a few favours. Buckley's, who craned Sephina into the yard over a year ago, turned up within 24 hours with the coolest most competent driver you have ever seen. I think the girls fancied him as they asked to be passengers in the cab as Barry and I drove the support vehicle. The mast was lifted and bent to an unbelievable curve and even Barry was wincing. The over hang seen in the pictures was scary. The mast duly arrived in Conwy Marina and Barry was keen to go back to Sephina and finish off the last touches to the deck. It was at that point I suddenly realised how dependant I had become on what have now become true friends. It was like your crutch and confidence suddenly being taken away. I needed Barry to give me confidence that it would all be OK in the end. I shouldn't have worried as Buckley's were fantastically professional and dropped the mast on a sixpence. Thanks to Buckley's, Barry and Carl, we are now nearer to the water. Joy.


Teak Deck Oyster 406

Week 82. The usual Saturday excitement was tempered by a 24 hour stomach bug on Friday. Laid low the prospect of an early start Saturday was not relished. Saturday dawned and the stomach stopped growling. Now activity depends on the weather. For the last 20 months we have been privileged to be undercover and did not appreciate how lucky we were. The weather on Saturday was kind and we were not hampered. My wife having caught the bug from my youngest set about servicing the large electric primary winches. The scale and complexity was a little daunting but following it methodically gave a sweet click clack to their operation. During the week Barry and his team polished the now paint job and etched the copper coat to expose the raw copper. She looks a treat and is a credit to TLC. More work was done on finishing the mast camera and further work on the AV systems. Also of note was the arrival of the "RedBox" from MailaSail. This handy gadget provides a portal to the internet via Satellite, 3G and Wi-Fi. It chooses the most economic method. It also provides a Wi-Fi network on the boat for iPads etc. Further upgrades are expected where it will give NEMA over wi-fi and anchor alarms. I wired it into the AV cabinet and connected into the Mac system on the boat. It all worked perfectly. I am looking forward to connecting the WiFi Bat long range aerial to give us BroadBand on the boat when the mast is stepped tomorrow. Talking of which, we decided to get Buckleys to provide a crane to step the mast ahead of the launch. This will give us more time to connect all the systems to the mast. The launch is scheduled for Thursday and I am a little nervous. I hope the weather is kind. Luckily the best sailor I know will be on hand to assist. Jon my surgeon/farmer mate will help me in the jaw dropping passage plan to go from Conwy to Deganwy which is all of a mile. OK you may scoff, but I have never sailed her in anger and I have put more holes in the hull for transducers, water makers, generators and air conditioners so the chance of a sinking keeps me awake at night. Hopefully there will be a week 83 and I will not have to use the insurance claims form for a total loss! Wish us luck.....