End of an Era

April 2013. My last day at work has signalled a change in gear for the trip. I am quite good a boxing issues but there were a few moments that were difficult. The last turn of the key in my office, a few goodbyes and cancelling my professional registration. It hasn't hit me yet that I don't have to go to work on Monday as it seems like a holiday, perhaps after 2 weeks it will become real. On the boat a number of things have happened. The Storm sails supplied by The BoatShed have been rigged by Steve from PD Riggers. They look smart but I hope I never have to use them. The inner forestay is finished with its new deck fitting and leaver. The GRP pod for the new engine control panel was Sika'ed into place. The new tele-pole for polling out the jib.  The waste tank level gauge fitted in the forward heads and finally the new wire jackstays. On our list for a while has been what to do with the saloon windows. We hate the curtains seen on older boats and the forward opening windows present a particular problem for blinds with their sticky out bits! We have talked to OceanAir who have failed to come up to have a look despite their promises. So back to our local trusty companies and the BoatShed has come up trumps again. They have found BreezeBlinds who came up all the way from the south and have measured, advised and will return in May to fit blinds all round. They have fitted out a number of Southerlys I am hoping my retirement will give me a chance to start doing the small jobs so often overlooked as time runs out at the week ends. Ron the engineer is eager to finish the install and we are waiting for the sound installation to arrive. It will be good fun not going to work and working with Ron over the next few days. Planning is also going ahead for when Sephina arrives in Deganwy. Barry from TLC needs to finish some jobs and Carl needs to move on for a fortnight to finalise the system installs. On the domestic front the house has started to be packed up and storage arranged. Not being a very good ebayer, we have thrown away many items that we think are worthless. Lets hope they were.

Best laid plans...


May 2013. Sephina should be in Deganwy by now. The engine has been fully completed and Ron and I put the fenders out, put the engine covers on and waited until high tide. The weather window predicted never materialised and we packed up to lick our wounds.The boat yard faces S.W. and it is blowing a hooley from that direction this week. We are off on our last hotel holiday so it will have to wait until we are back. It did give me the opportunity to order the keel cooler for the fridge and get it installed before we launch. The house continues to look like a chandlers as bits and pieces continue to be prepared for the trip. Tomorrow I am meeting with fellow North Wales skippers to talk through our plans to get to the ARC start and compare notes on details of the preparation.

All Fired up

Oyster 406The great day came and we were ready to test the engine. I must admit I had a sleepless night. I arrived on Friday 5th April and busied myself with jobs as Ron the Engineer was putting last minute touches to the instal. We went to retrieve the engine control panel from the workshop where it was being used to check the new fibreglass surround that the panel will be fitted into. On the return to the boat the panel was connect up and a hose quickly appeared to supply the raw water pump. The time had arrived and Ron switched the panel on and it lit up like a christmas tree and after 3 seconds all the alarms sounded. The good news was it came to life. The bad news was we couldn't switch it off. The last resort was to look at the manual but it just re-affimed that you press the power switch to turn on and again to turn off. Alarms blazing there was nothing for it but to turn off the battery supply. Was something wired up incorrectly, was the panel faulty, a quick phone call to Yanmar and all was revealed. You hold the power button for 3 seconds to turn it off. It definately doesn't say that. So now we know the panel works so we readied ourselves for the first test. Ron's finger hovered over the start button (it is a keyless system) and pressed it. To my amazement and a bit to Ron's it fired first time. A sweet noise and much quieter than the Perkins. A very good day in the life of the Sephina refit. Thanks to all at ABC and Ron in particular. To watch our surprised faces on video click here

Engine on board

After a slight pause, well 3 months to be exact, Sephina now has a new engine on board. Notice I didn't say Sephina has a new engine. The team from ABC Powermarine lifted the Yanmar 4JH5E onto and into Sephina on Tuesday last week. The new engine bearers were fabricated and are now off to be galvanised. The serpentine pulley system, tensioner and alternator package arrived and are due to be fitted soon to boost the charging. The whole package looks like it will fit very nicely. I have also taken advice from a fellow 406 owner for the propshaft coupling and have chosen a clamped style. After hearing his experience of a near propshaft loss I thought it advisable. There is also space to fit an R & D flexible shaft coupling which will reduce noise and absorb misalignment although Ron the engineer will not tolerate misalignment! The ARC and retirement get closer. This week I ordered the medical supplies from Bluewater supplies and the dive gear hooka system arrived from Canada. The holding tank continues to take shape and the tank is now fitted along with the deck fittings. The new macerator toilet was unwrapped and test fitted. Finally, the Ampair 100 towed generator was delivered and this will help when the sun doesn't shine, a problem with 2012's ARC. Let's hope 2013 is a sunnier crossing.


Bits and Pieces

February 2013, which is week 128 since Sephina arrived. How time passes. So in the last couple of weeks there has been some progress. The old engine has been sold to a fellow 406 owner and it was a delight to have him stay with us in N.Wales which enabled a couple of evenings of note comparison! Arrivals of more kit continues and this week we have seen the dive gear from SeaBreathe arrive from America with an eye watering £400 duty to pay. Also work continues on the holding tank. In fine weather we fitted the deck hardware for pump out and rinse which can be seen from the photo on the right. It still makes me nervous drilling large holes in the new teak deck. The tank itself fits nicely and we managed to secure it in place with enough hardware to stand a roll over. You don't want the holding tank coming loose!