Sunday, 27 November 2016

Landlubbers - again

Hello, I'm sorry it's been so long since my last blog. I prefer to blog about good things, but at the moment we're having a few issues with Bluey and I've found it difficult to find good things to write about.  However I've been contacted by a couple of readers recently asking if all's well here, so I thought I'd better give you an update.

We're both very well, just having a few unexpected problems with Bluey.

When we were still moored at the broker's getting ready to leave and go back up the Severn Estuary to the Gloucester & Sharpness canal Roger checked under the bed in the rear cabin and found water. On further inspection the new stern seal was leaking.  Rob the engineer came out and discovered that the propeller shaft was bent!!!!  He also discovered that the prop shaft must have been bent when originally installed by the builder as the steady bearers had been packed up with rubber to try and disguise the problem.  Unfortunately the surveyor had missed this - which we are NOT happy about -  but he has lots of disclaimers in his contract so we don't really have a leg to stand on.  To cut a long story short we had to get lifted out of the water as soon as possible and be put on hard standing at Bristol Marina while a new prop shaft could be made.

It's not quite as bad as I'd expected being out of the water, although Chico isn't too happy at having to be lifted up and down the ladder every time he needs to go out.  

As with everything about boats, ordering parts takes time and having things made to order takes even longer so we've now been out of the water for a month. The prop shaft finally arrived late last week and Rob's been working hard trying to get all the other outstanding engineering works finished as quickly as possible so we can leave as soon as we're back in the water.

Roger's almost finished the upgrade to the front bedroom which originally looked like this. It had two child size bunks and only one tiny cupboard so we removed everything and started from scratch.

Once again the builder had done a shoddy job.  Under one of the bunks was the bow thruster which was wired up wrongly and the space was being used to store the spare mattress to make up a double bed. Unfortunately this mattress had to rest on top of the bow thruster and would have been a fire hazard had the bow thruster been used a lot.

Roger's now rewired the bow thruster, moved the battery and charger and boxed in the tube properly with plenty of ventilation so we know it's safe.

The small single beds have been replaced by one double which is built over Ikea drawer units at the foot end, but still leaving plenty of storage space at the head end for infrequently used things like suitcases etc.

In place of the other smaller bed, we've fitted sliding wardrobe doors (from Homebase) above more Ikea drawer units. Roger's even used the space behind the wardrobe and under the gunwale to give me LOTS of room for my wool stash and my collection of Doc Martens.  There's still room for more boots, so if you're reading this Santa you know what to bring me.......

And thanks to reader Phil who told us about these Olby sensor lights from Ikea, I also have interior wardrobe lighting. They're battery operated and work on motion sensors when I open the door and go off again after 30 seconds.

Before our emergency lift out of the water we had a fortnight full of visitors which was lovely.

David came to stay for a few days, friends Martin and Maggie came to check out our new home and our son and his family came to stay for almost a week.  Having a bigger boat is certainly paying off and our grandson had a wonderful time running about and driving the boat.

He was absolutely fascinated by The Mathew when it came past

It'll be so nice when they come back in the Spring and we can take them cruising and he can really drive the boat.

With a bit of luck we're hoping to go back in the water this coming Friday and then, providing we don't have any more unexpected problems, we'll be heading off up towards the G&S for the winter.
As continuous cruisers this enforced extended stay in Bristol, both in and out of the water, is really starting to make us stir crazy and we're both looking forward to being mobile again.

Hopefully next time you come back for an update I'll have more interesting things to share with you.
Bye for now