Monday, December 28, 2020

Covid-19 Lockdown and Blog updates

Here we go again! In March 2020 the lockdown came just after I put Sancerre onto her mooring, so at least I did not have to pay for the marina berth through to the partial reopening in June. This year she is out of the water and due back on the mooring, which I have all year, in mid march.

One coat of antifoul done with the boot (white) line raised 
 to stop weed collecting on the gloss paint when the boat is
heavily loaded for extended cruising.

With the likelihood of further restrictions and to avoid possible harsh weather in January and February I put a lot of effort in from mid November when Sancerre came out of the water and managed to get the hull prepared and a single coat of antifoul on before the serious lockdown was announced and, with a last minute Christmas eve visit, I got the engine water pump back on, the Blake's seacocks for the toilet back in and the automatic bilge pump rewired with a new switch, so if the lockdown lasts into March, I will be able to get her back in the water and onto the mooring with a few days notice and one or two days on site, hopefully avoiding possible additional storage charges at the boat yard.

Unable to visit the boat to complete winter maintenance I am spending some of the time in (Tier 4 for the boat and separately for me) lockdown to put some additional info on here and to update some of the posts relating to my round GB trip in 2020.

In particular I have copied and expanded on a post I made on the owners group Flickr site when an owner of a smaller Achilles asked about the handling of the Achilles 9m, that with a good deal of other information, can be found by clicking on here (opens in a new window)  or on the "About the Achilles 9m and Sancerre" tab above (opens in this window).

I have also added a page of pictures from each of my cruises in Sancerre and have imbedded maps showing Sancerre's latest position and some historical info from AIS returns on the "Tracking Sancerre" tab above.

The next project, currently WIP is a page of hints on cooking and eating at sea.

Update: and with the new lock down there could well be a few more.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Refurbishing the engine water pump

The manual says to change the impeller every 1,000 hours (or earlier if an annual inspection shows damage) but like most owners I change the impeller every year, its not an expensive item, the additional work over an inspection is trivial and they have been known to fail after the engine has been unused for an extended period. 

This year however a bit more was required as the end plate was worn and needed replacement (again not expensive) so it seemed sensible to refurbish the unit as necessary and give it a couple of coats of paint after removing corrosion - the body of the pump is bronze and quickly goes green the mounting plate is steel so subject to rust, I chose some silver "Hammerite" that I already had as Yanmar coloured paint is silly money.

Removing crud, inside and out took some time but was a straight forward job that should not needed to be done again for several years.

The impeller was actually OK but was changed anyway.
The end plate was badly scored so also changed. Bearings
and the water seal were fortunately fine and did not have to
be replaced.

Almost ready to go, the liquid on the seal and lubricating
the impeller is Glycerine, oil will damage the rubber impeller.

The paint was redone in November 2023 after the impeller failed after one seasons use.

Friday, December 11, 2020

More propeller / shaft issues.

The refurbished 14" x 13" propeller.
 After haul out I found that the cutlass bearing, replaced last year at enormous cost because it was seized in position and the engine had to be moved forward to remove the shaft to chisel the bearing out, was again worn, not dangerously but enough to need replacement. Hopefully this time it will be an hours work and not expensive.

The question is why did it wear so quickly? It could have been a side effect from the various problems with the folding prop, but the previous bearing had worn rather quickly as well (I don't know how many hours it had run before I got the boat but I suspect not many). I therefore sent the prop off to Hamble Propellers for checking and sure enough it was out of balance and probably had been for some time. They dressed and balanced it so hopefully everything will be smoother next year and the cutlass bearing will last for much longer. Some superficial de-zincification was also removed and hopefully will not reoccur with the fitting of  a galvanic isolator and some extra bonding between metal parts, principally of the stern gantry which holds the solar panels and wind turbine.

A shame to cover up the shiny bronze but hopefully this
coating will keep it clear of weed, barnacles etc.