I seem to remember getting told that a lot when on holiday, so it is fitting that Mariadz has been told this. Today is the start of the annual lift out and maintenance period for Mariadz. A chance to check a few things and do some fixes that aren’t possible in the water. This year we are planning to keep the boat out for three weeks, living in the motor home, which means the cats will be ok (not great with ladders) and the work can be done without cats or people under your feet.
I asked the team to move the boat so that I could video it, especially as Maria has been working really hard recently, and the weekend having worked through the night on consecutive nights, and was in no state to take on Mariadz. The preparation takes ages though. I have to clear out the boat for everything we need for the holiday. The fridges and freezer will be switched off and so need to be cleared. We have work going on in the forepeak which means the bed storage area needs to be emptied, as does the galley cupboard under the sink. Maria also wants the recently cleaned carpet up so that it doesn’t get too dirty while work is being done. Finally the cockpit needs to be cleared with most of the cockpit tent down too. Then there is the minor matter of two cats to move – they love their home and need to be taken off whilst afloat rather than down a ladder once ashore.
We get it all done and it is a wonderful still day when Mariadz gently leaves her berth and heads to the lift out.
The lift out gives us an opportunity to check and resolve some issues we have had. We will be able to understand the cause of the vibration from the prop. We suspect that this is barnacles on the prop potentially stopping it fully deploying into drive mode – it is a Bruntons Autoprop. We also need to understand what is happening with the keel cooler. We know this has a leak anyway but recently it hadn’t been working at all which was why it was disconnected. The coppercoat needs to be checked and rekeyed. We also need to check anode loss since we were almost completely used up in March after nine months, we need to understand if excessive snide loss is occurring which could mean there is an electrical problem. However, the main point of the lift this year is to check and replace, if necessary, all of the underwater through hulls. I had been told by Stevie to get these from Fox’s chandlery who gave me an extra discount. However, their supplier is ASAP who you can buy from direct but since we are likely to return some of the bronze fittings (nothing is too good for our girl), going to fox’s provides some convenience when we need to do this.
It is a very smooth manoeuvre from the lift crew, Mariadz does look good as she slowly moves across to the lift, and before long she is lined up and the lift can start. After a couple of false starts and a consultation with the manual to check for lifting points, she is up and we can see that there is a lot of growth on her especially since she has only been back in the water for four months. That said after some of the issues we have had, we probably haven’t taken her out as much this year so far.
As part of the service a high power pressure wash of the hull is performed which generally takes her from quite covered in marine life to squeaky clean. As part of this I can check the prop both before and after the wash and I can see nothing blocking the folding mechanism but a fair few barnacles on the prop itself. Maybe these were enough to cause the slight vibration we could hear in the aft cabin when under power. Definitely something that requires more investigation. The original keel cooler was completely covered up with barnacles which explains why this wasn’t working but we need a new one anyway because of the leak. While Paul from Haven refrigeration is on board, he can also fit the PCB for the forepeak aircon unit. This was tricky to order from HFL, but google translate was my friend and we were able to get everything sorted via email – let’s hope i have right one and it works!
Mariadz is put into her spot overlooking the rest of the marina and having located and attached a ladder, she is ready for the work to begin.
This year, we have asked Terry Clarke, to do our work having shifted from Stevie at Watercraft UK. We had originally planned to use Stevie but he is very busy (obviously a good thing for him). I got concerned a couple of weeks before the lift when I wanted to speak to him about what we wanted done. He stopped me to say that the through hulls that we had previously discussed would be done but anything else on the list would have to be “prioritised” ….for me that means – not done or done after we come back. Most of the jobs we try and get done at this time of year are best done whenever we are not living aboard so clearly we need to consider carefully whether we are happy with this. In view of the likelihood that certain important things may be deferred, we decided to speak to Terry Clarke, who has done some minor work for us before. He can fit us in and so we decide that we will go this way for this year. I have to break the news to Stevie, who wasn’t happy but I do feel that this is as a result of his workload and in the past we have not been top of the priority list. With Terry, who has a very good reputation, we’re hopeful that everything we need will get done. The list is reasonably extensive…
- Eighteen through hulls serviced or replaced
- coppercoat rekeyed
- topsides polished
- teak treated with two part treatment
- galley fiddle sanded undercoated, painted and protected
in addition, I have a few things that’s I am keen to get done personally.
- sort out the holding tank breather
- put lagging on our water pipes to stop our “cold” water ałways being hot
- try and remove the remains of that pesky bolt from the starboard side sheet winch
- sort out the swim platform switch
- understand why our new domestic alternator is not charging
Come back in a couple of weeks to see how we did….