Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Kika's Winter Haul Out

Kika lined up under Conwy Bridge for lifting out opposite the harbour masters office in November. 
The previous day Hamid Toussi and Ian Fearn kindly gave me a hand assembling a newly purchased yacht cradle from Yacht Legs. The instructions were clear, we made good time and were in the pub for lunch.

On the big day Clive Sparkes and I motored Kika up to pick up a mooring where we placed ropes under the hull to mark the strop points for the crane. The stern one had to be weighed down to counteract the effect of a strong flood tide. We had just put the kettle on when the harbour masters voice barked Kika over the radio and we came alongside to be lifted aloft by " mojo" from Buckleys cranes and eased onto her cradle by Barry ( Deputy Harbour Master) who had to find extra pieces of wood to accommodate the width of the keel.

The jobs this winter are legion. After near collisions with our neighbours in Conwy marina because Kikas long keel means she has almost no steerage in reverse. I decided on a bow thruster. Schleiper do a reliable 60 Newton one that should give enough thrust. Barry from TLC boat care got a 40% discount and fibre glassed in the tunnel. Inevitably in return for manoeverability you lose a bit of speed, but you can reduce the problem by fibre glassing eyelids in front of the tunnel to reduce turbulence and drag.

We are also putting in a small holding tank,otherwise we will be kicked out of the Galapagos Islands. This creates space issues and we are also fitting extra filters just in case it starts to honk in the tropics. Carl Filer is going to connect up two new solar panels situated on the Gantry above the cockpit . I managed to short out the oil dipstick between the live positive on the alternator and the engine block so its new alternators, regulators all round!  ouch!! My future career as the boats electrician is not looking positive.

Over Christmas we wuz  robbed! Some thieves saw the chart plotter sitting in the cockpit. They probably looked with binos from Conwy bridge. They broke into a locked compound and removed two chart plotters and loads of electrical gear that was awaiting instillation. They got into the boat by sawing through a hasp on the companionway.  Review of the CCTV footage shows them walking away carrying their loot, however unfortunately they were unidentifiable . Fingerprint and DNA analysis was not fruitful either. Pantaenius Yacht Insurers have been excellent so far. The main problem is that the little sods pulled up the wiring to both chart plotters before cutting the cabling which means a recabling job with difficult access. I am getting James the steel to make a bar that will lock the companionway more securely in the future.

Went to a wintry boat show and bought some courtesy flags for Spain and Portugal. So with that major investment the trip is definately on!