Disaster Zone

After living aboard for four months and not moving our boat was what could only be described as a disaster zone. We had all the tools and equipment that we normally have in the v-berth in the back cabin. On top of that we had no end of small projects that just needed to get finished.

Getting Salty Lass tidy

The chart table was full of stuff, the back cabin was full of tools, we had a host of half finished projects and they all needed sorting. We joked about getting our ducks in line because I had just finished putting a patch on our friends side panel. For various reasons I could not hide the patch, so I decided to feature it, so I made the patch in the shape of a duck. We said that we would start at the chart table, but in reality we started at the rear cabin, so we brought everything out so I could clean it. I can tell you the place was filthy, I went through quite a few wet wipes because the roof and sides of the cabin all needed cleaning. Of course this meant that Salty Lass was even more messy, but that is just the way it goes when you are cleaning up. Once the rear cabin was cleaned then we were able to return all the stuff that we should have in the rear cabin to the right place. This included a new double duvet, the cover of which I had made from cutting down a king size duvet cover and an assortment of tools that live on a shelf in the back cabin.

Next came the v-berth, so we had to remove all sorts of stuff out of the v-berth locker, just so that we could return the sewing machine to its place along with the tool bag. This got rid of all the big items, so that we could see clear to finishing off all the little tasks.

Small jobs

One of the problems about having land goods on a boat is that they rust. A boat is just a really harsh environment, so you have to take extra care of all your land goods. I had a rather nifty tool belt given to me by my sister and all the rivets were now rusted. We had not used it either so I decided to use the catch to replace a rusty clip on our sail cover and cut up the leather for spares. The worst offender was a tool box that one of our subscribers had given us where all the paint was just flaking off, so Beverley removed all the paint, then sprayed it with cold galvanising spray. It looked really good and hopefully the job will last for a good long time.

I used some fabric to create a little bit of extra storage in front of my seat in the v-berth. It was made out of fish fabric, so that when we are at anchor, Prudence can use it as fish TV.

The last wee job that I did was sew in and around where all the stitches were coming undone on the sail. I was going to leave it but it was a really nice calm day, so I just decided that I would fix it. It was scary to think about fixing a huge sail, but I'm really glad I did, because now I just know that the job is done right.

Replacing the coolant

We had watched another you tube channel sort out the coolant and there are two places where you can remove the coolant, via a screw on the side and via a tube on the front. We had decided to go for the tube method as we had more access this way plus we could put the tube into a bottle. A large milk bottle works really well as the hole at the top fitted over the hose.

Before you do the hose method, you need to remove the fan belt which means moving the alternator. For this we needed a 16 mm spanner and a 12mm spanner. Neither of which we could find, so the good old adjustable spanner came to our rescue.

Once we had removed the fan belt, we had not got a hose clamp recommended by the other channel, so we got loads of the coolant all over the bilge, thinking about it now we should of used a cloth on the inside of our wrench, using the cloth to protect the hose, but we didn't but that is what the dinghy pump and the bilge is for. After the dinghy pump we used nappies to clean the bilge up.

We decided to remove our header tank, so to do this there is a clip at the back of the tank that you have to push in as you push up. Removing the header tank does mean that you can clean it which is what we wanted. To clean, we used some small pipe cleaning brushes that we have aboard.

Other top tips

Have a little bit of clear nail varnish aboard, so that when you mark something up with a pen etc. You can put a little bit of clear nail varnish over the top. This protects the marks and make them last that little bit longer.