Ten days and counting…

April 6, 2016


The new season is almost upon us, with just one more weekend’s prep to go.

As usual when our yacht’s on the hard standing we’ve been out and about by road, along the coast to Anstruther, Crail, Dysart, Elie, Pittenweem and St Monans amongst other coastal villages. The shot above was taken on the 29th of December 2015 while the tide was out at Pettycur Bay (click to enlarge).


We also spent a few days in Portpatrick in February, which was the very place that we decided to buy a yacht when we were last there back in 2010. On the far right hand side of the image above you can just make out a Zorb that was part of a BBC Blue Peter presenter’s attempt to cross between Donaghadee and Portpatrick (click to enlarge).

Anyhoo. I’ve been really busy over the last few months, but I’ve still got way too much to do before crane-in. With a bit of luck we should float, however this year our Macwester Malin has a date with me and some power tools for the first month or two in the water. Once I’ve finished I’ll talk through what I’ve been working on here, but prior to that there’s the small matter of crane-in.


As usual, our Malin’s hull has been anti-fouled, I’ve de-winterised the engine; changing the oil and flushing out the anti-freeze. The dinghy has been repaired following on from the damage caused by vandals at the end of last year, and anti-fouled too.


I’ve dismantled our dinghy mooring, as this year the club has installed pontoons for our dinghies. You can see our dinghy already parked on the nearest pontoon above.


I have also tackled the opaque patch on our sprayhood window. Having read online that there’s little can be done to improve opaque vinyl, I tried a variety of solutions coupled with several hours of elbow grease. Subsequently it still wasn’t clear to me whether the opaque patch was dirt or sun damage, but on balance it seemed most likely to be a distilled stour that had dripped down from the main boom. Eventually I reached the point where replacing the window seemed like the only alternative. Once I’d made that decision, there was nothing to stop me trying one last solution …a solution that isn’t recommended in online forums.


I dug out some old car wax (Johnson Rally Wax) that had been languishing in the shadows of our garage and tested a couple of strips using my Dremel 3000 as a circular polishing tool. I bought 100 wool polishing wheels from Ebay, opting for non-Dremel wheels as they are a couple of millimetres deeper and I wanted to use the tool at a right angle to the vinyl. Surprisingly the test strips proved that the opaque patch was stubborn dirt on top of the vinyl, rather than sun damage integral to the plastic itself. There was a noticeable improvement and no sign of any damage caused by the Dremel or wax.


As I kept experimenting I discovered it was best to use plenty of polish, and have a heavy white card underneath the window in order to have a good view of the process. There was often a stubborn layer of orange residue, which came off with a second or third pass of the Dremel and car wax. While not quite as good as new, it’s a major improvement. Now I’ll need to find a way of removing the excess wax and cleaner from the surrounding fabric.

While there’s loads more to do, the only essential task that I’ve still to perform is installing our Macwester Malin’s mooring tackle. That’s one that I’ll choose to do on a sunny day if one of those turns up in the first half of the month. Failing that I’ll be getting soggy …again.


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