Posts Tagged ‘hippo mooring buoy’

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Prepping for season 2017

April 4, 2017

With the fuel system overhaul behind us, we turned our attention to getting our Macwester Malin ready for crane-in. As you can see from the shot above, she’s got a fresh coat of antifoul paint coupled with a new boot top. The main sail and genoa are back on, and the mizzen followed later.

You probably can’t spot the replacement sprayhood windscreen that we had replaced professionally over the winter. To be honest, we’re a little disappointed as the quality of the replacement material isn’t as good as the Dutch original. However, the windscreen needed replaced and the new one is an improvement, despite falling short of our expectations.

My little helpers kindly re-varnished and painted the dinghy (above left). Then with one week to go, it was time for my least favourite pre-season task, which is as much fun as wading through mud …mainly because it is wading through mud. As the tide receded I reluctantly dragged on my waders and trudged out to our mooring. It was heavy going, as the large and heavy tools and the large and heavy chain relentlessly sank into the energy-sapping putty. All in all it took me two and a half hours to make some alterations to the mooring ground chains including swapping out a couple of shackles, and re-installing the Hippo buoy. On the plus side I avoided face-planting the brown stuff.

Back onboard, I replaced the engine anode, and then proceeded to bleed the fuel system. I had studied the manual and was struggling to understand where the air actually escaped from the system. My chum from Joint Venture offered to help and he realised that our Lombardini diesel has a self-bleeding system, so all that’s required is to prime the fuel …and the air escapes back into the port fuel tank all by itself.

Unsurprisingly, the engine took a few attempts to start due to the fuel system overhaul, however everything was fine when it was up and running. I let the engine warm up a little before shutting it back down again.

We checked the gearbox oil which didn’t need changing. I then set about draining the engine oil. As you can see above, our Lombardini has a dedicated pump on the starboard side of the engine to empty out the oil. I cut a small cross-hatch in the side of a used water bottle and pushed the bottle on to the oil outlet before pumping the oil out. Easy.

I refilled the engine with fresh oil, and then tightened the fan belt which was a tad on the loose side. After a few more checks, I turned on the ignition and the engine burst into life first time.

That’s it. Our Macwester Malin is ready to get her bottom wet. With just four sleeps to go, crane-in and season 2017 is up next!

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Scottish Boat Show 2014

October 13, 2014

McLaren650Sengine

As usual we made the trip over to the west coast of Scotland to Inverkip for the Scottish Boat Show. The event seems to be growing, and that obviously translates into congestion in one form or another.

We made our way through various sports cars including a gaudy green McLaren 650S. I like McLarens, and I’ve even been to the deeply impressive McLaren Technology Centre, but to my eyes you might as well have stapled together a thousand wart-covered toad skins, and hastily sellotaped those to the McLaren’s bodywork.

It was just too …green.

Flyboarding

We looked at a couple of yachts, but there was nothing that stood out on the list of boats available to view at this year’s show. When I say nothing, obviously there were plenty of £250,000+ dream boats, but we’re typically interested in looking at yachts around the 30-35ft with a five-figure price ticket. After a bite to eat and a couple of minutes watching the flyboarding, we popped on board Old Pulteney (see below). It was interesting to see the cramped and spartan conditions below the decks, and with a brief glance at each other we unanimously agreed that racing a 70ft Clipper around the world wasn’t for us.

Old Pulteney clipper 70

A couple of hours after arriving at the show we decided that we had endured enough of the crowds and we nipped over to James Watt Dock Marina, where we looked at a couple of yachts for sale including a nice centre cockpit Moody 35. It was good to see a proper aft cabin like the one in our Macwester Malin, rather than a padded storage hidey-hole under the cockpit.

Later we met up with old friends and had dinner in Glasgow’s west end.

sun setting in west from dinghy

The following day we headed to our club to start the post-season chores. We got our mooring tackle up from the mud, power-washed it, and put it into storage. Next we took the sails off, checking for damage. There’s a small tear about the size of a five pence coin on the genoa, so that’s something we’re going to have to get fixed. Finally, as the sun was beating a retreat over to the west, we brought our tender round from our mooring and lifted her out for winter storage. We were in no hurry whatsoever, as it was warm and the river was calm (see above & below).

Dinghy nears destination

Of the two days we achieved more on day two, and although we were tired after completing our chores, I reckon that we both had a better time on the Sunday too.

While the boat show offers an alternative day out for the masses, I’m not convinced that the crowds, the helicopter rides, and the burger stalls actually equate to an enhanced boat-focussed experience.

So that begs the question; will we go next year?

A …probably.

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C-gull shakedown sail

May 22, 2013

Macwester Malin 32 sprayhood view

It was a long wait, but we eventually made it out on to the water for a short shakedown sail. It was great to get out of the harbour, switch our engine off and get the sails up for the first time this season. We didn’t have long before dusk would fall on the Forth, however the weather had improved as the evening meandered along and we really enjoyed having the river to ourselves in the late evening sunshine.

C-gull

With a neep tide meaning that we only had a short window to access our mooring, we weren’t technically sailing for very long, but it was long enough to check that everything appears to be in good order for our first cruise of the year the following weekend. As we reached a racing buoy that seemed relatively far away in the top picture, we grudgingly pulled our sails down and fired our Macwester’s diesel engine back up.

Hippo mooring buoy

All too soon we were heading into towards our sheltered mooring. The shot above shows our white dinghy to the right of the yellow circle, then our Hippo SB1 mooring buoy, and to the left of that you can just about make out the speck that is our pick-up buoy. That speck is what I’m aiming our Macwester Malin’s bow for when we round the harbour wall.

Approaching fixed mooring

Avoiding the other yachts in the harbour is usually straight forward assuming there’s no strong wind, but every now and then we have problems with dinghies that bob around on mini-moorings just off the harbour wall (out of shot to the left of the image above). This approach was very calm and uneventful …’uneventful’ is what I look for when we’re coming into our mooring.

AftCabinInfill01

With our 32 ft yacht safely parked and ready to ‘go’ come the first sign of decent weather, I turned my attention to a few outstanding tasks on our ‘nice-to-do’ list rather than our need-to-do’ list for a change. I recently decided that I wanted to infill the v-shaped berths in our Malin’s aft cabin, for the same reasons they’re infilled in the fore cabin.

AftCabinInfill02

Far from being a shipwright, I somehow managed to shape some Water & Boil Proof (WBP) ply to the required dimensions and surprisingly it fitted snuggly in situ on the first time of asking. I didn’t go to great lengths with the varnish finish, as this new fitting will spend it’s life hidden underneath a foam cushion.

ZoomerRoo switch

Next on  my list was to fit two ZoomerRoo isolator switches to the batteries. The spec of the switch is around 400 amp continuous and 900 amp intermittent. I popped them on to test them, but want to reinstall them next time we’re on board …as I was short of time and feel that they could be better installed. Once in place permanently, the switches will ensure that everything that should be off when we leave the boat is actually off, and hopefully will mean that we don’t have to replace any more batteries in the near future.

Next up some actual cruising (we hope).

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