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0050 - Repairs, Maintenance, and a Sick Cat

After getting back from the island, I chose to try and get some stuff done. We still have to scrape, clean, and paint the hull with anti-foul - and as much as I hate to admit it - I miss the wind instruments a little more than I thought I would.

First up, the wind instruments - I'll need to go up, for them to come down, or what's left of them.

I wasn't sure what to expect once I got to the top of the mast, but when I got up there I could see that the entire instrument arm could be detached from its fitting and could be taken down for a closer inspection...

Luckily, the unit is actually fine - the old plastic cups must've just degraded from prolonged UV exposure, or been damaged by a crow or something else completely random - either way it's gone.

Looking through the paperwork, the year stamped on everything is 1998 - if the cups were that old - I'm surprised it didn't break off sooner! The unit was manufactured by Raymarine, so I should be able to get some parts fairly easily, or so I thought.

I contacted a local Raymarine Dealer, who shall remain nameless, and ended up being completely useless, saying they had ordered parts, then blaming their supplier - then 'losing' the order before finally admitting that they had been having some issues getting some parts...ah, geez

From start to finish, they made me wait almost two weeks for parts that never materialized - I looked elsewhere, found an awesome supplier on eBay who got the official part to me within 48hrs. eBay for the win!

Even though there were some delays getting the part I needed, the part was a quick fix to what could've been a much more expensive repair, so for that, I'm glad - so back up with the repaired unit...

Money isn't really a subject I like to get too much into on here, but it is a pain. Everything costs money, and for what it doesn't cost in money, it costs in time.

Time is something I have a bit more of these days, but not too much of the other thing - so where and when possible I do as much of the work as I can to reduce our running costs, and servicing the underbelly of this yacht is one job that I have to do.

Paint, rollers, and anodes cannot be acquired or manufactured by myself for nothing, so those items I have to buy - but for about $100 I can get them all - bearing in mind that this is just essential maintenance that kinda has to be done at least once a year, but it is kind of a big job and a lot of people opt to just pay a yard to do this work.

To have the work done in a yard involves coming out of the water, via crane or boat lift, then onto a cradle (that you have to hire), which occupies a space in the yard (that you rent), and then to pay people to wash, scrape and paint the bottom of the, it's all just money money money...

I did get a quote from a yard once, about two years ago, and they wanted just over $1300, and that may not sound like a lot, but to us, it's a small fortune, plus I didn't have $1300, or even close to

So, what we do, is find a nice, quiet, and free slip somewhere and wait for high tide, move into position and wait for the tide to go out, and do the work in between the tides while the hull is exposed. It's a lot of work, but it saves a tremendous amount of money, and although it takes a while, the work can be oddly satisfying.

The only risk is that during this time there is nothing holding the boat upright other than every available rope I have onboard, which should be enough...but the thoughts that go through your head as you are crawling around under it scraping barnacles off the keel, and sanding everything smooth - that if those ropes were to break...hmmmmm

Despite not having been cleaned since last year, she was in good shape. I looked for some evidence of whatever it was that I hit last year that made the toilet through-hull fitting leak, but I couldn't see any marks other than where the fitting had moved slightly. So, overall, a good result.

Once the tide returned, moving back off the wall and back onto the pontoon was a simple enough affair, but the work wasn't over - Phoebe was out of food, not her expensive medicated food, but this rare jelly topped pate thing that she loves, and that she actually eats - and not just licks the jelly off...

Phoebe's weight gain has been a big priority around here, she needs to eat, but as she gets older and, uh, of less good health... she's getting pickier and whether I like it or not I had to take a trek to the nearest pet store that stocks her 'special' food - and of course, it's miles away...

After an on-foot, five-mile round trip she had a full belly, and then the work was done, for today anyway...

A couple of days later we went out for a cruise around, not very far - full disclosure - I just wanted to see how much smoother she was in the water with her new bottom paint, and she was smooth...and I'd say a bit faster too!

The water was so flat, I just let Phoebe lay under the dodger and Chloe had a look about before occupying the Captains lap for the duration of the trip, even managing to tack the yacht without disturbing her, only having to move her so I could put the anchor out...

We just ended up anchoring off of Inchkeith island for a night before meandering back to the harbour for a few more days before setting off.

But no sooner had we got back and got things more or less ready to go, Phoebe got a bit ill again and needs some more medication, so we'll need to wait for a little longer till she's a bit better, and as much as I'd like to get the hell on - Phoebe comes first, before travel, before the blog - before anything - they both do.

I sometimes forget how closely linked my cats' health is with my own mental health, if they're not happy - I'm not happy. It's funny, I did have plans the day she started being ill - but I have no recollection of what they were, getting Phoebe's meds instantly became the most important thing.

On the boat, they're not just cats, not to me anyway - I think of them as little furry people who can't talk, more friends than pets - and when one of them isn't well it just messes with the whole vibe on the boat - it just sucks when one of the crew isn't well.

But, with fresh anti-foul on our super smooth hull, serviced wind instruments, and everything seemingly working as it should - there isn't too much keeping us here, so we'll no doubt be moving on just as soon as Phoebe's up to it, or at least that's the plan.


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