Season preparations

With Christmas and new year well and truly out of the way, we have been looking at what jobs we can do whilst still on the water to make the “out of water” list much smaller, also making the actual time ashore less too. What looks like the biggest job is the teak decking. It’s starting to go a bit green and although It’s in overall great condition, we want to keep it that way for as long as possible. The previous owner left us some very helpful notes including the name of a teak biocide and protector called Boracol. Having washed down and “lightly” scrubbed the decks (hard scrubbing being a no no apparently) with a nylon brush which was back braking (I’m no spring chicken!) it’s now ready for application. We purchased 5 litres of Boracol online and will apply 2-3 coats this weekend weather permitting.

One major item on our shopping list was a proper sprung mattress. We thought it would be quite easy little realising just how far technology has gone with marine bedding. Think of all the various options available when you visit your local bedding centre then add in the need to withstand the marine environment! Originally we went to last years Southampton boat show and spent some time with one manufacturer who whilst helpful, we found to be quite pushy to get us to sign on the dotted line there and then…… those who know me know that’s like red rag !! When we first went to view Silhouette we spoke with a couple who were living on their B473 in the marina who mentioned they used a company called Wizard Bedding in Plymouth. We sent them an email followed by phone calls and they have been great, even sending out samples free! We really wanted a one piece but Wizard were uneasy about the fact that we would have to bend the new mattress almost in half to get it through the companionway as the springs are not designed for that, so we opted for a two piece with zip attachment and comfort flap. As boat mattresses are odd shapes there need to be a template made and as the template in effect needed to be 3 dimensionable due to different angles when allowing for the thickness of the mattress, I started to get the feeling that if I got it wrong Caroline would never let me forget…..Wizard to the rescue, as they deliver to Sunseeker Power boats in Poole every Thursday they said they would send their man to do it for me for £20 he even turned up with a completed 2 piece mattress with zip so we could see it, bear in mind at this stage we hadn’t given them any money! Anyway, the template duly done,  paid for and delivery completed  in under 3 weeks so if you’re looking for a great company for your marine mattress give these guys a go

Last weekend our permanent berth became available for us so I took the winter cover off enough to see all around and decided to fill up with diesel at the same time as moving to a berth big enough for us and with room for manouevering. Whilst the actual fuel dock is long, the width of the channel wasn’t and I knew I’d have to make a 5 point turn at least to go back. Very little concentrates the mind more than turning a 14 metre boat without a bow thruster in a narrow channel singlehanded. Filling both tanks took 347 litres, the attendant started to looked worried, I think he thought there might be a hole in the tank, at a cost of 48p per litre which i was pleasantly surprised at. Having filled up and completed my 5 point turn making the most of the huge prop walk to port, I took Silhouette to her new berth and placed her in stern first which makes boarding so much easier. The chap on the yacht next to us came out and took a stern line which was very kind and then commented how he was in awe of me moving a boat of that size on my own. To be honest I didn’t even think it was a big deal once I’d worked out the route, full risk assessment, escape vectors, life insurance cover…. oh and fenders !!! Seriously though it’s all about preparation then just getting on with it.

The wind and rain this winter has been relentless and according to my best friend it’s all my fault as the weather went downhill as soon as we got Silhouette ……… and this weekends forecast ? 😦

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Sailing La Vagabonde

The Moors family adventure on our Beneteau 473 - Sailing Around the world on our Beneteau Oceanis 473

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass ... it's about learning to dance in the rain!

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