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The never ending forepeak job
Nichola / Brrrrrrrrr!
31/01/2012, Brandy Hole, River Crouch, Essex

Pic: Colin and the weeny washing machine

January is closing on a cold note with our first light dusting of snow this morning, more like icing sugar than snow. The wind is picking up from the north east increasing the chill factor and making it tempting to just stay under the duvet all day.

After our travels to family over Christmas and New Year it took us a while to get back into the swing of boat jobs. Colin is still working away in the forepeak, putting in insulation, making repairs and building a storage locker between the new water tanks, making the windlass battery breaker switch more accessible. I've been doing some sewing repairs and other little odd jobs.

New locker door in the forepeak
Pic: The new locker door in the forepeak ready to be varnished and the new wall sides covering the holes where drawers used to be.

We decided to take a trip to the London Boat Show but we found it pretty disappointing. There were hardly any chandleries there and those that were there were mainly selling electronics rather than the bits and bobs that we were after. We only got half the things done that were on our list and the show seemed much reduced in size compared to our previous visit. There were a few interesting displays including a beautiful boat made with donated wooden items including guitars, cutlery drawers, spirit levels and hockey sticks. You can see more about the project here

Part of the space had been given over to an Outdoors show which I actually enjoyed more than the boat show, not least because I got to have a free go on a 500ft long zip wire with Go Ape! This was my first go on a zip wire - I don't mind heights but I don't like ladders and I had to climb one to get to the launch platform. I chose the wooden ladder rather than the rope one - the way it wobbled when others climbed up that one made my head swim just watching them. Launching off the platform was exhilarating and as I zipped down the wire spinning slowly around I got a 360 degree view of the show. I've since won a voucher for a tree-top session with the same company - top bananas!

Our main excitement of January is finally getting lucky on eBay on our bids for a second hand compact washing machine. We've gone for a Zanussi ZWC1300 which will be installed into a space next to the engine room which so far has been filled with stuff that we've never used and probably never will. So that will be emptied and an access door made in the aft head wall. It's a luxury that we've been thinking about for a while and have been up and down about whether to get one or not but having saved me a cold walk to the launderette this week it already feels worth every penny. It runs really quietly and with its low power consumption and small water usage we think it will pay for itself very quickly.
A frosty morning in Brandy Hole
Pic: A frosty morning in Brandy Hole

Back off under the duvet now!

2011\12: Winter jobs at Brandy Hole
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Winter Jobs Update
16/12/2011, Brandy Hole, River Crouch, Essex

It's been a while since we last blogged, so thought it time to give an update of where we are with the winter jobs.
We now have a couple of new mini radiators run from the hot water that Rupert (our Reflex heater) generates; one up in the forepeak and another in the aft cabin. Rupert is great at heating the main saloon but getting that heat around the rest of the boat has proved a problem; with these mini radiators we hope to resolve that and so far so good. We also have a towel rail also fed with Rupert warmed water built by Colin in the heads to keep the chill off in there.
Our forward heads used to have two doors - one for access from the main saloon and the second to access from the forepeak so as to provide an en-suite. The plywood panels in the doors were beginning to delaminate due to age and water ingress from having showers. Rather than put new panels in, we decided to get rid of the forward door completely and replace with a solid panel, onto which we could fasten the towel rail on the heads side and the mini radiator on the forepeak side. The inside of the panel we've tiled to match the rest of the heads, on the outside we've put some tongue and groove to match the walls of the forepeak.
For the door from the saloon, we removed the old panels and put in single sided teak ply for the saloon face. On the heads side I've created two mosaic panels which can be seen in the photo above.
Colin is currently connecting the pipework for the new bow water tanks. Earlier this year our stainless steel bow tank started leaking and we removed it in October as it was turning into a teabag. We investigated getting a similar shaped tank custom made but the costs were pretty astronomical. After days of research and measuring a million times to find something that fit the awkward V shape we went for 2 rectangular Vetus solid plastic tanks which sit either side of the space. We've lost a couple of storage drawers but gained some storage between the tanks that we can use for tools and spares. The old tank held 265 litres, the new tanks 220 litres so we haven't lost too much and at a fraction of the cost of a custom tank. Colin has built and fitted flooring and walls to hold the tanks snugly in place whilst we're bouncing about in big seas.
New water tanks in place
Bow water tanks in place

2011\12: Winter jobs at Brandy Hole
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06/01/2012 | Rick - S/V Godspeed
Looks good. I'm still stuck on my heater project, but I did finally open a bottle of my apple wine that you inspired. Damn good stuff... Now to try the blackberry wine!
06/01/2012 | Rick - S/V Godspeed
Looks good. I'm still stuck on my heater project, but I did finally open a bottle of my apple wine that you inspired. Damn good stuff... Now to try the blackberry wine!
06/01/2012 | Rick - S/V Godspeed
Don't try this at home
skip cold, no heating!
16/10/2011, Brandy Hole, River Crouch

Hi all, well we are getting organised and into the swing of things for the winter refit.

We've got the bow tank out that began leaking at the beginning of the circumnavigation, too late to do anything about it. We've measured (lots of times!) and have worked out that we can fit (hopefully!) a pair of standard sized Vetus tanks in place with minimum remodelling under the forward bunk, giving us 220 litres up there.

We've also been busy collecting parts for the first few jobs and improvements on the winter list, ordering wood and planning to complete the head tiling, add a couple of radiators and a towel rail in the head, and replace our leaking and now defunct heating circulation pump. We've decided to change from our low power 'Bolin' pump which only used 0.1 A when running to a more power hungry Jabsco pump which uses 0.25A but doesn't have a shaft seal to leak (where our bolin pump failed) and is said to run for 30 000Hrs so time will tell. The bolin pump has lasted for three winters, not as long as we'd expect for a pump costing 200 pounds!

We've been documenting the tank removal, so will add those in the gallery with descriptions shortly.

Slainte skip

2011\12: Winter jobs at Brandy Hole
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19/11/2011 | Alistair + Suzanne Carson
On a wet November night, got a summer feeling looking at your happy photos. Hello to you both from us.
28/11/2011 | Carole & Will
Hi, you two. Glad you've arrived safely at your snug winter berth. It looks like it could blow old boots and you'll not go anywhere! Keep up the blog it's nice to know others are working hard too.

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Who: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
Port: No fixed abode
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