The maintenance blog
15 May 2018 | Fishing Bay Marina, Deltaville, VA, USA
For those wondering what has to happen behind the scenes to keep the boat under way – now’s your chance. We are working our way through an extensive period of maintenance to try to ensure that everything will be in good order when Barracuda returns to the water – probably in late October.
- The engine has done over 500 hours since we left Portugal, so will get a full service.
- The sails have pushed us a long way and will have had a significant amount of UV – they will be removed, thoroughly inspected, possibly re-stitched and reinforced in places, and the UV protection on the both the main and the genoa needs serious attention. The mainsail cover, in particular, needs patches on its patches.
- Once we get the boat out of the water next week, we will service our feathering ‘Kiwi’ propeller (which is making some strange noises whilst in reverse) and also change out the anodes, which protect the hull from galvanic corrosion.
- Our steering system will get a thorough overhaul as it is, not unreasonably, showing some signs of wear after nearly 10 years and many, many miles.
- All of the lines (ropes) that can be taken off the boat easily will get soaked in several changes of fresh water to get the salt out of them.
- All turning blocks get cleaned in warm, fresh water.
- The winches will be dismantled, cleaned and re-greased.
- The standing rigging will get an inspection from head to toe (still need to decide who is going up the mast).
- The heads (loo) pump and associated valves will get a thorough overhaul – nasty job!!
- The water system will be completely drained, cleaned and inspected.
- The fuel tank will be brimmed full to avoid any condensation in the tank, which can lead to water contamination in the fuel. The spare fuel cans (of which there are many) will get cleaned out.
- The existing antifouling has pretty much worn out and in some patches is flaking off, so we need to use this next down time to do a thorough prep and repaint on the bottom. We use a special antifouling for aluminium boats (Trilux 33), which seems to cost an arm and a leg over here.
- And there is yet another round of work on the water maker, to try to get to a place where it reliably makes the rate we require. We are ever hopeful.
- On the domestic side, every cupboard gets emptied and cleaned, every cushion lifted and cleaned, any food that won’t survive till the autumn is thrown out, and everything else well stored to ensure bug- and air-resistance.
- The good news is that our safety gear (life raft, etc) was all replaced or serviced ahead of the ARC and will still be in date for another couple of years, so hopefully there’s nothing major to replace or service there - but it will all get a good inspection anyway just in case.
And then there are always a few improvements that we make based on our experience, and this time is no exception.