The gift that just keeps on giving!
14 October 2015
They say it's is never a dull moment for the live-aboard yachtie......
This morning we thought we'd go for a little trip - just down to anchor somewhere different for a day or two. Next week we have been planning on doing our first all-by-ourselves sail on her, and head up the Broadwater a little, but just for today we wanted a change of scenery.......
But no - it wasn't to be!
We pulled up the anchor and started to move forwards - but had NO STEERING - none at all!
We were just waving goodbye to friends Lanise and Tyler next 'door' and then we were a little too close to them for anyone's comfort - and despite my turning of the wheel hard to starboard, we kept going straight ahead! I whacked her into reverse and got clear of them, but there was no change in direction no matter what I did with the wheel.
Once we were a good distance away we dropped the anchor back down and went to inspect. We haven't played with the hydraulic steering yet, so it was all new territory for the kids and I, and it's kind of hard not knowing what you are actually looking at - but we couldn't see any issue - no leaking fluids, no disconnected cables......we could see that the wheel was moving the steering ram, but the steering ram wasn't moving the rudder.
Tyler came over then to have a look and agreed that nothing looked seriously amiss - there was no apparent breakdown in the hydraulic system and in fact the wheel seemed to be moving the ram quite fine but nothing was moving the rudder. Erina then dived down and had a physical inspection of the rudder to check if there was any problem with the bolts that held it to the post and that was also fine.
Tyler had noticed that the keyed notch in the plate that should line up with a bit that sticks out on the ram (my best description lol!), was not even close to being lined up and he asked if anything had put any pressure on that recently - and so of course we thought about the trawler and the damage to the prop.
Iain from Everything Marine, the awesome business that did the repairs to Argos after that lovely incident, agreed when I spoke to him that it is quite likely related - a gift that just keeps on giving!
He will pop out and have a look and the insurance company will also send out an assessor and maybe it won't be a big deal and we will be able to move again soon!
You have to have a sense of humour when you live on a boat - what started out as such a simple day - go for a drive, anchor close to the swimming pool, do some laps, get some groceries.......becomes a day of phone calls, diving (thanks Erina) and checking systems!
Happily when we realised we had no steering there was no drama - we had forward and reverse gear and could still keep safely away from other boats and as always Erina and Liam were both awesome - Liam with checking the steering system and Erina with diving to check the rudder - so despite a mishap it's still just another great day in paradise!