What a busy (i.e. expensive!) winter Vela Vee has had. In early October we took her to Berthon Boat Yard (Lymington), her mast and rigging were removed and she was soon out 'on the hard', ready for her winter repairs and remedial works to take place. Once in 'the shed' (a huge heated, clean hanger, definitely not a garden shed) work began. Firstly to repair the hull damage we had sustained in Feb 21 when the boat adjacent to us in the marina broke one of its mooring lines (the idiot didn't leave his boat properly tied up for the winter!). Secondly to have the saloon windows replaced, as the original double glazed windows had blown. Thirdly to replace all the stopcocks, 16 in total and all original, these are the means by which water leaves the boat e.g. the water that cools the engine, sink water etc. so we thought as they are 20 years it was good to replace them - a failed seacock could lead to the boat sinking, not good! Fourthly to have some of the instruments upgraded, including a new compass which is no longer under our berth. (The springs in our mattress were affecting the autopilot compass so every time we sailed we had to move the mattress!). Whilst Vela was being worked on by the professionals the tender was in the garage to have her bottom worked on, to have a coat of paint inside and rubber bits stuck back in place.
Work was a bit slow, but it did mean Vela got to stay in the warmth until Christmas for free! The Berthon staff did a great job on the hull repair and the new windows. The eagle eyed amongst you may notice the lines on the hull are now a darker blue and its super shiny - we just have to keep it that way; a weekly polishing job for Jay! Top marks to our insurer, Admiral, for paying for thieves repairs, around 18K!
Once out of the shed she stayed on the hard so other jobs could be started. This included a repair to the dodgy gearbox on the engine, already 'fixed' once already in Scotland and an overhaul of the water maker, servicing of the air conditioning unit (neither of which we needed in Scotland), the heater, fridge and all six winches. As well as new gas pipes and a new bimini and overboom cover in a very impractical pale colour to keep us cool in the Med. Oh and a few new bits of rigging and the life raft was serviced. I really don't think there is another bit of the boat to spend money on? ('Oh yes there is!'- J) Although lots of these jobs were started in January we were caught up in the general supply chain delays and so were waiting for some parts for a long time.
The boat finally went back in the water in early April after a spot of anti-fouling and replacing anodes and we then stayed on the Dan Bran pontoon at Lymington, living on the boat from 9 April as again we have rented our house out. Expert assistance from Ben and Sasha (there are photos and an all action video) getting the two headsails up after a couple of practice efforts.........
Finally, by mid May, all the missing parts arrived and the big jobs all completed, we were ready to leave Lymington. And we did, all the way to Weymouth! It's all about the journey so small steps are fine. Currently holed up in Salcombe as Clare checking out the local Salcombe Gin.