The past few weeks have been inspecting and servicing the steering system from the wheel through to the Rudder Quadrant.
This came about because I know I need to rebed all the deck fittings including the Steering Pedestal. So while its almos out its an opportune time to have a really close look at all the components.
Sorry a bit slack on the photos but all up we replaced the bushes holding the steering shaft, freed up the rudder lock which I'm sure has not operated for a long time and replaced both of the wire cables after finding severe wear in one of the cables probably a result of the worn cable guides, also replaced.
I also found this which just goes to show how important it is to disassemble components during your deep level inspections. This is the connection sckle between the wire steering cable and the rudder quadrant.
Its been 10 days since the engine was released from its mounts and slid forwad onto the cabin floor. Fortunatly pulling the engine out uncovered a few other problems waiting to cause a breakdown. In a nut shell I found the battery cable positive rubbed through to the core on the engine mount, one mount was about 50% broken away, the primary fuel filter was in a location that made it almost impossible to replace and the water heater was the source of a small annoying puddle I would find in the bilge every day. Combined that with cracked and perished heater hoses and a generally untidy layout.
So what do we do about it? Current engine heated water heater is gone and may look at replacing it with a small electric unit. The primary diesel fuel filter has been relocated to enable better access and the general layout organised to make some sense without having everything crossing over.
What a mess we have at the moment, I'll be glad to get the engine back in it's rightful place and move onto new projects as we nibble away day by day. Pending projects include a complete rewire, a new cabin roof lining and a composting toilet.
We continue our endeavor to clean up the survey list and create a reliable sailing boat. Corrosion in the engine mounts was one issue that whilst not critical at this point in time needed looking at. That means pulling the engine out which will open the opportunity to clean up the engine bay and improve the spaghetti layout we currently have. Layout is important to avoid chafing and I've found several cases that would eventually result in a failure.
Now that we are settled into the new pen at Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club its time to tick off some of those items found during the survey.
Inevitably one overhaul uncovers another needy repair/refurbishment. Given the journey will be a long one, this is not about quick fixes, but repairs and refurbishments that bring about reliability.
The compass came with a large air bubble and a very scratched lens making it impossible to read.
The Engine Control
The engine control, although not up on the survey, I felt it was a little stiff, there were rust stains leaching out the bottom and when I had a look inside I notice big flaking chunks of rust. :-(
Once I got it out this is what I found, needless to say it was beyond repair and needed a new replacement.
In "The Search For A Boat" there are three determining factors in my case. The budget, singlehanded sailing and the budget.
I know of people who have searched for months and even years before deciding and commiting to the vessel they now have. It's not an easy task. On an adventure such as this the boat becomes your home, it needs to be big enough to be safe, while fitting in with a sustainable budget and manageable with your own level of skill and competence. If I go for a boat beyond my capability thinking I will grow into it, I fear that there will be a tendancy to never be ready to slip the dock lines.
I'm looking for something between 30' and 40', set up for cruising, able to handle an ocean passage and not requiring a major refit before we get started. Given my modest budget, I know there will be work to do but I haven't come across anything on a boat I wasn't capable of stripping, overhauling and recommissioning. You can list out all your wants, break them into needs and likes and go from there. Does your choice really exist? Unlikely, so there will be some level of compromise.