Cagliari: Spring Boat Jobs

Stephen & Anne
Tue 23 Mar 2010 08:10

39.12.065N 9.07.517E


It’s been a while since we last blogged, so here’s a bit of an update.


The weather has improved, most days are sunny, although there is often a coolish wind. With the weather improving we have started on jobs around the boat.


Anne has had her sewing machine out and has made a cover for the Hydrovane (self steering mechanism), replacement mosquito nets for the hatches and cat nip toys for the cats. Filling the cat nip toys was interesting with two cats desperately trying get to the cat nip before it disappeared into the toy. Anne also repaired the Italian courtesy flay, by replacing the red, which had nearly all frayed away.


The hydrovane cover and Koshka & Yoyo inspecting it


Stephen meanwhile has been acting as a sparky, and has installed new light switches, a new power socket for the TV and DVD player, and replacement reading lights in the forward cabin. The new power socket used 6m of cable, even though the socket was only 2m from the fuse box. We had fun feeding it through various cupboards, up down and all around.


The main problem we have is that the water heater kept tripping the circuit breaker. We first suspected the wiring in the new timer switch we installed. After bypassing that, and doing a little research on the internet, we realised the heater element had failed. We spent 2 days removing the element - well actually 10 minutes to remove the element, the rest of the time was spent taking the boat apart to get access to it. Unlike a hot water tank in a house, boat tanks have additional coolant from the engine so running the engine heats the water – in summary more pipes to sort out!. We then ordered a spare part both locally and from the uk (so after replacing it we have a spare on hand and it expedites the delivery).


The latest status is that both sources had the wrong part delivered so we are still trying to assess what part is required and hopefully re order the correct part. We really hope that we don’t end up replacing the water tank as none of the modern tanks will fit (one side is the diesel tank and the other a bulkhead – both immovable objects!).




The tank all happy and squeezed into a tight space…                          …. and finally 2 days later extracted & unconnected so the element could be removed


We decided that while the shower was out of order, we would replace the waste pipes around the holding tank (they are in a cupboard behind the shower), including installing a new stop cock under the holing tank. Anne very sensibly suggested we test it with water – and as my joints initially leaked a bit we decided the water test was a very good idea. Removing the old pipe was a bit of a battle and involved lots of heavy pulling as the space is really too small for the pipe. We are not looking forward to installing the new pipe. We also decided to re route the pipes so they take a shorter route with no dips for black water to collect in and hopefully no more smelly pipes. Stephen enjoyed drilling new holes in the boat a little too much.


We also decided to re-vamp the shower and bathroom (as we are not currently using the shower onboard due to no hot water). We are in the process of varnishing the wood, painting the trim and painting inside the cupboards. As the space is very small these jobs are taking a very long time, as well as quite tiring contorting into many positions. At times it is a case or painting by feeling as there is no space for both your head and arm.


As we are now doing plumbing work we decided to finish installing the new high pressure pipe work we started last winter. This involved moving all our spare parts as the pipes run below the storage spaces. We had one tricky section feeding new pipes through a sealed box that ran underneath the toilet. The in/out holes were in a straight line but the pipe we fed in had a slight curve as it comes in a coil. The first pipe went in ok, but the second was more of a problem. Stephen drilled a little access hole (our boat is starting to resemble Swiss cheese) that allowed Anne’s little finger to guide the pipe on its journey!


The cats are taking the chaos on board the boat with there usual approach. Koshka spends all day outside where life is warm and normal. Yoyo spends her days exploring all the new bits of the bilge she can now access. So far she is still paint and dirt free.


Occasionally we pop our heads out of the chaos on board and look around. A few days ago we noticed there was a blockade of Cagliari port. As we have the boat in bits it was not a problem as we are a long time from leaving. We later found out the local fishermen were protesting at the increase in the licence fees to fish.




And finally, in between all the hard work Anne managed to find some time to bake a raspberry and mascarpone sponge cake….yummy J