Post Covid…an improved Heydays?…

So, here we are. May 2022 and Heydays has just been launched after what turned out to be an extended period ashore. Our last post suggested that the old girl had suffered from a lack of proper use during the almost 2 years of stop-start lockdowns and reduced ability to get out. Once ashore and with everything out, the jobs seemed to mount.

The first issue was the interior woodwork…don’t read on unless you are endlessly fascinated by other people’s DIY and boaty exploits. The original joinery fitted by Moody’s is a laminated ply. The problem is that inevitably the laminate is thin and doesn’t take kindly to any real sanding to get old varnish off…it is all to easy to go right through to the bare ply. After a few successful and less successful sorties with the loo door we settled on a mix of scraping and mild heat. Too much heat lifts the glue on the laminate (don’t look at the back of our loo door!). Our best friend in all of this was a complete revelation…the mighty BAHCO scraper…brilliant. A remarkably simple but fantastically effective scraper. With a lot of patience we got through around 5 or 6 layers of varnish and then the next issue was what do we put back. We didn’t want to varnish as we wanted something which we could easily touch up or recoat. In the end we settled for Osmo Polyx Hard Wax Oil. This is used for laminate floors and is hard wearing, reasonably shiny in a satiny kind of way and hopefully easy to give a quick titivating coat to in a couple of years if needed. We are pleased with the results so far and will bore you all with updates after a season sailing. We were on a roll and decided to do the cabin floor as well and to reconfigure it to make easier access to the bilges to dry them out.

We knew that we needed to replumb the water tanks as we have suffered from ‘water anxiety’ ever since the old ones were cut out and replaced with plastic when a previous yard replaced our keel bolts. A close inspection and a look back through the original Moody specs showed that, far from our lack of water being simply a pipe issue…the new tanks were less than half the original capacity, even if the plumbing actually enabled access to it!!! We took the plunge and ordered purpose made tanks from Tek Tanks and were assured that they were the original spec. 10 weeks later we collected them. 10 weeks and 4 hours later…they don’t fit! We assume that, like most boats, tolerances in original build are quite big and we decide that with a bit of judicious sanding and cutting we can get them in. A little bit of sawing and then a largish chunk of plastic ‘comes off in me ‘and’. It turns out that this is the rim of the original tank….and was designed to be removed not hacked out. The yard who did the repairs to the keel botls (and who will be nameless) did a real bodge job. With all the old rim removed…surprise….the new tanks fit like a glove and are over 2x the capacity of what we had. Hot showers on board here we come.

Other stuff we have done….a self-tailing winch on the mast for the main halyard to help increasingly arthritic hands, a new aerial on the rear arch for future AIS and some repositioning of the GPS aerial (this turns out to require a new one after some overly enthusiastic treatment of the old one). All old incandescent lights replaced with LEDs and USB charge points in all cabins. We even have ‘new’ carpet on the fore and aft cabins although it turns out that carpet fitting is not a major skill on my (James) part! Oh…,and probably more importantly, we checked/tightened all the keel bolts.

It just leaves the engine battery to be rewired, but where is the bit of paper which showed where the 5 leads connected??? Enthusiastic tidying has evidently consigned it to a great dustbin somewhere. A happy hour spent tracing wires and checking voltages and we are back to what appears to be normality…and we haven’t set fire to her.

Sails bent on, superstructure and topsides rubbed back and polished, anti-foul applied and we hardly know the old girl. Still stuff to do (new cushion covers/upholstery, shot blast and re coat the hull) but hopefully ’22 will see us actually sailing and giving Heydays the continual TLC which old ladies need.

This is always a slightly anxious moment even though we know that the yard have done this a zillion times before…

They hold us in the water so we can check for leaks, of which there never are any…until this time! A small weep around another old redundant transducer and we are lifted out again and placed on the quay. Old one out, cleaned, resealed and tightened….lifted back in and hey presto, all’s good.

…and off we go. It’s always great to be back on the water, even under some threatening skies. We slip away from Keyhaven and inch down the chanel with just a cigarette paper between us and the mud at times (but we’re on a rising tide so all is well). With a gusting F6/7 on our tail, we reach Lymington in less than half an hour with just a scrap of genny flying…happy days.

Post script

Back on the mooring and we tidy up and pack the dinghy. The outboard has been run up and checked so all is …..*******. It doesn’t start! Investigation the next day proves to be the new E10 petrol causing problems. We clean carburettor, tank and all the fuel lines. New petrol (E5) added and all is well…until the next post?

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