Home of the yacht "RHUMB DO"
    september 2020


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06/09/20 Sun.  I have spent each day this month working on the steering system - nothing has been easy and I have encountered problems at every step of rebuilding.  However, the tank flooring is now repaired, the bilge pump suction hose removed.  The pedestal is now mounted on the cockpit floor and the lower bevel gearbox installed.  The transfer gearbox is also in, along with the new tube and tie rod ends to the rudder head.

08/09/20 Tues.  The steering repair is now almost complete.  I installed the last torque rod from the lower bevelhead gearbox to the transfer gearbox today and tested that everything worked.  I may have to make an adjustment to the rudder stops as turning hard to port seems to hit the stop after a very short 'soft' feeling on the wheel.  Additional parts still have to be replaced at the top of the pedestal - cover plate, compass, electrics etc., and the fuel tank to be replaced.  This afternoon, I stripped down the wheelpilot and cleaned all the old hardened grease off, applied new and reassembled it.

09/09/20 Weds.  OK, the adjustment needed became a bit of a headache, I had to remove the torque tube from the transfer gearbox to the rudder quadrant and re-measure it (OK), then remove the arm from the box and reposition it - still the same problem!  Turned out eventually that the rudder was not midships to start with and once that was established, everything went well - but it took most of the day to sort out!!

10/09/20 Thurs.  A day of rest today.  I changed the propeller on the outboard motor and adapted the old one to use as a standby spare, then went into town for a little shopping and some lunch.

13/09/20 Sun.  With the steering wheel and the wheel pilot back on, the steering is finally finished.  This morning we spent four hours cleaning out the fuel tank ready to re-install it in the cockpit locker but afternoon rain prevented that.

14/09/20 Mon.  Re-installed the fuel tank this morning, connected all the relevant pipework and transferred about 100 litres of fuel back into the tank.  I have added some photo's and a description of the steering system in my 'workshop' page which you can view here.

15/09/20 Tues.  We are experiencing some bad weather for the next few days due to a low pressure system in the Philippines drawing air up from our area - I suppose you could say I had a rest day with no work to speak of!

17/09/20 Thurs.  The strong winds have passed leaving grey skies - cooler but not charging batteries so well!  I changed the kicking strap this morning, a job I've been intending to do for about a year, then went over to Craig's boat and used his bench drill to make holes in some stainless steel angle with which to secure the fuel tank in position.  Installed those afterwards, then did some sanding and painting of other metal parts.

20/09/20 Sun.  We all went to The Cottage last night for dinner and a few beers.  This morning I did some more painting and installed the compass on the pedestal.  Next job will be to try and sort out the Smartbank charging system!

21/09/20 Mon.  A day off from working - and it's too hot anyway!

22/09/20 Tues.  Changed the Smartbank relay today but will have to wait a while to find out if the change has cured the problem.

23/09/20 Weds.  It's 57 years today since I joined the Royal Navy in Plymouth!  Today we helped Neil to get his newly galvanised chain from Penuwasa Shipyard and it seems I am not the only one to have boat problems.  What should have been a half hour job, took around 9 hours!  Firstly, his engine wouldn't start because of low batteries so we waited an hour while the solar panels put some charge in.  Secondly, the anchor had fouled on a block mooring line - another 40 mins or so getting it off.  At the yard jetty, the wind kept blowing us off and we couldn't get a line ashore, then the bilge alarm sounded and the engine room filled with smoke, an exhaust hose clamp had failed and blown the hose off, filling the engine room with exhaust and sea water which choked the engine of oxygen.  We went out into the middle of the pond and anchored while we fixed it which took us into lunchtime for the yard....another wait.  Once we had the chain onboard, we went to the marina to fill the water tanks, the office girl there thought we had just arrived and was telling us to leave and not come ashore (Covid). Around 3 hours to fill the tanks using a half inch diameter hose, then the mooring line got caught around the prop. shaft and Neil had to swim under to clear it.  An interesting day!

24/09/20  Thurs.  After giving Neil a lift ashore in the dinghy this morning, I thought I would have a day off, but.......got a 'help' call from Eric who had cooked his engine and had a sump full of milky coffee where the oil should have been!  I went over and helped him to strip down his Beta 35 for a suspected blown head gasket.

26/09/20 Sat.  Election Day today, so not much happening around the area.  We went to the army jetty first thing this morning before it got too hot and collected 200 litres of fresh water.  I changed the bow lines on return and then relaxed for most of the day, too hot to do very much!

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