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Old 03-12-2010, 07:36 PM   #1
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The 'Start of the Season List'

Well, my wife and I are off to Play d'eau for 2 weeks to wake her up after the winter. Jobs include,

2*x Cummins engine and gearbox major service (includes descaling the cooland systems with Rydlyme)
2 x generator services
Change anodes
Sterilise and flush the fresh water system
Change holding tank carbon filters

Polishing the running gear and hull, and having the exterior canvas cleaned*will be done by the local fit-out yard. Must draw the line somewhere!

So what do you get others to do?

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Old 03-13-2010, 04:05 AM   #2
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

For spring fitting out, we do it all ourselves: remove shrink wrap, replace engine & gen anodes and fuel filters, check impellers and replace if necessary, water tank cleaning/sterilizing, recoat outside brightwork, polish up the outside stainless, wash, wax & buff, paint bottom, hull anodes and shlep all cushions, mattress and other stuff on. Easier than when we had to annually sand and paint all of the outside of the old wooden boat.

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Old 03-14-2010, 07:41 AM   #3
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Yep, Spring. The sanders start buzzing like flies and the varnish comes out.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Day 1 - Having not been on the boat for 3 months (cringe in shame), we took the ferry from Portsmouth to Guernsey (Channel Islands, where Play d'eau is kept in Beaucette Marina. We've rented an appartment for the fortnight.

Day 2 - Ran both Cummins engines up with props turning to get the oils warm and ran the 2 Onan gennies up as well. When all were very warm, we drained all engines of oil, and the Twin Disk gearboxes as well.

No sign of swarf in the Twin Disk oil strainers. Changed the oil filters on all 4 engines, re-filled with fresh oil (the gearboxes take an age to fill - so slow), ran them up and all levels checked.

Exhausted, and with my knees and back at the point of catastrophic failure, we drove back to the apartment, had a beer, a light supper with a glass of wine, and fell into an early bed.

My knees hurt!
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:07 AM   #5
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Day 3 - Up at 5am. Quick cup of coffee (tea for Lin), jump in the car and 30 mins later we arrive in Beaucette as dawn starts to break in a cloudless sky.

With the Oyster Catchers swooping overhead like angry teenagers, we make Play d'eau ready for the short trip to St Sampson's where she'll be lifted out and stored ashore for the next 10 days of so.

At 6:45, John from M&G (the fit out yard at St Sampson) arrived to help pilot Play d'eau through the rocks to the harbour. It's always exciting to see the jagged teeth of the many reefs and isolated rocks sticking out of the sea around this beautiful island of Guernsey, and John knows how to thread them - he was on RNLI lifeboats for 22 years.

Arriving at St Sampson's, were lifted out, pressure washed and chocked up. The anti-fouling has stood up well with little growth. the only issue being a lrage plastic bag wrapped tightly around the port shaft just in front of the P bracket. Thankfully, no damage appeared done to the cultass bearing through lack of water to lubricate and cool it.

After a thourough clean from top to bottom, removal of the anodes, a final briefing to the yard for polishing requests and stern thruster fitting (yes - we've given in and are having a stern thruster fitted...) we called it a day. Now we can add tiresness to our increasing list of ailments.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:00 PM   #6
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Piers, take some pictures and post them as you go. We would love to see them. And seeing as how a Fleming is one of the prettiest boats made.... give us some eye candy!!!
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:17 AM   #7
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

OK John, we have pics but I can't download them from the camera at the moment - I have a new card reader on its way and pics will appear soon!

Day 4 - One of those days where you appear busy all day but seem to achieve almost nothing.

First big error of the day! In preparing for anti-fouling, I bought some disposable paper boiler suits for both of us. Unfortunately, I had not checked the size which was labelled Extra Large, 46" to 48" chest. Lin was not impressed since she is nowhere near that size! Looking further down the label, it's "one size fits all".

However, what we did do was,

1 Remove the bow thruster props ready for upgrading (adds 15kgs thrust).

2 Rubbed down ready for anti-fouling, with Lin doing the tape job at the boot line.

3 Found many air bubble pock marks under the antifoul but found someone at the yard who could start work immediately. Phew! But it held up anti-fouling....

4 Changed the primary Racor filters - 2 for the main engines, 2 for the gen sets, but spilt some diesel whilst doing it. Blow - big cleaning job.

5 Checked the anodes located at the top of the inside of the stabiliser fins. Access is through a 2" hole in the bottom, so a strong light and a long recah tool with a hex key at the end was needed.

6 Lin started the long and tedious job of cleaning the brightwork

And then it was time to go back to the apartment.

Summary? A lot of small jobs achieved, but not a lot to show nfor the day's work.

One extra worthy of note. Lin took the ropes off the fenders and put them in the washing machine last night using fabric softenor. We'll see what they are like in the morning!
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:01 AM   #8
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

No sign of swarf in the Twin Disk oil strainers.


You gotta LOVE the British English!

What a great word.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:33 AM   #9
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Is that where good old Swarfega, the multipurpose garage hand grease removal cleaner got its name, methinks?
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:35 AM   #10
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

So what's the American English for "Swarf", then?
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:40 AM   #11
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

OK Piers, your tweaked my interest too.

I went to wikipedia, which has the definition of "turnings, chips, filings - these are shavings and clippings of metal...", so this is also apparantly a machine shop term.

Incidentally, wikipedia also mentions Swarf is an electronic music band from Brighton

Thanks for adding to our education!

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Old 03-17-2010, 11:56 PM   #12
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Day 5 - So 'swarf' might be coming a topic of conversation? Perhaps I should add this to my CV....

So what did we achieve today?

1* Fine fuel filters changed on the 4 engines (2 x Cummins 450C and 2 x Onan gensets).

BUT, there a small drama. The Cummins filters would not come off. Using my trsty filter remover (plastic handle with large rubber band), and even using as much strength as I could, neither would budge. Geoff, the*engineer from the yard came over with 'the proper job' of a large piece of webbing coiled around a 1/2" chuck and a 2' extender to tighten and turn it.

The webbing tore! Geoff mentioned some somewhat strange words (were they English?) and*went and found another. Eventually, and using all his strength and weight (of which there was considerable) he managed to remove both filters. But they were mangled. Photos to follow when I have my new card reader....

2* One of the Cummins heat exchanger end plates has always wept slightly. And each season I remake the joint. This time, I found a company Interseals*which specialises in gaskets and making them tight. Using some 'Blue Hylomar' I trust the plates weep no more, as the saying goes.

3* Lin has almost completed the brightwork polishing and waxing on the main decking, and soon starts on the flybridge. A great job. Sparkles. (Did I say photos will soon be posted?)

4* Cleaned the bilge. Isn't it interesting how you still find screws and*cable ties even after 7 years!

So what of Day 6, tomorrow? A friend is flying over from the mainland to Guernsey, to help with the tappets (valve lash?). Kim cranks the engine with the cranking tool (a very slow job) whilst I do the clearances. Kim is of a size where he can easily crawl behind the engines to do this. Being somewhat taller, I can't!

BUT the main topic of the day will be the launch of the first Aquastar 80 which will happen right in front of me! Photos will (you know the rest)

Until next time - tune into the same channel, same time, tomorrow....
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:34 PM   #13
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Hi Piers,
Very interested in the bow-thruster prop upgrade. Is this the Side Power upgrade? Certainly, the old-style props are very unsophisticated and don't look efficient.
I am thinking about doing this next haul-out (October probably) and would like to know your experience when you get back in the water.

At 11hp (hydraulic) the thruster is a bit marginal in more than 10kn of wind on the beam. As a result, I've*got quite good at springing into our berth in windy conditions, but a bit more grunt would be useful at fuel wharfs etc.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:47 PM   #14
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The 'Start of the Season List'

Started the engines and turn on all the electrical and everything work fine.* Since I change the oil, filters each fall, so they do not have to be done in the spring. and like to put the boat away clean. Had a diver check/change the zincs, clean the prop/running/through hulls. *So as soon as the weather gets warm enough, in another month or so, we will take down the canvas/tarps and take a shore 1 to 2 hour shake down cruise to make sure there is no concern/problems.* I will still have a diesel mechanic come to check things out before we start the cruising season.* The improvements this year are a new aluminum mast, and one size bigger pulley for the bow thruster. **Then of course the regular general annual maintenance done over the course of the summer.* I start the engines and electronic every month for about 30 seconds to turn of the engine an recycle the fluids, so getting ready for this years cruising is not a big deal.

-- Edited by Phil Fill on Thursday 18th of March 2010 09:51:50 PM
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:28 PM   #15
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Hi Bendit,

I had a v interesting discussion with the supplier if the stern thruster (Nick Nutt of All Boat Services -*an authorised Side Power Dealer in the UK).

A different dealer had previously advised I should use a 170 kgs stern thruster, but when talking with Nick, his first question was 'what's fitted to the bow?' He told me that*the bow needs to be more powerful the stern since the bow takes more power to move than the stern, and that since*I had a 155kgs bow, a 170 stern would be competely out of balance.

First, he recommended an upgrade to the bow by using he new shaped props. That would take it from 155 to 170 kgs, as well as reducing the noise.

Then to fit a 150 to the stern using cowls over the tube ends to reduce any potential cavitation.

Sounded good advice to me.

The alternative would have been to move the existing 155 bow to the*stern,*still upgrade its props,*and*install a new 170 (or more) for the bow. Knowing how powerful the bow already was at 155, I could see no benefit in doing this.

Oh, I'm also adding that dreadful thing called a remote control for the thrusters. That should be cool and it's the least expensive part of the upgrade!
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:44 PM   #16
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Day 6 - W collected our guest, Kim, from the airport at 9am, and drove straight to the boat. Today I wanted to achieve valve lash and impellor changes on both Cummins.

We did. Phew. Hard going. Since Kim can crawl into quite small places, the task of finding and removing the flywheel access plug (hidden behind the intercooler and further hidden by large cable conduits) he managed to use the barring tool at the end of two and a half extender bars! Then came the slow task of finding TDC and adjusting the valves.

Changing the impellors was, by contrast, simple!

Meanwhile, Lin has almost completed the brightwork polishing and waxing on the main decks, and the milllions of tiny barnacles were removed from the running gear using Brick Cleaner.

This evening, we feasted on local Guernsey cod, spinach and mashed potato followed by Rhubarb crumble - luscious!

For those who don't know Guernsey, it is here in Google Earth. 49 30'12" N by 2 30' 20" W.

The yard where she's been hauled is here 49 29' 01" N by 2 31' 06" W.

Pics really will follow...

Nearly forgot. The Aquastar 80 which was due to be launched this morning, was delayed. Still trying to find out when....
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:56 AM   #17
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'


sorry to hijack your excellent thread with some Guernsey questions.
I will be passing by your waters this summer enroute from southern Portugal to Scandinavia. My preliminary plan is to head to sea somewhere in northern Portugal/Spain and make landfall again in Guernsey. (For non-EU forumites: this will be a 500 nm offshore leg crossing the Bay of Biscay) Reading other forums I have gotten the impression that St. Sampson is the place to go for refueling vs St. Peter Port.* Fuel is supposedly way cheaper there. Is this true? We will be in Guernsey mid/late July. Will I have to prebook a berth in St. Peter Port?
Cheers, Roger
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:31 PM   #18
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The 'Start of the Season List'

Hi Roger. Great plans! Just keep a real close weather watch on the Bay of Biscay which is notorious for its rapid weather change. Use the saying that if there's doubt, there's no doubt.

Since the tides around the Channel Islands are the second highest in the northern hemisphere (?), you just need to plan carefully. By the way, Brittany has some beautiful small ports to visit - but more of this shouild you need it.

In Guernsey, St Peter Port offers 24 hour berthing availability and refuelling from Boatworks. From the main harbour you can move into the Victoria (which has a sill). But for real peace and beauty move up the coast to Beaucette (most NE tip of the island) which was created from an old quarry into a marina when the Royal Marines blew out the cliff between the quarry and the sea. It is totally quiet and beautiful, there. That's where we keep Play d'eau.

Now, to re-fuelling. St Sampson's is the cheapest. Call Rubis (the island's name for Shell) and they deliver by truck to the harbour wall. I take it you will be travelling with the Reeds Naitical Almanac for the area in which the tel numbers are listed. If not, I'll find them for you. Send me a PM.

Fuel is probably 2/3 the price of Boatworks, maybe less.

Do get in touch when you know the dates you are coming. It would be good to meet! Again, send a PM.

Piers and Lin

PS - I fogot to add that booking a berth is not possible in St Peter Port or anywhere in the Channels Islands apart from Beaucette. The max length in St Peter Port's Victoria marina is 42' although I get in there most times with just a warning that I may be asked to leave! However, you can always use the floating pontoons outside the marina which are accessible at all states of the tide.

-- Edited by Piers on Saturday 20th of March 2010 02:08:18 AM
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:48 PM   #19
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Day 7 - After dropping Kim off at the airport we went straight to the boat to carry on with our endless list.

Gen sets

1 Changed the impellors on both.
2 Remade some of the hose connections which had signs of weeping / white corrosion
3 Checked the anodes which didn't need changing

Main engines

4 Cleaned them, and prepared for a major de-scaling effort tomorrow....

Stern Thruster

5 It's arrived! The new props for the existing bow thruster look cool - pics will follow - promise!

6 The yard is now movning the transom anodes to make way for the thruster. New anode location in under the hull in sight of the running gear.

With the repairs to the hull almost complete, we need two days of good weather to do the anti-fouling but the forecast looks dreadful yet she must be launched this coming Friday. No room at the yard...

Piers and Lin
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:42 AM   #20
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RE: The 'Start of the Season List'

Day 8 - Toby, our son, arrived for the weekend last night brigning with him a new card reader so I should be able to download the pics I've been taking. We'll give it a go tonight...

Today, we achieved something we've never tried before. We descaled the sea-water cooling system of the stbd engine. The port we do tomorrow.

This took a lot of planning, but was great fun.

Having bought what felt like the anual output of RydLyme, well, 40 ltrs, and at some outrageous price, we added to the local Chandler's income by purchasing pipe, jubilee clips, pipe reducers, electric cable and crocodile clips.


1 Fitted blanking nuts in place of the anodes.
2 Disconnected the hose from the output of the sea-water pump (hose 1).
3 Disconnected the hose which dumps the sea-water into the exhaust (hose 2).
4 Fixed a Gulper diaphragm pump to a box, plumbed its input to a large plastic 'hopper', and trailed the electric connections to the 24v supply, ready with crocodile clips.

Stage 1 was to flush the sea-water from the engine. With the output of the Gulper connectecd to hose 1, we connected hose 2 to a long pipe which trailed overboard. With the hopper being filled with fresh water, we started the Gulper and kept pumping whilst filling the hopper for about 20 minutes, which should have flushed the engine well enough.

Turning off the fresh water supply, we kept pumping until all the fresh water was gone, and then kept pumping air until we had removed as much water as poss from the engine.

Stage 2 was to re-route hose 2 to the hopper.

Adding 20 ltrs of Rydlyme, we started the Gulper again. As the black liquid circulated, it frothed and frothed as it dissolved the lime scale. We added fresh water as necessary until the mix was almost 50/50.

After an hour, the frothing had stopped but we kept it going for another hour just in case. After this, and checking the RydLyme was still active (we dropepd a sheel into the liquid and it frothed excitedly!) we moved to Stage 3.

Stage 3 was to flush the Rydlyme from the system. For this, we re-connected hose 2 back to the long pipe which trailled overboard. With the Gulper going again, we emptied the remaining Rydlyme out of the hopper with everything being dumped overboard. Once the hopper was empty, we kept adding fresh water to it and kept the flushing exercise running for 20 minutes before shutting it all down.

Stbd engine completed! Yes!

Given the time, we went home to a glorious supper of - guess what? Fresh cod again, just like the other day! With, of course, a glass or three of white wine. Heaven.

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