Ravensdale basking in the sunshine on the hard standing
We celebrated our six-month liveaboard anniversary last Thursday and on Friday it was six weeks since Ravensdale was lifted out of the marina.
I’m really looking forward to getting back in the water as living on a boat on dry land just feels wrong.
It’s rather like staying in a funny shaped caravan balanced on top of a load of tree trunks.
Having said that, it does have its advantages – the toilet and shower block is slightly closer and the walk to the facilities doesn’t include a steep ramp at low tide.
We have a great view of the whole marina from up here.
The view from our aft deck
And we can carry out dirty jobs, like stirring and pouring varnish and paint on the gravelled hard standing rather than having to do it on the boat.
But, I believe these are outweighed by the disadvantages, which include not being able to use the toilets on board because we can’t empty the holding tank until we’re back in the water and can visit the pump out.
I’m also missing the comforting sound/feel of water lapping around Ravensdale’s hull.
And, let’s face it, a boat belongs in the water J
Although Phil is jokingly saying that he’s not putting our nice clean boat back in the water because it will only get dirty again – at least I think it’s a joke.
Reflections on Ravensdale's shiny hull
Over the past couple of weeks, he has polished and waxed the hull and fitted our new depth sounder and log. This involved cutting four holes through the hull.
I have to admit that I found the whole idea pretty scary as I would rather any water stayed on the outside of the hull.
Drilling the first hole through the hull
Fixing the transducer under the boat
Hopefully he has done a good job of sealing around the transducer for the depth sounder and the paddle wheel for the log. I guess we’ll find out when we get back in the water.
Phil has also got the onboard compass working properly – apparently two of the wires had dropped out.
The instrument panel with the new depth sounder/ log top left and the compass top right
One sunny day (and we’ve had a lot of them lately J) we decided to get the anchor chain out so we could measure it and calibrate it with some little plastic markers we had bought for the purpose.
We pulled out all 55m and marked every five metres then pressed the button on the windlass to wind it back in to discover that it was no longer working so we were faced with the job of winching it all back in by hand using the handle on the windlass, which only ratchets in about two links at a time.
Winding in the anchor chain with the winch handle
Phil did the lion’s share, but I took a couple of turns to give him a rest.
The following day, he and our friend, Chris, took the windlass apart to see why it wouldn’t work.
Chris and Phil working on the windlass
I was beginning to think it was something else we were going to have to replace and, like everything else boat-related, they don’t come cheap, but the guys discovered it was just the switch so a £5 switch from Maplins has solved the problem, which thankfully saved us from having to raid the diesel fund.
Our newly varnished coffee table and stools
Meanwhile, I’ve been sanding and varnishing the coffee table and stools in the main saloon over and over again. The table top ended up with six coats of varnish so will hopefully be a lot more hardwearing now.
Chris also showed me how to whip ropes so that I can whip the ends of the new ropes we’ve ordered for our fenders when they arrive.
However, there are still a couple of jobs that need to be done before Ravensdale can be relaunched.
The main one is getting the trim tabs fixed. Phil has been trying to sort out what was wrong with them and was about to try replacing the hydraulic fluid when we decided to get the system serviced.
Forth Engineering of Maryport sent someone around to the boat to look at them less than an hour after we dropped in to ask them to do the work and it seems there's a problem with the motor.
We’re told the solenoid has gone and they are having difficulty sourcing a replacement part. We’re hoping they will be able to come up with a solution soon as it has to be done while we're on the hard standing.
And Phil is going to convert the toilet in the forward cabin to sea water as it is currently connected to the fresh water supply.
However, we would not be able to go back in the water yet anyway as the marina has a problem with its boat hoist, which means it can only lift small boats at the moment. They’re hoping to get it fixed soon so hopefully it will be done by the time we're ready for the relaunch.
In the meantime, I've been making the most of the good weather to get out and take some more photos of Maryport.
A sunny evening at Maryport Harbour
Another image of the harbour in the sunshine