Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spring Cleaning

Weather forecast for this weekend:  gales from the South East, or light variable winds from the South West.  The local marine weather forecasts are all over the place – a sure sign of spring. 

And that means spring cleaning, or rather, doing all those once-a-year jobs to prepare for the main sailing season.

We took our 2 fire extinguishers for their annual check-up.
Fire extinguishers we hope we never need to use.

We bought a new set of offshore distress signals (flares, etc.) to replace our soon-to-be expired ones.  
 Distress signals we REALLY hope we never need to use.

I cleaned the water system with a biocide (PuraTank). 

We bought a couple of new mooring lines (16mm and 18mm polyester) with anti-chaffing tubes made of a supple mesh nylon / pvc mix.  I made hard eye-splices on two other mooring lines (16mm square line polyester) and fixed some large shackles to each eye, ready for rock-n-roll moorings where we may need extra peace-of-mind.

New mooring lines with anti-chaffing gear.

Patrick changed the oil in the motor and the gear box (inverseur).

We tried to change the anodes (zincs) on the motor, but those beasties are very tricky to reach on our motor.  Now that we’re armed with the appropriate long sockets, we’ll try again.  (I fully suspect they’ll be “frozen” with corrosion or salt or both and we’ll need some professional help with that one…).

I noticed that a couple of our bronze through-hull fittings were getting a bit green and scaly, so I took a wire brush to them and then slathered them with marine grease. 

I’m waiting for a sunny day (preferably above freezing) to wash some green slime off the corner of the rolled-up-for-too-long genoa and repair some fraying edges near the clew. 

And I’m also waiting for the temperatures to get above 10° C / 50° F to try the new anti-condensation paint and to climb up the mast to change the bulbs in the tri-colour running lights.  

Anti-condensation paint.

As part of our winter blues retail therapy, we ordered a couple of folding bikes! They have 20 inch tires, 7 gears, aluminium frames, and weigh only 10 kg (22 pounds). Actually, they seem a bit cheap and we don’t expect them to last too long or be too comfortable, but they make us dream of spending a day exploring new places this summer, and in the never-ending grey of a Brittany winter, that’s priceless.

New toys !