Friday, December 23, 2005

Preparations - Part 3

I have been neglecting the diary …….. here’s the latest update on our preparations

The Engine

The engine had a bit of emulsified oil in the filler cap this summer and I immediately changed the oil to find that it looked ok. I kept my eye on it but the change of oil seemed to rectify the problem. Came to change the oil ready for winter storage and to my horror, there was emulsified oil in the filler again! I ran the engine to warm things up and then pumped out the old oil. This came out like a grey thick soup so I really do have quite a bit of water getting into the oil. What with all the other problems that I have had with this engine (a Perkins 4108), it is time to bid it farewell and plump for a new one (a Volvo D2-55). Unfortunately, this was not in the budget and things are now really tight however, I was cheered-up the other day when the taxman offered to pay 1/8th of the cost in an unexpected rebate.

Moody boatyard offered to do the work at not much more than the retail price of the actual engine so I jumped at the offer and they whipped the engine out just before hauling Nadezhda out of the water on the 7th December. I had the opportunity to get to the rear-end of the boat and check exhaust system and clean-out buckets-and-buckets of oil slick out of the bilges. Moodys’ plan to install the new engine in March, just before launch, so that I get the maximum use of the warranty. They will also replace my cutlass bearing for a reasonable fee………. might as well to the whole engine and drive unit!

Spoke to a guy today who is going to go and look at the old engine. Says that he will give me a reasonable offer to take it for spares so I now wait to hear what “reasonable” means. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to clean the engine to make it look its best.

Stop Press!

  • The guy wants the engine but not the gearbox, alternator or starter motor. He will get the bloody thing off my hands for £200 and I can still sell the gearbox for the same price. This suits me since it will end up being a burden if I leave it too long.


I am still wondering what the best communication mechanism is. I found a website that suggested that all you need for broadband access from a boat is a very powerful WIFI card in you PC attached to an external Ariel. The point is that when you are in harbour, there will always be a WIFI attached to the internet on land somewhere in range and you simply piggy-back on their connection. So I have ordered one and will see if it is of any use.

At Home

On the home-front, the sale of the Rental house that was owned by my (ex) business completed last Friday. That is another milestone reached and the funds are now in place to draw-down from the business in the most tax-efficient manner whilst we are away.

Our own house has had most of the decoration completed except for the bathroom. A mate of Felicity’s brother has agreed to fit a new one after the New Year and so we bit the bullet and ordered the suite and tiles last weekend. Just another expense to go with all those other bits and pieces that were not budgeted for. It’s funny how I keep buying things related to going on our travels but the list of outstanding items never seems to shrink. The latest in a long line are

  • New EPIRB Battery
  • Replacement Jackstays (old ones are tired)
  • New and refurbished Fire extinguishers (old ones out of date)
  • Little anodes for the rudder mountings (6*£7.50)

All of which are very expensive and fail to excite me.

Next on the list of things to do is to get the steel-work done to support the wind-water power and the solar panel. Then get the bimini made and replace the spray-hood that currently leaks like a sieve.

Telling the Truth

On a completely separate note, I ‘fessed-up to my boss at work and told him the whole story. This was spurred by the fact that the bid that I had been working-up has come to fruition and now they want the team that I am on to do some real work. I didn’t want to be lumbered with responsibilities that would only need handing-over to someone else in a couple of month’s time and thought it best to come clean. My boss didn’t seem to care and was completely unfazed by the whole affair. I’m not quite sure how to take that, but at least I remain in employment, without secrets, until I decide to leave.

Fliss has a more difficult challenge since she is employed as part of a two-man band. Needless to say, her departure will have much more of an impact than me leaving a company that employs thousands. Fliss is quite close to her boss and is not sure how she will take the news. The jury is still out on this one, I am suggesting that the end of January is probably the best compromise between enough notice and too much notice.