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Aannsha’s Blog #71 – Lighting up the Princess Suite


Boat chores are sooo boring, especially when I have so many creative ideas for beach jewellery and paintings that I want to bring to life! However, in order to keep A B Sea looking spiffy and running efficiently, it’s important to get stuck into all of those large and small jobs when the sun’s shining.

This week we tackled a few projects that have been on The To Do List for a while:

  • Putting LED strip lighting in the galley

  • Transferring old galley movement activated lights to Princess Suite

  • Treat rust and paint windlass

  • Clean all hatches to remove mould

LED strip lighting in the galley

Baz began this project with a small, ineffectual job: replacing the light switch over the nav station. The switch which turns the LED lights on/off in the saloon had been falling off for a while, so after he bought a couple of decent switches, he got stuck into this small job.

In practically no time at all, he’d replaced the old switch with the new and was able to tick that little task off The List … er, was that little job even on The List? Anyway, once Baz had that job behind him, and as all of his tools were out from their under-seat storage, he decided that he’d tackle the LEDs in the galley.

The original lighting in the galley consisted of two movement activated strips of 3 lights, and where they were situated meant that there were parts of the galley that were lit well, but some areas were dark. I’ll let Baz go into the finer details of this week’s jobs in his Blog # 71 - Much to do… So little time.

Suffice it to say, to get to the wiring, he had to pull down the ceiling panels above the galley. That was a little trickier than you might imagine … putting them up was even harder once the job was done. They’re made to fit together with no gaps and boy, were they a tight squeeze re-fitting them once the switch wiring was completed. Anyway, once that was done we both unrolled and stuck the LED strip along the length of the galley under the ‘cornice’ so they’re unseen, but where they give a nice downward glow.

The only problem was that the 3M backing strips attaching the LEDs failed and some of the light strip began to hang down. Not ideal! I was tasked with finding an appropriate glue. After half an hour of searching Google, I learned that the best solution (after discounting another strip of genuine 3M or a hot glue gun) was super-glue. I trotted off to the chandlers in town and after deciphering the Turkish labels of hundreds of different glues, plumped for the one that looked most appropriate and trotted back.

We unstuck the whole length of LED strip and I applied small sections of glue to the strip which Baz then pressed back into place. Once finished, we stepped back and admired our handiwork! It looked great and at night it brings a fantastic even lighting to the whole of the longitudinal galley. No more dark corners!

Princess Suite gets new lighting!

Once we had the two LED panels out of the galley, Baz removed the four incandescent lights (two on each side of the bed) from the Princess Suite. He then fixed the LED panels under the shelves and now we have lovely subtle lighting at the wave of a hand – and light that uses so much less electrical power.

Windless - Rust treatment, paint job and shackles

This has probably been one of the longest projects that Baz has undertaken, because it’s involved a few different steps and also three coats of paint take a while to dry.

rusty windlass backing sheet

The windlass is the motor that drops and brings up the anchor and after a good many years of salt water splashes, the surface of the steel backing plate that the windlass attaches to had become quite rusty, with rust stains in the anchor locker. Baz tackled this by removing the windlass from the backing plate. He wanted to remove the backing plate too but it had been firmly glued into place. He wire-brushed the rust off then treated it with rust inhibitor.

That took six hours to dry so he used that time to replace the original shackles (that secured the anchor to the swivel and the swivel to the chain) with omega shackles that allow for better turning that takes the lateral load off the shackle pins.

Shackled to the anchor

Of course it wasn’t a smooth job as the Allen key pin was seized in there so our good friend Jim came and cut through the stainless steel pin with his large battery powered jigsaw. After scouring Kaş chandleries for shackles, Baz could only get stainless steel shackles, which is okay at the stainless steel swivel end, but not great at the galvanised chain and anchor shaft ends. Why? Well the two different metals in seawater can result in galvanic corrosion (because it all acts like a large battery) and eventually the softest metal gets eaten away. We have been assured that as the chain and anchor are galvanised, the corrosion will be a slow process. Our immediate solution though is to keep an eye on the joins each time we raise the anchor and along our travels, we’ll look out for galvanised shackles.

Paint job takes three days

After the rust treatment had dried, Baz painted the windlass backing plate and the windlass shelf with tough Hammerite paint and as he painted three layers, it took that amount of days until the job was finished. Once that was done, the new shackles, swivel and anchor were reattached and Baz proudly crossed that one off The List.

Getting rid of hatch mould

Boats get condensation, it’s just part of life. After a while, mould takes hold along the edges of the hatches. We can access most of the hatch edges except for behind the handles, so after a season on the boat, it was time to get rid of the build-up of mould growth. Black mould around the hatches looks unsightly but it can also be a mild potential health hazard if left untreated.

So while Baz was doing all of his exciting jobs, I got to take the handles off every one of the 24 hatches on A B Sea, and clean them using a solution of vinegar, water and tea tree oil. I keep old tooth brushes for just such a job and one came in handy as I scrubbed my way around the boat!

I had to raise the dinghy to get access to the three large forward hatches, but that was easy enough – I just hoisted it up using the spare halyard.

While I was underneath the dinghy, Baz suggested I clean the inside of that, so we’d have a half decent looking tender when we put it back on the water.

Those two jobs took me a couple of days after helping Baz install the galley LEDs, so by the time Baz had finished his projects, I’d finished mine, and we sat down in what was left of the sunshine and enjoyed a nice relaxing beer in the cockpit.

Dinghy is raised

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