Barry's Blog #121 - One thing leads to another

When we began planning this liveaboard lifestyle we had a noble idea that we'd keep a spreadsheet of each item (and how many) we had on board and which locker or storage space they were kept in. The plan went well at first, but eventually it fell apart and keeping track of stuff just morphed into a memory exercise.

If you watched our YouTube video #102 where we serviced and winterised the outboard motor, you will have seen that I knew that I'd bought replacement spark plugs and I knew that they were somewhere on board, but I couldn't quite remember where.

Moving forward to the beginning of March 2020 and it was time to replace the sacrificial anodes on the keel and prop shaft. Again I knew that I'd bought them, but I couldn't remember where I'd stored them.

One thing leads to another

I'd looked in all the places I thought I was likely to store them and come up empty handed. Aannsha trying to help suggested that maybe they were in the locker at the bow. I knew I hadn't stored them there but she insisted that it was a possibility and decided to go take a look.

While she was emptying the locker and looking for the anodes I carried on grinding away at the weeping patch on the keel. The tools that our friend Nikos had lent us were really helping us move forward getting things done.

10 minutes later I heard that tone of voice as Aannsha shouted down to me "Baz, you need to come and take a look at this."

Putting down the grinder I climbed the ladder at the stern and went to the forward locker, the contents of which were strewn across the deck. "We've got a leak, some of these things are damp and there's black mould in the locker."

My heart sank, another job to add to the list. Will we ever get back in the water!

Climbing down into the locker I had a look at potential places water could get in from and I suspected that it was probably getting in through the cable holes that supply power to the windlass switches. The plan was to remove the switches, clean them up and re-silicone the area. But that would have to wait for another day as we had plenty on our plates today.

The anodes

One of the bigger jobs that we'd been putting off for a while was to get into the part of the bilge where we could access the keel bolts. When everything is in its place and when A B Sea is ship-shape there's a surprisingly large amount of space down below. But once you start doing any maintenance it's a whole different story.

Tool boxes and tools come out from their storage beneath the saloon seat and very quickly every available space is covered in stuff. Accessing the keel bolts was quite involved as we had to lift several sections of the saloon sole and move the whole section of bench seating that is next to the galley area.

We'd never done this before but after a little head scratching we figured it out and were soon staring at the bilge area that we'd never seen before. It was filthy and probably hadn't been cleaned since our boat was born in 1995. We had a lot of cleaning ahead of us before we could actually do the job we'd come here to do.

With the bilge area eventually clean and looking great it was time to have a go at removing the fibre glassing that encased one of the keel bolts. Nikos had also lent us an oscillating tool which we thought would make light work of the job. We were wrong.