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Aannsha’s Blog #124 – Three wins on A B Sea

View from the beach

Coronavirus Covid19 update

We updated you in our blogs last week, but in case you missed the information, we’ve mentioned on this week’s video as we’re in a small boat yard at Sipiada on Evia island, Greece and the Greek government is trying very hard to contain the spread of the Covid19 virus. As well as banning gatherings of more than ten people and closing all museums until the end of March, schools and universities, restaurants, bars, clubs, theatres, playgrounds, and gyms are also closed. There is also a ban on yachts from sailing, so we are here until the virus is contained. Movement away from home is now restricted to necessary shopping, for example food, but we need to log our trip into a government website beforehand and carry a permission slip with us.

Livaditis boatyard where we are living at the moment is pretty isolated, so we haven’t had a huge change in our lifestyle. And it’s in an attractive beach setting, so we really can’t complain.

So what are we doing with our time?

More jobs on the Boat Jobs List, filming and editing! Like I said, life is pretty much the same as before!

This week we managed to get the stern gland off the propeller shaft, so Baz was able to order the correct one as a replacement. It did involve uncoupling the prop shaft from the gearbox which went okay as Baz managed to unscrew the six main bolts. But despite the prop shaft sliding out until the coupling stopped at the stern gland, we couldn’t get the coupling off. Without getting that off, the stern gland couldn’t be replaced. And with the old stern gland, we wouldn’t be able to go back in the water as Baz wouldn’t be able to make the boat water tight. (You squeeze the stern gland once the boat’s in the water and squeezing burps the air out of the gland and allows sea water to fill the space, thus making a water tight seal).

I suggested unscrewing a pretty obvious looking screw that was sitting on the side of the coupling but Baz very confidently told me that wasn’t the solution. To my mind however it did look like the logical answer though. But what do I know? I’m not a mechanic, I’m an artist. I had no proof for my line of thought, so I kept quiet.

Brillean makes the bilge almost sparkle

I got onto cleaning out the bilge now that the prop shaft was shifted out of the way. As the engine takes up most of the engine compartment, for me to access all of the bilge to remove the last vestiges of soot required a lot of stretching and contorting. After I’d got the bilge and engine as clean as I could, I set to testing the Brillean that one of our subscribers had sent to us. It’s been great so far, but how would it go with sooty smudges?

It was great! What’s in this stuff? I don’t care, it’s environmentally friendly, smells nice and lemony and does the job so that’s all I need to know! In what felt like no time at all (compared to the hours Baz and I had spent smearing away the thick layers of soot from the engine and bay), Brillean had done the job and I have to say, I’m impressed with the results. What do you reckon?

Win #1!

We found the solution to the prop problem!

Well who’d have guessed it, I actually got a mechanical problem right! Juliano from the boat yard confirmed (as per suggestions on the Jeanneau owners’ facebook page) that the screw sticking out of the coupling was indeed the one that needed unscrewing. Turns out, that screw has a pointed tip that fits into a dimple in the prop, which is aligned correctly in the coupling using a ‘key’ on one side that slides into a ‘keyhole’ in the corresponding side of the coupling. It’s easy when you know how.

Baz was just happy to get the stern gland off and finally be able to read the part number. He’s ordered the correct part and a new cutlass bearing, which are being delivered to us at the boat yard.

#2 ~ Another win!

Do we have diesel bug or not?

When the diesel tank isn’t full of diesel, and once the weather gets cold, this allows condensation to form inside the tank. The moisture runs down the side of the tank and sits in a thin layer under the diesel. The separation layer between the two liquids is the ideal breeding area for a little pest called diesel bug. Once that gets in there and multiplies, it can clog up the engine.

We hadn’t checked our tank since we arrived in Limni and as it wasn’t a full tank, Baz was very concerned that we might have the dreaded diesel bug problem, which would require draining, cleaning and replacing the diesel in the tank. A big, messy job neither of us wanted to do.

Baz checked the diesel by (eventually) lowering our dive torch down into the tank at the lowest part. He had to do that as the torch light from above just reflected off the diesel making it impossible to properly inspect the bottom of the tank. By lowering the torch to the bottom he was able to confirm that we do not have diesel bug in there! Big relief all round.

All he had to do then was add diesel bug killer preventative and engine cleaner into the tank, and then top the tank off with diesel. He used the two spare 20 litre jerry cans of diesel that we have strapped to the guard rails on A B Sea to begin the task. Then he took the cans one at a time to the nearby petrol station and after a few trips both the fuel tank and the two jerry cans were full and back in place. Fortunately we weren’t in lockdown when he did that.

Win #3!

So while the last few weeks have had their frustrations, this week we had a hat trick of positive outcomes.

Another win!

What’s in store next week? We’ve a few smelly jobs lined up as Baz removes the outflow pipe in the day heads (toilet), and I clean up the residual leakage from the black water holding tank after Baz removes it for repairs. All fun stuff!

We can get through this!

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