Caught up to Speed - Preparing For Our Trip to Ely

After purchasing Bandit, we've not really had a chance to use her very much. Of course we've spent every weekend aboard her since we got her back to the boatyard but we haven't actually had any weekend trips away from the marina. Not only was this down to the fact that the engines were in such poor condition but the weather so far this year has not been nice enough to really go anywhere. It's been very windy and with no bow thruster, I wouldn't want to risk damaging the boat.

If you recall, there is another Sealine 290 on the river. The boat in question is the same one which tempted us to sell our Mirage and buy a 290. As it happens, we've become really good friends with the owners of the other Sealine, and we've planned a trip downstream with several other boaty friends from our base marina in St Ives to Ely. A journey of about 40 miles total. As this upcoming weekend is a bank holiday, we'd have a day to enjoy the five-hour journey to Ely, spend a day there and return on the Monday.

This is not only our first real long distance trip in our new boat, but it's also our first time travelling as a flotilla with good group of friends. Today, we fitted our new Lowrance Link-5 DSC VHF radio and a new Banten VFH whip antenna so we can communicate ship-to-ship along the way which will be a first as well.
Bandit and her new VHF whip aerial - 24th May 2016

Our new Rochester carburettors have not arrived yet and the likelihood of them getting here from the USA before Friday is quite slim. For now, we're going to put that behind us and enjoy our first real trip away with our one engine. The weather forecast for the upcoming weekend looks to be fair with low winds which is ideal for boating!

While pumping out our petrol tanks a couple of weeks back, we must have slightly bent the Starboard fuel sender float which means the dial is reading just of empty and we're sure this is incorrect as we have at least 60 litres (1/4+ of the tank) in there, which is plenty for the engine ticking over to Ely. Tomorrow's job is to remove the two senders and adjust them correctly. This way, we can monitor our fuel while we're away even though we're confident that we do have more than enough for that single running engine. The boat could also go with a quick wash and wax as she does get filthy where we're moored adjacent to the main road. The teak interior flooring and cockpit upholstery could also do with a scrub... I'll add that to the list too.


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