Showing posts from August, 2016

Additions to Bandit

Something that we've had on the to-do-list was replaced all the canopy fittings on the boat. The existing ones were badly corroded and just didn't look neat. The canopy was replaced fairly recently and it's held up very well. It's still tight and the colour hasn't faded. The only thing we've had to do was replace the plastic windows as they had cracked when we folded the canopy up on transportation day back in January.

Not too long ago I removed all the circular snap fastenings and replaced them with new ones and new stainless steel screws, making sure to use sealer on the threads. Replacing those alone made a difference to the overall appearance. That said, I'm quite a perfectionist so I doubt anyone would ever notice. It's a 'piece of mind' thing... And with that, today I purchased 60 new lift-the-dot canopy fastenings and replaced each one. Again, using sealer on all the threads to ensure no leaks arise.

Another thing off the list and it does…

Sealine Forum Burgee

It's always exciting when a package comes through the door knowing that something inside it is for our Sealine 290 Ambassador, Bandit.

Today we had a package through the letter box addressed to me from Marine Teak. Earlier last week I had ordered a new burgee flag for Bandit. We've already got the white Sealine flag flying but I wanted to have the Sealine Forum one flying too. When on the water, I'm always spotting lots of different flags flying from the pulpit of boats and it's interesting to see what kind of clubs of forums the boaters are a part of. Being on the river, we commonly come across the Freeman Owners Club flag and the Fairline flags.

I'll get another flag pole from our marina's chandlery when we're next down and mount it to the pulpit at the bow of the boat alongside our Windy height indicator flag and the Sealine flag.

Bandit's Second Trip to Ely: Coming to an End

Today was the last day of our ten-day journey. Looking back, we've had a fantastic time and have learnt so much about Bandit. Even after seven months, we're still learning!

The biggest news is regarding the possible re-engine plan for Bandit. We phoned Lancing Marine and instead of paying £15k for two Ford marine engines, we've been quoted an unbelievable £33k. More than twice what we would have spent on re-engining her. So for the time being, we've chucked that idea out the window. If we can get the current petrol engines running as we want them, we'd scrap the idea of diesels anyway.

Now onto our trip. I'm happy to say that Bandit behaved herself for the entire journey, apart from the one little issue we had with the mud blockage in the drive which was very quickly sorted with a 100PSI compressor. Our beautifully running port engine has used less than 1/4 tank of petrol which is far less than we had imagined. Maybe these 4.3l V6's aren't as thirsty as…

Bandit's Second Trip to Ely: What's Happened So Far?

On Friday 19th August, we set off on our 10 day holiday on Bandit. It's the second long distance trip we've had on the boat since purchasing her in December of last year. The first large trip we had was as a flotilla with our good friends and their Sealine 290A called Josie.

We knew, this time, we'd be going solo as timings got in the way of a flotilla forming again this time which was a shame. On the upside, we'd have a chance to go with the flow and get used to Bandit even more so. We had yet to see how reliable the boat was so this was the perfect time to take things slowly and experiment without the worry of delaying others.

We left the marina on Friday and took a short trip to the Pike&Eel marina just downstream of our home boatyard. We spend Saturday there as we were experiencing 40mph+ winds and we just didn't want to risk anything. Sunday, we left the marina and got to Ely a good six hours later. A journey that should have really taken no more than 4.5h…

Bandit's Second Trip to Ely: Preparation day

It's that time of year again where we take a ten day holiday our on our boat. For the past couple of years, we've always taken our Fairline, Bliss on a ten day trip to Ely and then further down to Dever Sluice. This is where things then start getting tidal as you then start heading for Kings Lynn and then out to sea at The Wash. Sadly, this time, we will not be heading out to The Wash as we are still having a couple of engine problems and we haven't really done too much research in preparation.

Today is Thursday. We'll arrive at the boat later tomorrow and set sail for the Pike & Eel marina just a couple of miles downstream where we will stay the night and the following day. We would head off on Saturday but there are 40mph winds predicted and we don't want to face the Old West River in those types of conditions. It's hard enough navigating that 3-4 hour stretch in safe/normal conditions.

Today I've been at the boat just preparing for the trip. We'v…

Refurbishing Our Old Style Eltrim Trim Tab Controller

Since purchasing Bandit, another thing we've realised is that the controller at the helm for the Eltrim trim tab's was very intermittent. One button would work fine all the time but the others either had to be pressed extremely hard or just didn't work at all. We plan to take Bandit to the Wash later this year and we want the tabs functioning properly so we can have a bit of fun on the water.

For the most part, we don't use the tabs on the river at 4mph but it was just another thing that wasn't working and that's not how we like things to be. I dived onto the internet and found a company that sell the buttons and refurbish kit containing a five sets of screws and o-rings for the switches. I gathered that if I was going to disassemble the entire unit, I'd just purchase x1 red, x1 green and x2 white buttons and call it a day. Those buttons plus the kit and packaging from Leeds cost 22 quid. Not bad really.
I have no experience with these controls (or electron…

Bandit's Lofrans Airon Windlass

Since buying Bandit, we've had some problems with the windlass. The problem itself has got worse as we've had the boat. The issue was that the 50amp circuit breaker kept popping out when raising and/or dropping the anchor. We suspected a few things...

First, we thought the twin solenoids were faulty. Maybe they were so badly rusted that they were blowing the breaker. Maybe they were overheating or making a bad connection? After looking around, we found that the problem was not the solenoids as they work as they should.
Secondly, I noticed the warping drum on the windlass could not be removed as it should. It should just slide straight off but it's well and truly wedged/corroded onto the windlass. Becuase of this, we guessed that maybe the drum was putting pressure on the motor, causing the breaker to trip. This then seemed unlikely as the motor did not seem under any strain and compared to our friends 290's windlass, it operated exactly the same. We concluded this was …

Sealine Meet Up!

Not too long ago, we were introduced to some people through one of our boaty friends on a Facebook page dedicated for the boaters of the River Great Ouse. They have a Sealine S28 called 'Seabird' and an S23 called 'xxxSaphirexxx'. They moor quite a way up the river from us so we decided to set a date and meet in a location where we can sit down for the weekend and get to know everyone. As they got close, we got a call via the VHF radio saying these were nearly there. These two boats were absolutely stunning. Bandit is a 1991 Sealine 290 whereas these others were the year 2000 onwards so the chance in styling and design was fairly different. Although, they did still look fantastically sporty and Sealine-like. We got everyone safely tied up and we were quickly invited on Seabird for a drink. I'm so happy that we've met some new people who share the same love of Sealine's to us. We've almost created a Sealine Club on the river without even knowing it. Our …

Back to Southampton - Day 3: Farewell, Southampton!

Thursday 10th August 2016

Today was our last full day in Southampton. Today we planned to head to Bucklers Hard to have a look around and watch the Beaulieu River that runs through the end of the village. My Nan grew up in one of the cottages along the waterfront there so it's always nice to come down and feel like the village is a part of our family history. Where I grew up in Southampton and was very close to my Nan, she used to take me around there many years ago so it always sparks some lovely memories.
Sadly, I had come down will a nasty migraine so we cancelled planned to head down there. It was a
real shame as I really looked forward to seeing it again.

As the day went on, we then drove down to Ashlett Creek to have a meal at the pub there as it was curry night! Ashlett Creek means a lot to us as it was where my Grandad has his Searay 220, Jeana before he passed away in 2003. We walked around to the mooring jetties and looked at where Jeana was once moored. If you're fa…

Back to Southampton - Day 2: The Isle of Wight and Cowes Week!

Tuesday 11th August 2016

Today, we had set plans to go from Hythe to Southampton and then back to the Isle of Wight to watch Cowes Week! I have been to Cowes Week but this must have been when I was about six years old. I don't remember any of it so I was very excited to go and see it all.

We headed off at 9:00 and got the Hythe ferry over to Southampton. A lovely 20-minute boat journey. After getting to Southampton, we then awaited the arrival of the Red Funnel car ferry back in the other direction again to the Island. It was brilliant to get this huge ferry. I've been on it plenty times before but not for a couple of years. We grabbed a table on the second deck and remained there for about 10 minutes while we had something to drink and eat for breakfast. For the remaining hour, we went and stood on the very top deck in the sun and watched the ocean go by. We could see Hythe Marina, Calshot beach and then a while later, the Isle of Wight which began to come into view. Along th…