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've put some new wiper blades on which we purchased from Seabridge Marine online. We're expecting quite a lot of rain over the next few days so we'd best have wiper blades that actually clear the windscreens. The previous ones were as useful as using two pencils...let's put it that way. The weather should cheer up hugely as we get to Monday / Tuesday where it will be full sun and very little wind - perfect! That is if they've predicted correctly, of corse...

I also gave the whole boat exterior a wash&wax so Bandit looks all pretty rolling up at Ely Quayside on Sunday.


The other thing that bugged me was how dull the grey gel coat at the helm had gone over the years. It had no shine to it and with everything you tried cleaning it with, it just left horrid white smears everywhere which made it look even worse. I gathered that it wasn't going to sort itself so this morning, I got out the compound, polish and after-wax gloss and set myself up at the helm. Firstly, I compounded every inch of grey gel coat by hand and then rubbed it all off. I had a second go at the very rear of the helm where the grey gel coat was worse underneath the windscreens. Even with just compound, it's amazing how well the gel coat had come up! It had a depth of shine and had restored its grey colouring. Next was to go over every inch again with our expensive polish. I did all this and then wiped it all off. It came up beautifully! As if it was brand new! Then I used an Autoglym product called 'Extra Gloss Protection' which is a liquid product. You sparingly squirt it over the gel coat, evenly spread it with a micro fibre cloth and then leave it for an hour before buffing it up with a clean, dry cloth. This puts another glossy layer above the polish which helps it stay shiny for longer. I'm very much a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning and polishing...
Shiny helm!

We've also been putting in cans of petrol in both tanks in preparation for our long journey. We're at 3/4 tank both sides so a couple more and we'll be good.

Very much looking forward to our trip. I just hope everything goes to plan and we don't have any disasters with the engines while hours away from our home marina. We have faith in ol' Bandit!

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