Showing posts from September, 2016

The Bow Thruster Project: Part 3 - Fitting The Thruster Controller

Firstly, we've officially decided that we will have Bandit hauled out shortly after the other boats at the marina are put on chocks for the winter. This should be in mid-November with any luck. She should hopefully only be out for four weeks max while we fit the thruster, see to some leaky hydraulic rams on the drives, check oil seals etc and polish the hull. The usual winter jobs in other words...

The thruster kit is currently sat at home while we wait for the haul out. Being very impatient, I decided to bring down some of the kit and look at where parts can be fitted. Bits such as the breaker switch, control panel and wiring. After deciding where the round chrome control panel will go, I thought I may as well fit it. We've decided to place the thruster control below the controls for the Eltrim Trim Tabs on the right-hand side of the dashboard. Over the years, someone fitted a Volvo Penta clock with the engine hours which run off the starboard side ignition switch. I have nev…

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 2: Delivery

Today three large parcels arrived. One long tube, one large box and one smaller box. I knew straight away what this was... Bandit's Side-Power SE40 bow thruster is here!

The long tube was the fibreglass tunnel for the hull, the large box housed the motor, drive gear and propeller and the smaller box housed the control unit, large fuse and holder, isolator knob, manual and invoice.

First impressions? Very happy with everything! The three boxes and tube was brilliant packaged up and everything was safely packed inside the boxes using foam. It's so brilliant to see that it was finally here, finally ours. I look forward to organising Bandit's slip date so we can get her out and fit it. No further information to whether we're going to be fitting it or leaving it to the boatyard but we will see shortly now that it's all here.

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 1: Purchasing and Planning

This post marks the beginning of our Bow Thruster Project! The Bow Thruster Project is quite clearly the project of fitting Bandit's new Side Power bow thruster that we purchased at the 2016 Southampton Boat Show. Although, we will have Bandit hauled out to have further work carried out too. To make things easier, we will count this entire haul out, including all maintenance carried out, as The Bow Thruster Project even though the thruster is only half the project...

Yesterday, Dad sent over the money to Side-Power for our new 40kg thruster. They've told us that they will get the kit together and get it sent off as soon as possible so we're hoping that it arrived tomorrow.

What's the plan from here then? We're currently in a bit of dispute regarding the fitting of said thruster. Dad reckons he can fit the entire thing himself but and I think we should have it done properly by someone who has done it before. The job itself doesn't look extremely hard nor extreme…

Bandit's Distributor: Did It Work??

Thursday 22nd September 2016
Today we had a phone call from the company refurbishing Bandit's starboard engine distributor. Good news! The weights were rusted and the electronic module turned out to be very faulty. They couldn't tell us what had happened to it but it had failed somewhere and was not performing correctly. We've got news that it's been refitted with all new parts (including weights and electronic module) and will be delivered back at home tomorrow. We hope it is, in fact, delivered tomorrow as we can refit it on Saturday. It's scary at this point knowing that this is the last thing that could affect the engine's performance. If this distributor refurb doesn't solve anything, we're back to square one again and a couple of grand worse off with no benefit what so ever.

Friday 23rd September 2016
We got to the boat late evening and while we still had some daylight, we thought we'd whack in the distributor and find out if it had worked or n…

Custom Decals - Application

We finally found places to put our two new '290 Ambassador' decals that arrived on Thursday.

Eventually, we decided to apply the first one at the helm, underneath the clear plastic map cover and the second one in the heads on the far bulkhead. Overall, I'm happy with how they look. I like the one at the helm and the one in the heads look fantastic and even better with our blue LED strip lighting switched on. The font looks quite modern and sporty too which is what we were aiming for.

Custom Decals - What and Why?

A couple of weeks ago I ordered some custom graphics from a company called 'The Graphics Boat'. It's taken a while for them to be cut and dispatched as all orders were held in a queue while they were on holiday. That's not a bad thing, though. I was notified when they were dispatched and they arrived the very next day which is fantastic.

So, more decals...why? Our friends have got a 1992 Sunseeker Portofino 34 and in the cockpit, they've got some beautiful navy decals saying 'Porofino34' which I thought looked fantastic. I've taken inspiration and ordered two '290 Ambassador' decals which we'll find a place for in the cockpit. I chose a modern font which I thought looked quite sporty; something to suit the boat and the modern look we're trying to achieve overall. I don't know where they'll go yet but I'll have a good look tomorrow when we go to the boatyard for the weekend.
10/10 to 'The Graphics Boat'. The graphics s…

Elbow Grease

'Elbow Grease' is a term known very well by anyone with a boat. It takes a lot of effort to keep a boat looking nice otherwise, they do begin to deteriorate very quickly indeed. Hence why we're always keeping on top of cleaning where Bandit is concerned.

The main jobs this week have been:
1) Compounding and polishing the top using an electric polisher. We don't like to use this polisher as it flicks white compound spots literally everywhere. It goes all over the pontoon, windows, canopy and even bits like the wiper blades and stainless handrails. It almost seems like it does too much damage to even bother using it. But on the other hand, you would never get the same result doing the compounding by hand. You'd have to go over the same bits 50 times by hand to get the same results. So with that, we took the risk and used the polisher. As we guessed, it splattered white bits over every inch of the boat. BUT that polisher did wonders for the gel coat. It's now like…

Something New at the Helm

While at Southampton Boat Show on Saturday, we picked up a new 12v USB/socket panel for the helm. The idea of this specific product was to cover some holes but more importantly, we needed a USB charger at the helm so we can charge our devices while on the move and use our mini 12v hoover in the cockpit with the use of the 12v socket.

We didn't really have time to fit it on Sunday so I came straight to the yard from college and fitted it this afternoon. I hate cutting holes in the boat and this task had no exception.

Task one was to remove the nuts that held our Garmin chartplotter in place. On the Sealine 290, there is a panel that screws onto the moulded GRP dashboard. The problem we had is that the Garmin was secured behind both panels and therefore, you could not simply unscrew the outer panel and remove it. It was very difficult to get behind the dashboard from the ceiling downstairs and undo the eight nuts holding it on (two on each bolt) but eventually, I got the Garmin free…

Southampton Boat Show 2016 - After Show

What a great weekend!

We got to the boatyard late Friday night in preparation for heading off Saturday morning. 6:00 Saturday morning and alarms sounded. We got up, had some breakfast and set straight off for Southampton. We got incredibly lucky with the traffic and with that, it took us about two and a half hours. We parked in Hythe and got the ferry over to Southampton and walked to the event.

All in all, the event was fantastic. We began by looking around the outdoor stands and then made for the two large halls where we picked up a few bits and pieces. Next, we headed to the highlight of the entire show - the boats! This year, we had a good look around Sealine's yachts. It was so incredible to see modern Sealine's and compare them to our 1991 290 Ambassador. As lovely and luxurious as these yachts are, I do still prefer the styling of the old-school Sealine's such as Bandit. I would have a new one in a heart beat if I had the money, however. Next, we viewed an old frien…