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Showing posts from December, 2016

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 14: Yet More LED's & Upkeep

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Today we've been back at the marina working hard to tick off further jobs on our list!

We left the house and headed straight for Screwfix to pick up a new little something for Bandit! Last night I decided to order a pack of blue 3w 15mm LED lights. There are ten in the pack and cost me 30 quid. We've installed six to the underside of the bathing platform today.

Overall, the process wasn't too hard, albeit a bit time consuming. We did have an issue whereby there are two strengthening beams running from the transom to the very rear of the bathing platform. Strangely, they were both in different placed and not central to the platform. They were both shifted to the starboard side which was strange and messed up our plans for the lights a bit. Never mind, I spent about five minutes tapping the underside of the platform with my knuckles and finally measured out the six holes. To finally check that I wasn't about to drill into the wood beams in the platform, we drilled a little…

Delivery - Eltrim Actuator Bellows

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Just received the Eltrim trim tab actuator bellows in the post. We had discovered that the old rubber bellows had gone very hard and brittle. There was also a lot of growth on the bellows themselves which suggest that they were due for a replacement. The actuator rams themselves looked clean and shiny so no further maintenance needs to be carried out to them which is good.

10/10 to seabridge-marine.co.uk for their fast dispatch and delivery, even over the Christmas period. Very happy! We'll pop over to the marina shortly to fit the bellows and polish up the stainless steel tabs. We're slowly getting there :)


The Bow Thruster Project - Part 13: The Jobs Roll On...

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Although Bandit's bow thruster is now in and working, she remains on land and our jobs list is getting longer by the day.

We arrived at the marina to some ice on the water. The first time this year that we've had ice! That's when you really know it's winter... :(

Despite the freezing temperature, we've been down to the marina and have tried to continue on with work that needs doing before Bandit is relaunched. The first thing to do was to do some research online regarding our Eltrim trim tabs. Not only did we suspect one was not working correctly but some decisions needed to be made regarding the tabs themselves. We suspected that one of the motors were not working or not working correctly as when we got Bandit on the plane a couple of months ago, she listed badly to starboard. We tested the motors today and all seems fine although the starboard ram is slightly slower to move than the port. Not a problem providing we keep that in mind when using the trim tabs. Seco…

1 Year Pass

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Monday December 28th 2015 - The day we purchased Bandit


Yes, today marks 1 year since we actually purchased Bandit at Chichester Marina in late December of 2015 and handed over the money! This seems crazy to us as one year has literally flown by. Although one year came about in a blink of an eye, it does seem about right when we think of everything we've accomplished in this first year.

The photo above shows us on hand-over day. We had to remove the GRP wing mounted to the top of the radar arch in order for the boat to be transported on the lorry a week later.
We end the year on a happy note and look forward to the upcoming 2017 boating season!

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 12: Thruster Installation Complete!

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We can finally say that Bandit's new Side Power SE40/125S electric bow thruster is now fully fitted!!

We came down early this morning and set about drilling the holes in the GRP tunnel for the lower unit. Things went smoothly, all but quite a bit of swearing. We absolutely slathered a thick bead of Sikaflex on the gasket both sides before fitting the lower unit to the tunnel so we can be sure that it will all be watertight and will remain watertight for a very long time (hopefully). The motor bracket went on perfectly and we bolted the lower unit to the tunnel. It was then time to see whether we had measured and drilled the holes correctly. Thankfully, the newly developed Side Power Q Prop slid on brilliantly with an even clearance from each blade to the tunnel. It couldn't have gone better.


We then fitted the motor and wired it up. Then came the final test. Would the motor work or had we done something wrong in the process? Not that I expected anything to go wrong but you nev…

Merry Christmas!

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Wishing everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May the 2017 season be the best boating season for you all.
~ Bandit and her crew ~

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 11: Further Wiring and Upkeep

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Another busy day at the boatyard working on Bandit.

First thing was to concentrate on getting the other parts of the bow thruster setup fitted in preparation for fitting the motor. I fitted the circuit breaker (although we're still waiting for parts to fit the red knob), fitted the inline fuse and ran some cabling between them. I began by securing the circuit breaker to the bulkhead. I drilled through the 1.5-inch thick bulkhead and used the disassembled breaker plate as a template. Easy enough and before long it was fitted. I did have to wait for the marina chandlery to open to get some super long 5mm bolts that would fit through the bulkhead and come out the other side. Next, I fitted the fuse on the inside bulkhead of the locker bin where the thruster is. It simply screwed on with two screws which ensures it can't move around. Next, I used some of the 40sqmm cable and cut it to the lengths I needed. I then went into the chandlery and added large battery cabling ring termina…

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 10: Fitting the Breaker

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Today I set about fitting the big red knob which breaks the current going to the thruster motor.

The breaker itself is horrible... Its fair to say the huge red button is not very discreet but we'll gloss over this as it is an important safety feature for the thruster and should anything happen, we can just 'hit the huge red button' and anyone on board will clearly understand what we are referring to.

We decided to fit it on the far bulkhead under the saloon table so it was as near to the thruster and battery as possible as well as being out of sight for the most part. So I got the drill and the 25 mm hole cutter, made a dot there it needed to go and went straight for it. Bad idea. Little did I know there was, what seemed to be, an inch and a half thick bulkhead behind... So I drilled straight through, put the breaker in the hole from behind and of corse it didn't go all the way through. This means that the big red knob can't screw onto the breaker and therefore it …

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 9: Checking Drives and Thruster Updates

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Today has been a more productive day. I bring some good news and some bad news, however.

So the good news is that the thruster tunnel is sorted and the mounting bracket is ready to be fitted. This means we can now fit the prop shaft, propeller, and motor in order to test it all before Bandit goes back in the water. The marina has been busy finishing the exterior of the boat where the tunnel is. It's all fully sanded back so it's smooth and they've applied a primer and some hard antifouling for us. It's a different colour to the antifouling we are going to use but we'll just go over the top of it I think. The final verdict is that it looks great - 10/10 to Jones Boatyard!
Now comes the bad news, I've been in the water today behind Bandit to get the port propellers off for them to be sent away. I've also noted what is missing from the propeller setups on both drives. We're missing a thrust washer and another washer. Both of these need to be ordered from K…

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 8: Further Maintenance

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Today progress has been slow. We had hoped to have the bow thruster in and fitted by now but we have been delayed slightly due to fiberglass issues inside the boat. The tunnel has been glassed over inside the boat and we can no longer find the center line of the tunnel, horizontally or vertically. We've let the boatyard know and they will see to it tomorrow. We await further info.

The first job we've done today is clean the waterline using Grunt boat cleaner. We applied the gel using a paint brush, left it on for 30 minutes and then hosed it off. It worked quite well first time round but will need doing another couple of times to really get rid of that horrid orange/brown oily waterline mark.

Dad also went along the whole hull of the boat, including the transom, using our big electric polisher. He cut the whole thing back and then put the first coat of polish on the hull. Where we removed the stripes yesterday, there was quite a clear white mark where they had been. The polish…

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 7: Running Cables and Other Jobs

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Today we've been very busy. When we got to the boat, we had a quick check on progress with the thruster. Happily, it's still coming along nicely. It's nearly there now. There's a bit more to do and we can then begin on actually fitting the motor.

The first job we started with was to do with the cabling for the bow thruster. I've run the cable from the control panel at the helm to the front locker where the thruster motor will be installed. This took about an hour and included disassembling everything in order to find a suitable route to the helm where the cable won't be in the way. We ended up following the wiring for the electric Lofrans windlass which ran behind the galley.

After running this cable, it was time to make the decision about the power to the thruster. We had two choices:
1. Run cables to the engine bay and connect thruster to existing (newly purchased) domestic battery. Upsides to this are that we don't have to get another battery and find a p…

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 6: Fitting the Tunnel

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We've been to the marina this evening to check up on Bandit. To our surprise, the hole in the hull either side had been cut, the tunnel cut, fitted and shaped and the fibreglass work already started. The area of the boat outside and the cabin stunk of fibreglass and resin so we already knew it had been done before seeing it. We cracked the windows in the cabin to allow it to air a bit.

We've paid extra to have the tunnel ends made with a 'slope' instead of cutting the tunnel in line with the hull. This helps maintain the hydrodynamics of the hull. If the tunnel was cut flat against the hull, water would pass over the hull and hit the inside of the tunnel, affecting the boat's speed, efficiency and making it slightly harder to get her on the plane. Paying this little extra to have the 'slope' formed on the hull ensures we keep the boat as hydrodynamic as possible.

It's amazing how quickly everything is happening. We're so happy that it's all goin…

The Bow Thruster Project - Part 5: Finally on Land

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Today Bandit was hauled out of the water in the marina. I was able to see today via the marinas webcam on their website that she was on the slip way. I finished college at 1400 today so I got straight on the bus and headed to the marina to have a look and do a few bits and pieces.

I got to the boat and took a couple of photos. I then went to ask the marina if I was able to borrow their power washer to blast off any loose antifouling and algae while it was still wet. It's nearly impossible to get off when it dries out. I spent a good hour blasting the hull and found that there were rather large patches of antifouling on the waterline that had not bonded correctly to the GRP. Because of this, the power washer was blasting huge patches of antifouling off. This isn't a bad thing, however. It now means that we will be able to repaint the bits that were loose and ensure it bonds to the GRP.

Next I removed the propellers on the starboard drive in preparation for the work that needs d…