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

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. Secondly was to scrape back all of the paint that had accumulated over the years where people kept painting over existing paint. Nothing wrong with that at all, but it does build up over time and it had become quite a thick layer on each tab. Then came some research into whether it's better to remove all paint and polish the stainless steel tabs or antifoul them. Some research on the Sealine Forum shows that people would usually remove all the paint, polish the top of the tab and antifoul the bottom. So that is what we shall do. We scraped all the existing paint off today and I spent a good hour freeing up the tab hinges to ensure they move freely. They had both got quite stiff over the years and needed a little TLC. All seems good. To finish off, we removed the Eltrim tab bellows to find that they were quite 'well used' and have ordered another pair from Seabridge Marine. The rams themselves look in good shape and function correctly (apart from the slower starboard motor).

Next came the time to start priming the hull where large amounts of antifouling and primer had not adhered properly to the GRP off. When Bandit was first hauled out, I used a powerful jet wash and found that lots of the antifouling and primer above the waterline had not adhered properly to the GRP and was just falling off. You could even pick it off with a slight scrape from your fingernail so it wasn't just the powerful jet wash blasting it all off. We went over the patches with a chisel to remove any loose bits. I would say that about 50% of the antifouling above the waterline was removed due to it not bonding to the hull and transom correctly. Anyway, we've gone over it all with International Primocon grey primer and done two coats on each patch. We might add a third just to be sure but two should be enough. I also removed the bow thruster prop and primed the remaining bit of the thruster tunnel in preparation for antifouling.

Dad also gave the hull another few coats of polish to ensure she has a good layer of wax to see her through the season. It must be said that Bandit's hull is in immaculate condition. Not a single mark on her. Just how we like it and will do everything we can to keep it that way!

A nice and shiny Sealine!

  1. Tested Eltrim actuators and both found to be working correct, although the starboard motor seems to be working slower than the port
  2. Removed all paint build up from both trim tabs and cleaned it back to the stainless steel
  3. Cleaned the tab hinges to ensure they both move freely
  4. Removed both Eltrim actuator bellows and purchased a new set from seabridge-marine
  5. General check of Eltrim rams (underneath bellows) - found to be in good condition without any corrosion
  6. Removed any further loose antifouling with a chisel
  7. Applied two coats of International grey Primocon primer to patches where antifouling had been removed
  8. Applied two coats of International grey Primocon primer to bow thruster tunnel
  9. Gave the hull another couple of coats of polish by hand


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