The Bow Thruster Project - Part 19: Getting Close

The time is fast approaching where Bandit is finally relaunched back into the water. It's a very exciting thought to think we're so nearly there.

I've been at the boat most of the day just doing a few bits and pieces in preparation for Bandit's relaunch. I've generally tidied up a bit so there are not bits everywhere when she finally gets back in. I've hoovered down below, in the mid cabin, in the heads and in the cockpit. I didn't clean anything properly in the cockpit as it's horrendously dirty and we plan to jet wash the Tek-Dek flooring at the weekend so the cleaning can be done then.

I also cleaned and greased the propeller shafts on the port outdrive and installed the two freshly painted, refurbished propellers. They look good in gloss black against the light grey drive. Very happy.
Port outdrive ready to go (after the cover is refitted and drive filled with oil)

I spoke to the mechanic today and he said that our hydraulic hoses are due for delivery tomorrow so he can fit them and reinstall the starboard drive. We'll then come down before the weekend and clean the prop shafts on the starboard drive and install the propellers. We'll also leave quick access to the thruster compartment and engine bay so the yard can check that we have no water leakages anywhere as she enters the water. We've fixed the transducer in the engine bay which needs checking for leaks and obviously the bow thruster has been installed so they need to ensure it was all done correctly without leaks. Then, she's good to go and we can finally be on board her again after a month and a half of waiting!

When we purchased Bandit, we removed the rear backrest from the cockpit hinged 'wedge' which allows access to the bathing platform. This backrest we thought looked a bit rough and wasn't done very well. At that point in time, we thought it was better to screw a slim panel covered in a leather-like material to it instead. Over time, we've realised that if you are not careful with it, the canopy zip rips the material and we've had to recover it about 5 times. We gave up with this idea and brought back the original backrest to refit. We've removed the upholstery and refitted it a bit better so it doesn't look as shabby. I've also fit a new block of wood inside the wedge as the screw thread had stripped in the fibreglass. Now the longer screws screw into the wood so they can't come undone. I then refitted the backrest using Sikaflex. I know, I know, you're not meant to use it for anything that you may need to get back off but it needs to be securely fitted so we'll have to deal with the Sikaflex if/when we ever need to remove it again...which we hopefully won't.
Waiting for the Sikaflex to cure

Lastly, I installed two more small blue LED lights on the top side of the bathing platform using plenty of Sikaflex to ensure no water could get in. We had previously installed two either side which were quite dull so I've put two of our new, smaller but brighter, ones in the transom too. They really help illuminate the bits that the existing ones don't. Very happy!
Two new LED's in the centre, old ones to the sides
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JOBS COMPLETED TODAY (16/01/17):
  1. Generally cleaned up ready for relaunch
  2. Cleaned & regreased port drive prop shafts and reinstalled propellers
  3. Refitted backrest to transom gate hinged 'wedge'
  4. Installed two new 3w LED lights to the bathing platform topside

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