The Bow Thruster Project - Part 21: Relaunching our Sealine

I sit aboard Bandit now on her mooring, where she belongs!

I got to the boat early this morning to find a completely iced over marina. The temperate had dropped to -4ÂșC last night so little wonder the water had frozen. I came down to get the propellers back on, grease both the drives through the grease nipples and rebleed the new hydraulics. Installing the duo propellers was easy and I borrowed a grease gun from the mechanic at the boatyard. It was a hard job but I eventually got enough grease in the drive so that it was oozing out the steering parts. The hydraulics were easy to do as it just meant lifting the drive up and then back down again about 4-5 times. I then topped up the reservoir and raised then lowered it another couple of times to ensure all was okay and that all the air had escaped the pipes. Then it was time for Bandit's relaunch.
Frozen marina
Beautiful sunrise
Propellers on and ready to go!

The stabilising chocks were removed, the fenders and ropes were prepared and Bandit was then slowly winched back down the slipway on the trolley. It was a slow process but it was important to do it slowly to ensure she went back in safely and securely. As she touched the water, the trolley stopped as there was something stopping it moving down the tracks. We put a large metal pole under the trolley and gave it a quick lift which raised the trolley wheels over the obstruction and Bandit was then underway once more.
Preparing the boat for relaunch
Winching her down the slipway
Down she goes

The trolley hit the end and where the water levels were slightly lower, Bandit's keel at the bow was still sat on the trolley, unable to float off. We got two people from the marina to stand on the bathing platform and she was then able to float off.
Getting the trolley over the obstruction with a metal pole

She was towed back round to her mooring which was very kind of the marina staff to do. We were going to drive her round again tomorrow but they've saved us the bother. I did test the bow thruster quickly while tied up to the mooring and I'm happy to say it all works correctly and seems very powerful. Just what we could have hoped for. I also checked for any leaks from the thruster, sea cocks and speed transducer to ensure they were all watertight. All looks good which is brilliant news.
Towing her back to the mooring
Breaking ice ahead of Bandit with the marina's tug boat
Back where she belongs! - on our mooring

We're staying aboard tonight and will spend the whole of tomorrow (Saturday) cleaning her and power washing the Tek-Dek flooring in the cockpit and on the bathing platform. A busy day ahead of us!


  1. Starboard outdrive duo propellers reinstalled
  2. Port & starboard drives greased via grease nipples
  3. Bled trim hydraulics - checked for leaks and all looks great
  4. Relaunched Bandit back into the water (by Jones Boatyard)
  5. Checked for any leaks from speed transducer, sea cocks and thruster
  6. Towed back to her mooring (by Jones Boatyard)
  7. Tested bow thruster - very happy!


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