Showing posts from February, 2017

Friday Evening on The Ouse

We took a nice trip up the river and back this afternoon. The wind had dropped and the sun was out, but we discovered that the river was running quite quickly due to the rain we've had over the last couple of days. This would usually stop us squeezing under St Ives bridge but we hadn't been under it for a good few months so we went for it anyway and hoped for the best.

It was chilly at the helm but it was a nice run to Hemingford Lock and back to the marina.

Weather Forecast - Storm Doris

According to the local weather forecast, we're expected to see wind speeds up to 60mph within the next couple of days. Since we won't be visiting Bandit until the weekend, I came straight from college to ensure she was completely safe in her mooring and tied up really well. We usually slip the ropes once through the mooring rings on the pontoon and then tie if off at the cleats with a couple of turns at the stern and bow of the boat.

I've now tied the ropes up securely, made them off to the cleats several times, made sure the canopy was fully fastened down to the boat so it doesn't get damaged and then lowered the fenders slightly to ensure they don't ride up onto the pontoon as she's blown around, exposing Bandit's hull to the pontoon itself and screws holding it together. When you think about it like that, a lot of damage can be done by the wind where fenders have rolled up and the boat is left rubbing up against the mooring continuously for hours after h…

Our New Cooker

Smev FO311 Oven and Grill ReviewReview: ★ ★ ★ ★
We've had the cooker for just over a week and have been using it non-stop! In short, we've more than happy with the cooker but there are a few little things that we wish were better.

First, the good stuff! The new cooker gives such a modern and updated look to the galley which is just what we hoped for. The cooker is overall more compact and flush-fit than the original Rose cooker that we've removed. We love that the cooker is flat against the bulkhead which actually makes the galley look bigger. We also really like the mirrored stainless steel effect which looks modern and crisp. There is a nice lamp inside the cooker which, although seems to be a bit silly, it really does work very well and is just a nice feature to have. It's nice to see the cooker glowing in the evenings and, of corse, enables you to see the food inside without opening the door with a torch in hand. Lastly, we love that this cooker has electric igniti…

Bandit's Big Refit - Part 10: Remaining Doors and Handles Fitted

We got to the boat about midday today and set about fitting the last two large doors and the new Timage door handles that arrived yesterday.

It was surprisingly easy to fit the two remaining doors. We had them all cut perfectly to size by an online door company so all we had to do was fit the hinges, door latches and handles. We used the old oak doors to take a template for the location for the hinges and then fitted them to the boat. It only took us a couple of hours to fit both doors and to get the handles on. The ensuite door was slightly harder as we had to make a plate for the Timage door latch to sit on so it would lock into the striker plate. We ended up using some thin white plastic that we keep onboard for bits and pieces such as this.

The doors are on, the latches work and the handles were fitted and look fantastic. We are really happy with the outcome so far. We've also refitted the magazine rack, sprung coat hangers and other door hardware back to the new doors. Next o…

Bandit's Big Refit - Part 9: Delivery of Handles

Today our new chrome door handles were delivered from Timage.

First impressions were amazing. The handles look beautiful and the quality is outstanding. We are very happy that we selected the handles with the rubber insert as they give the handles some shape and detailing compared to the standard chrome choice. The handles themselves are heavy and feel like a good quality product. The handle roses are also heavy and feature a soft sprung fitting inside to make using the handles feel nice and makes them work nicely with the Timage door latch. The handles were about £50 per set and we've got a pair for each of the three main doors in the boat (heads door, cabin door and ensuite door). A bit of a pricey purchase but they will definitely look great on the doors and will maintain the quality feel of the boat throughout.

We have one main door fitted with the original brass handles temporarily fitted so we were still able to use the door. We can finally remove them and reinstall these ne…

A Month with the Side Power SE40/125S Bow Thruster - Review

Side Power SE40/125S bow thruster reviewReview: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It's been nearly a month since our Sealine 290 Ambassador was relaunched into the water after having her new Side Power SE40/125S 12v electric bow thruster installed. Here's a little review of the whole bow thruster experience from the fitting to the performance on the water:

Purchasing To start with, we purchased the unit from 2016 Southampton Boat Show at a show discount price which was a great start. We did not expect to walk away from this show with a new thruster but we're very happy that we did. The salesman that we spoke to was very helpful, kind and professional. He took details of the boat (weight, length, beam, draught etc) and selected the appropriate thruster motor for Bandit. This gave us a sense of confidence to know that we were doing the right think and doing it correctly. He also provided a wide range of information regarding fitting the thruster ourselves and sent over links to websites showing how…

Bandit's Big Refit - Part 8: Starting to Come Along

This month, among other jobs, we've been busy with the refit of Bandit's interior. We're now beginning to fit the new doors as we've finally got everything we need. The only thing we're now missing are the door handles themselves which are on order from Timage. We've purchased the doors from a door cutting company online, got the stainless steel hinges from ScrewFix, bought the stainless steel screws from the marina and the rest of the hardware is from Timage.

So, what have we fitted so far?
1) The large cupboard door in the saloon
2) The drawer fronts in the saloon
3) The two cabinet doors in the galley
4) The large door accessing the heads

After getting some of the doors together, we can finally say we're happy with our choice of wood and colour. The white is already adding a fresh feel to the boat and we're only 1/4 of the way through.

We've decided to finish the doors with hardware from a company called Timage. They're an expensive company b…

Bandit's Lofrans Windlass - New Solenoids

THURSDAY 9th FEBRUARY 2017 Our new 12v black box type solenoids have arrived over the week and today I've been working out the wiring for them.

The new solenoid totalled to £42 including postage which is far better than the hefty £150 price tag on a pair of the old style solenoids from Lofrans. We purchased them from eBay and they were titled 'for Lofrans and Lewmar windlasses'. They arrived at the door and I signed for them. I opened it up and had a look only to find that the paper instructions supplied had no relation to our windlass motor whatsoever. The wiring diagram shown on the eBay advert was great and made perfect sense but the solenoid that turned up at the door had a different layout of the connections so it was hard to put both the solenoid I had in front of me and the instructions together. Now, maybe this is just me being silly but it all looks very different to the wiring for our current solenoids and motor. No matter, I spent a good hour in my room with a 9…

Bandit's Big Refit - Part 7: New Cooker In and Working!

Today we've finally fitted our new cooker that we purchased in early October 2016. It's been sat at home in the garage and we've finally decided to bite the bullet and install it to the galley in Bandit.

We got to the boat early this morning set about removing the old Rose oven and grill cooker that was fitted to Bandit back in 1991 by Sealine. The cooker was not too hard to remove at all. It unscrewed and came out a fair way before we realised that you had to remove the copper gas line from the cooker in the grill compartment. It then came straight out and we walked it over to the skip. It seemed a shame as this cooker was functioning perfectly fine but just looked so old fashioned.

We then got the new Smev cooker into the galley and measured out the existing hole from where we had just removed the old cooker. It was slightly too small so we cut it bigger. We removed 10mm from each side which was enough to get the new oven in.

We then pushed it in, propped up the back usi…

Some New Decals?

While we were at London Boat Show in January, we saw the Haines 26 on show which has some rather nice decals on the bow in mirror effect chrome.

That weekend we returned to the marina and removed the stripes from Bandit's hull as she was out the water. After looking at the current name decals she has, we thought it was time for a change. We're planning to replace the current name decals with a set of new mirror effect chrome decals such as the ones that Haines put on their 26.

We're definitely keeping the name as renaming her would just be wrong and we really do like the name 'Bandit'. It has something about it that just feels right, for whatever reason that might be. The current font used for Bandit's name decals is 'Vianta' which is the same font that Sealine used back in 1990 for their brand identity (as shown in an image below). It seems a shame to not use this font due to it's relevance to our Sealine being a 1990 model but a newer, cleaner fon…

Pre Boating Season Checks

The 2017 boating season is very much in sight now! For us in the marina, the boating season really kicks off when the boats are re-launched after their 4 month period of being on the hard. This relaunch usually takes place mid-March so we're starting to do our pre-season checks for Bandit.

What is on our 2017 pre-season checklist then?

Tune up both engines while referring to engine manual for details (spark plug gaps, carb adjustments etc)Check oil condition and oil levels in both engines & top up as necessaryReplace impellers on both enginesCheck belts on both engines for wearCheck our 'spares box' and replace any items that we're missing (impellers, spark plugs, belts, hose clamps, filters etc)Check coolant levels & antifreeze levels in starboard engine (our only engine with a heat exchanger)Check hydraulic fluid in outdrive trim reservoirs and top upCheck hydraulic steering fluid and top upCheck condition of all four 12v batteriesReplace fuel filtersF…

A Lovely Winter's Day

After completing a couple of jobs this morning, we motored up to Saint Ives where we'll stay the night at the Quayside in town. It makes nice a change from spending the weekend in the marina. It's nice to be out and about although the river levels are really high on our part of the river at the moment and the water was running too fast for us to navigate the low town bridge. It's been a beautiful day with clear blue skies and warm sun. Pleasant enough to sit in the cockpit and watch the river go by!

Bandit's Lofrans Windlass - Motor and Solenoids

To continue with Bandit's windlass overhaul, we spent today removing the windlass motor and twin solenoids. Both were badly corroded externally so we wanted to remove them to make sure they were okay internally or to replace bits.

First was to remove the motor which to our surprise was in good condition internally. The brushes were in good order and nothing was rusty or worn. It was just the exterior casing that was a bit rusty but we rubbed that back using some sand paper to get it back to a better condition. So, with the motor good, I reassembled it to the gear housing making sure the drive clip was aligned correctly and plenty of marine water resistant grease was spread around the shaft and gearbox. Before reassembling the motor, I added new cables and new terminals as the old weren't looking too great.

Next I removed the 25 year old twin solenoids. They were both very badly corroded and didn't look as if they'd last much longer at all. After quickly coming to the c…