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Aderyn Glas motoring

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Page 2 - Maintenance

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So what spares and tools should the part-time liveaboard carry? Because of a logistics error we ended up with far more on board than we ever intended to. When we arrived at the south of France we had on board virtually every tool we owned and half of the stock of timber and metal that was in our garage at the time. Our plan was to cruise to Spain then drive down in a car and unload the boat before we crossed the sea to Greece. Easy! The problem was that we hadn't thought of the Spanish residency laws and their love of chaining passing yachts to the dockside until the owners paid a tax levy. We had lived in Spain for six months of the previous year and this meant we were vulnerable (if you're worried look up the "183 day rule" on any of the fora or check country regulations on the RYA site). So when we found out about our problem we decided to head directly for Greece the result being Aderyn Glas has pretty much a complete toolkit and half a garage of raw materials stored on board. What tools should we bring? We would love to take some home! Not this one though, a glass bottomed bucket is so useful for spotting whether your anchor is crossed.♥♥♥♥♥

Glass bottom bucket in use

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Spares and consumables

Would you know where to start?

What spares should we carry? We've found this to be one of the biggest questions we've had to answer and we've found that however much careful consideration we give to the problem we still find that something will break that we don't have a spare for. When we crossed from Sardinia to Sicily our alternator failed, now we carry a spare alternator on board. On a different scale we realised that if our electric domestic water pump failed we had no means of drawing water from the fresh water tanks so now we carry a manual pump as a standby. The spares list can be a difficult one to write but we now tend to let price and logistics focus us: the cost of parts in continental Europe tends to be significantly more than in the UK. When our radar failed in France it was far cheaper to buy a replacement in the UK and have it shipped but to do so meant we were tied to a boatyard until it arrived and the cost of the berth has to be taken into account. Parts that require routine changing such as the engine filters, impellor and so on we buy in the UK and keep as a spare set on board. Consumables such as engine oil we would love to be able to buy in the UK because we change the oil every fifty hours and it's expensive in Greece, but in this case the logistical problem of getting it to the boat is impossible for us to solve so we have to buy locally. We carry rope, we carry pumps, we carry fuses and batteries, we carry backup GPS equipment and backup radios, torches, lifejackets and bits of wood to bung up holes. We carry metres of wire, bolts and fixings, a spark plug for the outboard which is itself a spare for the engine. But you can bet, when the next thing fails, it will be something we don't carry a spare for! And now we carry a starter motor too...


What tools should you carry?

And then there's tools - what tools should we carry to fix whatever is going to go wrong? Difficult question number two! Of course we need spanners and sockets and keys and screwdrivers but we also have a good multimeter (and occasionally even an oscilloscope). We also have metal cutting and wood cutting saws and a bolt cutter. We have battery and mains electric drills and, because last year we had to change the windlass, we have an angle grinder! But what do we really need? I suppose the basic list would cover good spanners and sockets, good quality screwdrivers, a bodger bar to prise things apart and at least a rudimentary multimeter plus a strap wrench (unexpectedly useful for all sorts) a cable crimping set and/or a soldering iron, a sail fixing kit. Having said all that unless you know how to use these tools you might be better taking your credit card! ♥♥♥♥♥

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Water and power connectors

One thing we can't do without is a whole range of hose and mains electrical connections together with long mains cable extensions and long hosepipes. We accumulated these as we travelled and found that some marinas seemed to have a nice little sideline in selling the one and only fitting that would mate with their electrical / water outlets. While we're on the subject of electrical connections it's worth pointing out that some countries are a little less rigorous in their wiring regulations and practice than you might be used to and it's well worth investing a few pounds in a mains polarity checker to confirm that the live and return cores are the right was around.♥♥♥♥♥

Oil changes

We change our engine oil every 75 to 100 hours since we don't usually push the engine hard. Changing the oil is a process of heating it by running the engine then pumping it out of the dipstick hole. By this means most, but not all, of the oil is changed. Since the engine is a turbo-charged version we stick rigidly to the strategy, we are on our second turbo and they cost about £1500 compared to which oil is cheap. To mop up spills we use disposable baby nappies. I've never met a disposable baby but they must be very useful :-) ♥♥♥♥♥

Mast climbing

13m to the deck and bounce off the radar

Now and then we have to climb the mast. This operation is something we've now got down to a fine art. David sits himself in a Bosun's chair and attaches a climber's ascender to a fixed taut rope that runs to the masthead. The cruising chute halyard is attached to the Bosun's chair and run around a winch on the mast. David raises the ascender then stands in the strop which is attached to it. Ann takes up the slack which tightens the line to the chair and David can sit back into the chair which is now higher up the mast than it was before - Ann has no load at all other than tailing the winch. David slides the ascender upwards and repeats the process until he runs out of mast where he stops. It's easy and can be accomplished without any undue strain on anyone's part. ♥♥♥♥♥

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Diving kit

Diving kit

We have a background anxiety about prop wraps although the only time it's happened so far is when we ran backwards over our own stern anchor warp, then the rope cutter on the shaft cut the rope with a loud bang that served to concentrate us. The snorkel and masks we carry were enough to enable us to take a knife to the frayed rope ends to free up the shaft. This might make it sound easy; it isn't. The problem is maintaining your position beneath the boat with a lungful of air while hacking away at the obstruction; and doing this without smashing your head as the boat comes down off a wave. We're both qualified divers so we've now invested in a small 'pony' bottle and regulators which will deliver enough air for about 20 mins. For head protection we use a cycle helmet. ♥♥♥♥♥


We polish Aderyn Glas once or twice a year. She gets a rub down with Farecla G6 followed by a polish. G6 is wonderful; easy and quick and the results are great. The teak cockpit sole and other areas around the boat get a rub down and a soak in Endeavour teak oil. Occasionally they get sanded. Others may like grey teak but we think the colour of fresh teak looks really smart. The stainless bits get a wipe over with oxalic acid in wallpaper paste to remove any rust, and the canvaswork gets a soaking in Fabsil. ♥♥♥♥♥

Anti-UV dinghy cover

Dinghy cover

In 2011 Ann made a dinghy cover to protect the tubes of the inflatable from the destructive power of ultra-violet. Covers are commonplace in Greece but making one up is a far cheaper option than buying one. ♥♥♥♥♥

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