Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

24 th to 30 th of May 2017 - Nearly ready to go

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Crosshaven.

We finally arrived on the boat late morning on 24th May. We hadn't planned too many jobs for the first day, however, the boat was not really liveable on and we were keen to start work. She was looking very dirty and not that well tied on so we started by making her as shipshape as we could to get us through the next few days. In order for Andy to get to work with the new and existing solar panels we needed to clean the stainless steel guard rails and varnish the wooden support. We also discovered that blue masking tape is very difficult to remove from fibreglass when left for a week or two, so this took a bit of elbow grease to remove.


There were a number of essential jobs to get done before we set off: 

Sterilising and filling the water tanks. This required 3 fills, taking a few hours each. Good to have lots of water on board. For the next few days we had to use a jerry can until the tanks were full.

Servicing the steering gear, greasing the rudder gland. Cleaning out and organising the Lazarette in the process.

Servicing the engine. Changing the gearbox oil, changing the fresh water and antifreeze, changing the primary and secondary fuel filters. Bleeding the engine with our new electric pump.

Putting on the sails. This required not too much wind. We found that the sheave for the third reef had completely seized. We got some advice from the yard and it is likely that the end of the boom needs taking apart. To be honest we have never used the third reef (which is probably why it seized). We tend not to use the mainsail at all in strong winds as the mizzen makes a good storm sail. Also we avoid going out in strong wind!

Repairing the stack pack before putting the sails on. Getting the spray hood back on.

Cleaning inside the boat, checking for leaks and stowing all our stuff, including our very heavy sewing machine. We did find one leak. Fortunately it was fresh water and seems to be a leak from the filler pipe for the forward tank. This just leaked into the forward locker which is only used for sails anyway. We will fix it at some point. 


Cleaning the hull of all the grime collected over the winter.

Servicing the steaming light which required removal of the baby stay.

Changing our AIS antenna. This had a fault last year which the alarm irritatingly kept going off to tell us about. These last two jobs required Andy going up the mast 3 times in one morning. 

Checking the electrics, first aid and emergency equipment, putting the safety gear back on deck (life raft, dan buoy, life ring). Making sure all the torches and handheld radios are charged up.

Pumping up the tender. This will need to be stowed on deck again once we are ready to cross Biscay. We made sure it still floated and using it to clean the hull.


Speedwell now looks properly dressed, the cloud has come down, the rain has started. Must be time to go!


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