It's sometimes said that the complexity of a boat increases roughly in proportion to the square of the waterline length and we have certainly discovered this to be true with Maunie. With our first 21-ft keel boat, the process of raising and lowering the mast was something we could easily do ourselves, using a hinge-pin at the base of the mast and the trailer winch to control the movement. On Maunie, by contrast, the mast is nearly 16m long, it's heavy and it has no fewer than 14 wires supporting it, so removing it requires the use of a big crane and specialists.
Over the weekend, we dodged the sleet showers to take off the sails, boom and rigging ready for the yard crew to come and remove the mast on Monday. We filmed a short time-lapse video of the process and you can see it on YouTube by clicking the link HERE
Whenever the rain rolled in, we moved onto a few below-deck jobs, one of which was to check the engine cooling water pump. The pump has a nitrile-rubber impeller which pumps sea water into a heat-exchanger to cool the fresh water / antifreeze solution that circulates around the engine (as an alternative to the radiator you'd find on a car). We replace the impeller annually but we'd noticed a slight seawater drip from the shaft seal so this seemed like a good opportunity to replace the seal as well.
|The pump with its end-plate and impeller removed. The rust on the bolts below shows where the seawater had dripped|
|The black and rusty bracket with the engine mount's adjusting screw in the foreground|
Maunie is now in the paint shop having her scratched hull sanded and repainted so we should be ok to re-launch in a couple of weeks' time when the next spring tides give us enough water at the launching ramp. Meanwhile, there will, of course, be more jobs to do....