I can't believe it has been a year since I added to the website. Sadly, last year there was no opportunity for sailing, or much else, on account of the pandemic. So what has happened to Suckin' Diesel during that time?
For a start, once the pandemic was announced, I managed to get her lifted out of the water for a survey. Due to Brexit, I had been thinking for a while of moving away from a UK insurance company. The boat, being 40 years old, needed a survey to check her over, but also it would be needed for any new company to insure her. There were very few issues found but it was felt that leaving her out of the water for an extended period would be a good idea to allow the fibreglass to dry out. What was expected to last a few months has dragged on for over a year now. She is still out of the water as there is still moisture in one area of the keel so I will get other jobs done while it finishes drying.
What else needs to be done? There was a repair on the bow from the first summer I had her which needs redoing. There have been a few scratches on the bow over the years as well so I have ground out the old fibreglass and filler and I am in the process of starting to remake the shape of the bow. At the same time I will be touching up small scratches in the gelcoat in a few places before finally painting the whole hull above the waterline. I am looking into a number of possible ways of doing it. I want to avoid the cost of respraying the boat if I can so I am going to start by trying a two pack polyurethane paint for cars which I will roller on to see how it looks. Hopefully once that job is done, I will be able to fibreglass the damp area and seal the hull.
The usual maintenance has been done as well as replacing the gas hoses and extinguishers. I will have to replace flares and get the sails repaired. I am sure that once holidays arrive and I get stuck into the jobs, there will be more issues uncovered. But this summer I am not putting myself under pressure. I am hoping it will be relaunched before the end of the summer but if it is not so be it.
Holidays this year will be less planned due to the pandemic. We are not comfortable planning to go abroad so we will take our breaks as we can. We bought a campervan in January so hopefully we will be able to use it for breaks in Ireland for now and dream of next year, venturing further afield with a boat which has had lots of tender loving care. Here's hoping.....