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  1. I have begun this new thread that will be the long term ‘update’ thread as to all the works and modifications etc that take place on Independence rather than to continually update the ‘Big Changes Ahead’ thread which is more generally about the changes I plan to make and the boats purchase etc. Friday 17th to Sunday 19th November 2017: I arrived just before Midnight on Thursday (due to assorted issues with GWR from Paddington) and something that is not associated at all about the boat but I should share as no doubt I will mention in passing in a video at some point, I was almost subject to a mugging by Moped. I had ordered an Uber (Cab) and while standing at the end of my road tracking its progress to me on my phone, a Moped with two men mounted the pavement, scattering pedestrians, rode between a shop and a stall that was selling bags right at me. Knowing in a split second what was about to happen, I gripped my phone and a moment later the Pillion passenger reached out and grabbed the top. No doubt usually this works but I held firm too. The Moped stopped and driver began shouting (take this as aggressive swearing) to give up the phone. I then realised my stance so far may not have been best: what if they had a knife, a bottle of acid or just got off and came at me, yet for me I was fortunate and a few seconds later they had sped away. I reported the incident the next day to the Police – this alas is a daily occurrence across London (and no doubt is spreading outside the capital) the Moped’s are stolen often from take-away delivery drivers and then used in crimes from robbing Jewellers to people, while I may be another statistic at least I was ok if shaken by it all. Right, now on to the boat: I was up early on the Friday and set about what is feeling like the never ending task of just cleaning the boat internally. Most surfaces – especially in heads – are covered with a film of mildew and mould which only becomes apparent when you wipe a surface and look at the cloth. The issue is there are just so many surfaces to go over but I am now at the stage (save the twin cabin) where everywhere is cleaned and more detailed care can be taken such as polishing the wood and adding things to make her more mine than that of the previous owners. I then went to the local Chandlers – these are Force 4 – and have an enormous shop about 15 minutes walk from the boat. I get lost in these places, so much to look at, wonder about and want and to be honest when I went in there they looked at me as if I was not ‘one of them’. Now this term ‘one of them’ refers to the fact boaters down in the South West tend to have a certain look about them. Sailors tend to be older gentlemen who have a more rugged appearance, usually sporting a rich beard (grey) and wear a hat but also will have something on their person that gives the game away they are indeed a Sailor – some rubber all weather boots, or striding along toward you clutching a new stainless fastener in one hand and a wrench in the other. Moterboaters on the other hand can be spotted wearing ‘deck shoes’ a MUSTO jacket (usually cream or navy but not red) and a ‘smart casual’ shirt tucked into their Chino’s or smart Jeans. Then there is me sporting a T-Shirt, jacket, jeans and trainers, you can see therefore I don’t quite look the serious boating type. Having spent about half an hour in the shop, you can imagine their initial surprise when I arrive at the counter with a bucket, Teak cleaner, Boat Wash & Wax and a cleaning brush with extending handle. “Oh” says the chap, and then proceeds to tell me that I will no doubt be cleaning my boat this weekend and asks “so you have..what..a small runabout?” and when I reply no, I’ve just bought a Trader 535 Sunliner his jaw dropped so much I wondered if I should have helped prop it up with my brush pole. It is funny how once that is over with you are accepted, for not only are you a owner of a large boat, it is considered to be a ‘proper boat’ for proper cruising types. We talked a lot and I got two catalogues and a free bag and the door held open for me “see you soon I hope” he said cheerily as I left. Back on the boat with the gear then I had a notification, my Amazon orders were awaiting my collection at the local Click and Collect. Back out and off I go, much to the annoyance of the lad behind the counter. I had lots of parcels, some large and heavy some small and all needed scanning and entering in the system – this would be 54 LED bulbs, a 32 piece spanner set, two (accidentally ordered a duplicate) screw driver sets, Alan wrenches, a multi-meter and current meter. Off I set once more to the boat. I then set about undoing, cleaning and changing 51 G4 bulbs. The issue was some of the fitments were cross-thread and would not budge, others the bulb holders internally were broken so as you took off the housing the insides fell down – this literally took me hours and my neck and arms were killing me constantly looking up and twisting fitments – all but two were changed – one fitment is plastic and as I turned it it broke and the internal glass shattered, the other a metal fitting simply would not budge. These both were located outside the boat on the ‘sun deck’. The following day (Saturday) I went into town and while buying some bits in Wilko happened to see some large clamps – I got one and suffice to say this provided me with the extra leverage and the offending fitment spun off and I could change the bulb, but more amazing news was to be found later when I found 3 new plastic replacement fittings – so the broken one was replaced and while at it I changed another sine the chrome effect had weathered off it too – bonus stuff this was as no cost to me and an easy fix. My lights now consume 4w each (as opposed to 20w previously) and when you are talking about 6 lights in the saloon alone you can imagine the resultant savings in current draw from the batteries and their charger. Other items that I attended to was using Puri-Clean to deal with the fresh water tank and pipe system, and a complete de-toxification of the forward and aft heads to rid them of mould and present them in a fresh sparkly clean manner they are now in. Down in the engine room I shut the air intake baffles – this has resulted in the space being closed to the constant thru breeze cold air and will mean with the tube heaters going the engine room is positively warm. However, before you worry that so doing could result in vapours building up from the batteries – there are still the outlets for the twin forced air blowers so the space is vented and not sealed but none the less a lot less open to the elements. I successfully exercised all the sea cocks in the engine room and have now left all closed – with a note on the dash to remind me of this being the case. I then set about cleaning the decks and boat top sides, which to be fair have come up more than 50% cleaner than was, but this is a cosmetic thing that will be left until she is in Norfolk and in the spring I can think about the boat being brought up to a overall shiny and nice example externally without the risk of Gulls doing their business all over it! Shiela then came down on the Sunday so all work then was stopped as she had only agreed to come all this way if she and I could spend time enjoying the area and using the boat as a base, that said in the evening I could not help myself and I have got the Satellite tracking receiver system up and running (it links to an old school Pace Sky Recvier) and from there on uses old AV cables to link to everything else – resulting in appalling picture. Down the line a new Freesat box, TV, Blu-ray player and HDMI cables will bring this up to date, and I am seriously considering how long for this world the ‘entertainment’ centre has. It is an enormous lump of wood which does look lovely, but has zero use and very little storage it’ main purpose is to be a statement to hid the television in as it rises or lowers into it. But this also limits me to the type and size of television and if the remote packs up or gets lost or the mechanism breaks you could well end up with your television stuck in the hidden away lowered position! Finally I began to tackle the fridge freezer – a Biochemist would have loved to have taken samples from within but my it stank and needed dealing with – thing is despite having washed and washed and used some mild bleach, that smell persists almost having ‘absorbed’ into the lining of the fridge. But worse was to come; now clean at least I turned it back on. Nothing, not a thing. Now dear reader, you surly know marine fridges cost hundreds of pounds – can you imagine therefore how much a fridge freezer some 160cm tall would cost? Let us not imagine. However I am blessed with a calm attitude even in light of such discoveries, and I have narrowed down what seems to be at fault. Firstly, the fridge works – it is 12v but it only works when I isolate the 240v supply to the Galley. Before you have a mind crash what happens is the fridge runs of 12v all the time, but where it gets its 12v power from depends – if you are on shore power a Rectifier box takes the 240v and knocks it down to 12v to power the fridge that way, if not on shore power the fridge just runs off the 12v DC line off the ships batteries. Therefore when I energise the 240v system in the galley, the fridge transfers from 12v battery feed to the rectified 12v feed – but since this box seems to have gone wonky, it then stops working. The box is about £58.00 should it need replacement, but it may have a fuse or something that can be attended to but I need to get the fridge freezer out to test this and that means taking off the louvered door that hides the fridge then two retaining battens top and bottom to stop the fridge falling forward and two further battens left and right to stop the fridge moving in that axis. Then I can pull out the fridge and get to the rectifier box and hopefully move on to fix the issue. I’ll keep you posted.
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