Wednesday 5 April 2023

In the mud

 On Monday Bonita was lifted back into the water by the yard crane. Though they handle her very carefully this is always an anxious time. Bonita is close seamed construction - there is no caulking in the hull between the planks. The water is kept out by the close fit of one plank against another. The trouble with this is that if the boat dries out at all, or maybe even with the strain of lifting her by crane, the planks shrink and open up a little. She always leaks a bit after she has been put back in the water - quite a bit, so it can look rather concerning. I set up an electric bilge pump and usually after a few days with the combination of Faversham creek mud and the wood expanding in the wet, the leaks dry up. She has to stay in a mud berth until the bilges are dry though, it wouldnt be a good idea to take her out to her mooring yet.

Any attentive readers may note that I had her lifted out and did a lot of work to fix a small leak, but on putting her back in the water we found we had a larger leak. Yes indeed, but with luck it will all be alright in the end.

The picture shows Bonita sitting in the mud in the yards crane berth. The tides out so thankfully the leaks have stopped for a while. Behind her, under the blue cover is a large classic motor cruiser having an seemingly endless refit, and the sailing barge Orinoco under her polytunnel winter cover. The next day we craned the mast in and generally started getting the boat ready for the new season. I havnt yet seen a Charles III coin so I wasnt able to put one under the mast step for good luck as is traditional. However I'm sure one of the old Queens coins will do the job just as well.

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