From the 12 April we will be able to host 2 households or the rule of 6 sailing on Molia (but not staying). However, the Portishead lock is currently closed for maintenance, so that will have to be sitting on the boat on her mooring until the lock reopens on 19 April. After that – anyone for a local sail?
From the 17 May, all domestic overnight accommodation is open (including hotels and B&Bs) for 2 households or the rule of 6. We are assuming this also means we can stay overnight on Molia, and we are investigating what this might mean for sailing to other marinas.
Of course 21 June is Boris’s full freedom date – watch this space. With luck this will mean all options open.
We are now planning. There should be scope for short overnight trips to Cardiff and Swansea later in May. Our ideas for longer trips are:
Round Wales to Conwy, including the Menai straights. 300NM with stops. Approx 5 days.
Portland and also the Solent this time. We took 8 days to get back from Portland last year – with comfortable distances (except Padstow to Penarth).
2021 Sailing Planning
Tides are Avonmouth ( = Portishead) BST unless otherwise noted. HT = high water.
19 – 24 April 2021
Local Sailing. HT 1200 Mon, 1818 Sat, 1907 Sun
25 April – 2 May 2021
Local Sailing. HT 1953 Mon, 1102 Sat, 1146 Sun
3 – 9 May 2021
Local Sailing. HT 1236 Mon, 1817 Sat, 0638 and 1900 Sun – both these days are good for a down-tide trip (all day).
10 – 16 May 2021
Local Sailing.HT 0720 and 1939 Mon, 1003 Sat, 1032 Sun.
17 – 23 May 2021
Investigating what trips might be possible. HT 1106 Mon, 1636 Sat, 1741 Sun.
UK schools summer half term holiday 29 May – 6 June 2021
As Molia was built in France, her shore power sockets are all continental round-pin. We have decided to replace at least some of these with UK square-pin sockets to reduce the number of adapters that we need to carry onboard.
As a trial I ordered one set: socket, cover and wall box made by Berker, from Furneaux Riddal .
In the end, removing the old continental socket was not possible without breaking it! The plastic had gone brittle since Molia was built.
Fitting the new socket was straight-forward. The screw holes don’t quite line up; but there is enough space to get the new screws in, and the old holes do not show. Overall this looks good.
Molia has 4 shore power sockets in total.
I think we might replace some of the others as well!
Preparing to cut the hole in the Scanpod front panel for the chartplotter. The plywood will keep the panel flat in the drill stand.
Cutting the corner radius – I still managed to miss the mark with this hole! (I was able to correct the centre later as this was the smallest drill bit for this hole.)
Stepping up the drill bit size to get close to centre bit of the hole saw.
You have to go really slowly with the hole saw – or the plastic just melts!
Cutting done and cleaned up a bit. I took the trouble to smooth off the cut surface with 180-600-1200 grits wet and dry. It is all ready to bolt in the chartplotter.
Step complete! The corner bolts have little rubber covers to fit next, to hide the screws.
I took the entire wheel guard rail off Molia (including the compass) so I could cut this crucial hole in the stainless steel in the workshop. Elongated the hole slightly (left) so we can get a connector plug in.
We are planning a new chartplotter on Molia to be positioned at the helm station.
We are looking at the Raymarine Element Series (not too expensive) which has physical buttons. In my opinion a touch screen at the helm station in UK weather and sea conditions could be problematic!
The S7 is small enough to fit into a rail-mounted pod. We have limited space at the helm station on Molia, so we checked out the Scanstruct Rail Mount SPR-8-RM which can sit on top of our existing wheel guard rail.
To try this out, I made a cardboard mock-up of the rail pod. We wanted to check that the unit will be comfortably visible sitting at the helm. Here is Jo holding the mock-up in place; looks OK!
We are replacing the entire holding tank discharge seacock assembly with new DZR fittings.
Jan 29, 2021
I ground off the old skin fitting from the outside using a cordless angle grinder – there was no way any of the old seacock was going to come apart!
Once the old brass was all ground away, the old seacock lifted out easily. I cleaned all the old sealant from around the hole with multi solve.
Next – and this is important, I dry assembled the new brassware. It was at this point that I discovered I had missed an elbow joint when I made my original order! The assembly has to wiggle past Molia’s fuel tank. ASAP Supplies to the rescue again! – I had a second elbow in 24 hours – top job.
Feb 2, 2021
Attached the new skin fitting today – leaving it to dry before doing anything else.
Feb 6, 2021
Once I had all the parts, I put them together one at a time with the Loctite 572 in the shape that I had practised during the dry assembly.
Feb 20, 2021
I did also take the opportunity, while the locker woodwork was removed, to give it all a new coat of varnish back at the workshop.
Feb 25, 2021
With the new seacock assembled, the next step was to fit the new hoses to the top and bottom of the holding tank. This is not an easy job! The 2 inch hose is very stiff and fits tightly between the deck, tank and the new seacock.
I replaced the old webbing strap (which had rust stains) and its plastic buckles and bridges with stainless steel.
The new fittings are from GS Products, and are really smart – although in the end you cannot see the bridges as they end up behind the tank and also behind the plywood front panel.
Lastly, a shout out to Chris of the ‘Sailing Britaly’ blog on YouTube for his excellent recommendations and guidance on this task. This video teaches you everything I have mentioned above, and includes lots more good advice as well.
We have a Lewmar folding wheel – this is a special edition manufactured for Dufour of the Lewmar 40inch folding wheel. This is great invention for a smaller yacht like Molia – it means we can get around the helm easily when moored.
Removing the wheel is not that easy when it has been in place for several years. However, the procedure described in this YouTube video works well.
Remove the centre cover and remove the nut and washer from the spindle.
Remove the autopilot clamps from the wheel spokes.
Put the nut back on the spindle (without the washer) so it is sticking out just past the threads.
Exert some even pressure behind the wheel with your arms and leg.
Hit the nut a few sharp taps with a hammer, and the wheel should pop out against the nut.
Our survey highlighted the rusty and damaged state of the sanitary hoses on Molia. We will replace these all as part of our winter maintenance.
Also, it has not been possible to move the seacock for the waste holding tank discharge this season, it is probable that this will have to be replaced.
The toilet discharge sanitary hose and seacock are on the right in the photos above. Having removed the old hose I was able to ease the seacock considerably, and lubricate it. The replacement hose is 38mm sanitary hose (this length 2090mm). The jubilee clips are new 30-50mm diameter A4 stainless.
I cut the old hoses (with a saw) and removed the holding tank to get to the connections. These were completely seized on; so I had to cut through the hose carefully with a wire cutter (the hoses have a spiral wire reinforcement) and lever them off slowly with a large screwdriver. This was hard work, and quite slow, but I managed to get all the old hose detached eventually.