Dingy Test

Despite its size, our 2.9m 3D Superlight Twin Air tender was unpacked and inflated in about 15 minutes. Greatly assisted by an enthusiastic crew!

Mounting the outboard can be done in 2 stages. First the motor, shaft and tiller, and then clip the battery on top. This means each part is lighter and easier.

The ePropulsion is unbelievably quiet!

But it pushes along the tender very nicely.

New Propeller Fitted

Our shiny new propeller is now fitted to Molia’s saildrive.

Nearly ready for a launch! We just need to anti-foul the saildrive and round its seal.

(The saildrive was in the Engineer’s shed when we painted the rest of the hull.)

New Propeller

We first thought that the propeller hub alone could be replaced. But it turned out that the existing folding propeller on Molia was not made by Volvo, so it proved impossible at present to identify and locate a replacement part.

I must give a shout out here to FYB Marine in Falmouth, who are the official Volvo Penta Service Dealers for Cornwall, and in particular to Jerry Hobkirk there who advised on the correct specification for a new propeller. Not something I could have done.

Molia has a 19 HP Volvo Penta D1-20 engine coupled to a Volvo saildrive 130S-B. Jerry ran the propeller size calculation which takes into account the engine, the gear ratio (2.19), the waterline length (8.62m) and maximum beam (3.4m). It comes up with a 2-blade 16×10 left-hand propeller, and I had already specified that it must fold.

Apparently all the prop shafts over a certain Volvo Penta saildrive size (including the 130S-B) are the same.

I will post a photo of the new propeller here – as soon as it arrives.

Jerry is a mine of useful information and advice about these Volvo engines. All very much appreciated for an engine beginner like me!

Saildrive Seal

Volvo recommends that the saildrive seal is replaced every 7 years so we set about having this work done before Molia is put back into the water this season.

We will combine this work with servicing the engine and replacing the split anode that sits between the saildrive and the propeller.

The service will replace the oil and the filters.

The saildrive and the lower seal have been removed. In fact the engine is also in the Engineer’s workshop – so you can see right through the engine compartment !

Unfortunately the Engineer broke the propeller hub when he was taking the saildrive off. So we will need to get a new one. See New Propeller.


Having a quick look at the chartplotter on Molia.

It is a Raymarine RC435 with an external antenna. These date from around 2004, so it is probably an original installation.

You can see the antenna on the aft rail starboard side.

I am thinking of an upgrade, but need to do a lot of research!


Molia has black antifouling paint which needs renewal before we launch. But which one to choose?

In 2016 Practical Boat Owner (PBO) tested 20 different paints in 13 UK locations. The results are online here. They did not actually test in the Bristol Channel – so I chose a paint that did well in South Wales.

I will let you know how it performs in the waters between Dartmouth and Portishead!


The hull was pressure-washed when Molia was lifted out of the water, and the existing surface is clear of any growth and the condition of the surface is good.

Wet and dry sandpaper (I used a 180 grit) all over, then masking off the waterline. Well stirred paint. Application with a small roller takes just over one hour per side on Molia, and almost all of a 2.5 litre can.

My favourite bit (centre) is painting the keel and its bulb.