Preparing Suwena for the Summer in Roscoff

  • Posted on: 8 June 2016
  • By: Eve

We were quite an exited on how Suwena has taken the winter when we finally arrived onboard in May. We had intent to visit her every second month for checking that all is ok during the winter but unfortunately we only made one journey at the end of January. During this time the rain was coming down horizontally and there was a lot of it. Luckily we visited because one of the mooring lines was almost broken. Over the winter, Jean-Pierre from the neighbour yacht has also looked after Suwena and we had received a few photos and a hello knowing that all seemed to be fine with her.
Roscoff marina
We had booked the haul-out for Suwena in May. Living on hard in a boat is always a funny experience. Most of the equipment must be shut off including the water-cooled refrigerator. Suwena is like a warm room for sleeping but cooking, showering etc we had to do somewhere else. The weather was cooperating and hull cleaning, changing the anodes and polishing the hull sides were done in schedule and were on land only from Monday to Friday.

Everything went smoothly until one time, as we were just about to leave the boat. "Where is the ladder?" We had borrowed the only available ladder from the marina and the workman there had borrowed it for a moment and forgot to bring them back. Fortunately we were leaving the boat during the working hours. Otherwise we might have been waiting for some time before somebody had come to the fenced boat service area. Of course I could have lowered Andrus with a spare halyard :-)

In addition to regular spring maintenance we found some breakdowns as well. When Andrus opened the aft cabin roof hatch for the first time he got only a window on his hand. Fortunately it was not raining. The frame of the Lewmar hatch is a painted aluminium and that paint had now come off from the frame together with silicone seal. Actually Andrus had only the hatch with silicone on his hand. The latter was by the way stuck to the hatch cover really stiff as we found out by trying to clean off the silicone for reattaching the cover with Sikaflex.
The broken aft cabin hatch in Roscoff
When Andrus dismantled the back of the main cabin cupboard for checking the connections to swimming platform’s shower he found some moisture on the cupboard wall. The faucet connections were dry but there was missing the seal where the stern light wire is passing the hull and water was pouring in from there, again some work for Sikaflex.

The list of broken equipment was growing when we found out that the generator battery was dead as the wind transducer was as well. We can see the wind speed but the directional indication is not working any more. For generator we purchased a new service free battery but the wind transducer was not so easy. Andrus cleaned the connectors from both at the top and the bottom of the mast. The harbour was full of Finnish language as Andrus shouted the type number of the transducer from the top of the mast and I echoed it back trying to memorize it. The number did not help us in either of the local chandleries. Neither of them could give us a price for a new transducer. It means some googling and online shopping for Andrus.

Andrus sometimes complains that there are too many screws to tighten and connections to check. On the other hand it is good to be very accurate during the spring maintenance. Again there were some critical nuts and bolts loose. The generator oil filter was about to drop off and the bolts on starboard side davit were completely loose as well. What would have happened if either of them broke loose at sea? The paint on furlex was coming off again and the dinghy outboard did not start, the list goes on but at the end of May she was ready for cruising.
Green teak deck before spring cleaning with Patio Magic in Roscoff
We also had one miracle onboard. Our Navtex has never worked well. Only in an exceptional conditions we have received a few messages. Andrus have tried everything including the new antenna, checking all the cables, connections and grounding. Something has happened as now we get daily notices to mariners from Norway to Spain. For the first time he had to use the area filtering on the unit.

In May the most interesting Navtex warnings were about two war time bombs being found. The most funny was however a warning about a floating refrigerator. Who would throw a fridge into sea?

In the middle of boat chores it was nice to visit another boat from our yacht club Oulun Merenkävijät. S/Y Hippo is wintering in a nearby town Morlaix. She is a Catalan catamaran that Ilya and Irina have been sailing from Germany to Brittany. We had a really nice evening onboard Hippo. We shall see if our routes meet again during the summer and we could have a picture of our boats of the same yacht club together faraway from the home port of Oulu.
Eve, Irina and Ilya onboard Hippo in Morlaix
There is a tropical garden next to the Roscoff marina and we took time to visit there. By looking at the tropical plants we got a good feeling that the voyage begins soon, indeed.
Tropical garden in Roscoff