Thursday, 15 September 2011

Some maintenance jobs 1

Instead of being able to sail Enfys during 2011 I decided to catch up on some maintenance that I was unable to carry out over the winter of 2010/2011 for various reasons..
First on the agenda was to service her engine; A 20hp 3-cylinder Beta diesel, installed by her previous owner in 2003:-

The engine was run for some minutes to warm the oil and then it was pumped out and replenished with fresh 15W40 The oil filter (out of sight under the alternator on the port side of the engine) was eventually unscrewed.  It is only about 50mm in dia and too small for my normal oil filter wrenches.  A new band type wrench that needs a 1/2" socket drive was eventually found to fit.  This now lives in the boat's toolkit, as does the special rubber-band type strap wrench I had to buy to get off the fuel filter. This is mounted in a very, very fiddly position next to the sump pump on the starboard side of the engine and is a pain to replace.

I then turned my attention to the cooling system;  Beta advises that the heat-exchanger should be stripped and cleaned annually.  We had not yet tackled this job so here goes...

Trying to drain the antifreeze I encountered the first problem;  Opening the drain tap low down on the starboard side of the block produced nothing.  The whole tap and its elbow is choked with corrosion...

I tried poking with wire, blowing back up it etc., etc. to no avail.  In the end I gave up and instead I syphoned as much of the coolant out of the engine as I could via the heat exchanger filler cap.
The heat exchanger end cap bolts were removed, raw water feed pipe disconnected and the caps tapped off. With a little bit of persuasion the tube stack was pushed out of its housing.  I was surprised to find how much scale had built up in the stack tubes and end caps.  There was also a quantity of sea weed and pump impellor fragments all lodged in there:-

I 'rodded-out' the tubes (about 25% of which were blocked) and cleaned the scale from all the parts.

An area of concern is that the tube stack and end caps are of yellow metal - presumably brass - but the heat exchanger housing is an aluminium alloy! The after end cap has a boss in which is screwed a sacrificial anode but despite its presence the after edges of the housing are deeply pitted with corrosion. This may be because of previous raw water leaks...

The tube stack was refitted and the exchanger built back up with new 'O' rings greased with Vaseline.  I then topped the system up with fresh coolant.  I really had wanted to drain the engine's coolant entirely but that will have to wait until I can resolve the blocked drain tap. Finally, a new sacrificial anode was screwed into the housing.

The raw water pump obviously needed attention.  It is a Jabsco directly driven from a camshaft extension at the front of the engine.  Ooer! On the Finesse the engine has been installed so close to the main bulkhead that I couldn't even get at the screws with my stumpy driver:-

Not having any other tools available I had no option but to remove the pump from the engine.  It is held by two clamps and nuts:-

Pump removed from engine:-

With the pump removed I took it home to my bench and took it apart to find an impellor that was coming to bits.  This was quickly replaced with a new spare well lubed with Vaseline. I had to make a new paper gasket and then re-assembled the thing.

Back at the boat I had to line up the drive spigot with the shaft dog and fiddled the pump back into place.
Now I can hear you saying 'what if the pump had failed at sea...?'.  Well, I'm also concerned about this and will be looking for an 'easy-access' cover for the Jabsco with thumb screws and a built-in cover seal...

The 'Vee' belt was tightened again, the gearbox oil level checked and control cables greased.

Fuel filter replacement has been left for now, until Enfys is re-commissioned, as I intend to drain the rest of her fuel (the tank was not topped off when she was laid up) and refill with fresh.  When she came to us there was a lot of black sludge in her tank and I had the whole lot apart during her initial fit-out in our ownership, as the tank ( A plastic Vetus 60-litre) had been poorly installed causing fuel to leak from the top and water to get in.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Still laid up...

The 2011 season is getting off to a slow start for Enfys as her skipper has been unwell and is due to go into hospital in mid June for another operation. As her GRP companions on the beach have been prepared and floated off to their summer moorings, Enfys has been left behind.  The mooring officer of the local boat club remarked that the slowness of the refit must be because she is wood and in his mind 'wooden boats take a huge amount of upkeep... no time for sailing....' However I was able to correct him on that point as it was her skipper that needs the 'repairs' this time and in fact the boat is OK to go.

Laid up on the beach with winter cover on

 Anyway, once her skipper is sorted he will have some spare time whilst recuperating to get on with a couple of jobs that didn't get done during the winter whilst he was ill.

In the meantime here is a picture from a previous season when Enfys went inland exploring the upper reaches of the Eastern Cleddau river at the top of the Haven.  Although still tidal she is anchored here near Slebech and only about a mile from the limit of navigation:

Anchored in the ebb flow near Slebech

Sunday, 22 May 2011

A new forehatch

Enfys' forehatch was the standard, simple affair that she had been built with. The Finesse builder had constructed the coamings with drains through the outer coaming that aim to prevent water from passing as seas are shipped aboard. Then, for some reason chose to finish it off with a very basic flat-topped hatch cover with little strength and no camber to shed water!  In my opinion it looked out of place and, additionally the plywood top had started to rot from rainwater ingress and, to top it all the vent was broken... An ideal opportunity to make some improvements.....

Here is the rotton plywood cut from the old hatch with my penknife stuck in the softened wood:

The old plywood was cut away with the jigsaw and the frame cleaned up.  The camber of the surrounding deck was marked onto a template and transferred to suitable lengths of 3/4" thick iroko that were then glued to the fore and aft rails of the hatch frame and then carefully faired in:

The intention was to bend a new plywood hatch top over the cambered frame.  However the original top was 3/4" thick and it would have been well nigh impossible to bend such thick ply over the lightweight frame. What I did was to attach a temporary frame with identical camber half-way across the hatch opening to support the ply as it was bent over the frame:

The new plywood hatchtop was made from three skins of 1/4" marine (BS1088) 5-ply.  Each skin was laid at 90deg to the previous and glued with West Epoxy 205/106.  As the job was done in winter I had to do the job indoors where it was warmer. (In the workshop it was well below freezing and no place to cure Epoxy!)  Once the final skin was cured the edges were faired round, a hole cut for the vent and the whole top - and especially the edge grain of the ply - were sealed with a coat of epoxy prior to painting and varnishing:

Here is the finished hatch in place.  Painted with 'Interdeck' cream and varnished frame and inner and fitted with a new ECS 'Tannoy' type closeable vent.  The hatch is hinged at its after edge and clipped from below. There are two portable wedges that can be inserted into slots in the coamings (not shown) to prop the hatch open for ventilation. Water now sheds nicely off the hatch.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Finesse 24 Specifications

Some details and specifications of 'Enfys'.

'Enfys' is a Finesse 24 class auxiliary sailing yacht with external ballast keel, drop centreplate and bilge keels. She was designed and built by Alan F. Platt at his yard in Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex, UK. She is masthead sloop-rigged with burmudian mainsail and genoa jib on a rotary headstay.
We do not know her exact build date, as she was never registered, but from her sail number (26) we have worked out that she probably left the builder's yard in the mid 1970s.

Her principal dimensions are as follows:

L.O.A. 24' (7.315m); L.W.L. 21'4” (6.5m); Beam 8'1” (2.463m); Draft 7' (2.133m), Plate up 2'6” (0.762m); Cabin headroom (even at the highest point, so I am always banging my head!) 5'8” (1.727m); Sail area 259 sq. ft. approx. (24m sq.)

Construction details:

Iroko planking copper riveted onto steamed rock-elm ribs. The keel and deadwood are Iroko and the stem, hog, floors are laminated Iroko. The clinker planking was laid to a 15mm finished thickness and each plank has two fastenings between each timber. Ten gauge copper nails are used on timbers and 12 gauge on lands, roved up on 10mm copper roves. Hood end and garboard fastenings are silicon bronze up to the deck. All centreline fastenings through keel, deadwoods and floors are galvanised mild steel. There are four laminated Iroko hanging knees per side under mast beams and main beams. Carlines, breasthook, quarter knees, rubbing band and samson post are Iroko.
The fixed rudder is Iroko with shaped tiller and stainless steel hangings. Bilge keels are made of galvanised mild steel. The cockpit is framed up in hardwood with Iroko fronts and lift up sections are in solid Iroko. The deck is 12mm thick marine plywood laid to Iroko beams and is sheathed in glass woven cloth and epoxy resin overpainted with a non-skid finish. The companionway hatch slides and has drop-in boards to close. The forehatch is hinged at its after edge and clipped shut from within. 'Enfys' is finished in white enamel to her whalestrake, which is varnished as are her cab sides, coamings and all of the cockpit interior, margins and hatch sides.


The mast is anodised aluminium stayed with two lower and one upper shrouds (via crosstrees), per side, backstay with block and tackle tensioner and single forestay running within a rotary genoa furling unit with line lead back to the cockpit. The boom is anodised aluminium and is rigged with reefing pendants and tackles for two permanently rigged slab reefs to the mainsail. To make sail handling even easier she is rigged with a system of twin lazyjacks and integrated sailbag to allow sail stowage in a jiffy. This system is sometimes referred to as a 'stack-pack' and was made by Kemp Sails, as were her current wardrobe. The main halyard, topping lift, port and starboard lazyjack and kicking strap (vang) are all lead back to jamming cleats accessible from the cockpit. The mainsheet is a 3:1 purchase with jammer and works on a horse across the aft edge of the cockpit. The genoa sheets are lead via deck-mounted lazyblocks to self-tailing winches on the cockpit coamings.


When she left the builder's yard 'Enfys' originally had a Yanmar YSE12 diesel installed but she was re-engined in a previous ownership with a 20hp Beta diesel. This marvellous little 3-cylinder engine is a marinised Kubota industrial engine. I will not go into any more detail here as the Beta is so well-known and, so I am told, quite well respected. The installation was supposedly professionally carried out (in approx 2005) but is actually quite poor. The work that we have done on the engine installation to improve the potential for long-term reliability and that we plan for the near future will be detailed in a later post.

'Enfys' on her home mooring in Pembrokeshire

'Enfys' sailing on the Haven
Here is a leaflet published by A Platt. It was amongst the information we received with the boat.  The price, written on by hand, is probably what one would have had to pay for a new one in 1992:

The builder's original specification sheet (Dated 1992)

The builder's original specification sheet (Dated 1992)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Welcome to a blog dedicated to 'Enfys' a Finesse 24 sailing yacht

Hi, here is 'Enfys' our Finesse 24. With this blog I hope to give some information about owning, maintaining and sailing this clinkerbuilt 24' auxiliary sailing yacht.

'Enfys' at Tenby soon after being commissioned in our ownership