Commodore’s Blog​​​​​​​​​June 2017

Hoedear spent a rather expensive winter in East Cowes having the fuel tanks replaced. The light steel tanks had lasted 27 years (just) but were showing significant signs of age. Rather like her owner did someone say? The fuel tanks are located port and starboard immediately beneath the side decks and pushed up against the sides of the hull. Basically, the fuel tanks are fitted first and the engines go in next. The options presented to us were to remove the engines or take out all the furniture in the saloon aft of the helm seat. The latter seemed the best option and in reality, did not prove as difficult as first feared. The carpet and part of the floor was lifted and the port tank cut into three pieces and removed in two days of work. The majority of the fuel from the port tank had been pumped (or decanted) in to the starboard tank through a filter. The remaining fuel and any sludge was then disposed of. We were surprised at how little sludge there was in the tank.

A new but slightly smaller port tank was installed and a similar process was repeated for the starboard tank. However, just when everything seemed to be going so well the boating gremlins made their presence felt. Whilst cleaning the area where the starboard tank had been it was noticed that three of the four starboard engine mountings had sheared and it looked as if this had been the case for quite some time. It transpired that this was a recognised failing of certain Volvo engine mounts and these had been corrected on later models with a new design. Very fortunately, there does not appear to be any collateral damage to the gearbox etc.

New engine mounts were manufactured and a structure built within the cabin to enable a ton of starboard engine to be hoisted just high enough to fit the new mounts. Said quickly that does not sound much but an awful lot of work went in to that task and we are very fortunate to have such a talented engineer undertake the work.

All the furniture was refitted and the saloon was then given a makeover of new upholstery with which we are very pleased.

Hoedear being in East Cowes meant we did not have to travel far for the Frostbite rally which was great fun and attended by 12 boats and 25 members and guests. 

Back on her regular berth at Haslar at the beginning of April we were ready to set off for Weymouth for a long Easter weekend and the first proper test to see how Hoedear performed after all the work done on her. We were very pleased with performance and enjoyed another rally excellently organised by Stewart and Helen.

Stewart organises all the rallies so berthing and restaurant venues are all arranged well in advance but if you would like to be a Rally Officer on the day I’m sure Stewart would be delighted to show you the ropes, particularly as he and Helen cannot attend all the rallies themselves. It is good fun, very sociable and straightforward and you get to know more of your fellow members. Rally Officers have also been known to be offered a small (and sometimes large) libation whilst ‘doing their rounds’ but don’t tell everybody!

Happy boating and I look forward to seeing you soon.

David Whitehead

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