Sindur was launched in December and a very quick sea trial took place, to confirm that the engines were working correctly after the injector pumps and injectors were reconditioned. A full service of the engines also took place and the heat exchangers were removed and cleaned. The engines ran fine but are still smoking. I am now working on the oil levels, as I suspect the dip-sticks have not been recalibrated since the engines were installed in the boat. More on this in another post later.
Sindur has been languishing on a berth in Ipswich Haven Marina, which has been convenient for the winter months whilst work has been taking place. However, It was never the plan to leave her there. The staff at the haven are helpful and the site is fairly secure, but for a country loving chap like me, with a dog, it is not really the environment I enjoy. The number of sirens from various emergency vehicles, echoing off the tall buildings, seems to be an almost constant accompaniment to marina life, both day and night. Diesel the dog also is not a fan, as there are no rabbits or squirrels to chase.
Woolverstone Marina is a couple of miles down stream from Ipswich and is a totally different environment. It sits in open water on the banks of the Orwell, in 22 acres of former parkland. Ancient oak woodland lines the shore, on a walk through to a delightful pub at Pin Mill. The nearest road is about half a mile from the marina. No traffic noise. I have berthed there on and off, since 2003. I called the marina office on Friday morning to see what berths they had available. There were just two left. One of which is perfect for me and also for Sindur. I like being towards the end of the pontoon, so that you have fewer pedestrian passers-by and also get a better view over the river and the passing vessels. It is also good for Sindur, as she smokes on start-up, so fewer people will be affected by her fumes! Having spent 3 seasons in France, contacting Woolverstone was a stark reminder of the horrendous cost of UK berthing compared to other countries in Europe. Our last boat, a 60ft motoryacht, cost 6,000 euros, in a prime berth in the sunshine of La Rochelle. Sindur, at 36ft, is almost £5,000 for a berth on the east coast of England. I suspect it would cost double that on the Hamble. But what are the choices in this world of lock-downs, Brexit and uncertain travel?
So yesterday, with a good friend of mine, we stole a day, and nipped Sindur out of the Haven, through the lock and down river to Woolverstone. The engines ran beautifully and Sindur burbled along at 6 kts, with a couple of yachts as distant company. We popped her on to her berth, had a celebratory coffee, and left her for another day, when the lock-down is over and she can be enjoyed properly.