I think we should call this a shake-down year for Sindur. She was launched in January 2021, after almost a year on the hard, and covid restricting work progress. During her time out of the water, she had a big clean internally and externally, along with a few repairs to leaks in the roof and windows. The engines had the heat exchangers stripped and rebuilt and the fuel injection pumps rebuilt. After a thorough service, and the stern glands re-packed, she was ready for operation. As you can see from other posts in this blog, she has been to sea and been some fun.
However, on one fateful trip to the Walton Backwaters with my good friends Adrian and Carole, the oil pump within the port engine, failed. We limped back on one engine. I then had the agonising wait for the engineer to find time to diagnose the problem and see if any damage had been done to the bearings or other components. Fortune was with us for 2 reasons. Firstly, Travis from Diesel Marine was able to remove the sump and the oil pump, and install a new one, with the engine in situ, and secondly there was no apparent damage to the engine. As a precaution, the starboard engine oil pump has now been changed, as well. The oil pressure is now higher and more stable than before.
Using a boat is the best way to discover her shortcomings. Sindur has a few, but nothing insurmountable. This winter will see a redesign of her aft cabin, creating a double berth, rather than a pair of single bunks. The fore cabin berth is being altered too, which means repositioning the anchor windlass above, and the haws pipe to the anchor chain locker. Jon from Estuary Vessel Management has the ldeas and skills to match.
The East Coast has been a delightful place to cruise, but I have had 20 years of it, on and off. The more cruising I do, the more i want to do. I have always enjoyed a journey, a challenge and a new destination. Cruising our Trader, Kyra, to the Channel Islands, then Brittany and on to La Rochelle, created a greater wanderlust within. After two trips on the Orwell and Deben aboard Sindur this summer, made me realise I was feeling stifled. This, coupled with following the excellent youtube channel, Adventure Now, that chronicles the journey of Mark & Asha aboard Altor of Down, as they visit Shetland, Faroese and Iceland, makes me want to see something different every time I start Sindur’s engines.
With this in mind, and after some careful thought, I have decided to relocate Sindur to the west coast of Scotland. There seems to be so much to see up there, with dramatic coastlines and an abundance of bird and sea life. There are numerous islands to explore, lochs to anchor in and distilleries to visit. Yes, the weather can be iffy, but nothing that a good boat, good clothing, and good decision making won’t tackle.
Relocation has made me assess certain things aboard. With the weather, fewer marinas and the need to anchor more, it is clear some changes should be made. Currently Sindur has a busy team aboard. The berths are being sorted as previously mentioned. The heating is being serviced. The spirit stove (gas has been removed from Sindur) is having a permanent mounting made.
For convenience and functionality, a new Garmin plotter and radar is being fitted, along with AIS transponder and a new VHF radio. I gave never liked the nean-looking slimline LED nav lights, so these are being changed to more conventional, commercial grade ones.
Ground tackle is important on any vessel , but cruising Scotland requires stout and sturdy kit. So the old CQR anchor is being replaced with a Rocna, and an additional 25 metres of chain is going into the locker. A dinghy and 4hp outboard have been added to the inventory.
John Shepherd transport arrives on 17th March, so there’s a fair bit to complete before Sindur heads to Largs.