Having been the proud owners of Skylark for 6 months, we have tested and reviewed all the systems on the boat again. This coincided with our 6 day trip to Bedford and another day out to Ely last Saturday - more than enough time to clarify the few things that still seem to be requiring a fix.
The main thing has been the continuing leak from the calorifier into the stb engine compartment. After every trip (long or short) a small amount of water is found in the bilges and has to be mopped out. This is obviously a pain so we asked Mick to come over to Lazy Otter today to have a look.
We checked all the connections but it turned out to be the safety valve which, according to the instructions, should leak water once the system gets up to working pressure. This seemed odd to me but the instructions were clear. So, to avoid finding a puddle of water in the bilges after each trip, we attached a short hose pipe to the outlet and 'connected' this to a transparent bottle - very clever eh? Anyway, I will now be able to see when it needs emptying, which hopefully won't be too often, and will be much easier than baling out with a mop.
While he was there Mick also replaced the rubber retaining strap that holds the central heating pump. The old strap was simply a metal band with an infill of rubber which amplified the ticking noise throughout the boat. The new strap does away with this noise. All new pumps come with this new strap apparently.
We had a brief look down the loo to check if the non-return valve was still working and it seemed to be OK. I must stop worrying about such things.
We checked the stern drive for leaks (no problem) and Mick confirmed the rudder doesn't need oiling, again no problem.
Anyway, after a quick once-over we decided that everything was working well and I'm pleased to say that Skylark passed her 6 month review with flying colours.
Now, I am aiming to use the boat as much as time and the weather will allow, to iron out any problems that might crop up in the next 6 months.
Next weekend there is a country fair at Prickwillow with stalls, old cars and machinery, games, etc so I might pootle up there and have a look-see.