She is not quite completed as I had anticipated, and it’s the small and time consuming work on the boat in readiness for her launching in May 2019 that has taken the time.
The fittings have now arrived from Jimmy Green Marine Company to enable its last stage of fit out. The hull graphics have been done, making and paint finish to the aft Lazerette floor is now completed, the main bow anchor Iroko fittings are in progress and finally the important work to the trailer and its road wheel hub bearings.
When I collected Clara 6 weeks ago I was focused on the larger aspects of work to be done. It was only this week when I came to fit the tiller stock on the one piece rudder that I realised that the 25mm dia stainless steel stock was not straight, and further examination shows there has been a weld repair done, quite badly, leaving the stock out of line with the rudder. This is now with a fabricator to make a new stock and fit it to the rudder. I am constantly amazed at what repairs/ refurbishments have been carried out to boats.
How many times have we all seen trailers and caravans with wheel problems on the road side, the majority related to axle issues, especially trailers for boats that have been used as launching trollies? Yes numerous. Clara will undertake a road journey of 2100 miles in early May 2019, via Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, dropping into Albania briefly before entering northern Greece. Quite a journey, so from experience I want to have the peace of mind of knowing that the trailer is 110 % road worthy.
The Bramber trailer is original, some 45 years old, and from assessment of the bearings they are also original from the manufacturer name, so used for short road trips but with many dunkings into sea water on launching, and this is the problem. In the pictures you can see the scoring marks on the tapered ring and the damaged and missing roller bearings, not a bearing set that would withstand this long journey safely.
We have checked the rubber suspension modules and their fixing bolts, cleaned and replaced washers where necessary. Next is to remove the hub assembly from the stub axle, to reveal the 2 tapered roller bearings and the press fit tapered hub ring. It’s the latter that is difficult to remove, as it’s a tight press fit for obvious reasons and care has to be taken in its removal – a workshop environment is in preference for this task. Once removed the hub assembly can be cleaned, grease nipple cleared of hard material before re-making with new components. It is not worth cutting corners in this process. Having your lovely Lugger severely damaged by a wheel and hub shearing off on a highway is not an option.
Check back next week for her final appearance outside with all her spars and rigging fitted, ready to go for May 2019 – you will not believe how stunning she looks. Why not take a look at booking her for your Sailing In The Sun, Lugger Style 2019. If you need further inspiration just take a look at the 2018 client testimonials.