So, yesterday we had our first outing on Warrior in over thirteen months. It was a popular attraction; we were accompanied by Keith, Ian, Martin Fuller and Dave the welder, which all turned out for the good. The good news is that the engine was fine; sounds great, and the boat swims really well, although Jim's suspicion that the rudder needs attention was confirmed. I know everybody thinks their own boat's the best in the world, but with all the brass polished and the cans out Warrior did feel like a boat to be proud of. I'm so pleased we did the painting.
We went out towards Brewood and fortunately decided to go for a longer run as shortly afterwards the propshaft started to squeak rather alarmingly and issue forth smoke. The bearing (like quite a few other aspects of Warrior) is a sort of home made job, and was slightly out of alignment. Previously all the bolts on it had been loose but we tightened them up - which turned out to be a mistake. With them loose we were just about getting away with it. We addressed the immediate problem by throwing all the grease we had at it and pouring water over the bearing to cool it down (must get the bilge pump connected!), and loosening the bolts again (in fact had to knock one right off). We reckon we can get to Atherstone OK like that, and have another good look and think about it when we get there.
Naturally we ended up in the Bridge at about six o'clock ... and I suppose we got back to the yard at about midnight ... just getting in some practice for tonight's leaving party. Next trip - to Wheaton Aston for a pump out (cue doom laden music).
I'm writing this from the comfort of my back cabin, utilising the datacard aeriel I bought from Boaters Phone at Crick. It seems to work - although at £60 the kit was a bit more expensive than I had expected from browsing their website.