Brakspear Blog Update

It has been a while since I have posted anything. I must improve this.


During 2015 we had many things happening, which I neglected to post on the website. I will try to capture as many of these as I can.


We hauled the boat in the spring to service the hull. This includes inspection of the hull for damage and/or blisters in the fiberglass, changing the sacrificial anodes (Zincs) and painting the bottom with an anti-fouling paint to keep the marine growth from adhering to the boat.

Overall, the bottom was in good shape with no changes since the last haul out.

I spent quite a bit of time servicing the props and rudders to clean and remove the barnacles for them. Once complete, I painted them with a special paint that is supposed to keep the metal parts clean until the paint wears off. I heard mixed reviews on this type of paint but decided to use it anyway. If it works, GREAT, less work next haul out, if it does not work, then the growth and build up would be the same a not using it. No loss either way.

I did a video of us putting the boat back into the water. Please keep in mind, I did this for our (then) 5 year old grandson, so my comments and narration are directed towards him.  The videos might take a few minutes to load and play, please be patient.


Brakspear on the way back to the water Part 1 (5.23 minutes)

Brakspear on the way back to the water Part 2 (3.01 minutes)


Once we were back in the water, we returned to our slip and continued some maintenance work. Here is a short, (not complete) list of some of these tasks:

Wired in a new battery switch array. This replaced the original 1-2-ALL battery switch. The new array has manual disconnects to shut of each battery bank, It has an automatic charging switch that will allow the engines to charge any or all of the battery banks, starting with the engine batteries. Once they are up to sniff, the house bank receives a charge.

Added 2 new deep cycle batteries to the house battery bank. This should allow us to run our 12 VDC systems longer.

We have 3 separate battery banks, Starboard Engine Start Battery, Port Engine Start Battery and a house battery bank, consisting of 3 deep cycle batteries.



Cleaned and repaired the head (toilet). This type of toilet is a manual pumping unit that plugs up. Our issue was the valve that stopped back flow was leaking and allowed dirty water from the line to leak back into the bowl. Long story short, I had to replace the Joker Valve. I also replaced the pump plunger and barrel at the same time. This chore sounds bad, but overall, it went easy and was not too messy.


Cleaned the bilge. When we had the battery banks apart and the batteries out, I noticed quite a buildup of grunge under the battery mounts. I elected to clean this up. WOW, What a chore! For those of you with bilge cleaning experience, I am sure you will understand the scope of the project. For the rest of you, well, consider standing on your head in an area where your head does not quite fit, working with your arms over and around your head, all in a dark, not pleasant smelling place. Add to this the need to scrape, scrub and wash stuff you can’t see, only feel, and you get the start of the task. Overall time was about 8-10 hours, I took out about a 3 gal pail of sand, dirt and oily grunge. What a mess it was, now, it is pretty clean.


We added a Bimini top to the fly bridge. A Bimini in a box! Most Biminis are custom made to fit each boat. This is often quite expensive and the quotes we received were around $3-$4K. This is quite a lot of money to invest into a 30 year old boat. We did some shopping online and found a company in Quebec that sells a semi-custom Bimini. We gave them our measurements, chose the color and 4 weeks later, we had the top in front of us as we read the install instructions. We asked my Brother Erick to help us with the install and although it took us a bit of time, it went pretty smoothly. All in, our cost came just over $1100.00. A far cry from $3000.00.


There were lots of other small tasks that took time, but that is the joy of owning a boat (or Motor Home, RV, Cottage, etc.)


One of the more fun tasks was installing the downriggers. These units are electric and we mounted them on the railing around the Aft Deck. We use a stand-alone battery to operate them so we did not have to cut into the fiberglass. We wanted to test the location and ease of use, before we made any permanent changes. So far, the mounting seems good and the downriggers work fine. We even caught some fish with them! We are looking forward to more fish in the new season.




We did several club cruises to other marinas, we did a few cruises to some of the marine parks in the area, all were great and we really enjoyed our time.


We had some company throughout the summer, including our Daughter Zepporah and her husband Len, Shirley’s bother Dennis, and his wife Cheryl as well as Shirley’s Niece, her significant other and their children. We also had my Brother Erick, and some of his family as well as friends from Edmonton, Bill and Sue. Overall, it was a great summer.

I will stop this post here and hopefully be more diligent in the New Year with blog entries.


Feel free to send us an e-mail, using the contact us form on the website, we love to hear from others, old friends and new friends are all welcome.



MV Brakspear

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