EACH year, once the CatZero yacht has completed its busy schedule during the sailing months, staff and volunteers ensure it undergoes a thorough service before putting it to bed for winter.
This year, although many of the jobs are routine, the yacht’s engine will be coming out for a full refurb – the first time in 23 years that it has been completely removed from the boat!
We will have more on the engine story as things develop in the coming weeks but in the meantime, trainee first mate Callum Leach has been working hard with volunteers, preparing items for removal and taking on the delightful job of replacing the toilet plumbing!
Callum commented: “I have been involved in six refits during my time at CatZero and I have picked up all sorts of skills. The toilet pipes were last done three years ago and needed replacing as its diameter reduces over time, reducing the flow. This is not a job anyone particularly likes!
“Our next mission is to remove the bunks and send them for dry cleaning, before we start to look at the anchor – this will be removed so that we can lift the boards in the sail locker to inspect for rust or damage. These jobs are done annually anyway.”
Other routine work includes the removal of the sails, which was completed recently, the removal and servicing of the life rafts and all life jackets are also dispatched for a service. The generator was also removed recently, for inspection and an overhaul.
The engine work will more than likely be the last job as it will take some getting off the yacht. The team are currently preparing it for its removal.
CatZero has sailed with almost 140 people, not including support crew, during the course of this year – not bad when you remember the lockdown during the early part of the year, and subsequent restrictions. Ordinarily the number would be double that amount but Danny and the team have worked exceptionally hard to give 2021 participants and corporate sailors the opportunity to head out onto the water.
It has indeed been a busy time and the yacht has taken on some challenging races, including the extremely tough Fastnet. Keeping that in mind, and the fact that most participants are inexperienced – some have never been on a boat before – safety on board is paramount and ensuring the boat is in tip-top condition is one of the most important pieces of work for the staff and volunteers at CatZero.