Inferno! Monitor self steering - Part 1

This story starts with a fire in 2009.

We were living in a flat in Ipswich and the role of garage was being played by a large workshop  in an ex-pigshed at Waldringfield Heath. We were just about to move all our stuff out of the flat to let it and move ourselves on board Bonify when disaster struck: a careless welder in the neighbouring unit left a car he was working on unattended and the result was this:



At the time the worst of it was the total loss of Howard's pride and joy: his Alfa Romeo Spider.

Dismay - we were very fond of "the white car"

The red and white tape was left there by the fire service not only because at this point it was still hot but also because the roof was asbestos and we were supposed to keep out. Undeterred we returned ahead of the bulldozers, donned overalls and protective masks and spent an unhappy day raking through the rubble for photographic evidence of our losses.

Shelves of paint tins, computers, telephone exchange from the office

Pillar drill, spars and a generator
This anchor windlass has since been restored to the boat

Which brings us to the point of telling all this - Bonify had a very expensive contraption for self steering. Not just something to push the tiller this way and that but something which could sail the boat according to the wind. We weren't making use of it so Howard had removed it years ago and stored it - ironically it was removed so it didn't get damaged!

The remains of a very expensive Monitor self-steering system


The Monitor water paddle

Having recovered all the surviving parts from the wreckage Howard was determined to reassemble them and get the thing working again. So in quiet moments when he is not working on the house, the boat or the cars, he disappears into his man cave and polishes a bit of Monitor.

Here is where he is up to:

Photo taken in the kitchen for effect - he's not allowed to do the polishing in here



At Southampton Boat Show we met and chatted to the American couple who now run the Monitor business and they helped in the process of identifying the missing parts: non heat resistant nylon bushes and bearings. These parts were all  ordered from the US and, once we'd paid £66 import duty on them, were duly delivered a couple of weeks ago.


To be continued....

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