Country: UK - England
Length: 6m +
Join Date: Sep 2004
Ribnet members: the most helpful people in boating?
I would like to share with you my experience of Ribnet members, in aiding myself fulfil a promise to my father for easter...
On Friday, after working with Greyhound, I recovered her on my own at crosshouse slip, and set off for Kent. My plan was to be in Gravesend for 2000hrs, just in time for dinner, and to spend a weekend ribbing, so that my Father could see the rib he bankrolled.
I rv'd with laser (Rich) in Portsmouth, helped him rig the University rib for the road, which he was also towing up, and we set off for Kent. Running a little late by this stage (it was about 1915 when we left) I phoned Mum, and told her to hold the dinner!
On the A3, as laser and I moved out in tandem to overtake a lorry, Rich called over the intercom that there appeared to be some smoke coming from my right tyres. I radioed back that it was probably kicking up some debris on the road: nothing to worry about. After about 10s, it became apparent that actually my right trailer wheel was sparking, and starting to smoke.
We pulled off at the Horndean junction, to inspect. 2 ribs now by the roadside just after a main road junction felt a little exposed! I called the AA, explained by problem (beliving myself to be eligble for trailer cover to take the boat to Kent if they couldn't fix the problem) and agreed that we would move to morrisons car park where it would be a little safer.
My wheel now wobbling dangerously, we set off at about 15mph for Morrisons, where we kicked back and ordered some Pizza while waiting for the AA. I phoned Andy Stevens (Paintball Andy!) to see if he was in, and recieved a kind offer of boat storage for the weekend. I'd already by this stage assumed a failed bearing, so phoned one Pete8.5 to ask if he knew anyone that might have a spare bearing that I could cadge at short notice (a long shot I know!).
Pete was most helpful, but agreed with my impending realisation that I was not going to be able to get hold of a bearing at 8pm on Good Friday. I then waited for the AA man, and suddenly remembered that when I bought the boat, Andy might have given me some spare bearings. After a tortured route to get Andy's phone number, we made contact, and Andy couldn't have been more helpful. Yes, he did give me some spare bearings, and he even told me how to replace the others. So, I despatched Rich to go get the spare bearings, from the box of boat bits in Pompey.
Meanwhile, having refused his offer of a £150 tow to Kent, the AA man helped me take off the old wheel, and punch out the bearing rings. We only found the outer bearing - all that was left of the inner one was a rusty shell. Scary sight - couldn't believe the wheel didn't come off. The AA man left me with instructions on how to change the bearing, and a dob of grease to put on the new one.
I then phoned Pete to tell him the good news, and was asked "where exactly are you". I told him where we were, and was amazed to hear "we're in Cosham, be with you in 15mins".
Pete and his other half pulled in, true to their word, about 5mins after Rich with the bearings. I asked why they happened to be in the area, and was told they'd actually left a party to come and help me out. They then proceeded to spend 2 hours with me, directing and helping me change the bearings. Pete was fantastic - limitless knowledge, and when we checked the other wheel, we found that the nut needed a fair amount of tightening! We replaced the right hand wheel bearing, and packed it well with Grease, and then cleaned and repacked the left hand one also.
The trailer towed noticeably better (!) after it's little shakeup in Morrisons car park, and we finally departed at 11pm. We then made it up to kent for about 1230am, where my Dad was suitably pleased with the rib. Both Greyhound and the Uni Rib adorned my front drive overnight, and this morning we launched them both from Gravesend for a bit of rain soaked ribbing. The grin on my Dads face when he wellied the engine on Greyhound and lept onto the plane was fantastic - I don't know what I'd have done if he hadn't liked the rib!!!
So, a huge thankyou to Andy Stevens for his offer of storage (and the number of the local pizza place!), laser for driving all the way to Kent with me, and sticking with me through the greasiest moments of a trailer bearing change, Andy Burns for fantastic telephone support, Sam from the AA for putting so much effort into persuading me that what I really wanted to do was upgrade my membership, and most of all to Pete and his other half (I am truly sorry I can't remember your name - memory like a sieve!) for coming out to a Morrisons car park on Easter Friday, and spending 2 hours guiding me through changing and adjusting my wheel bearings - thank you so much.
Just goes to show how helpful Ribnet members are, I am truly grateful, and would really hope to be able to do the same if anyone else ever needed it!