Here we keep you up-to-date with all the latest news as we take our Sealine F36 Missing Link on a clockwise Grand Tour around the coast of Great Britain, with detours to Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Welcome to the Motor Boats Monthly weekly e-mail update.

Here we keep you up-to-date with all the latest news as we take our Sealine F36 Missing Link on a clockwise Grand Tour around the coast of Great Britain, with detours to Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Our departure date of 17 April is looming large and we are now in the final stages of preparing for the biggest trip that the Motor Boats Monthly team has ever undertaken. A major priority is ensuring that our one-year-old Sealine is readied for the 3000 miles ahead.

Missing Link was hoisted out from her home berth at Port Solent on 31 March. Her hull was surprisingly clean, even though we have not been able to use her as much as we would have liked during the winter thanks to the indifferent weather and a schedule that kept us much too close to the office for comfort. Now she is high and dry, the temperature has soared to 20 degrees C!

The work list includes antifouling, polishing, rope cutter bearing renewal and the replacement of the packing in the port shaft seal. Props and shafts will be given a clean-up and the hull, trim tab, cutter and bow thruster anodes will be changed, even though there is a fair bit of wastage left on them. Given the different waters we will encounter, it seems just as well to do the job at this stage.

While all this is going on the external covers and carpets have been taken home for an airing and the charts have been emptied out of the locker so we can check out exactly what we have and which ones remain to be ordered. We’ve even taken the opportunity of doing some of those little ‘wait-until-tomorrow’ jobs that eluded us last year.

Our scheduled crane-in date is 7 April, just prior to departure for the Motor Boats Monthly Cruising Club Calibration weekend at Cowes on 9-11 April. Here Missing Link will act as a home ship for the large team we have assembled to tackle electrical and engine checks, log calibration runs, compass swinging sessions and flare and safety demonstrations.

In the week commencing 12 April we will return to Port Solent so that we can undertake final trials on the many items required to bring you the latest reports of our activities via this e-mail service, on our internet site and of course in the magazine. Our onboard equipment will include two laptop computers, two GSM phones, a scanner, printer, conventional and digital cameras and numerous leads to connect all the bits together.

We are also temporarily installing four chart plotters and a further laptop to enable Alex McMullen to research a two-part series on electronic cartography which you will be able to read in the August and September editions of Motor Boats Monthly. More info will follow in faxback reports later this month.

If you would like to get in touch, please e-mail the editor Kim Hollamby on kim_hollamby@ipc.co.uk or send a fax or voicemail to Missing Link by dialling 44 (0) 171 692 9261.

Messages will mostly be dealt with on the evening of the day they are received. If you are out of reach of your e-mail and want to stay up-to-date with our plans, poll our faxback service on 0906 302 1440 (calls cost 50p/min).

Most important of all if you see us on our travels please pay us a visit. A warm welcome awaits you.