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In Greenland

Iron Bark

Iron Bark
Under full sail


At Russell Boating Club's Tall Ships Regatta

Annie Hill

Annie Hill
Photo credit: Alvah Simon

Blue Water Medal

Blue Water Medal
Blue Water Medal

Books By Annie Hill

  • Brazil and Beyond
  • Voyaging on a Small Income

About Me

03 September, 2017

Sometimes it's a juggle

One of my major challenges, building this boat, is being able to visualise things at all; visualising them so that I can successfully plan ahead is beyond me, so every now and then I have to 'modify' something I've made, because what comes after won't fit around it.  It wastes a bit of time and sometimes makes a mess, but I'm learning to shrug my shoulders and accept it.  We all have our limitations and it's no good ranting at myself about my inadequacies: it just makes me depressed.

I am almost finished in the heads.  (I keep saying this).  All those coats of paint ...

And here I am, busily applying yet more paint.  This is the little door that will allow access to the back of the switch panel.  Next to it is the lid of the composter, to which the seat will be glued.  With a composter, it is apparently better to have no air gap between the seat and the base, or the lid and the seat.  This discourages insects - not that I had any problem with this on Fantail.

 One of my favourite jobs is varnishing, and I have a good place on which to do it - a little workbench at scaffolding height, which is away from most of the dust and well lit from the 'clear-lights' on the side of the shed.

Marcus bumped into a bloke he used to work with, a few weeks ago, who said that he had heaps more wood than he needed now that he is semi-retired from his wood turning business.  We went and visited him and bought some nice lengths of kauri, which is the wood I've used for 'tongue and groove' on the bulkheads.  I'm just planing the edge to have a proper look at it.  Lovely stuff - for bookshelves, framing that is to be finished bright, etc.

I was delighted with the finish on the toilet seat lid, until I came back the next morning.  A heap of small flies had not only committed suicide on my varnish, but had spread out their wings to do so.  I suppose I'll have to sand it down again and revarnish.  Sigh.

I had to put in some filleting, and had surplus glue.  Finally, I remembered to bond the bollard and mooring cleat on the foredeck.  The bow rollers will have to wait - they stick out so far that it would make it a nuisance to get past.

While I had varnish in hand, I coated the bulkheads in the forecabin.  Because they had epoxy underneath, just two coats seem to have made a satisfactory job.  If they get too kicked about over the next months (years?) that I'm building, it's no big deal to put on another coat.  You can see that I had a little left over, which I applied to the bulkhead on the composter.

The starboard locker with its lower shelf fitted.  This shelf, from left to right, will hold the beer brewing barrel, the dirty clothes basket (hygiene freaks please ignore their proximity) and has holes for wiring to pass up from the battery, which will be under the cabin sole.  The access hatch is there to check for moisture in the bilge.  I intend to fit an inverter to the 'right hand' bulkhead and I suspect a box full of chargers, recyclable batteries, etc will end up there, too.  Or maybe the box of fuses, connectors etc.  No doubt it will all make order of itself when I moved on board.

With the lower shelf in, I could put in the fore-and-aft bulkhead and the little varnished shelf.  I fitted a piece of trim across the bottom, which is masked off for varnishing.  Thus far, I've resisted the temptation to put a fiddle on the shelf, which I feel would be likely to end up as a 'catch all'.  However, it would also be a handy place to put my mobile phone to charge, or my e-reader, or any of the 101 things one seems to acquire, these days which require charging.

One of the things I failed to consider, was a stringer/frame for the headliner in the heads.  The deck is to consist of teak, plywood, air gap, plywood and that final ply is to provide the headliner.  Marcus showed me how to set up the table saw to create a bevel on the wood, to match the bilgeboard box and to create a landing for the headliner.

Of course, it was all nicely painted, so I had to scrape off the paint in order to fit the stringer.  I made it a little over length so that I can saw it exactly flush with my Japanese saw.  A nice bit of cedar, courtesy of my friend Murray, provided these stringers.

This is the stringer in place before scraping and gluing.  A wedge of cedar will be required at the far left of the photo.

Because I had forgotten about the necessity of this stringer, fitting it on the port side was unnecessarily awkward.  I could get no tools in for screws or pins, but wedges and clamps between them did the job.

Here is a view of the starboard stringer, glued into place.

I thought it was about time we had a 'general view'.  At last those with sharp eyes can see a bit of a difference.  Paint, mainly! But the sheer clamp has been planed down amidships (with more than a little help from Marcus) in preparation for the deck beams.


Anonymous said...

In Belgium they brew beer without yeast, relying on flora in the rafters of buildings. Perhaps a similar method would work with laundry.

Michael Barry said...

Hi Annie, beautiful job. Converting a 54 yr folkboat, here in Dublin,Ireland.Could youvplease let me have the dimensions/ details of your tabernacle.Want to use the same mast setup etc

Kirsty Pollock said...

I am SO glad to have found this blog. I loved your book "Voyaging on a Small Income" and was even inspired by it to (eventually) go off on a boat. Well that did not work out so well, was only out 6 months that time - looking back we should have never come back, but hey. Still, I have the dream and lately I have also been hit by the itch to build a boat (after another serious go at just the sailing part!) - but it would be on my own. To find your blog and find you are doing this is like magic! Now I want even more to be a late-middleaged lady in a shed buliding a boat... Keep up the good work. I look forward to future entries. Is there a link somewhere to the design you are building?

Annie Hill said...

If you go to David Tyler's profile on the Junk Rig Association website, you will see the plans there and he is the man to talk to. If you aren't a member, it only costs you seven quid a year, and twenty six if you opt for the three, 64-page paper magazines, which I strongly recommend.

It's a big project, building a boat on your own and it helps to have the odd mentor on hand for when you get stuck. On the other hand, boat people are kind and generous folk, by and large, so you'll get a lot of encouragement and probably offers of help. I'm putting in as many hours as I can, between all the usual chores a person has to do and am 2 years and about half way through the project. The good news is that I'm gaining both speed and confidence - although not as much of either as I'd like!

Good luck - I hope your dream comes true.

Annie Hill said...

A 54 year old Folkboat. That will make a wonderful junk. I assume you've been following Arne's Folksong in the Junk Rig Association.

The tabernacle: I'm sorry I don't have time to make a drawing, Michael, and don't have one from the original. However, if you look at the photos you can, I hope, follow what I say. All measurements in mm.

The tabernacle is built from second-hand oregon/douglas fir, finished at about 45. It is 3000 from top to bottom. It may end up a little shorter - it needs to be fitted around the deck beams which are not yet in place. It is 240 wide and 200 fore-and-aft. There is a block at deck level, which is 40 thick and the top part is 960 in length. It is 2000 from deck to step (but this is the length that will be adjusted). The lower part, below deck, is tapered athwartships ending up 170 wide. The after face is flat, but the side pieces have a taper at the forward end, bringing it down to 150. You do not need the mass here, and it makes it look a bit more graceful. I hope that helps.

Kirsty Pollock said...

Annie, thank you very much for the pointers and the good wishes. Meanwhile I will keep learning with my little 22ft "lake boat" in the Seddinsee, and keep saving and dreaming.

Michael Barry said...

Thanks Annie,really appreciate the reply, the dimensions are just the ticket,I can work with that. Best wishes with the rest of your project, anytime you are in Dublin.....

Michael Barry said...

Thanks for the dimensions, their just what I need, really appreciate the reply, best of luck with the rest of the build. If you ever are in Dublin, there is a large pint with your name on it waiting for you.

Annie Hill said...

Good luck to you both, Kirsty and Michael. I hope your dreams come to fruition.

And as for Dublin: I wish ...