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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

17 December, 2017

With Christmas just around the corner

It's summer here, and everyone is feeling sociable, so I have had lots of visitors.  No problems - I like visitors, but feel guilty when they leave because I've been chatting instead of working.  Ah well plan like you'll live forever, but live like you'll die tomorrow is my motto!  Bertrand, of the SibLim Club, is presently anchored in the river, and members Mark and Phil are back from Oz.  Pete and Linda returned from their Pacific tour recently and plans are afoot from those lucky junkies with boats, as to when to assemble in the Bay of Islands for the Tall Ships.

 In the meantime, I've been plodding on in the forecabin. I removed the fiddle along the counter top and glued it back into place.  In spite of aligning it carefully, using a hand screwdriver very gingerly and - I thought - making sure that I found all the screw holes, I managed to get it in the wrong place, so it had to come off again and I had to scrape all the epoxy off before it kicked off.  (As it is now around 30C in the shed from about 1100 onwards, this had to be done in a hurry.)  The second time I rested it in position on clamps and that went so easily that I wondered why I hadn't thought of it before. I also fitted fiddles to the athwartships bookshelves.

 I then had to laminate up the fiddle for the bookshelf over the bunk.  The obvious thing was to use the existing one as a pattern, which was made easier due to the fact that I didn't want the new one to be as long.  I made it of two layers and it sprang back, so I then had to add a couple more to it.  These were thinner - I didn't want the fiddle to be too heavy - and they did a good job of locking the curve in.

 That done, I had to fit supports for it.  The shelf is of the right size for books like those the Mariners' Library (Rupert Hard-Davis), used to print.  Once the libraries had every book on their shelves, but now you rarely see them.  I keep hoping someone will bring them out as e-books - perfect for sailors with not too much space for books!

Then I fitted the little brass turnbuttons to stop drawers and doors falling out.  These could be considered an extravagance, but they do look nice and work very well.  Here's the locker with the turnbuttons in place.  I added little hemispheres of tigerwood to the drawers, which don't stick out as far as the fiddle.  This will also prevent the relatively soft kauri from getting marked from a heavy drawer leaning against the turnbutton and stop them sliding back and forth in irritating fashion as we roll down the Trade Winds.  (Yeah Right!)

 The big bookshelves were coated and you can see that there is room for Junks and Sampans.  I trust that there will be sufficient books to hide the bare plywood. I really didn't want to panel the section between the two shelves.  I can't wait to see them filled!

 The next job, which I think is the last one required to complete the fitting out of the forecabin, was to veneer the end grain of the plywood with a kauri 'clashing' (as it is apparently called here).  The first layers were a bit of a disaster, because although the wood was only about 2mm thick, it really didn't want to bend.  It caused a lot of frustration and bad language.

  Sawing some thin stuff off another piece of kauri that Marcus discovered in the wood pile and gave to me, sorted the issue.  For some reason, this wood was a lot more flexible.  And, it was long enough to go round in one length.

 While I was at it, I started on the saloon doorway, too.  By now I have the knack.  The first long length I put in, I - foolishly - precoated, with the result that epoxy got spread around all over the place.  The second one, I carefully coiled up, holding it together with masking tape.  By the time I got to the third one I had worked out to secure the end with masking tape and then to carefully unwind the strip of veneer, make loose loops of masking tape at each 'corner', so that it couldn't escape, but on the other hand could slide easily as it got taped into place.  There are still a few gaps, but hey - this is the 'country cottage look'!  It uses miles of masking tape!  I plane each one down with a teensy-weensy plane before putting on the next layer - just putting generous amounts of epoxy on the wood already in place.  (I can hear teeth being sucked, but it's not exactly structural.)

And while the glue has been kicking off, I've been doing The Big Sand.  Not a nice job: hot and noisy with sander and vacuum going full blast.  It's going to be 'fun' varnishing it all in these temperatures.  I have found that the only solution is to add lots of polyurethane thinners.  The manufacturers' chemists would probably weep at this comment, but from past experience, the coating doesn't seem adversely affected, although I suppose it must be.  I guess it's just so good anyway, that at even 70% efficiency, it's quite wonderful!

So once I've posted this - and sent out a few Christmas e-cards - I'd better get on with it.


Kirsty Pollock said...

Looking good there Annie - I can really see the boat coming together as a living space. Winter here, and I was a bit depressed with how little I can get done on my boat worklist, but reading and seeing your progress cheered me right up!

Annie Hill said...

Hey Kirsty, nice to hear from you again. I guess you must be somewhere in the Frozen North with the weather being unco-operative. What sort of boat do you have? Do you have a blog at all? Good to know of other women who run their own boats!

John Pennefather said...

Hi Annie,
I think you should rethink about Origo stoves. Users include Roger Taylor, Jon Sanders on his latest circumnavigation and the crew of the recent repeat circumnavigation in Gypsey Moth 4. In Yachting Monthly the GM crew commented favourably on the stove. Two friends of mine went from here to Canada and back and were happy with their two burner one.
A friend had a common gravity fed metho stove which sprung a leak from the tank. The first thing he knew of it was when the locker below the stove started burning. In the panic they used all three extinguishers rather than water!
I had a near miss when using my similar stove with two burners on and the one on low went out. Fortunately I spotted the problem before the other burner ignited the pool below the burner that had gone out.
After that I switched to Origo and make two points. You need a long stemmed butane fire lighter that can reach the bottom of the Origo burner for reliable lighting. Two, it makes a bit more soot than my previous stove.
Thanks for your blog and books, I own a masthead rugged Bermudian rigged sloop, but you frequently challenge my thought process.
John Pennefather

Annie Hill said...

I've gone for the Origo. Apparently, if you add something like 10% water to the meths(!) this helps reduce the soot problem. I have several friends who seem very happy with the stove; several (impatient) ones who don't. You pays your money and you makes your choice.