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In Greenland

Iron Bark

Iron Bark
Under full sail


At Russell Boating Club's Tall Ships Regatta

Blue Water Medal

Blue Water Medal
Blue Water Medal

Books By Annie Hill

  • Brazil and Beyond
  • Voyaging on a Small Income

29 July, 2018

Fiddly bits

Sometimes it seems that all I do is to fit something, take it out, fit it, take it out again ...  I am so concerned about messing things up that I fall over backwards to make sure I haven't.  Still, better than the other way, I suppose.

 The backrest was a case in point, with my wanting to be sure that it would fit the shelves properly.  They are only 6mm, so if there were too many gaps in the joint, they wouldn't be properly supported.  The back rest rises above the top shelf - it provides a good handhold, that way - but makes for a very narrow shelf at the after end.  It was a bit of a mission to fillet, as you can imagine.

 Once in, however, it felt nice and strong and has provided half a dozen handy lockers.  As this will (one day!) be the guest berth, a couple of these will probably be left empty.

The concept of the galley, which as David so correctly pointed out is the heart of my boat (I like to think I live in my galley rather than cook in my boat), is taking shape.  I loathe top-opening lockers in the counter top, because (a) you always have something on them when you want to access them and (b) bits fall into them making them messy.

 But corner cupboards create problems of access.  My plan, however, is to fit the cooker aft and a stack of drawers in the equivalent place forward.  This will leave an adequately wide bench but mean that even my short arms should reach into the nether regions of the corner lockers.  However, the sink will have to go in the middle of the bench, which will be a nuisance at times, but even I have to make some compromises.

 I made an MDF bench to give me an idea of heights, spaces, etc.  As you can see, Cox's Law of Horizontal Surfaces immediately came into effect, in spite of the MDF being 6mm and therefore very flexible!  I also tacked up a small piece of headliner ply and it made me very pleased that I have added 30mm to the headroom.

 I have finally cleaned up all the portholes and fitted them.  Then I had to take them out of the forecabin again to varnish them (it will give me a holiday from polishing until it starts to peel off) and put sealant around the glass.  Then they can go in permanently and what a relief that will be.

 Another job I was picking away at was doing the trim around the headliner in the heads.  The centre piece was easy, the rest varied from fiddly to a nightmare.  I simply cannot work out what angle to cut the wood unless I have a length in my hand to offer up.  Then I had to fit quadrant around the never-to-be-sufficiently-cursed butt block: to make a neat job was an insuperable problem.  The best I could manage was 'well, it could be worse'.  And of course one of the pieces along the camber broke again at the hole for the panel pin.  If my joinery were good enough, of course, I wouldn't need the trim (although it does make it look more attractive).  But then if my joinery were that good, the trim wouldn't be a problem!  The overall effect is pleasing though, especially if I leave my glasses off.

And back in the saloon, the fiddle for the seat cushions has also been on and off half a dozen times, while I think about the bunk extension, the table, the cabin sole, etc.  What a day it will be when there are actually some cushions to be kept in place!

15 July, 2018

Lots of work, but not much to show

Well, the title says it all.  I've been beavering away, as ever, but there isn't a lot to show for it.  Spreading epoxy and paint takes time, but things don't look that different from day to day.  And I finally got fed up of tripping over the portholes, so have been finishing cleaning them up. Nearly there - but I need to put sealant around the glass - the old putty has fallen out in many places.  Ideally I'd take the rings off and reseal them; in fact, ideally I'd replace the glass, which is scratched and quite badly, on most of them.  However, I can't afford to, so will just have to live with it.

 In the saloon, I've been dividing up for the lockers, outboard of the back rest.  The dividers also support the plywood.

 I fitted two shelves which make for reasonable-sized lockers, one of which will be for wine bottles, handy to my seat!

 Then of course, everything had to be coated and painted.

 I painted the underside of the shelves before fitting them, but left the top so that the fillets could be painted at the same time.  You will see another porthole has been put in place.  I'm pleased with how they look and it will be great to be able to look out and see the world go by.

 My apologies for the quality of this photo and the one following: the lens must have fogged up.  It was a bit chilly when I took the photos. The shelves need another coat of paint, but are nearly there.

This shows the back of the backrest, which I painted for the usual reason - to be able to see stuff in the locker.  This is taking increasing amounts of self-discipline as time goes by, because of the time it takes.  I keep reminding myself of how annoyed I will be in the future if I take shortcuts now!  Apologies again for the quality of the shot.

I am getting close to starting in the galley.  There are a lot of things to consider here, not in the least that it's my last chance to arrange proper stowage for things I might have forgotten.

01 July, 2018

Wiring! I must be getting on

Does the boat look any different that it did last week?  Not to me it doesn't, so it's always reassuring when people come in a exclaim how much I've done.  However, my mantra of 'only another couple of years' is working really well.  It has taken away any sense of urgency and I carry on each day, enjoying what I'm doing.  Every now and then I sit back and look at what I've done and feel rather startled at the whole:

Of course, the fact that the photo is taken from the stern and I'm working from the bow back, rather spoils the effect.

Back in the saloon, having sorted out the height of the back rest, I've started work on the locker lids.  These also require a ridiculous amount of thought to ensure that you can open them without having to remove the cushion, which then entails just how I'm going to fit the cushions, which in turn entails my deciding how thick the cushions are going to be, which entails my contacting the foam rubber suppliers to see what size the foam comes in (and discovering that, within the meaning of the act, it's impossible to buy latex nowadays.  Bummer) and then marking everything out.

And then cutting it to shape.  How I love my wonderful, new cordless circular saw - it is perfect for this sort of job.  I then went and priced hinges - I need quite a few - and nearly fainted.  How can they be so expensive?  But my good friend Paul at All Marine, suggested buying piano hinge and cutting it to length.  This turned out to be a much less expensive option; and I used to think piano hinge was dear.  And no, I don't want to use leather instead.  Or plastic hinges.

 (I'm not sure if this is quite how I took the photo, or whether it's been turned around by the computer, but whatever way up it goes, it looks odd!)  This shows some of the reinforcement around the tabernacle.

 And I've been fitting the deck lining in the heads. This is not one of may favourite jobs.  I could do with about five very long arms to hold it in place and another one so that I can mark it. As my mother used to say, 'it fits where it touches', but epoxy and some nice trim tidies it all up.  I'm getting the paint to go on a bit better.  I reckon I'll have the technique just about perfected by the time I finish the boat.

 The port deckliner being glued into place.  Unfortunately, of course, the clamps couldn't be used for the starboard side.  Oddly enough, in spite of that, it went up better.

Forward of the clamps you can see the first layer of the final reinforcing for the tabernacle ready to be glued down.  A bit of the insulation can also be seen.

How I wished I could use more screws to hold this in place!  But the plywood squashed up against the frames and stringers to create a satisfactory 'squodge' of epoxy.  The curve may be less than perfect, but it looks fine, without any obvious flat.

And yes, some wiring.  I am so impressed with myself.  I know it's simplicity itself, but for years I have been unable to get my head around wiring.  Everyone will insist on drawing me diagrams to explain it, and they mean nothing to me.  However, kind Richard at All Marine, patiently (with the aid of diagrams!) spelt it all out to me.  Ignoring the diagrams and concentrating on the words, I finally got it into my head in a 'story' that I can follow.  As soon as I got back, I wrote it down and now I wonder what all the fuss was about.  I am keeping it as clear and as simple as possible.  I fully expect four of the ten switches to be redundant, but - hey - I can join the Real World if I have to!  I have some lights on order, but am wondering how I can check to see if I will have sufficient or require more.  I don't want to buy the battery until I am nearly ready to launch, so I can't test them to see, short of borrowing one.