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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

30 September, 2018

Mainly drawers

Still moving along in the galley; still scratching my head trying to decide what is going to go where.

 I decided to use offcuts of 12mm ply for the drawer bases.  A bit over the top, perhaps, but there were sufficient around of more or less the right size, most of it coated on one side and none of it much use for anything else.  It seems a shame to waste it. So I cut out the bases and using my wee router, put a rebate on 3 sides.

 I am now in the spectacularly happy position of having heaps of kauri (thank you Gordie!) and as it is about the correct thickness for the sides and front of the drawers, I decided to use it.  Again I routed rebates along the edges.

I found the best way to do this was to clamp a big chunk of wood to a saw horse and then to line the edge of the kauri along it and clamp that.  This worked nicely producing a clean result.

I then offered up my kauri planks, cutting the wood to length as necessary.

And finally ended up with a kit of parts for six drawers.

I laid them all out, coated the edges with epoxy and then coated the joints along the bases with thickened epoxy.  The drawers were then fastened with pins through pre-drilled holes, which ensured that they lined up truly.

My original idea had been to then glue on the fronts, but these seemed impossible to position.  I consulted a friend who told me that even professionals make a full box and then add the front, so this is what I did.  I cut 6mm panels and glued them flush at the open end of the box.

He was quite right!  The fronts were a lot easier to fit now.  I fitted the drawers and then one at a time, fitted the fronts, screwing them into place through pre-drilled holes in the plywood.

Then I disassembled them and glued them back together.  The screws were replaced in their screw holes with infinite care and gently tightened to ensure that new holes weren't created.

 In spite of my best efforts, however, the alignment was far from perfect.  While irritating, this was far from surprising.  My skills may be better than they were, but I'm still a long way from having the necessary tricks of the trade to get these things right.  However, judicious use of fine saw, plane, belt sander and the odd shim got them to look acceptable.

I drilled finger holes, coated the drawers and fitted them one last time.  Good enough.
Meanwhile, I've been cutting, fitting and coating the locker which will be under the sink and hold my two 10 litre water containers.  My eccentricity in not wishing to make a hole even for salt water, even using a glassed-in pipe has been commented on elsewhere.  But actually, with a lot of the rivers and anchorages being quite silty around New Zealand, it will be nice to have clean seawater on tap all the time, even if it does mean hauling the odd bucket.

I need to proofread the magazine for the JRA, so I'm not sure if I'll be getting a lot more done today.  But we are slowly getting there.  Although I have to confess that when a visitor last week, kindly told me that I "still have heaps to do", he was very lucky that I didn't have a chisel in my hand!!

16 September, 2018

Mainly galley

Progress is, as usual, in fits and starts.  Lots of pondering still, but some cutting, painting and fitting, too.

 Having finally decided the height of the galley counter, and the exact location of the drawers, I glued in the bulkhead.

 Quite often, people come in and ask me for a 'scrap' of plywood, which usually means a fairly substantial piece.  Actually, these 'scraps' rarely go to waste and I went to the stack of 12mm that I have, to use for the drawer bases.  They could probably be made out of thinner ply, but that would mean cutting into new sheets.  The leftover 12mm will do the job just fine and save me another $100 or so.

 These were cut to size.  It's good to have so many pieces already coated.

 I had already made the other bulkhead for the drawers, but needed to add a bit of kauri trim before installing it.

 I added an extra coat of epoxy to the inside of the cabinet.  Even I draw the line at painting and/or varnishing inside a stack of drawers!

 In the meantime, another major painting job was waiting: the deckliner over the saloon can be fitted now that the bulk of the fitting out is done there.  I say the bulk, you note: I still need to make a table, lay the sole and install the Flick heater.

 Once the first coat had been applied, I moved the sheet up next to the hull, to free up the table.  I could just get alongside it to apply the next three coats of paint.

 I installed the drawer cabinet and fitted the woodwork at the after end, where the cooker will go.  I am doing a lot of temporary work here, concerned that some of my ideas won't work in reality.  I don't want to take out joinery that has been glued in.

 I made an MDF pattern for the bulkheads that will go either side of the sink area.  Under the sink will be a 10 litre container for fresh water and another for salt water.  I made the pattern slightly too big and then little by little trimmed it down until it would fit.
 Then I used it to cut out the real thing in 6 mm ply. It fitted perfectly.  The pattern could then be remade for the second bulkhead, which is slightly smaller.

 I end up with two large lockers at either end of the galley.  The top corners will be a bit awkward to access, but not impossible.  I dislike having lifting hatches in the galley counter.

 Once I had put the final coat of paint on the deck liner, I left it for a couple of days to harden off and then fitted it.

 The next morning, I could remove the props.  I'm pleased with it - it went in fairly easily.  I hope it will still be light inside, once the whole liner is fitted.

Before I can install the bulkheads in the galley, I want to coat them with epoxy.  I can get a much better finish when they are horizontal rather than vertical.

02 September, 2018

Taking time off

I haven't got as much done this week as I might have, because my friend Alan was celebrating his 60th birthday in the Bay of Islands and I wanted to join in.  I took the time to visit another friend, and we had lunch together, sitting on her verandah in the sunshine.  Then a great party and a night spent aboard the beautiful mullet boat, Cora.  Sitting in her cockpit, the next morning, drinking coffee and chatting with friends was a delight.  Building a boat is, in many ways, a lonely and isolated existence.  Friends respect that I  need to be working, working, working if the boat is ever to be finished and don't like to 'waste my time'.  I resist the temptation to spend more time with my friends, much as I would like to, trying to content myself with fantasies of this little boat I'm building, completed, floating and anchored alongside another boat belonging to a dear friend.  It will happen and it's the thought of the good times afloat that enable me to keep plodding on.  I just hope my friends will stay patient - and put up with my conversations being largely by text and email in the meantime.  For me, it's a lot better than nothing, but I fear that my barrages of texts can be too much of a good thing at times.

However, the break was good and I have been making progress.

 I have finally got my galley designed and will have to live with it from now on.  My little stack of drawers are taking shape - or at least the cabinet for them is.

 I made and fitted the runners 'on the bench' and to my astonishment they matched from one side to the other.  I always end up with a nervous knot inside when I come to fit this sort of thing.  Measure twice and cut once? - well, more like measure 50 times and still pray that it will come out OK.

The galley counter wasn't too difficult to cut out and fit - the pattern I made from MDF still doing a good enough job, even after altering the shape and height of the counter.  I cut it slightly over size and then put it on its framework.  I could then scribe the outboard edge and plane it to shape.

 This is the underside of the counter with its first coat of paint.  Next to it is the outboard bulkhead for the drawers, awaiting its paint.  I really have to work hard not to succumb to the temptation just to leave them coated in epoxy, but I know that the inside of the locker will be dark as the tomb if I do.

While I've got the paint out, I may as well paint the bulkhead at the forward end, too, now that I know where all the framing goes.  We are slowly getting there.

One day - not too far away, I hope - I'll be at anchor alongside my friends again.