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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

16 December, 2018

Like British Rail

We are getting there.

I have been trying to work out where to put my herbs and spices.  I'd thought to make a shelf along the stringer, but the stringer was too narrow and it all seemed excessively complicated for what I would achieve.  Then it occurred to me that I didn't really have a handy locker for tea, coffee, salt and pepper, etc, so I had the idea of combining the two.  

One way and another, I seem to have had innumerable distractions since I came back from Nelson and I've realised that when my train of thought gets broken, even for about 5 minutes, it seems to take me about an hour to get back on an even keel.  So I designed, if that's the right word, this little locker with only part of my mind, and in truth, have been worrying that it might look a bit odd.   

 It went together surprisingly quickly - I've had a bit of practice by now.

 Finding the jars was a bit of a mission: glass are nice, but they would have to be secured for offshore work, while plastic ones can fly about with gay abandon without doing any damage.  I saw some of about the correct size at Para Rubber in Whangarei, and bought a couple of dozen.  Then all I had to do was to make some little fiddle rails to keep them in place.  I think conditions will have to be very bad before they start falling off the shelf.

 I'm still ticking off the wiring.  My good friends at All Marine sold me a nice little 600 watt inverter.  This will be more than enough for running my computer, charging battery tools and powering a sewing machine.  I screwed it underneath the counter in the heads, adjacent to where the battery will be situated.

 I ran the wiring for the saloon lights, intending to screw them into place - another job ticked.

 However, the lamps need to be attached to a piece of wood so that the wire can go into the back of them, and the piece of wood needs to be fitted around the deck lining trim and the deck lining trim can't be fitted until all the deck lining is in place.  Net result: I couldn't fit the lamps.

 However, I could fit the transducer for the echo sounder, without committing myself irrevocably to its wiring, although I'm pretty sure where it will end up.  As ever, it was a bit scary drilling a damn great hole through my pristine hull.

 I used some purple heart to support the transducer itself.

And glued it carefully into place over the predrilled hole.  I forgot to take a photo of the finished job.  Apologies.

 Back in the galley, I'd been ticking away at the wee locker, with its various stages of gluing and coating.  Of course I had to fit hinges to the door and have come to the conclusion that my learning curve is completely flat where these are concerned.  I won't say how long it took me to fit the damn things.

 The next job was the really exciting one of putting down tigerwood on the counter.  My friend Murray, kindly gave me a few hours to help me cut up the timber - and by the time most of it ended up as shavings or dust, the weight was reduced to an acceptable level.  I dry fitted it.

 I dislike stainless steel sinks and, besides, they come in a limited range of sizes.  I decided to make one.  At first I thought I'd make it with sloping sides to look nice, but mature consideration convinced me that the sloping sides would simply encourage the water to come out when the boat is heeling.

 My right-angled joinery is usually 'more or less', but I wanted this to be a little more accurate than usual.  Phil and Mark had given me a special clamp some months ago, and this proved to be excellent for the job.  With set squares clamped in place for extra insurance the whole thing went together satisfactorily.

 I filleted it straight away, to ensure that the corners stayed true.  Some of the tigerwood, in spite of having been properly seasoned and properly stored for a few years now (!) goes berserk once it goes through the saw so sometimes it needs to be coerced into cooperating.  I've found I need to pounce on it just at the right time, glue it down and get a coat of epoxy on it to stabilise it as soon as I can.

 But it's soooo beautiful that it's worth it.  I lined the sink up carefully, fitting runners to the long sides so that I could screw it in place.

 Then - sheer silliness this - I used the lengths from the appropriate planks to make the bottom of the sink.

 The base is made from an offcut of 4mm ply. I had glued the tigerwood to it first, carefully marking it to that it would fit snugly, but will admit to being more than a little startled when it did.  I must be improving.

 So then I dry fitted it.  All tickety boo, no?

Well, no, actually.  God only knows how it happened, but when I came to glue it in, it point blank refused to come anywhere near flush and I had to spend ages trimming the runners to get it to fit.  I am still completely bewildered as to what went wrong.  On second thoughts, maybe I'm not improving.

 However, finally I got the planking down and the sink glued in and I have to say that I think it all looks pretty good.  The fiddle is being held in place by clamps, in an effort to persuade it that it would far prefer to be straight than bent like a banana.

So portholes to fit, cabin sole to cover, saloon table to make and then lots of varnishing and that will be about it.  Until I remember all the things that I need that I have so far forgotten!!