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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

17 February, 2019

Closing her in

We are having a wonderful summer, here in New Zealand.  At least it is a wonderful summer for those lucky enough to be able to spend it outside.  I would have been seriously wondering about my sanity at building a boat where the temperature is reaching 38°C by lunchtime and staying there until 5 o'clock or so, but progress had been satisfying and I keep thinking of being out there, anchored in some quiet and beautiful spot ...

 I haven't got that many photos, this time, because one piece of plywood looks remarkably like another!

This one shows me putting the thickened epoxy on a deckhead panel, ready to screw into place.  The rest of the plywood is bare - it will be coated once it's in place.  It's less stiff and recalcitrant if it's not precoated.

 Fitting the deck head panels was definitely not a favourite job.  It was very difficult to cut them accurately to shape because they only need to sag away from the deck beam a tiny bit to end up being marked too short.  Still the trim will hide the gaps.

 The final piece of headliner fitted in place.  I made an extra little 'beam' for it to land one, because I am not going to have the headliner around the pram hood.  Most of it will be cut out anyway, so it hardly seemed worth the effort of fitting.

 This photo shows the extra deck 'beam' with the lining in and ready for its insulation.  Plenty of screws are required to persuade the plywood into place, even along the flat, outside area of the deck.  There has been considerable attrition among the screws, with many making a successful leap for freedom.  I think some sort of toe rail might be a good thing!

 With the high temperatures, even the super slow hardener is kicking off fairly quickly, so I kept the panel sizes down to something sensible.  This also makes them easier to handle especially when I put them down - I don't want them sliding and scraping off all the glue!

 Next one ready to go.  The little grey device is my old barometer, which is convinced that we are in the middle of the deepest depression ever recorded, but still shows the temperature accurately.  It's probably 5 or 6°C warmer at deck level than at ground level, so it's worth knowing.

 Spreading the glue without getting it all over me was a bit of an issue, here.  I am wearing a knee pad, bceause my left knee is suffering from "deck layer's knee", and is presently swollen and rather painful, although it seems to be responding to padding and Ibuprofen.  I remember now that I had the same issue when filling in all the screw holes on Badger.  You can see the blocking next to the hatch, to take the bolts for the winches.

 And here we are - the boat is finally closed in!

"All" I need to do now, is to put down a layer of 4mm plywood all over the deck, followed by the teak and then the deck is done. the lockers next to the bilgeboards require lids and of course there will be various pads for winches, etc.


desastre said...

Hello Annie!
What an incredibly ambitious undertaking, building that boat.
I'm a lubberly Brit, now living in Auckland, and am 90% of the way through building a treehouse for my little son, and it has been quite a mission. No doubt I'm over-engineering it, and could have it done far quicker, but sheesh, building a full sized sailing BOAT well... well, sheesh! Hats off.

I first came across your work back in 2006 I believe, and junk rigs have intrigued me ever since. I got it into my head that I could build a 10 or 12 foot dinghy and put a junk rig in it, and have some fun around Brighton where I was living at the time, but I allowed life to get in the way.

Anyway, I wonder if it's like malaria or something; once you've had the boat bug, you're liable to have it resurface at any time. I was wondering if you knew of anyone down in Auckland who might be willing to show me the ropes on a junk-rigged boat, or if there are any junk rig clubs based down here.

Thanks again for your marvelous books.

All the best,


Annie Hill said...

Hi Matt

Nice to hear from a Kiwi-by-adoption.

Yes, it's probably not the wisest project to have started, but I'm getting a lot of satisfaction our of it while exorcising certain demons, so all good.

I reckon you ought to join the Junk Rig Association. The 64 page magazine that has just come out (available in print or as a pdf file to members) has a section on rigging dinghies as junks. You'd probably get a lot of inspiration from that.

We have a member in Warkworth who is always happy to take people out on his boat. I can hardly give you his email address on this site, but you can contact me at and I'll pass your email to him, and ask him if he could take you sailing.

We have quite a lot of members in New Zealand, several of whom live around Auckland and we are a friendly bunch. This is the nearest you will get to a junk rig club. Most boaties still can't get their head around it!