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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

04 October, 2020

A Painted Lady

In my last post, I mentioned that I had started painting the boat, and this has kept me occupied for much of the time since.  While paint is drying, I have got on with other jobs, large and small.

It was very satisfying to put the wind vane on its pole.  Fanshi is starting to look like a real boat, now!

I attached the blocks for the davits, which was another job ticked off.

The red and the yellow paint have caused a few comments and one or two pursed lips.  You can imagine the reaction when I applied bright pink paint to my boat.  One good friend thought it was 'ghastly' and said so with feeling and variations each time she looked at it.  Happily most people, after blinking once or twice, seem to like it.  I can't say that people disliking my paint job is going to lose me any sleep, but it's nice when people 'get it'.

I love the colours and it's actually very much in the tradition of Chinese junks, to have lots of colour around.  As someone commented on my blog, no-one could accuse me of building another boring white boat.

As you can see: it's extraordinarily difficult to get far enough back to take a decent photo.  I shall have to wait until we are out of the shed to be able to admire her in all her glory.

The colours show off the varnished teak, I think.

While I had the green paint out, I put a couple of coats on the battens.  They needed a bit of sanding and filling, but the Kevlar that David had used didn't want to sand, so I reckoned the paint would harden it up and make the job easier.  In due course I will do a bit of filling and fairing to tidy up the joints.

One of the things I love about Lakatao was the canopy over her cockpit and I have been wanting to copy it.  However, my cockpit is abouy half the length of theirs and it would all end up too cluttered if I put more than one fixed hoop in place.  I want one to keep the mainsail sheet out of the way when I gybe.  Junk sheets are long and if you don't sheet in as you gybe, great bights of rope try to entangle everything in sight.  However, there is no other reason to pull in all that rope, so I am hoping a hoop will keep it out of harm's way.  Normally I just duck and keep hold of the end of the tiller, but with 2 tillers, there seems more potential for snags.  I had thought to make it out of some fibreglass rod that I had been given, but it was both too stiff and too floppy.  It would need a lot of force to make it bend into shape, but would need staying to stop it wobbling back and forth.  I thought of some sort of plastic tubing, but when Noel tut-tutted and said that he'd have laminated it up on the floor of the shed, I was shamed into doing likewise.  I think I had been trying to save time, but probably wasted more in faffing about trying to find suitable tubing.

With the solar panels in place and actually capable of charging even in the diffused light in the shed, I reckoned I might as well buy a battery.  The panels add up to 150 watts and I managed to locate a 130 amp hour battery that would fit (just) in the place intended for it.  That should give me heaps of electricity.  Gordon came along to lend me a hand (and even more importantly, to lift the battery into place) and we soon had everything wired up.  The battery is firmly lashed into place against, sliding, tipping or moving in a knockdown.  It has glass mat and is no maintenance, both of which struck me as a Good Thing.

I bought a solar controller and installed it in the locker under the switch panel.  It seems to be capable of telling me all sorts of things and no doubt in due course I shall sit down with the book of words and work it all out.  In the meantime, it shows me the battery voltage and how much electricty the solar panels are putting out, which is all that I really need.

Meanwhile, I kept on spreading paint.  I decided to put undercoat on for the topsides.  It has a light sheen which makes it easier to see any lumps and bumps and is also quite a lot thicker than the top coat.  I knew some of the glass fibres could still be seen and hoped the undercoat would fill in the weave.  It did so very nicely.  Again I used the Perfection, adding a little black paint to it to tone it down a bit.

I could have, and probably should have, spent a lot more time sanding and filling.  However, to be perfectly honest, life is too short and I am perfectly happy with my nice shiny paint.  The black went on nicely and I tried very hard not to get too many spots where the roller was a little too lightly loaded to leave a good gloss.  I can see where I failed, but was pleased that it didn't happen too often.

I am thrilled to bits with the bow.  I think it looks wonderful!

And this is the absolutely best shot I can take of the overall effect.  I can't wait to be able to stand back and look at the whole boat.

I had carried on picking away at the hoop - sanding, coating and fitting it.  Finally I got it glued into place.

It is surprisingly sturdy, but I do hope nobody is inclined to use it as a hand rail.  I don't think it would be up to that sort of abuse.  It now needs painting and there is some more yellow paint to be applied around the stern.  Once that is done, two coats of clear finish will be applied from king plank to lower rubbing strake and then the paint job will be complete.

And, at the other end of the boat, I have stowed away the rope and chain for the main anchor.