Friday, July 28, 2006

The Wendy House

We needed to have the hull blasted, Saxon Wharf often have very expensive boats laid up next to us which really wouldn’t appreciate (read ‘would sue us’) having all the crap from our blasting process deposited all over them. Answer; Build a shroud all around to contain the filth. Wendy Ann was going under cover. Under the scrutiny of the yard this would be quite a public and expensive operation- and the resulting structure needed to be strong enough to withstand the strong winds that blow up during the winter. So get it right first time then, make it, ooh- 24 metres long, 9 metres wide and about 6 metres tall. In a weekend. Should be a laugh. It’d only be the largest thing I’d ever made after all. We knew that post blasting the tent might remain in place for some time and didn’t really fancy a half baked or ugly solution so at Saxon Wharfs recommendation we called Martin Cox and co., who expertly shrinkwrap boats in special plastic (for blasting, transportation, painting etc) for a living. He agreed to cover a structure around ms Ann, just as long as we built it heavily enough.
Once again I owe the success of this particular chapter of the project to other people, to whom B and I are hugely thankful. You can see how we got along in the pictures, and every time we go down to Southampton and step into the Wendy house I’m amazed that we actually did it. There’s nearly a kilometre of two by four in the structure, and an awful lot of screws. So far it’s survived nearly ten months of exposure to the elements (touch wood, haha) and quite apart from keeping all our dust and shit from drifting onto other boats, it enables us to work with almost total disregard for the weather, at least the rain- recent hot and sunny conditions are no fun, no fun at all, you sort of boil in the box. The shroud also looks very neat and tidy from the outside, thus protecting Wendy Ann 2’s modesty while she’s the black (or should that be rust red) sheep of the shipyard. And I can run around the deck naked to my boots at 6am without scaring the security guards.
Mark Holloway, zero9John, Pawel, Richard, Wingnut, Leddermann Jan, and of course Martin Cox- you’re all utterly brilliant men of action.


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