Tuesday, December 18, 2007


That Bloody boat. It’s driving me completely mad. Words probably cannot express the depths of my frustration- but I’m about to have a damn good go anyway. It goes like this, work tits off for entire year, set deadlines for vessel to be ready for next phase of priming, fail to be ready, move deadline back by month, convince self that we can get it done by X date, sail past deadline, continue to work tits off, move deadline back another month, and so on. Now it’s practically pigging Christmas and our vessel is still sat there, naked, devoid of those magic first coats of paint. Why the agonizing drawn out crawl this time? I was hoping to return from our holiday and work with Robin to get the last few tasks finished, then call the painters in. Have we managed it? Have we fuck as like. No, Robin has come down with mega-flu and sounds dreadful, like he’s got a bucket stuck firmly over his head and two corks rammed up either nostril, so obviously the last thing he needs is to be dragged out to a freezing cold shipyard and put to work, this hasn’t stopped me wishing pointlessly that he’d hurry up and get better though.
Instead I’ve been squeezing in the odd days to go down to Wendy Ann to see what I can achieve, this seems to comprise mostly of me just banging my own stupid head against the problem. The best achievement lately is persuading Steve and Jon at SBS (the guys who painted inside the forward third so brilliantly earlier this year) that what they really want to do is squeeze us into their monumentally hectic schedule early in the new year, just the same time that everyone else seems to be putting off their paint jobs ‘til, and then work themselves silly and make hardly any money from us. They must be mad but thank Christ they’ve agreed, though despite my earnest pleas, the closest thing to a promise that I can extract from either of them is “don’t worry, I’m sure we can fit you in, you’ll just have to be flexible that’s all”. Grrr, but I know this is as good as it gets when, frankly, they’ll be doing us a huge favour. I so, so wish they’d actually write us into their new year schedule, even in blunt pencil would do- just so I had a firmer date to aim at but no, instead I’m going to have to accept that Wendy Ann will be jostling for their attentions with other, much larger (and clearly therefore more lucrative) contracts, like the M.O.D.-oh poo.
But I need SBS, I know they’ll only apply the first two coats of a much thicker finished paint job, but it’s how they’ll apply them that’s the important bit. Other much less frustrated boat owners might go ahead and just start rollering on the primer, and there’s not much wrong with that really, but after all the blood, sweat and money we’ve spent I want to make the best use of the fancy intershield 300 primer’s potential, and the airless spray used by professionals fires the paint into the steel so hard that the end result is the best bond possible. It goes without saying that this is desirable in an anti corrosive paint.
So instead I’m waiting, which is only just about acceptable right now because Robin is temporarily dying of some horrid viral lurgy, but I have become so righteously sick of the sight of bare steel that I’m beginning to think I might pop if I have to look at it much longer, which is why there are no photographs to accompany this post.
Ok, ok… there’s still stuff to finish off anyway, which means that at least my welding ineptitude is being forced to grow up a little bit. It’s not called an ability until you can actually be relied upon to do it well more than 80% of the time I reckon. In my frustration I’ve taken on a few of the silly smaller tasks that I’m beginning to feel embarrassed at waiting to ask Robin to do, at least half of these turned out reasonably well first time and didn’t require grinding back and starting again. One of the successes was overhead (for all of about 50mm). Because it’s quite hard to do competently, this achievement represents a seriously big deal to me, as usually my welding skills vary wildly according to the state of my reserves of patience, and as you can probably tell, the tanks are running a little close to empty at the moment. But ho hum, practice makes perpetrator and all that, and I’m slowly starting to understand some of the principles that Robin’s patiently explained over the months.
But Bollocks, Everybody else’s boat looks great, ours still looks, well, steely. I’ve all these best laid plans about rollering on top coats and painting ballast and fitting portholes and putting the wheelhouse back together (not to mention that dratted spiral staircase), and there’s no frigging point in even thinking about all that because it’s freezing cold, saxon wharf just love taking our money every month, and now I’m having to grind off the odd bit of ginger rust because the tent has a few leaks and all the while Wendy is still sat there laughing at me. Bloody boat.


Blogger Andrew Tognola said...

All anyone can say is that you are doing a remarkable job that will certainly last.
Maybe it,s like giving birth ,a lot of pain that probably seems to go on forever but when it all over you soon forget it ( being a bloke i'm probably talking bollocks !!!)
What you need is a bloody good Chrismas.
So Happy Christmas to both of you

Best Wishes ;Andrew

12:59 pm  
Blogger bowiechick said...

K...breathe in...breathe out..OK AGAIN.

This will pass.

Or it will forever cure you of boat disease.

That vacation sounded really lovely. G and I have never taken one either. We really, really need one. Hopefully somewhere tropical where I don't have to split firewood.

6:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang on in there !!!

Keep calm!!!

Wow.... I love the the account of your holiday and the food. Is that my son?

HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you both (and Robin) (and Claire et famille) and may 2008 reap results!

Love you from Madre xxxxxx

2:26 pm  

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