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.