Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fat Bottomed Girls.

Know what this is?
Indeed, it’s the final plate going into Wendy’s Hull.
We’ve only bloody done it, and the hull is now days away from completion.

There are four remaining jobs to do to achieve this-
1)Finish fitting final aforesaid plate and weld up inside and out- which I think Larry has already done today.
2)Weld round 140 remaining rivets at stern- my job, lucky me. Now I know how Robin feels. I’ve already done just over 50, and it took more than four hours. Robin welded about four thousand. Hats off.
3)Fabricate blanking plate for the stern tube (see later in this entry) and weld into place- Larry and I are on it this weekend.
4)Weld on eight remaining pairs anode studs around stern and rudder- my job.

The generator room bulkhead, stern bulwarks and after deck are still to be reinstated, but I’m on a mission now, and it’s my intention to complete them all in 12 long working days. I’m not mad; put it this way, working with Larry is going well, my welding and plating skills are coming on nicely, and I’ve only got a few superficial burns to my hands, neck and forearms at the mo, must be time for new gauntlets (my face is healing fast so I must be physically healthy at least).

As you may have gathered, we’re all working extremely hard. I myself have formulated a new method of squeezing twenty-seven hours into one day, the only problem is now I think it’s last Sunday night.
I’m throwing just about all I’ve got at this thing, and I’m sure Einstein had something important to say about mass, time and energy. Maybe I could accidentally invent a new kind of bomb as well.

(Please bear in mind that I finished working on wendy at 9pm last night and started the main engine on Storebror at 6am this morning so I may not be at my most coherent). I found myself saying to B’s mum the other day that at the moment I seem to be living out of a battered old messenger bag that I keep in the back of the fiesta, which I drive in a perpetual and madcap circle from Epsom, to Wendy Ann, to Portsmouth and Storebror and back again... The bag usually contains clean socks and a toothbrush, some burn ointment, and a lot of fresh coffee (because believe me, I cannot operate without it).

Yes I still have a launch date for our increasingly fine vessel, and yes it’s still the same one, and no, I’m still not brave enough to tell.

Last weekend we were privileged to have helpers in the shape of Jan-Jan de leddermann, and the indomitable mister Knight. I’d already cut the propellor off Wendy Ann (if you want an explanation of why, you’ll have to ask me very nicely), so Becky, Jan and I took turns polishing the thing up. Finally we’ve found something on the boat which is actually worth money! Here’s pictures- it’s made of some sort of bronze, and is absolutely stunning. It’ll stay with the vessel because I'm a romantic old sod, and will probably spend some time on deck after launching as a pretty object for visitors to break their shins on as they trip over it.

Then while Larry spent even more hours welding up the new plates at the stern we all got busy with the woodwork, two skylights got a big detail sanding, and a ton of reclaimed teak went flying through my new planer thicknesser, which completely killed its knives. I’ve ordered Tungsten carbide tipped replacements, old growth teak equals right fucking hard wood. On Saturday evening B had to leave us, which I hate, so she could reinvent time as well (she had to start work at 5.30am on Sunday) so I treated the boys to some beer and a well earned steak. I might be tired but boy, can we eat. It was, as ever, a real tonic to share my big stupid obsession and workload with some dear friends, I’m indebted to them but I’m sure they’re just thinking of the three day walk-the-plank bender that will be the post-launch party. No I’m not telling you when that’ll be yet, but you’ll all be invited in good time, trust me.

My thanks to the dearly departed Freddie Mercury for the rather cryptic title today, if you’re wondering where my heads at, go find a Best of Queen album (everyone’s got one somewhere)- and stick the above song on and listen very carefully to the lyrics, maybe you’ll see what I mean. ‘I was just a skinny lad, never knew no good from bad, but I knew love before I left my nursery….etc.’ Geddit? Thought not. My alternative (and possibly saner) explanation is that Ms Ann has finally got her fat bottom back...

Never buy a rusty old boat, this will eventually happen to you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Skin Grows Back.

A salutory warning. When cutting metal, the stuff gets a bit hot. I WAS wearing my safety specs (before my mum starts making a fuss), and I'm glad I was- otherwise I'd possibly have lost the sight in my left eye by now. Actually I was chipping away just after cutting when this lump of red hot steel flew up and rudely embedded itself in me, and there was a delicious smell as of frying bacon as I swatted frantically at my face to dislodge the thing. Burnt so deep I still cannot feel it. Damn, and there I was only the night before smugly congratulating myself that I had not managed to maim, bludgeon or otherwise nearly kill myself for some time now. You know what they say about pride and all that. Hey ho, at least it'll be an interesting-if slightly odd-scar, I mean, for christ sake the sodding thing's teardrop shaped innit!? Great, now the whole world will look at me and be able to see how I feel about boat building.

Thanks to Jamie and Catt for the inspiration behind the todays title.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Too Tired.

to explain. Let the pictures do the talking.
None of this is welded up yet. And the dogs are still on the rolled piece.
But you get the drift.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Phantom Welder.

Text removed by Author.