Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Future is Now.

Becky and I went to the boat for four whole days last week. It is simplest to say that we had about the best time it’s possible to have whilst boatbuilding on a shoestring. I absolutely love the rare occasions that B is able to pull herself away from work and join me on the big dream.
We had all these enormous plans as usual, and as usual knocked our guts out attempting to get them all done, but common to all building projects Wendy Ann has this way of making everything we do take longer than we thought it would. By now we know all about his phenomenon and were well braced for it, so there is no sense of disappointment whatsoever at what we didn’t manage to cross off the list.
The big idea was to concentrate on ONE area of the vessel and attempt to make a huge difference. So after much obsessive planning on my behalf Becky persuaded me to drop some of my wilder, more addled ideas and we chose to dedicate our efforts to the wheelhouse and cabin interior.

Here’s a list of what we DIDN’T manage to get to in those magic four days:
Sprayfoaming the steel cabin floor and rear bulkhead wall
Second layer of insulation and vapour barrier the walls and ceilings
Installation of oak lining to wheelhouse ceiling
Mousing through all electrical cables
Floor and lower wall sections cut from 18mm ply

And here’s a list of what we DID:
1/4 ton Concrete slab laid on steel bridge deck
All electric conduits installed
Wheelhouse lining ply cut, backed with glassfibre and fully installed
Ply lining of cabin walls all cut to fit and dry-fitted
Steel cabin floor battened out ready for sprayfoam

As a bonus B also found time to cover our new access staging in chicken wire to provide a bit more grip underfoot in wet weather, so now our staging has the Littlehampton look- as every fishermans wharf this side of the river seems also to be covered in the stuff.
So you could say we’re halfway through the list, that’s possibly a bit misleading though. The reason I say this is twofold, firstly getting all our electrical conduit in the right place was one of those thinky thinky carefully type jobs which required a two brained approach. So that took the best part of a day. Secondly those (incidentally top notch quality hardwood WBP ply) linings that feature largest in the photographs look simple. But there’s almost not a right angle in the things and cutting them ate up two days. I’m proud to say that I cut nearly every one to fit within a half millimetre tolerance. Bevel gauges and really sharp block planes are truly marvellous tools for helping do it right. The only slightly gappy ones are in the wheelhouse linings, where the lining meets at some severe angles two of my mitres are ever so slightly (fit a credit card between ‘em- which is actually quite thick) off. But hey, there are more layers going over here so B persuaded (read ‘drunkenly heckled’) me after the evenings first bottle of red that maybe I should just try to be a little less anal about the fit. She says she knows it’s against my nature, I have absolutely no idea what she means.
With the exception of the wheelhouse panels, all the others are merely slotted in position right now as time just ticked out on us again, but as Sunday progressed B and I shared a rising sense of excitement at the rapid transformation of the first part of our vessel’s interior which is finally beginning to look like you could almost live in it instead of the ‘very expensive shed’ aesthetic I’d grown so used to.
In my day job I’m currently spending an awful lot of time at the top of some insanely tall ladders, but I’m hoping to get back down to Wendy for a few days around this weekend to move this project significantly further forward, and I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that Becky might come for a day too. So I’m fervently hoping that we’ll get as far as trying out the sprayfoam that we ordered up special on the exposed bits of steel, as for moving on to that oak ceiling lining, well, that’d be a dream. I’ll let you know how we get on.


Anonymous SweetpeainFrance said...

What a future to be looking forward to, NOW! Well done le deux! Bisous xx

8:18 pm  
Anonymous simon said...

Looking good and know what you mean about not getting everything done you want. Thats pretty much my sunday night conversations with Mary about Misterton - 'yeah, we made some progress, but I wish I could've done more'.

Conduit is good, we've used lots of it, surface mounted for a slightly industrial look. I discovered that folding over the first inch of the end of the wire gave a curvy end that didn't snag going through junction boxes etc.

Good luck!

3:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are getting there.
Better to concentrate on a certain aspect and do it well.
Looking really good
Ma & Pa xxx

4:14 pm  
Anonymous melissa said...

wow! Lookin good!!

5:46 pm  
Blogger Janys said...

What is the concrete slab for? Dumb question? I can almost feel the sense of satisfaction you must both be feeling at seeing these transformations. As always, we are still at the "trying-to-get-a-mooring" stage of our life afloat!

7:07 am  
Blogger Billy said...

Dear Both,

Have just read the archive having found you on a link from a friends build blog.

Wendy Ann 2 will be a home for the heroic and virtuous.

I thought I had it hard! I'm just coming to the end (since 2003 and does it ever finish) of our new build 55'.

I take my hat off to you both for your tenacity and endurance amidst adversity. "Well done" doesn't really do it justice does it?

Don't worry, most people won't even see your tiny imperfections, or can ever realise the enormity of your chosen task.

For us it has been worth it in the end, but I did doubt it at times.


Tracey Ann,


1:37 am  
Blogger Billy said...


12:58 pm  
Blogger IsmilebecauseIhavenoideawhatsgoingon said...

Dear All,

Your comments mean so much to me, and I'd like to say thankyou very much to y'all. Billy, you deserve a special mention, as your kind words just made me cry. don't worry, as you've read the archive you'll already be well aware that I'm always at it.

Thankyou so much, what is it about boats that does this to grown men?

regards, S

4:31 pm  
Blogger Janys said...

There must be something about them that makes boat blogging almost an exclusively male affair. To get a man to sit at a typewriter is no mean feat.

I continue to look on in awe

7:13 am  
Blogger IsmilebecauseIhavenoideawhatsgoingon said...

Hi Janys,

A boat is a she, a boat is a he.

What about Lorna on Serenity, or Melissa on Hendrik? Oh, Mary over on Misterton regularly writes some brilliant stuff too. As far as I know none of them are boys. But I think I know what you're getting at.
I've always been an inveterate diary and notebook keeper and as far as I'm concerned the blog thing is just another way of scribbling about some of what I experience. It's another means of record, but a public one.
By the way, the concrete slab on the bridge. Wendy Ann is meant to have one there, and did when we bought her- but it had been partially removed already, and the steel beneath was consequently in a bad way. We removed the rest and Robin welded in a completely new bridge deck. Without the concrete this deck is 70mm lower than the Mahogany planks of the bridge proper. 'spose I could've battened it and used plywood to board it out, but Wendy needs weight, and it seemed right to replace an original feature like for like. Eventually it'll be tiled, which is certainly not original but hey ho.

regards, s

10:18 am  
Blogger Janys said...

Ok... I got that straight. I had a mild panic and couldn't find anything in any of my books about slabs of concrete there, in that place!

Must just whisper that at last we got the drawings back for our official mooring request... but don't tell anyone!

8:56 pm  
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4:13 am  

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