Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Make Dust while the Sun Shines.

This Easter, blessed with the sort of weather usually reserved for our more traditional ten day long british summer, y’know the one, hammered blue sky, baking sunshine and a light breeze from dawn ‘til dusk; we decided to make the most of it. I wish I’d had the sense to take a ‘before’ pic of this because our wheelhouse and cabin, which we launched with a heavily oiled finish- had gone almost black over the last two years. It seems the oil just couldn’t keep up with the harsh coastal climate. No surprise there. We decided to yacht varnish the thing, but then discovered some super dooper penetrating oily varnish product that seemed just right and bought that instead. It’s made by some SA firm I’d never heard of and is supposed to be good for boats, picture of tin coming soon.
It only took three solid days of hard sanding before we were actually ready to open the aforementioned tin though. And now everyone’s elbows hurt. On the plus side we did balance the working bit quite neatly with being a bunch of total beach bums, naffing off to the west beach for a swim every time we felt too burnt/dusty, and wearing an impressive array of silly hats to keep the slaphead from overheating. Also cooking various tasty meals on de woodburner including mackerel caught that day by my neighbour, and spending almost the entire weekend barefoot wearing little more than a pair of cut off combat shorts. Deepest of joy it was, especially when we all stood back and admired the lovely first coat of varnish stuff.

And the best bit (apart from Becky and Ranka being there and revelling in it)?? Due to some royal people getting hitched this friday I get another four days to do it all over again. Except the sanding bit quite so much.
Bet it rains.

The other Other Lady's Bow.

Is happening. These pictures, taken last week show the situation. We made a jig, built the hull bottom and stem on it, bent the (12mm- eeek!) chine plates into position, cut the jig off, and now the hull side frames have been bent in pairs and are in place. There's a temporary internal structure evident in this pic, which was taken during the centring and squaring process. I'm pleased to say that the whole thing is now set, bang on plus/minus just 2.5mm across the centreline, which is cool. This week we've moved onto deck beam knees and stringers, and then we'll be able to plate the thing. Oh, and the cambered deck beams themselves have just arrived. Phew.

God. I love my job.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flooring it.

Here’s the results of another fairly exhausted Saturday at Ms Ann. I’ve been meaning to put this little raised floor in the forward accommodation down for, like, ages. It’s made from leftovers of the thick pine T&G that went into the bedroom as I discovered that if I was super careful in my cutting I’d have just enough. For those that want to know, the central portion lifts out to allow access to the bilge and the sides are fixed down with some fat recessed bronze bolts through a damp proof membrane to the steel bearers beneath. I still have to make and fit the nosing so I’m afraid this is another unfinished job. Actually, let’s just apply that phrase to the entire vessel and have done with it shall we?
On the subject of careful cutting, there was inevitably a bunch of smaller offcuts left when the job was done, which fed the stove that evening and kept me and the new floor nice and toasty all night. After a glass (ok, three) of warmed wine this struck me as having a marvellous symmetry. Things are going well, but I keep running out of wine.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Half-a-job Seb.

Oughta make my Mark smile, seeing as that’s what he was so fond of calling me during the cabin construction, and proof that sometimes I definitely do do things by halves, even if it’s only by necessity.
So I just worked a six and a half day week, finishing up a job that I’d organised privately on Sunday lunchtime by promising meself that should I complete the job to customer satisfaction in time- I’d reward myself with a flying visit to the iron lady. In order to justify a mere two hours on board I decided a tiny small target was in order, followed by a good hour at least of mooning about the place wondering why my back hurts so much.
So I screwed three of these things to the oak deckhead in the wheelhouse. They’re part of a collection of boaty bulkhead lights that we’ve built up over the years and I’ve converted them to 12v halogen fittings.
Here’s the half measure bit, as you can see I didn’t actually get as far as the important part of the task, hooking them up to their circuit. Ah well, even more stuff for the bloody list.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


This was just going to be a picture post, but then I seem to have got carried away.
Although the items portrayed in the photos don’t look much they were more or less the sum total of efforts of last weekend, and Sam and Jamie were very helpful in helping get me this far. This is mostly due to the birch ply we used being reclaimed, so it had to be sanded like mad by Jamie to get all the footprints-n-shit off. Various issues around bolting the batteries down to a strongpoint had to be dealt with too. There is of course a bigger plan for this forward bulkhead area, and I’m beginning to wish for more 1” birch ‘A’ veneer to fall out of the sky. Well, what are you waiting for sky, come on!
That odd shaped plinthy thing with the sort of bite out of it will provide the start of a home for our fridge. How I’ve survived two summers without contracting botulism or worse is a minor miracle, as since our vessels launch we’ve been reduced to a fairly medieval damp tea towel draped over bucket arrangement. So I’m defo looking forward to somewhere to keep the cheese to stop it running away, oh- and cold beers too- before the summer.
Also, I cannot for the life of me figure out any more sensible plans for that awkward bastard bit around the stairs. Believe me, I’ve looked sideways at the issue for several years and I can’t think of anything better. Never put spiral stairs into boats folks, they’re a pretty pain in the bum.
Whilst I realise that to the unschooled eye it may all look like a load of bollocks, this simple beginning is enough to get me all excited, I know, it doesn’t take much. And the wendy-ideas wall is currently covered in various sketches and scribbles describing how the whole thing should end up looking.
It’s going to take a while though.