Monthly Archives: March 2014

Wet ‘n Dry

What a difference a day makes.

Spent Friday, in the rain, working with the tarpaulin over the cockpit and bumping my head on its support. I was getting the heads seacocks ready for fitting in the dry; finding more leaks, this time from around the chainplate fittings; playing with the electrics (more on that later!).

The surveyor who inspected the boat in drizzle should have found the leaks from around the chainplate fittings but didn’t, partly because he didn’t look in at least one of the lockers. I tightened them up on Sat and fed the bolt heads and under the plate with creeping crack cure. Later, I’ll put sealant around them. There was also rainwater coming in from around the water tank filler on the port side forward. That got the same treatment.

The holes for the seacocks were all cleaned out of old sealant on the wet day ready for the dry day. Being a true amateur, I used far, FAR too much sealant when I re-fitted the seacocks and the plates against the hull. It was a real mess; so I took the inlet grid off to remove the excess! WD40 is a very good cleaner of Sikaflex before it dries. The next job is to fit the hoses and put in the new loo. Will be a proper job when finished. Don’t say if.

There was a bundle of about five twin core cables at the electrics panel that are not connected, another bundle of seven twin core and two multi-core cables at the chart table. I found 2 that were connected; one will be for the VHF radio and the other for the radio-CD player. I also confirmed that the switch marked “Inst Power” went to the right place! The “Inst Lights” lit up the Port compass but the Stbd compass had no connection. I now have to work out which cable is which under the mast foot in the heads and find a way of getting the cables from the mast foot inside to the connection panel. Please wish me luck!

We’ve started the process of getting a spray hood and cockpit enclosure ordered. The smaller dinghy is being renovated. All the old polyurethane varnish has been removed and the wood has been cleaned and primed, ready for some proper paint. The saloon floorboard, nearest the engine, was contaminated with engine oil and would not accept any varnish. So I’m stripping all off again and washing it  with white spirit and hoping that the varnish will stick AND dry.

No More Demolishion

I think that we stopped taking the boat apart and from now on she’s being put back together. Is this progress?

All the plumbing is done except connecting the heads mixer tap to the tubes. Single-handed at arm’s length inside the heads locker is not the easiest way to fix the tap into the sink. I hope it will be third time lucky on our next visit! Next job is to fill with sterilising fluid and test everything and look for leaks. There will be at least one!

The engine is now finished. I connected the exhaust hose and the cooling water from the seacock via a new elbow on the top of it to the strainer and thence to the engine (almost back by the inlet!). Without the elbow, the cooling tube would interfere with the exhaust hose! There’s a nice new strainer to stop debris coming into the coolant

The loo and new seacocks are ready to be fitted but not done today in the rain ‘cos I would get wet! So would the  fittings.

Final job for today was fitting the 2nd shelf into the chart table locker. However, I’m going to have fun shaping the instrument panel to fit around the bevels that Sadler put in. Not sure how I’m going to get round it without it looking a mess.

Better Progress!

Day 3 for the plumbing! I’ve now connected up all the hoses to the calorifier, including a blender valve that will save us hot water and be safer. The engine will heat the water to about 70°C + but the water from the taps will be at 55°C or so. The galley tap has been fitted but still needs a bit more tightening – with a screwdriver in a slot on the edge of the securing nut and at arm’s length under the sink. It’s most uncomfortable! The tap/shower for the heads will be fitted shortly but I think that’s a bit easier. (Famous last words!)

The old smelly loo is out. The Boss has “volunteered” to clean the whole area before our nice shiny new loo is installed. We’re still waiting for new seacocks. Wonder why they’re taking so long to come in.

The chart table locker is now installed and beginning to look like a proper locker. I’ll get round to a photo soon!

The electrics will be a challenge. The starboard light don’t appear to have power to them. The fridge doesn’t work and that will need some careful fault-finding and may end up with a professional. Where the wires for the instruments go, is anyone’s guess. I’ve got to thread the masthead anchor wire from under the mast foot back to the switch panel. Now that will be fun! On the other hand, the re-wire for the autopilot will be easy, ‘cos I’ve done it once already!

The Boss has washed ALL the ropes; they look very clean and are still be bit stiff. Maybe a purchase at the Plymouth Boat Jumble. We plan to have a stall there.

I’ve given up with trying to get the stemhead fitting welded in-situ. There were 12 bolts around the edge that came out reasonably easily, 14 bolts on top plus 6 securing inadequate fairleads. I drilled out the fairlead bolts and all but ONE of the others came undone. That final one I removed with a hacksaw  but had great difficulty punching it back in to allow the fitting to slide off forwards. I did borrow a lump hammer from Louis of LNR Marine. Thanks Louis. Success! On Mon, we off to Daco Engineering to get the whole thing welded.

I started to re-fit the turning blocks, however, I have bought the wrong size of tap to drill the thread in the embedded aluminium plates. S H one Tango. Back to Plymouth to get the right size. In the meantime I’ve filled all the old holes with toughened epoxy.

The yard is really filling up with people working on their boats. You can tell because parking close to  my boat is getting more difficult. When I started, there was only the occasional person down. Still it’s nice working in the sun!

Two More Days for Plumbing

We had looked at the tubing for the hot & cold water and decided that it may do. However, on closer examination, the inside of the tubing was dirtier than the outside! So, it all had to go, starting with the fresh water inlet hose which was sticky to the touch!

Day one was removing the old tubing: See Two Steps Forward.

Day 2 was the difficult bit – putting the plumbing back! I started with the fresh water inlet, luckily the beast came out from behind the chart table locker quite easily. The new was cut to size, plus a bit just in case, and it fitted well after a second adjustment and went onto the fittings with the help of a heatgun to warm the plastic.


How I secured the hose to the messenger

The new red and blue hose for hot and cold water went in fairly easily. I think I used about 2/3 the length of  tubing compared with the original. It all pushed through except across and under the saloon. The first tube was pushed through quite easily. However, the second tube needed to be pushed and pulled though together and in stages. I secured the loop of messenger with a screw and covered it with plastic tape and heaved and shoved and got it through after about 20 mins.

At home, I had replaced all the bodged hose connections on the calorifier, mostly soldered copper tube with 1/2in hose secured with jubilee clips which eventually leaked! I used compression joints to threaded hose connections which won’t leak unless I haven’t tightened them properly! I also fitted the engine heating tubes to the calorifier. There are several ‘Y’ connectors to fit to split the hot and cold water and every joint needed a jubilee clip. What’s the betting that I have forgotten to tighten one!

We’ve thrown away both the galley and heads taps to be replaced with a normal tap and a shower combined with a tap respectively. The hole for the galley tap was wrong so I’ve filled that with epoxy and will drill new holes next time. When everything is done, we will need to sterilise the whole system. I won’t use the water from the Wharf, ‘cos it’s noticeably cloudy compared with the water I get for our kettle from their kitchen tap. It will have to wait to the Dartmouth marina and a good dose of Puriclean.

The other bit of plumbing was the exhaust hose. It’s “wet”, ie the cooling water is ejected through the exhaust. The old hose was probably original (27 years old) and was perished and cracked, especially on the bends. Thankfully, the old stuff came off easily and I’ve inserted a new swan neck on the outlet to prevent back filling and secured it to the rudder tube. We’ve lost a little bit of useable space in the aft locker but we can live with that.

Other things done at home are the varnishing of the hidden parts of the chart table locker and fore cabin locker cover and painting of the windlass which is now complete. Just waiting for a very large ‘O’ ring to appear.

At last, I feel that we are getting on top of the challenge with this Project.

A Sunny day for the Chart Table

I only go to the boat to work when there is hope of no rain. The tarpaulin keeps the rain off the cockpit and out of the cabin very well but I can’t get in and out without lots of hassle!

I  decided to do just one job today – the chart table locker. I arrived with a bag full of bits of ply, wood and loadsa tools, but as it turned out there were a few that I needed – a plane, spokeshave. This is what it looked like before I got started!Chart TableChart Table Before Work Started

I removed all the rubbish, the bodged locker to fit a HF transceiver. The original shelving and lockers made by Sadler were fine. Although by the time this boat was being built they were desperate to cut costs. In some places it shows!

After demolishion

After demolition

Today, I did a “dry” fit of the new locker with a panel for the VHF radio and radio/CD player.

New locker but not yet installed permanently

New locker but not yet installed permanently

All it needs is varnishing, some paint on the hull, fitting permanently and it will look as good as new! It will be removable for access to the water inlet behind the left hand upright.

There is plenty of evidence of water getting in. I suspect the stanchion blocks. we’ve got water still appearing in the pots under the drain holes drilled into the channel for cables.

New Washboards make the rest of the boat look really shabby!

New Washboards make the rest of the boat look really shabby!









I’ve finished varnishing the washboards and fitted the new lock. Looks too smart!