Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hot Work

It was a good warm day to try another paint stripper on the deck to see if we can get rid of the slippery white paint. After 20 mins, it had bubbled the paint but weakened the gelcoat and confirmed that when the deck was painted the excellent non-slip gel coat surface had been ground off. Bother, is the technical term required.

Have found a good paint supplier near Newton Abbot – Dove-Meadows and Chris there supplied a suitable paint with plastic granules which can be sanded off when we come to do the job properly next year or so. The next job is to pressure wash the deck, and on a dry day, sand the deck down for a key for the paint, clean up and paint one layer plain and the top coat with the plastic granules for the non slip.

The stem head fitting is coming on well with Daco Engineering and should be ready at the end of next week but I’m not doing very well with the remaining bolt that I had to cut. I’ve made a bit of a mess with drilling it out. I’ll have another go later.

The water pump appears to run continuously so I thought a new pressure switch would be required. I took the beast out, 4 bolts and two hose connections and removed the pressure switch. I cleaned it off and it appeared to work – press it in and the switch clicks. When I put it back together it did work. One less expense!

The fridge definitely doesn’t work. We’ll live with it until the end of the season and tackle it when we are laid up in Plymouth. See if any of it works, otherwise get a new one along with connecting up the heater.

My second day this week on the boat was cold and wet. Indoor jobs – so I have now finished wiring the autopilot, all the mast lights except the anchor light which will be finished next week, VHF radio, CD radio player and gas alarm. Things are actually coming together at last. I’ve ordered a new cantilever bracket for the chart-plotter and will connect it up when the Boss & I have decided where it will go best.

Colin from C & O Engineering came to look at the propeller and took it away. The shaft is 25mm diameter but the propeller is 1:12 taper for a one inch shaft. He will check that it is the right size and pitch. However, back home, he has texted me saying the propeller is too small and should be 17in x 11in or 16in x 12in. Oh Well, another problem, more cost that is unexpected. The Boss & I will now consider getting a folding or feathering prop for £1000 + and sail better with no drag from a fixed prop costing around £350. Donations readily accepted!

At home, I’ve spliced new lines onto the fenders; varnished the new ensign pole; shaped and fitted together the (almost) last bit for the chart-table locker.

Deadline, What deadline?

We paid for 6 months storage with Baltic Wharf in Dec and that clock is ticking to get the boat seaworthy for the end of May. However, that is looking a little unlikely. Family stuff keeps getting in the way! We were away in the caravan for 10 days with another event later in the year – well ours actually.

On Wednesday, with a good dose of sunshine, I did a test piece with the paint stripper bought a few months ago but it didn’t work when I came to check it on Good Friday even thought I had covered it with cling-film. We now think that the deck is a long term job and will over-paint with non-slip paint for the time being and deal with the whole thing next year.

The electrics are beginning to take shape; I traced and connected inside the boat the wires for the mast-head tricolour navigation light (sail only), the steaming light and the deck flood light. I’m left with a fourth cable under the mast in the heads but I don’t know where the other end is! This will be for the anchor light.

The HF set that a previous owner had installed (and ruined the chart-table locker) had extra thick power cables which I found hidden in the switch bay. I knew about the other ends which were at the chart-table. They are now the Instrument power cables. Most of the cabin lights are working (failures included disconnected, corroded contacts & dodgy switches.) I must get around to testing the fridge. 12volts gets to it, but nothing happens! I started connecting up the cd-player/radio and VHF radio, plus the chart-plotter. We’re still not sure how to mount the beast. Our options are on a swinging bracket or fixed into the starboard, front of the cockpit. But that involves cutting a large hole in the fibreglass and leaving it visible on the mooring. The swinging bracket idea is better for security but may not be so good for usability.  The autopilot is fully connected up. That job has been around for a couple of months but only got around to it on the latest visit! (A Round Tuit Job.)

The chart-table locker is now looking more like a locker than a demolition site. Both instrument cut-outs are in, a shelf for smaller books completed, the RHS for the larger books is awaiting fibreglass work as is the top of that side.

I was very brave and filled the water tank to test the plumbing – only one leak from the second hand tap in the heads. I knew that it was very dodgy ‘cos I had repaired the metal fitting for the outlet. So a new tap is needed. Maybe a second-hand one will be forth-coming. The pressure switch on the water pump doesn’t work, so I’ll remove the whole assembly next time and  see what’s wrong. The water out of the filtered hand pump looks and tastes good. No more long walks to fill the kettle for tea!

Next: Plymouth Boat Jumble on Easter Day which is also our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. What a way to spend Easter. But we will be with good friends D and A who are giving us a celebratory dinner.