Monthly Archives: June 2014

Trying to Beat the Rain!

Yesterday, the forecast changed at least twice, saying, yes, we would have lots of rain before 12:00 and yes, we would have lots of rain after 12:00! Well, today, it started to rain around 10:15, just as I was most of the way through sanding the deck prior to re-painting with non-slip paint. I was expecting rain, but, not so soon. I can finish that later, maybe on Saturday when it’s supposed to be dry. I discovered that two of the windows still leak and that the forward hatch still lets in rainwater. Another dry day job. The hatch is not going to be easy to find and cure the leak. As one of the contractors said, “Get a free deck wash – just put some detergent onto the deck!” 

I did manage to get some things done inside, including securing all the cables for the chart-plotter that were hanging about behind the companionway, greasing the Volvo stern seal (thanks Marc from Marine Wise) and sorting out the loudspeakers and fitting new ones. (Just need to buy them now!)

After the rain stopped, I discovered lots of water in the bilge, so I pumped it out, only to discover that the joints in the pipes leaked and the bilge pump itself was broken! So I took most of it out and when I went home via Mt Batten Boathouse I ordered a replacement clamp that had broken and bought some new hose and fittings. In the eighties, boat-builders seemed to use domestic 2in copper elbows instead of plastic elbows just to save pennies. It was from these joints that the tube was leaking and one of the elbows had almost corroded away. Boat-builders were after a quick profit rather than a product that was fit for purpose. (Quick rant over)

When the rain started again, I fitted a new impeller (for the raw-water) cooling circuit,  and a new alternator belt. As I had the hosepipe with me, I ran up the engine until hot, everything seemed OK. Initially, it would have helped if I had the valve de-compression in the right place! The circulation water didn’t seem to reach the calorifier to heat the hot water so I wonder if there is an air-lock which will mean bleeding the pipes from the engine. That’s a job afloat later. But I did refill the bilge with water, but by that time the bilge pump was out! So it’s going to stay there!

The port handrail is now fixed. A wood specialist shipwright said that the rail is usually destroyed repairing it. What tosh! He clearly doesn’t do his job properly. Note to self: Don’t use him!

I’ve fitted all the new fire extinguishers except one – I found that the gas pressure is already down (in the lower red sector and it’s brand new. That’s going back for a replacement!



Quickie on Sunday

In between everything else that is going on, I managed a “short” day on the boat on Sunday, in between the showers that weren’t forecast!

The windlass is now fully installed, sealed to the deck with Sikaflex, cables connected to the change-over relay and it goes forward and backwards. I’ve ensured that no water can get inside through the cable tubes by filling them with building foam. It will be hell getting that stuff out of the tube to remove cables connected to the windlass! Hope it’s not me! Final job is to sand down and varnish the shelf in the forecabin under the cable run and control switches mounted on deck by the windlass. That job can wait until much later.

As it was raining quite hard, I hid under the tarpaulin and finished the NMEA connections and connected everything up and it all works, except the transfer of AIS info from the radio to the chart-plotter. I suspect (and hope) that it can be solved by reading the manual.

Louis is getting on with the stanchion blocks, however, last time I was down, the port deck drain was blocked and it flooded up through one of the covered stanchion block holes. I eventually removed a small handful of rubbish (mostly old plastic tape and paint chippings) from when I pressure-washed the deck.

Next job is the heads locker and sanding the deck in preparation for the non-slip paint.


Down at the Pointy End

The Boss came down on Thu with me to meet up with a friend who lives locally and knows Totnes very well. She liked the boat, which was good but then went on to persuade the Boss to spend our money  in Totnes! 

In the meantime, I was free to swear as much as I wanted during the day whilst I fitted the stemhead fitting. It was bowed from the work done by Daco but with only a few taps with a plastic mallet it slotted in and I then spent several hours inserting the bolts with Sikaflex to keep out the water. I did manage to get loads of the stuff onto my hands ‘cos I got fed up with splitting the nitrile gloves worn to keep the damn stuff off my hands! Hey Ho! The worst job was fitting the bolts right on the bow (the stem) through the fitting on the outside onto a narrow plate that Daco made with captive bolts. It took many attempts! My original idea was to screw a bolt through the wrong way, insert it through the hole and use that to tighten the inner plate, however it didn’t align well enough to get the other bolts through from the outside because the plate slipped to one side or other. Bother it! Eventually, I used a  wire to hold the inner plate against the inside of the bow and fitted and tightened the middle bolt – the rest was then fairly straight forward. This paragraph does not tell you how many times I went up and down the ladder or how difficult and painful it was to tighten the three bolts on the plate or the other three bolts that needed nuts and washers inside the boat. I’ve got long arms, and I was at full stretch, one arm inside holding the spanner, at times not knowing which nut I was holding and tightening it on the outside. I’ve got the bruises to show for it

The rest of the day was relatively easy – moving and replacing the forestay back onto the stemhead, Loosening the inner forestay that was helping to hold up the mast and finally tightening up the backstay. Now Roan from LNR Marine can come and fit the canopy steel-work, make the pattern for the canopy and cockpit enclosure and, when finished, we can dispense with the tarpaulin that has seen better days, but it has done its job.