Monthly Archives: October 2015

Still Clearing the Decks

We had a week or so off on holiday from the boat renovation, during that time we visited or met with (between us) 6 members of our families and some of their families and celebrated the Skipper’s sister 80th birthday. To cap it all, we took so long driving South from the Lake District to Devon that we gave up half-way and spent the night with friends and missed a Sailing Club event!

Chaos on the Deck

Chaos on the Deck

It’s now much easier to say what’s left to be removed from the deck before we start sanding and filling. The list is now 3 out of 4 chainplates (this will take hours! see below to see why);

The Serious Challenge from the Chainplates!

The Serious Challenge from the Chainplates!

One aft cleat where the last one bolt is turning;

The Last Stand by the Cleats

The Last Stand by the Cleats

The aft cabin window in the cockpit; two ‘U’ bolts also in the cockpit;

and the ply in the cockpit where the synthetic teak will be laid. This will also take hours to remove!

Starting to Remove the ply seating in the Cockpit

Starting to Remove the ply seating in the Cockpit

The chainplates are buried inside mouldings by the main bulkhead or for the lower shroud, behind a moulding that cannot be fully undone! It was clearly installed before the locker on the stbd side. Worse still is that some of the bolts didn’t have a nut holding them against the deck; they were set into resin. Perhaps this standard of boat building in the 80s is why they went bust. With all the rubbish in the way under the deck, I’m not sure if I can improve on it.

The ply which originally was supposed to look like a teak deck, but probably never did, is removed with a bent 1in wide chisel and it’s so well stuck down with about 2mm of black rubbery glue so it’s removed in 1in wide bits! When it’s all off, we can make a set of templates and over the winter we’ll make up panels of synthetic teak and glue them down (with the correct glue!) after the painting is done. I do the chiselling when I get bored with the other jobs!

Roy, from the boatyard, came round to see what needs doing to replace the toerail across the transom and after we get a price, we might set him going with the renewal.

Pushpit Gone! and the Transom Toerail

Pushpit Gone! and the Transom Toerail

Removing Yet More Stuff!

Removing the deck fittings progresses; over the last two visits, we’ve removed the pulpit (fairly easy), windlass (needed some brute force ‘cos it’s heavy), bow and centre cleats, anchor chain guide (the steel plate inside the anchor locker dropped on my leg), various eye bolts near bow (redesign and replace the lot), babystay eyebolt, both genoa sheet tracks (used impact screwdriver which gave me blister inside thumb), fore hatch (still wet underneath – no wonder it leaked), saloon hatch (it’s too big and should be replaced), main hatch garage (very dirty underneath), instrument panel (came off easily as I made it!), mainsheet track (came off too easily),

We now have boxes, bags and bits stored in our shed instead of at home. Home is still full of more precious bits including the electronics and loadsa cushions. Most of the remaining fittings need a 2nd person to hold the spanner on the in/outside: pushpit (in 2 bits), aft cleats, D-bolts (for spinnaker sheets/guys), inner forestay eye-plate, 4 winches, brackets for the cockpit table, 2 more D-bolts in cockpit. The most difficult bit will be taking off the 4 shroud chainplates ‘cos I have to get access to the nuts inside the inner skin of the deck.

Removing More Stuff

A third car load removed the last of our stuff which is now redistributed around the house, attic and storage unit! At least we can now make the boat dusty and dirty without making a mess of cushions. Our shed (we’re getting very possessive) is now clear after the Skipper removed about 20 tubs of rubbish, mostly sand (from the ferro-cement making), sawdust and other miscellaneous rubbish. The mast is now stored out of the way on top of the steel rack and the left hand door (see pic in previous blog). The Skipper restored the 4 section door across the front (actually much better than before) so it will keep some weather out.

Removing the windows was our priority task before we went North to see family and to drop off the eight windows with Eagle Windows in Nelson who will renovate and rebuild with new seals. The Skipper removed the first window  in about 3 hours and he hoped that the rest were quicker! The Boss removed all the screws from the windows and the Skipper tapped with a plastic hammer a very thin putty knife between the frame and the coachroof all the way around both inside and outside. The aim was to cut the sealant so that the window could be pushed out from inside. The Skipper made the mistake of chiselling with the knife along the frame instead of down into the frame. This meant that pieces of the fibreglass were also chopped out. This wasn’t a concern as the whole lot was being filled and painted.

All 8 windows are now out, with varying amounts of sealant, a few bits of gelcoat and other muck still sticking to them. The quickest removal was half an hour but it was clear that it hadn’t been put in by Sadler properly in the first place some 28 years ago. The sealant along the bottom only just made a complete seal. (At least it wasn’t along the top!) One window was not held in by any screws! We removed the last one on Sat so the Skippper can relax a bit!

All Portside Windows removed

All Portside Windows removed

 

Starboard Windows Removed as Well

Starboard Windows Removed as Well

We have debated how to protect the front of the boat from the elements so we’ve covered the front in a tarpaulin supported with a line from the roof of the shed to the bow. The Skipper removed the pulpit which is now stored at the back of our shed.

Next jobs are to winterise the engine; remove the pushpit and get the shipwright in to do the toerail; remove exhaust pipe and cockpit drains; remove the plywood teak in the cockpit; remove all fittings. I would like to remove the immersion heater blanking plate, there are several suggestions on-line but most say ‘budget for a new hot water tank!’

 

Emptying Stuff!

The Boss and the Skippermade the first of two journeys on Saturday  to remove the stuff that is needed to make a boat sail and is not needed for the renovation. Robin & Dan had removed the mast and put Cuchulainn into the shed where she’ll be for the next 6 months.

The Boss on our Boat in her Shed

The Boss on our Boat in her Shed

On Sunday, we filled up the car with its 2nd load, mostly string, food from the galley and fenders.

Car Load #2

Car Load #2

We met Guy, the previous resident in this shed (for the past 3 years) while he build a Archer design ferro-concrete yacht. He had sold (donated) workshop benches, vices and lighting in the shed which will be very useful. He did warn us of the potential leaks in the roof from rain blown up under the eaves in strong Easterlies which are forecast forecast tonight.

The next load down will include some seats (from the caravan) for afternoon tea, pressure washer to clean off the remaining gull guano. Hopefully, I’ll winterise the engine and start removing screws from the windows.

The Improvements have Started

The Boss and the Skipper made a trip down river to the Yacht Haven Quay so that we could get the sprayhood improved, in particular, reinforcements around the stress points by zips, repositioning, replacement of straps that hold up the frame. Plus some changes to the cockpit enclosure to stop the rain pooling on the top. We also filled up with diesel at the Plymouth Yacht Haven; it was good to see Ally again after several years. With the Rival we often refuelled with 2 – 300 litres, this time it was 60.0l. Over the year, we used 166.37l in 119 hours 44mins. So we used fuel at 1.39l/hr.

On Thu 1 Oct, the Skipper spent the night on Cuchulainn prior to her lift-out at 09:00 on Fri at Boating World near Landrake. He was quite busy preparing the boat for lift-out and the mast removal. All the halyards were removed from the mast and replaced with thin messengers; likewise with the boom that was laid onto the deck; the tape was removed that protected the sails from the split-pins in the bottle-screws.

The Skipper set off down river towards Boating World just after 7 in the morning.

Just before sunrise on the River Tamar

Just before sunrise on the River Tamar

Motoring down the Tamar towards the two bridges

Motoring down the Tamar towards the two bridges

From the Tamar, I motored up the River Lynher, towards the Dandy Hole where there were 4 boats anchored.

The pool on the River Lynher

The pool on the River Lynher

Robin at the yard said that two boats were being lifted-out before me so my arrival should be around 9 not 8 o’clock as originally planned! The sky was blue, no gulls, no wind, very pleasant it was too!

On previous times that I’ve gone up to and back from Boating World, I managed to run aground, but that was in a Rival 41 with a draft of 2.0m. This Cuchulainn only draws 1.4m so we had much more water, but I discovered that they have taken all the guesswork out of getting there with lots of new navigation marks. No fun!

They have improved the navigation marks!

They have improved the navigation marks!

The yard is just around the corner, under the railway bridge and we’re there. However, a Contessa was waiting who was lifted out just after we arrived so we waited for our turn…

Waiting alongside at Boating World pontoon

Waiting alongside at Boating World pontoon

Robin and Dan getting the boat ready to be transported up the slope to the yard.

Lifting Cuchulainn out of the water

Lifting Cuchulainn out of the water

Before Cuchulainn was pressure washed, she looked like this which was just slime with one or two barnacles and the propeller was not bad either.

Just slime on Cuchulainn's bottom, not the barnacles that we expected.

Just slime on Cuchulainn’s bottom, not the barnacles that we expected.

Not a clean prop, but no barnacles

Not a clean prop, but cleanable

We left the yard guys to lift the mast; I think that I did everything necessary(?) and they will put her into the shed and leave the mast alongside the shed. I’ll remove all the shrouds and fittings for their protection as they are vulnerable to damage. We both managed to get to a friend’s funeral.

We’re back down tomorrow to remove everything before we take off the windows, all deck fittings, strip the old paint off and get back to the original gel coat. Next, we fill all the holes we don’t want and make good all the damage, paint two coats of epoxy paint, 3 coats of 2 pack polyeurthane paint and one coat of non-slip paint in places. The cockpit seats and floor will be covered with panels of plastic teak. We’ve decided to buy the made up panels as it’s only £200 more and will be a much better product.

Then we have to put the boat back together again!