Wednesday, 25 March 2015

More ticks than a mangy dog...

...but in this case off the job list though, and stuff I can do at home in the evenings and after work..

Job #23 - life jacket service - completed ..  gas bottles weighed (same weight as last year), screwed back in and checked firm - trigger mechanisms checked - inflated for 24 hours and all OK afterwards. Now re-packed and ready for the new season..

Job #22 - push pit board refurbishment - started - not a pretty sight to begin with..


I slapped a quick coat of varnish on these at the beginning of last season but the damage had already been done to be honest..


I've now given them a sanding within an inch of their life, and the coats of exterior wood stain are going on as we speak (one each side so far - three should do it); it won't cover the blemishes, but it should protect them.. 

Job #11 - item 3 VHF antenna  aerial - arrived this week; I know the range will be less, but the mast is only 20 odd foot and I like the idea of the aerial being readily available so the spot on the pushpit board may become permanent - we'll see next winter...

The aerial is a Banten (which is a reasonable make) but best of all it comes with the mounts for a flat surface - superb value for what it is - only time will tell on the quality (both of the aerial, and my soldering!)


Separately - Suzy the Suzuki outboard [clicky] sold this week on eBay - one can only hope the buyer turns up with cash this time, but I have a good feeling about this one...  the money from the sale will go towards a new main sail (eventually...)

Monday, 23 March 2015

Good progress.... Job #5 - Paint cabin / Job #8 - Washboards / Job #19 - Jammers / Job #9 - Hatch covers

Man it was a good weekend....  lots of progress being made, including on the two "biggies" this winter..

So without further ado - job #5 "Painting the cabin" is done...  finished fairly early on Friday and as it was nice and sunny and I had no need to rush home I slipped down to the club and put the second coat on - job officially finished...  looks oodles better, and all the nicer for not expecting to be able to do this one this winter - blame the weather a couple of weeks ago - far more conducive to being inside painting, than outside painting...



....and the other side (next) finished a couple of weeks ago - I've left the bolt heads exposed (grab rails/windows/deck cleats) as there is nothing worse than having to remove something bolted down, where some numpty has painted over the thread... 


Apologies for the pictures in this post by the way - phone camera...

On Sunday, with the sun still shining it was on to other items - started by putting on another coat on the bottom washboard (job #8) and leaving that in the sun to dry...  cracked on with some other jobs and it was dry enough that I whacked on another coat later in the afternoon...  one more should see it done..

Major job of the afternoon however was to get the new cockpit hatch covers on (job #9) - at least that was the plan...

First one done...


The black stuff is a self adhesive neoprene rubber tape - hoping it will make me a little more weather proof...  touch up required to the area round the nuts where I got over enthusiastic with a spanner...


Major concern for me was placement of the hasp which in the end was simplicity itself - just held it with a blob of butyl tape having bought down the lid on top - four screws and job was good, then did the same for the locking piece...

 

..the bit the padlock goes through twists 90' so you can secure the hatch that way too...

Please with that, I was just about to start the second one when a friend from work wandered past and asked if I needed any assistance..  "yes please", quoth I....  it was time to get the old jam cleats off (job #19) and I needed someone on the outside to hold the head of the bolts with a screw driver while I completed the job from below with a spanner....

What an almighty ba**sache they turned out to be - threads all full of old sikaflex or sealant so they were a mighty pain to get out even though there were only two bolts still to do each side....

Happily I managed to get a half cm undone on each one and that was enough for me to tap them up from below, and then grab the head with a pair of molegrips so that friend could get off and do what he wanted to do...

Three bolts removed but the last one was a bas**rd, and in the end I hacksawed the head off and punched it through....

So this was what came off - the big bolt at the back goes through the jammer, and then through the pillar, to be fastened under the deck...  the jammer is hollowed out underneath to take the spring, which all looked tired on mine - one of them had snapped...


From this....


..to this on both sides (after a scraping, and then rub down with some 1500 grade wet and dry)....  fascinating to see what 48 years of general wear has done to the original gel coat compared with the protected stuff underneath the fitting, you can clearly see the lip...

Note also the central indent - presumably some of the boats came with winches and I assume that's for them...

Trial fit of the new swivel type jammers - following - I'll re-use one of the original holes (the forward outer on each side) but will have to drill two new holes for the other fittings (underneath the swivel in the following) - once again I'm going to need some assistance to finish the job as I'll need someone to secure the head while I bolt them down...

The remaining holes I'll fill longer term (when it gets warmer) but in the interim I'll weather proof with a nut/butyl/bolt combo...


Progress indeed!
  • On a separate note - the new VHF aerial has arrived - that will go on the pushpit board once I've finished rubbing it down and giving it a coat of something protective...
  • I've taken delivery of a new work bench - only a cheapy, but I wish I'd bought one years ago..

Monday, 16 March 2015

Job #5 - Paint cabin / Job #8 - Washboards / Job #17 - Outboard / Job #22 - Pushpit board

Cold wet grey and miserable with a brisk breeze round the trossocks, but progress is being made... (if I had a lottery win I'd put Sparrow in a heated factory unit for the winter, but I haven't, so tough....    )

First order of the day when arriving was to get a swift first coat on to the bottom washboard (needed to be touch dry before I left) - the following is from last season (didn't have my camera with me yesterday) and the culprit is the bottom board. The paint has flaked badly in the 18 months since this was taken exposing at least a third of the wood to the elements...  it's been dry'ish the last few weeks so I decided to get on with it.  Scraped off the loose with a paint scraper, sanded down the rest, and managed to get the first coat on and drying while I got on with other stuff - I plan on at least three coats - maybe more..


Once that was done - and with signs of incipient rain - I decided to move to the cabin to complete the paint job - apologies for the quality - these are off the phone..


Either way - sugar soaped the entire side, wiped down, had a pint of 49'er while it dried (cracking pint!), and then a coat of the white on - can't believe how much better it looks..


Very pleasing... this is the side I'd already done


Must tighthen up those curtains some time..


Once that was done, I moved on to the pushpit board - this is it (from last summer)...  now I don't propose to understand why this is there (it was on the boat when I got it) and it is invariably a talking point, but having got it I wouldn't be without it... it is ideal for resting against when steering, it's going to be a good spot for the solar panel when I get it, but best of all it is in just the right place to rest your chest on so you can use both arms when wrestling the outboard in and out of the scoop...  either way you can see the issues starting back then ...


..and here.. worn varnish => water ingress => mildew...


...I'm not proud, I know I could treat it with oxalic to get rid of the staining but that's too much of a faff.....  so I've bought it home, and I'm going to rub it down to the wood, and then slap 3 coats of exterior wood stain on it...

...last of all - the outboard is in for a service...

Friday, 13 March 2015

Purchases for the new season....

Marked as dispatched within about 15 minutes of ordering - not bad service! 


...and with little chance that I'm going to break the back of my electrical installation this winter (or even start it!) I was looking for a way of quickly and simply boosting the range of my hand held VHF...  first step is one of these...  this screws onto the stub aerial socket of the hand held and presents as a standard BNC/coax type socket..  all I need now is a standard VHF aerial, which can either go up the mast (ready for the proper VHF), or more likely, mounted on the push-pit board for the time being...


Monday, 9 March 2015

Job #10 - Cockpit locker hinges - completed

Another weekend gone..

I'd been gagging at the bit to get down on the Saturday, which was the warmer and sunnier of the two days, but family commitments wouldn't allow, so I had to settle for the considerably colder and windier Sunday. It was still a damn good three hours spent down there though, before being summoned back..

During the week before I'd taken delivery of some new hinges, and this weekend I was determined to bite the bullet and actually drill some holes in the boat to make sure they fitted/worked... not sure about anyone else but I'm very reticent about drilling holes!
Test fitted first side, single bolt to hold the hinge to the coaming (easier to fix/fill a single hole in the event they didn't work )..  Happily, they worked perfectly..


Single bolt to hold the tang - I'll leave the other hole as is, or find a screw to act as a cosmetic filler as the hole is right over the lip of the hatch..


Top dog!


So pushed on, and completed both sides..  all looking good...


Finished off by drilling the second holes on both sides and making the hinge attachments permanent with butyl tape and a good tighten with a spanner...

I now have the covers at home - two or three coats of decent exterior paint and they can go back on permanently..  once they're on I'll finish off with the padlock hasps, and a line of neoprene tape round the top of the lip to make water tight..

Time's moving on -
  • I'll put the outboard in for a service this weekend
  • I've just ordered some Silky Marine Deep Cleaner [clicky] - she's filthy (as you can see) and I want to give her a good clean while I have access to plenty of fresh water
  • Need to find some anti-foul
Also thinking about the next jobs - top of which is to complete the jammer replacements...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

More slow and tentative steps forward....

43 days to go...  every year I wonder why I put that buggering countdown timer over there on the left..

Some further small and tentative steps - last weekend was a washout from a work on the boat point of view but despite that there has been a little progress...

A second coat has been applied to the half of the cabin I did that wet and windy Sunday - that side's done now - also the cockpit hatch - just need to do the other side (which is smaller/less complicated)..

Despite the excellent suggestions, I've also decided to stick with hinges for the cockpit lids and have found some - just waiting to fix them...

This is on the way.......



...must stay focussed!!