Tuesday, 28 March 2017

More jobs... and the tenders home done...

Only four days to launch so jobs are now getting prioritised...

First though - the tender is done - I noticed half way through last season that one of the rowlock holders had developed some wet rot round the thwarts where they were attached...  some mid season bodge'ry to try and fix didn't help, so that was first on the list...  the thwarts on the tender are two strips of wood sandwiching the GRP of the hull (old Optimist????) so any fix is in two parts - inner and outer edge

First the damage - and this was after the block holding the rowlock socket was removed - apologies for the blur in the first picture...  outer edge after I had trimmed out the rot..



..and this is the inner edge (other side) - from what I can tell the block of wood holding the rowlock socket had been attached to the two strips of wood comprising the thwart with a couple of screws - over the years water had penetrated, rusted the screws, and caused the rot..


Repair - decided to remove a strip of the outer edge entirely - it had half rotted, and my carpentry is simply not up to scarfing in small patches of new wood...  so first I drilled and bolted through either side of the damaged section - too stabilise and strengthen - and then cut out the damaged section completely, and replaced with a piece from the spares box..  (a bit of little un's old pine bed which continues to give and give! ) Yeah I know its a soft wood, but two coats of wood treatment on all edges should keep it going..


Bolted this though the hull, into good wood on the inner layer/edge, and then bolted the block holding the rowlock socket through the block and both layers of thwart..  the bloody thing now looks like it's armour plated but I've always gone for strength over appearance...


Inner edge showing the bolts for the block holding the rowlock socket (which I cut shoulders into for the washers)..  the block seems to be made of hardwood/teak


Once done - all thwarts/blocks were then given a coat of wood treatment, and I also replaced a few screws that had rusted and were no long holding the two strips of thwart to the hull....

Repair completed and time to do something about the inside of the tender:

Before...

All loose/flaky paint removed, scraped, hoovered, and then given a coat of garage floor paint:

..and after

Tenders done - it could probably do with another coat of floor paint but it'll have to wait...  we'll also see how well it stands up to UV.....  so that's jobs #7, #9 and #15 done....  tender's ready to go back to the compound

Two coats on the new binoculars holder and that's job #14 done - just need to fit them to the cabin shelf just inside the companionway...


Also rubbed down and painted the new cockpit hatches - these have had two coats of epoxy on each surface, and four coats on all edges - they were rubbed down, sanded, washed, and they've now had one coat of exterior gloss...  I'm not planning to paint the inner side (not enough time) but I will put another coat on the outer...


The drips on the edges by the way are epoxy not paint..    No matter how hard I try I always seem to get a drip line on the bottom edge of a board when I'm epoxying...  I tidy up all the edges, walk away, and the damn stuff drips and sets rock hard..  so I can sand it, but then you run the danger of over sanding it and taking it off to the wood layer, and to be honest, I don't care about drips if they are protecting what's underneath!


So what's to do.... in order....
  1. Another coat of paint on the hatches - then fit to the boat
  2. Windex - attach to mast head
  3. Tabernacle - drill out lower bolt holes, and Hammerite
  4. Another coat of paint on the washboards
  5. Another coat of wood treatment on the outboard pad
...couple of hours work? Call it three...  needs must 4 and 5 could be done on the water....

...and then launch..  be glad to get on the water for a rest!

Mast raising is scheduled for the 9th...

Monday, 20 March 2017

More jobs... and the tenders home...

Doesn't seem like a lot was done yesterday but it was still a long day...

So yesterday was "tender day"...  and not because I was still feeling that way from laying on the gravel most of Wednesday.. 

Started off by fitting the racks to the car as I planned to bring the tender home so I could work on her in the garage this week...  a trip down to the club and the eldest daughters boyfriend came down to give me a hand on to the roof bars with the tender..  so first job done..

Bidded goodbye to the boyfriend (after he'd visited Sparrow -  I suspect one day he may be a boat owner but not yet!) and time for the next job, the tender launching trolley, which is in a sad and sorry state...

Said trolley came to me via an eBay advert three or four years ago and was in poor condition then, but it cost me less than £20 so I consider it fully depreciated, and as it's sole purpose is to carry the tender the mere 20 or 30 yards to the water or back it doesn't need to be in road worthy condition...

Having said that over the last few years the wheels have got stiffer and stiffer, and one of the support struts from the axle to the pad the dinghy sits on has rotted/rusted completely away, which means the dinghy slides over and presses down on the wheel, and and and...  you get the picture..  

First job then was the wheels - did these a couple of years ago and had the foresight to replace the retaining clips with stainless R clips which worked admirably and came out easily..  wheels off and a check of the axle hole on the wheel showed them to be clear of obstruction so it wasn't them, the axle itself however showed a hardened collar of blackened almost carbide deposit..  tap with the screwdriver showed this to be mostly oxidation/hardened grease/mud and whatever - a tap with the end of the screw driver chipped it off to good('ish) metal underneath...  cleared it all and the wheel spun again - did the same to both sides, good spray with white grease, replaced clips and retaining washers, and job done..

Next job was to replace the strut supporting the pad the dinghy rests on which had gone completely..  for that, bodgery of the highest order was adopted..  Scrounged a block of wood from the club yard (bit of 2 x 3), cut it to size, then drilled through the trolley from both sides and screwed it in... a liberal spray of Hammerite over all. and also rust spots (ie. most of the trolley!) and the trolley was good to go back to the pen for another season..

No pictures - I am embarrassed at both the state of the trolley, and the heights of bodgery that I have attained! 

Time for a break - pint of Hobgoblin from the boat bar, and then time to finish off the lighting started last weekend - had to re-solder one of the strips, so connected it back in - screwed it to the shelf - tested (working!) and taped over all remaining joints and cable clipped the wires away tidy - that one's completely done now....

Wind was howling, but as it was dry'ish I took the opportunity to put a coat of preservative on the outboard pad, and that was me done for the day....

Must do before launch in priority order...
  1. Fit the new cockpit hatches (but they need prep'ing and painting first)
  2. Another coat on the outboard pad
  3. Another couple of coats on the washboards
  4. Tender repair/paint 
  5. Windex
  6. Boarding ladder
...and if I get time, a coat of something on the tiller..  twelve days and counting - should be good... I'll take another day off if I have to.. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

More ticks than a mangy dog...

...we always have to have a post with that title once every refit.... and yesterday was one of those mangy dog days....

So with the time to splash down reducing dramatically, and this weekend not looking too good =>

Courtesy WindGuru

...I decided to take a day off to get some serious work done - and what a belter - wall to wall sun for the entire day and eight hours later I had completed all the jobs I wanted to get done except one...

So started off by whipping out the companionway hatches, rubbing them down, and putting a coat of paint on - while they were drying in the sun, I then took the palm sander and rubbed down the hand rails on the cabin roof, the rubbing strakes (both sides in each case), the cockpit board, and the outboard pad.

Once that was done the first coat on the hatches was dry so I slapped a second coat on - then gave the rubbing strakes two coats of the exterior wood stain I tend to use for these jobs - the surface prior to rub down was perfect, so I'm more than happy with the performance and the appearance..  also did the same for the hand rails and the cockpit board.

By which time it was beer o'clock and time for a chat with my club yard neighbour...   beers done it was then time for the main feature - antifoul time...

I loathe this job, but I love the look afterwards as much as I loathe the job so needs must....

Before shots...


...it really was a very nice day!


...and after.....  still wet from the last coats - two coats overall and then I used the last of the can (about a quarter) on all the edges, the keels, waterline and the skeg/rudder...


Next picture - the controlled pandemonium that is a working session on the boat...  bags, tools and boxes everywhere...


Lovely! 


So jobs #18, #19 and #20 done - what I didn't manage to get done was
  1. the outboard pad - but that's a quicky...
  2. I rubbed down but didn't get round to putting a coat of Hammerite on the tabernacle as I wanted to drill the bottom hole out (making it ever so slightly bigger) before I paint it..
...next time! Delighted with progress today..

This weekend I'm going to collect the tender and bring it home for some much needed TLC...  if the club boat shed is empty I may also do some much needed work on the launching trailer (grease the wheels, and replace one of the supports)..  jobs #7/#8/#9 and #15 on the list
 
Man do I ache today...  getting too old for grovelling on the gravel between the bilge keels of a small boat.....

Monday, 13 March 2017

Job #4 - Cabin lights - completed..

So over the winter I bought four of these :



For less than a tenner (twelve dollars in old money ) from a very helpful eBay'er in China - seriously - all four cost less than £7 delivered - from China - how on earth do they do it???! Either way I figured that for some cheap lighting these were second to none - they were bright and very easy to string together..

Sunday I fitted them - I'm using them as downlighters under the shelves that run down the sides of the cabin...

First pair rought fitted - once they were proved good I taped the the electric joins with amalgamating tape, and then secured the wires more neatly with some cable clips..



I used spade terminals for connections because I can't help thinking that at the price I paid I need a solution where I can easily disconnect to replace - but time will tell...


Spot soldered additional connection cables to the far end of the one on the right above, and then fed the wires through to the fore cabin where I daisy chained a third above the door...


Fourth one (a single) went in under the shelf on the starboard side - the shelf is shorter on that side to take account of the galley...

All wired in to the switch panel and joins all taped for damp proofing...  the positives are separate for port and starboard side, but I used one of these to be able to attach both sides to the single switch on the panel

Female Spade Terminal with Piggy Back Male...  apparently...  
All wires tidied with cable clips - jobs a good'un...

By way of a temporary fix I then put some butyl tape round the base of some of the screws holding down the handrails on the cabin roof - these are dripping, so clearly the old sealant is failing - if it works - and I think it should do - I'll do the rest (now added to the list but I suspect it's going to have to wait)..  simple fix - undo the screws from inside - lift the rail - thin rolled out tube of butyl tape  wrapped round the screw base, same on the inside, screw down and watch it squish out and seal as it does...

First cockpit hatch is done (epoxy'wise) - second hatch underway - at the end i'm going to mix a small batch up with microballons to make a thick paste which I can then use to fill any voids left on the edges..  I almost sound like I know what I'm on about.. Thinking of using car paint sprays to paint.... quick and should be tough...

The forecast this coming weekend is atrocious, just when I was planning to do the antifoul, and I go in the water a week after that..  forecast looks good Wednesday so I've put in for a day off - I'll do the antifoul and exterior paint/varnish all in the one day - wish me luck.. 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Job #12 - Cockpit hatches....

Progress at last...   I've prevaricated long enough over this one!

First cover almost done...  look at the shine on that...


Not without it's worries - the epoxy kit I'm using is a couple of years old (with a use by date on the pack of April 2015 ) and at some point in time or another, even though I've kept it in doors, it must have laid on its side as most of the hardener had disappeared into the bag.... either way, progress, the plan is to do one side at a time, but I do the edges each time, so the board above has one coat on each surface, two on all the edges....   it hardened - success!

I've now run out of hardener and I'm planning to try some stuff I had in the garage left over from a repair on Papillon in 2011 [clicky].. I'll try a test batch on a spare piece of ply first...  but for the record, and in case anyone has a similar job to do and is interested..
  1.  I used West System Epoxy - 205 hardener (the quicker one) and 105 resin
  2. Mixed 5:1 as recommended, I find it easier to do this by weight than using syringes and the like -  I used 10g of hardener, 50g of resin for a total of about 60g - that was enough for a coat on one side, and the edges..
  3. Gloves I already had
  4. Brushes I find it easier to use once and chuck - Toolstation sell 2" disposables for 20 or 30p each..  you get a few discarded bristles but they're easy enough to get rid of..
I'll do another coat on each side and move to the next one....

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

3 weeks to launch and not a lot of action..

I blame the weather, but nonetheless there still hasn't been a lot of action..

I can tell you that the outboard (job #19) is in for a service, and it should be back a week on Saturday or slightly earlier..

I can tell you that Sparrow's lift in is April 2nd which means I can also tell you that I will have to do antifoul no later than weekend of March 25/26th to allow it to dry before lift in...

I've put in an order (collecting on the way home) for disposable paint brushes - I have the epoxy and gloves already - and tonight I hope to put the first coat on the cut and fitted new hatch covers (#12)..

On the same order as the paintbrushes I also have cable clips for tidying the wiring for the lighting (#4), and I also have a new soldering iron to allow me to finish the wiring... I plan to fit the lighting this weekend, and will do it even if the weather is rubbish as I have run out of time...  battery is holding well over winter (13.7v when I checked last night)

I think I'm going to badger one of the daughters boyfriends to give me a hand with the tender on to the top of the car this weekend so I can bring it home and get on with the jobs I have in mind (#7, #9 and #15), in my own time, and under cover....

Other than that - the other job for this weekend is to bodge, errr, figure out, a fitting to attach the binocular holders (now built - #14) to the shelf...  I can then get on with coating/painting it.

I need warmer weather to do the fixed VHF (#4) as I need to epoxy a batten to the bulkhead to attach it to, I need the same weather to do the external brightwork.. In the same period I also want to attach boarding ladder and new windex..  though in the case of the later heaven only knows why, as they never last longer than a week!

If we get some decent weather I may take a day off work...