Tuesday 26 February 2019

...and more jobs done... mainsail, thwarts/strakes,pads and VHF thoughts...

...that paint brush about sums it up...

While the weather gods continue to smile (and their are warnings that it won't last much longer than the middle of the week), I continue to slap on the varied unguents, confident in the knowledge that they will at least have chance to dry before it cools overnight and produces the inevitable heavy dew...

So it was that this Sunday saw me paintbrush in hand to finish off a number of the painting type jobs...

If the good Lord wills it, the following jobs are now complete
  • the rubbing strakes got a second coat of wood stain
  • the outboard pad got a second coat as well  - handrails look ok,.. (so job #14 done)
  • the tenders rubbing strakes got a coat of wood stain (and that will be it - one is enough)
  • the bottom washboard got another coat of white - the wood is shot really and the last coat didn't dry well so I gave it a rub down and another coat and if that doesn't work, then I'm going to epoxy it.. (job #13 done)
Once that was done the last job of the day was to wire in the new VHF (part of job #3) which was done with a quite astonishing lack of fuss.. I was even getting traffic which is pretty damn impressive given line of site from the aerial being what it is... As is the way of things on a boat however, that job completed, it generated two new ones...
  1. One I need an MMSI number, so today I hot footed off to the OffCom web site to register the fixed VHF with the boat - that generated me an MMSI. I'll enter code in the VHF this weekend as somewhat irritatingly it shrieks at me whenever I turn it on, along with a message that I need to enter it..   Either way, job done, and should I ever sell the boat I need to remember to cancel the two licences I now have (one for the handheld, and one for the fixed)
  2. the other job is a far more 'interesting' one - the new VHF is DSC enabled and comes with an external GPS cable in order to feed it with a GPS position for the DSC (should, Heaven forbid, I ever need it). You have a few choices these days on how to generate the GPS data but what I think I'll do is connect the VHF to the Garmin GPS 72 I use as my primary nav instrument - I'm using the Garmin for every trip anyway so it's just a matter of plugging in the radio at the same time...  the manual says my GPS is NMEA 0183 compatible so what I need to do is either cut in to the existing data cable (not keen) or find myself a second one I can use (which I've done - see below). The whole thing promises to be quite interesting.. typical me of course, originally I'd not planned to bother with the GPS position and just use it as a straight radio, but seeing as I have the capability it seems a waste not to.. and given it also has power cables I suppose I could also wire it in to the ships 12v system so I no longer need to feed the beast with AA batteries by the half handful... and... and... and...
010-10082-00 PWR DATA CABLE - black and red are power, white and brown are the Rx and Tx NMEA cables
 Separately I got a call that the mainsail had been finished off - they've done a cracking job on it - can't wait to see what it looks like when deployed...  so job #10 is done

Next jobs..
  • GPS feed to the VHF radio (plus power for the GPS if possible)
  • autopilot fitting - we have power - now I need to set up a way of connecting it to the tiller - Raymarine recommend the following:

    Copyright Raymarine
    Key measurements are 24" from the tiller centre point, and 18" in from the back of the tiller, which means that on Sparrow, the tiller pilot pivot pin is about 9" in from the coaming and 6" above the cockpit lid, so I need to either manufacture a connection point, or buy some (expensive) extension rods  - not surprisingly I am going with the former and what I plan to do is use a length of 2 x 4 timber (inches, not feet, darling...), connected with a hinge to the cockpit side at the right height and distance, so that I can fold it back against the coaming when I'm not using it, and also so the cockpit lid isn't blocked from opening - to keep it in place I'll use one of these the other side to the hinge. I'll drill a hole at the other end for the pilot pivot pin..

  • paint the floor of the tender
  • I have an idea to complete job #4 (the forehatch hinges) - a job that has been on the list for as long as I have owned the boat...  stay tuned...

Saturday 23 February 2019

Some time on the water.. Liberty's first cruise..

...well..  with me aboard anyway!

An opportunity for some time on the water should never be turned down, and so it was tha when Rod the Mod, a.k.a. Rodders, he of Jolly Boys fame offered the rest of the Jolly Boys a trip out on 'Liberty' his share owned trawler style motor boat, Smithy and I bit his arm off while the two Dave's decided to stay at home and work respectively.. their loss indeed as it was a good day out..  

Exiting Port Solent - Portchester Castle ahead..
Gray old day and completely against forecast..  short days, big big HT at 6 in the evening so just a short trip out to Cowes for lunch.. a first this time though, as we had a berth on the Island Sailing Club's own pontoon, don't believe we've ever stopped their before but it sure is handy..

So how about 'Liberty'? Trawler style motor boat, with a fly bridge (which will be good fun in the warm and the sun, but was damn cold in February) - she's not a youngster, but is coming together nicely. I think Rod and the guy he shares her with got a bargain, but she's needed some work to get her to the condition today, and to complete the job. Twin Volvo's, and running on one engine not too thirsty..  we had problems with one of them on the way back, spraying oil, Rod thinks an elderly oil cooler is the issue, happily with two we came back on the other, though it was hard work through Portsmouth Harbour entrance against the ebb..

I think any time on the water is good, better still when it's with the jolly boys, the food was good, the beer was good (Goddard's "Starboard"), the banter was good.................. but all of us like sailing boats more.. 


Distance: 27.23 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): n/a
Sail Plan: n/a (twin Volvo's! )
Speed (Max/average in knots):  8.6 / 6.0 (am) and 6.6 / 4.3 (pm)

Sunday 17 February 2019

More jobs done...

...another half day on the boat - started really well with bright sunshine and I was down to a tshirt at one point, so the paint brush was wielded with a will and the second coat was put on the hatch covers and wash boards - those are now done...  tick...

...unfortunately at this point the clouds closed in and as it looked like rain was coming, rather than put another coat on the rubbing strakes, I decided to hold off and do it on a more settled day..

Having found the '12v electrics box' though, there was plenty to get on with - first and best job of the day was finally wiring the dri-plug for the auto pilot in to the 12v system. I fitted the plug last year but had just not got round to doing it - no point really as I hadn't put in the mount for the auto pilot, but that was to change today. Rather than wire it in to the switch box, as it has an in-line fuse fitted, I've wired it in direct to the battery - negative direct to the battery, the positive is wired in to the main isolator switch ..  basically then - when the power is on to the switch panel, the plug is live, when I switch off the power at the isolator the power to the plug also goes off.

 So it was with some trepidation that (and after having checked polarity twice with a multimeter! ) I finally plugged in the auto pilot, and then switched on the power at the isolator - single beep and the magic wand powered up..  brilliant, very chuffed with that!

Separately the old VHF has been dismantled and removed from the boat ready for the new one to go in..  I'll put the necessary power fittings on this week, and then it should be a quick swap over..

Last of all the stringers look good under their first coating of grey primer (but it smells of old socks!), but I noticed a few remaining flakes of rust, so have removed those and Fertan'd them prior to a second coat of the primer - they look good, but I may have to paint the bilges now!

Saturday 16 February 2019

Jobs completed/ing .. paint, paint, paint...

Unseasonably fine weather in the UK at the moment - I heard it was up to 14' (C) yesterday, but either way wall to wall sun, and too good a day to waste in the office when the next 'beast from the east' could be striking at any time, and there is a boat to get ready for the new season.. 

Set myself a mini list for the day but even then I didn't do too well, the rubbing strakes in particular took longer than I had thought, but ended up looking pretty good....
  1. Cockpit hatches/washboard - clean and paint - cleaned, masked, and one coat applied..  I'll put a second coat on tomorrow and the jobs done..

  2. Rubbing strakes/outboard pad - rub down and re-coat x 2 - bit more problematical this one...  what I think has happened is that the heat last summer caused the coating to expand/shrink or whatever, but either way water has got behind it..   stripped off all the loose, sanded down to a firm layer, let it dry out a bit, and then gave it a coat of spirit based wood coating... it needs another coat at whuich time my guess is the line between old and new will disappear, but at the moment the wood is clean, dry, smooth and protected, and I'm not going to loose any sleep over not having spent a day stripping them completely..  if it nags me this summer, I'll do it next winter!

  3. dri plug - wire it in to the switch panel - no time
  4. replace/rewire new VHF - couldn't find my box of 12v spades/connectors etc. I'll do it tomorrow now I've found them where I put them "safely"..  
  5. paint the stringers - coat of epoxy primer is on..   another tomorrow...
  6. cockpit hatch latch - done.. 
  7. glue wiring holders to hull were in the box of 12v spades/connectors etc. so I'll do this tomorrow as well..