6 February 2010

More jobs getting done

Spent a cold afternoon carrying out a few jobs "up at the barn". Was delayed getting there by the local hunt suddenly appearing from down the lane to the barn. Huntsmen in red (or pink as they insist) jackets, whipping in a huge pack of hounds, followed by dozens of riders and finally a small fleet of horse boxes. You wouldn't realise that "hunting with dogs" was now an illegal activity in the UK...

I have finished boxing in behind the sink to create an area to store plates and bowls. Just Plywood and stain, but it looks OK. I have also created a small space where I can put sealed boxes of coffee and tea. It is much tighter than intended as I forgot the plwood is thicker than the MDF I mocked it up with. At least the boxes won't slide out in a sea way now.

One job I did finish a few weeks back was to extend the floor boards to cover the sole of the cabin completely and then cover them with some carpet tiles. Adds weight I know, but it is much more like a cabin now, rather than an enclosed cockpit. I have just about concealed all of the ballast tank plumbing.

Most recently I fitted a shelf/box on the port bulkhead. This will hold flasks, biscuits, glasses and eventually mugs underneath. It projects over the seat a bit, but not too much.

A major job that I have worked on all winter so far is fitting floor boards in the cockpit. These are dirty but finished now. They are in two parts, so the forward section can be lifted to get at the ballast tank hatch. The gaps between the boards give bracing potential for the short-legged. It also means the floor is level right through, so no more stubbed toes. Scribing the sides to the curve of the cockpit as quite a job. I mocked the whole thing up in MDF first of all, which proved an essential step.

I have also moved the hasp of the cockpit locker lock right to the stern so that it doesn't catch your ankles any more. Not so secure, but I would rather a thief unscrewed the latch rather than ripped off the locker cover.

I have also fitted a flag halyard to the mizzen mast so that I can raise an ensign. I bought an off-the-peg mainsail cover which seems to fit fine. It is bright blue and cost £70. If I bought a made to measure one to match the spray hood it would cost £250. I quite like blue.

I have started fitting ropes back onto the mast as I don't actually have many weekends left before spring launching date. That will be about mid-April this year, back in Poole Harbour. I want to get the mast up and all lines fitted for testing before I tow back down to the coast.

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