30 September 2011

Varnishing started. Launch day looms…

First coat of varnish on. They always say you need at least 12 and really 14. I usually get bored after three. I have my suspicions that “they” who make these recommendations also make varnish. I am using simple foam brushes that I got form the children's painting section of a local discount store. They give a good finish, only last for one coat, but that is all you want them to do, and it saves me ruining yet another brush.

29 September 2011

Dinghy painted and ready to varnish

The final paint coat is applied and the worst gaps touched up. I have used Dulux weathershield internally. which was remarkably thick and had to be rolled on hard. I have painted the floor with Sandtex masonry paint for a non slip finish. It looks OK but only time will tell how robust it is. I need to varnish all of the deck, gunwale and transom and then fit a fender rope around the edges. Then she will be ready to launch (scary). I know she will float because wood floats. Beyond that it will be literally a voyage into the unknown…

28 September 2011

Just a short test



Nothing special here, but I am just testing out a new way of posting to this blog from Windows live. Anything to make it easier. Daisy G. sits demasted in the hottest week of the year and on Sunday I shall no doubt be stuck in a Bournemouth traffic jamb trying to get her home in the heat.

25 September 2011

Packing up ready for haul out

Down to Poole just for the day, getting Daisy G ready for hauling out next week. I could do it all in one go, but I like to spend the time just getting everything off and the spars stowed as securely as I can. Then there is as little to do as possible on haul out day. It wouldn't matter if that day was a nice, breezeless autumn day, but if the wind is blowing and the rain pouring, I just want to get her on her trailer, strapped down and away. I had a frustrating hour's delay as I couldn't get back to my mooring because of the low tide. I could have floated all the way to the mooring fine, but I couldn't get the rudder down, or the centreboard, and the wind was so strong it just kept blowing me round and away. In the end I just went back to the pontoon and went for a walk whilst I waited for the tide to rise.

The dinghy progresses slowly. First coat of Dulux paint has gone over the insides, but it will need at least one more but probably two. But it is easy to apply. I will be interested to see how well it survives. I have added two little wood "ears" to the gunwales either side of the bow. They form comfortable handles for lifting the front to move her around, without projecting out anywhere. They look a little odd, but I shall see how they work. I can take them off easily if I don't like them.

23 September 2011

Painting the inside

I have decided that the inside needs paint, not varnish. It is just not good enough for a clear finish. i have applied firts a grey primer, then a second coat of mixed primer and top coat. Only after I applied that did I wonder if the two paints are compatible. They are from differnt manufacturers, so I hope I don't end up with a layer that never sets! The final top coats will be off white and then varnish for the deck and gunwales. I want to fix a rope fender around the edge so that it doesn't damage Daisy G each time she bumps into her.

22 September 2011

Outside painted. Now "just" need to do the inside and edges

Finished outside painting and tidying, fitted an aluminium strip at the bow and bolted on the skeg wheels. Now I just need to pain the insides and varnish the deck and gunwales. May be done by the spring...

20 September 2011

First coat of final colour on the dinghy

It is true that the slowest part of building a boat is painting it. You have to wait 24 hours between each stage and it is tedious, watching paint dry. I have applied two undercoats, a half and half under and top coat and now the firt of two top coats. I think she will look good, but painting the inside and varnishing will take even longer, so there is a way to go yet.

I have just uploaded 70 photographs I took of wooden boats being built on the beaches of the United Arab Emirates in 1977, when I was working out there. One below and you can see the rest here if you are interested.


I won third prize in a photo competition for this shot. I won the first prize too!

19 September 2011

Dinghy being painted

The dinghy is basically built, although I need to add a handle of some sort on the stem for moving her around with. First primer coat applied. She will be green, like Daisy G. because I have have a full tin of that colour. Painting the inside will be more complicated and I am planning to varnish the trim.

Spent yesterday at the Southampton Boat show and saw the BayCruiser 23, the BayRaider Expedition (big cockpit, tiny cabin) and the BayRaider 17. The latter is beautiful, but I don't really go for the other two. 23 feet doesn't seem to give you much over 20 feet apart from increased difficulties in launching/recovery. The Expedition would almost certainly need a cockpit tent to make it really usable, and you can fit one easily to the open BayRaider. It will be interesting to see how they all sell. The BayCruiser 23 is proving popular with families.

16 September 2011

Beautiful September sailing (27nm 386total)

Motoring down from Wareham

The forecast was good so I risked it and it was worth it. Lovely day sailing around the harbour (with a heavy downpour in the middle admittedly) and then motoring up to Wareham, where I was the only boat tied up to the quay all night. I had seen the seals at Shipstal again, and saw that there is a small raft off Round Island where one was hauled out in the sun. Beautiful chestnut brown over his head and back, and spotty sides. It was obviously his raft.

Had a Guinness at the pub and fish and chips from the local chippy for dinner. Late morning departure for the best weather of the summer. Just idled down the  Wareham channel, beached on Arne and had to use the sail batten to poke out a stone jambed in the centreboard case, hove to for lunch watching the big ships coming and going and then finally sailed back to the marina. gentle wind so I lowered the main sail, went in under jib and mizzen and managed to pick up my mooring under sail, which always feels like an achievement. The weather was clearly changing so I packed up and headed home. I shall probably only be down again to pack her up and bring her home.

13 September 2011

Wheels on the dinghy and new workbench in the shed

Not much work on the dinghy today. I took the straps off the skeg and bolted the wheels on to see how they looked. Not too bad.

They are so narrow that I don't think they will add much drag. I can always take them off if they are a problem.

Most of the day spent finally fitting a solid workbench into my shed. Never had the time until now. Maybe I can get my tools organised at last. And tomorrow I hope to go sailing...

11 September 2011

Little sailing but the dinghy progresses

I am in the middle of a fortnight's holiday, but the weather has not been good enough to go sailing. Tomorrow maybe, but storm force winds are blowing around the place.

The dinghy progresses. I have completed the transom and have had her on the floor to check rowlock positions. They will largely be determined by the need to get me and a passenger in rather than the best balance for the boat.

I am fitting a mahogany skeg with transom wheels, which will be the next job. I have completed the taping to the joints outside, which is not my favourite job. Seems to have gone quite well.

8 September 2011

Foredeck complete, transom to be worked on

I have finished the foredeck on my dinghy and am quite pleaed with the result. The transom needs some work to make it thick enough to take a small outboard. Then I will turn her over to complete the outside.

4 September 2011

Slight change of viewpoint...

My son bought me a trial gliding lesson for my birthday, and today was the day. Great fun, although the cable launch is a bit stomach turning. Views absolutely wonderful, and we flew right over our house. In many ways like sailing, you are looking for the wind all the time, but in this case vertical wind rather than horizontal. I would recommend it, but I don't think I could manage gliding and sailing. Mind you, the gliding club is only 10 minutes away, not two and a half hours.

Dinghy deck half glued on. Can't do it all at once as I don't have enough clamps. I am also building two buoyancy chambers under the seat, which will be filled with expanded polystyrene eventually.

3 September 2011

Deck and buyancy chambers under way

I have fitted a central plank to my fore deck which seems to fit quite well. All of the angles at the bow are compound which is really difficult to measure out and then cut. Square hole for the mast, which I drilled and cut with a coping saw and rasp. Should be more than big enough. Once set I will glue on narrower side planks either side.

I am going to fit boxes under the seat fore and aft to be filled with foam buoyancy. That coupled with the bow tank should keep me afloat if swamped. having the boxes running fora and aft will also stop any water from sloshing from side to side, which can tip you over again all too easily.

2 September 2011

Bulkheads glued in

I have glued in the forward bulkheads and fitted the access hatch through one side. The sides around the mast support are tacked in with epoxy, but they still need to be fully filleted to make them water tight. They need to be as this is a buoyancy tank. Before I put a deck over it all I need to epoxy the inside of the tank and fit the towing eye permanently. That will be much easier before the lid goes on. I want to built more buoyancy under the seat, but I will need to finish the outside first before I do that.

Update: All panels around the mast slot now filleted and I have covered the inside of the locker with epoxy. Next the bow eye needs to be bedded in sealant and I need to devise a decking system of some sort. My initial idea won't work and I have wasted a bit of wood in the process unfortunately.