29 October 2011

Let there be even more light

I have fitted two small switchable LED light units over the Vee berth. Very pleased with the results. I now have controllable light in all parts. The total wattage of all internal lights is less than 4 watts, so the battery and solar panel (rated at 10 Watts) should be able to cope easily.
One curious discovery. The lights are mounted on a plywood base, which I hollowed out to hold the connections. I marked the fitting positions with a ball point pen. when I painted the base, by the time the paint dried, the pen marks had migrated to the surface. After a second coat, the same thin. It looked like I had drawn with the pen on top of the paint. Very curious.

I am also planning to make two very small book shelves either side of the big shelf in the fore peak. It is too low and shallow to allow books to be fore-and-aft, but I can get in a few side to side. So much for getting junk off the boat

27 October 2011

Top coat on

Rubbing down the edge of the primer with white spirit before it was set hard worked well. No noticeable edge to the painted patch. I have applied a single top coat and I am pleased with the result. There is a very slight undulation, but as I mentioned earlier, that is the case with the hull in many areas. I will rub down the very slight raised edge later. I will then overcoat the whole hull at a later stage. 
I have also roughed out a support base to two interior lights. Once that is painted I will fix it in place and if it all works, that will be the interior electrics completed. And it isn't even November yet!

26 October 2011

Cracked area primed

I have masked off and primed the area of the crack, and I'm really quite pleased with the result. Not absolutely smooth, but no part of the hull is. this is bent plywood, not moulded plastic. If you crouch down and peer up at reflected light, you can just about make out a slightly raised area where the fairing compound was applied, but looked at straight, it is invisible. I will try to rub down the vertical edges of the primer this evening with a little white spirit before it goes hard. That should feather the edge sufficiently for an overcoat to hide it.

25 October 2011

Cracked hull filled and smoothed

I filled the prepared area with epoxy mixed with light weight fairing filler (micro-balloons, which I think are miniature glass bubbles) and left that to set. It looks like polyfilla, but as it sets by curing rather than drying I gave it 24hours to set. It is sandable, but much harder than the aforementioned polyfilla. Fortunately I bought a power sander a few weeks ago, so just kept at it until eventually I couldn't feel any roughness or protuberances when I closed my eyes and ran my fingers over it. Fingers are amazingly sensitive. Areas which looked perfectly smooth could feel distinctly rough. I shall prime it and overcoat it and leave it at that, as I plan to sand the whole hull and repaint it later in the winter.

I have got two little LED cabin lights to fix over the fore peak Vee berths. I will need to make a small wooden baseplate for them so that the wires can run in from underneath. The four cabin lights should draw only about 3  watts in total, so my 20Ah battery should be able to cope easily. Interestingly (to me anyway) the solar panel on the cabin roof is showing a charge to the battery just from the daylight coming in through the shed window. It also charges whenever the fluorescent lights are turned on. I have reconnected the battery meter on the switch panel and it shows the battery still as fully charged.

22 October 2011

Painful repairs

It had to be done, but it hurt to start. I've started on the crack in the hull. Squirting Araldite into it just after it happened worked, it is all bone dry. I used a hot air gun to soften the paint and scraped most of it off. Then went over with a power sander along all of the crack. At each end it is just a hairline crack in the surface veneer, which just needs filling. In the centre the plywood has delaminated a bit. I have opened it up with a Stanley knife so there is room to inject some slightly thickened epoxy. Then I think just a bit of fairing and sanding will finish it off. It is not in a stressed area, so I think no need for major surgery.

I like my semi-bulkhead, so I am fixing it in place permanently. I pulled off the timber strips on the ceiling which held it in place and I have worked an epoxy fillet in one one side. When that has cured I will repeat on the other side. It looks a bit messy here but it is actually quite smooth. Once it is all painted it should look like it has always been there. These are the main epoxy jobs I need to do, and I wanted to complete them before it gets too cold. My shed is unheated.

17 October 2011

Internalwiring progresses

I have wired in a switch for the main cabin lights, so they can be turned on and off independently of the main light switch. I have also fitted two long wires leading into the forepeak, so that I can fit some bunk lights up there. I had forgotten that for once I had wired in litle screw terminals so that I could attach new items easily, and it was all quite straight forward. I will have depth sounder and GPS on one main switch, cabin lights on a second and the third will be for some navigation lights. I have fitted two tail wires for that, so that I don't have to open up the switch panels again. That still leaves me with a cigarette lighter outlet, which  I use for recharging my VHF and my mobile phone. I can't see that I shall need any more switches, which is just as well, as I don't have any more.

16 October 2011

Dinghy really is a boat, she floats

We launched her on the local river, which can only be used for about 50 yards between overhanging trees. She floats level and takes two quite comfortably. The longitudinal seat makes it easy to balance, but I need to move the rowlocks closer to the stem. Other than that I am very pleased. I can really say I have built  a boat now.

I am still working on tidying up the wiring in Daisy G and I have now got a spur for navigation lights, to be fit at some stage. I still need to fit a spur for lights in the forepeak, which I want to improve reading in bed. Not sure the winter is long enough to get it all done.

15 October 2011

Floor alterations just about completed

I have just about completed the alterations to the cabin sole. The pipe linking the ballast tanks is now hidden from view and I have a secure place for my bucket (an important item in any boat. I brought mine back form India as hand luggage.) I have still to refit the battery restraining strap and then to paint the plywood. I have also bored a hole between the battery space and the back end of the berth, so that wiring can pass directly between the battery and the switch panel without wrapping it around the edge of the bulkhead. There is a lot of rationalising of the wiring to be done.

I have also extended the half step in the sole by the water tank to fill that whole area. (The half step is there to cover over the bilge pump pipe and its strum box which comes into the cabin just there.) This allows me to put in the cool box in a fore and aft position, which makes it easier to get at when the table is open. Now that the sole is complete, I will take it all up so that I can thoroughly dry out the bilge and boat floors, slop some preservative over those floors and eventually refit them all and lay new carpets tiles. I will be able to lift any section of the sole just by undoing about four screws.

13 October 2011

Working on the floor in the cabin

I have needed to sort out the floor all year. Small amounts of water get into the cabin through the companion way and from the engine when I stow it inside. These build up under the floor and slosh out when the boat is healed. I can't lift the floor easily as it is a double layer of plywood and you have to take up all of it to get at the bilge. So I have replaced the bottom layer just with strips of plywood over the floors and then a single layer over the top. This can be removed in sections if necessary to sponge out any dribbles.

I have also started boxing in properly under the companion way where the portaloo and battery sit. Work half done, but I managed to burn out a fuse on the battery by trying to see what happened if I touched two wires together. Doh! Hopefully Halfords will have a replacement. The space for the portloo is so tight for height that I had to plane of the backside of the plywood before it would slide in. That means it won't move at sea.

I haven't started on the crack repair yet as I am out of epoxy resin and I am waiting until Rutlands have one of their 15% off everything and free postage sales before I buy some more. They are the cheapest then.

9 October 2011

How to store a dinghy

Hang it from the roof.

In the summer I am planning to hang it upside down so I can lower it down onto a roof rack. Just need to figure out an easy way to get it off the rack at the other end. I can't store a dinghy at my marina. They don't have the room and so they provide a little fleet of dinghys you can borrow.

8 October 2011

Sailing dinghy

Here is the little dinghy with Daisy G's mizzen n place.I think it might just work. saves having to carry a seperate sailing rig for her. The mast heel needs to be sorted out, it is quite loose.

7 October 2011

Portuguese baby is finished

My little project is finished. I have just fitted a length of Daisy Grace's old main sheet around the gunwales as a fender. I'm am quite pleased with the way she looks, although the deck looks a bit like it was just dropped on top (which it was). I need to get a set of roof bars for my car before I can get her anywhere near water. We live on top of a limestone hill and there isn't a drop of free standing water around here.

5 October 2011

I must cut back on junk on board

I have just spent the evening unloading everything from Daisy G and as always it horrifies me how much stuff I carry on board. Each year I promise not to do it. But it has all come out, all of the lockers are open and there are just some ropes left to remove which are shackled on (sheets and kicking strap.) At the weekend I hope to push her outside to give her a good scrub down before I start on any repairs and alterations. I enjoy the off season almost as much as the on saeson.

3 October 2011

Daisy G back in her shed with the new baby, ready for winter tinkering

Building room is a bit tighter but not too bad. It smells like a dockyard with sea weed and mud. The first thing will be to get everything stripped out and to give the boat a good scrub. This will be the first winter that I have had Daisy G at home and under cover, so it will be fun to be able to work properly on her.

The lighting board fell off on the way back, again, and shorted out half my lights. I am abandoning using the trailer to hold the board. I will mount it on the boat itself from now on.

2 October 2011

Daisy Grace is out of the water (7nm 393nm total)

Daisy G is back home. The weather was so glorious  (25C) that I motored over to Redhorn Quay for lunch before I hauled out at Baiter. The water ballast again came into its own. I was able to haul her onto her trailer with only one wheel partly in the water and just the tyre on the other. Everyone else was having to fully submerge their trailers on this horribly shallow pitched slipway. No problem towing home apart form the lighting board falling off and shorting out half my lights. I am going to fit it to the boat itself in the future. The low slung arms at the back of the trailer have given me nothing but trouble.

This just about shows the growth on the Coppercoat after six months on a mooring in Poole Harbour, which is a highly fouling area. There are some barnacles and some slime. I think it is remarkably clean. I shall leave them to dry of for a while at home and then they just brush off.

Now for all the winter jobs, including fixing that crack in the topside.