28 November 2011

Wiring covers finished

Took the clamps off and the wooden quadrants over the stern light's wiring stayed firmly in place, which was a relief. I managed to clear up the epoxy squirts before they had gone rock hard which is good. It is an awkward position to sand. I will probably paint the quadrants to match the rest of the super structure. I don't think they will stain to match the edging as they are softwood. Just waiting for the lights to arrive so I can check wiring holes and then fit them. Once they are on the main jobs left are painting the super structure.

I am not sure the hull needs another coat of paint. It looks pretty good apart form some chips where the anchor goes up and down. That will inevitably get chipped again, so I think some touching up is all that is worth doing. The boot top anti-fouling does need repainting. Nearly all of it had come off by the end of the season. But it did the job.

27 November 2011

Navigation light wiring in place

I have routed two 5Amp wires around the cockpit, which link the port, starboard and stern navigation lights in parallel. The wires are hidden the under the side decks completely when running to the side lights, but the pop up into the open to reach the stern light. I have fitted a softwood moulding in each corner of the coaming, right at the stern, which covers them nicely there. I will paint the wood eventually and it will not notice to anyone.

Round the back of the coaming I have run the wires under the projecting hardwood edging, covered by a quadrant moulding which I had planed out at the back to form a run for them. I had to heat bend the moulding to get any chance of fitting it. The first go I inevitably bent it the wrong way and had to cut another length. The whole lot is now clamped on an epoxy bed, which I hope will hold it. About the trickiest clamping I have had to do. Nothing is parallel or thick enough t get a grip on. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole lot didn't just fall off when I release the clamps.

24 November 2011

Ready for the finishing stages

I am varnshing the wooden pads, book shelves and strips with Tonkinois varnish, which is taking an age to dry in this humid cold weather, so it will be a long job. I have fiddled and got the wiring from the switch box ready to connect to the navigation lights. I have bored new holes through the second flat fender and cut the ropes to length, so I can hang them very quickly off small cleats on the inside of the coamings. And I have ordered the navigation lights and topsides paint from Piplers in Poole. I think I know how I will run the light wires around, and will start on it over the weekend. I can't do any painitng until Ihave given the boat a thorough clean as she is filthy.

21 November 2011

Bookshelf arrangement

This shows the strips and blocks screwed to an MDF board which makes up my bookshelf unit. It just drops onto the existing shelf behind the upstand. It doesn't look quite so neat now, after I spilt linseed oil all over it. I have decided to varnish the woodwork after oiling, as the plain oiled wood looks lovely but really picks up the dirt. I have just ordered some "Tonkinois" varnish for the job.

Gallows shaped and finished, ready for paintng.

The gallows cross beam is cut to length, mahogany ends glued on and the whole thing sanded ready for painting. Planing mahogany is a delight. Long dark shavings coming off smoothly. The temptation to keep on planing just for the pleasure of it is hard to resist. I will stain the ends and the spar support bracket and paint the wood ivory to match the superstructure.

I have drilled the beam for the navigation lights and threaded through two wires just to see if it can be done. These wires are not the final ones, they are not long enough. I still have to work out how they will go round the back of the boat. There is no obvious hidden route and access into the rear compartment is not that easy. Another for the wait-and-see department.

20 November 2011

Cabin works advancing

I have fitted a false back to one of the backrests in the cabin. This gives just enough room for a few A2 sized charts to be slid in behind the seat. I have had the charts laminated at a local print shop so they should be fairly indestructible.

I have built up two simple little book shelves on the forward cabin shelf. I had fitted an MDF base to the shelf a year ago, and the bookshelf sides are just screwed to it. They will only hold a few, but that is all I carry. I carefully masked all round the wood so that I could oil it without staining the MDF. Finished the job by knocking over the bottle of linseed oil, sending it flying over everything. So much for preparation.

Boom gallows work

I have finished the wedges at each end of the beam and the whole thing screws up really tightly and feels quite firm. The three spars slot in fine, but with little spare length for the boom. The shroud shackles on the mast just touch the mizzen mast when stowed, which is a shame. Just another millimetre apart and they wouldn't have touched at all. I don't think it will be a problem.

I have bolted on the tabernacle support. I had to widen the boom slot slightly as the goose neck fitting has to fit in as well. everything is quite firm. I am going to fit bungee hold down cords, which will be all that is needed to hold things in place.

You can see the wedges at each end. I am going to cut off the beam beyond each wedge and epoxy on a mahogany end cap. I have also drilled through the beam for navigation light fittings. I had thought I would have to level up the ends for the lights, but they are so close to horizontal that I don't think I need to. The boat will be rolling and heeling anyway.

19 November 2011

Boom gallows shaping up

The struts are cut to length, and angle. The spar support bracket is glued to the curved beam and I have epoxied bigger backing pads to the outside of the coaming to stiffen the whole thing up. I haven't matched the angle between the top of the struts and the cross beam as closely as I had hoped, so I am gluing on some wedges to give a firm base to screw the struts through. I still need to cut the beam to its final length and I may glue on a mahogany end trim. The beam will be painted ivory to match the cockpit.

The further plan is to run wires up through the struts to navigation lights at each end of the beam. I have seen some nice LED ones which would fit on neatly and only draw 1W or less. There will be easy access to the mizzen and no obstruction to lounging on the side decks. And as planned, I can take it all off by just unscrewing it if I don't like it.

16 November 2011

Mast support bracket take two (and three)

I wasn't happy with my first mast and boom support bracket. It was too big and clumsy. I had left room around each spar and they were far too loose. I have cut a completely new one, using hole saws and jig saws to make cut outs that fit the spars. They all slot in nicely and the whole bracket is wider and lower. If the fit is close, there will be no movement and no chafe. That is the theory in any case.

I used the gallows support to trace out a matching support to fit on a block at the tabernacle. I cut this from the last largish piece of Robbins 18mm marine ply, which I have been hoarding for over a year. Again, it fits really neatly. I need to sand and round of everything, epoxy the gallows block in place and then finish the gallows supports, which I can't do until this beam and bracket is finished . All being well it will be done and ready for painting after the weekend.

15 November 2011

Mast support bracket

I have roughed our a mast support bracket in a piece of my old mahogany table top. It is shaped to hold the boom at any time it is lowered, or to hold the lowered mast centrally without crushing the sail track. The boom and mizzen should stow either side of it in the angled recesses. I need to drill for restraining bungee cords and hooks yet. I will fit a similar shaped support at the tabernacle. All being well it should mean that the rig can be lowered and stowed rapidly. Currently, I can get the mast down in seconds, but it takes a remarkably long time to lash everything securely in place. I hope this arrangement will allow me to do it all in just a couple of minutes. I have lined the bracket with a strip of vinyl flooring, but may change that to something more refined. Soft leather would be ideal but I don't think I have got any.

14 November 2011

Boom support "beam" out of the mould

The cross beam is out of the clamps. I am quite pleased for a first lamination. It is very strong. I stood on teh centre and it just flattened out slightly. The angles of the ends don't quite match the angles of the supports on the tops of the stanchions, but it is close and a couple of thin wedges will fit it all into place. There were some gaps along the edge of one joint on the underside. which I couldn't see, but I have worked some extra epoxy into it and it should be fine. A lot of sanding needed before I could run a plane along each edge. I need to sand each wide face smooth as there are a number of epoxy dribbles on them.

13 November 2011

Boom and mast support

I have always wanted some form of boom gallows. Partly to speed things up when raising and lowering the mast, and partly to form a basis of a cockpit tent/spray hood extension. I also hate having loose things the lying around in the cockpit or hidden away in the cabin. The boom scissors I have work fine, but they just irritate me. My latest attempt will use two guard rail stainless steel stanchions, secured to the cockpit coaming as far back as they can go and still support the lowered boom. I have fitted two wedges to make the base fittings parallel. (I must confess that I glued one wedge on the wrong way round and had to chisel it off and start all over again.)

Joining the stanchions will be a curved, laminated cross beam, made from four think softwood planks, braced in a curve and glued together. I have never laminated anything like this before.When I first clamped the boards, all of the chocks I had carefully nailed along the curve on the workbench just pulled out. Eventually I screwed them all down to the bench with 4 inch screws. All of the jig is covered in parcel tape and all four layers epoxied together, so hopefully in the morning the bits which should stick together do so, and then bits that shouldn't, don't. I am also thinking of fitting side navigation lights onto the ends of the gallows, which will get them fairly high but keep them out of the way. As always, we shall see.

11 November 2011

Oiling wood and boring holes in foam rubber...

I have spent the last week linseed oiling various bits of wood. Firstly, the two doormat pads, which I have now screwed to the side decks. I have found that I can screw them down firmly without the screws penetrating the plywood underneath, so I have left them like that, without any glue underneath. That means they will be easy to remove if necessary (mainly if I decide they look god awful). I have also narrowed my original cockpit table and added two up-stands to the short edges. This means that when it is propped in front of the companionway it forms a comfortable seat with your legs in the cabin, and that it doesn't stop you opening the cockpit locker. It has got the table leg socket screwed to the underside and lives in the cabin when sailing. All pieces have had six coats of linseed oil, which leaves a wonderful colour and surface.

Secondly, I have bored two holes through the width of one of my flat fenders. This means I can thread ropes down through them, so that they hang better and the ropes don't get in the way of them being used as cockpit cushions. I puzzled over how to bore these long holes for some time. In the end I bought a length of 8mm aluminium pipe, filed some grooves in one and and then pushed and twisted it into the foam rubber. That worked quite well, but I quickly discovered I could speed up the process just by whacking the end of the tube with a hammer and blasting it through. Threading the rope was tricky, but I managed to feed it into the tube, and then pull the tube out, leaving the rope in place. I have repositioned the fender cleats so that I don't trip over the ropes and can quickly hang the fenders in place. I need to do the other fender, but my tube is full of foam rubber, so I don't know if it will go through so easily next time.

2 November 2011

Wooden "door mats"

One thing that has bothered me for a long time is the damage and mess on the side decks from people's feet (mainly mine). Whether getting in from a dinghy or off a pontoon or off a ladder in the shed, you tend to step on the deck and grind your foot around as you swivel to get on. It  means there is always a dirty patch just by the cabin bulkhead.  I thought of fitting a fake teak deck, but at £500 just for the strips (it's only polyurethane for goodness sake) that was a non-starter.

Then I pondered various ways of fitting timber slats on the side decks. I think that could work, but the edges and back of the deck curve, they are not parallel and there is a large locker lid in one deck. I didn't think I could do a good enough job. So I have plumped for solid wood "door mats", one each side, just by the cabin, where you step in. Their width is determined by the space between the bulkhead and the locker lid. I have made them from edge laminated softwood boards, which I have found is stable and strong even on a boat. I think they look quite good. I will screw them from underneath onto sealant and then use linseed oil to finish the tops and edges.