29 July 2014

Dinghy finished, yet to be launched.

I have finished my new dinghy, "Nellie Grace" Very pleased with the boat, but my paint finish is awful. I just can't paint. runs and dribbles everywhere and I may as well not have bothered masking areas off with masking tape. I don't know why I am so bad at it. But at least I won't worry about scratching her.

She went onto the roof rack quite easily as I had hoped. sliding n form the back. I think she is heavier than designed, due to the fancy seats and the extra work on the skeg and keel. I hope to take her down to Poole soon to try her out as a tender.

23 July 2014

Dinghy progress

The interior is now largely complete and painted. I am waiting for some longer stainless steel screws to fit the rowlock blocks permanently. I have built up the stern transom to provide a name plate, an outboard position, sculling slots and crucially, a sacrificial edge that I can stand the boat on as I heave it up on a roof rack (haven.t actually tried that yet, so hope it works.

Next I need to turn her over and smooth and paint the outside. Then she should be done, although I need to get some decent oars and then figure out how to secure them inside the dinghy when towing.

Not quite sure why I chose grey, but I am pleased with the colour scheme. Looks sort of dour and professional, unlike the quality of the finish. I was very pleased that the outboard started and ran very easily. It hasn't been used for over a year and I thought it would be fully gummed up with the old fuel in it. The Honda has a centrifugal clutch, which means it engages as you accelerate. Simple, but it makes tricky manoeuvres even trickier, especially when coupled with a lack of reverse...

20 July 2014

To Yarmouth and back (45nm)

The weather was good and the tides were perfect for a weekend trip to Yarmouth. Fair current all the way there from about 10:00am for five hours, and return current the next morning from about 530 to 1030. The wind was almost non existent on Saturday so I had to motor all the way. A poor wind on the way back, so I motor sailed. Each time I did the distance in three and a half hours. I hit 9 kts going through Hurst narrows. The current there is terrifying.

Hurst castle on the way in
I like Yarmouth, but it is getting very expensive. £23 for one night for a 20 ft boat. And I didn't even sleep on board! I phoned some friends on the island to see if they were free for a drink. They said they were having a barbecue and I was fetched to join in. Even drive back to Daisy G at six in the morning.

There and back again

16 July 2014

Quick sail in the sun (18nm)

I grabbed a day off to enjoy the sun afloat. Notting spectacular. Went down in the evening, got in the way of a dinghy race and in avoiding it, went aground near the ferry terminal. I was clearly going to be there for an hour or so, so cooked my dinner there. Wind quite strong from the west, so once afloat, I sailed over teh Shipstal point. Sheltered and only one other boat there, so had a peaceful night.
Absolutely beautiful morning, so I was up with the birds and off sailing by 7:00. Noticed the large ferry from Spain had anchored outside the harbour overnight. Don't know why, but the tides are very big, so maybe they had to wait. Certainly it finally came in as the tide was rising, very slowly and cautiously.

Anchored of Redhorn Quay and rowed ashore to hike around Studland peninsula. Then sailed out into the open sea under reefed main and no mizzen. I had a double reef in at first, but shook one out. I find the boat handles best when reefed if the mizzen is stowed. Otherwise it can be hard to tack. The long low sail plan seems to want to just go in one direction.

12 July 2014

Work on bottom of dinghy largely complete

I have finished the wood working on the bottom  of the dinghy. Keel, skeg and skeg wheel epoxied into place and I have epoxied an aluminium rubbing strip onto the forward part of the keel. Also glued on two rub strips where the chines will rub the ground.

Turned boat over and clamped the external gunwales in place. These will be easier to fit than the internal ones, but will need to be planed thinner at the ends, which will actually look better. Much sanding, fairing an painting to do yet, not to mention the rowlock supports. Need to get some decent oars from somewhere.

10 July 2014

Skeg and skeg wheel build up

I have smeared on the first faring layers of low density epoxy and started building up the skeg with a built in wheel. I want to be able to launch easily single handed, but don't want a trolley  kicking around. I fitted a double wheel on my last dinghy which was OK but wobbled a bit. This time I am going for a single, wider wheel supported on both sides. The axle is an aluminium tube which I think will be robust enough.

Quite a lot of sanding and shaping needed before it is bonded on. The main body of the skeg is a piece of an old mahogany table top that I am gradually working my way through. I shall fit a very thin laminated mahogany keel right along to the stem, using the laminations I cut out for the stem of a canoe that I didn't build last year. That will be quite messy.

8 July 2014

Peel ply off

I have stripped the peel ply off and learned one lesson. Make sure that at least one edge of the peel ply is loose so you can get it off. One or two pieces were almost permanently bonded to the hull. The finish is not bad, generally smooth and you cannot feel the edge of the glass cloth where it stops. One or two bubbles in the cloth, but nothing that can't be sanded and filled.

I am not going to glass the transoms, there seems little point. I may use the cloth to cover the floor inside. Now a lot of sanding and filling. I also need to build up the skeg and wheel, which is the next and almost last major job.

7 July 2014

Fibreglassing outside of dinghy

Not a job I looked forward to. I have never done it before and I hate fibreglass. I taped all the joints, then covered the hull with a single piece of 300gm/sqm biaxial cloth. Heavier than needed, but it was wide enough to cover the bottom of the hull in one piece. Ordinary cloth would have needed two pieces as it is narrower. Poured lashings of epoxy over it all and hopefully have got it all well filled. I will do the transoms separately as there were just too many pieces in wet epoxy for one job.

It is all covered in peel ply, which I hope will give me a fairly good finish without too much faring needed. I will put another strip of tape over the top of the keel and then fit the skeg. That will be a bit of a challenge as I want to fit a wheel into it. Then after faring and sanding, I should be bale to turn her over again.

3 July 2014

Waiting to be measured

I am going to have an extension to the spray hood made by Quay Sails of Poole. They came and measured on Wednesday and it should be ready in about three weeks. It will stretch from the boom gallows over the back edge of the sprayhood, with a flap down to the coaming either side. Should keep the rain and the sea gull muck out of the cockpit.

Dinghy progress

Both internal gunwales now fitted, hull turned over and all stitches cut off. Getting the stitch ends absolutely flush is quite hard. The nylon doesn't really sand down that easily, but they will all be covered in fibreglass eventually, so that should hide them.

The building instructions don't say anything about filling in gaps between panels on the outside, just to round the corners off. But I think I will fill the larger ones round the transoms. I don't like the thought of any voids, even under the fibreglass.

I am hoping to get the dinghy finished before we take Daisy G down to Cornwall for the English RAID.

2 July 2014

Two glorious sunny days sailing. About 30nm

Never left the harbour, but tacked and tacked and tacked again all over the place. Motored up to Wareham one day and anchored in the Wareham channel, off the Arne peninsula. A most beautiful place with nightjars churring in the distance and foxes on the shoreline.

Dramatic sunset followed by a fingernail of moonrise.

Even the dawn was clear and sunny, which is unusual, even in the summer. I lingered for three hours before setting off. I had pulled in most of the anchor chain and forgot I had done so as I had a doze in the sunshine. woke to find I had dragged about half a mile, right across the navigable channel. Fortunately no other boats about so I didn't get clobbered. You really do need to put out enough chain!