Thursday, July 13, 2017

Getting a handle on the interior

Galley cabinets. 
A few hitches, but Phineas is progressing with the forecabin panelling. A meltdown of my old Black & Decker circular saw slowed things down, and all modern saws are beyond my little generator's power supply capabilities. At last I found an old Makita 800 Watt saw, and this weekend it will buzz! The main salon seating/bunks await.

I am almost done with the galley cabinets. Nylon catches inside keep them closed, but I am looking for a more positive way to secure them. The doors swing down, and plastic trays will go inside to hold the stuff. I am planning to have a countertop stove and collapsible wash basin for a beginning, until I can find the right stuff.
Companionway ladder with hand rail/grab handle

David mounting a grab handle. 
We fitted the grab handles and handrail for the companionway. I stressed over it for weeks, and finally got going, but it took David to work out a way to drill through the one handle, the panel and into the second handle. The last gets a brass insert, the first handle gets its holes recessed, and then stainless steel Allen bolts go in. I only had to ream two bolt holes.

And true to Doug of SV Seeker's motto: "I learnt so much from my mistakes, I plan to make some more." I thought to try bending pipes myself. Plywood cut with a jigsaw, turned in the drill, steel angle legs, but no cigar: the 20mm mild steel pipe does not bend smoothly. So I will have the swim platform, canopy hoops and interior steel grab handles, which will also serve as hardpoints for lifting things like batteries, bent professionally.


No, not working, at least not well enough.



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Interior work continues

Woodwork goes slow and I am not patient. Fortunately Phineas helps keep me in control. He is a painstaking and careful joiner, and enjoys making panels fit perfectly. Most of the galley is done, except for the doors, which needs final trimming and sanding before they go on.


Phineas trimming a panel. 
The companionway ladder is in and looks good, but I must get to making handholds now.

Fifth fitting. Almost there.
I was lucky to have some helpers over the past weeks. Well, some helped more than others. Still, a pleasure.
Brother, you missed one! Diederick and Isabelle installing floor panels. 

Painting is another job I am not good at. For me it is a question of slapping on a lot of paint and smoothing it out. Madame could contain herself, and provided some expert guidance. We will see if it has rubbed off when I do the galley doors..


So that's how it's done! 


Tools came to my attention. My cheap, light and friendly Ryobi drill started coughing and eventually cut out altogether. The problem is the switch. Amazon has one for $ 4.80, but here it sells for at least double, if you can get it. I may get lucky, but runnning down the possibilities will take time.



The offending switch. Small, but important. 

I did manage to resuscitate a Bosch cordless screwdriver and drill, by removing the batteries, and putting a cord on, then running it from an old gate motor battery. Works like a charm, but needs a bit of fettling. It will go on the boat and run off the 12 volt system.

Cordless drill, cordless no longer


 And the set square... We had a torrid time, Phineas and I, to get a panel to fit. No matter how careful the measurements, it ended up out of square. Until we checked the set square. Somehow it was out. Dropped? Never! Not on your life! It must have been perfectly calibtrated when my grandfather bought it. Well, I had to splurge and buy a new one. Now I have an excuse for all the bad language over the years, when I tried to make square joints! Let it not be said that a bad craftsman blames his tools.


When a square is no longer square...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bits and pieces

Base for the toilet, and pan for the shower, with
insulation in and cladding coming on. 
Work has suffered from all sorts of interrruptions, but now a few public holidays, visiting friends, and other helpers has enabled me to make some serious progress.

We are still fitting out the interior and planking the lazarette, but we are now ready to tackle the bathroom, or heads to use the maritime term. The kitchen or galley will soon follow.

In the meantime we did bits and pieces: Iain, Megan and Malcolm came visiting and helped do the planks that go under the forward bunk.

Iain showing how it should be done.
Megan sanding. We will get to Hawaii a bit later.
David came along to help with the masts, and we discovered a problem. The traditional way of staying a mast has loops of cable going over the masthead and resting on blocks of wood. On our metal version the 'blocks' are all too small, so David welded loops on as well. We will have to see how this works out in real life.

Malcolm sanding finger holes. 
And Phineas helped put the shower basin, toilet base, and panels in, and started on the side cladding of the heads. Trevor visited and suggested thht we clad the heads in aluminium, but the plywood is already bought.

As usual comments are welcome.



Dog inspection: Companionway ladder.


Ladder almost done. Phineas has reason to be proud. 
David working on the masthead. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

More woodwork, and leaks!

Planking goes on to wooden blocks glued to the hull with Sika
The woodwork is still inching along, but now Phineas has joined the crew, and he has already told me off for not sawing the planks straight enough. We are planking the lazarette, using 100mm (mostly) wide strips of 12mm Spruce plywood. It is an education for a kitchen cupboard maker like Phineas to work on a boat where no lines are straight, but he is coping admirably.

Now to get them to fit. 
Recently Prince tackled the accumulated dirt, and two buckets of water flung over the deck showed up water leaks in the forward portlights. (The deck hatches also leak, that is another problem seeking a solution.) David and I had to bite the bullet: The portlights had to come out, we had to (try to) clean up the old Sika, and they had to be rebedded. The problem is the very gently curve of the front of the cabin. The Lewmar portlights are straight, so something had to make up the difference, and the previous attempt did not provide enough Sika. Well, they are in, and sonce we expect a lot of rain this week, results of Tropical Cyclone Dineo, we will have some sort of real life testing.
Prince enthusiastic about the washing

The coming weeks will see a lot of interruptions, but we must soldier on.



Sticky stuff
What a mess!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Of sails and blocks...

Unpicking is not fun.
While I am still edging along with the woodwork, we have given more attention to the sails. The foresail is done except for a few quality control issues, and the mainsail is almost there. Problem is, if you get something wrong, there is a LOT of unpicking to do. Been there, done it... But the elation of having completed the seams are apparent.

Done! At least almost. Note quality controller
in the background. 
I also started finalising the rigging. Now, the old salts made up their steel wire stays going around the Horn. I found out why they don't do it any more: It is bloody hard work, and hard on the hands too. So when a friendly guy offered to do it professionally at a good price, my penchant for the historical method vanished. But I am still going to go for traditional deadeyes and galvanised wire stays instead of stainless steel.

First router jig. Not so great. Note jagged groove
in the deadeye. 
I had some deadeyes made up from a few planks of Mvule wood we brought back from Uganda. Traditionally the old salts used teak, but that is a little hard to find here. And I needed more deadeyes, and the Mvule was not enough. Also, I noticed that it was cracking.

But more important: The jig I made for routing the groove in the Mvule was not so clever. The router did not like it, and grabbed the wood....Don't argue with a router!

So I tested a piece of engineering plastig I was given as a sample, then went and bought more. It is called Polystone G, and seems rather impervious to sun. At least I hope so!

Polystone seems to be a HDPE and is said to be good for making tanks! In front of my favourite plastics place they have a slab of it bridging a small channel. It has been there for years, and shows no weathering despite being in the direct sun.

Don't argue with a router!
So I made a jig to bandsaw the 24 deadeyes from the plastic, broke one blade, and then made a better router jig where you cannot get your finger into the bit unless you really try. Results look good. Now to have the stays made up, then to get the masts up! What fun!



Bandsaw and deadeye blanks

Jig mark 2 for routing deadeyes. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bored with woodwork.

Shower pan fits. Now for fibreglassing.
I am bored with the woodwork. The bulkhead between the toilet and storage behind is taking shape, the shower pan fits, but I need something else to do. So I started on the masts and the sails. Badly needed rain made woodwork outside complicated in any case, but also prevented putting a second coat on the masts and battens.

David spraying the masts and battens. Thanks, David! Overspray
 on the pool is a problem we did not anticipate. 
The sails presented a new learning curve. My Mother's old Meister machine was resurrected, oiled, bobbins unearthed, and it works! Well, I got it working a little until Shahnaz shoved me aside and showed me how things were done in her days as a quality controller in the textile industry. Thank you, love!

Ready to help
As we speak the foresail is done, with some advice and support from the dogs, who closely supervised the laying out process. After long deliberation I decided to go with Arne Kverneland's design of building progressive belly into each panel. I used the ingots of lead for the ballast as weights, the battens as splines, and managed a pattern that I think will work. Sailing trials will tell. As I write the foresail is done save for the last set of webbing and rings (Thanks, David, for welding up enough stainless steel rings!) and loops for the yard and boom. Then we tackle the mainsail. I am sure the dogs are ready to help...







This is boring!



Shahnaz hard at sewing. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pirates!

Much has been written about pirates at sea. This week it was our turn: Dreamtime was attacked, boarded and invaded by two ferocious pirates: Josh and Cooper. Grandchildren to the owners of the nursery where I am fortunate to have working space, they boarded, and politely asked if they could come and see what I am doing. They gave some real help: Cooper crawled right into one of the cabinets I made to hold the spanner to a recalcitrant nut.

And we had a stow-away too: Cooper decided he likes the cabinets under the front bunk as a hidey-hole.

What a pleasure to have such nice, well brought-up pirates on board!


Stow-away1