Progress……

Not as much as I’d hoped for though,as usual!
Thought I’d have a bit of a go at the masonry paint on the non-slip areas of the deck.
First attempt

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was a cheap-but-safe-on-grp paint stripper.Dab on,leave 30 mins,scrape off,as per instructions.Well,the scrape off bit failed dismally,no signs of any paint removal at all.Tried leaving it on longer/applying thicker,no difference. On to plan ‘b’
A strong solution of caustic soda/water. Brushed on,kept working it in with a stiff nylon brush.Removed old gloss paint and varnish and softened the masonry paint.
I think if I make the solution stronger,it should do the trick. Fingers crossed.
Adam came down with me on Sunday and while I continued with prep work in the forecabin,he set to work making a cockpit grating. I had rescued a batch of ‘as new’ bed slats from the skip at work.They were originally from a trailer tent prototype which was being broken up. Although they’re only softwood,by the time they’ve had a few coats of stain,they will do the job. When the the boat isn’t in use,i’ll lift them and store them in the cabin which should prolong their life.
I also fitted the new samson post plinth on the foredeck and did a bit more on the outboard well.
Oh,and of course,we drank lots of tea!

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Right time,right place

A couple of weeks ago at work,some offcuts of 19mm solid oak were heading for the bonfire.
Yours truly intercepted them though! Didn’t have a use in mind,but they were too good to miss.
At the weekend,I found uses for some of them. On “seal” the single washboard is held in place by a piece of manky old ply,not for much longer. Soon she will be graced with nice oak guides. They’re cut and shaped ready and i’ve started staining them. It would be such a shame to bury the grain beneath layers of paint.
I’ve also made new trims for just inside the companionway and plinth to mount the compass.
I’ve also got a piece put aside which is earmarked as a chopping board/sink lid. Little touches but all they’ve cost is a bit of time and some woodstain.
Happy days.

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The hole in my bottom!

Strictly speaking,the hole in “seals” bottom,but that wouldn’t have got your attention the same,would it?
Sitting in the cockpit yesterday,coffee in hand,my attention turned to the outboard engine well.
At some point in “seals” past, this had been blanked off,and a bracket added to the transom.Now,it’s always been my intention to re-instate it.
With great trepidation and some unease I started to remove the (rotten) ply blanking plate. It felt so wrong deliberately making a big hole in the bottom of my boat!
Before long though,I broke through,so it’s now in the lap of the gods whether seal is still afloat next time I visit. Gulp.
The later Kingfishers had a larger well and a tilting bracket arrangement to get the prop out of the water.”seal” has never had this,but i’m going to engineer a vertical sliding mount,to hopefully do the same.
Also on the cards is sorting out the cockpit drains. I think they originally emptied into the engine well,but when the well was sealed they were re-routed to the transom locker,and out via a skin fitting. Another quality installation. Not. Still,at least there was no masonry paint or evostik involved!
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I’ve also going to have to make a lid/seat for the well and try to make good the bulkhead between the well and the transom locker. This area has been hacked about and bodged back together very poorly so it could be a challenge……

More of the same…..

After my foray into the forecabin,I got my arse into gear(a very low gear,admittedly) and carried on the prep work in the main cabin.
Still avoiding the depths of the quarter berths though!
I now realised I was a bit(!) optimistic in my estimates of how long it would take to get ready for paint.
I think I must have inherited a perfectionist gene from the old man. I was brought up to believe that if a job is worth doing,it’s worth doing properly. And whilst I don’t pretend to be a master craftsman,I try to do everything as well as my limited talents allow.
I think that’s making me a bit anal in my preparation.
On the subject of my father,on the day of his cremation,I sat listening to the service,and noticed that the board on which they put the hymn numbers up,was well on the piss. The old man had been a builder and I can imagine him laying there saying “for f**ks sake,didn’t they have a spirit(no pun intended!) level!)  He would have then lit a Silk Cut and gone to find whoever was responsible.
My dad often said he wished he’d learnt to sail and got a boat. He never did it. This ones for you,Dad.
Anyway,quick wipe of eyes and back to the boat.
While in the main cabin,I got the switch panel trimmed to size and the first of 4 battery isolators wired and fitted.
In case you’re wondering why i’m having individual isolators for each battery,rather than a bank on 1common switch,I shall explain.
I have a source of good used leisure batteries,but because they’re all of various brands/indeterminate age,I don’t want to take the risk of 1 dodgy one pulling down the others. It happens.
4 batteries may seem a bit ott,but they aren’t costing a great deal,and you can’t have too much capacity!
So,the scraping and rubbing down continues…….
I had a slight disaster today though. I forgot to buy milk,so tea was off the menu. How did I forget? Tea is crucial to my well-being! I had to resort to that ‘orrible coffee stuff. Luckily,I have a stock of Kenco 3 in 1 on board in case I ever have a coffee drinking visitor. I was thinking the other half may come aboard one day,and coffee is her preference.
Oh,look a whole flock of flying pigs! Did I mention she’s not nautically inclined?
Anyone,the 3in 1(coffee,not oil) ain’t too bad. It’s not tea though…..

Hoarders anonymous!

There’s been a glut of reality tv lately about chronic hoarders and how they live,you know the sort of thing,mr x can’t get in his bedroom because he’s stockpiled 20 years worth of pigeon fanciers weekly,or miss y who can’t cook a meal because the kitchen is choked with 2473kg of her highly prized collection of cuddly wombles!
Well,I think i’ve achieved that on a nautical basis.Got to the boat today and realised that the inside is totally clogged with the detritus of boat refurb,materials,tools and, above all,rubbish.Time to reorganise methinks,but where do I start?
The v berth is full of cushion foam,lengths of it-might-come-in-handy-timber and various ropes,lines,life jackets and the obligatory out of date fire extinguishers and flares.
The hanging space is dedicated to scrap wood and the heads is full of well,the heads.
The main cabin has got everthing else in it……..
Trouble is,it’s like one of those puzzles consisting of 15 tiles in a frame and only one spare space,where you have to re-arrange the tiles to make a picture.
My trouble is I hate to throw stuff away unless I’m absolutely. 100% certain that I won’need it.
Anyway,I thought i’d better attempt a tidy up so started to empty the forecabin. I had forgotten just what a mess it was in there,after all,I haven’t been able to get in there for some time!
Once it was relatively clear(everything had just been moved to the main cabin,doh!) I got distracted/enthusiastic and decided to bite the bullet and start prepping it ready for paint etc. I know,I haven’t finished the prep in the main cabin yet,but I really wasn’t feeling up to doing the contortionist bit and entering the hellhole( quarter berth).
I made quite good progress though,i’ more than halfway removing all the old glue. I also managed to get some stuff packed away in the under berth lockers.
While I had access(before I fill it up again!) I removed the remaining stanchions and got the holes sealed up,which,fingers crossed,will eliminate another source of rainwater ingress.
As part of the prep work I removed the remains of the wiring loom(ha-ha) from the cabin as well.
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The things we do for love….

Another session of scraping, rubbing down and filling today.
The port side quarter berth is nearly done,as is the step/locker area below the companionway.

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The worst job so far? Crawling head first inro the quarter berth to remove all the glue.
If I had 6 foot double jointed arms,it would almost be easy.
Unfortunately I haven’t and it’s not. Cue back/shoulder ache. It’s a case of do it for as long you can bear,and then do something easier for a while.
I must really love this old boat. I have to keep reminding myself that I haven’t really been her custodian for very long and that I am making fair progress,for the time i’ve had available. It will all be worthwhile in the end!

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The quarter berth(fondly referred to as ‘The Hellhole’)

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          Some progress but slow

On a more positive note,Adam came up trumps with the electrical panel he was building for me. Still to be stained,but it’s looking good.Thanks Mate.

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Trial fit,minor adjustment needed.
Oh,and fitting the rest of the electrical system so it’s got something to connect to!