Living the dream……almost

Without going into graphic details,25 years of marriage seems to have reached an unhappy ending,so I find myself temporarily homeless,skint(until payday) but relatively happy,all things considerd.
So,camping on ‘seal’ for a few weeks,at least until finances are a bit healthier,or a highly unlikely reconciliation occurs. Don’t hold your breath for the latter,the immovable object has come up against the irresistible force!
Anyway,i’m roughing it for now. It’s a bit like being in a tent but i’ve got mooring lines instead of guy ropes. I’ve made myself quite comfortable,I haven’t slept so soundly for a long time and i’ve got the all important tea making facilities for that early morning fix.
Improvisation is the keyword at the moment,hygiene is taken care of with a ‘strip wash’ and/or a daily swim( although i’m not actually sure if the sea around here leaves me cleaner or dirtier!).
A solar shower will be bought soon I feel.
Toilet facilities are a bucket,for anything other than a pee I visit the local public conveniences.They’re are surprisingly clean/well looked after!
Cooking is on a single burner camp stove,so meals are of the tinned variety mostly,with fresh fruit desserts.
For entertainment I have books,lots of good music and the tv(on the rare occasion there is anything worth watching).
And I can work on “seal” to my hearts content,though to be honest,I haven’t done much in the past week,too busy feeling sorry for myself and trying to make sense of 30 wasted years. But,life goes on,and the longer we’re apart the easier it becomes.


Not quite so bad……

On closer inspection,it only seems to be the near horizontal surfaces that are so badly affected. The near vertical cabin sides and the bit of the companionway bulkhead actually dried quite smooth. A very light rub down before the next coat should suffice. I hope.
I would have thought it would have been the other way round,obviously you can apply the paint thicker on the horizontal surfaces with less risk of runs and sags,and so you would expect it to flow out better. But what do I know?

Disappointed of Essex

After many hours sweat and toil rubbing down the coachroof,the time came on Sunday to get some primer/undercoat on.
I dusted everything over,sanded a few more bits I wasn’t happy with and washed it all down with clean water.
After it dried in the glorious sunshine,I got the paint out,and after a thorough stir,got the first half of the coachroof/cabin side covered.
The paint(touch dry in two hours,according to the blurb on the tin) seemed to be drying as I applied it,almost,and it was very hard to get a decent finish,but I persevered and it looked okay(ish).
I’ve just returned to “seal”after 2 days,and am incredibly disappointed in the dry result.
After all my hard work on the prep side,the paint looks absolutely awful. To say it resembles a ploughed field would be an insult to farmers! I can accept the kamikaze flies embedded in it,I can accept (and deal with) a couple of scars in the paint where it had flaked and I hadn’t feathered the edges sufficiently, but the rest,well i’m gutted. It was as smooth as a baby’s bum before the paint went on!
Perhaps it was just too hot to paint,who knows?
I’ve got quite a lot of painting experience,I used a good quality paint and brush,and I was thorough in my preparation.
What did I do wrong?
I guess another marathon session with wet and dry paper looms,but i’ll leave it a few days,ti harden some more,and for me to get my enthusiasm/motivation back.
I think this is a real low point in the project,things must get better!
Time for lots of tea I think,or maybe even a drop of rum!

Fingers ain’t what they used to be.

Saturday was spent in a marathon session of hand sanding the coachroof and cabin side.Started with 120 grit paper,used wet and followed it with 240 grit, The white painted areas are much easier to get to a good smooth surface than the blue. Just my luck it’s mostly blue then.Got a about 2/3 of it done,although after washing it down after I realised there’s a few bits i’ve missed/or am not happy with.
It’s looking better( I think…..) ,definitely cleaner!
My fingertips are red raw though, but at least I remembered to wash the blood of before I took the photos.
I was hoping to get some primer/undercoat slapped on Sunday,but the weather has put paid to that idea. Maybe one evening during the week….
Hopefully next weekend i’ll be getting coachroof/cabin sides painted and then i’ll finally think i’m making progress. Be quite nice to be applying paint rather than removing it.
Ideally i’d like to buy/fit the new acrylic windows before painting the cabin sides but i’ll have to find the money to pay for them first!

Once bitten…….

On the day I sailed ‘seal’ home,if you recall,I had a slight problem with the tiller. It broke and left me adrift.
Anyway,I made a conscious decision to ensure it wouldn’t happen again,so to that effect,work has begun on the new improved super strength tiller.
The original was teak,and suffering from old age and bodgeritus. I had repaired the rudder stock sufficiently(after the nice men in their rnli rib towed me into harbour) to finish the journey to my mooring,but that repair was somewhat industrial/agricultural looking.
When I acquired ‘seal’ one of the “improvements by a previous owner” that I removed were the quarter berth lee boards.
I really wish I had got photos of them and the associated bracketry so you could share my wonder and amazement at the incredible ingenuity and bodging skills that had gone into their construction. The varnish was quite good though….
The boards themselves were 6″x1″ heavy pine planks. ‘Proper’ pine,not like a lot of the modern lightweight stuff you seem to get now.
I cut the two planks to size and laminated them together,to give a 5″x2″ beam,which i’m now in the progress of shaping. It’s a lot heavier than the original and undoubtedly stronger. I think the transom will break long before the tiller ever does!
It might be considered ott,but I really don’t fancy having to be rescued again. Will get pics of old and new together next time I”m aboard.

The great British summer

Not as much progress as i’d hoped lately,it’s been mostly glorious sunshine while i’m at work,and intermittent rain whenever i’ve got ‘boat time’!
I’ve managed to get some more preparation done(in between showers) but outside painting is out of the question.
I’ve got the companionway hatch runners ready to fit,as are the washboard guides. I’ve also got the teak slats for the main hatch cut to size and have laminated a curved reinforcing piece for the aft end of the main hatch. This is intended to enable me to beef up the hatch locking arrangement and improve security.
So,although nothing is finished,a lot of the ground work is done.
A good spell of dry weather should see quite rapid results,I hope.
Will get some more pics up when there’s something worth seeing,hopefully soon!


My attempts at linking to a facebook page have failed miserably! I opened a facebook account under a pseudonym(shhh,don’t tell them!) and then,via that account, a ‘poor man’s sailing’ page. My posts go to the original account but not the page. Any suggestions welcomed.

Sore thumbs

Well,after much grief and button pressing,I think i’ve managed to link my blog to facebook. If this gets posted across i’ll know i’ve got it right! I like to copy all my previous posts across as well but I don’t know if that’s possible with my cheapo smart phone. And low tech iq!