Rust in peace? No way!

When I first saw the new boat, I confess, my heart sank. She was a mess and looked beyond repair.

But then I spent an hour going over her and my spirits lifted. Definitely a case of looking beyond the flaking paint and rust patches. 

The coach roof/deck and cockpit looked the worst, peeling flaking paint and rust. The main companionway doors are rotten as are the the cockpit locker lids. The deck was sheathed in fibreglass mat(non slip?) and this crackled as walked on, giving the impression that the deck was rusted badly beneath.

First job on the agenda was to remove as much of the flaking paint as possible with a scraper. Quite and easy job, really, it came off in a4 size patches. Underneath some of it is bright shiny steel still, some of it is rusted on the surface, they’re are a few pitted areas and one or two small holes.

The deck got the same treatment to remove the grp mat, with the same results.

The plan of action is to remove all remaining paint with a hot air gun, grind/ sand the rust patches and cut out and weld new metal in where the holes are.

The whole area will then be treated to a phosphoric acid wash to neutralise any remains of rust, and a coat of zinc rich primer will be applied before the final paint system goes on.

There are a few untidy welds to be taken care off. In places the steel plate is slightly buckled, I’m guessing from the heat generated by welding when she was built but I can live with that. I could level it out with filler but feel that would be a mistake and would probably lead to problems in the future.

The grp sheathing on the deck had been penetrated by moisture in places and held it there causing some corrosion. I want to avoid a repeat of this. 

  As a rough estimate I guess I’ll have to use about a square metre of steel on this part of the boat, depending on how far back I have to cut the holes back to reach good steel. I’d like to get her watertight and hopefully the deck etc painted, before the winter so I can concentrate on the interior over the cold weather. Obviously finances will have a bearing on this!


Steel yourself for big news!

Sorry for gap in posts,had a bit of a health scare going on and wasn’t really in the mood to get my creative juices flowing. Or even trickling.

thankfully after various tests I was given the all clear. The symptons I was suffering(and boy,was I suffering!) turned out to be side effects of medication I was on. Doh! Reduced the dose by half and suddenly feel almost human again. Anyway,boats. Definitely plural. Vagabond( my valiant18) is for sale and I’ve moved onto much bigger things. On impulse(of course) I’ve bought an 11metre steel yacht! Another project boat but what a boat! I did my usual party trick and agreed to the purchase purely on the strength of a few photos and a description. Again, fortune favours the brave(I think!) and it’s paid off. The new boat was home built in the 70’s over a period of 7 years and I bought her from the original designer/builder/owner so know a lot of her history. Back in the day, a guy called David Lewis bought a second hand steel yacht of 32′ and became the first person to sail solo to Antarctica.He endured a lot, force12 storms,80 knot winds, frostbite etc and was dismasted twice. He wrote a book of his exploits called ‘ice bird'( he wrote a dozen books in total) and this book was the inspiration for building my new boat, and she was built to the same basic design, but slightly larger and heavier. I’ve found a copy of this book on eBay and look forward to reading it.

She is very very strong, weighing in at around 5 1/2 tons inc 3 tons of lead ballast in the fin keel. She has sat on hardstanding for around 12 years and has barely been touched in that time, so clearly showing signs of neglect. But she is basically sound, some corrosion but nothing terminal or even particularly serious.

A lot of the inside plywood panelling needs replacing due to a few minor leaks that have rotted the wood,

Theres a 4 cylinder Perkins diesel inboard motor that needs minor work but is apparently sound, and she came with a lot of equipment including tiller pilot, wind vane self steering, a tender and seagull outboard and a lot of navigational/electronic equipment.

Lots of work to do, as usual, but being a single guy again, time isn’t really an issue.

Have started work on her already and it’s quite refreshing to be working with steel. More detail and pics in next post.