Friday, July 24, 2015

love my tender

You know how things go when you feel like you are on a roll. Thought a tender would be handy to get around Beachcomber from the water, and maybe row across to the little beach for a stroll or a picnic.

Fantasies of teaching grandchildren to row. Small disposable plastic tenders would do. Something cheap- I'm already way too into this...but then the ideas start conflating with my love of a good story, and my love for a nice hand made line and suddenly I'm taking delivery of this from Clive, our local slip owner and boat guru.

Before the second war this boat used to be filled with fishing nets to take them in from the big boat and brought to a landing just over the water a hundred metres from us. She was made locally from kauri pine and has had a few stories to tell. One of the shipwrights that worked a lot on the restoration of Beachcomber in the 1990's owned this one for quite a while. So did Clive.

A couple of ribs, a bit of inwale, a new breast hook and quite a bit of abrasive surface work will see her nice...but I'm not going to rush it.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Bosun's Backside Blog

The only time I have knowingly photographed my backside, above. Thoroughly harnessed and 'lanyarded' to the ladder and mast, I have found some gaps in the weather to go aloft, gathering blocks and halyards to take home for refurbishment. The picture below shows something of recent work on the cockpit sole pieces. The long thin ones next to the centreboard are still of the original timber. I found some rot in them but was able to resaw the boards and introduce some breather gaps and reassemble them without new wood on top. (although some of the cross pieces on the underside have been replaced from good wood sourced in other inserts that were too far gone)

I have to decide whether to paint or re-varnish those pieces below the side seats. They are in pretty good condition, so the decision will be largely a visual one. If I paint them it will be to try to make a large, simple, uncluttered area all of the same colour and texture. If I varnish them it will be because I'm paying homage to the last restoration and the honesty of the timber, and maybe also because I'll decide that I like the shape provided by the contrast of colour....sue me, I'm not decisive at all sometimes.

This close-up, above is of some of the servings that survived nearly a quarter of a century outside in the harsh Australian weather and still needed significant force to be cut open. Fred did a truly beautiful job with his blocks and fittings. I've always struggled a bit with soft furnishings and threads. Me doing up the buttons on a doonah cover for the bed is often a source of amusement for my dear Julia, although I have to say it is some years since she fell about, is more of a knowing smile now. I did manage to get my 'knot badge' when I was a Cub Scout, but only just. It reminded me too much of my deviant method of tying my shoes.

Anyway, the point of all that is to explain why my restoration of the servings and blocks will not be anything like as artful as Fred's.

Above, the new throat halyard (top)  has been prepared and it's lower block has been fitted with it's partly served grommet. Making grommets and splicing are quite pleasant to do, but I don't think I'll ever nail them as skills.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sole, Grate and Varnish

One coat of Cetol on the decks has shown me that despite several scrubbings with oxalic acid, and plenty of sanding, the white beech will still look a bit patchy, varying between yellow and darker browns, but I hope that with a reasonable surface quality the colours will simply look 'woody' and of suitable patina. The merbau has come up beautifully red.

The panels above have three coats of Jotun alkyd primer and two coats of Norglass marine decking enamel for a non-slip surface of the sole plates aft. The grey was chosen to give it a workboat kind of simplicity as there is so much timber elsewhere, and while these boards may be temporary, I wanted to see what a neutral floor might do to lift the appearance of the brightwork. The square holes in these two boards are to provide a bit more air movement around the bilge and they are shaped in a grid of squares to reference the grate at the feet of the helmsman.

This panel is shown with only primer on it but with the restored grate. I need to decide whether to paint the floors on the inside hull sides grey like the panels above (to unify the inside a bit) or repaint in the cream which is also the topsides colour. The little box at the top of this pic conceals the Yanmar control panel, ignition and warning lights etc. When in use the lid folds up and away.