Sunday, 20 May 2012

Working on Zephon

The mast is almost finished.

Mast ready for varnishing.

The hatch glued and clamped.

Removing the rubbing strakes.


We went fishing yesterday evening. This is the fish Rae caught, the only one sadly, but very delicious.
Fishing near the castle.

Zephon's new mast has now had seven coats of varnish, hopefully an eighth coat will be applied today.  I completed stripping the teak fore hatch and I have epoxy glued the hatch back together (the hatch had been damaged when an oak tree fell clipping Zephon's bow last November. The hatch itself is constructed using loose tongue and groove. Its amazing how over the years the outer thickness of the hatch has been reduced by the zealous sanding of previous owners. A friend of mine said he has often seen this kind of thing and has suggested, over the next couple of years, routing out grooves and gluing in splines to these worn areas.  I contemplated gluing in splines now as the hatch is off, but quickly changed my mind, as a line has to be drawn somewhere, and the thing is, we actually want to go sailing.  My reasoning for this is that if we tackle all the jobs that could be done now then the boat won't see water again for a very long time. Both Rae and I feel it is better to just tackle the jobs that definitely need doing. This is a wooden boat after all, and there will be a rolling programme of work which is based on maintaining the structural integrity of the boat, so the splines can wait.

The fittings have almost all been removed from Zephon's deck along with the rubbing strakes. I have to remove the chain plates to the starboard side, which I hope to do today.  I am looking forward to the next stage of belt sanding, plugging holes, making graving pieces where needed and lagging linseed oil on the deck.

Giles, a friend of ours, is also undertaking a project restoring a beautiful working boat called Ajax. He said yesterday that it is going to be a great summer boat building and working on our projects. I think he is right, we are exceptionally lucky.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Work begins on Zephon

Zephon was craned out on 22 April. She is now safely ashore and I am currently building her new mast in the slipway shed. The mast is progressing well and I am really enjoying the process. The mast is a hollow box section with a conduit for electrical cables running up the centre. The wood being used is Oregon pine, ideally it would have been sitka spruce, but there just happened to be some 30 ft lengths of timber left over from constructing Pilgrim's deck. So having this timber to hand at almost the right length is too good an opportunity to miss. Last Wednesday Rae and I glued the mast together using resorcinol. The gluing went to plan and I am looking forward to the next stage, cutting the mortice for the mast sheave block and then routing the radius'.

In preparation for beginning work on the deck I have removed both the fore and the main hatch. Both these hatches are in a bit of a sorry state and I have begun stripping the flaking paint and varnish from these. There is a bit of repair work needed to both teak hatches and I will detail this in the forthcoming days.