Friday, 29 June 2012

Its all happening!

Oak splines glued in place.
 So, things are progressing and I am still enjoying working on the boat. Life has been a bit difficult recently though, what with Rae becoming ill. She has Reidel's woody thyroiditis. Its pretty unpleasant, and needless to say Rae is off work. At least we know what the problem is now. For a short while we were really scared, you know the kind of thing; a lump appears, you feel rubbish, you have palpations, night and day sweats, no energy at all, you just want to sleep, but you can't cos your throat hurts so much and your short of breath and the lump continues to grow in size and you can't help but wonder if it is cancer. Oh, and then a bearing in the gear box in the Land Rover began to make nasty noises. Turns out it is the input shaft bearing. basically the truck needs a reconditioned gear box, plus all the welding we already new about. So the truck has had to go and we have had to go car shopping with Rae feeling bloody awful. Still we now have a new second-hand motor, a Citroen Xsara Picasso, its hopefully cheap to run, practical and it is ok to drive and unlike the truck, the sun roof does not leak!

First coat of primer.


Taking out the old Ducati engine 
Paul and Steve (the forklift driver) lend a welcome hand.

Engine out.

Cleaning the bilges, a foul job!

See what I mean.

Stripping paint from the inside of the transom.

Priming as I go.

A bit of rot that needs sorting.

The pitch pine planking looks in good nick.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

I don't mean to be a grouch but this blooming weather is very frustrating!!

Repairing Zephon's transom
Well, I guess we are reaping the rewards of the exploitation of our beautiful planet, I am not blaming anyone in particular, we are all guilty to a greater or lesser extent. Our summers for the last few years have been wet and windy and these changes in our weather patterns seem set to continue. These past few weeks the weather has been unseasonable to say the very least. Today we are experiencing force 6 - 7 winds and this is only one week-on since the gale, where we had winds gusting up to 70 mph!

Zephon is in an exposed position in the yard and last week, when I was away visiting family, her cover blew off. Fortunately there was no damage done to her or the surrounding boats, although when I got back there was a substantial amount of water in her bilge which took a while to pump out.

Working in the wind and rain is so much harder and means that every job takes longer than it should. This blustery and wet weather means that it has not been possible to glass sheath Zephon's deck. This is not a problem as there are plenty of other jobs to do some of which are unplanned such as when  I  found rot in the top section of the transom which has meant making a new transom top. As well as this rot, I have found two larch splines running athwart ships in the oak transom. These larch splines, in water, swell much more than the oak transom and this increased pressure of the swollen splines has caused the oak transom boards to bulge and distort. The distortion in the transom  has been sorted out with the aid of a plane and belt sander. The larch splines have been routed out and oak ones glued in their place using Balcotan a polyurethane glue.

My next job is to remove the old Duccatti engine and clean and paint the bilges. By the time the bilges are finished my friend Tom will have his beautiful 28' Hillyard called 'Waif ' back in the water, and he is kindly donating me his shed. This will be a luxury for me and so in about three weeks time Zephon will move into Waif's old sheltered spot and the deck can progress. By the way, if you are looking for a beautiful 28' wooden boat to buy I would recommend you take a look at Waif. If you are interested contact me and I will pass your details onto Tom.

Removing the spongy wood

New transom top

New transom top seen from aft deck

Transom laid bare and unfair
Transom after a spot of fairing, note the larch splines

Larch splines removed