Work seems to go for ages with behind the scenes stuff that can’t be seen then suddenly we go through a period of being able to see progress. At the moment it is easy to see what is happening.
The boat is made of 3 layers of plywood bound together with glue. To repair each of the soft areas/damaged bits the Skipper has to strip it back layer by layer before then building it up again with fresh plywood. One of the largest areas of the hull was behind a large bench which had to be removed first and involved lots of clearing stuff.
We had too many old through-hulls. As you know holes in a boat are not a good thing and two of them have now been filled in. There are still some seacocks to be removed.
The skipper has been reshaping the internal doors to create a stronger shape which braces the bulkhead (walls), increasing the strength of the hulls. Using wood he created the shape then filled it with expanding foam and finished with epoxy. Doors are being created by cutting the wood with a jigsaw into an oval and shaping it using planes. He has then made very nice wooden door handles and latches.
|These latches and handles are very, very awesome|
On the outside there has been a lot of preparation to paint. With over 160 feet of boat to be done this is a long job. The deckhands have been helping to pop paint blisters, scrape barnacle scat and sand down the flaky paint. This has been finished off with an electric sander by the skipper. The repair work done in L’Aber Wrac’h was very good and kept us water tight and strong but was never pretty and didn’t completely match the other hull. This is being sorted and reshaped, filled and made good. Once it has all been sanded down properly fairing compound (a light epoxy filler) will be used.
At the moment we don’t have a name on one side which is a bit odd. We have no intention of renaming her mainly because we like her name. Her builder and previous owner named her, it is Portuguese . We also have no wish to upset Poseidon. Having the name clearly on the side is liked by people like the national coast watch as it means that they can see it easily, it was reassuring going round Portland. When we’re further along with the painting we’ll look at vinyl graphics to put her name back.
Propulsion is a subject on our minds at the moment. The old propellers and sail drives are coming out and being serviced and cleaned. There are also discussions around replacing them with electric motors. We've looked at Torqeedo sail drives. They are not cheap but reducing the environmental impact, having better, more efficient and controllable engines are definite positives.
Another thing we have found invaluable for the work is the skipper’s new wedding ring. He still has the original white gold but is now wearing a silicon ring; for working with power tools this is so much safer. He has accidentally tugged it several times already. I have seen de-gloving injuries and they are not pretty so this is a really good option for him.
We had intended being back on the water by Spring but life had other ideas and we are still working on her in the yard. We've got lovely views from here but we're looking forward to getting back on the water.
To see what has happened in the refit so far: