Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The refit (part six)

Part six? I wonder how many there will be eventually. There are a few reasons for these particular blogs. Partly so that friends and family can see the work as it progresses, partly as a record for ourselves and partly to (hopefully) help and inspire others who are doing their own projects.
Anyway, the latest developments. The creation of a wooden hatch cover creating a 'cloche' over our central Houdini hatch has reduced the heat loss from our main living area. It is designed to be collapsible for travelling. We have had problems in the past with condensation here, dripping down and damaging the flooring which has now stopped. We can open the hatch for ventilation whilst cooking etc. and the over-cover keeps out any rain. I have mentioned the radiators/central heating on the boat before. This is still an ongoing project which involves replacing bulkheads amongst other complications and will take longer to finish. In the meantime we have fitted a small convection heater which we got from a local hardware chain B&Q which hangs from the wall. In combination with a quick acting plug-in heater we are toasty when we want to be on these cooler autumnal mornings and evenings.
New hatch cover from outside with the Houdini hatch open
Sometimes it is the simple things that make a difference to the space available. With three growing boys shoe storage is always a problem. Think size 5 upwards and include school shoes, trainers, rugby boots, crocs and so on and you have some idea of the pile of shoes that needs to be kept under control. The sailor’s favourite shop, Lidl, had expanding shoe racks which fit beautifully in the cockpit and have brought some order to the chaos. Now all I have to do is keep reminding them to actually use it…
Lidl is a great store for finding solutions. A few bits for the kitchen came from there including a roller blind over the new port. We are also very pleased with our new knife blocks. They have a brush centre so can hold any size knife securely. Whilst we are tied on they are hanging nicely off the new kitchen rack but for moving or storms they can be easily removed and stored safely on a bed or other cubby hole. The kitchen continues to progress with the units, including very nice drawers, and new tabletop now in place and looking lovely. There is also a stainless steel splashback along the back wall. Next step is for the oven to be refitted in its new space and the new hob to be connected.
Other stores have proved useful for bits and pieces as the work continues. Toolstation stock some of the best multipurpose wipes we have come across - maxipro trade wipes. Their barrel of wipes come with a re-sealable flip top lid. They are sold as hand/tool/surface wipes and it says on the tub they get rid of wet and semi-cured paint, sealant, adhesive, bitumen, expanding foam, oil, silicone and grease - and they actually do. Being able, finally to wipe up sealants instead of smearing them over an ever expanding area has been a particular bonus.
Work is continuing on the back deck and new hatches are being made. A section of deck needs to be replaced and we need better access to the deep lockers. The new hatch lid will have a double wall so sitting on the edge and lowering in will no longer be an option. Repairing this part of the back deck and the lockers is a big project but once completed will make taking her out sailing another step closer.  You may also have seen pictures on Facebook of Mark balancing precariously on the guard rail sorting out the wind generator. It's working better for its new bearings but is now waiting for a new blade after a minor altercation with the workmate amputated one.

Drilling holes in an epoxy & plywood boat
And that is where we are at the moment. Our ever supportive families are very good at visiting and making encouraging noises which we appreciate and many happy hours are spent discussing boat projects and ideas with our lovely neighbours.
If you are interested in the refit so far and have not seen the previous blogs then the links are below - happy browsing:
As usual no shops/stores or manufacturers are aware that we have written about their products.


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