The winter jobs list grows and grows and launch time is just around the corner so I’ve had to get the red pen out and prioritise what needs to be done.
I’ve had the last week off work, originally to sail a friends boat around from Cardiff to Plymouth but that fell through. Although it would have been a fantastic opportunity and experience I’m quite glad as it’s given me a few days to knuckle down and get to work. The plan was to have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the boat, Wednesday at home and Thursday and the weekend in Plymouth where we had booked a cottage Lou to meet me after the now cancelled sail round.
The week didn’t go to plan with the “Mini Beast from the East” hitting us a few days before my week off meaning there was little point going down after work on the Saturday night, I wouldn’t have been able to get any jobs done with snow on the ground and I would have just been cold and miserable. I decided to stay at home with Lou and Little Man and keep warm in the house, by Sunday afternoon the snow had started to melt and I decided a chilly night on the boat would mean an early start and a full day of work on the Monday. Unfortunately I had so much stuff in my little Peugeot 106 the rear suspension couldn’t cope and the tyres were rubbing on the inner arches so I had to decant and only take a few essentials. Good job really as I had so much flammable stuff people joked I would be sent to Guantánamo Bay.
Luckily it wasn’t so cold on the boat with a decent sleeping bag, hot water bottle and the fan heater kicking in now and then to take the edge off. I managed to get a smaller jobs ticked off the list, fitting the new traveller wood, the refinished handrails, stern light pad which needed wiring back up. I tried to fit the new spray hood wood but one of the holes in the GRP was shot so I had to fill it with epoxy and leave it for the next day. I also managed to get the batteries back on, diesel tank hoses on, the tank filled and the engine bled and run, I plan to do a service next in a week or two before the launch.
One thing I wanted to do was stick some pads to the underside of the cockpit sole to fit some U clips to hold the wet exhaust hose, it had been cable tied to the gas pipe previously! These were just some left over Iroko which I stuck on with thickened epoxy and then lay a couple of strips of cloth over the top for added security. It wasn’t the neatest job glassing upside down, but it needed to be done. Once the light was starting to drop I called it a day and decided to drive the 100 miles home, Louise had called to say Vin had a rash and she had been called into work the next day so that stopped plan on boat jobs for Tuesday.
I had managed to get the other half of the “load” into the car whilst Vin slept in the day so once Louise was back from work I made my way down to Newport again. I called into the local pub near the boat for a bite to eat to find they had no beef burgers left but could replace it with chicken! Who in their right mind has chicken on a burger eh?!? Anyway, fed and watered I got to the club to be greeted by a few people down for “club night” so it was good to have a chat and beer with the others.
The next morning I was up at 5.45am, believe it or not because I was too warm on the boat! I couldn’t get back to sleep and knowing high water was at 9am I decided to launch the dinghy and get my mooring stakes, ladders and sledge hammer ready to be taken across the other side of the the pill. Come 8am Ian who’s the Son of Sundance’s previous owner came to do some work on his boat, he helped me take the stakes across and get them in the ground a couple of feet before the sledge hammer lost it’s head. With the stakes in their place we retired for a cup of coffee an afterwards I ran some light line from each stake to my mooring so I could work out how much mooring line I needed from the Bosun’s hut, it turned out to be 106m, 350ft!
That was the morning pretty much gone, a few other little jobs done, screwing the exhaust U clips onto the new pads, fitting the sprayhood wood into the epoxied hole and the fitting the rail onto that. I had planned on making new locker liners using the old ones as patterns but this never happened due to it being to cold to epoxy seal them so I had to refit the old ones. Then it was antifoul time, I had just under half a tin left from last year and was hoping it would spread far enough to cover the hull this time but unfortunately not so another tin is needed to finish it off, annoying as I bet 500ml would have been more than enough to finish off. After a quick tidy up I was heading back home again with the feeling that I had done most of the stuff I needed to do before the launch.
But there’s still lots to do, I want to replace the gas, fit the new head and make these locker liners. There are a few bits to finish off next time I’m down, antifoul, service the engine and get the mooring lines fitted onto the stakes and give the inside of the boat a clean but I’m getting there and I should be good for launching on the club launch day.