Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rotten plank

Well, a quick note about my rot. Well after a visit last weekend from arguably one of the best regarded botabuilders on the East Coast, I have a clearer picture of the extent of the problem.

What I don't have - il-hamdelulah - is dry rot. I just have a very old yacht that is tired in places and this Elm deadwood is looking old and tired. Amazingly drilling holes in the thing, in order to dry the wood out worked so well that the wood was hard when the boatbuilder came. When wet the wood was very easy to chisel out, but now it was rock hard. It almost looked like I almost never had a problem.

The solution is to get some new wood in there so I will be routering out the old wood and replacing it with some Iroko.I need to plug the drill holes with hardwood dowels in epoxy and then cover then in plugs to stop the wicking action of water in the holes. Then I can fair the hull back again.

Branklet - Roach's sister ship

I have been approached by Nigel, who chartered Branklet (Roach's sister ship) for his honeymoon in September 1969! He kindly allowed me to post the picture on here. She is aground in the Swale with his wife in the cockpit. Nigel chartered her from Blackwater Yacht Charters based at Dan Webb and Feesey's yard at Maldon. I believe this is where Roach was also based as a charter yacht.

There is some confusion as to how many yachts were made to design 295, but Souris, Roach and Branklet appear to have been all built to this design. There is still Truant and Crouch that are not accounted for, but it is possible they have been re-named. Both of these could be built to Dallimore's smaller design though.

Roach is very similar to Branklet apart from the fact that Branklet seems to have an offset foreward hatch. There is no evidence on Roach to suggest she ever had an offeset hatch arrangement. Roach also has a central skylight (as in the design) which I think makes the interior feel much airier. A previous owner has added portlights on Roach, again making the interior much lighter. Branklet must have been a very dark yacht inside looking at the transparency - I don't even see deck prisms.

Sorry having a problem with pictures today!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Well this is not going to be one of my better posts as I have had a rather heavy Easter with a cascade of disasters which have put my launch schedule back a month or two!

Its almost as if there is devine intervention that does not want me to complete this restoration as so much seems to be an uphill struggle. Firstly, the ladder collapsed on me when I was holding some two pack varnish. It was an aluminium ladder and the extrusion simply failed on me! The result was me covered in a noxious epoxy based substance.

Then my hull fairing has not been going well. It seems that it is MUCH harder work than I had anticipated. The hull fairing required me to sand by hand using what is known in the trade as a toture board. It takes hours for very little visible result. I find this most frustrating, but not as frustrating as finding, wait for it, a rotten plank!

Yes, at this late stage I have found a rotten deadwood plank. My heart sank. It is in an awkward place - butting against the iron keel and the stern post.

Still feeling very low after a very unproductive weekend and a launch day that endlessly seems to slip. As a result I have decided to take a break from the yacht to recoup my morale by spending a the next few weekends with friends.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A little note about UCP

OK power tools sorted - and it it looks like I might be able to get the decks done if I work really full days over Easter. The slow progress is due to the UCP on the deck. This mini post is a warning to all you wooden boaters than may think that UCP is a great product - well in aint! It flakes off when you want it to hold, and then sticks like the proverbial to felt when you want to sand it off! It is the most useless coating I have ever encountered, as it is useless for overcoating over too as it is slippy and non-matt. So this is a warning to all you lot consindering a two-pack system UCP is not the base you should start on! I will let you know how I get on with the Aemme stuff from Italy. Anyway, here is a pic of the deck taken back to bare wood in preperation for the new coating!

Mainly the good news goes in this blog - but I have decided to share some of the bad news with you too; Roach's launch plan is slipping. Well, all my friends with boats have told me this would happen, and I do have a buffer in my schedule, but a combination of only working on her at weekends, the travel to and from London to Suffolk by train, and to a tight budget are taking their toll on the schedule. We are not at Wembly Stadium slippage stage, but a lot of work needs to be done this Easter to put her back on track.

The plan this Easter is to sand her decks back to bare wood and varnish her in a system called Skippers made by Emmels; an Italian paint manufacturer. After much research I have decided to go with this system, rather than Coelan, as Roach has a mahogany deck and Skippers is the varnish of choice by Riva's and Venice water taxis. If it is good enough for them, well it is good enough for me. Sheila, a 1905 Albert Strange, has also used this system to great acclaim - and I have had the virtue of seeing the system in the flesh so-to-speak.

My Easter plan has started badly with my random orbital sander breaking within two minutes of starting the job leaving me feeling helpless and demoralised. I should mention that Roach has eaten two belt sanders, one jigsaw, and one router during her restoration. I can affirm to those that belive it is cost-effective to buy cheap power tools, that it is indeed a false economy!

My spirits will hopefully be restored after a trip to B&Q tomorrow and I will let you know how the varnishing went. In the meantime I leave you with pictures of the cockpit that was completed a couple of weekend's ago. The little cave lockers need panelled doors fitted, and there is a lazarette locker door too. You can also see the red "Corian" I have lined the bottom of the lockers with. Left-overs from a kitchen refurb and hopefully it will be better wearing than paint over the years - one of my better non-boaty ideas!