Thursday, August 30, 2007

Roach - woodworking afloat at dawn

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Is she finished?

Many of my friend have asked why I still working on Roach. Now she is launched is she not finished yet?

Well, I think, the answer I think is in the nature of the beast: A wooden yacht is never finished.

Roach really is not finished though, and I have quite a few things on my list to get done before my workload cuts back to just yearly mainetance issues. Much of the work to be done is in the interior though. There is still some cabinetry to be done, but I am very glad I did not complete this before launch, as there have been a few revelations that have made me instigate a few design changes.

For starters her bunks are narrow, and with a broad guy like myself I could do with a few extra inches of sleeping width. But a after an evening aboard a friend’s 1927 Fred Shepherd yawl, I realised that there was a clever way of making her bunks wider. Instead of Dallimore’s design of the bunk backs folding down over the berth, why not fold them up? If there is not baton at the bottom edge, I have the possibility to extend the mattress to the hull sides beyond the lifting portion of the backrest panel. This also has the advantage, that when lashed up in the “sleep” position, the panel provides a secure place to dump ones clothes.

There is also the questions of sail storage. Currently the whole forepeak is awash with kit and it really makes the boat feel stuffy and small. As you can see from the photo, it really is a delightful forepeak, and Dallimore’s open plan arrangement really works, giving this 22 footer a real sense of space – If only I could have some sort of sail bin. So I have decided that I will build a mahogany sail shelf, to starboard, behind the clothes cupboard. That way the sails will be out of sight and jammed in between the deckhead and the shelf, leaving room under for other things if required.

Other than that there is the galley is half built. The original 1950’s gas stove needs to be plumbed in by a specialist "Corgi" gas person. But having used the galley with just a camping stove up till now, so I know were everything needs to go, so the design can be pinned down. But the galley is a priority as the current temporary set-up means that there are no fiddle rails and stuff tends to fly about the cabin.

Other than that, she needs a good rub down a several coats of Epifannes satin varnish below. The white needs enamelling and the bilges painted in Danboline. Oh yes, and there is my new Douglas fir cabin sole that I am making!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A few wooden boat quotes

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness."

"Houses are but badly built boats so firmly aground that you cannot think of moving them. They are definitely inferior things, belonging to the vegetable not the animal world, rooted and stationary, incapable of gay transition. I admit, doubtfully, as exceptions, snail-shells and caravans. The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting-place. "

Arthur Ransome


Drying Out on Posts!

I needed to Roach on the posts last weekend as I needed to sort out a weeping log impeller that dripped enough to make her take around a pint an hour or water. It was a sleep depriver let us say, as the auto bilge pump was could run the battery dry and then what. Apart from that I needed to inspect her under the waterline. How were the ferrous hangings doing, how was the antifouling performing?

All in all it was quite an experience putting her on posts single-handed. She behave very well and we “landed” just as I had wanted. No problems at all. I was not impressed with the SeaJet Coastal 037 antifouling that I had been recommended. Weed was growing fast. So much so that a couple of swans came over to peck at it. It was obviously fresh and lush!

The hangings looked fine. The only real problem was that the log impeller tube’s thread had gone so although I fixed the leak with loads of polysulphide sealer, this is only temporary till I get a new tube. I took the opportunity to screw on her name plaques on either side of the bow too.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pin Mill to Wrabness

Well this was my first mini adventure on Roach. At last the title of this blog has started to make sense I thought. But the first day with my crew was spend victualing the yacht, and making a run to Classic Marine and Foxes to get the reefing lines sorted. The original wooden cleats were quite unsatisfactory, and some new larger ones from Classic Marine solved the problem.

So as crew read the tabloids on the foredeck, I drilled and screwed and tried to get Roach’s reefing gear sorted.

On the way back from Foxes, we dinghied back via Brhyer, a lovely 30’s cutter to invite the owner and partner for drinks on Roach later on. At I really owed them a drink as they were then ones that recommended Pin Mill with such aplomb. They duly popped round and we went to work exhausting Roach’s cellar – one of the few bits of cabinetry actually finished on the interior.

The next morning after a lazy start, we hoisted the main and set sail for Secret Water. I was worried about towing the dinghy, but as I ordered one with a keel it towed much better than I had expected. It is an Excel 230 – made in Korea. I am very pleased with apart from the valves that tend to leak.

Roach, being fractionally rigged , is not a great at running. The jib gets blanketed and then collapses. Goose-winging up the Orwell, my homemade boat hook worked a treat. Without the pole the sail would have collapsed. As crew was down below with Mal de Mer (well I reckon it is called a hangover) I single-handed until we were out past Languard, where I needed help. The wind had veered and now it was no the nose to Pye End. Roach was on a beat up, handling well when the topping lift parted at the entrance to the Walton Channel. Crew did a miraculous job of retrieving it in very lumpy conditions as we were now quite shallow.

The idea was to find a quite anchorage, but there was too much traffic for our liking, so we decided to head back on a glorious run and anchor under the cliffs at Wrabness. This was much more like it as we were the only yacht on the Stour, and by sunset we were on the beach, cooking a BBQ, Roach swinging on the only mooring left. The

An early start the next morning left us enough time at the Butt and Oyster for a good lunch and a pint. All in all, a great weekend’s sailing!