Wednesday, May 28, 2008

7 days to launch - Yikes!!!

This year has flown by and really I have not had the time to the amount of work on Roach as I had originally anticipated - and now I have 7 days to go before her launch day! So I have decided to spend 7 days in Suffolk living in her and really trying to sort out the most important jobs. This is mainly the rig change, that will allow for some Wykham Martin fulring gear on the working jib. This means new tangs on the mast and a furling line along the deck somewhere. The galley is the next most important thing - I am have to fit the new taylors and make it swing in the most confined of galleys and this requires ballasting the cooker in order to lower the swinging angle.
Lastly there is the Simrad tillerpilot that I need to fit - a present from my father at Christmas, and very much needed when I am sailing alone.

Of course there are a million other things to attempt to do in between all these jobs, but with hard work, and lucky weather, I reckon she might be ready for the water in a week- it will be a close call though; experience tells me that many small jobs can really vacuum-up time.

I will leave all the varnishing till next year when I will try and store her in a barn over the winter. This is the only decent way of getting good coverage.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Backrests Almost Fitted!

Well I thought I wouldn show you what I have been upto and what has been really taking my time recently. It is fitting the backrests! A whole bank holiday was spent triming, shaving, and getting back-ache whilst trying to fit these. They are now ready to be screwed into place and fiddle rails will go in place over the tops to make handy little shelves when sailing. Notice the original cellerette which I am trying to incorporate into the starboard side.
Staining was a nightmare as International dont stock Interstain which is what I first used on the lift up panels. Trying to match the new work to the old colour has been hard - but have found a new product. Sikkens cetol mahogany stain is almost the same colour, and after a some experimenting I think you will agree that you can hardly tell.
Next steps: The galley, a bent shaft, a weeping keel bolt and if I have time a saloon table!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A few memories from last Summer!

Roach getting ready to sail from Butley Creek

Roach showing off her Skid-pan decks. Not sure what to do about them, but I might run some teak battons along key areas or maybe put non-slip granules along the caulking lines; maybe both.

Your friendly skipper looking happy - notice galley not complete on the starboard side.

What I planned her to look like (not far off hey?) and true to Dallimore's original design

A few weeps

Well one thing that I need to attend to before launch is the weeps under the engine bay in the deadwood. They make around a gallon a week, but they really annoy me. Next weekend I will get back to wood on either side and pour ethanol in the bilges to understand exatley where the leaks come from. Then after the ethanol dries I can start pumping in white lead paste into the affected areas. After that I can get on with anit-fouling her and raising the boot-top by a couple of inches.

Ps. Note the reclaimed mahogany stair treads that I will use to make a saloon table - thank you Ben for that- Much appreciated!


Last weekend I got the sails down from an old grain silo where they where hung for the winter. All nicely flakes and ready for launch apart from the main that needs some adjustment (and new luff rope) and the working jib that is presently getting a wire luff insterted to use in the Merrimen Furler which Roach will be fitted with this season.

Backrests and Galley Improvements

Note the new teak washboards and fiddle rails that I need to fit to almots every flat surface. Also a couple of chocks for the new spinnaker pole.
Sheraton Marine cabinet sorted out a huge mess I made from the brackrests using odd bits of mahogany. Note the reclaimed mahogany on the top to make another fiddle rail.

The two biggest incomplete items on Roach are the backrests and the galley. Although strictly not essential for sailing, they really bother as the interior looks unfinished, and I am fed up of cleaning up the mess after things have jumped temporary shelves.
The backrests are also essential for comfort as, at present, one can not lean back on anything when seated in the saloon – so I have made the priority. My attempts at making a large mahogany framework fialed last summer when the framework broke, so I sent all the broken bits of mahogany off to Sheraton Marine Cabinet in Oxfordshire, to see whether they can re-work my mess. I wait with eager expectation at the results and whether they will fit.
The galley I can do myself, and there is quite a lot of reworking to be done here as I have converted from gas to a Taylor’s Ideal K paraffin stove. I think this is one of the best improvements to Roach. If you like isolation, the East Coast’s creeks are great, but not when you run out of gas! So far I have built a new brass heat shield over the cooker under the deckhead, and I am currently working on a flip-up counter unit that will encase the cooker when in port. This will provide an additional sideboard/chart table. You can’t have too many flat surfaces on a small yacht!

Vinyl Covers

There is one thing I hate about yachts and that is sleeping on vinyl covered mattresses. They are sticky, sweaty, and really uncomfortable. As a result Roach is upholstered in the finest Egyptain cotton. The problem with this, and anybody who sails small yachts will agree, is that when it get wet it is impossible to keep everything from getting wet below. So I have succumb to vinyl for these occasions, but instead of enveloping the mattresses in the stuff I have made some vinyl covers which I can just slip over when the going looks like it might get tough.