Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The new build as taken its first steps.

On Tuesday the 15th of January the first steps towards get the new boat built were taken. I contacted a boat designer that as designed a number of boats that I had worked on before and like his designs.

I will be building will be a one based on one of his designs, but a little different in length to fit into what I need for the boat. The new boat will be build using traditonal methods, namely it will be build using the clinker method of construction. A method that dates back to Viking times when their vessels were build using this method of construction.

The only difference will be that I will be using modern tools to construct it, while the methods of construction will not be much different to the method used in those days. The only main difference will be that it will be held together with copper nails and bronze screws.

One thing that is going to happen this year is that I hope to showcase it at local conuty shows to show that this type of boat is still build in the area and that if people wish to buy one they know that there is a boat builder in the region who is still building this type of boat.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Jobs to do in the workshop.

Now that the weather as taken a turn for the worse, it is now time to start work in the workshop and get the jobs done that can be done with out going to the boat.

This year it is time to modify bits of the boat that either have wore out or have not worked out as well as hoped they would. In my case it has been the hatch way runners that have at last taken up after 74 years of service and the other bit is the bunk tops that need changing so as to make more storage space under the bunk, which on a smaller boat is always a need that in many case is a not ending job.

Another job to do in the workshop is to make a chart table, so that I do not have to use the chart on my lap while sailing. This is one job that will be very helpful when I go sailing in the spring.

As with all older boats there are a number of maintenance jobs that need doing every year. The one I am looking forward to is working with leather. I have to re-leather the gaff and also re-leather the bowsprit where it goes through the gammon iron on the top of the stem as this has given up the ghost at long last and needs replacing.

This year I have to also take a length of planking out as it is looking a bit worse for wear and is one of the things that my boat checks highlighted when it came out of the water in December. Apart from that the hull is fairly ok apart from needing a good sanding down and a bit of filling and fairing before going back in the water the week after Easter.


Friday, 11 January 2013

So the winter re-fit has started

Yesterday the re-fit started, The first job was to construct a ridge pole to go the length of the boat to which to support the winter cover. This was to ensure the the weather was kept out of the wood work and would give it a chance to dry out and also give me a chance to do some of the work inside while the weather is foul outside and made it difficult to work on the cabin sides.

Once the cover which put over the framework, then I started to lift the floorboards, and locker lids to let the inside the boat dry out. However, before I could do that, I had to empty the remaining bilge water out of the bilges. There was a about 6 litres of water, so that job did not take to long to complete.

With that done, the next job to do today is to wash the sides of the hull and underdeck areas that have got dirty over the season and need a good clean, before putting in place the heaters in the boat to keep it dry throughout the winter. If the weather is not to bad then make a start on the rebuild of the cabin sides and coachroof as this has seen better days and is a source of the leaks into the cabin that been a pest all last season.

There will be photos posted as I go along with this project in due course.

Today I started on removing the cabin sides panels that fixed the cabin side to the deck, Then removed the hand rails and the hatch runners and the portholes so that there will be little left in the way to remove when the roof is removed along with the old deck beams. This will be interesting as it as been in place for the best part of 70+ years. Ia lot of blood sweat and tears before this comes apart I think. But only time will tell.


Monday, 7 January 2013

building a new Dinghy for myself Part II

Today, made first step towards getting the dinghy underway, talked to the boat designer today and asked if he could modify one of his present designs to meet my needs for a slightly shorter version of his Coot design. As the present length is little to long for my needs, but the overall design and shape is what I am looking for my own needs.

The design and the sail plan remind me of a boat I once owned when I started Boat Building when I was an apprentice boat builder. A balanced Lugsail and easy driven hull and good for children to learn how to sail. Which is one of the reasons why I am building this one to teach my son how to sail and enjoy being on the water.

Hopefully I should have the plans by the end of the week and be ready to start the project over the next few months and be ready to launch at Easter along with the main boat.

More to come over the next few weeks, watch this space.

January is a time for planning the re-fit.

January is as a rule a low point in the boating calender, as the boat is out of the water and under its winter covers. While that is happening, you should be planning how to get your re-fit list sorted out and which jobs to do first. Namely the inside jobs on the boat that are not in the hands of the weather.

Also it is a time to go to the boat show and see if there is anything that you think would help do your re-fit, or that may improve the boat when it is back in the water come Easter, or whenever you get your boat afloat again.

I know from my own boat that there is always a list of jobs to get on with inside. The first one I have to do, which is the most un-enjoyable is to wash the inside of the boat from stem to stern and clear the bilges and get them dry, so that in the spring it can be painted, if necessary. Then look around at the bunks and bulkheads and do repairs or mods or replace fittings with new ones if the old are worm out or broken.

This part of the list take me through until at least the middle of Febuary. Then by then the weather is better and you should be able to make a start on the outside.  

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The refit list never appears to get any shorter.

It is that time of year that christmas is becoming distance memory and your mind is turn to making a start on the boat's refit list of jobs. Like all good owners, I make a list of jobs that need to be done to the boat at this time. It appears as if like magic, that the list as not got shorter the longer you own your boat. This especially true if you own a classic wooden yacht like I do. Things wear out or get broken, or you do something during the season which you want to use next season, so you add it to the list.

Many of the jobs on the list are ones that you have to do each year and that is what they say in the joy of owning an old classic yacht. However, this year there are a major couple of jobs to do which involve making a new cabin sides, beams and coachroof and a lot of painting and varnishing and not to put to finer point on it a bit of money. The old cabin as servied well for 75 years and is looking a bit tired and it is time to have a new one and stop the leaks that have been a pain over the past year.

So it now time to go to the boatyard and make a start on trying to make the never shorten list a little shorter if possible. I live in hope that one day it will get shorter.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Boat maintenance check list for stress free winter refit.

Boat maintenance tip #1
Get refit list checked and order your antifoul this week in time for getting the boat in the water for Easter
Boat maintenance tip # 2
Check your sails are in good condition and if in need of repair get them to the sail maker this week before the rush for Easter starts
Boat maintenance tip # 3
Remember to book your launch date now as time is running out to get your boat on the date you want to be afloat
Boat Maintenance tip # 4
When the weather is gets better it is time to start getting the boat ready for the new season, so make sure you have all the necessary gear to do the jobs, if not order them now through our mail order service
Boat Maintenance tip # 5
Get your charts send to the chart agents to be checked & corrected if needed, also next liferaft checked and or ordered from hirer for new season
Boat Maintenance tip # 6
Check your standing & running rigging before the start of the season better to be sailing than sitting on the hard all season waiting for a new rig
Boat Maintenance Tip # 7
Do not forget your tender & outboard they need TLC as well if they are to give you good service during the season. So take your outboard to the service agent to get it checked over and give yourself peace of mind
Boat Maintenance Tip # 8
If you have a wooden boat start rubbing down the paint work where it is damaged & put primer on the bare wood or if your boat is GRP get the gelcoat damage repaired ASAP.
Boat maintenance Tip #9
 Get your ropes & ground Tackle check over to make sure their ready for the new Season & get rid of any damage rope. You do not want to end up on the local RNLI list.
Boat maintenance Tip #10
Above all enjoy your refit period and the friends you find along the way.



Building a new dinghy for myself

Building a new dinghy for myself has for a long time challenge for me. As most of the time it is that I have been repairing over building boats for other people. So this next year, I am going to build a small dinghy to be the tender for my yacht. The stop was to find a designer of small dinghies that I like the look of and that would fit my needs.
Then what construction to build it in, then what material to build it out of. The construction that I have decided to build it in is the method of construction that I learned to build boats out of when I started boat building back in the late 1970's. The method of construction is clinker, the method of construction as been around since the Viking period and as stood the test of time. the material I have decided on is larch which is a good wood to use as it is flexible and tough and ideal for dinghy building and will last for years.
This is my first note of many more to come over the next few months.