26 June 2008

A Start at last

Well, it finally happened - Bill the boatbuilder turned up at my house and we began working on the boat! I had been helping him on another job for about a month, then we raced to Fiji together, which was great as we got to discuss the job a little. Anyway, one of the first jobs that Bill did was to cut a hole in the foredeck. This will be the hatch for the anchor locker, so the bulkhead on the aft end will be watertight. The locker will drain overboard and there will be an empty void under the floor.

One of the unpleasant things we have found (not totally unexpected) is significant rot under the deck. I think the main point of entry was under the forestay fitting, as back in Hawaii we found that the threaded rod connecting the forestay to the stemhead was broken. The fitting had lifted at some previous time and let the water in, rotting the plywood pad under the forestay as well as allowing water to wick back through the plywood core. The centreline appears to be OK, while it is quite rotten along the outboard edge. We have been cutting 73mm holes in various places and heating the inside of the boat in an attempt to dry the area out but I think we might have to be more aggressive with our treatment, maybe more holes and more heat.

The anchor locker bulkhead is all ready to fit and that will make me very happy - it is very exciting to be putting stuff in rather than taking it to the dump!

We can even say something is finished - Bill gelcoated the inside of the locker today and there is nothing else to do to those two surfaces. A small but very satisfying victory.

It has taken me quite some time to finish the cover over the boat, there has been some difficult engineering created to ensure we can park cars, access the garage etc etc, while trying very hard (well a little bit anyway) not to piss the neighbours off. We have had some pretty windy and wet days and it is still in place so fingers crossed it will stay there.

We have also removed the two forward hatches, which both collapsed as soon as the were lifted off the sealant. There is a raised fibreglass lip which is very lightly screwed on to the back of the teak base. We will need to cut these flanges off for the new Lewmar hatches.

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