A Stitch In Time


Friday, 13 July 2012

The deck is now in place, and so we have turned our attentions to getting the cabin sides and roof fixed. The plans give dimensions for the side panels, but Kira his now its own dimensions and so we are measuring directly off the boat and doing our own thing. It is broadly what Mr Wharram has designed, except that we have introduced a curve in the fore and aft panels which we feel gives a more pleasing line.

It is impossible to use clamps and screws for this phase of the build and so we have used copper wire stitches. It was quite fiddly trying to get everything tight but we got there in the end. We will fit the final aft panel tomorrow and then measure up for the cabin roof.

Higgs Bosun Locker


Thursday, 5 July 2012

1408 Hours So Far

With a lot of head scratching, we have finally completed the main deck. It’s not quite a roof over our heads but we are getting there.

I spent about 4 hours this afternoon, out in the warm sunshine, tidying it up with routers and sanders and am pleased with the result.It now needs a couple of coats of epoxy on the under surface, then it will be ready for fitting. Fingers crossed that it fits.

Some of you will have notice that there is no longer a facility for leaving comments on this blog. It is something that  I am still looking into, whilst cursing ‘Apple’ for their ‘improvements’.

I hope that I will be able to fix this as I enjoy reading your feedback, thoughts and advice. I may have to rely on a thread in Wharram Builders and Friends to get your input, but I will let you know.

The clever boffins at Cerne have finally found the particle that gives everything mass, although I have followed their work with interest, I still haven’t a clue what it is all about.

To Bee Or Not To Bee


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

1400 Hours So Far

It may have seemed that we had disappeared off the face of the earth, but we are still here!

We are both a bit green about internet matters. We normally publish this blog through Apple’s Mobile Me, but this service has been superseded by Apple’s iCloud. The new service is supposed to be better, but on the 1st July we discovered that iCloud is unable to publish the blog. So much for progress!  Anyway, we have paid our £70, and have subscribed to a new provider.

We continue to work on the decks. The biggest deck section stretches from BH4 to BH6, just shy of 4 metres, and is built in 3 sections. To get this right has been one of the biggest challenges of the build so far. I have spent many a sleepless night ruminating about ways of making the deck, whilst maintaining pleasing lines, and keeping everything square. It has not been easy. We should be in a position to check our work with a dry fit in the next couple of days.

Yesterday, a swarm of honey bees suddenly invaded our garden. Within minutes they had settled on the trunk of a shrub in a flower bed. We contacted the local Beekeeping Association, who duly sent someone to capture the colony in a temporary hive, and passed them onto a fledgling apiarist. We have made a donation to a charity which promotes bee keeping in Africa!

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Fiddlers On The Roof


Saturday, 23 June 2012

1378 Hours So Far

Today we have glued the deck in place, and although I say it myself, mighty fine it looks too!

It probably doesn’t have the overhang as advised in the plans, but we have a reasonable size of fillet, and with glass cloth inside and out, it is unlikely to blow off.

It is another transformational moment for Kira. Even Rebecca, my soon to be 21-year-old second daughter, was moved from her semi-permanent sleep/coma state to comment that “it really looks like a boat now”. This is encouraging, as up until now it could have been an aeroplane!!


Cut The Deck


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

1368 Hours So Far

We have managed to complete our first panel of sandwich deck; the area over the shower room and the bosun’s locker. It was a heart in the mouth moment as we offered it up as a dry fit. I have had to adjust some of the bulkheads a little, but generally I am pleased with the results.

I am going to hold everything tight and square with ratchet straps passed right around the hull. The plans suggest the use of wire ties, but I think the straps will make a far better job of it.

I have put a couple of coats of epoxy on the under surface and will glue it in place when time allows. Doctors in the NHS are supposed to be on strike tomorrow in protest over pension reform. Our surgery is ignoring such nonsense and will be working as normal.

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Lonely Boy


Saturday, 16 June 2012

1356 Hours So Far

A decent 6 hours boat work today. I had woefully underestimated the amount of timber I would need to laminate the curved deck supports. To that end, Janine and I passed 100 metres of softwood through the planer-thicknesser. Three laminates with epoxy is exactly 19mm thick. Four cross beams have been laminated today.

I had a couple of hours doing some major filling around the boat. It is not pretty or clever. I’m too embarrassed to commit my sins to photo; they shall remain my secret.

I was looking forward to a Saturday evening in front of the box with Janine, but I came in from the boat to find a pizza and a beer, but no Janine. She has left me on my own while she has a girlie evening with her friend Jane, watching DVDs, and no doubt generally rubbishing men. Apparently she is fed up with the wall to wall Euro 2012 Football Tournament TV coverage…………. kick off in 30 minutes!!!!


Bend It Like Beckham


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

1350 Hours So Far

There was a brief weather window today, which enabled a few hours of work on the sandwich deck.

Our first go is the largest deck panel; the one between BH1 and BH4. It includes 2 hatch openings, one into the shower/toilet, and one over my bosun’s locker.

We laid a plastic sheet over our mould (a builder’s damp-proof membrane) and then pinned the bottom ply skin onto the mould.

We measured, and measured again, the dimensions directly off the boat, and then transferred our figures and drew the hull shape directly onto the ply.

The longitudinal strengthening is straight 19mm timber, but the cross braces are curved, so are being laminated in situ. We are taking our time, as we don’t want to mess things up.

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Breaking The Mould


Sunday, 10 June 2012

1345 Hours So Far

Yesterday, we returned from a week’s holiday with 8 friends in Crete, and very enjoyable it was too, with a nice balance of activity (walking the Samaria Gorge) and relaxation (days reading on the beach).

We now have no holidays planned until September, so it is a big push to get the starboard hull completed and moved into my garden by the time we fly off with “our girls” to Croatia. It is going to be a tough challenge.

This morning, Janine and I moved and stored the pre holiday timber delivery; not an easy task as we appear to now have the entire annual lumber output of Scandinavia in our boat shed. This afternoon, I have made the curved mould ready for the deck construction. It is back to work tomorrow, which is going to be hard, as I am still very much in holiday mode at the moment.



Delivery Note


Thursday, 31 May 2012

1341 Hours So Far

It is about 3 years since I had my first delivery of ply, epoxy and wood, and today I had my second (and final) batch. I now have all the supplies as listed in the plan booklet. I do get stressed about these things, but it all went smoothly thanks to the attentions and skills of Albert, my contact in the local Jewsons building supplies yard, and the patience of the staff in the Sittingbourne branch. Everything has been ordered through Robbins Timber in Bristol, but they are unable to deliver using a truck with a crane, and so I arranged for Jewsons to forklift it off the lorry and then run it to my house.

The E pack of West resin has also arrived. At 200 Kg it is too heavy to move. Somehow I have got to get the drum on its side so I can fit a tap and then decant the resin into the empty C pack drums.

I don’t know how I am going to do it, but I’m thinking of hiring an engine hoist or something similar.

Below are some photos of the day. Some are taken with a fisheye lens that my neighbour Terry, a professional photographer, has lent to me for a forthcoming trip to Crete. That reminds me, I should perhaps buy some Drachmas just in case the Euro goes belly up while we’re away!





Job Done!


Sunday, 27 May 2012

1335 Hours So Far

Having taken a ridiculous amount of time fiddling around, I have this afternoon  glued the final tumblehome in place. It is amazing how a simple strip of ply can transform the look of the boat.

Some pieces fitted perfectly on the first go, whereas others required endless trimming here and there, and would never really sit nicely. Ah well. I now face a few hours sanding and faring before we set to fixing the decks……

London is starting to gear itself up to host the 2012 Olympics. Friends have completed their induction programme into becoming Olympic volunteers, and my GP partner will be providing medical cover for the beach volleyball. I offered to swap cover for him but he is having none of it. I can’t think why.