Dyneema boat cradle supports

Today we have added the diagonal supports to our boat cradle to stop any chance of the new legs bending sideways towards the narrower part of the hull.

We have used 6mm dyneema with locking brummel eye splices lined with stainless thimbles.

Coarse length adjustment is with a 2.5mm dyneema lashing. Fine adjustment uses the original turnbuckles from the mizzen mast.

Jane did the 8 eye splices in about 3 hours.

Battery box progress

Jane is cleaning the battery box (I’ve just sanded it) so ready for final bits of fibreglass tape and thickened epoxy filler. Then coating all the wood with epoxy to seal it before painting.

After that we add some battery restraints and ready for the wiring plus watertight seals around the lid.

All the lids for the lower batteries and the floors above the upper batteries have been epoxy coated one side this morning, hoping to coat the other side later.

Progress update

We have had a lovely day. We arrived at the boat about midnight so quite a late night by the time we had carried everything to and then onto the boat, plus made the bed. Therefore we had a nice lie in.
Then some jobs planning before gently starting work. We started by removing the anchor windlass as we have finishing work to do later around the old anchor locker.

Then as it was dry we went back to the battery box in the bilge. Although this is an inside job it is easier in dry & warm weather as it is so disruptive. Lots of stuff has to be moved, the floor taken up and the companionway steps have to be continually removed and then put back.

We are going to see some of these jobs reaching completion over the next months – although we will be switching between various jobs according to weather, length of visit, and supplies.

So over the coming months, we are going to be working on:

  • Battery box
  • Deep bilge and Aquadrive thrust bulkhead
  • Anchor locker, windlass base, staysail chainplate, chain chute
  • Getting the mizzen mast up
  • Knees to tie down the deck where the main mast chainplates are
  • Cabin sole (the floor)
  • New carbon fibre stanchions

But we might also switch around to other jobs if it feels appropriate.

Getting this list done unlocks many more such as fitting the main the solar panels, finishing the galley, getting the electric motor fitted …

Preparations for carbon fibre stanchions

Today we have removed 8 stanchions and their bases (timing due to someone else wanting the bases for their boat). Clearly been a source of leaks.
We have drilled each bolt hole and countersunk from above and below. Now filling hourglass shape with slightly thickened epoxy.
The places where the diagonal braces for the gate were attached by 2 screws had 4 holes so filling these too.
We have kept the starboard gate stanchions for the moment as they make it much easier to get on and off the ladder.
Preparing for new carbon fiber stanchions (see old “Tula’s Endless Summer” video below for technique)

Fitting Aquadrive thrust bulkhead

Today we are filling the gap between the original engine bearers and the new thrust bulkhead that the Aquadrive will be fitted to.
We have got the thrust bulkhead tilted and angled correctly for the propeller shaft to be centered in the stern tube and for the propeller shaft to be at right-angles to the thrust bulkhead.

We have created molds around the area to be filled. Also wood wedges to be embedded in the thickened epoxy (so we use less).
Once the epoxy is set we can remove the mold and then strengthen with fibreglass tape.
The final bulkhead will be twice this thickness, be attached all the way round and have a beam across the top.

Half term arrival and plans

Quite a slow journey to Vida today for half term. We called in at Abakhan Fabrics and got some fleece material (bought by the kilo) for Oodie style winter lounging outfits for when we are still keeping the heating off.

The journey suddenly slowed as we got to Bangor as the Menai Bridge is currently closed. We called in at Aldi but in total lost about an hour in queues.

Nice to find that the boat was already warmer than home despite having been locked up without power for the last week (we have been running both without heating so far).

This week our focus is going to be increasing winter comfort. So insulation and starting on the installation of a Refleks diesel stove (just bought second hand).

This stove works as a gravity drip feed. It has a stove top that should allow basic cooking without using any electricity. It also has a water coil so we should be able to have both radiators and hot water for washing.

The insulation we are using is 40mm xps so closed cell expanded polystyrene. We are planning to fill the edges and paint it as the headlining in the aft cabin.

Enjoying a few days off.

The weather has been beautiful for a week. So we have taken 3 days off from boat work.

On Friday we collected and tested a new inflatable kayak (with some rigid sections for improved shape and performance). It is an Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite. We can use it as either a single or double. It was Jane’s first time in a kayak, this is great for that as we can use it with an open deck until she is feeling confident. Then we can zip in either a single or double deck. These have inflatable collars so you can also use a spray deck. This model has a high pressure “floorboard” made like a SUP (drop stitch) to add rigidity.

On Saturday some new friends, Kev and Gill, invited us for a sail in their Wayfarer. They had just spent 4 days sailing it around Anglesey. We zoomed all around between Beaumaris and Bangor, had a picnic on board while Kev failed to catch a bass (unlike the bloke fishing from the shore caught a huge Bass while we failed). Really great day.

Today we perfected our technique of shading the wheelhouse and main saloon. Made a huge difference so we were comfortable inside, out of the sun, when the temperature outside was in the high 20s. Then at about 5 we went for a nice long paddle in the kayak. We explored the anchorage opposite Beaumaris Pier and then headed back past Gallows Point all the way to the Gazelle Pub. About 5 miles altogether. It was beautiful, we saw lots of jellyfish (about 5 different types) as we paddled through the shallows avoiding the tide.

Tools and memories

Today I was building a part for the boat out of Plywood. It brought back lots of good memories.
Some of the the tools (2 clamps) I was using I inherited from Dad. They originally came from Pop’s building firm in Wolverhampton (Biddulph and Thrift).

One (circular saw) was bought when we had to scrap our first boat (a 16 foot Hornet that we eventually gave up on stopping the leaks – I think we paid £50 for the boat and used the trailer from an earlier free boat, a GP14).

Others (electric plane and workmate) we bought soon after we were married when we were creating built-in wardrobes from particle board and louvered doors.

Still others have been bought since we started working on the boat (orbital sander, drill, finger belt sander, table saw.

Those memories reminded me of Dad’s passion for keeping things lightweight on boats. I remember him hiring a router to cut out a complex web shape in the bottom of the table he built for the Eygthene 24 in 1977.

So I used my hole saw to make extra holes in my project to reduce the weight by 508 grams – the final weight is 3350 grams so I’m not in the same league.

However, every time I look at our mizzen mast (the part I was making is a support for it) I will be reminded of Pop, Dad and the years of projects Jane and I have shared.