Holiday progress day 7: miscellaneous

So today we picked up a few jobs, none of which got completely finished. However, we did succeed with selling our Diesel engine (and have got paid this time!).

First job was to create FR4 backing plates for the new seacocks (the TruDesign fittings need a minimum thickness which is greater than the hull at that point. Before that we had to grind off some of the hull around the hole in the port side (it had been thickened for the old raw water inlet seacock but wasn’t very smooth). Made a huge mess as with a 40 grit flap disk the grinder creates loads of dust and sends it flying off at high speed so having the vacuum trying to suck up the dust as we went didn’t help a lot. Hopefully the last grinding needed in the engine room.

Cutting the holes in the FR4 was the final straw for the cheap 60mm hole saw, so I had to finish using the jig saw. Seems to be a good fit though. Next task will be to bond these in place with thickened epoxy (we will put a fillet around the edges to so there are no sharp transitions or edges).

Then I had to empty everything out of the Van (using it as our storeroom) to get to the timber, plywood and saws. Here is the start of my temporary woodworking shop.

I’ve been working on two projects.

First a box for the new house battery bank. That is 4 x 120AH Lithium (LiFePo4) batteries to be wired in parallel.

We are trying to combine some gaps for air circulation with both holding the batteries so they can’t move and fully protecting them (from moisture and also from anything/anyone touching the terminals or busbars).

This is all test assembly at the moment. Sanding still needed and I’ll be glueing the joints and coating all the wood in epoxy. The box will be above the motor and motor batteries, hence the depth of timbers, as it will need to span a fair distance to allow access underneath it.

Here you can see the batteries in situ with the busbars resting in position, next to them. The busbars are very much oversized (60mm x 6mm) to maximise efficiency.

I will be notching the timber under each busbar bolt so that there is easy access to tighten them.

The battery box cover will keep any water off the batteries and busbar, it will include a retaining bar to hold the batteries in place even if we invert. It will also protect the busbar from anything touching it.

The batteries will be slid in one at a time from the right hand end of the box (in this picture).

This is the box in approximate position. It will be higher, fixed to horizontal beams between the uprights that are not there yet. I am going to cut away the extra length of side at the left of this picture so that the batteries can be slid in and the rightward in the box. I have left the box length beams over-long to give me options for exactly where it and the uprights go.

I also started preparing the timber for the new cockpit floor corners (where the new drains will be) no picture though.

Tomorrow, should be a combination of epoxying all this stuff and maybe some other woodwork tasks.

Holiday progress day 6: starting top end of cockpit drains

Having got the seacocks dry fitted we started on the top end of the new cockpit drains. Another scary job as we have had to cut the cockpit floor (removable section) and the supports for it.

The shows marking out the cut in the cockpit floor which is where this drain will be. That cockpit floor is pretty heavy and unwieldy to lift off and on the boat in these strong winds, so we were glad to manage it without incident.

Not only is it scary to contemplate cutting bits of the boat up, it is also scary to see how quick it is to do so. Here are the two aft corners of the cockpit floor cut off. No going back now.

Next was to cut the supporting “lip” in the boat. Here you can see the removable floor put back in position to mark the cuts.

Again very quick to cut.

And now you can see how the water will drop into the corner where the drain will be,

At this point rain stopped play as the plywood we need to fill these holes (into which the skin fitting will go) is right at the bottom of our van with tools etc piled on top.

Eventually, the new cockpit floor, in the corner with the drain in it, will be level with and smoothly integrated with the lower lip of the corner. It will have an upstand under the cockpit lid and the cockpit lid will have a new edge over that upstand. So the whole thing will be watertight and stronger than it was before, but the cockpit will have two nearly straight, large diameter drains.

We have to cut the original forward drains out of the cockpit to put in new skin fittings. Then hoses from these come back under the cockpit floor to connect to “T”s in the main drains.

For us this is just one of those areas where design standards have been forced to be updated. One of the learning points of the Fastnet Disaster of 1979 (2 years after Vida was built) was the importance of cockpits that drain quickly. Doing a full refit like this allows us not just to replace like with like but also to upgrade where standards/expectations have moved on. That is true of the size of drains but also in the quality/strength of hoses that we are going to be using, the use of double jubilee clips holding the hoses onto the fittings etc.

Selling Yanmar Diesel 3JH5E on eBay (Sold)

Update: now sold

Unfortunately our last attempt to sell our diesel engine on eBay was attacked by a scam and the buyer never paid. So it is for sale again on eBay This time with a starting price of £1,900

See Details of Yanmar Diesel 3JH5E for sale for all the details. You can see back to when we lifted the engine out of Vida here, how we kept it boxed in safe under the wheelhouse cover during COVID-19 lockdown, and how the boatyard lifted it off the boat for us.

Please free up our trailer by buying our engine.

We would prefer you to collect it from us (Wythenshawe, Manchester. Only a mile or so from Manchester Airport).

We are willing deliver it to you providing the distance is under 100 miles, you pay fuel and all we have to do is lift it off the trailer and place it on the ground.

Due to the previous attempt to scam us we are only accepting payment by PayPal through eBay and we will not agree to any attempts to work around eBay as these are apparently often used as parts of scams.

Holiday progress day 6: Making new holes

This morning was the scary task of making the new holes in the bottom of Vida (ironic given how much time was have spent filling old holes).

Fortunately, the old raw seawater intake for the engine was positioned so that it is easier to access (not tangled up with the engine bearings) and had just enough clearance to the aft bulkhead (between then motor compartment and the aft heads). So we drilled a new 60mm hole there.

Then we could dry insert the skin fitting

The Trudesign requires enough space to screw the whole seacock fitting onto the skin fitting so we needed enough space between it and the bulkhead to spin the seacock on. Phew it fits.

First one on 🙂

We are going to be removing the “bulge” in the aft bulkhead (just above the sterntube) to increase the space in the aft cabin and to make the PSS Dripless Seal more accessible. The bulge was there to give enough height for the anti siphon loop in the diesel engine exhaust – which we no loner need.

So here is the 2nd seacock dry fitted after the hole has been drilled.

This is what they look like on the outside

Before we stick them into place (3M 5200 sealant) we need to sand the paint off the outside (and add a protective epoxy layer) and fit a backing plate on the inside. The hull thickness needs to be increased so that the Trudesign meets design standards in resisting sideways force (such as if you fell and kicked it). Going to use our 10mm FR4 sheet for this. But we will continue with the dry fitting so that we can get cockpit drains connected and stop water getting into the bilge.

Preparing the motor compartment from the bottom up

So we have a clean and painted bilge below where the electric motor, batteries, motor controller, inverter, battery balancers etc are all going.

Our “only” problem, before fitting everything, is that the bilge is gradually filling with water. There are currently quite a few sources of this, none of them surprising.

First, we have disconnected the hoses from the two cockpit drains. So any water getting onto the cockpit floor drips straight in. The reason for disconnecting the hoses was that they have to be replaced (and the cockpit drains at the top plus the seacocks at the bottom). The hoses were very brittle and splitting where they were connected at the ends.

Second, the cockpit floor is not bolted down at the moment. We had to remove it to take it out to get the engine out, we haven’t permanently refitted it as a) it needs a new rubber seal b) it needs the last of the old sound insulation removing and then it can be painted (much easier when not in position). So water can get in around this and through the bolt holes.

Third, we have removed lots of bits from the sides of the cockpit (engine controls, autopilot control, pump etc) so there are quite a few holes (and they are not small).

However, none of these would matter if no water got into the cockpit in the first place. With the hardtop wheelhouse, which gets closed off at the back by the cover, when we are not there, in theory no water should be getting in. But for a long time since taking the engine out we have had a temporary bit of old ply covering the wheelhouse skylight (needed so you can see the mainsail when sailing). However, we fixed that other Friday and our new wheelhouse skylight doesn’t leak and you can see through it.

When we are on the boat we almost always have the cover off (at least partially) for easy access (it isn’t designed to be closed/opened from inside) so when we are onboard water goes get into the cockpit.

Now that all the old seacocks are filled, we can start the work to prepare for the motor, bit for access reasons it is important to start from the bottom. We are starting with the new seacocks, then the pumps. We want to do these now because they will gradually become less accessible as the propeller shaft, then motor frame and batteries go on top.

As soon as we have the new seacocks we can fit the new cockpit drains which are going to be a major upgrade. The old ones were connected with 1.25 inch hose to blakes seacocks and I think the inside of those was only about 1″. Our new TruDesign seacocks have a 2″ internal diameter. That means potentially 5.7 times more flow.

Also we are changing the drains within the cockpit. At the forward end of the cockpit we are fitting new 32mm drains. But we are adding to the aft end two 2″ drains. The design for fitting these has changed a few times. Now we plan to shorten the removable cockpit floor and add a new slightly lower floor at the aft end that the drains will be in with almost a straight run down to the seacock. We are also going to add a step going across the back of the cockpit, just above this new bit of floor, as we find the step down into the cockpit a bit too big to be comfortable.

The forward drains will come aft just gently sloping downwards and be connected to T’s on the main 2″ hoses. I still need to find a way to connect the 32mm hose to the 50mm T fitting.

We have also upgraded the hoses from the rather feeble PVC hoses that had lost all their flexibility to much heavier duty hoses that are fire resistant. We have all the jubilee clips to connect everything (2 clips at each connection as recommended).

The other task is the bilge pumps (one automatic electric one and one manual) we need to get the pipes in at least (because they go to the bilge under the motor). We hope to be able to reuse the old manual bilge pump (we think it just needs a new seal to waterproof it to the deck and new plastic ring that holds the seal in place). What we are not yet sure about is where we are going to have the pump hoses exit the boat. The old position was so inaccessible that the valve had never been closed. But wherever they exit is going to be higher than the motor and batteries so we can sort it later.

We want to get all this work done before fitting the motor stuff both to make sure we are not getting any water near the motor but also because it is going to be a lot easier access without the motor.

Oh and by the way, we have another cunning plan for our new fast draining cockpit. When we fit a watermaker we will not need to fit an extra seacock. Instead the raw water intake pipe will be able to drop right through one cockpit drain into the sea. The brine discharge will be able to drop into the other cockpit drain. Yes, it means we can’t have a fully automatic watermaker (although nothing stopping an automatic flush cycle as that doesn’t need a raw salt water input and can drain into the cockpit).

Holiday progress day 5: Holes fully filled

Today was another windy day, fortunately it had been quieter overnight so we had a better night’s sleep.

All the fibreglass that we did on the outside of the 11 holes yesterday had hardened nicely, no visible air bubbles. We are going to wait until we strip off all the old antifouling paint before we fair it (no point in making it fair to paint that is coming off).

Today we decided to tackle the inside of all the holes, knowing that first we would need to create a whole lot of dust in every single cabin. Our orbital sander has a dustbag which doesn’t work brilliantly but we don’t have the right adapter to connect it to out workshop vacuum cleaner. In the end I found it was still work vaccuming around the sander as I sanded. Needed two hands as there mostly isn’t space for two of us to get at the job.

We managed to get the sanding and washing/wiping clean done before lunch.

Then we ran our little production line for the grp work. Jane was mixing the resin, then cutting and wetting out the fibreglass cloth in the cockpit.

Fortunately, it was dry so we were able to move some bits outside and some to the van to make space.

Meanwhile, I first put some thickened epoxy in each place to fill where there had been some sagging when we first did the thickened epoxy work. Then two more layers of the 280g 2×2 Twill Woven Glass cloth. So that is 2 layers on the outside, 2 on the inside plus thickened epoxy between them (and for all the larger holes a 10mm FR4 plug in that).

This too seems to be setting nicely.

and so our first GRP work on Vida is done. Now feeling more confident about tackling the other jobs that need it:

  • 3 holes above the waterline (old diesel exhaust, old bilge pump and old shower waste).
  • 1 chainplate where a slipped backing plate as caused stress cracks in the deck.
  • filling the bolt holes and some stress cracks where the davits were inadequately secured.

That is a very short list for a 43 year old boat!

Now we can move to the next job. Cockpit drains so that we can make sure the motor room stays completely dry. So this includes making new bigger holes in the bottom of the hull as well as cutting up our cockpit floor. The excitement never ends 🙂

Holiday progress day 4: fibreglass 1

A very stormy last night. The forecast said we were going to get gusts of 52mph (Force 9) and we can believe it. No damage but it was shaking the boat a bit and very loud.

Slightly calmer this morning with gusts in the 40’s (mph) but sunny and warm.

Once we got started it has been a full on, long morning.

First, I used the grinder with a 40 grit flappy sanding disc (I’m confident that isn’t the right name) to clean up the outside of all the holes we filled on Tuesday. Making sure there were no voids and that everything was clear of plastic. Then we washed all the dust off them.

Next a really thick mix of epoxy with wood flour to fill the deeper bits (where there had been a fold in the plastic that had held it in for example).

Then a frantic time, not helped by the wind. Jane was mixing the epoxy and cutting circles out of fibreglass cloth. I was using the epoxy to lay 2 circles (first small then a slightly larger one) over each filled hole. It is a long time since I have done much fibre-glassing (building canoes when I was a teenager in scouts) so my technique isn’t very good. I made sure the pieces of cloth were very well wetted out on a plastic box lid before putting them up. So hopefully no dry bits there. The hardest bit is making sure no air bubbles, we won’t know until we sand it later.

Arms very tired (it is all overhead work) but we have done all 11 holes.

Got a bit cleaned up, now lunch. Rain due at 4pm so we will call it a day for fibre-glassing.

Holiday progress day 3: being comfortable in a boatyard

First, some good news. All the epoxy work filling the holes yesterday worked better than we dared hope. Everything has hardened nicely, very little slumping. Going to be straightforward to put the fibreglass cloth on both the inside and outside.

As the forecast was for heavy rain from about 11am and as we felt we needed recovery time from yesterday we took today off boat jobs.

So this morning we went for a walk in a part of Anglesey we haven’t been before, apart from some tiny showers the rain held off and we went further than we planned. Absolutely beautiful area of sand dunes.

Then a quick visit to Toolstation in Bangor to collect some more holesaws (finding ones the right sizes for things seems to be an ongoing battle – this time I need a 60mm for the new cockpit drain seacocks).

Then a late lunch of eggy bread 🙂 Although we might have had to eat up some scones with Jam first to keep us going. To keep up the rest and recovery theme an afternoon nap was essential 😉

This evening we had an Aduki bean bake that we had brought from home, first time we have used out combination microwave on oven setting.

All very nice and we have sat in our saloon watching sailing YouTube channels, playing games and doing cross stitch (yeah that last one was Jane only). Meanwhile the wind has changed direction by 180 degrees and it has started to rain.

All this got us thinking about what makes a boat a comfortable space to spend time on in a boatyard. We’ve watched lots of YouTube videos of people in boatyards and so many of them find it an uncomfortable/stressful place to be. We don’t find that, even with all the jobs to do our boat very much is our own home. So what is the difference?

Climate: A lot of YouTube channels are doing boat work in very hot climates and doing dusty jobs in a lot of heat is unpleasant. North Wales isn’t that 🙂 and that is a good thing. We have found our two electric wall panel heaters, occasionally boosted with a fan heater and supported by a thick duvet have meant we have been comfortable here all year round. So an electric supply is really important.

Sleeping cabin: Having our aft cabin well separated from the saloon really helps with comfort, we can have a permanent bed and it isn’t affected by many of the jobs. One of us can be asleep while the other is active in the saloon and we don’t get disturbed.

Ladder: Obviously this is more difficult when you are not in your home boatyard but a really good ladder makes such a difference to your comfort. You will need to carry lots of stuff up and down. You will be using it in the dark and in the rain. It amazes me the ramshackle things that people use despite keeping their boat close to home and in the same boatyard every year. We have an aluminium double extending ladder, we have had it for around 30 years. We don’t have to extend it for Vida so every step is a double tread. We have a dedicated line for tying it on securely, a cloth to protect the side of the boat and we lock it up with a u-lock. All basic stuff but it makes life much easier.

Composting Toilet: A huge comfort advantage is a comfy composting toilet. No need to get dressed, go out in the rain and dark to boatyard or clubhouse toilets. Can go several days without needing to empty anything (with two urine containers we are basically good for a week). We get a toilet we can use that doesn’t smell compared to the boats with a sea toilet and holding tank who get the smell without the use.

Bucket sink drain: Ok in one sense so we only have this because we haven’t finished the plumbing yet. But our galley sink drains into a standard B&Q plastic bucket. It is easy to take outside and empty so we can use the sinks as normal.

Bike bottle taps: Ok so again we don’t have plumbing yet. But also, like many others our boatyard doesn’t have much water supply (one tap in our half of the yard and you need tokens to get water). So we are reusing 2 litre water bottles (easy to carry up ladders as they are not heavy) and during COVID we can bring water from home to save using shared facilities. Instead of a tap we use a cycling water bottle, leave the nozzle open, tip up and squeeze.

Solid wheelhouse: the combination of a centre cockpit (which is why we have that great aft cabin) and a wheelhouse with solid roof and glass windscreen is great. We have a removable heavy canvas back (and this is going to be much improved with some zips for easier access). It means we have a dry space to store stuff for projects without cluttering the cabin. It means whatever the weather we can have the main hatch open for ventilation if we want, we can get in and out without hanging around in the rain. When arriving or leaving it acts as a convenient dry staging post for all our bags (pass them all out to the cockpit, then pass them all down – saves a lot of climbing).

Electric cooking: We are using a single induction hob, a combination microwave (microwave, grill and oven) and electric multi-cooker (mostly used as an electric pressure cooker. We get far less moisture in the air than cooking with calor gas, it doesn’t require bottles to be changed (and taps to be turned off for safety), it is much faster to cook with.

Windows and hatches that don’t leak: We are in North Wales after all 🙂

What would I change/improve? Well, given that we are still in the middle of a full refit there are lots of things still on the jobs list. For living in the boat yard the ones I’m looking forward to are:

  • Zipper access through the wheelhouse rear cover
  • Doing the wiring so that we have permanently fitted lights (we have camping LED strip lights, they work but we are going to have better)
  • sort out the creaking floor boards
  • properly fit the insulation and headlining in our sleeping cabin before winter.

Going 100% electric: the Motor

A few people have been asking for product information about our electric plans. Bear in mind that this isn’t yet fully implemented and certainly not proven by us. Also that our choice is to be fossil fuel free and live with the impacts. If it means we can’t go as far or as fast, or if we have to do a lot of active management in order to be fossil fuel free then that is ok with us.

Note that we are not qualified to offer any advice, this is our own journey, learning as we go.

Finally, this isn’t a rush job. we are planning to get this sorted over a number of years. I have a minimum of 3 more years in my current appointment with extensions possible before we retire to live-aboard. Therefore we have time to get everything sorted, until then our sailing will be odd days and holidays.

Motor

We bought our motor and it’s controller in the UK from Falcon Electric. They work with electric car projects but we chose a motor that is sold in the US for yachts by Thunderstruck Motors. We couldn’t find a EU marine dealer for these motors.

What we bought is a package of motor, controller, wiring loom and meter. So the motor is a HPEVS AC-34 and the Controller to go with it is a Curtis 1236SE-5621 (48v, 600a, 40hp).

We looked at many other motors. Either they were out of our price range or they were not brushless. We also like this being air-cooled as we want as few holes and as little complexity as possible. We know this might mean needing forced air ventilation for the motor compartment in hot weather, however for us that is a lot cheaper and simpler than water cooling.

We have bought the Curtis throttle from Kit Elec Shop we are going to make our own handle for it. This was tricky to find, with expertise we could probably have bought a non-Curtis item.

We are not yet sure to what extent the controller will need programming for best performance, the devices to do this are quite expensive so not rushing to buy one. We also expect to need to add a larger cooling plate to the controller.

Drivetrain

We are reusing the existing 3 bladed propeller (design max speed 1600 rpm). Our hope is that, rather than this being a big drag slowing us down while sailing, it will prove powerful driving the motor in regen mode. Upgrading to a folding prop that would have less drag while sailing a slow speeds while still being able to unfold for regen is a long term possibility (although expensive).

We are replacing the cutlass bearing due to normal wear and tear. The length of the propeller shaft and the position of the skeg require the propeller shaft to be taken out inwards. Having to remove the engine for this work was a motivation in switching from diesel now.

The original stuffing box had been leaking and needed a lot of work. We decided that as we want to minimise salt water near the electric motor we would replace it with a PSS Pro Dripless seal we chose this a) because it does not require a pressurised water feed (with an air cooled motor we don’t have one) b) it has a wide variety of sizes. We are re-using the flange that screws onto the stern tube that the stuffing box used to be attached to (have ground and sanded it smooth). The PSS Pro is therefore for a shaft of 1-1/4″ and a flange of 2-3/4″. We will be adding their Hy-Vent to provide water to the seal.

The propeller shaft will be connected to an Aquadrive system CVB10.10 (all the drivetrain components are being supplied by T.Norris Marine where Jonathan has been really helpful).

From the Aquadrive (via a coupling from T. Norris) we have a shaft that goes through our motor frame to an 80 tooth pulley for a 30mm wide timing belt (two bearings are fitted, one at each end of the frame). The motor frame is now at the forward end of the motor compartment so we are probably going to add an additional bearing for the shaft near to the Aquadrive (with the coupling etc there is quite a lot of weight on that end).

The motor sits above the shaft in a custom frame we have built and we have a 56 tooth timing belt on it. This reduction gear (56T to 80T) should allow the motor to run at peak torque with the propeller at design maximum speed. Given the motor is, at least in straight numbers, more powerful than the 29HP diesel with more torque available at low speeds we expect to not need to push the motor very hard. The motor can be moved up and down in the frame to tension the belt.

We bought the pulleys and timing belt from Bearing Boys, the stainless steel bearings from Simply Bearings, the Stainless steel for the frame from Metals4U and all the bolts from Accu. See various posts about the motor frame.

We have 4 engine mounts coming from T.Norris.

This means we should have few alignment issues for the motor and as the thrust is taken by the Aquadrive the motor should be free to float on it’s mounts which will reduce vibration and noise.

Motor Battery Bank

We are running the motor with a 48 volt battery bank (we decided we did not want to go for a higher voltage as then there are safety issues and also you need so many batteries in the bank).

We are building this bank from four KS Energy KS-LT300B 12V 300Ah LiFePo4 batteries. So 4 x 300Ah is 1200Ah. We chose them as being cheap, open about the technology and high density. It should be a lot simpler to wire just 4 batteries together rather than a larger number of smaller batteries (and was cheaper).

This battery bank will fit above the shaft just aft of the motor frame, forward of the aquadrive. It will be 2 layers of 2 batteries. as a 2×2 block. This keeps weight low and central with short wiring runs.

The batteries will be encased in an epoxy coated plywood box for protection.

We don’t have space to add additional batteries to this bank. However, in an (slow) emergency our house bank could be rewired as a replacement motor battery bank (by changing from parallel to series connection).

Our very rough estimate is about 1 hour at close to hull speed and about a day at slow speed (2 or 3 knots). Hopefully up to about 20 miles.

I’ll cover cabling in a later post. We are making our own cables and have the proper crimp tool. For efficiency and reliability we are using thicker cabling than is required. There will be a shunt (for measuring battery bank). There will be a shut off switch and a fuse. We will be fitting 3 Victron battery balancers (as they recommend for a bank of 4).

That is all I can think if for the moment. Have I missed out anything useful?

Holiday progress day 2 #Epic

The weather changed our plans today, and kept changing them. We thought it was going to be wet most of the morning and then it wasn’t. So we cracked on, then it become more and more clear that from late morning tomorrow is going to be very wet. So it became something of a race.

By lunchtime we had 11 holes in the hull and I was writing “More and bigger holes in our boat” by about 5pm we had finished all the preparation. We have been following a guide from West Systems: Repairing machined holes in fibreglass

Jane had done most of the grinding the outside of the holes. The idea is to make the hull around the hole about 5mm thinner and then taper this to make a circle about 15cm diameter where the paint and gelcoat has been removed.

Meanwhile I was sanding the inside around each hole. This doesn’t need to be deep, you just want to be sure that the surface is ready for epoxy resin to stick to it.

Then I used the dremel on every hole to flare them out on both the inside and outside. The idea is that the hole becomes a bit of an hourglass shape. Then you fill it with thickened epoxy resin (resin with wood flour added to make it peanut butter consistency) and once set it is held in place by it’s shape as well as the bond with the original grp.

For the larger holes West Systems recommend creating your own resin “puck” by allowing some resin to go hard in a plastic cup the right size. We were short of time and didn’t have plastic cups the right size. So instead I used hole saws to cut pucks out of the FR4 sheet that I have bought to make backing plates from. FR4 is very dense fire resistant epoxy fibreglass.

We then cleaned around all the holes with a acetone type of liquid and washed it off.

Then an epoxy race began. Our bio-epoxy resin is a 2:1 mix of resin and hardener and it has a limited time before it starts to harden.

First task was to coat all the exposed fibreglass inside and out with standard resin mix. This ensures all the bits of fibreglass get wet with resin to improve the bond.

Jane did the inside and was rushing from cabin to cabin with her pot of resin while I followed up on the outside.

  • 3 holes in the aft heads
  • 2 holes in the motor compartment
  • 2 holes in the galley
  • 1 hole in the saloon
  • 3 holes in the forward heads.

With floorboards up and stuff cleared out of the way it was a bit of an obstacle course.

The next step was to add wood flour to the resin to thicken it up. We got a bit nervous and I don’t think we really got it as thick as would have been best.

It was thick enough for me to fill all the small bolt holes (4 around each main hole).

Then I was rushing around finding props so that on the outside each hole could have plastic (we reused plastic bags from various packaging), then a square of foam (cut from a damaged form square we have used for temporary flooring) and then a timber prop to hold it in place.

As I covered each hole in this way Jane was suffling through the cabins putting in some thickened resin, then the FR4 puck and then more thickened resin, with a short pause to mix up another batch of resin.

We finished at about 8:30pm (not the colour comes from the wood flour, the resin is clear).

Fortunately, Jane had made a lasagne at home and brought it frozen so we tidied up a bit and then sat outside in the dark eating lasagna and drinking Sainsburys £4.85 wine. Then final tidyup and showers.

We can do the inside fibreglassing even if it is raining and the outside can wait for a fine day.

Overall we are absolutely stoked that we got this much done in a day. This was a huge day for progress towards being able to float (and the work on the stern tube flange this morning a huge milestone towards getting the motor working).