Friday progress 26

With winds from the North and arriving late on Thursday in the wet it was a pretty cold boat to arrive to. So we are not ready for the major upheaval of removing the bulkhead between the aft cabin and the motor compartment. It will make our cabin a bit larger and provide better access to the drivetrain. However, our wall heater is mounted to that bulkhead and we still have holes in the sides of the cockpit (from where we have removed the engine controls, plus temporarily the auto pilot and bilge pump). The combination of draughts and no heater isn’t attractive.

Besides we have some special bolts on order to refit the stern tube flange and that will be easier before we build the replacement bulkhead.

So we will wait until the bolts have arrived and we have boxed in the motor compartment, plus better sealing of the cockpit before doing that job.

So instead, as Friday turned out to be dry and fairly warm (out of the wind), we decided to tackle some more holes.

We have had 8 holes in the aft deck (covered with tape) ever since we removed the davits. That was one of the first jobs as they were poorly fitted and were causing cracks in the deck.

The first part of the job went well. We got the sticky residue off and it clean. I then chased out all the cracks using the dremel and they turned out to only be in the gel coat, not in the grp below it.

Then we did a similar job for holes in the wheelhouse roof. These come from the wood handrails we removed (they felt rather flimsy and are in the way of where the solar panels will go) and from an unused GPS aerial.

Then we mixed some thickened epoxy. We have filled the wheelhouse holes nicely. However, the aft holes were more tricky. Access to the underneath is terrible. I can just reach with an arm but can’t see what I’m doing. Jane can sort of get in the locker but not reach properly. So our attempts to block the holes with cardboard and tape failed and the epoxy has mostly dripped through into the locker.

We will have another look in the morning to see what to do next. Then home before lunchtime.

So not a lot of progress but despite the failure there is some comfort.

a) these were the biggest looking cracks in the deck. We now know how to fix them all, and it isn’t very difficult.

b) the wheelhouse roof is looking good for being able to progress our first solar panels.

c) these holes in the aft deck are the only places we have to do any hole repairs with such bad access. The mess we have made of these isn’t going to be visible or cause any long term problems.

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