Scenes of devastation

A very wet day yesterday and I had some work to do. So we didn’t make any boat progress.

Today with an uncertain forecast we have been doing some jobs inside.

Jane has continued to coat the mizzen supports and bed headboard with epoxy. Should be ready to paint next weekend.

I’ve started on the starboard side of the main saloon. We have been debating what to do with this ever since we bought Vida.

The original seat backrest was hinged so that it could be lifted flat to become a pilot berth. The cushion (like all the others) was smelly and disgusting, it was glued to the very thick and heavy ply backrest. The backrest wasn’t in quite the right place for it to be a really comfortable seat (too long a squab and too sloping backrest).

We have been wondering whether to fit a new pilot berth, however it would only be needed if we were passage making with a crew of four (we can already sleep two in the saloon which is fine with a crew of three) and it was too rough to be comfortable for someone to use the aft cabin. So we are holding off on that for the moment.

As we looked at all this in terms of fitting the new backing plates for the dyneema chainplates we decided that we would go for a full change. The cupboards were mouldy and smelly. The underside of the cupboards (which is above you when you sleep) was also mouldy. The plywood hull lining needed to be cut away for the full chainplate backing plates, also to allow us to fit some insulation.

In the next pictures you can see the piece of plywood we used to test the position we want the backrest. It will allow us to gain 150mm of extra cupboard depth. The pictures show the cupboards without the doors which show how difficult access would be to prepare for and fit the backing plates. You can also see the fluxgate compass for the Neco self steering and to the right of that there is extensive water damage to the bulkhead veneer (leaks from the old windows and dorade vent).

Taking it all apart created a fair bit of mess, full suit, mask and ear protection needed. However, it didn’t take too long and this is what we have now.

Once, we have fitted the backing plates I will be creating a replacement for the mini bulkhead that the cap shroud chainplate extension was bolted to. I’ll fit one each side of the dyneema knot at the end of the chainplate loop. They will be tied to the backing plate and the hull with big epoxy fillets and GRP cloth tabs. The lower end will be shaped to “hook” over the stringer so that it is all locked together.

Before that I need to remove the ply soffitt, as it is in poor condition, remove the backing plates for the mooring cleats and grind/sand it all clean and smooth.

To finish we will be fitting 20mm of closed cell insulation to the hull under the deck and between the stringers. Where this is visible we will cover it with thin plywood painted very light grey.

Our backrest is going to be made from individual planks with cushion attached. These will stack on top of each other in slots at the ends of the settee. When sleeping they lift out, turn around and drop into slots on the inner edge of the settee to act as leeboards to hold you in the bed when the boat heels. As they are lifted up from being the backrest they reveal your bedding and extra width to the bed.

Instead of cupboards I am going to make plywood boxes that are exactly shaped to fit against the hull. The will slide onto rails fitted underneath the deck with simple catches to hold them in place. We might possibly divide them up into two rows so that none of them are to heavy to lift out when full. The sides will be partially fabric to save weight and provide ventilation to avoid mould.

We hope to end up with a more comfortable seat, a better bed and more storage with less damp and more warmth due to the insulation and far better access to all the through deck fittings including the dyneema chainplates (which will also be stronger due to the much larger and more rigid backing plates). All the structure of this shouldn’t add any weight and might well reduce it. Win, win 🙂

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