Aft cabin mattress test fit

This is so brilliant!

Now Jane “just” has to glue some of parts together, cover with wadding and stockinette, and make the new cover.

The size is great, a big improvement as is the access via the step and seat (which still needs a cushion & backrest). Going to be really comfy.

My only slight concern will be getting enough breeze to Jane’s side when in the tropics. But she does like to be warm in bed!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ And the tropics are a long way off πŸ˜•

Now that’s what I call a backing plate.

We have dry fitted the chainplate backing plate for the starboard forward mizzen stay. We measured the deck thickness at the old diesel fuel filler at 20mm. With this backing plate of 9mm immensely dense, stiff and strong FR4 board it makes me feel that having an additional 2 layers of 9mm plywood in the aft cabin was very much overkill!!

Next visit we will repeat for the port side and then make permanent with thickened epoxy (so that it is bedded to the underside of the deck/hull joint with no gaps).

Aft cabin step and chainplate progress

We now have a (temporary) step to get onto the seat and from there onto the new aft double bed.

At the moment it is an experiment to check the height and size (particularly to see if we bang our shins on it or step up too high and hit our heads). The permanent one will also have a useful bit of storage inside it.

Then while Jane has been continuing to cut and fit the foam insulation, I moved on to the starboard forward mizzen stay. This is in the corridor just forward of the bulkhead where the door to aft cabin was.

As it is so close to the bulkhead I’ve had to cut a “slot” through it so that I can fit a larger backing plate. I’m only going to use a FR4 backing plate as this stay is one of the more lightly loaded ones, also the position of the bulkhead adds extra reinforcement for the scupper drains (this chainplate is about halfway between the two scupper drains).

The scupper drains are for water from the deck, they are fully moulded into the hull and stop dirty water from the deck staining the boat sides by enclosing it to below the waterline.

Once the chainplate is sorted we will epoxy in a vertical bit of FR4 to connect the chainplate to the bulkhead.

Aft cabin: Making it permanent

Today we have been continuing the work on the aft cabin.

Jane did a whole lot of sanding under the bed. She also fitted some more insulation to the sides. Together we glued the rubber seal into the aft cabin hatch because it kept dropping out.

I was working on finishing the timber around the head of bed.

We have one upright on the starboard side of the original gap in the berth. This now frames the inside of the opening for the seat (the new way onto the bed).

Another upright is inside the heads on the port side of the original gap in the berth.

These two uprights are the same size but oriented differently. So between them we have a slightly diagonal headboard. This is to give the right amount of extra bed length where I sleep. So a section where my head goes is 845mm wide and between 70mm (port) and 85mm (centre) longer.

A third upright is approximately 1/3 of the way from the head side (port) on the forward side of the headboard. This will be the door post for the new door to the heads. This “squares off” the heads giving more foot space when sitting on the loo (knees go under the headboard and so under the bed.

Another piece of plywood sits on top of the headboard between the door post and port side post (at the original end of the heads). This acts as the upper “wall” between the heads and our bed.

All this timber has now been glued and screwed in. Plus all the outside corners have been made into soft curves using the router, plane and sander.

Essentially ready for painting when we have prepped the rest of the cabin.

Just got to build the step for the seat.

All the boxing in of the storage, the heads door etc can wait until after our first launch next year.

All three of the uprights form part of the new supports for the mizzen mast. More to do here as they need to be bonded to the deck and mast foot support. Probably going to wait until the mizzen is up as the deck has risen a bit.

New risk. Will sailing lead to lifetime prison sentence?

The UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is introducing new dangers for anyone sailing in UK waters.

The new “Nationality and Borders” legislation has publicly attracted concerns that the RNLI might be prosecuted for rescuing asylum seekers. The key is this

From twitter @jdportes

There is a detailed article on iNews: Priti Patel’s authoritarian Borders Bill is designed to criminalise those most desperate for our help. This is appalling legislation which twists international law until it breaks in order to make the UK an international pariah for the inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

The concerns for the RNLI (egged on by Farage and the tabloid press) caused the Home Office to tweet a reassurance:

This doesn’t apply to organisations such as HM Coastguard and RNLI helping those in distress at sea.” So far as I can see they haven’t provided any details of where this protection comes from in the legislation.

However, for us, the key problem is that this explicitly gives no such protection for private yachts.

International Law requires us to rescue people in danger. See The duty to rescue refugees and migrants at sea.

So the UK government want to force us to break International Law and leave people to die or risk prison for 14 years to life.

This could radically change our future. There is absolutely no way we are going to ignore people at risk of drowning if we find them. To require us to do so is totally abhorrent.

Therefore, if we happen to come across lives that we can save we will do so. If our inhumane government have their way then our world cruising retirement may be switched to being inside a UK prison.

This is one of a number of attacks on democracy and vulnerable people from the UK government that we see at the moment. The actions are fueled by hate, racism, xenophobia and protecting power & privilege.

Fabric and Fluff

Well here I am looking at the aft cabin cushions again, wondering where to start on re-configuring them for our new cabin arrangement (see Aft Cabin new bed is usable). The original cushions were the first cushions and covers I had ever made, with a new scarily industrial sewing machine (from Sailrite). I checked and re-checked everything with Sailrite videos and my adviser (Canvas for Cruisers by Julie Gifford). When Dave and I finally wrestled them onto the foam (covered with wadding and stockingette as in The Book), it seemed a minor miracle that they looked respectable. They turned out to be very comfortable so I was glad I’d heeded all the advice. But now we need to change them and it seems even more dauting than starting fresh. I have since discovered that rectangular cushions are not easier to cover than weirdly shaped ones, which doesn’t fill me with confidence.

‘When in doubt think about it’ is my motto so I started by leaving them for a while with the new fabric spread out and turned over to check if it had a nap. One of the irritating things about the original fabric was that I had no idea I would need so much so one section was oriented differently leaving a strange line across the cushion due to the unexpected nap. Also the bases had to be a different fabric altogether as both pieces were remnants. The new cushions will be a step up because we have lots of lovely new fabric πŸ™‚ I have industrial remnants this time (available from Emmaus South Manchester) so we have 10 metres and it is very hardwearing as well as fire resistant which is good for piece of mind.

Next I took off the covers and stockingette which was easy, leaving fluffy foam. It took several days of measuring and agonising over the position of a straight edge to take the plunge and cut off a straight line where our new seat will be.

Cushions after left side cut off

Unfortunately we had used spray glue to wrap the foam with wadding for these first cushions, whereas later I realised I could just wrap and stitch it to hold it in place. Ungluing the wadding was mostly ok, except for a few well stuck places where it tried to pull the foam with it so I had to cut it away. The foam sticks together very easily but needs to be free from fluff. We are changing the locker lids under the cushions so we decided to go with two nearly rectangular cushions for more comfortable sleeping. I have now cut small pieces off both large cushions and they are ready to glue together in the new shape. I am pleased that the left over foam should be enough to make a very comfortable cushion for the base of the seat.

Preparation work done – now I need to set up the machine and cut the fabric! I will re-use the zippers as the cushions are still the same length. I think I will fit them across the base this time, rather than along the edge as it was so hard to get the foam into the cover before. It’s not as if they are reversible as the edges slope to fit the cabin walls.

Progress from home

We haven’t gone to the boat this week. Jane had to work today (Covid cover) and I’ve got work tomorrow.

However, I have been able to complete the repair of my pillar drill (satisfaction of mending tools).

Having done the repair I went straight on to use the pillar drill to finish the holes in the motor mount brackets. This is a great example of where a pillar drill with a good drill bit and cutting paste is so much better than a normal drill. It had taken hours to do 6.5 holes and had destroyed a couple of drill bits. Today less than 2 hours to do the remaining 9.5 holes without ruining any drill bits.