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:
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.
Today I have started a three month sabbatical (a generous gift from the Methodist Church that I work for, they come every seven years).
The plan is for me to spend most of the time working on Vida with Jane joining me when she isn’t working.
If possible we would like to get Vida launched by the end of the sabbatical. That will only be possible because there will be a great deal that doesn’t get done this year (or even next year).
The first task has been to get me to Beaumaris with all the things that are too heavy for Jane to load into the car. Hence, we loaded up our little, electric Nissan Leaf to the brim.
On the roof rack we had both the main and mizzen booms plus loads of plywood.
Inside we had a solar panel, big Victron Inverter, my bike, loads of tools, clothes and food.
The roof rack says 50mph maximum, so the 100 mile journey is quite slow. However, it is very good for the range. We barely needed to top up (although we did and as the Ecotricity charge point had lost its Internet connection it was free so we filled up).
Getting everything from the car, then onto the boat, then into the boat has been pretty tiring. So we had a nice veg and cannaloni bean curry, now relaxing with YouTube.
Been a bit slow updating the blog, we have several new videos and this evening I have bought a new-to-us mainsail (from a Westerly Fulmar). We will probably have to add a very small extra reef point as the default setting point because it is very slightly too large but for £200 it will be a lot better than what we have. That significantly reduces the amount of work to do on sails (just new soft webbing hanks on the foresails).
We are not at the boat this weekend as we both have Covid and it has laid us up all week.
Anyway on with the videos, quite dramatic changes:
After some discussions on the Rival FaceBook group and further reflection I think some compromises were forced on Peter Brett when drawing the centre cockpit version of the 38. So there wasn’t enough space for a full length v-berth, a watertight bulkhead and a route for the chain that wasn’t through the middle of the berth. They chose a v-berth for kids, a neatly hidden chain but no watertight bulkhead (which the 41 has, not sure about the other models).
Our priorities are different. We want low risk (hence watertight compartments), better anchoring (more and heavier chain below deck, electric windlass, bigger anchor that self stows better – we have a whole load of videos about the new bow roller), maximised sailing performance (hence wanting to store the chain as far aft as possible for better weight distribution). So we are not at all worried that occasional guests will clamber/crawl into either the port side generously sized adult berth or the starboard child sized berth.
We won’t finish this cabin apart from the bulkheads and shoot for the chain until next year but it will be enough for us to fit the windlass and so be able to anchor.
We would really appreciate it if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, it is free. Plus Like and share the videos as it really helps us grow the channel. Especially we welcome your comments on them.
Only 1 month to go and I’ll have 3 months working almost full-time on the boat as I have a work Sabbatical. So there should be lots of progress 🙂
I’ve got the extra galley worktop and the extra galley bulkhead cut from a full sheet of 18mm ply. Hopefully small enough to fit in the car.
Also started sanding the companion way steps and preparing the French cleats.
These are pretty much the only solid timber on board. So hoping to keep these fairly natural colour. Will use penetrating epoxy with a stain and then varnish. Should give good protection for this very high wear part. All other timber is going to be painted apart from small trim.
Our latest video has been getting some really helpful comments on YouTube as well as directly. It has also helped us to reach a new milestone 🙂
It definitely seems worth exploring more. Particularly to consider some of practicalities that people have raised including:
Is the sheer strength of the Stainless Steel bolts sufficient? Potentially, the load on the bolt could be reduced by attaching the plates for the dyneema eyes with epoxy. Or they could be replaced by carbon fibre tubes epoxied into place.
Is dirt going to get in the dyneema and damage it? Could the solid shield protecting from chafe also stop water washing dirt in? Would a soft sleeve such as we plan for our chainplate loops help?
Will the water flow damage the Dyneema? Much the same issue as with dirt above.
Might there be resonance issues with the lashing (apparently might be more of a problem with more loops of thinner lashing).
Will the wider stance affect sheeting angles? Depends very much on the rig. It might allow a cutter rig to be sheeted inside the shrouds.
Should we use a standard thimble or low friction ring, potentially with a solid infill to avoid a point load from the bolt? We were trying to avoid metal in the water and keep the cost down but this might well be a good solution.
More thinking about whether to have a separate cover to keep the dyneema on and to provide chafe protection, possibly so that the cover can be removed without affecting the chafe protection for inspection or replacement.
We are planning a similar design for attaching a Jordan Series Drogue (JSD), potentially better than our previous idea.
Anyway, thank for the support on YouTube, it is encouraging and YouTube responds by sharing the videos more.
We arrived yesterday evening and are here for a couple of nights. It is very cold! Snow in Manchester before we came, snow visible on the Snowdonia range. So, too cold to do any epoxy work. Fortunately, the two panel heaters and two fan heaters can keep the cabin nice and warm.
Instead of working on the starboard backing plates for our main mast dyneema chainplates , we have recorded video footage describing our latest idea for external dyneema chainplates. Could be a great option for lots of older boats who are switching to dyneema rigging and want to avoid expensive fittings or who are concerned about their metal chainplates.
We also recorded progress on redesigning the bilge under our saloon for battery storage, water tank and for the first time some thinking about lightening protection. That involved taking the main companionway steps down, wasn’t as bad as I feared. We now have our batteries stored much better in approximately the right place.
We have also done some more detailed planning for the galley stowage and space for the fridge.
The weather is expected to be wet, windy and cold in the morning so we have some jobs planning work on everything in the motor room.
Coming up next week will be big news about our transport for getting to and from the boatyard.
We ended with a day of better weather and real progress.
We were able to test the bow roller with the anchor despite not having been able to do any outside epoxy work all week.
Our 30kg Spade anchor fitted nicely.
And the remodelling of the saloon went through a further destructive stage.
In the process we have made progress towards a new layout with slightly reduced seating in return for a better guest double bed; a much larger galley, more comfortable seating and a better table position when there are only two of us; more storage space and considerably more structural strength.
At least that is what we are hoping to create. Stay tuned to see if we can achieve all this!