Dyneema boat cradle supports

Today we have added the diagonal supports to our boat cradle to stop any chance of the new legs bending sideways towards the narrower part of the hull.

We have used 6mm dyneema with locking brummel eye splices lined with stainless thimbles.

Coarse length adjustment is with a 2.5mm dyneema lashing. Fine adjustment uses the original turnbuckles from the mizzen mast.

Jane did the 8 eye splices in about 3 hours.

Battery box progress

Jane is cleaning the battery box (I’ve just sanded it) so ready for final bits of fibreglass tape and thickened epoxy filler. Then coating all the wood with epoxy to seal it before painting.

After that we add some battery restraints and ready for the wiring plus watertight seals around the lid.

All the lids for the lower batteries and the floors above the upper batteries have been epoxy coated one side this morning, hoping to coat the other side later.

Progress update

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:

  • Battery box
  • Deep bilge and Aquadrive thrust bulkhead
  • Anchor locker, windlass base, staysail chainplate, chain chute
  • Getting the mizzen mast up
  • Knees to tie down the deck where the main mast chainplates are
  • Cabin sole (the floor)
  • New carbon fibre stanchions

But we might also switch around to other jobs if it feels appropriate.

Getting this list done unlocks many more such as fitting the main the solar panels, finishing the galley, getting the electric motor fitted …

Preparations for carbon fibre stanchions

Today we have removed 8 stanchions and their bases (timing due to someone else wanting the bases for their boat). Clearly been a source of leaks.
We have drilled each bolt hole and countersunk from above and below. Now filling hourglass shape with slightly thickened epoxy.
The places where the diagonal braces for the gate were attached by 2 screws had 4 holes so filling these too.
We have kept the starboard gate stanchions for the moment as they make it much easier to get on and off the ladder.
Preparing for new carbon fiber stanchions (see old “Tula’s Endless Summer” video below for technique)

Fitting Aquadrive thrust bulkhead

Today we are filling the gap between the original engine bearers and the new thrust bulkhead that the Aquadrive will be fitted to.
We have got the thrust bulkhead tilted and angled correctly for the propeller shaft to be centered in the stern tube and for the propeller shaft to be at right-angles to the thrust bulkhead.

We have created molds around the area to be filled. Also wood wedges to be embedded in the thickened epoxy (so we use less).
Once the epoxy is set we can remove the mold and then strengthen with fibreglass tape.
The final bulkhead will be twice this thickness, be attached all the way round and have a beam across the top.

Half term arrival and plans

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.

Tools and memories

Today I was building a part for the boat out of Plywood. It brought back lots of good memories.
Some of the the tools (2 clamps) I was using I inherited from Dad. They originally came from Pop’s building firm in Wolverhampton (Biddulph and Thrift).

One (circular saw) was bought when we had to scrap our first boat (a 16 foot Hornet that we eventually gave up on stopping the leaks – I think we paid £50 for the boat and used the trailer from an earlier free boat, a GP14).

Others (electric plane and workmate) we bought soon after we were married when we were creating built-in wardrobes from particle board and louvered doors.

Still others have been bought since we started working on the boat (orbital sander, drill, finger belt sander, table saw.

Those memories reminded me of Dad’s passion for keeping things lightweight on boats. I remember him hiring a router to cut out a complex web shape in the bottom of the table he built for the Eygthene 24 in 1977.

So I used my hole saw to make extra holes in my project to reduce the weight by 508 grams – the final weight is 3350 grams so I’m not in the same league.

However, every time I look at our mizzen mast (the part I was making is a support for it) I will be reminded of Pop, Dad and the years of projects Jane and I have shared.

Mizzen supports

I haven’t been posting much here as I’ve mostly been working on our YouTube channel, however, I thought I would show some pictures of the new mizzen mast foot support work.

Water had damaged the mizzen foot bolt holes so I used a 44mm hole saw to get to dry solid ply. I’ve already removed the wet wood below the 5 leaking deck glands and filled with thickened epoxy.
There was no backing plate, the original bolts just had washers beneath the deck head. The plywood support between the bulkheads fell off, not attached anywhere apart from by the headlining.
This is my new FR4 backing plate (well it isn’t really a backing plate as the load is down from the mast foot). Attached with thickened epoxy so that the load spreads evenly onto it. I’ll be using 10mm bolts with large washers to attach the mizzen mast foot.
I’ve filled the holes from the top with thickened epoxy. Notice the extra holes at the sides to make sure that there are no voids between the deckhead and FR4 sheet. I’m going to put a sheet of fibreglass on top of this to provide abrashion resistance and bind it all together. Then butyl before the mizzen mast foot.
These are the new support beams, I’ve epoxy coated them (apart from the ends in the workmate, I’ll do them tomorrow).
These show where the support beams will go. These will be through bolted to the remaining port and starboard bulkheads and the 3 upright posts that we have added (plus glues with thickened epoxy and I’ll add fibreglass tape to the joins with the deckhead. There will be a plywood “pad” filling the gap between these and the FR4 sheet. The goal is to tie everything together and make sure that the loads from the mizzen mast are carried without distorting the structure.

I am also adding some fibreglass tape to increase strength where we have cut away the starboard bulkhead to provide access to our “pullman” style double bed.

While doing this work in the aft cabin we have also finished (at last) the chainplate backing plates in the aft cabin. They were the first we did and we over complicated things with a full length plywood backing plate, plus a shorter plywood backing plate for the 3 shroud attachment points. Anyway the FR4 plates have been added and so that part of epoxy work in the aft cabin has been completed.

We have also been working in the lazarette on supports for the solar panel frames. As part of that work we found and fixed a void in the stern at the hull/deck joint and the damage caused by the davits that had been fitted without backing plates.

Now back to the video editing that will show all this.

Shore Power electrical progress

Feels like solid progress for an all electric boat today 😊

Our shore power is now connected to a waterproof 32 amp Victron socket in the cockpit. From there it goes through a Victron 7000watt Isolation Transformer and then our Victron Multiplus II (combined 5000watt Inverter and 70 amp battery charger). Then onwards to the boats mains ac consumer unit. The rest is temporarily wired in extension leads at present.

Now I can work on the 48volt battery bank, connect that to the MultiPlus. And then we can get the solar connected so that we stop paying so much for boatyard electricity.