Sail repairs 

When I was putting the sails back on the masts I noticed there were two tears in the edge of the mizzen sail, just behind the luff tape. They needed fixing, so I stuck some spinnaker repair tape on each side, and then stitched it all together using a sail makers palm and needles. Felt very much the old sea dog. Sales are more bent on and stowed on the boat, ready for launching. Just need to check the trailer bearings before we go. 

Launching time is only about six weeks away, so I’m getting on with preparations when it isn’t too cold. No painting needed in the cabin, and I have finished most that’s needed outside. Redoing the non slip paint will be a bit of a chore and the anti foul boot topping needs renewal. 

I’m trialing my recent little Studland beach seascape in the cabin. Just held up with blutac whilst I decide on her best location. 

The cabin is beginning to look quite home like again. 

Cockpit table

In amongst scrubbing off old Poole Harbour mud and touching up paint work, I have been working on a new, smaller cockpit table. This will use the infill panel over the sink unit as the table. This will save space and cut down the need for a separate table. 

I needed a socket underneath the infill panel. I laminated a few bits of marine ply, bandsawed it circular and drilled out a central hole with a hole saw. This was a bit lage, so I wrapped the end of the leg in parcel tape, upended it in the hole and filled in around it with epoxy resin. This worked well, but it took a few wallops with a mallet to knock the socket off. After removing the parcel tape, the leg fits in quite snugly enough. 

I have just glued the socket to the underside of the table with polyurethane glue, using improvised clamps to hold it on. 

It works. Slightly odd shape but a much better size than the old table . The table should also fit on top of the boarding ladder platform to give a flat surface for sitting on, diving off, etc. Everything needs to be multifunctional. 

Canvas work and oil

I’ve applied six or seven coats of Danish oil to all my woodwork. That should do for the start of the season. I will take a small bottle of it onboard, just to top up during the summer.
Some of the stitching is perishing on my sprayhood. I carried out running repairs on board, and finally finished the job today . Looks rough but it should hold. The main trick to the sewing is not to stab yourself somewhere painful. 

Some winter work at last 

Doing some winter maintenance at last. I made one more attempt at fitting a waterproof hatch in one of the under berth lockers. It still leaked badly from the ballast tank last year. I’ve made a new hatch blank, quite a bit larger this time, and spewed two rows of sealant under it. Hope that finally works. 

I was going to finish all the wood work in Deksjoel, but that was going to be quite a job, as it really needs umpteen brushed on layers. I’ve decided on Danish oil instead, as that is literally an oily rag job. Our kitchen worktops are finished in it and it seems very tough. I’ve got three coats on so far and aim for at least five. The plan is to take a can with me on the boat, and wipe things over during the season. 

Thinking further into the future, I’ve signed up for a week’s sailing in the Canary  Islands in Feb 2018 on the Baltic ketch Bessie Ellen. Anyone else fancy a sail on a real sailing boat in some winter sunshine inshallah?