Winter work progresses

Lots of jobs getting completed on Daisy Grace. I’ve cut some limber holes on either side of the stern deck. Water and filth tended to collect here. Now hopefully it will all drain into the scuppers.

I’ve replaced the two small cabin LED lights with a single, much brighter one. This is switched, so I can do away with the separate switch and all its wiring. Also renewed the conduiting, which was filthy and uncleanable.

GPS unit moved up higher, so all of my instruments are much more at eye level when sailing.

New outboard well blanking plate made and fitted, to replace the one that floated away in the summer. It is hinged and in two parts, so hopefully will allow the engine to cut in easily and won’t float away.

Apart from that, I have sanded all of the exposed wood back to bare wood, and started oiling it. Eight coats of Danish oil on the gunwhales, just seven more to go. Then the rest of the wood to oil before I start on paint.

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Nellie Grace packed away for the winter

I have stripped down Daisy G’s tender , Nellie Grace, cut down her transom , added sacrificial parts in various worn places and completely repainted her. Now she is stored away in her old roost , up in the roof, for the winter.

Deck crack repaired

I’ve finally fixed the nasty crack in the port side deck. Second repair I’ve made in this deck, it is just too thin.

First, mark the full extent of the cracks and cut out a rectangular area covering all of it, using the magical Bosch multi tool. I use this tool all the time.

Cut a plywood backing patch, about an inch larger all round than the hole. Two holes drilled through this fit a support string loop. This patch is epoxied to the underside of the deck, held in place with wedges through the loop.

When this is fully cured, the loop is removed and a second filling patch, the size of the hole, is epoxied down onto the backing patch. This fixes the hole and effectively doubles the thickness of the deck in this area. After sanding, it is ready for painting

Jobs getting done

I have ticked of two more winter jobs. Repositioned my compass onto the companionway hatch, where it will be more in my line of sight when I’m sailing.

Finished building a new lighting board, using a plank of wood and a short lighting board from the dinghy I sold. Hopefully this one won’t fall apart, or off…

New lighting board brackets

This should have been a half hour job. Two simple wooden supports which slot into the ends of the trailer frame, to hold the lighting board when there is no boat on the trailer. Only one of the tightening bolts had rusted solid. When I turned it with a pipe wrench, the threaded insert broke loose from a poor weld and just turned beneath the bolt. In the end I had to saw off the plastic top and the use a powered multi tool to saw through the bolt. Eventually achieved after two hours lying on my back under the boat. Spent half an hour in a sauna after to bake the aches out of my back.

Storm damaged stem repaired

I mentioned in the season summary that Daisy G’s bow roller was ripped off in a storm just before I lifted her out. This entry is mainly a reminder to myself on how I fixed it .

First the damage as I found it, and the two main parts ripped off. Fortunately both bits were saved ,although I didn’t notice the bit ripped off the side of the bow was in the boat until I got home.

I was able to tidy up the mating faces of the loose side piece and the boat herself and glue them back together with a good bed of epoxy. This gave a solid base for repairing the stem itself .

The original stem was too damaged to refit securely . I cut off the bottom section and bedded that back in place in epoxy, with a good deal of tapping into place and clamping . This gave a secure ledge at the bottom of the damage for a new stem piece to sit on .

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Once the ledge was cured I carefully cut back all the rough, vertical edges to sound wood, and cut a recess for the new stem, removing all the damaged and split wood with a freshly sharpened chisel. This took some time and care, as I needed the opening to be true and square.

I built up a new laminated block for the stem head using four layers of mahogany from an old bedstead a friend had given me last year (I had already built a printing press out of most of it. Waste not, want not…) I cut a step in the back of it to fit the squared recess, but left it oversized everywhere else. Carefully planed it until it just fitted nicely and then shaped the leading edge to fare in with the lower stem .

When I was happy with a dry fit, I shaped the top of the stem on a bandsaw, screwed it in place with two bronze screws and drilled out for all the fittings.

Finally, I bedded the whole head in epoxy and screwed it in place, made good to a bit of missing gunwale with epoxy thickened with sawdust, fared, oiled and painted the woodwork and refitted all of the ironmongery. Good to go now I hope !