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.

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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 !

Self bailer repair

I’ve decided that replacing the seal in the self baler body would both be a horrible job, and probably unnecessary. I think the seal feels fairly good, the problem is the corroded slider. So I have sanded the slider until it is shiny, stuck plastic tape over the bottom and filled it with epoxy resin and a layer on fibreglass tape. I hope that will fill the holes and leave a very smooth outside, to bare against the seal. I will grease it thoroughly before I refit it. Then wait for next year to test it.

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Self baler corrosion

I fill my ballast tank using a reversed Elvstrom self bailer. This fills the tank well. Almost too well if I forget to close it when sailing. But it leaks, so that an emptied tank fills up, even when the bailer is shut. I assumed this was due to the edge seal been worn. But on inspection, I noticed that the main mobile part of the unit is badly corroded. You can see daylight through the holes. So much for stainless steel. There’s also a large, intentional hope in the unit, which seems bizarre. I’m going to try to reseal the unit with epoxy and fibreglass, stuck to the inside. I can only replace the whole fitting, not just the slider, and they are expensive. I think blocking the holes and then greasing the sliding sides might just do the job. Won’t know if it works until next year.

2018 season summary

22 nights on board. Not bad considering I was away for the whole of July. First skinny dip in May and last in September, just. More swimming in between than I have managed in any other year. Managed to get my all over tan deep enough that I didn’t need any sunscreen for the last half of summer. My kind of sailing season.

273nm sailed. Not a huge distance, but I don’t really like long distance sailing. It is either frightening or boring. There was at least one day where I stayed on the anchorage for two nights without sailing anywhere. I rowed, swam, ran on the beach and just lazed in the glorious sun and heat we had this year.

Damage to boat? Until the last day, just a crack in the rear cockpit deck. On the last night before I hauled her out, storm Bronagh managed to rip the bow roller off on her mooring. So that is a repair I wasn’t planning.

She is back in her shed now and I am already into repairs and general titivating.

Working on Nellie Grace

I hope to bring Daisy G back home the end of this week. Until then, I’m using the available space to do some essential repairs to Nellie Grace. The prime one is a new name board. Every boat needs a decent name board. I need a new one as I have reduced the height of the transom and cut the sculling notches into the transom itself. I originally added the riser to the transom because I had forgotten to cut the notches and didn’t think I would actually do much sculling anyway. This year I sculled all the time, so proper notches seemed to be in order. Cutting off the riser also cut off most of her name, but it allows the dinghy to fit more securely on the roof rack.