Sunday, 5 July 2009

Turn hard to port................

With the starboard side well underway my attentions turned to getting the port side keel off and sorting the stub out as well. After laying out the plywood on the gravel next to the keel it became obvious i'd never fit the engine hoist between the keel and garden wall.

It was time to pimp my engine hoist! This generally involved cutting a foot off the hoists legs and beefing up the wheels since they had both buckled under the strain of the previous keel. So with a new and improved hoist off came the port side although not without a little interior surgery to get access to the nuts.

After some persuading with various air powered implements most of the GRP around the keel studs saw it my way and relented, however once the encapsulations and nuts were removed it proved a complete bastard to loosen the keel enough to drive in the wedges between the stub/keel joint.

Not for the first time impatience got the better of me and so i solved this problem by way of wedges cut from 4x2's and a set of (previously decent) chisels. The noises this keel made were horrendous - the kind you don't want to hear when the boats in the water, a cross between slow tearing and the sound of fibreglass cracking, you know that brittle 'toppy' sound.

After bucket loads of sweat and alot of filthy language a joint that hadn't been touched for 37 years was finally disturbed and the port keel was off.

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