Wednesday, 26 October 2011

I've been reading......

Alot about motivation and what makes us do things for their own sake. Seeing as the well keeps running dry lately modern theories propose the concept of visualisation - you know closing your eyes and imaging the finished article which i do a lot of but its just the feeling of a lack of progress that depresses the most at the moment.

Still i'm at the stage of hitting the deck moulding with 404 and then rubbing back, i've been doing this for nearly 3 weeks continuously as well as making a composite fuel tank and a bow roller.

I'm still aiming for keels and rudder on and at least primed by years end as the air is too cold and damp i feel to topcoat but never say never.

I will post some pictures seeing as i haven't for a while but in all honesty not a lot looks different, oh yes I've cut out and bonded up frames to make the locations in the cockpit for instrument panels, gauges and tidies so moving forward a little bit at a time.



Thursday, 8 September 2011


The windows turned out a tad disappointing so have re-thought what i need to do, it doesn't help using marine ply that splinters when you so much as look at it and a rebate cutter that's absolutely screwed when you're not even half way round the first window frame and there's another three more to do.

The idea is sound its just tools and materials have let down a better execution, anyway i have bonded everything onto the coach roof - hatch bases, winch bases, organiser pads clutch pads etc - actually looking quite cluttered on there if not a little more modern.

i can't explain it - the centaur was conceived in the late sixties but adding these components sympathetically seems to have bought a new coherence to the design - really pleased how its turning out, i just want to see what it looks like with a coat of white.

Had a major disaster on my hands on Tuesday when the tarpaulin on the boat shed roof decided it had had enough of being there and blew itself to shreds.

Not so bad you might think and indeed a perfectly salvageable situation but last winter i insulated the roof with fibreglass (Rockwool) so as you can imagine the back garden was 'snowing' for a while until i could get something temporary on top.

Got the tarp on and fitted Wednesday although trying to dismantle the temporary tarps and gingerly remove the shredded original took some perseverance especially in the driving rain anyway the shed is now sporting new colours blue and white with blacked out vents. I made new ones as the water coming through the thread-bare originals is slowly weakening the chipboard floor.

Not much has been done since as a flurry......well i say flurry , i mean a weeks worth of paid work has come in so not much has got done but if it keeps me and the whole project solvent its worth doing.

Cheers roger

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Its becoming a monthly habit - this..........................

Well the rubbing strake's look like new now as i spent a couple of days on them around the start of August pulling all the rotten grain plugs out and replacing with new. The scarf joint on the starboard side got epoxied and clamped so another job ticked off.

What else...........oh yes started work on the hatch surrounds as i finally got the last two hatches delivered, as we speak they have three coats of wests, just a couple more to go and they're ready to be bonded to the deck.

From this i got the idea to make some new window frames in wood, have routed them out from templates i made from the old ones, tomorrow i will sheath them in 200g cloth and see what they look like.

If good i will fit if not well back to the drawing board then next week start bonding everything to the deck .



Saturday, 30 July 2011

A clear head..........

Having been away from the boat for a couple of weeks for various reasons i think a little distance helps bring things into perspective. It was enjoyable rather than anxious walking around my boat; something i hadn't done for a while.

I had a delivery of parts whilst i've away which i duely opened this morning and got excited about as well as another delivery from the excellent folks at east coast fibreglass, quite ironic as i had ordered amongst other things, fire/solvent resistant resin which i would have had a day earlier had the delivery van not caught fire!

Still having had some distance between myself and the project i have re-focussed and will be back to it soon enough.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel.

I am nearing the end of my cockpit locker/engine room nightmare, for tomorrow i start cutting the engine bearers with a template i have made to sit over the propshaft. I think my mood will lift once this is at an end.

After that the engine room is ready for a coat of brilliant white epoxy and a fuel tank which i will make then finally onto the deck moulding from which i got side tracked back in early march! Still having painted the newly made lockers in brilliant white it does look pretty good.

I will post pics when time permits

cheers rog

Friday, 8 July 2011

Just a quicky

When you're fighting gravity it is truly amazing how much time you lose - 3hrs to tab in two 1.5m layers either side of cockpit floor/ engine room top, if there is anything more tedious & or frustrating emails to the above address.

cheers roger

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Enthusiasm where did you go?

I wrote an entry a couple of weeks ago entitled 'Mission Creep' bemoaning the length of time everything is taking having wondered a bit from the original brief. Having read it through i published it and then promptly deleted it as it was incredibly negative and written after a bad day in the shed.

Its strange as two weeks on i still can't get motivated, in my day job as a chippy i move mountains all the time because i have to and i'm paid to.

I think this project has taught me that the only way i seem to function & work my hardest are when there's pressure of some kind and payment involved as i just find it so hard at the moment to get motivated

Chatting to friend the other day i said if someone told me the boat had to be gone in 8 weeks from the back garden i would probably have the entire project wrapped. I'm wondering because there is no immediate pressure of deadline or finance that i have lost my way a little.

Or it could be that after two years of grinding, cutting and sanding i'm finally getting fed up of the boat, having said that i am determined to get it in the water for next season but if i knew then what i know now............................

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Back to work!

Not real work although i have got a weeks worth at the end of this week so i guess having everything ready for primer at the end of June has gone for a burton still could do with the money tbh. Just spent the entire day fighting the rudder tube assembly, i wanted to remove the rotten plywood pad the boss sits on and also when it comes to painting i want the minimum of masking so no chance of any paint peeling.

I had this down as an hours work this morning but hadn't banked on it not playing ball and so ended up wasting most of the day in the workshop fashioning various tools out of mild steel to undo said boss. As is always the case the tool that worked was stupidly simple - a piece of 50mm flat bar about a foot long with two notches cut in to fit around the two pins on the boss, (Centaur owners will know what i mean) and bobs yer uncle.

As of writing i have just got done, such was the effort i've had enough for today plus i smell of wd40 & acetone so beer-a-clock me thinks and back to the cockpit drains and bulkheads tomorrow.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Full ahead stop!

Have come back from Bournemouth Hospital having had my left knee x-rayed and have found the reason why i've been hobbling around the last few days.

It turns out i've damaged the medial ligament in my left knee. Funny really as i had an ace day out on Sunday on a friends Beneteau 285 and the pain seemed to ease either that or as i think was the case i was still drunk from the night before.

Still we had 8.5 knots of boat speed at one point but i did have it on her ear the entire time from Cowes back to Ocean Village, great fun though getting into an impromptu race with a Sadler 29 and a Dufour 325, we beat the Dufour and had caught the Sadler up but then he unfurled his genoa and left us for dead.

However after getting home i sat down for an hour or so then went to get up and realised i could hardly walk and it just got worse throughout Monday, i remember it hurting when i got up from tabbing in a bearer for the gas locker bulkhead but thought nothing of it.

So i've been told to rest my knee for a week or two which is a bit of a pain as all the work for the foreseeable future requires crawling around on my hands and knees.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Almost down to a crawl

Managed to hurt my knee quite badly just my putting all my weight on it via a blob of hardened resin - bloody painful so i have awarded myself a day off (Sat).

Still pushing the jobs through though its funny as its a a bit chicken and egg at the moment in terms of to get one job done i have to undo another.

For example i need to cut the floor away in the aft locker to get access to rudder tube and then this creates access problems to the rest of the area so tabbing in bulkheads blind or at best using a shaving mirror placed in the bilge isn't helping things move none too quick, but progress is progress i guess.

I really don't want this to run past another week as i'm tiring of squeezing myself into spots that are slightly smaller than me.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Slowing down a bit.

Yes the reality of the task is setting in not that i'm surprised but it must be said working on my own is wearing me down of late, i'm still ticking jobs off but the original time frame was 4-6 weeks to get the deck moulding up together to prime.

Well i've had a few work commitments to fulfil but other than that have spent the rest of my time on the boat but somehow it doesn't look any different - its funny had a guy come over to pick up an outboard i'd sold him via ebay and got talking to him about this.

Turns out he was at Southampton Institute the same time i was studying yacht design, he was on the boat manufacture course in the same faculty he encouraged me saying in a few weeks it will suddenly take shape as you pull all these seemingly disparate jobs together. Needless to say he's no longer in boat building, no money in it - i feel this way with cabinet making (the job i had before going to uni and the one i subsequently returned to after dropping out).

So with this encouragement and the fact works scarce i'm still driving through the jobs one of which was cutting away the floors in the back of the boat this included adding two longitudinal bulkheads also got the toe rails cut and glassed in.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


After finishing the pads on the inside of the coach roof it was time to cut in the gas locker so after waiting a couple of minutes for the brave pills to kick in i measured then measured again and just to be sure had one more look then went for it with the air saw.

These are great tools - no vibration relatively light too so all you have to worry about is holding the tool on the line, this enabled me to cut a perfectly accurate shape. I decided to start off small so did the gas locker on Friday which went successfully although i couldn't get over the thickness of the lay up in the cockpit (12 - 14 mm).

On Saturday i framed it up with marine ply creating the drainage detail and sides which will take the hinge and ram. It feels a bit hairy as the grain is raised from me drowning everything in resin but i'm pleased with the initial result so will start filling/fairing later in the week.

Monday came and buoyed with the success of the gas locker i decided to retire the brown trousers and red tunic such was my confidence and began marking out the big locker on the starboard side.

I'm pleased to report it went without a hitch and i now have the beginnings of two decent looking lockers. The point of this was to create storage and obviously to adhere to gas regulations but above all i hate those bloody sit-on mouldings that westerly made and fitted from the late seventies onwards.

They leak they don't look great imo and they're uncomfortable to sit on, the early boats (laurent giles era) had proper moulded-in lockers so i guess the accountants had a say in the making of the newer ones shame really.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

That's that bit done.....................

Got the last reinforcement that i can do done as irish as that sounds i have two more on the forward part of the coach roof to take the organisers but until i know where a couple of other pieces of hardware are going to go i can't place them yet.

I have got through all of the 25kgs of polyester with about an 1" left in the bottom, decided i'm going to take my brave pills tomorrow and start on the cockpit lockers. I say brave pills as this involves alot of cutting in the cockpit and in such a way that if done wrong will take a lot to put right.

So will spend a large part of Thursday drawing lines all over the cockpit and checking where existing bulkheads are, i was going to jump onto the hatches and companionway hatch but since i'm still waiting for the two hatches for the saloon i will concentrate/do battle with the cockpit area once more and just when i thought the aft locker was a memory too.

I'll post some piccy's of the reinforcing work end of the week.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Still kicking ass and taking names.

Yes as the yanks would say its still full steam ahead in the shed and what with the epiphany i've had this week about using polyester resin its all going swimmingly.

Since the start of the project i've been using west's epoxy but what with money being thin and the need to get on with work i have decided to use polyester for internal/non-structural work and leave the epoxy for external/structural stuff - its saving a small fortune.

This past week i have got all the deck reinforcements bonded into place and have started tabbing them to the hull, the only fly in the ointment is the styrene fumes - in a confined space its postively awful even with a full respirator & eye protection but at one sixth the price of epoxy i will be using this stuff alot more.

Next week after i've finished the inside of the deck my attentions turn to the outside of the deck. That entails cutting away the old box hatch surround and to get the new ones made primed and dry-fitted to the deck along with continuing the filling and fairing i'm on course to get the deck finished in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Go with throttle up......................

Progress has been stunning the last couple of days, getting lots done as the weather is better and my work has slowed off so i have made a conscious effort to get on and get as much done as possible.

I have allocated the next four weeks towards getting the deck moulding completed to primer coat stage so thats everything - hatch surrounds, rig reinforcements, custom mouldings etc all done in 4 weeks.

After this my attention will turn to everything below the rubbing strakes, namely keels back on hull sheathed, rudder and skeg fitted. Overall i'm giving myself ten weeks to get the lot done then after that i'm hoping the weather will be good enough to get the guns out and paint.

Having a pc in the shed is paying dividends as i have a spreadsheet set up with the days tasks on it. As i write up tasks on a timeline i can tick them off as they get done, i find this a more structured way of working from which i get a sense of accomplishment.

The last few days i blasted the anchor locker out and got the remaining few bits of hardware in the stem out, i've sanded back the coachroof ready for another hit of wests, routed out and vacuum bagged the mast foot area with marine ply & cloth & drilled out every single hole in the deck ready to be filled so plenty done with plenty to do.

Oh yes and i have also taken delivery of some of the hatches that will be fitted and yes they look awesome.

Cheers rog

Monday, 31 January 2011

It may have stopped raining but...............

Its still too bloody cold to do anything, i got 98% humidity and minus 1 degrees for the last couple of weeks so have no alternative but to wait this out, although the boat shed gets nice and toasty with the gas heater on i must admit.

The problem is the cost of running the thing; so for the time being i will console myself by renovating the inflatable dinghy since a good friend has breathed life into the previously dead outboard.

I'll post some pics when its all done and i've got the summerhouse back to looking like a summerhouse and not a paint shop

cheers rog