Wednesday, 24 December 2014


Enjoy your holidays and see you in the new year, I won't be posting much in the first few months of 2015 as i'm back to paid work next week but feel free to check out the blog and leave comments.


Monday, 15 December 2014

A step forward

This last week and today has been spent making a new companionway, again as its a jigsaw puzzle where the position of all the pieces are known to someone else certainly not me i realised a few weeks back the companionway is a pivotal piece of joinery which will determine where the galley starts and also where the battery compartments display panel will go hence i got the lid scribed and fitted then stopped to build the companionway. 

I wanted the door to stay attached as it being of such a wieldy size i dont like the idea of it sitting around loose while you work on the engine so a trip to the local builders merchants got me two polished 304 stainless butt hinges, the gas struts will have to wait until finances improve or i go out back out to work full time.

Speaking of which having killed a couple of sheets of ply needlessly  well not needlessly but trying out different ideas with the tanks i now have concluded its easier on my pocket to prototype in MDF and then nip, tweak and fettle till i'm happy with the overall theme then transfer everything to marine ply, also went wild and bought new blades for the table saw and circular saw as it was getting silly with the quality of the cuts i was producing. Got so bad thought of asking the neighbour but one if i could borrow a rifle to cut the boards with.

Stopped midweek for a day after receiving an email the previous weekend asking for some help on a Westerly with the pox which i duely did, the guy should now be well on the way to getting his boat back to health.
Then it was back into all things companionway based, now i constantly scour the net for ideas and had some pretty wild ones for these steps but you know what, at the end of the day you can't beat simplicity and also time so the brief was simple: dimension the old steps and reproduce it to suit the new.

And having the bonus of all the materials i required in the form of some old unused window sill boards i got to work today running them through the planer having finished building the cabinet surround and panel by the end of last week.

All that left to finish is to veneer the front of the cabinet and make and fit the cheek pieces which i'll do tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A little bit to show.

Haven't achieved a great deal this week, but got a bit further along and ticked a few more things off my mega list; these included building and mounting the lid for the battery box, making up plywood panels to section off the different lockers under the cockpit* and making the box that the galley module will sit on.

*This was a pain in the arse as the space i'm working in is 2/3rds the size of me, i swear when i sectioned the cockpit when i made all those lockers it was a darn site easier than i find it now as more than a couple of days in there and my knees swell up - weird!

Still thats done, just needs a couple of coats of white but seeing as its so cold in the shed and i don't want large heating bills i may wait to paint these bits, the big job i started on Thursday after finishing the battery box for now was the galley box.

To be more precise the foundation the galley will sit on, i had to make it so it so access was maintained to the keel bolts although considering the spreader plates are bonded to the stub floor theres not a lot you can do other than tightening the nuts, if any 'big maintanence needs doing it'll mean an air saw and lots of swearing but i try not to think of these things now.

Didn't get it totally finished today but will have it bonded to the hull and wrapped to tomorrow. Again i've realised there's an order to the chaos in so far as i can't build out the galley until the companionway is built seeing as that will abutt the galley and the battery /electrical are on the other so will get that in then sort the floor out whilst trying to keep the ply waterproof.

Its not worm proof thats for sure as i routed out the 2mm strip to take the glass tabbing to find loads of 1mm lines in the lamination below all in random directions.

Until the next time.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Pleasure / Pain

I've come to realise everythings about payoffs in this life; what you do or feel on the one hand may have implications on the other and so as the interest in finishing the boat returns my bank balance and means of replenishing it dwindle away. 

Having come to an understanding with myself regarding this projects completion motivates me now but unfortunately i will have to break off to earn some more money to keep it on track. I'm still pricing work all the time yet have none to go to as the level of dickheads.............(sorry, i mean potential customers) that cross my path seem to increase ever more. To clarify; we all get the dreamers, the wafflers and the damn-right dishonest in our work lives but a new category i discovered this week is the 'clueless expert'.

For having no background in my industry a customer told me this week that what i'd conservatively estimated as being a couple of days work could infact be done in four hours, "brilliant, how?" i asked looking them dead in the eye.

"Well you know you lot always over estimate your quotes - dont you?", no actually, i always quote based on hours required to do the work & what the job will entail - if i'm quicker i'll charge you less if something unforseen slows the job up i'll charge more - simple. So the customer eventually agrees abeit reluctantly, everythings cool to come in Monday to start after looking at it Friday night then the texts start Saturday morning, "will it include X?" no because when i asked you you didn't want that, "Will it include Y?" No because you were taking care of that from the conversation we had, "well it has to include 'everything' ".

Sure no problem, i'm thinking more work equals more money but then the text appears on my phone screen "we've had a thought and we're only prepared to go to £150", thats a days money for the extras, okay thats doable but no it turns out thats for the whole job!

So i'm expected to work for nigh on three days driving there and back everyday (45mins each way) burn out cutters and blades on the tools (its a kitchen renovation, new tops, doors etc) use a box or two of screws  and gas nails and all for £50 a day.

Now I'll do my utmost to swing a job for the sake of a few quid but increasingly this is what i deal with time after time after time - where people treat me like ebay insofar as "we're prepared to go to this figure", but what about the hours, materials, knowledge etc? No apparently you now just pluck a figure out the sky and i'm supposed to bend over and take it. I've had this all year for reasons best known to everyone but me as my day rate is shrinking as i'm aging yet still no work?

Its not much different with the housebuilders too as this austerity 'narrative' that runs through the country is nothing more than a convenient smokescreen for firms to cut everything including what was until a couple of years ago - a livable wage. 

Although i've enjoyed working on the boat recently - and i'm not bitter when i say this - i'm quite sure this project will be the last time i use my power tools in anger as i'm completely done with the world of woodworking - the numbers just don't add up anymore.

For me 2014 has been the year of the bullshitter where paid works concerned, i'm done dealing with shifty-arse builders, hormonal housewives, and idiot husbands who have not a bloody clue what they're talking about or what it takes to do my job yet seek to tell me how long it'll take and therefore what it will cost.

Still - to the boat - got both the battery and tank compartments fitted out plus spent yesterday fiddling about making a zero clearance insert for the site saw to make my kerfing more accurate, it worked too as i was able to cut and bend a piece of 12mm marine ply through 90 degrees.

The reason being as theres alot of curves still to make inside i can't face going through the foam, ply, epoxy & former nightmare so wil build a simple former to manipulate the wood over it and then using polyester resin set it to that shape. 

I say polyester resin as its 'indoors' (galley) and not structural which was always the test for its use and seeing as i have gallons of the stuff plus every additive known to man for it i may as well use it up.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

She's in!

There i was making and installing insulation panels Monday when the phone went, "Rog its Tony - you about tomorrow?" "yeah" i replied "okay John and I about if you want to fit this engine" at this point i knew i was a mile off but for some reason said "yeah sure come on over".

Suddenly it dawned on me how much there was to do to get the shed operational, that meant digging out the scaff tower from down the back of the garden where it was now grown in and in pieces.

Then cut the sheet of 25mm ply i had left over from doing the keels to fit across the cockpit as well as build a stud frame in front of the companionway hatch to support the roof and a lintel timber to take the block and tackle as well as brace the shed roof and on top of  all of that finish insulating the compartment of which i had attached the second panel! 

Still nothing like a bit of adrenalin to get things accomplished, 10 years ago it'd been a couple of grams of you know what but today its simple - nerves!

By this morning (Tues) all i had left to do was build the braces having worked into the night i got the engine transferred onto its installation crate and built the scaff tower around it. By 8am i'd been to screwfix bought yet more stainless bolts and been whizzing round like a blue-arsed fly doing the last bits to the boat. 

Still when the guys showed up i was sort of there or thereabouts, i explained the plan to which everyone nodded then got on making the braces whilst Tony and John got the engine hauled up the back of the boat.

Great blokes to have around, very zen - the pair of them - nice and calm, no shouting just quietly diligent, i need people like this around me in such times as i'm the one - whilst trying to style it out externally - internally i'm over-thinking everything wondering whether we're gonna pull the shed roof down or what happens if one of us gets hurt, should i put more ladders out etc.

When i walked back up the ladder with one of the braces Tony' sat cross-legged in the cockpit looking like a student revising for an exam (reading Calders tome) and John was marking up a bit of wood for me to cut to turn into a support for the prop shaft, absolutely ice cool.

All i can say - and its with a huge amount of gratitude to them both - is it ran like gravy, by the time they left my place  the engine was in, aligned with the feet nuts done up loose all there ready to be bolted down tight tomorrow.

Have to admit had a bit of a play with the couplings and bolted them altogether as well as sliding the prop shaft back and forth from outside just to make sure i wasn't dreaming, it really does all line up.

I'm well chuffed with the time i put into making the original jig to set the bearers and rails up with.

It paid dividends today along with the crate as we slid the engine off that and down onto the rails it was with very little adjustment that the engine lined up.

Today will go down in my diary as a memorable one, for it was a year ago today i started building the workshop, i remember thinking (at a low ebb) around that time.....mmm; chainsaw or workshop?

After today i'm Glad i chose the 'workshop' option..................

Sunday, 16 November 2014

It still works?

Having cut and carved my way through the wiring loom and re-routed alot of the electrical so its now accessible, one question; does it still all work?

Of course it does...............................................phew!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Cut the black wire.

My confidence is improving with the engine as i now know what every part does and where each cable goes and connects to, quite impressive for a dolt like me. To further simplify and bring piece of mind meant cutting away all the cable protection and bringing the cables up into the light where they could be seen.

It bothered me since last week when i started prepping it and was genuinely looking where the cables went; sure you could see the big loom plug and a foot of cable conduit which disappeared into the engine not before obscuring the dipstick which in turn obscured the impeller cover, i know great idea that - very service friendly!

Still with the engine working (see last post) i could take my brave pills and set about the wiring loom as it was during Tony's checks the other day i could see a multitude of cables bent back and stuffed down behind all manner of pipes and lines so last night disconnected said ancillaries and got busy with the cutters slicing off every last piece of conduit to expose the cables.

I'd researched this before doing a thing to look up what to cover the loom in to leave it loose enough and still afford  a little protection - the answer was loom tape - didn't know the stuff existed so bought three rolls, only used half of one. So now all the cabling has a woolly look but to access all i need do is undo - simple.

Not to knock the people who built mine as Beta and others all use said conduit but knowing its ability to spread fire in confined space and be an absolute ballache to maintain and repair cabling hidden inside it i'd rather do something with it now before access becomes a problem. 

Also soldered every spade connector connection with these absolute genius invention, still got the alternator on the bench as i got to the bottom of the mystery of a missing negative stud.

  Turns out i can use anything on the alternator (apart from the 'W' and '+' marked stud as its an 'earth return alternator' which means it has no designated negative so just use any part thats bare metal, engine block etc so have ordered a replacement bolt that the bottom of the alternator connects to via a load of spacers so they'll be enough space left at the end to bolt on the boats neg. connection.

Spent today refurbishing a pair of old battery cables from the boat as well as getting sorted for one more test fire - more to check i haven't buggered anything up with the loom - then into the boat next week. 

That should be fun..................................i think?

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Its Alive!!!

At long last (and with the help of Tony Corcoran fellow Centaur owner) the engine finally fired into life, took a bit of coaxing but on the third attempt she came alive. The only things that bother me after today is the loom which is drum-tight around the engine and the alternator which doesn't have a clearly defined negative post or rather the one thats identified on the manufacturers website is clearly missing on mine so we stuck the negative on one of the mounting studs which HMI identified. When i fired the engine up tonight the battery light on the panel constantly flickered and the engine was hunting a bit so need to look at this before placing in the boat.

Still, one persons incompetence at building and wiring an engine can only be a great opportunity to learn a thing or two, so tomorrow i'll start photographing and identifying every cable with the cable tidies removed then start the grand re-route. As previously mentioned so much is buried behind ancillaries, squeezed and pinched between filters and dipsticks and some wires even bent almost 180 degrees back on themselves and wrapped so tightly in cable tidy material its just a problem waiting to happen.

Seeing as the long and rather lumpy strapline to this project is "i'm never coming this way again - ever" i'd rather sort it now then have it haunt me in a couple of seasons time. I must give a ton of thanks to Tony, a bloke who's level-headedness and methodical approach to trouble-shooting got the engine running and at one stage, making a dash for the door hence in the first film you see me drop everything and stand with my feet between the crate as the engine makes a bid for freedom.

We both concluded the wiring diagram would have made more sense in another language (preferably english)as it was down to good old-fashioned detective work finding what each wire did based on the hieroglyphs supplied by HMI, abit of common sense and of course 'the bible.'  No not that one; it didn't get that bad, we weren't in the garden around the dustbin asking for a sign or anything, i mean the boatowners bible; Mr Calder's excellent treatise on electrical & mechanical systems.

By mid afternoon it was time to push buttons, which reminds me i'm pretty sure i paid for the intermediate panel which comes with gauges but had to console my disappointment  with the comedy-sized 'stop' button on my basic one instead, might change the button which is black to red and make it even bigger. The purpose of today was to get the engine running which we did for after a masterclass from Tony regarding cooling circuits, electrical systems and a few pointers on what to look out for on my engine  i feel a lot less wary about all things oily and metallic.

Friday, 7 November 2014


Dragged the engine out of the dark corner in my garage today where its lane for the last six and a half years, out into the light it came covered in a thick layer of dust curiously chipped of a lot of paint and corroding in places and this is in a dry garage christ knows what it will resemble after a season in the boat, probably not alot different to the previous incumbent,

Still got on with bagging and taping up inlets, outlets and everything electrical and spent a couple of hours washing it with some hot water, washing-up liquid and various paint brushes, started to like it as the shine came back and the big v-belt front end i kept staring at made me like it a little more.

Then mentally got ready for the drag around the garden to the shop although not as bad as a 600kg keel it still made my back scream a little, got there and after some nifty work with timber offcuts and alot of swearing got it into the shed it was only on dragging it through thedoor i noticed how pissed the belt line was on the front of the engine.

I remember the engineer who came out and had a look tell me it needed doing but paid scant attention to it, on further inspection i realised it was a biggy, so photographed the wiring to the alternator and took pictures of the general arrangement of the front end before breaking it down. Thought i should check the alt. to see if the casting was bent and similarly with the front of the engine block - long shot i know but both were straight as a die, i concluded my engine had been assembled quite poorly, i'd phone Headley at EnginesPlus if i thought he'd pick the phone up, no matter.

After getting momentarily angry at having spent £3350 on an engine that i'm now disassembling i shrugged and realised this is yet another experience i've had over the years with the 'marine' industry where no matter what you spend is any indication of fitness for purpose or indeed the job being done right.

Some three hours of barking knuckles and a bit more salty language i got the belt pulling in the right direction with the alternator this time firmly attached to the front of the engine. Seeing as i found the bottom bolt with the spacers was finger tight with the spacers free to move about on the bolt so doing nothing to keep the alt straight and under tension.

Still on more positive note had a good result after much surfing i found a company called Hyphose who supplied me with all the hoses for the engine compartment at a fraction of the cost of the usual online swindleries to the tune of a 45% saving. Also picked up a flexible coupling and a bilge pump too so as the engines fitted all these parts can go in whilst access is good. 
Tomorrow i plan to go to Maplins and buy up a load of heat shrink and insulate every connection on the engine as the myriad spade connectors; kind of reminds me of my first car which was dodgy as hell where lights and power were concerned so want to head that off before i lose access to alot of it when fitted.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Wall to wall wood!

Still going at my usual glacial pace, the intention was to get the motor in and whilst waiting for several bits to be delivered i made a start - be it several weeks back - on the settee module and over the course of a couple of weeks i actually found myself enjoying the work as:

a) it didn't involve sanding something
b) it didn't involve using west's, glassfibre and therefore getting itchy & 
c) it did involve using my brain, capping veneering and planing materials.

Plus it draws on what i used to do for a living many moons ago although i don't do much 'fine' work as at present here in the UK the economy is still in such a parlous state that no one wants a good job they all still want a cheap one so my paid work seems limited to what i affectionately call 'turd polishing'.

In case you're wondering this is where the client makes a big thing of saving old bits of the job to be re-used in the new in some vain attempt to save money but in the process ends up spending more money in time & labour saving loads of old shit that it ends up costing as much if not more than making a new in the first place hence the overall look to the new job resembles that of a - yes you've guessed it - a polished turd,........... ahem.... i've wondered off message a bit haven't I?

Still when i'm not secretly seething about the futile actions of these blithering idiots i have to deal with i console myself by saving all the good stuff for me or to be more precise my boat hence i cracked on making the settee and what a joy it was too.

Got most of it finished off apart from the seat back that'll form the infill for the double but i can't make that as i don't know how long it'll be because i've yet to make the companionway steps and frame it'll sit against so for now its back into your favourite space and mine the coffin........ i mean the engine compartment. (Bloody feels like one though).

The goal is to get the insides fitted by Christmas along with the engine sat on its bearers so i'm gonna start making the sled it'll sit on to be test-fired at some point in the near future............................


Sunday, 26 October 2014


Totally forgot to post my day out i had a couple of weeks ago helping a couple of mates pull their Centaurs from the river in Chirstchurch. Hence the piccy above of Tony's boat and Zafira pulling John's custom-made trailer, be it not very far - just to the other side of the car park.

For a boat that weighs somewhere in the region of three to four tonnes i was quite surprised the little car had that much pull although there was a distinct odour of clutch in the air. For the second boat we used my van as the primary hauler. But a fun morning nonetheless.

Getting rather giddy with excitement as i started veneering the top of the sofa frame with a load of scraps of the 1.5mm ply i used to make the internals look pretty and have to say it got my mojo hooked up and running again, dunno how long it'll last but i'll keep going till it runs out.

Gonna finish it off this afternoon (sunday) fill the screw heads on the inner front panel as i'll paint that white, also after much measuring concluded i'd have a double with a maximum width of some 54" so an actual genuine double berth as opposed to Westerly's idea of a double being some three and a bit foot.

Almost got the engine compartment ready, just waiting on some insulation and components for exhaust, water and fuel systems then we should be good to go. I've decided to fire the engine up on dry land to make sure there's no problems before fitting so i'll make a crate that the engine can be bolted to and will also act as a sled to put   in front of the engine compartment to help slide it down onto its rails.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The good ship Emmental.

It was only when i stepped back, almost off the stern i realised today just how much i've cut out of the arse end of my Centaur, the latest in 'weight-saving' came about from cutting a 10" diameter hole in the cockpit floor to access the fuel tanks systems.
Real pleased as its a big improvement on what was there plus it also allows the tank to be cleaned and everything coming off of it can be checked if problems occur. Like everything on this project it wasn't straight forward, taking until lunch before i had the tank where i wanted it , positioned, fixed down and then removed so i could paint.

Must of had the bloody thing in and out a dozen times including undoing and doing up the screws that hold the tanks feet on too! Still all worthwhile so now i know that works i'm hoping to do one more coat in the bilges tomorrow then bolt in the tank permanently as well as the rails.

 The only shame is the tank will be permanently mounted and wont be removable as the back feet have to be fitted after the front feet are on and the tank is strapped down. Found out after much head-scratching this morning the plate with all the inlets and outlets had to be removed to get the tank in the gap as the reinforcing cross beam that keeps the cockpit floor from collapsing obstructs the tank, still you cant have it all. I guess if it had to come out i'd find a way i'm sure.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Lounging around.

Got to frame up the settee today after running out the hardwood to the desired dimensions, decided to frame it all up as per Richard Gunn's Mk1 Griffon, i've made a couple of cock-up's but overall nothing that cant be sorted and does look like a reasonable copy of said Griffon. 

Tomorrow i'm off to look at an engine compartment or two to crystalise a few ideas seeing as the paint i applied last weekend and Monday has only just dried back so i'll get on the case next week. 

Was hoping to mount the steel angles on Tuesday but for the paint hence i moved onto framing up the settee instead. Tomorrow i'll tab in the settee as i've left this until last as i'd rather work around the joinery than vice-versa.

The framing' under considerable pressure, a testament to the epoxy and PU adhesive that's bonded the 
bulkheads to the hull, for all my whinging it does the job i guess. Then onto the engine compartment get the rails in then that 'll allow me to close in the 'utility room' where the additional tanks live; get the bulkhead (i made weeks ago) bonded in then we've officially closed the back of the boat off from the saloon that'll allow me to then frame up the galley too. 

If by Christmas i can be back outside finishing the deck details i'll be a happy bunny...............well more happier than i've been in while on this..................



Thursday, 9 October 2014

The last word on my funk.................

Having had a week away from the boat, i've now drawn up a brief i intend sticking to. It doesn't take away the fact my hearts not really in it but now its about getting the boat to the finish line without going bankrupt.

What has this project taught me, well in my experience so far?

1) Make sure you have the funds before you start.

2) Build a workshop or a shed big enough to work in close proximity to the boat.

3) Have a plan and stick to it.

4) Only use epoxy resin for external/structural apps unless you're looking to go bust and especially when restoring a Centaur, Vinyl or Poly is perfectly adequate just not the strongest.

4) Never buy a boat with the intention of restoring (at least in the UK) as the costs are almost prohibitive (even if the boats free) a fact compounded when viewing the costs of tidy secondhand boats. I was never in this to make a profit but seeing how far secondhand values and fallen through the floor its hard to grasp the fact that what i've spent on this project to date would get me almost any Westerly in very good fettle excluding the Oceanlord and Oceanmaster. That'll give you an idea of what i've spent!

5) Give yourself no more than a year to complete, motivation is hard to maintain after that as well as the cash flow hence rule 1.

So from here on in its neither a pleasure nor a chore just a job that needs expediting....................

Ta ta

Saturday, 4 October 2014

No more clever ideas.

I've likened the relavence of my project to Marcel Marceau' voice coach and the frustrations it bestows on me to that of pushing water uphill by hand, yet this week - like the last - i would find time still having its way with me.

I'll admit for the first time (in a long time) doubts are starting to creep in about this boat ever seeing the sea again, i know whats happened and its this; this projects gone on too long. 

Largely through my own fault but aided and abetted by a continual lack of funds / time plus the decisions made and methods used.

I got real down midweek when several ideas i drew up, made then realised wouldn't work and so the (now) common site of lots of wasted materials all over the shop and a hell of a lot of wasted time sent me down the hole for a while.

In the past i'd have a cider or six and tell myself tomorrows another day but i have to keep my head 'on' as the clock is now ticking (for reasons i won't go into) so from this point forward the boat will be alot simpler inside and out which is not what i wanted (a full repro Centaur) but I can't help but think i've over-reached myself.

I've alluded to it before but i still can't get a pace or a rhythm going with this work, one of the culprits being the choice of resin used. I'm pretty sure i'll never come this way again but if i did, one thing that sticks out for sheer amount of time and money required to step-up, process and execute is epoxy resin, i will never use this stuff again i'm sure.

Apart from the above reasons, i was taping a couple of pieces the other day using poly resin and having it kick in minutes and then being able to then move on to the next bit; god it was brilliant - i actually got some momentum going for a while rather than the experience of epoxy:

First wrestle everything into the bag then find the leaks then get it pulled down and leave for 24 hours then pull it out the bag and find sanding work is needed to clean the part up before fitting - it gets me down. Not least because of all the vac tape, peel ply, breather cloth, bagging material as well as the epoxy itself at nearly £400 a keg that you have to buy to make this nightmare a reality in the first place.

What seem like the simplest of ideas on paper take a bloody lifetime to make,  i am of course not discounting a lack of talent on my part but i'm getting tired trying to accomplish simple things whilst expending such enormous amounts of effort. EDIT: I should add the workshop has proved invaluable in getting done what i have but i'm still so far away.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

How hard can this be?

This week started off fairly leisurely as i attended (imo) the Southampton Yawnfest otherwise known as the Southampton Boat Show which highlighted in almost every way why sailing and boating is on an unstoppable decline here in the UK. 

For if the sheer indistinguishablility of nearly every boat there either power or sail didn't make you reach for the exits as well as the just insane costs that are new-boat prices it was the studied indifference; the almost aloofness of a good number of staff apparently wanting your business.
It absolutely beats the shit out of me and brings out my inner class-warrior; to see hoards of old white folk as well as the younger 'beautiful' people staring down their nose as you walk past, admittedly i am a long haired ginger with tattoo's down my arm's but what happened to the credo of everyone's a potential customer?

That was the first visit in about eight years and will probably be the last for the foreseeable future unless someone can design a sailboat that's not, a) the nautical equivilent of a Rover 75 or b) a floating homage to the Korean Car Industry. 

Moving on, this week can best be described as 'challenging' having got very well acquainted with my former i'd built the previous Saturday then rebuilt twice this last week..........bored!

I've learnt this week that industrial-strength double sided tape appears to have a much higher bonding strength than epoxy! I know, i'm baffled by it too but its cost me a heap of time and money finding out that fact. 
After one side of the form imploded at the first attempt at a stupidly low pressure i later found out after i'd put additional stiffeners in i'd broken its back too which created a less than perfect outcome but one thats salvageable.

So the goal next week is to start bonding all this into the hull, i cut back the floor grid so i can get a perfect lamination down the inside front of the settee berth and onto the hull, i'm err-ing more to the MK1 Griffon approach of a large pull out to make the double berth.  

I've got a 100m roll of oak capping coming too as i dug out all the oak then realised how much time and effort would be needed to run it out to 2 - 3mm plus not possessing a band saw would make this job way more arduous using a table saw so thought it more prudent seeing how much time i've lost this week.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Of seats & seating ............

I never thought something as simple as a settee could make my brain ache this much. Since Thursday i spent most of Friday and today measuring my ones indoors  as well as looking at websites regarding ergonomics and the approximate dimensions required by the average human being and finally i distilled all this information as to what i think is most practical for my Centaur.

I started Saturday sheathing the first of many foam components; the bulkhead that will book-end the settee from the port corner that will be comm's, electrics and cable central. I think what i'm getting nervous about is finally after some five years i now have to decide exactly where everything's going.

Hence the two days on the settee arrangement, plus i've been conversing with a mate of mine who i sailed with who had (and now sold) a MK2 Griffon and got the skinny on how that double berth arrangement worked as well as trawling the internet for any other ideas although i do like the MK1 Griffon idea of a pull out like a big drawer.

Then it hit me why not actually make them as big drawers for storing stuff, the only problem i can think of is if you needed to get to a keel bolt you'd have to pull the lot out like you were making the double up then you'd be two foot away from the keel bolts so the idea still needs tweaking.

I like the MK2 idea of folding out 180 degrees a panel that forms the double but the only thing i dont like is seeing the barrel of the hinge along the front edge. I'll have to make a decision as i want to start building it Monday along with the corner part of the sofa of which i made the former for today.


Thursday, 11 September 2014

There's more............

Thought i'd post yesterdays success that is the new chain plate mounts, after going through Eric's impeccably detailed drawings i decided to add a sheet of grp each side as the lay-up inside the hull is slightly more lumpy than the moon to create a flat even surface.

Other than that and the extra layer of cloth, everything is as per the drawing, whilst i was taking a little methodical detour i also thought it prudent to vacuum this lot too. Only problem was no bagging material other than my 10 x 5 bag i keep for laminating sheets with so in the name of progress i sacrificed it and cut it up to make two separate disposable systems for each side.

The first one (starboard) didn't go according to plan as there were too many pin holes in it so after what seemed like an eternity i tore it from the hull got another sheet of the material and tried again; it finally pulled down but only to 29Hg and not after loads of massaging of the tape all around the edges.

The port side was way more boring; went like a Wests text book of how to vacuum, be it alot more untidy than a Wests demo but i'm happy to say it pulled down on the first attempt even with a leak which i later taped up.

So i now have two rather large areas of reinforcement on either side of the hull to take the cap and inner shrouds down to. Knowing this when i'm pushing hard to windward fills me with confidence about stepping a larger backstay-less rig.

Yesterday was also a day for drawing lines all over the inside of the boat to ascertain the final position of the settee berth to port as well as battery boxes.
I've based eveything seated on my own sofas in my house and at the moment it appears that i'll be sitting almost in the bilges but i want comfort and to do that means a seat height where you can sit back and relax.

Unfortunately the Centaur doesn't have the beam of the Griffon but keeping a similar arrangement, i.e: sat beneath the side decks will be alot more relaxing than the sit-up-and-beg type seating that the dinette layout had. Although you wont be able to look directly out the windows when seated like you can on an original Centaur but then you can't on a Griffon.......