Monday, 27 January 2014

I'm still here

Ah well, you could be forgiven for thinking that I'd given up or won the lottery or been abducted.  The truth is I'm not clever enough to know when to give up, lucky enough to win the lottery or desirable enough to abduct so I guess my absence can only of been down to the weather, which has kept me well and truely pinned down.
Shortly after putting the tarp over Ciao Bella we had the gales so that had to come down, the rain has been both persistent and horizontal. With a break in the weather on Sunday afternoon I went for a nose around. On lifting the cabin sole I was greeted by two inches of rain water, no mystery here; it had been blown between the hatch and the washboards.
I picked on a job that I could do quickly, the rudder pintle repair that I did last year on the beach needed some adjustment.

I had somehow measured incorrectly and when it came to fitting it between tides I'd had to make a hurried bodge job.  As you can see in the picture above, the stainless straps don't project far enough past the skeg. I'd had to drill through the bottom plate and attach the Plastic bush with a vertical bolt.  This was a bit wobbly in use and didn't inspire me with confidence when it was hauled out at the end of the season.

My solution was to move the fitting back and redrill the skeg.  The bush is now held with a horizontal bolt which will keep it in position in the SS channel.  When the temp picks up I will need to remove it again to epoxy fill the original holes but it feels like a step forward. 

I had also had trouble with Antifoul adhesion last year.  I think I had used some silicon based cleaning products and hadn't prepared the areas to be painted well enough.  While it was still dry and light I went around and scraped the effected areas back to the gel coat.  I will ensure it is properly keys this year.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Got the January blues

It's wet.... It's so wet and cold that I've barely moved from in front of the TV in weeks.  Not that there has been anything worth watching on telly.  Wall to wall star wars and crap costume drama's. Ughh!
The cabin fever is getting too me and the day job is not, as they say, floating my boat at the moment.
This morning I made rather too much espresso and banana gelato,  can I eat my way out of January?  One of the many excuses that I have for not doing anything on Ciao Bella is that it's just too wet, the cabin is constantly damp and cold and the cockpit is swimming as the scuppers keep getting blocked with leafs and moss off the house roof.
Well following a conversation about setting a date for this years cross channel attempt, oh yes; 21st June and the following week are in the diary; I did get off my are this afternoon and drape a tarp over the cockpit and cabin.
Hopefully now the locker lid will dry out so I can rub them back and varnish. I'll also be able to leave the wash boards out to let air circulate and maybe even start to strip paint from the anti slip areas.
Its been a long time coming but I think the enthusiasm is starting to build again... I'm off to the boat show on Monday with Sparrow Steve so I'd better get a wish list together.
Projects for this year include:
Rig the boom for easy reefing.
Move the heads and create a functioning V berth.
Overhaul the mainsheet track and fittings.
Cure some more leaks.
Make a sail cover.
Paint the decks and coach roof.