Lorry Jacks and Levelling

I suppose Friday morning’s PFA meeting where I found myself volunteered to build a giant Cactus Hoopla game for the fundraising Hoe Down should have given me a clue as to how the weekend was going to pan out.  Friday afternoon was gloriously sunny and I carried on stripping paint. Thinking about how to maintain the waterline I broke from the Darth Vader mask and blowtorch combo to make a water level. In amongst the collection of old cracked, leaking and slug blocked hoses in one of the many lean-to sheds, I found 12 metres of relatively flexible garden hose and 2 metres of clear hose. Imagine my delight when the clear fitted snugly over the ordinary and with a metre of it at each end I had a perfect length water level.

Water Level
Water Level

Enlisting the help of Tilly to hold one end we discovered, in between ‘accidental’ soakings, “oh sorry sweetheart, did I get you?” 😄 that Flamingo is about 120mm low at the stern and listing about 10mm to starboard.

A bit more stripping paint helped me mull over the problem. Flamingo is resting on three 150mm x 150mm timbers and it seemed to me that the solution would be to jack the stern up, in order to remove the packing blocks of wood then drop the stern slightly, pivoting the whole boat on its centre support. Once the weight was off the bow I could remove the packing from there and then, pivoting on the centre again, jack the stern up until level. Once level, simply add blocks and wedges to taste… The fact that she is resting on acrow props meant that I could keep her  supported throughout.

So that was the plan, needless to say it didn’t quite work like that. Saturday was spent stripping varnish off the front door… (Of the house!)

The front door after stripping and sanding
The front door after stripping and sanding

Saturday night, impromptu dinner with friends which obviously led to drinks in the cockpit. The phrase ‘bitten off more than you can chew’ wasn’t uttered at all! Perhaps they were being polite.

Sunday, painting the front door with a disappointingly poo brown exterior stain gloop. Heartbreaking really to put in all that effort, sanding and scraping, and get such a rubbish result, but we couldn’t see any way to get rid of the black mould stains, so poo brown it is.

Mouldy old Doors
Mouldy old Doors
Stripped, sanded, cleaned with white spirit… still mouldy.


Sunday afternoon stripping and varnishing (the back door of the house! I need to sort out my priorities…) and then finally half an hour to put my theory into practice…

Venrable Lorry Jacks still in gainful employ.
Venerable Lorry Jacks still in gainful employ.

The stern is about100 mm lower but there is no sign of the bow lifting. I think far from pivoting on the central support she is just sinking it gently into the ground. I may have to employ another jack as a persuader at the bow to help…. But that will be a job for next weekend, when the boys are down and just itching to get stuck in helping with Dad’s project… Or, as is more likely, just happy to stand around laughing at the old man as he grovels about in  the stinging nettles and plays with bits of hose and old lorry jacks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s