Stripping off in the sun

Arthritis is a pain in the arse… or to be more precise, a pain in the hands. Two days of paint stripping has left me swollen and sore but strangely satisfied. I made the decision to strip the whole hull and not just below the waterline to make sure there were no nasties lurking under the layers of paint, and though it has obviously vastly increased the work it has given me a better appreciation of Flamingo’s lines and reassured me that she really is pretty sound despite her tatty looks.

Losing the paint reveals Flamingo's form and the striping of the planks accentuates her lines.
Losing the paint reveals Flamingo’s form and the striping of the planks accentuates her lines.

There seems to be a cove line running just below the rubbing strake. It has been filled in for some reason, perhaps to save hassle repainting, or perhaps for aesthetic reasons.

The cove line has been filled in.
The cove line has been filled in.

Whatever the reason I think it might be nice to reinstate it.

Despite the aching joints, stripping paint in the warm sun has an almost therapeutic quality about it, my mind drifts to future weekends spent, not scraping and aching but sailing and basking… the sparkle of sun on the water the slap slap of water on the hull, perhaps the soft pop of a bottle being opened… bugger! Another burnt bit!

Taking a rest from scraping I get down below to remove the huge clonky sides of the fore cabin bunks. Very safe and reassuring in the rough stuff I’m sure, but almost impossible to get into your bunk. Anyway they are now removed and I can start to work out just how to squeeze a double berth into this tiny space.

Now to squeeze a luxurious bed into this space...
Now to squeeze a luxurious bed into this space…

The blue line hanging down shows where the anchor chain falls. I think some sort of tube will be needed to direct it away from our feet!

All the scraping and stripping has revealed a lot of repairs. I’m not sure whether these are bodges or proper jobs, a question for the Wooden Boat Forum I think.

Patches cut in where the frames are bolted through
Patches cut in where the frames are bolted through

Slightly worried about how much the timber seems to have been compressed around the bolt heads!

Further inspection of the fore cabin reveals how the stem has been repaired. There is a solidified avalanche of epoxy resin that has poured down the inside of the bow!

 

Not exactly in keeping with traditional boatbuilding techniques, but probably very very strong!
Not exactly in keeping with traditional boat building techniques, but probably very very strong!

As I was stripping I wondered what these filled in holes might be for, a quick look inside and all was revealed, bolts for the running back stay pulleys. I love how the construction of these old boats is all there to see if you know what to look for.

Mysterious filled holes
Mysterious filled holes
All is revealed
All is revealed
Pulleys for the running backstays
Pulleys for the running backstays

Even though Flamingo is outside I’m still wearing a mask, and given the beautiful colour of the flames coming off the paint there is good reason.

Sitting down on the job
Sitting down on the job
Beautiful but probably highly toxic.
Beautiful but probably highly toxic.

In another break from stripping, arms and shoulders really starting to feel the abuse they’ve been getting, I looked again at the oddly shaped winch blocks. They are massive lumps of laminated teak or iroko with really badly chiseled out rebates. In the position I found them the “mouldings” didn’t really make sense but mulling over the issue I realised they had been fixed on the wrong side of the cockpit coaming… not only that but the wrong side of the boat too. 🙂

Big fat winch blocks in situ and living up to their name by 'blocking' the side deck.
Big fat winch block in situ and living up to its name by ‘blocking’ the side deck.
The odd shaped blocks for the winches
The odd shaped block for the winches removed.
Winch block back where it was made to fit...
Winch block back where it was made to fit…

OK so it fits, but now that lovely back rest so beloved of my beloved is cramped and uncomfy, not to mention the restriction it will place on the G&T arm movement. No, they have to go, the winches will go back to their “original” coach roof mounting.

Original Coach roof mount for the winches
Original Coach roof mount for the winches?

I couldn’t resist sanding down a bit of teak just to see that lovely honey colour under the weathered grey…

A little bit of teak in the sun
A little bit of teak in the sun. She’s going to look so good!

A solid weekend’s work to make up for last weekend’s Taxi service and Cactus Hoopla making extravaganza. By the way, the school Hoe Down for which said cactus was made, was a roaring, or should I say knee slapping success. More beans than you can shake a marshmallow loaded stick at, more gold panning and tin can shooting than any child could wish for, delicious soups, line dancing, fire pits, straw bales and a country playlist to die for. Good work The Wells Free School! Worth missing a weekend on the boat for….. well almost.

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