Hogging at Christmas

Christmas Eve Survey

Christmas Eve saw a visitation from Ben, a friend’s son-in-law who just happens to build and restore traditional wooden boats in Bristol, which was nice. 🙂 Lots of good advice imparted but we could have done with about an hour more to really go over everything. Topping the list of things that need attention was predictably the planking where there are several butts in a row on one frame, the garboard strake which seems to have been partially replaced leaving an odd 2″ strip running the length of the garboard on both sides of the hull. This strip is a bit spongy to my stabbing awl and makes me wonder what it is hiding.

Spongy Garboard Strake
Spongy Garboard Strake

Then there is a frame inside that just seems to peter out before actually connecting with anything significant. The top of the keel itself has been coated with some sort of bituminous goop that has set hard and blocked any limber holes (if there were any) leading to rusty floors. There was nothing revealed that I didn’t already suspect but it was good to have an experienced eye giving her the once over. The most worrying thing is the possibility that whole hull is hogged! From certain angles there is a definite droop about her sheer between midships and bow. I have been passing this off as her slightly quirky design but thinking about the overhang from the front of the keel, where she is supported, to the bow, Ben may be right. I have temporarily put a post in to shore up the bow and stop any more droop, but if this is an old problem and she has been re-decked and had a new apron fitted in the bow since, I can’t see how it can be reversed.

Maybe, like her namesake, her beak is meant to droop.
Maybe, like her namesake, her beak is meant to droop.

Christmas was spent by ‘the River’ where we gorged ourselves on fine meats, wines, and whiskey and ginger by the campfire…. either the bathroom scales are being mean to me again, or there is obviously more than one type of hogging!

Frosty Mornings

We’re having a bit of a cold snap here and the walk up to the “boat yard” is so lovely I had to post some pictures.

Frosty morning garden
Frosty morning garden

 

Our chickens have long since spurned my beautifully made coop and spent the last few months roosting in the wild plum by the house. It’s a wonder the fox hasn’t got them, but short of chasing them around the garden every night there’s not much we can do. We really thought they would return to the coop once winter set in but they are sticking it out, even though poor Mrs White is moulting and has lost most of the feathers off her bottom and wings!

Chickens thawing out in the sun
Chickens thawing out in the sun

Pretty frost everywhere

Everything is made pretty by the frost
Everything is made pretty by the frost

 

 

Frosty fencing and Flamingo showing her half naked stern
Frosty fencing and Flamingo showing her half naked stern

 

Gudgeon, Pintle, Rudder and Rust (like a disreputable firm of maritime lawyers:)

However, work goes on despite the nithering temperature. The rudder pintle and gudgeon have been worrying me, the pintle is heavily pitted and the bolt holes are too close to the edges. The gudgeon hole has worn very large, leading to a lot of slop in the tiller. I decided it had to come off. Quite a task on my own but with lots of hammering and oily persuasion first the rudder pin, then rudder, pintle, and gudgeon are removed. The Gudgeon (can you tell how much I love the word gudgeon? Gudgeon, Gudgeon, Gudgeon…. Crikey! I hope it is the right word! You know how picky these boating types can be) had been bonded to the rudder with some ghastly sticky putty and took some persistence but finally came off.

Knocking out the studs.
Knocking out the studs.

Now to find a friendly blacksmith to repair or remake, and off to some friendly forums to find out about marine iron, cast or wrought, bronze sleeves or not, galvanised or painted…. or both? So much knowledge I have yet to acquire.

Lastly this bit is for Dave Boboc. The Lever measures 32 1/4″ from the pivot point on the deck mount to the very end. The measurement from the pivot to the end of the slot is 18 3/4″ and the slot itself is 16 3/16″. The adjustable hook is exactly a foot from the inside of the hook to the bolt that slides along the slot. Hope that helps. 🙂

 

Laurent Giles Lever
Laurent Giles Lever

That’s it for now, hopefully more time over this Christmas break for some more frosty “work”, and more blogging (much warmer!).

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