Steel, Sisal, Tufnol and Bronze.

No, not a dubious firm of solicitors, nor the latest colours from Farrow and Ball. My kids would call them Resistant Materials, apparently they don’t do Woodwork and Metalwork any more, and I’ve not worked out what would constitute non resistant materials… surely everything resists to some degree?

STEEL

So, steel. I picked up the floors from the blacksmith (MichaelHart) last weekend, not galvanised in case I need to make any adjustments. Hopefully the welding process hasn’t distorted the shape too much. Each floor was laid on the work table, drawn around and then the new flat steel pieces were welded on before cutting the old corroded parts away.  I think this method should  limit any movement… £170 seems quite a lot for a bit of welding but each piece had to be individually cut to size and angled to suit. Sand blasting and galvanising will be a further £130 if I can piggy back on a larger order. Its not cheap this boat business! Though maybe in the middle of an ocean, with a strong wind and a big swell, £300 to hold the boat together will seem like money well spent!

Newly repaired steel floors alongside the rudder metalwork
Newly repaired steel floors alongside the rudder metalwork

Templating frames is as tedious as ever but if I needed persuading how necessary it is, this ‘repair’ had to be removed to access the original frame and revealed just what a poor state some of the woodwork is in.

Frame repair showing signs of age
Frame repair showing signs of age

 

Nail sickness? Gulp!
Nail sickness? Gulp!

 

TUFNOL AND BRONZE

So seeking inspiration I decided to dismantle the winches (well why not?) and see if I could get them to run more smoothly. The shiny chromed, two speed winches on Moonshine Blues are a far cry from these tufnol and bronze relics and I think the smooth clickety clicking of those modern Lewmar ratchets might be a bit of a tall order. However once I had dismantled them (one screw!) cleaned the accumulated gunk of years of neglect, and despite one spring somersaulting gaily though the sunshine into the long grass, I got them back together and was pleasantly surprised to find they work slightly more smoothly! I quickly stepped away lest I was tempted to meddle some more and undo all the good work!

An old tufnol and bronze winch, dismantled ready for cleaning.
An old tufnol and bronze winch, dismantled ready for cleaning.

A bit of brasso and a glob of grease and they’ll be like new!

SISAL

So on to Sisal… nothing to do with the boat, just a spot of Outdoor Darts with the extended family. Apparently compressed sisal is what dart boards are made of. Who knew?

I wonder if this is what mum had in mind when she planted the walnut trees all those years ago?

Outdoor Darts with offspring and their hangers on.
Outdoor Darts with offspring and their hangers on.

 

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Summer days driftin’ away…

 

The summer is sliding past as if it were greased. Weekends are packed with things to do but not many of them are that productive as far as Flamingo is concerned.

If you want a small prison for chickens though…

The hens are being 'trained'
The hens are being ‘trained’

Or maybe a giant flying slug?

IMG_0334

Or trees climbed…

Tree climbing at the aptly named, Lepe Beach
Tree climbing at the aptly named, Lepe Beach

Or a picnic trampled…

Ubiquitous Pony picnic invasion.... so unoriginal!
Ubiquitous Pony picnic invasion…. so unoriginal!

Or an Island sailed around…

Round the Isle of Wight on Moonshine Blues
Round the Isle of Wight on Moonshine Blues

Then it has been a very productive Summer!

TEMPLATES, TEMPLATES, AND YET MORE TEMPLATES.

There has of course been some work on the ‘shipwreck’ as my daughter still insists on calling it.

I’ve made a template for the companionway and commissioned a local craftsman (my father) to make me some lovely washboards. She had doors on when I got her, well, one door, the other was hanging on by one rusty hinge, but was originally fitted with washboards. There is some discussion between us as to whether doors, or washboards, or a combination of both would be best….

Washboard Template underway
Washboard Template underway

I’ve also been making templates of the frames that need replacing. It’s fiddly but quite satisfying.

Alarming number of frames in need of repair!
Alarming number of frames in need of repair!

Every now and then I break off from the tricky work of template making and do something that requires very little cerebral activity, like removing old varnish. It helps me think things through, plan the next steps. Though if I let myself think to far ahead I find I am staring, motionless out of a porthole imagining how it will be in a few summers time, anchored in a quite bay, the sun setting on a nice cold beer, my comfy bunk calling, the days sailing fresh in my mind…

“but oh those summer nights”