Showing posts from April, 2017

Inferno! Monitor self steering - Part 1

This story starts with a fire in 2009.

We were living in a flat in Ipswich and the role of garage was being played by a large workshop  in an ex-pigshed at Waldringfield Heath. We were just about to move all our stuff out of the flat to let it and move ourselves on board Bonify when disaster struck: a careless welder in the neighbouring unit left a car he was working on unattended and the result was this:

At the time the worst of it was the total loss of Howard's pride and joy: his Alfa Romeo Spider.

The red and white tape was left there by the fire service not only because at this point it was still hot but also because the roof was asbestos and we were supposed to keep out. Undeterred we returned ahead of the bulldozers, donned overalls and protective masks and spent an unhappy day raking through the rubble for photographic evidence of our losses.

Which brings us to the point of telling all this - Bonify had a very expensive contraption for self steering. Not just something to p…

Bird's nest aboard

Friday 28th April

The lesser-spotted wiring mangler seems to have paid us a visit.

(Bonify is for sale which is why I am able to find carefully staged photos of parts of the boat I wouldn't normally photograph).

Howard has made a lot of improvements to the boat over the years which often involve fiddling with wires, and adding and subtracting of different bits and pieces, and it's been getting fuller and fuller behind that smart and simple housing which was made in 2004. So he's decided the time has come to upgrade his electrical bird's nest.

He's been on the lookout for an old (or even new) wooden bathroom cabinet for some time with a view to adapting it to this purpose. It seems that small medicine cabinets are out of fashion and old ones don't get collected by house clearance companies as they are usually attached to the wall.

Finally our observant next-door neighbour spotted one for sale at the Hospice shop for £4. I didn't think to photograph it in it…


Thursday 27th April

Messy uncomfortable job, especially when as cold as this.

Again, it's all in the preparation so there's stuff to finish off and get ready but then finally we're off - hats on to save boat painter's blue rinse and gloves to save having to scour our hands afterwards until they are bright red.

Onward with fitting out

Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th April 
A few photos of work in progress - it's freezing cold so we're not doing full days here, just moving things along.

Top coat

Friday 21st and Sunday 23rd April

Friday we finished off the undercoat above and below the wooden rubbing strake so that we were ready for the top coat. With matt undercoat like this the hull looks perfectly smooth and you would hardly know it was ferro-cement.

The gloss coat is the biggest job and really has to be done all in one go, especially now the rubbing strake has that break in it - though I suppose you could do port side one day and starboard side later if you didn't mind clearing up all the mess and cleaning brushes twice over.

We needed good weather of course - not too cold windy or wet, but as with sailing it's not just the weather but the forecast that matters. You don't want to start the job with rain forecast, and you can miss a perfect day that way if the rain doesn't arrive.

Saturday we drove to Worcester for a celebration: even boat painting comes second to a good wedding so we were pleased when it seemed a few drops of rain had fallen that day. Not s…

Red undercoat - part 2

Thursday 20th April

Most of the undercoat is on - nice solid colour.
The boxes on casters are useful for the 2 man teamwork needed: me going first, cutting in from the ladder and Howard rollering from the lower box with tray of paint between us on the high box.
When we got to the bow on side one he nicked my ladder for the high bits and I had a brief opportunity to take a photo.

Finished by 2pm, lunch on board then leave it to dry and come home - yes back to work on the house!

More work pics

Wed 19th April
No further explanations needed if you saw yesterday's post - same jobs continued:

Sanding of the topsides was not permitted given the proximity of still tacky varnish so the work crew packed up at 3.30 and headed home. Howard of course found more work - no idle hands here:

Work continues over Easter

Easter Monday 17th April

Sunday was due to be wet so we made it a day for working on the house - then it didn't rain. Typical! But we do have a new door frame and a hole for it to fit into so progress was made, just not on Bonify.

Monday is bright though chilly to start - that's our excuse for starting the day with a couple of idle hours spent over coffee with gaffer friends in West Mersea. Eventually we make it to Walton and progress is made.

Tuesday 18th April

Howard's work on the rubbing strake continues on Tuesday, this time on the starboard side and produces mirror image photos which are too similar to be worth posting here.
The doghouse, cockpit coaming and footwell are all ready for varnish but it's cold and quite windy again so I get on with Sikkens topcoat instead.