Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The bow and other efforts

Time is ticking. There are now only 3 month to go until we reach the end of our berthing contract at Fox's. (Let's not call it a departure date - that is just asking for trouble!) This week we decided to up our game and spend the whole weekend on Auriga, rather than just one day. I think the work paid off, and it felt like we got a lot done.

The toe-rail bolts

Work continues apace to put everything in the bow together before we seal it permanently with our new bulkhead. This weekend we worked hard removing, cleaning, covering in copious sikaflex, and replacing the toe rail bolts.

Giulia working into the night cleaning nuts and washers
We probably put in 10 hours between us, and got only halfway around the boat. Overall I think we removed and resealed 30 bolts.

Navel Pipe

The navel pipe is the tube carrying the chain from the anchor locker up to the deck. One of the first things we did was to remove it, and ever since we have been rebuilding the hole. To put it back together this weekend feels like a huge achievement.

Work back in January
Earlier this year, after taking the pipe out and filling the surrounding deck with epoxy we suspended the pipe to act as a template and filled the void with chopped strand glass fibre.

Finally revisiting the job this weekend, we ground out the hole to make the piece fit back neatly. As the initial fibreglass was not quite flat we made a well and filled with a new layer of epoxy. After sanding flat we had a nice surface to make a good seal.

Epoxy and fibreglass make a flat surface, and the navel pipe sealed in place


The window

To check the strength and sealing we removed one of the saloon windows. It is a good job we did - there were clear signs of corrosion on the aluminium frame from seawater trapped in anaerobic environment around the fitting. The frame is at home awaiting cleaning.

You may be getting the impression I have a favourite building material. Yep, after letting it dry we epoxied around the exposed structure to seal it against water ingress.

Another new hole in the boat

Not as solid as the window, this should keep out the water until next time


The bilge pump

Moving the cockpit pump will simplify the plumbing around the boat. In the meantime, another hole is waiting to be filled. This time we made a flat surface and coated it first with gelcoat followed by 9 layers of biaxial fibreglass cloth to make a fitting as strong as the surrounding area. The board will be removed and the surface finished next week.

Left: The hole to be filled    Right: The backing plate in place

Left: Gelcoat layer    Right: Fibreglass layer

In addition Giulia peeled the old grip tape off the cockpit seats. Many hours and many blisters were the result of what seemed an easy task. We finished removing all the old glue from the galley and chart table hull section ready for painting and we rerouted the wire conduit in the bow.

All in all not bad for a weekend! It's beginning to feel like we might get there!


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