Sunday, 29 January 2012

Car problems

Car stared flashing a warning light on the way home on Sunday night, so it had to go into the garage. The car is now mended, but I haven't been able to get to Robinetta since, which is frustrating! I only have one more day's work before all the hull paint/anti-foul is gone (which will make 12 days in total).

I know I've still got lots to do to clean up the hull in the way of sanding, but that has to have dry weather, and be a bit warmer. I refuse to work outside all day in less than 10C unless I've got a heat gun.....


Went to a wonderful Gaffers get together today, hosted by the Hills who own Charm.
I had a long chat with Neil Mordey about Robinetta, finding out all sort of interesting things about the time Mike owned her.

Neil thinks that the last time she was scrapped back to bare wood was in Mike's garden 1993 (he's not certain about the year).

Before Mike fitted the Yanmar GM10 she had an air cooled diesel engine which had been used as a static engine on a railway somewhere. It only had one gear, but the prop could be feathered to drive her backwards, via a complicated mechanism that Neil never quite trusted to work. The hot air exhaust did make the cockpit toasty warm though....

Because of the unreliable engine Mike tended to pick up buoys under sail, (which we like to do to) but he would do it single handed (which we've never tried). Neil told me how to rig the line from the bow to the cockpit to make it easy, and I really must have a go!

I asked about the small sail area, and Neil says that Mike was talked into it when he got new sails made, but that the gaff was always as short as it is now. The main was fuller cut before, and I know from previous discussions that the foresails were larger.

Neil also said he has a lot of photos he took of Robinetta from his boat, and he will try to look them out for us.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Gaff progress

I made my first test birds mouth joint on Friday. Its a bit rough and uneven but I'm pretty happy with it. I was starting to worry the equipment might not work out but I've managed to adapt the router to a reliable fit to the table and solve a couple of other problems.

The router is clearly not meant to be used like this - it has no lock on the power button. I had to tape it in the on position. This works really well with the on/off switch on the table. Then I found the tool slipping downwards and panicked. But it turns out there is a locking position on the plunge control lever, so thats all right. Then I found a real bonus! The router has a vernier fine depth adjust on it. This is really easy to use when its in the table and it provides enough adjustment to set the height of the tool above the table perfectly. The joint in the table was made from a scrap of wood, grooved end to end and then cut into eight and glued with cascamite. I just used sellotape to bind it during drying. Not a plan for a full length spar, but it proved that the joint naturally takes its octagon shape.

We went and bought another 6 pine strips. I'm going to make a full scale model of the gaff in pine. Its cheap and I need practice. If it comes out really well, I might put it on the boat, but I expect I will want to make a second one in Douglas fir as Barry suggested at the AGM.

I realise I will need to plane or sand the inside edge of each strip to give it a good edge for glueing. The outside edge can be left as sawn - it will all come off in the rounding. The edge opposite the groove will have the taper on it and I want to do the taper first so the groove won't get damaged before gluing.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Stern Gland

Julian decided he had too much to do to work out why the stern gland was oozing out grease, so I got the yard to have a look. It turns out that the cover which is supposed to screw onto the shaft and hold the packing in place had come undone. It might have happened when the yard were fitting the anode last spring, or it could have something to do with us never checking it...

We kept greasing the shaft, and that was enough to keep it water tight unless the engine was driving the prop, when it would inevitably let in water. We have discovered the source of one of our leaks this season!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

More maintenance

Paul removed the last of the stopping on Tuesday, and will complete raking out of the last of the caulking sometime next week when the planks have dried out and made it easier.

This is my 8th day spent burning off paint, and I've still got a fair bit to do! It's been good weather for the most part, although cold. When it rains I sit underneath, on a folding chair, and burn off anti-fouling instead!

The cover can't keep all of the rain out of the boat, and when I checked the bilges this morning they needed pumping. Since the batteries are not in the boat that means the manual pump, which is not a problem since it works well. Unfortunately this time I noticed that the pump diaphragm was leaking, so every pump action squirted a little water straight back into the boat. Once again Robinetta is failing in the safest way; discovering the pump is not working properly when the boat is ashore is not exactly traumatic! I've brought it home to check over, not sure if we need a new one or if it can be repaired.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Paint stripping

More burning off of old paint today, but I also returned the cockpit floor to its place after stripping and repainting it, which feels like some sort of progress!

Paul Drake was there today, raking out the old caulking, It's quite obvious why Robinetta was leaking this last year as a lot of it was wet.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Getting started

First visit to Robinetta of the year, and time to really get down to work. My job is to strip off all the old paint and anti-fouling, which will let us examine the hull, and find the problems that need fixing. It's a long job, and I did less than 1/16 of the hull today.

Meanwhile Julian began to rake out the old caulking. Paul Drake (our shipwright) will do most of it, but he also need to do the re-caulking, stopping and any other re-fixing of nails etc, so the more we can do ourselves the better!