Saturday, 11 January 2014

Boat Show Buying

I used to want to go to the Boat Show so I could go on board the yachts and dream of owning one. Now I go to man the OGA stand and buy things we need....

The show seemed smaller this year, and there were far fewer boats on the water. The ones that were there were almost all historic, including the barge Melissa which we had been aboard when she was serving as the Royal Harwich YC Clubhouse.

Mostly I wanted to look at cookers, and soon came to the conclusion that there was no way we could fit any sort of proper marine oven/hob combination in the galley as it is. There is no way I want to rebuilt it this year, so I'm still searching for the right cooking option. I've ruled out a diesel stove though; too much like an electric hob and too expensive.

We came across a lovely little pump gizmo. You set it up on the mooring line, and the movement of the boat against the mooring operates the pump. We bought it to use in Worm in the hope that it will pump the rain water out of the dingy while we sleep. Fingers crossed that it works!

We need new fire extinguishers as ours have expired, and while we were on the OGA stand Richard off My Quest stopped by and showed us one he'd just bought. It's rated for flammable liquids and gasses, as well as electrical and kitchen fires, but uses inert gas rather than powder to smother the flames. In other words, it does not make a mess! Its only a little more expensive than dry powder, so Julian went off and bought a couple. The guy on the stand told him that they had bought 1000 to the show, and only had five left. Not bad with only one day of the show to go!

Sail Scotland were there as we hoped, so we raided their stand for local booklets, then headed for the book shop for pilot guides. Julian wanted to get the Orkney Pilot, even though we're only going there if the weather is just right. It will help us decide if it is! I got seduced by a chart holder. It's the same size as our Imray charts and holds them flat and fully visible, being magnetically sealed round the edges. It's also rigid, and as we don't have a chart table and normally work with the charts laid out on the seats it should make that easier. I'm waiting for that to be delivered as they only had the display model in stock.

All in all it was a good show, with members and interested strangers keeping the OGA stand busy all afternoon.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

First visit of the year

Finding the right day to visit the boatyard can be difficult in January. There's lots to do on the boat, but its mostly painting and varnishing, so there's very little point in starting anything even when its a sunny day. Its still too cold for the paint to dry before it gets damp.

I talked myself into going today to remeasure the galley since we want to look at cookers at the boat show, and got a nice surprise. Paul has finished the work we asked him to do. All the little bits of caulking repair and re-stopping have been done, and the main hatch looks very smart. There was a letter waiting when I got home, detailing what he's done and with suggestions for what should happen next.

1) He's put three coats of varnish on all his wood, and while it looks lovely this is not enough to protect it through the summer. It will need sanding lightly in the spring, before getting a few more coats.

2) He had to burn off most of the paint from the covering boards on the foredeck before he could caulk the seams, so this will need repainting when its drier. He used sikaflex rather than red lead stopping here, but it can be painted over in the same way.

3) The stopping that had come out was probably because the hull got power washed before the stopping was really hard. This can take  a few years! Looks like we'll be hand scraping our fouling off for a while...

4) There seems to be some weeping from some of the bolt heads in the iron floors visible on the hull planking. This could be a problem in a couple of years, so we'll need to keep an eye on it. It's a shame if so, since the floor bolts were replaced just after we bought the boat!