Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Visiting Robinetta in Rolt's yard

I went to Bristol today to visit Robinetta in Rolt’s yard. She was moved there at the start of the month and they have been working on her ever since.

The rot in the cockpit ply has proved to be more extensive than we realised, and had infected the rear deck beam, among others. This means the main sheet horse and all its associated deck fittings had to be removed to give access. It will be necessary to keep cutting back the ply until no more soft areas are found, hopefully this does not mean the whole of the starboard side of the cockpit too!

The deck beam beneath the forward end of the cabin needed to be totally replaced, as did its “sister” behind it. Both were rotten. I had expected the main beam to need work, but there was no way to examine the sister beam before the main was removed.
It was necessary to remove the turning block horse to repair the beam, and it turned out that the wood around the bolts that hold it in place was beginning to go soft. This had been repaired, and the horse will go back in a slightly different position.

The bolt through the scarf joint was very wasted, but the wood itself is sound. The scarf will be filled with lead based putty before being re-bolted. With a new bolt of course!
The garboard caulking was very wet, and has been scrapped out and will be replaced. Once again the hull itself is sound, which is good news.
Some of the scantlings in the main cabin are cracked, and the shipwright working on Robinetta thinks they should be repaired. They have been in that state for a while without causing problems, but it is best done now if we can afford it. 
The leaks round the main hatch still need to be addressed. The leaks in the cabin ceiling were the reason we brought Robinetta to the yard in the first place, and we thought of having the glass fibre removed and replaced. With the rest of the work that is under way the glass will stay where it is, but the grab rails I fitted when we first bought Robinetta are going to be professionally re-fitted, which I hope will stop the drips on Julian’s head when we are in bed!
The mast looks absolutely amazing, all shiny and smooth. By the time it is finished it will have had 12 coats of varnish, with time for it to harden fully before being redressed. The very top, that Julian remade, will be painted white, since there is no way to colour match it to the rest of the mast if varnished. One of the hounds was damaged, and a new one had been made, the same for one of the cleats, but the remaining old cleats are also undergoing re-varnishing.

The new fore-hatch is made of sapele, rather than teak. It was cheaper to make a new one than repair the old, but it will use the same bronze surround on the porthole, so look very similar.

I am going to have to do some serious work on the rest of the bright work to match up with what I saw today. 

When I left Robinetta shrouded in plastic and undercover, with her cabin toasty warm to dry out the paint and glue, I knew she was in good hands.