After some discussion on the Junk Rig Association website, I decided that the mast will go through the hole that currently holds the fore hatch. Deciding how to put this all together was the subject of many hours of thought, but I eventually decided on this:
It is basically a sandwich – there are three layers of ply that fill the space where the hatch used to be (and getting the hatch out after forty years was a time consuming exercise). Top and bottom there are larger plates that overlap the hatch moulding. The whole assembly is screwed together temporarily, but the top four layers, and the mast ring that still needs to be made, will be glued together and into place, with the bottom layer added last. Then the whole lot will be glassed into the aperture, but that will need to wait a few weeks until the weather improves.
Cutting the holes for the mast was interesting – they have to taper by about 5 degrees. I tried to cut three layers together, which overwhelmed my control of the jigsaw, so the hole is about half a centimetre bigger than intended, and not as perfect as I hoped for. By the time I got to the last one, I had my hand in, and it looks more like all the rest should have looked.
To tidy up the end product, I am thinking about using a bucket with mould release as a male mould when I glass the inside of the hole. Next up are the motor mounts, and then the mast step, by which time the weather may be good enough for painting.
It is quite a shock to realise that it is over a year since I last posted anything here. It has not been a quiet year on the boat, though. The interior has now been fully stripped out, the hull cleaned and painted above the waterline and cleaned and epoxied below, all deck fittings removed, holes filled and the decks primed, ready for painting.
As well as that, I moved house and the boat moved with me, along with a large van full of boat bits and hardware. Packing up, moving, sorting out and unpacking took a couple of months out of the boat work time, but ended well – the new house has much better workshop space and the boat is now placed alongside the garage.
However, over the winter I realised that it would be easy to spend the next two or three years working on the boat and aiming for perfection, or at least a close thing. But I really should be sailing as well, so I have re-written the work list to come down to five items that actually need to be done to get afloat:
- Rig, including the mast supports and running rigging
- Structural/protective interior work
- Finishing the exterior of the boat
- Electric drive system
- Basic electrics – enough for nav lights and VHF
The rest can wait, if needed, to be completed afloat or during another winter at home. For now, though, it is winter again and I am impatiently waiting for the better weather.
As the boat arrived just before the holiday season, I was not ready to put a cover on until I returned to Norway after the New Year. Inevitably, there had been plenty of snowfall by this time so, although I spent half an hour digging the yard and battens out of the snow on the balcony with a thought to using them as the ridge of a cover, as the snow built on top of the boat, it rapidly became clear that I was too late.
Instead I decided to treat the boat much as I do the balcony around the house – snow can sit on it, but it gets cleared from time to time to stop it getting too heavy, waterlogged or turning into solid ice. Today, with temperatures of about -6C, a beautiful blue sky and no wind, was the perfect day to go and remove the first load of the winter. A great winter workout – enjoyed by both me and the dog, who thought that catching snow falling from above was the best game ever – and satisfying to complete.
Unfortunately, I did not spend the half hour or so needed before the holidays to pull the pulpit, pushpin and lifelines from the cockpit and take them home – they are now frozen in for the winter.
Two weeks ago, I left work at 1500 and drove 300km to Halden, pretty much on the border with Sweden. An early start the next morning saw us at the boat and loading her onto the trailer, with Kristen, the crane operator, taking every care to make sure she would not move an inch on the trip down. Once loaded, the keel was chocked into place, supports set up and screwed to the bed of the trailer, and straps added at every possible point.
Leaving Halden at about 0900, we almost, but not quite, made it all the way back. With the truck speed set at 90km/hr, and me driving the wide load warning vehicle, we spent much of the trip playing cat and mouse, as Norway’s highway system went from single carriageway to dual carriageway and back again. I needed to be behind the truck on the dual carriageway, but in front on the single sections, which led to me testing the acceleration of the Transit van I was driving at the many changeover points. A missed ferry and an impending appointment with his children’s school performance meant that Kristen decided to drop the boat off at his yard, about thirty km short of the final destination. The last few km were completed just a few days before Christmas.