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Next on the hit list is the hull, we have painted it a couple of times and although we have found no rot the joints between the planks do show signs of cracking which would indicate the caulking is ge

With the decks now repaired our attention turned to the cabin sides, we had already decided the dark brown Sadolin finish had to go but what is it hiding? we sanded the entire superst

The furniture gets sanded back to bare wood and varnished, everything we varnish gets sanded back with 80 grit sandpaper  to start, followed by 100, 180, and finally 240. After sanding we hoover the p

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With the ply covering complete we cover the top with an epoxy resin and woven fabric, unfortunately I don't have photos of this part of the process just the finished item, but I will take some when I next epoxy a roof and post them.

First the sides gets some varnish.



The epoxy roof gets painted and dressed on the outer edge to match the original profile.





Varnish complete the windows get installed, they are the same shape as the originals and are fitted with a rubber moldings the only difference is I use a silver insert to give it a visual lift.

At the junction of the epoxy cover and the varnished sides I shape a strip  of  D section  aluminum, This is polished and screwed in place.



To the rear of the canopy we have a canvas cover.

Moving to the inside we install a polyester covered 6mm ply and cover the joints with Mahogany beads.




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With the sliding canopy complete we have to sort out if and how we can power it? so this post is going to get all engineery (if that's even a word) 

When we bought the boat the canopy was operated by muscle power, opening it with the aid of gravity was easy however to push it up hill to close it was a bit of a problem. from inside with your hands above your head it was difficult and not good for your back!  The best method was to go out on the deck and push from both sides and it would slide closed easily, Ok if it was not raining. 

If you needed to close it. and  you only had two crew on board, leaving the helm and hoping the boat would continue going straight long enough for you to raise the roof and get back in and return to the helm before you hit anything was not much of an option.  To moor up to close the canopy every time it rained was impractical.

In phase one we had found the remains of an old wire and pully system which I believe was connected to a hand winch fixed to the back of the helm seat. The wires ran under the floor to the forward saloon bulkhead round a pully then up the bulkhead round another pully where it ran along side the canopy runner and was fixed to the back of the canopy sides, The wire was hidden from view with a timber capping,  we had installed an electric winch in phase one to pull the canopy back up unfortunately this set up didn't work very well. The slope of the canopy runners was  not very steep so when you opened the canopy you still had to push it down the hill with the winch in free wheel that's ok but after a few operations the cable would get twisted and would jam itself, and to top it all the winch was very noisy!

I would need to come up with a new set up which could power the canopy.( how hard could it be?) 

The new set up would need to be quiet, raise the canopy evenly on both sides to stop it twisting even after hundreds of operations and have the ability to power it down as well as up. After weeks of head scratching, I settled on a hydraulic powered chain drive.

The power would come from a 12volt electric motor powering a hydraulic pump the type you get on a tipper lorry. I installed this in the saloon behind the settee under a blanket locker.


The blue tank holds the oil, the blue knob is a flow regulator and the two white square blocks you can see control the flow direction via a couple of push buttons positioned at the helm. I  used two small Hydraulic motors to drive the chain. 

DSCF2866.thumb.JPG.64652156330a2b118c626e718312d008.JPG  I made up two aluminum brackets and mounted these under the deck with the sprocket in line with the groove where the old wire ran and where I was going to run my chain.



The chain used is about the same size as your average bicycle chain. The chain would be need to be in one continues loop, I made a connector for the chain  from a small piece of bronze to which I could then fix a section of brass angle  which in turn would be my canopy anchor point.



In the picture above you can see where the chain disappears, it drops to below the  deck and returns to the front via a couple of sprockets and an aluminum channel.

I powered up  the electrics.

I connected the pipes to the motors in series, the theory being the oil would flow through the first motor and on to the second then back to the reservoir, (My theory was floored!!) Hydraulics work by oil flow and pressure, when it exits the first motor it will loose flow or pressure, thus reducing the rotation of the second motor, my synchronization of the two sides had just failed. If I tried pluming the motors in parallel I had no guarantee they would run at the same speed unless I introduced  flow regulators which would need regular adjustment. 

Many days of head scratching ensued.

The solution was to remove the motors, ditch one  and use the other to drive a small shaft under the floor. A  sprocket at each end of the shaft would drive the chain. I extend the chain down to below the floor and onto the newly introduced sprockets. This guarantees both sides move at the same speed . 

The next picture shows the shaft and motor under the floor.



In the last picture you can see the chain connected to the shaft and a couple of chain tensioners to keep the whole system under tension.

This set up has been a lot of work an awful  lot of head scratching but I enjoyed every minute of the challenge.  


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Next on the hit list is the hull, we have painted it a couple of times and although we have found no rot the joints between the planks do show signs of cracking which would indicate the caulking is getting past its sell by date and the putty is very hard and dry.  Now  with a wooden boat you never know exactly how good your hull is until you have sanded it back to bare timber.

Some people like to see the joints in the planks some of us don't, its just a  personal preference.

I have long harbored a desire to spline a hull but it has never been the right time.

The first job is to sand the hull back to bare wood and rake out the old caulking.



We use hot air guns and scrape off the worst, then sand with a belt sander to clear the rest.




The hull is in extremely good condition with just a section of the rubbing strake at the rear to be repaired.

Next we rake out the joints.



With the decision made to spline the hull I need to decide how best to give the desired effect. I plan to cut along the top and bottom edge of the planks with a battery powered circular saw, the one I intend to use has a small blade of 2" in diameter and gives a smooth finish. The reason I cut the edge is to give a clean edge for the glue to adhere to. I angle the blade slightly upwards on the top edge and slightly down on the bottom edge this will give me a V shaped groove.

To keep the saw in line with the joint I pin a small spline to the hull parallel with the joint in the planks and run the saw along this, repeating this process until all the joints have the V shape.



In the next picture you will see I test fit a small section of beading, happy with the fit we cut 700 feet of splines (perhaps I should have bought a smaller boat)


With the splines cut, we start to glue them into place, the reason for the wedge shape is so the harder we force the splines in, the tighter the joint will be. I have also left the hull for about three months to allow the planks to really dry out, the benefits of this are two fold.

1,  epoxy glue doesn't stick to wet wood very well so the dryer the wood the stronger the bond will be.

2, At this point the planks have lost a lot of moisture and  have shrunk in their width  this means when she goes back in the water the planks will swell thus putting my splines in compression and not tension which would stretch the splines and try to split them.


We apply epoxy glue to splines and brush epoxy into the grove this allows  maximum glue penetration to each surface, My wife has  cut small pieces of ply and drilled a  hole in each, these are then placed against the hull on top of the spline, I insert a dry wall screw into the hole and drive it into the hull with a battery  drill, This forces the spline into the grove nice and tight.

You should never use a dry wall screw on a boat as a permanent fixing as they are very brittle. but for a temporary fixing  they are good because of their small diameter which leaves only a small hole when removed.



 We lost count of the temporary fixings.

When the glue has set we remove the ply pads and after filling in any holes we sand the splines flush.


Sanded and faired we apply 4 coats of primer.





Followed by 3 undercoats.


And finally 2 coats of gloss.


We then get to do it all again on the other side.




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4 minutes ago, floydraser said:

Looks like an amazing place to work, under cover with plenty of like minded company? Sorry for the digression but is that a Cortina estate?

MK 1

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1 hour ago, floydraser said:

Looks like an amazing place to work, under cover with plenty of like minded company? Sorry for the digression but is that a Cortina estate?

And here it is finished...



Just the fenders to add :default_biggrin:

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With the hull complete we carry on with getting her ready for launch, Antifoul, paint the decks, another couple of  coats of varnish on the cabin sides and transom. 

 Good to go for may 2018 and another summer afloat.


We jump forward to the winter and with our  program of works planned we get her back into the workshop November 2018 for Phase three.

First on the list is the transom, I post the next picture as a reminder of how it looked.


During one of my inspections I could see water was getting between the rubbing strake and the transom itself. You can also see dark staining where the transom meets the hull sides.  I remove the rubbing strake and expose some minor rot behind, we also strip it back to bare wood.


At this point some of you may
 think I have lost the plot!

DSCF3235.thumb.JPG.293ae3c148e3cda4a6ae19b1be45b275.JPG I have made two parallel cut across the transom to remove the rot behind the rail.

One of the problems with wood is that it is always on the move and when you have a rail bolted  to the transom it is inevitable that water will  get between the transom and the rail. but I have a plan.

The two cuts across the transom are angled to form a wide V . I then shape a piece of timber to fit this gap but 20 mm thicker than the transom board, this will be concaved at the outer edges where it will meet the new rail thus moving the joints away from the corner.  



These are glued and bolted into position. unfortunately I don't have any pictures of it being installed just the finished article.

The Transom is now sanded and and 8 coats of varnish are applied.


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Works move to the inside. we plan to strip out the complete aft cabin including the old chipboard bulkheads.

The aft well gets striped and painted.




Bulkheads stripped out between the aft cabin and the galley.


These are the old aft bulkheads still in place.


And then removed.


The first bulkheads go back in are between cabin and galley.


In the galley we install a half bulkhead at the side of the cooker to stop any wind blowing the gas out when the canopy is open.

Followed by the rear bulkheads.


Which quickly gets varnished.



The windows get installed next.



The original sliding door was  very plain and without a window. I design and build a new hinged door albeit an older style than this boats age.



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Following on from yesterdays post I will start with a picture of the door actually in situ. note the number 5 in the top right hand side this is the original number from her hire days when she was Golden light 5.


Continuing with the aft well area. The original well housed two gas lockers, one for the cooker and one for the fridge, we have gone for an all electric fridge so have room for change. There was also a step along the transom to aid getting in and out. 

I will build a new gas locker on one side, and I am going to build in a generator on the other, how much the generator will be used is up for debate but it will be nice not to need to plug in to a shore supply even when we have the grandchildren on board.

I have acquired a pre loved  Fisher Pander 4.5 kw water cooled  diesel generator with very low hours, which is more than ample for our requirements.

The first job is the base for the generator. A couple of Iroko bearers fixed to the transom and bulkhead. topped with a ply base, the hole in the base is to stop sound reverberating through the bottom ( as advised by Fisher Pander tech team)



I borrow a mould and make a fiber glass locker which holds two two small gas bottles.



The gas locker will sit above the steering unit. I fit in a ply support, the other side supported on the bulkhead.



I make a fiberglass tray  to form the base of my well, this is drained to the center of the boat via two pipes, where any water gets pumped overboard.


I box the the generator and gas locker in ply, the tops are going to stepped for easy access but are big enough to double up as seats.





The Grey trim you can see in the pictures is a one piece bespoke  fiber glass  gutter which will drain all the water away from the lids, this was not my first design, I made one  in timber with a small groove round the edge however the grove was to small and clogged easily they went in the bin!

The steps / seats are made of ply covered with epoxy resin on a woven fabric I use a gas strut to hold them in the open position. 






Next I build a step across the transom  at a lower level to form a step.


The small panel in the center of the vertical face is to give easy access to the rudder gland.

Inside the cabin I fit the generator  control panel.



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Moving on to the aft cabin sides, The originals were ply and as per the canopy the were showing signs of delamination and had rotted away adjacent to the deck. There were signs of previous repairs and  when we replaced the decks we only carried out a temporary repair.

Photo from phase 1 


There is a scarf joint about 8 feet from the stern  so the plan is to remove everything aft of this  joint and blend in new from it.



On the inside we install new window rails and eventually hoppers.


The aft section gets shaped to match the original.


After sanding we start building up the varnish.


The outside gets a slight stain to blend it in before we apply the varnish.



Back inside the ply to the galley area was showing signs of water ingress, however our deck repairs seem to have fixed this we just needed to deal with the staining.


And after my wife has worked her magic.



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With the aft cabin rebuilt, just a couple of finishing touches to complete this phase.

The window hoppers.


The doors through to the galley. a simple design of mahogany edge lipped ply with a lot of varnish.


The next picture shows' the bargain of the project, Art deco lights,  three for fifteen quid on Ebay  the other two will go in the forward cabin.


And a new windscreen!




I make up new frames and my wife get to varnish them, you will see in the photos I sand them with an old carpet on my bench. this is to prevent any damage, when you sand one side and  turn it over and sand the second side, the side against the bench will often get damaged because of the vibrations of the sander.

And installed.


You will see in the back ground we have epoxy coated the aft cabin roof.

With Phase three complete she is returned to the water ready for our well earned summer afloat.


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Could you, (or your wife) give a step by step guide on varnishing please!   Ive seen this lovely boat when it was in the shed and the varnishing was incredible.  

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Hi Guys 

Thanks for the nice comments regarding my wife's varnishing, over the next couple of days I will sort out in my head a step by step guide to how we varnish then post it.


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