Monday, April 28, 2008

The weekend a) More than we bargained for

The plan at the weekend was to give Herbie a deep clean inside. Whilst we did do this, we left her in a more untidy state than we found her, because we succumbed to the temptation to make alterations.

But first let me tell you about the other unplanned job - baling out. Whilst cleaning under the back steps I thought I'd take a peek under the little cover that give access to the bilges and I found three quarters of an inch of water inside. Not as bad as you might think because the boat is lower at the back than at the front, so any water lies at the back. And no, I don't think Herbie's hull has a leak. I suspect the water mostly came from the leaky water pump that I fixed last summer, but no doubt a little bit also came from condensation. The main bilge is totally separate from the engine bay bilge which catches a bit of rain and drips from the stern gland. That one I swab out more regularly to keep it dry.

Anyway baling out through a hole the size of your fist is not a quick process, so using a cut out plastic bottle and a sponge it took well over an hour to get out about four bucketfuls of rusty looking water (looking surprisingly like beer!). We now have dry bilges with a disposable nappy in to soak up any residue. I guess I'll check every couple of months in future.

Then after cleaning out the TV shelf, under which we keep small supplies of kindling and logs for immediate use, we decided a bit of carpentry would be a good idea. The shelves straddle a corner and prevent us getting a chair in a useful spot and we have been thinking of cutting out the diagonal bit. So half an hour with a screwdriver and we removed the shelves to take away and cut to the required shape. Hence the mess the saloon is now in with the TV and other stuff dumped on the floor and the sofa. It was also interesting to see how all the wires at the back of the radio had been cleverly restrained in a net to keep them up under the shelf out of the way.

The good news is that with the help of our friend Pete, who has an industrial sized saw table, we now have the shelves expertly reshaped with new hardwood edge trim and later this week I'll reinstall them.

Finally, in a spare hour, I made a start on another job. Painting diamonds on the front of the cratch. They will eventually be red and blue with white and cream triangles at the sides. The pink you see here is undercoat for the red.
Not a bad weekend's work all in all.

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