So, it’s now been a full four months since I last put any kind of effort into this site. I’m ashamed of myself, truly. However, I have not been idly peering through the condensation on my bedroom windows waiting for the summer sun to peek his head out once more. Oh no, far from it, I’ve been working very hard indeed. Firstly, I’ve been working very hard indeed at my actual work, making happy customers and healthy bank balances ready for the year ahead. Secondly, I’ve been working very hard indeed at getting Idris safe and ready for relaunch this Spring. This, it turned out, was by far the biggest challenge.
Following our wonderful summer together last year, I had conveniently overlooked all of her minor and not so minor faults, problems and breakages. I was aware of these, along with all the potential that I had seen in the first place when I chose her from the sprawling collection of awful project boats on offer. It is fair to say that when I made a list of all the essential jobs that needed doing before relaunch, I did wonder if it was even possible to get her back in the water this year. Maybe a year off to complete the work properly was a better idea? Trouble is, with a deadline things get done, without one, well…..
So after Christmas, under a makeshift shelter made from old roofing joists and an advertising banner from a handy skip, I started stripping her out to get access. Toilet cubicle area, chart table area, cabin floor, forehatch, cockpit lockers and all electrics were stripped. The list of jobs seemed endless, the pile of hard earned cash seemed inadequate and my willpower was sorely tested. Gallons of epoxy resin, acres of glassfibre matting, more gallons of varnish and bloody paint….. When will it end? What is the point?
Slowly though, things were getting done. At the beginning of April I suddenly realised that I was beginning to put things back together rather that take them apart. The cutlass bearing was pressed together and refitted, new engine mounts were fitted and aligned, new stern gland slid into place, it was all getting enjoyable again. The rewire was a bit too much like everyday work but then, joy, the new cabin floor could go down and the chart table could be refitted. Oooh, she’s looking lovely now. The ugly patches of fresh fibreglass around the new bulkheads and locker sides could be painted up and the internal woodwork can have a couple of coats of varnish too. I even had time to rip off those leaky cracked old plastic air vents and treat her to some classic old bronze ones.
Right now I still have a couple of things left to do. Mainly, strengthen the road trailer a bit now I know where she sits on it, and devise a mast raising device (probably a bit of timber with some ropes around it). Then my friends, then I have to book the crane at Retreat Boatyard. It is Spring 2017 and Idris will be in the water once again.