shoestringsailing.com

Sailing adventure on minimal outlay.

A WINTERS TALE.

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.

 

Chart table and batteries removed. Lower bulkhead panel and broken tabbing cut away. Hull ground back to accept new glassing.

Chart table and batteries removed. Lower bulkhead panel and broken tabbing cut away. Hull ground back to accept new glassing.

Remains of old bulkhead used as template to cut new.

Remains of delaminated old bulkhead used as template to cut new.

Much epoxy and glass was required. Glass matting precut into handy patches to ease application and follow curves of hull.

Much epoxy and glass was required. Glass matting precut into handy patches to ease application and follow curves of hull.

 

Glued, screwed and glassed into place. Rock solid now and part of the internal furniture, doing its job as a part of the structural strength of the hull.

Glued, screwed and glassed into place. Rock solid now and part of the internal furniture, doing its job as part of the structural strength of the hull.

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…..

Did I mention the horrific corrosion at the mast head fittings?

Did I mention the horrific structural corrosion at the mast head fittings?

Cap shroud u bolts were none too special either.

Cap shroud u bolts were none too special either.

R

Who needs any more holes in thier boat than necessary? Not me! Glass the buggers over!

Who needs any more holes in their boat than necessary? Not me! Glass the buggers over! Redundant toilet through hull holes well patched.

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?

More repairs. Cabin floor this time. Rotten as a pear so it was.

More repairs. Cabin floor this time. Rotten as a pear so it was. New oak bearers glued and glassed in.

Sure there should be some sort of bronze thingy on here...

Sure there should be some sort of bronze bearing thingy on here…

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.

Ah, things going back together. A beautiful sight to behold.

A full engine service revealed massive valve clearances and a completely dissolved pencil anode in the heat exchanger. The rocker cover gasket appeared to be the original Lombardini which made me think it was the first time it had ever been off!

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.

4 Comments

  1. Hurrah! Hope it goes well… and good work!

    • Steve

      May 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks very much Steve, been enjoying your blog, would never have seen it without your comment here so thanks for that too. I love the early Hurley designs and had an all too brief affair with a wooden Silhouette a few years ago. Sadly, I think she may now be gone forever as I saw her stripped hull on ebay a while back. Very sad.
      Hope you have a cracking summer up there, give me a shout if you end up on the Exe at any point.

  2. Great to see an update. She’s looking great. Looking forward to picks of her back in the water!

    • Steve

      May 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks Jon. I honestly thought she’d broken me at one point, I think I may have actually wept at the sheer magnitude of the task. All better now though and ready to plop in when I next get a couple of spare days. Still want to explore around Plymouth if I get the opportunity so would be grand to meet up.

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