Saturday 18 February 2023

Some progress

 I like to think things are beginning to come together as they should as the days get longer and a bit warmer. The scratching noise when turning the rudder wasnt due to barnacles in the rudder trunk as we were rather hoping. The rudder stock which turns the rudder is made of two lengths of copper tube fastened together by a copper band riveted in place, and some of these copper rivets had become loose with the constant twisting of the rudder.  Just a simple matter of removing the rudder, taking it home, dismantling the rudder stock, replacing the copper band with a larger one, replacing the rivets, then putting it all back together and into the boat. This is all rather easier said than done, as the rudder is so heavy it is a struggle to lift it on your own.  Luckily John and Allan were able to help me lift it back into the boat.  With the rudder back in the boat you can't see the riveted joint: it all looks just as it did before, which is perhaps as it should be, but with the satisfaction that the set-up is - or at least should be- stronger than it used to be. 

The keel band has been partially renewed: the bit which had totally corroded away has been replaced by a 5ft length of 22mm steel. Maybe the rest can be replaced another year....

 The picture shows two of the new keel bolts: 22mm diameter and about 50 cm long - wrought iron rod supplied by Topp & Co, threads cut by me, and conical heads thanks to blacksmith Neil Brown.

There is still plenty of cleaning and painting waiting for warmer weather but I rather hope most of the difficult bits have now been done. I always find it fascinating how many very different things have to come together from so many places to keep an old boat in going condition. We also have a new jib on order, and the liferaft being serviced.

Boat maintenance is all very well, and to some extent brings its own satisfaction but its the thought of summer sailing, fair winds and warm waters, blue skies and sparkling seas  that keeps you going and makes it all seem worthwhile.....

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