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Monday, March 20, 2017

Back to work - Paint blasting

After a couple of weeks away in England, and some time recovering from the cold I picked up there, I've been watching a video blog by an enterprising Danish guy who is refitting his Warrior 39. Check out the SailLife channel. h/t Owen for sharing this one with me.

Anyway, being single, with a 9-5 job, he gets a depressingly large amount of work done every week and records a video about it too. Lots of inspiration, not least of which that anything is possible with determination and power tools. Anyway, he got the hull pressure blasted to remove the paint, so I figured that was a reasonable option.

This weekend, hired a pressure washer with a sand blast attachment....

Parked next door, each side, are two mini-buses from the local transport company. Not wanting to sand blast them too, Issie and I set up a big tarp wall.

And so to work. The sand blasting worked well on metal, but used up sand pretty quickly and wasn't really effective on the layers of paint. But changing to just the the pressure washer with a water knife nozzle got a lot of the paint off in big chips.

Some places, it's still too well stuck to come off that way, so it'll be back to the hand scraper and sanding for that, but this got a huge amount of the work done in two sessions. Also pressure washed the topsides to make it easier to clean when time comes to paint those.

All told, when tidied up and cleared away on Sunday, there was a lot more bare hull to see than paint. That's progress....

Monday, February 20, 2017

Inching forward

 Emptied out the saloon storage, lots of 4 year old tins of food, spare half-dead pumps and other junk. The kids helped get all that down from the boat on a nice sunny Saturday afternoon.

Sunday was raining and miserable, but worked away to free the prop shaft from the gearbox - 3 out of 4 bolts free up reasonably easily. The fourth, of course, does not. The flats have got a bit rounded, and only the open end of a wrench fits on. Soaked it some more in penetrating oil and let's try again another day.

Removing more wiring and other junk from around the engine, as well as the exhaust muffler and tubing, getting closer to being able to lift it out. 

And had to dig into the electrical system, since so much of it is old and messed up, running around the engine with too much redundant wiring. Eventually decided to not try and trace everything but take out and re-do anything that's going to stay. But I still want to be able to keep the batteries charged and run some lights and the radio when I'm on board, so I re-wired the charger in near the battery bank. 

So much to do.....

Monday, February 13, 2017

Scrape scrape scrape

With the snow still lying on deck, and a busy family weekend, just took a couple of hours to scrape away at the bottom paint. Progress is pretty quick, really. The waterline is harder - it's high up and very well stuck on. I'll wait for better weather to get the rolling scaffold out and work up there.

Clear yellow patches are where the oldest primer was still well adhered, the grey is where it had already gone at the last major repaint and we just had primer on epoxy. 

There's a few, but not too many, osmosis blisters as well. I'll probably go over the hull and grind those out and refill before we put the coppercoat on.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Fuel system dismantling

Braved the raging snowstorm and spent a few hours with the heater taking the chill off the cabin, taking apart the fuel filters, lines, valves and other ancillary stuff to make space in the engine bay. Grubby, smelly, delightful work. All boat work is fun....

Monday, January 30, 2017

Prep, prep and more prep

A weekend of getting ready for the larger jobs. Cleaned some of the deck so that we are lifting clean wood rather than moss soaked grubby teak. Tidied up the garbage around us in the yard, that was just bugging me. Drained the bulk of the bilge, finished lining the cabin, cleared out some more lockers. The list goes on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Collecting Copper

So the fancy bottom coating - CopperCoat, arrived from the UK at Vancouver airport, making an excuse for a trip across the water to pick it up and take Max along for a day out too.

It was one of those beautiful 'that's why we live here' days with a crystal clear blue sky and snow capped mountains as the ferry took us across the Georgia Strait, and the drive to the airport has glimpses of mountains and ocean at every turn, even right through downtown Vancouver. Lovely.

Collected the goods.

Then Max and I took in lunch on Robson Street with gourmet burgers. Mmmm.

Somehow I think painting this stuff onto the hull will be less fun.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A full day's work

Spent pretty much the whole day at the boat today, popping home for lunch. A bit rainy but able to work outside between the showers. Got a mains power cable wired in, so I can connect to AC power when I'm there and keep the batteries charged up too. 

Then I was able to get to the main jobs, tidying up the mast and getting some potective boards over the teak in preparation for lifting the engine. Lots of trips up and down the ladder with measurements and cut boards. Making progress....

Stripped the mast down by getting all the shrouds and the forestays off, coiling those up and into storage, remove the spreaders and tuck the mast in close to the boat. Still need to work on the forestay and get all the halyards out and replaced with mousing lines. But it's all pretty nice and tidy now. I found that the split pin that secures the forestay clevis pin had been worn or fractured and could have worked itself out. That wouldn't have been good. As with a few things, it's proving we're doing this refit just in time, or maybe a year too late but with Lady Luck on our side. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mast Tidy Up

Spent an hour today taking spreaders and some shrouds off the mast, labelling everything carefully and prepping for storage, all the time with the Trump inauguration on the radio. Sigh.

And my discovery, late in life but still a revelation, is that an impact driver is a tool of magic. The unmovable is moved.

Mast down - further

So we unstepped the mast and laid it on the deck a couple of months ago at the Comox dock. Now we brought it all the way down to the ground. Some helpful friends have a crane truck so a quick 15 minute job to lift it down and place it on the racks I'd made from old pallets.

And then I spent some time looking over the engine and taking photos of the mess for reference as we clean it all up....

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Get ready to Scrape

Popped over to the yard today to set up the supports for the mast, three pairs of pallets set up to prop up the rig down on the ground so I can work on that much more easily. Prepared the mast for lifting down, which included defrosting the frozen ropes with the heat gun.

I've bought a long handled scraper to take the hull back down to the epoxy coating. It's going to be a long task but attacked a bit a time, it'll be no problem. Perhaps the kids can do some of this one....And it's less potentially damaging than sand or slurry blasting.

And the big step for today, ordered a load of Coppercoat bottom finish - has to be shipped from the UK and even with the boat show pricing, it's a significant chunk of change. But it should last at least 10 years, meaning much less lifting out to paint and none of the eroding biocide laden antifouling. Mum and Dad did their boat with it and are very pleased.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Walking to the Boat, ahh, so nice

Beautiful sunny day here, was in work early, so come 3pm, said what the heck and walked the ten minutes to the yard. Lovely to be able to do that.

Scraped all the mussels off the hull, cleared some snow, removed the saloon table to get full access to the engine and spent a while lying on my belly with a flashlight thinking about how to pull the engine out of it's bay. So much work, fun to be getting dirty hands again.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Snowstorms don't stop us

Today's achievements. Collecting pallets to make supports for the mast, deliver the stern frame and pulpit to the yard, take the solar panels down ready to be set up to trickle charge the batteries.

Then head over to Comox, take the dinghy out to collect the mooring lines from the buoy in the driving snow, then put outboard and dinghy on the trailer and bring home for storage.


Tested out some plans to refinish floorboards - took the brass pulls off and polished, they should look good when lacquered. Checked out the new heat gun to scrape varnish, that should work well. There's a risk I'll get carried away and want to revarnish everything......that will have to be a job for after everything else is done.

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Saturday, January 07, 2017

Refit Diary

I'm going to try to keep a diary entry for each day I do something during this refit, so that I can look back and have a record of some stuff. Much of it is just to jog my memory, but I post it here for anyone who might want to follow along (if you're working on a Young Sun 43, good luck!)

Today, it's going to get down to -8'C later this week, so I winterised the engine by pouring antifreeze into the raw cooling water intake and turning her over until I could see antifreeze in the exhaust.

Scraped a few mussels off the hull, then did the main job of the day, building another set of props for extra security. Cut the lumber to size and assembled it, smashing up the ice enough to put some slabs down for support.

Nice couple of hours, working in the sunshine.


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Friday, May 25, 2012

View from the Water (2)

We miss so much by traveling at speed. This area is so beautiful and more so when absorbed slowly and fully. The other day I stopped at the viewpoint going over the Malahat pass; how few of us who live here ever stop to drink in that view as we rush back from Victoria at 100kmh.

And life, like the scenery, seems richer and more rewarding when taken at a slower pace.

View from the Water

If you build a multi bedroom mega mansion on the far reaches of Salt Spring Island, and then put solar panels on the roof is that being green or hypocrisy?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Pitter Patter of Tiny Feet

 Here in Otter Bay, I shouldn't be surprised to lie in my bunk at night hearing the sound of little paws on the deck above, but did they really have to leave me a gift too? 
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Mobile Office

Over the past couple of days, I've sailed the boat down from our base in Comox to Pender Island, a beautiful part of the Gulf Islands, between Victoria and Vancouver.  It was a lovely, single handed voyage with a couple of tranquil evening stops. 
At Princes Margaret Provincial ParkCruising in these areas is especially beautiful because there is so much coastline, and you are frequently travelling close by the coast of islands and narrow passes.  Watching the scenery pass by at a slow pace is a great way to observe and absorb the beauty of these land and waterscapes.
The Steep Shores of Lasquiti

Over the course of the journey I've seen seals, otters, porpoise, and eagles, these are frequent companions in these waters.

The boat is working out as my mobile office, modern technology lets me keep connected and whilst it would be nice to be totaly away from it all once again, this is a best of both worlds approach, and I can stay in touch with the family easily too.  Once school finishes in June, they will spend a lot more time aboard sharing these trips.  I'm looking forward to that.... 
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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Setting Sail Again

The expanded fleet - Ty Dewi and 'The Pioneer'
So after a long silence on this blog, it's time to start posting again because this summer promises a lot of sailing and family fun around British Columbia.  It looks as if some of my work will need me to travel to most of the BC Coast this summer, and that sounds like an excuse for a sailing trip.  One of the real pleasures of our two years cruising was writing and sharing the adventure, and I've missed that in the busy shore life that we have woven for ourselves here in Cumberland.

So I hope to get a chance to slow down a little and write some more, to share this fabulous place with my friends and continue to think upon the experiences we have and the relationships we treasure.  Welcome aboard again, hope you enjoy the journey.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Off sailing

We've been doing great stuff here with Gesa's sister and her two kids, seeing the sights and going to places we haven't been yet either. Mount Washington was awsome. Photos will follow, really.

Right now we're off to the boat for a few days - the relatives fly back to Montreal on Sunday and then we relax on board for three days or so before it's back to Cumberland and busy busy. More posts then.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


In the UK we have some sticky stuff used to hang up pictures etc, we call it 'blu-tak', it's usually blue.

We got some here, different name but we still call it Blu-tak. Except Max, who has mis-heard.

'Daddy, where's the Blue Tang, I want to stick up a picture?!'

I guess only a kid who's been snorkeling tropical reefs would come up with that one.