Just like I planned - 6 months ago: reasons to rebuild the beam
It's been a lot of hassle to have fabricated, but in the end, it is exactly as I'd wanted it.
I've fitted the beam to enable me to glass a flange on the catwalk to connect to the beam. I'll have to remove the beam again so that I can paint it - the welding has wrecked the original anodising. I've got hold of some epoxy paint designed for use on aluminium. The fabricator has advised me that though the welding looks neat and complete, it is likely that there are pin holes in it that I'll never see, but that nevertheless can admit water. So I'll drill a small hole in the bottom of the beam, pour in a can of waxoil, and seal the hole again with Sikaflex.
And today, the boat is ready to come out of the shed, after 6 months of 6-7 days a week working on it. It's on schedule exactly, but only through having worked on it much harder than I'd planned.
What's left? Just three items on the list!
- Re-rig the mast, and put that up again - new standing rigging, replace the masthead bulb with an LED one, fit a radar reflector, and a second aerial for the AIS.
- Fit the engines. Two 9.9 Yamaha outboards I've been working on. When I bought the boat, the engines weren't fit for use - I had to replace corroded wires, rebuild a gearbox, and replace half a carburettor to get them working again. Beside, when I bought the boat and sailed it to Totnes, the cockpit was a soggy piece of plywood that would barely take my weight, never mind support the weight of an engine. So I haven't yet run the boat with the engines it came with.
- Paint the finish coats. Many people have commented on the fact that I have refitted all the cleats and stanchions etc before the final coat of paint, and it seems odd to some that I am bringing the boat out of the shed before the final paint job. Underwater, the final paint will be Coppercoat, which I have already. The weather needs to be a bit warmer before I apply that. Just a day's work. Above the waterline, I'm just using Sandtex masonry paint on deck, and acrylic semi-gloss on the topsides. It's cheap, quick and easy to maintain. So I've attached all the fittings before the final paint job so that the sealant is bonded to the tough epoxy paint, not the relatively weak top coat that comes next. Besides, the shed is all dusty from all the work going on around me. It'll be better painting outside.