It is coming along… One Project at a Time.

I began manufacturing a hard dodger a couple days ago. The canvas ones are pretty and all but when you really need a dodger they justĀ won’t stand up. One of those guys pictured above landing on deck and …. well…ya get a wee wet šŸ˜›

Progress is slow as I am redesigning it on the hour with each new piece cut out and welded in. I really wish I knew how I manage to measure things incorrectly so often when I am living by the rule of measure twice and cut once. Well it just aint so. I measure 3 or 4 times and yet I am often cutting twice šŸ˜¦ Thank God welding can help make up for myĀ incompetence. Speaking of welding…. I am slowly improving. I think one major mistake was IĀ wasn’t providing enough power as I was fearful of burning through the steel. I finally turned it up for theĀ gauge and I am now getting much better resultsĀ albeit my aim still needs improvement.

Manufacturing with steel has some distinct advantages over a fibreglass boat as I can easily (well relative for me) weld the dodger directly to the cabin top. With fibreglass I would be drilling holes and bolting it down with back plates, so IĀ think this is somewhat easier and probably stronger. Now that I haveĀ the framing structure in place it isĀ very strong and stable.

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I initially considered using plate steel as the roof but I have changed my mind and will now use 3/4 inch plywood as it is much stronger, stiffer actually, Ā and will allow me to stand on top should I need to. I can also insert sweet little windows in the roof flush with the surface by routing a recessed edge.

Yesterday I went into the big smoke to pick up my electronics. It felt a bit like Christmas until I had to pay for them. The it felt a bit like bankruptcy šŸ˜› I will begin installing the hydraulic auto helm in a day or two by manufacturing a base in the lazerette. I can’t start to install the electronics until I get out of the indoor storage as I will have to cut some holes in the steel and the management at the harbour won’t like that too much. Hopefully I will get outside this week. Maybe it will warm up and dry out a bit too. Wouldn’t that be nice šŸ™‚

I am quickly running out of time. I have to return to work the end of May. Bills to pay you know. I figure I have another 2 good weeks to dedicate to the refit. I do have to complete a recertification in Controlled Substances for work and that will be a pain in the butt that no narcotic can alleviate. Aa well the last few days in May I will have to knuckle down and review for the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) course I have to do.Ā 

Next week…… Autohelm installation šŸ™‚

Oppppps :( The Irony of Another Major Problem Found….

“Bad news me thinks Cap’n”.

I have yet again another major repair to undertake before I sail off into the wild blue yonder.Ā 

A short time ago I was examining the anchor rollers in their twisted metal Frankenstein like frame to determine how to best manufacture a new and better system than what is there at present. Upon removing a stainless cap on the nose of the bow I noted some rust and a possible hole. When I poked my finger into it the bondo (can you believe it) the previous owners had stuffed in to keep the water out (Hehehehehe…really!) crumbled away revealingĀ a good sized gap. I could literally put my finger in it making me feel a bit like the Dutch boy trying to save his villageĀ from the flood streaming out of the dyke.

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I now know one of the inletsĀ for the major intrusion of water into the boat that has been the cause of all my repairs and the major headaches.

If you look a little closer you will see something even more disturbing…….

largerNotice how the deck appears pulled up at the plate where the tack of the sail is attached (silver plate in centre). Well…. This plate had not been welded directly to the stem of the boat and either through the tension of the forestay or a head on collision directly on the bow has caused the deck to buckle. “Bad news me thinks Cap’n”. Any real force applied to the forestay… I am thinking maybe a storm at sea and a very real chance of a DEMASTINGĀ šŸ˜¦ Ā and possible loss of LIFE!

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The repair will entail cutting back the wood capped toerail a good 6 inches on either side, cutting a substantial portion out of the bent deck at the tack attachment bar, welding an extension onto the tack bar and welding this directly to the stem which terminated right below the deck. I then of course will need to patch the hole in the bow by welding further patch into the boat…. What?… That makes this about the 12th hole šŸ˜¦

I have finally realized how appropriate it was that haveĀ named the boat the “Artful Dodger”. As Jack Dawkins replied to the perhaps naive Oliver, “Huh! A Friend’s just an enemy in disguise. You can’t trust nobody”.

It is unbelievable what some will do for money!