Roger Clark's renovation of Concerto

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Jan 11 2014

Since I completed the purchase of Concerto in early December, not too much has happened. Not only did Christmas get in the way, but I was also seriously ill with food poisoning. After suffering for 5 days, I was admitted to hospital for 4 days. I was suffering from acute dehydration and my blood pressure had dropped to 98 over 41. They pumped in 10 litres of saline, plus antibiotics. Feel fine now.

Last Sunday I went to the Boat Show and spent a fair sum on necessary bits (safety mainly) plus negotiated very keen price on a Raymarine e7 chart plotter with Navionics Gold charts for £1015 (anyone beat that?). All the other electronics will be updated next winter, so will continue using the existing equipment. Other things I also looked at were: folding propellers as it currently has the wrong size fitted, new shaft seal to replace the original greaser, Tek Dek for the cockpit seats and coamings to replace the worn out Treadmaster, Eberspacher unit to fit to the existing ducting (no unit in place) and crockery as none was provided. Also had some interesting chats on many stands including meeting someone I used to race against in Mirrors 45 years ago! Also did not miss the Westerly Owners, even bought a flag.

During the week I ordered a new sprayhood with grab rail and a new Pack-a-Main from C J Marine. Delivery has been promised by mid March. That will be great as I should launch either at the beginning or middle of April.

Today I went over to start work in earnest. Tried removing the propeller using a method recommended by a supplier, slacken the retaining nut and then tapping the boss with a toffee hammer to loosen the taper grip. It did not work. Then tried their alternative of using 2 hammers and hitting either side of the boss together. I think the hammers I used were too light as this did not work either. Think I shall have to buy a puller, if I cannot find the one my late father made. The first main task has been to start removing the antifouling to prepare for epoxy coating. I used an old 1½" chisel as the bond was not too strong. Managed to remove all the starboard side, but my arms ache like mad. I left the boottop for the moment as I have not measured the height to the rubbing straight to ensure a straight waterline. I did use goggles and face mask, plus wore some overalls. Certainly a lot of hull to work on, especially on your own.

Tomorrow I cannot face more scrapping, so it is back to the Boat Show, as I have another ticket, to find so more bits I need. I hate to think how much time I have spent on research to make sure I am spending my money wisely.

This thread will be updated as I make progress. It might even encourage a few of you to start working on your boats.

Jan 12 2014

I have a brand new unused Fein Multimaster, I did not know they made a scraper blade. Guess what I am going to get ordered tomorrow. Anything to make my life easier.

At the show today I was very pleased with the crockery I bought, made in America of toughened glass. Showed the owners on the Westerly stand and they were very impressed (including Bert's friend Mick). Also bought an electronic red flare as this had just been recommended in the latest Yachting Monthly and some bolt croppers to cut 8mm wire (Concerto has previously lost her mast due to a broken bottlescrew). Organised the material for making templates from Tek Dek and finally decided I will be ordering a Gori 2 bladed propellor and Tide Seal gland. Chatted on A.S.A.P. about adding pressurised hot and cold water next winter. The only thing I did not buy was a NASA battery monitor as I need to check what battery charger I want to fit that will be compatible to the solar panel already fitted, then do all this work at the same time in the summer.

Jan 20 2014

Yesterday I tried using the Fein Multimaster to remove the rest of the antifouling. Somehow I did not get on with it and found it kept knicking the gel coat and was very slow to cover an area. So went back to the old chisel and managed to complete the port side in less time than the starboard. I left a strip of antifoulding along the sharp curve above the keel as I need to be very careful here as it seems very well bonded.

The next job is to mark the edges of the boot top before scrapping off. This I shall do by using a triangular needle file to cut a line in the gel coat. Then I can epoxy to include the top line and still see the lower one when antifouling. When it comes to applying the epoxy I shall complete all the paint coats and then get the boat moved in the cradle so I can finish all the missing pad places in a single go - the club only charge £30 to move it so it is worth it.

The next job to tackle are the removal of the gold self adhesive lines and vinyl name. I found on ebay a do nut wheel used by car paint sprayers to remove vinyl stickers. It is like a large eraser in disk shape and supposed to not damage paintwork. The current style line is in red, but that is due to be repainted dark blue. Under the forward starboard stantion is a small area of impact damage with slight delamination, all in the style line. I have been advised to drill 2 small holes near the top in a vertical line, then inject some epoxy in the lower one and seal, then add microspheres to the epoxy to make a putty and fill the top hole. The transom is also painted red, but I am tempted to sand off all the paint and the buff up the gel coat. If it starts taking too long I shall paint it dark blue.

The keel is going to be sanded back to remove the small areas of light rust under the Primocon, then treated with Fertan before 3 or 4 coats of Primocon. This is only a stop gap measure as in a future year I shall get the keel shot blasted.

The topsides are going to be compounded back as they are dull due to oxidisation of the gel. Two types of compound are going to be used and finally an acrylic sealer applied to retain the shine. Then the painted style line and epoxy can be started.

Today I have confirmed the specification of the 2 bladed folding Gori prop and Tides Marine shaft seal. So these are now on order.

The material for patterning the Tek Dek has also arrived. Just need a dry day to do this to get a final quote.

Whilst at the Boat Show I bought 3 bags of rope for £10 from English Braids as I needed some fine rope so I could withdraw the halyards. This has turned out to be an absolute bargain as one bag contained a 4mm rope that I estimate to be about 250 feet long and another bag has two 3mm ropes each about 100 to 150 feet long. Have not looked at the third bag, plus there are plenty of other useful small ropes in shorter sizes.

7 Feb 2014

Last weekend I managed to mark the boot top and waterline in the gel coat. I tried the needle file, but it was very slow and my fingers got very cold. The easy solution was a fine cutting disc in a Dremel, worked a treat and with care I managed to stay in the gel coat. The line was almost straight and will be coated with epoxy, so no long term damage will result. The starboard boot top has been scrapped off, but has left a very strong red colour on the gel, but this will be sanded off so the epoxy has a clean and abraded surface to adhere to.

The propeller has finally been removed using a puller. When I quoted all the dimensions to Glen at Sillette, I got a surprising reply. The prop shaft has a 1:10 taper, but the propeller boss was 1:12! The Gori folding propeller should be delivered next week with a 1:10 taper!

There is a definite leak from the coachroof that is running down over the aft port window. I will have to drop the headling panel and coat the back with some talcum powder if I cannot spot the point of water ingress. I suspect it is either a deck fitting or one of the wood trims, or might even be the hatch box not coping with so much rain or the cable entry point for the solar panel. Will advise what I find.

During the week I took delivery of the new Ebaspacher D4. I was advised to replace the existing ducting, electric loom, control box and exhaust (but not the exhaust outlet. Doing all this work meant I might as well increase the system to include a vent in the forward cabin for extra comfort. As the weather is looking horrible for this weekend I think I shall spend a day getting the bulk of the ducting and electrics fitted. The main unit will have to wait as it is fitted in the transom and access is only from the sail locker in the cockpit.

The transom is currently painted red and I have decided to try paint stripper to remove the bulk of it, with a tape stopping the stripping gel running onto the straight gel. Then a course and fine compounding should bring it back to original gel coat, ir this does not work then I shall paint the transom. The first dry day I get I shall start componding the topsides as I want to see the real colour of the faded gel.

Quite a few club members have stopped for a chat as they are impressed with the progress so far. A few do not think I will get it all finished in time to launch by mid April. My biggest problem is the rain and cold stopping me working outside on the weekends I can get there.

Feb 23 2014

Three weeks on and I thought I would post an update.

The Gori propeller has arrived but will not be fitted until just before launching. The headlining panel has been dropped but no point of water ingress could be seen, so I suspect it was an overload on the hatch.

The boot top has been removed, the final antifouling on the turn of the hull to the keel scrapped off, skin fittings were cleaned externally, and the gap around the rudder was finally cleaned.

A section of the keel was sanded and treated with Fertan, but the disc sander became clogged quicly and I did not have enough disks to continue. More disks on order. The keel will be treated twice with Fertan and then at least 5 coats of Primocon before the antifouling.

A section of the painted transom was covered with paint stripper, but it hardly touched it. So I decided to try sanding it with a disk sander. Careful slow sanding cut through the 5 different reds (multiple coats) and sometimes white or navy sign writing. I tried to leave the final red for a finer sanding grade on a Fein multitool. The Fein worked well using a circular pad and a triangular pad and the transom is now almost completely white. A finer grade of paper will now be used before I start compounding.

The red style line had paint removed when the vinyl lines were removed and this has now been sanded smooth through the 3 colours of red. Feeling for any rough edges should make the surface perfect once the first coat of Pre-Kote has been lightly cut back. I did read that Pre-Kote should be left for 2 weeks before the Toplac is applied.

The final sanding of the underwater profile have been tested ready for the epoxy coating. First the boot top will be cut back with the Fein, then the topsides are going to be compounded and polished, and the varnish of the rubbing strake will be rubbed down and varnished, and the keel prepared. This means all these processes can be done in the minimum number of days. The sanding for the epoxy will then go ahead, immediately by it's application.

If there are any wet days I have the seacocks to service, the new stern gland to fit (but might leave till next winter) and the Ebersparcher hose to replace. The batteries are now being charged, even though they have been topped up with the solar panel, I leave nothing to chance.

Despite the generally wet weather this winter, I have had many fine sunny days working outside at the weekends.

Mar 02 2014

Over the past week I have managed to work on Wednesday evening for a couple of hours and all weekend. Once again I have avoided any rain on these days!

The keel has been stripped of paint in a total of about 4 hours across 2 days. I tried using a disc sander and a Fein multi-tool, but I found the Mk1 chisel to be the quickest. The surface was then sanded with the 7" disk sander using 120 grit disks. The sanded metal with small paint remnants and bits of filler was then wet off with water and coated with Fertan (just following the instructions). This is Tannic Acid and stabalises any rust and seals the surface, leaving it almost black. To be truly sure I applied a second coat. It needs 24 to 48 hours to work effectively, so will be ready for 5 sealing coats Primocon starting next weekend. In due course I will report on how effective this method has been at prevention of further rusting.

The boot top has now been completely sanded back to pure gel coat and about a third of the underwater profile. For this I found the Fein with 60 grit pads best to remove all remnants of paint and leave a surface ready for the epoxy to be applied. The gel coat has been showing plenty of small bubbles which the surveyor said was air bubbles between the gel coat layers. The ones that show a void will be filled (up to about 4mm in diameter), along with any other small scratches and chips.

As my shoulders were feeling very sore, I decided to give a final sanding with 180 grit to the transom to remove the pink hue. All I now need to do is some final detail paint removal around the fittings with a Dremel and it should be ready for compounding to restore a high shine. I might open up the small cracks in the gel under the exhaust with the Dremel and then re-gel to make it look smarter.

The plan is now to complete the sanding of the underwater profile, paint the keel and sand and varnish the rubbing strake. Then compound the topsides, followed by painting the style line and starting the epoxy/antifouling. If the weather is wet, then I shall service all the seacocks, fit the new stern gland and replace the Ebaspacher hoses and fit the main unit.

Hopefully I will meet my target for launching in mid April on a spring tide.

Mar 23 2014

A few weeks have gone by since my last report.

The keel was washed to remove any residue from the Fertan and a lot of black dust was removed, so some chemical action has definitely taken place. It now has 3 coats of primocon, just 2 more to go. The sanding of the underwater sections is still not finished, but about two thirds has been completed. This is very hard work and very tough on the shoulders, so taking my time over this. Some of the small air bubbles in the gel coat have burst, so I have been filling these with a gel filler. The top of the keel was slightly narrower than the keel stub, so this has been ground back to be a closer fit, there was plenty of gel here and in places went back about 3mm.

The rubbing strake has been sanded and given a coat of varnish. The old varnish was very rough and required about 2½ hours sanding with the Fein multitool. I am still not happy with the finish as some layers of old varnish are flaking where sanded through to the previous varnish. So next spring I shall strip it back to bare wood for a perfect finish.

The topsides have had a number of minor chips and scratches filled and sanded. The transom has been sanded back to gel, but I went too heavy handed beneath the exhaust as the gel was crazed and exposed the glassfibre, so had to re-gel a small area. The topsides were washed with a boat wash cleaning solution and compounding has begun. The transom looks OK, but I can still see some fine scratches and will now go back a stage and wet sand with 600 wet and dry, followed by 1200, before compounding again.

The port side has now had the first compounding with Farecla G3, a coarse compound. The result is amazing. Have a look at the photos in the link in my signature to see what I mean. I was using a 6" foam pad in a Silverline sander/polisher at about 800 rpm. The gel coat was sprayed with a little water and using a small amount of compound (about the size of a 10p piece), any more and it sprayed everywhere. Taking an area of topside about 20" (500mm) wide, I compounded several times in different directions until I saw a good shine. Next I will use Farecla G10, a very fine compound, followed by Crystal Glo a sealing polish. I just cannot wait to see the final result, but other club members are now asking how am I getting such a shine. I should mention that working on the platform does make compounding a lot easier, it is by Clarke and available from Machine Mart for just under £100.

The new sprayhood and Pack-a-Main sail cover are nearing completion and should be shipped on Monday. I finally went with a navy blue as this looks the closest to Oxford Blue that will be used on the style stripe. Not sure if either will be fitted before launching, but that does not worry me as they are just as easy to fit once in the marina.

This coming weekend and the next should have the compounding and polishing finished, plus the hull sanding. Then the painting of the style line and epoxy can begin. Once the epoxy and antifouling has been completed, I shall have Concerto moved in her cradle so I can paint where all the pads are to get a complete seal of epoxy. It is worth the £30 the club charge, as I do not have the time to keep dropping a pad at a time.

Still not sure if I will launch on the spring tides in mid April, but definitely at the end of April.

Work will then continue on deck as I have to inject some epoxy into a small area of the foredeck as it is showing signs of delamination with the core, repaint the decks, compound the gel coat, varnish the hand rails and toe rail, remove the worn out Treadmaster and fit synthetic teak, move 2 winches and fit 2 additional Lewmar 43ST's as genoa winches on the cockpit coaming. Not forgetting I must move the old GPS display to the chart table and replace it with the new chart plotter, and fit the Eberspacher. No doubt other things on deck will come to my attention that will need to be sorted.

I just cannot wait to having that first sail.

Apr 14 2014

Since my last post, the compounding and polishing of the topsides has been completed. What a difference that has made! Check the early photos to see the real difference. The number of comments I have received makes all the hard work definitely worthwhile. I have been using the 10 foot rule, if you cannot see something at 10 foot, then it is acceptable. However I am not satisfied as I can still see some blemishes from poor gel coat scratch repairs and a some slight cream staining in the gel, both of which I shall tackle next winter.

All the underwater section of the hull has now been fully sanded. Not something I would want to repeat in a hurry as it took far longer than I have planned. As I sanded the last of the flatter aft sections of the hull, I could still see some of the original shine from when It was moulded. No wonder the antifoul did not have such a tough bond, making it fairly easy to remove in 2 days.

Yesterday I finally managed the first coat of epoxy. The photos show a rough edge to the epoxy as I am feathering the coats in over the width of the boot top and will only mask the edge for the final coat and antifouling. A Fulmar needs the full 2.5 lites of Gelshield 200 for a single coat when applied with a roller. The final dregs of the epoxy, as it started thickening, was continually layered with a brush into the limited number of small air bubble holes in the gel until they were filled. The thicker it became, the more like a filler it performed.

After the epoxy I then taped the style line using 3M blue masking tape. The first coat of Pre-Kote was then brushed on. This dried very quickly in the warmth of the afternoon, almost too quickly. I expect to apply another coat on Wednesday, ready for sanding back on Friday. Depending on the finish, I might apply a further coat to obtain a top quality base finish ready for the top gloss coats.

The only other job that has been started is fitting the TidesMarine Series One shaft seal. Unfortunately when I measured the stern tube with the existing greased fitting still in place, I obtained an incorrect measurement when I lay over the engine in early January. It was not 1¾", but 1½". So I sent the rubber flexible tube back to be changed, only to find all that was needed was for a rubber sleave to be inserted. So this now just needs to be assembled on to the shaft and the shaft inserted back into the clamp at the rear of the gearbox. Then connect the water feed from the exhaust coolant and that completes that job. The new Gori folding propeller will only be fitted just before launching. Whilst behind the engine I was looking how to draw fuel from the diesel tank for the Ebersparcher heater, then I noticed the main fuel filter has a second outlet, so making that an easy job to do.

The keel has 3 coats of Primercon applied, but I still have 2 more to go. I have been very careful to make sure the epoxy and Primercon do not mix as they are 2 pot and single pot mixes, and the 2 pot epoxy will not adhere properly to the Primercon. The join line is the sealant between the GRP and keel.

Over the Easter weekend I can only manage 3 full days due to family commitments, but I expect to complete the epoxy and the antifouling. The style line should also be finished. If I can manage to set up another computer, I will cut the name "Concert" on my vinyl cutter ready to be applied on the transom. Then it will be moving the boat in the cradle and completeling the epoxy where the patches are. These will be painted on a daily basis. Then I will be ready to be launched.

If all of this seems to be taking a lot of time, just remember I am working on my own only at weekends due to work. There are plenty of "friends" who want to come sailing, but none have volunteered to help with any work.

Apr 30 2014

Yesterday was a day I found lots of water around my boat. It has been launched!Work has been hard for the past few weeks, but Concerto is finally afloat in Chatham Maritime Marina. More photos of recent work have been added to the link in my signature.

The work to date can be summarised as follows: 1. All the antifouling was removed and the gel coat sanded to remove paint traces. 2. Three coats of Gelshield 200 (as recommended by my surveyor) were applied, followed by 2 coats of blue Interspeed Ultra hard antifouling and 2 of Dover White Micron 2 soft antifouling. The coats were complete as the cradle chocks were lowered for painting as the hull was supported on Acrow props. 3. The keel was stripped of paint and sanded, treated with 2 coats of Fertan, followed by 4 coats of Primocon. 4. The red painted transom (5 different layers of reds!) was sanded so the original gel coat was compounded and polished. 5. The gold vinyl lines were removed, but this damaged the layers of paint in the red style line. So this was sanded smooth and undercoated three times with addition sanding on the 2nd coat. The style line was repainted in Oxford Blue Toplac. 6. Minor gel coat repairs were made on the bow edge, parts of the transom edge and a small area in the style line that had impact damage. 7. The topsides were compounded to cut the oxidisation that made them look dull. There were 2 grades of compound and a Crystal Glaze polish created the shine. 8. The rubbing strake was rubbed down and a single coat of polyurethane varnish applied. Poor adhesion of a previous layer means I will have to sand back to bare wood for a good finish. 9. A new water lubricated stern gland was fitted to replace the orginal greased gland. 10. A new 2 bladed Gori folding propeller was fitted.

This sizeable list took 3½ months to complete, working almost exclusively at weekends, but with no helpers. Everything completed was done by yours truly.

The boat handled well under power and the new propeller seemed to suit the engine well. There were no problems with the folding blades opening or closing. In reverse there was not as much prop wash as I expected. I did not open the throttle fully to allow the speed to fully build as some small vibration is suggesting the engine may not be correctly lined up or may only be resting on 3 of the 4 engine mounts, but I still managed over 7 knots - so I was very pleased.

Now Concerto is afloat the work will continue. The decks have been scrubbed to remove the verdigris from being out of the water for 18 months alongside a tree, but all the halyards need to be removed and cleaned. The rigging needs to be set up and checked. The new sprayhood is aboard awaiting fitting. The new Pack-a-Main needs fitting and the sails bent on so I can then go for my first sail. Then there is still the chart plotter and the Ebasparcher to be fitted as well. Then work will start on compounding the gel coat on the decks and repainting the non slip paint. I am still not sure whether to patch and fill the chipped and flaking deck areas, or remove completely. The Treadmaster in the cockpit is at the end of its life with chips and lifting in places, so it will be removed and replaced with synthetic teak. The current genoa winches at the end of the coachroof are too far outboard to allow a 10" handle to swing with a sprayhood raised, so will be moved 3" further inboard. A pair of secondhand Lewmar 43ST are also going to be fitted on the cockpit coamings as primary genoa winches as this will make sailing single handed a bit easier. In July I will reinforce the keel rib as the hull is not quite stiff enough to hold the hull in shape whilst on a cradle. A further list of work will be set relating to the interior, but not until the winter.

That first sail is very close now.

Nearly forgot. I still have not yet applied the name to the transom due to a computer problem on Friday, but it should be there next weekend.

May 27 2014

Since launching I have not been able to spend as much time doing some of the jobs I would like.

However the new spayhood from C & J Marine with grab rail has been fitted, after the old one had been removed and all holes filled with gel. The fitting instructions were followed but I found them to be wrong. The pivot feet started to bend as the fittings were too far inboard and should have been on the coach roof edge, so more holes were filled. The new Pack-a-Main has also been fitted and just needs final adjustment. The Furlex roller has been greased and when bending the genoa on I found the feeder would not take the multi-layered sections of luf tape and had to been gently opened with some wet and dry to 6 thicknesses.

Part of the TreadMaster on the cockpit coamings was removed and the gel sanded, compounded and polished (see photos in signature) as a pair of secondhand Lewmar 43 self tailers have been fitted and fully greased. These are oversize, but make winching a lot easier and the position is better for singlehanded sailing.

Numerous other small jobs have been completed like tensioning the rigging, but I feel will have to shorten the forestay and possibly the split backstay as they at the end of their adjustment. The plate rack in the galley needed adjusting for larger dinner plates, but the small plate and bowl storage was too large so used some sponges at the back for a quick remedy. Checking the electrics caused a problem as wire had dropped off the back of the fuse panel, stopping all the 12v electrics. It took a while to find where the wire needed to be reconnected. The cabling has been fitted ready for the chart plotter, now I have the correct deck gland. The cleaning of the bilges and interior are underway, along with finding the best storage places for all my clutter.

It has taken a month since launching but I have now had my first sail, but details of this is in another thread.

Sep 02 2014

Since my last post at the end of May not a lot has been done onboard as I have been try to sail as frequently as possible.

However the biggest change is I have now installed the Raymarine e7 chart plotter above the B&G instruments. This caused a few problems in fitting as I wanted it on top of the instrument box. This involved using a piece of plywood that had to be thinned one side as the aluminium instrument pod was higher than the wood face and it had to be deeper than the box to clear the sprayhood. It was varnished and fixed to the wood. (see photo in the link in my signature) Routing the cable was relatively simple using a waterproof deck gland to take the cable through the deck and then down the side of the companionway hatch with other cables to the instrument panel on the side of the engine compartment. That was when I had problems as there were no spare connectors, so bought some piggy back connectors to gain the power. When I removed the panel under the bridge deck to access the back of the panel I found a mess of cables, eventually I had to remove the electric panel to add the power cables. Screwed everything back and nothing worked, no instruments, no VHF, no lights, etc. After a bit of careful inspection I found a cable had come off a connector, but which one. Finally I spotted the place it had dropped off from, put it all back together and everything worked. Phew. It has certainly been a worthwhile addition to the instrumentation.

The other thing not working was the B&G wind instrument as the wind strut was missing when I bought Concerto. In another thread I have discussed this. My intention was to change all the instruments, but then an economy measure was decided upon as the B&G log and depth were both working well. A new strut was an eye watering £650, yes £650! But I managed to source one on ebay, but it cost me £205 plus postage. This strut has now been fitted and the instrument is fully working. So no need to spend £1400 on new instruments and time fitting them.

Whilst up the mast fitting the wind strut I checked all the rigging and could see no problems. I did find the genoa halyard was incorrectly routed and it will have to be withdrawn and refitted in the other halyard position as this one has a dead eye on the mast to keep the halyard clear from the furling gear.

Last weekend I had a problem with the Autohelm 2000 as it refused to work. After returning from sailing I did some checking and found poor connections in the dry plug connection and the connector to the main control box. Both of these will need resoldering, but I think I shall fit a new dry plug as this one is difficult to fully push on, even after lubricating the O-ring, and could also be a poor connection. As I sail singlehanded most of the time, life is a lot easier with an autopilot.

For those who might be interested with how the Gori folding propeller is performing. Not a glitch of a problem with it opening or closing, either in forward or reverse. Under sail I do get a very slight wobble on the rudder, but have put this down to turbulence from the keel, not the propeller. In fact I have found the whole handling under power to be exactly as I expected - precise and easy. Once entering Chatham Marina lock, the space was less than 10ft longer than the boat as the boat in front was about 15 ft too far back. I still managed to pop the bow in and manually bring the stern in. Later one of the marina staff comment that I made it look so easy, especially as a motor boat came in after me a made a complete pigs ear of it and not going alongside, but ended up rafted against another motor boat. They even had about 6 crew on board, but a skipper who did not understand how to use his twin engines to position his boat.

My next main task is to complete the fixing of the Eberspacher heating system. I could not see the point in wasting good sailing weather to do this. Then I shall start on compounding the gel coat on deck and getting rid of all marks, scratches and oxidisation (yellowing of the white gel). There will be a few marks to be filled with new gel, but nothing major. Once polished it will gleam brightly like the hull. Then I shall look at the deck paint, after checking several fittings are correctly sealed. So watch this space for more updates.

Oct 20 2014

It seems so long ago that I last posted, but sailing does get in the way of renovations.

The Ebersparcher is nearly completely fitted. The combustion unit is mounted on the aft bulhead in the transom. A new exhaust pipe has been fitted to the existing hull outlet in the transom - a bit of a pig to get at but a hatch at the end of the quarter berth helped, but I could only get my head and one arm through! For the main ducting I cut the original in the cockpit locker and used this to pull the new ducting and control loom through into the cabin. The electrical block was put inside the ducting to stop any chance of it catching. This was surprisingly easy to do. An extension to the original ducting has been made to take heat to the forward cabin. This entailed cutting 4 holes, 3 through the bulkheads of the hanging lockers and 1 in the berth side. I made a bit of an error as I bought a 70mm hole cutter to pass the 60mm ducting, but the hole required for the outlet was 76mm - so had to buy an additional cutter.

Once the ducting had been all connected, I then turned to insultating it in the sail locker to make it more efficient. The ducting passes aft at cockpit coaming height, so had a number of curves. This makes wrapping with a double layer of aluminium coated bubblewrap slightly difficult. The roll I was using was 600mm wide, but at times it was easier to reduce this to 300mm or even 150mm. A self adhesive aluminium tape was used to seal everything together. There will certainly be far less heat loss in the sail locker now.

Whilst checking the best way to pick up the fuel, I found that the large panel running fore and aft at the back of the engine had been amended when the new engine had been fitted. Unfortunately to remove it meant unscrewing 5 screws on a piece of plywood, as this prevented the panel removal. After some careful thought, this has been improved so the main panel can be instantly removed. It took about 2 hours of cutting and adjusting to make a piece to be flat with the panel. Why this was not done originally I do not know.

The next stage is to fit some boxing to the ducting to prevent crushing and further ducting to cover the exhaust that now passes within the sail locker. The fuel pick up should be via a pipe from the top of the tank, but as the tank is under the cockpit, I cannot get there to fit it. So I plan to take the fuel from the fuel filter as there is a spare outlet and it is easy to get, it is mounted at the aft end of the engine. Then all that is left to do is connect up the battery and test it.

Whilst working on the Ebasparcher, I now plan to Danboline the lockers where the ducking passes through the cabin as the original grey paint is looking very tired and rubbed. I also plan to do the sail locker as well as soon as the boxing is complete. Not looking forward to the fumes, but while they are empty it makes sense.

This winter I am planning to remain in the water until late January or early February and then be hauled out so I can then start on some other important jobs. The major job I want to do before lifting out, is to reinforce the keel rib, mainly in the aft end as this is a known weakness of early Fulmars. There has been a poor attempt in the past, repairing some cracks in the corners of the rib, but this will all have to be sanded back as I do not trust the adhesion. Also the way it was done has altered the floor levels slightly and the floors all rock and none are screwed down. A messy job with lots of sanding, but definitely needs doing. It was originally planned for this summer, but work commitments got in the way.

The rubbing rail needs stripping back to bare wood as some old varnish coats are lifting. Not sure whether to revarnish or use a breathable woodstain. Then I plan to fit a stainless steel D section for better protection against the wood lining of the marina lock - yes I have rubbed a couple of times and do not want to ruin any new finish. Whilst working on the rub rails I plan to do the same finish to all the other external woodwork. Then I want to check the integrity of the deck fittings and if necessary rebed them.

The self tailing genoa winches on the aft end of the coachroof are going to be moved to become the halyard winches as they are more substantial than the orignal Lewmar 16's. The non slip decks are to be sanded back to gel coat as they are chipped and flaking in places. These will be repainted in a grey colour non slip after the surrounding gel coat has been compounded and polished (naturally any faults will be fixed first). All the old Treadmaster in the cockpit needs to be lifted and I now plan to lay synthetic teak as solid teak is too expensive.

Down below the forward cabin lining needs stripping and replacing. Whilst doing this I have to repair a panel in the main cabin as it has bubbled after being replaced just before I bought Concerto. Then all the higher level lockers and hanging lockers, plus the foot of the quarter berth will all be lined. So will start with some smaller areas to get some experience of handling the foam backed vinyl. I would also like to change most of the internal lights as they are the originals and are looking very tired, might even change some of the cabling. If I get a chance, I would love to rub down the inernal woodwork and refinish to make it look a lot smarter. This may have to happen in sections, but might have to wait a year. The last big changes are new upholstry and curtains, plus a new cooker and gas system.

It will be great when it is all completed. Hah, ha. When is a boat every completed?

Nov 24 2014

Finding the connector for the fuel for the Ebasparcher from the main tank filter has been a problem, finally a solution has been created. The different sizes has been the problem as I could not find a hose/pipe step down reducer at the major supply wholesaler. A fitting to the filter has been reduced in diameter to make fitting the smaller flexible pipe easier to fit. I now have just got to make the final connection of the diesel pump and fuel line, then bleed the Ebersparcher and engine. Finally the Ebersparcher should be running. That is less than an hours work to complete.

However all my current plans are taking a backseat at present. On Wednesday my wife and I had just left Tower Hill Underground station to use the underpass to go and look at the remaining poppies on display at the Tower of London. Half way down the flight of steps she slipped and managed to break her ankle in 3 places. So we never saw them. It was only yesterday (Sunday) that she had the operation to plate and screw it all back together. They expect her to remain in hospital for at least another 5 days. Not being that close to home is making the daily visit very waring and am currently not sure when I will be able to finish that job. So all my well laid plans have been thrown away as family does come first over the boat even thogh she hates boats.