Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Week so Far: More Progress.

Not done much on the boat, but a fair bit of boat-related stuff off it.

The rudder has had another coat of varnish and the metalwork has been refitted with new stainless screws.

I also epoxied the bottom of the lower washboard, which had started to weather thanks to being stood in water when it rains. The epoxy waterproofs the bottom of the plywood and mechanically stabilises it so it stops delaminating and falling apart. I'll take the yacht varnish on board at some point and add a couple of coats to the washboards.

I've aquired a couple of sheets of 18mm marine ply which may do for cockpit locker tops. Its a bit heavier than I'd like, but beggars can't be chosers. Unusually for marine ply it was very very cheap being offcuts. Cheaper than my dinghy!

If necessary I'll use a woodworking router to rebate the area just behind the edge of the locker top to form a lip on the edge which will make water drip off the edge and not run under the lip. It will also allow the top to sit lower And hopefully flush with the top of the cockpit benches. I've decided a cheap and cheerful coat of yacht varnish will do for now rather than epoxy.

The downside is I don't own a woodworking router having never had reason to use one before. I feel another Freecycle/Freegle plea forming for the weekend.

I also played with the generator in my lunch hour at work. A bit of carb cleaner in the intake got it going and then I adjusted the mixture screw fully in and then half to one turn out, which seems to be a universal setting on a lot of two-stroke stuff. It appears to work as it now starts easily on choke when cold and also starts and runs fine when warm. A lot better than last night when it steadfastly refused to start after two hours of sweating and swearing. Now I know how to set it up, I might have a look at Jim's generator which is the same Chinese-made on as mine, just with a different badge on it. His was poor to start as well, so I should be able to fettle it into shape now I understand the things a bit better.

I also measured the voltages coming out of the thing. No wonder it fried the work laptop chargers at Sandringham: I measured 260v instead of 240v and with a battery connected for charging the 12v output was more like 17v.

I think some adjustment of the governor is necessary to slow it down and lower the voltages a bit. For now simple power tools should be ok running on it so I should be able to use it on the boat for sanding and sawing. I'm just not going to connect it to anything electronic.

Anyway now I have plywood I can crack on with the locker tops which when they're finished will mean I can take the cover off the cockpit as it will all be weatherproof.

All in I think expenditure on the boat this month has been less than £40. A tenner for the yacht varnish, £15 for the ply, a fiver's worth of sandpaper and a fiver for stainless screws.

A job for the next week is to have a dig in the garage for some rope, as the cheap pound-shop stuff I used on the dinghy isn't really up to scratch.

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