When I eventually live aboard, one of the things I am looking forward to is no more yard work. E.g.: lawn mowing, weed pulling, verge trimming. But boats of course have their own more interesting and enjoyable (at least to me) version, which I’ve been busy with recently…
First was the haul out, which was handled very well by the good folks at Swantown Boatworks.
The anti-fouling paint I applied one year ago looked like it did pretty well, considering it’s an ablative paint, and I didn’t do a whole lot of sailing & ablating last year. Just a light coating of slime; a bit more near the waterline and on the rudder (more in the sunlight there, I surmise), which washed off easily.
One of the main tasks on the list was the removal and plugging of the two thru-hulls for the head (marine toilet). I’m installing a composting head (Nature’s Head), and the large ball valves on the thru-hulls needed to be removed since they were in the way of the base of the new toilet.
Getting the valves and thru-hulls apart and removed turned out to be much easier than the various accounts I read indicated, thanks largely to the advice from Bill Eppick, the builder of SKYE. The valves were held in by three large bolts from outside the hull, and once they were removed (Forstner bits are a wonderful thing for removing bungs without damaging the bolts or screws underneath), the valves were unscrewed with a big monkey wrench and well placed foot. After I heated up the thru-hull fittings with a propane torch, softening the bedding compound, the fittings spun right out, with a wrench only needed to get them started.
I made two tapered wooden plugs from the same material as the hull, Port Orford Cedar, with my old drill press and a heavy rasp. I also make new backing blocks which are held in place by large bronze screws from the exterior of the hull.
The large holes in the hull were shaped to fit the tapered plugs, and dowels and standard plugs were used to fill the bolt and screw holes. All were epoxied in place.
And then cut off and sanded flush.
While high and dry, I also took care of a few more tasks… I unloaded all the anchor chain for a trip to the galvanizers, cleaned and anti-fouled the transducer speed paddle, re-bedded a leaky deck prism, sanded and painted the topsides and boot stripe and put on a couple of new coats of anti-fouling.
Meanwhile, in another part of the boat yard, another wooden boat was being disassembled via heavy machinery. Sad to see, in spite of the obviously poor condition of the vessel. Someone, somewhere, put a lot of effort in to building it, and now it’s firewood.