Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Winches, Paint and St Brit

Now that the deckhouse is on, the whole boat feels like it is not far from being ready for sea, poor fools that we are, there is so much more to do, not least the painting of the outside of the hull. We have got used to the silver primer (it matches the superstructure) and so it was quite a surprise to find the white water-line in place this morning.

The picture of the hull here shows that start of the top coats of paint, starting with the water line, a difficult thing to nail at this stage because Heroine floats in about 2ft of water, instead of what the scored marks on her hull indicate which is something like 3m.

There is still some tidying up of the hull to do; where various dents and old nail holes have been filled again after the anti-foul coat, the filler shows up white, but the hull is looking much more like it should and it is such an encouragement after such a long time in the shed. The anti-foul makes Heroine look like a boat rather than just a hulk.

The skipper has decided to see what the doors might look like, so we spent a happy morning with chalk and tape sketching the shapes on.

The view of the inside of the deck-house gives us an idea of what it will be like to live and work on board, the deck is looking rather better now that the Sikaflex is in place and mostly sanded. Although the inside of the aluminium structure will be insulated and lined with some kind of wood panelling, and we have yet to add the rest of the windows.
The latest bit of kit to be hoisted on deck, is the rather handsome windlass (well, I think so) from Spencer Carter, which will pull the anchors up and down and will also enable us to use the mast for getting dinghies launched.  The winch works by hydraulic power, the pipes for this will run all the length of the old fish-hold, via the captain's bathroom (gurgling and load shifting all familiar territory here) and will be connected to a pump which is mounted on the front of the Caterpillar. So, dear seaperson or armchair-mariner reader, I hear you ask, how will you lift the anchor if the main engine fails? Well, we won't be able to move the boat without the engine, but for an emergency tow we would disconnect the bitter end of the chain, connect a floating fender to it and chuck it overboard, to get it later, and there you have it. Now I have written this, the skipper looks over my shoulder and thinks he can connect the powerpack from the steering to haul the anchor, I'm in favour of cutting and running if we are in trouble, but  we can argue that another day when we are stalled on a lee shore with a force 8 coming in fast. Or get a second main engine. Or just stay in harbour.

Not a very crisp photo,above, I'm afraid, but the inner black reels are the chain gypsies and the outer black reels are the warping drums. This is yet another example of how nothing at sea is as simple as on land, and furthermore, all this extra lingo, all the terminology, is the signal to a merchant selling this kind of gear to stick a zero on the end of the price. Don't turn up in a Musto jacket and Dubarry boots, but instead wear your old jacket on which the dogs have been sleeping and muddy wellies and then you'll be in a  much better position to negotiate. Be sure to feign ignorance of port and starboard, call it "bogs" instead of "heads", refer casually to the "sharp end", and you might make some savings. If you phone a supplier of insulation say, and they ask what it is for, if you say it is for a boat, down the phone you will certainly hear the dry rasp of their hands being rubbed together as they anticipate making their monthly sales targets in one go.

The scaffolding shows that there is going to be some serious painting going on soon, which fills us with hope for a launch.

Shortly after this picture was taken the other trawler under conversion in Eyemouth was brought up the slip to just behind Heroine. Here is the St Britwin, a lovely oak-on-oak Danish trawler with hugely strong construction. She is destined to be a dive boat and her owners Graham and Gail have been very helpful and incredibly kind to us, not least in stopping work for a chat when we are the 100th party to walk down the harbour and stop by the boat that morning, and we are interrupting them the same as everyone else does.

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