One step forward…

Mast based repaired and getting its first coat of varnish.

Mast based repaired and getting its first coat of varnish.

Mast base finished

Mast base finished

So, this weekend the mast came out of the shed and into the sunlight!  Jamie set about it with his plane and in no time the new timber was a perfect match and apart from the colour, was hard to spot.  The following day I applied the first couple of coats of Varnol.  It is a mixture of Kiln Burnt Stockholm tar, Pine Turpentine and Boiled Linseed oil.  It soaks in and, I am told, provides a good base for varnishing.  Time will tell.

The mast being varnished at last.

The mast being varnished at last.

With the weather continuing bright, the following day I applied the first of the varnish coats and the mast is turning a lovely golden colour.

During the week I set about the gaff jaws and jib traveler.  The jaws had lost most of the leather and had scrapped a lot of varnish off the mast, after all this work I wanted to get this sorted.  I belong to the Cornish Crabber Club and its associated forum, a mine of information on all things Crabby.  A very nice chap sent me detailed instructions on the black art of re-leathering and I set about following his advice…

Gaff Jaws and Jib Traveler finished

Gaff Jaws and Jib Traveler finished

Re leathered and ready to fit.

Re leathered and ready to fit.

I have to say I am very pleased with the end result.  I have now applied three coats of Dubbin and polished the bearing faces to a bright shine.  I have also ordered some Tallow from eBay as I have it on good authority that Tallow is the best stuff to lubricate the Gaff Jaws and Traveler, thus avoiding damage to the varnish in the future and, hopefully, make hoisting sails much easier!

So, all good so far.  Yeah, right.  Just when things are going well, there is always something waiting in the wings to kick you in the goolies when you least expect it.  There I was happily (smugly) reflecting on how well everything was going as I prepped the cockpit for a coat of paint when I noticed a slightly soft patch of plywood.  Nil Desperandum, I had recently replaced such a soft bit and felt confident that I could deal with it…

Repair to deck forward of engine hatch

Repair to deck forward of engine hatch

This bit was the work of just a few minutes to sort out.  Just needs sanding and covering with matting and epoxy and a coat of deck paint.

Ahh, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  To cut a long story short, I have found a huge portion of the after-deck that is so rotten I could, literally, squeeze water out of it with my bare hands.

Stbd deck support beam

Stbd deck support beam

Not a pretty sight

Not a pretty sight

Beam that supports the rudder tube.

Beam that supports the rudder tube.

Removing rotten sections of aft deck 1

Removing rotten sections of aft deck 1

From a little soft patch to this in 15 minutes!

From a little soft patch to this in 15 minutes!

So we seem to have another major job on our hands.  Mrs BS was her normal totally supportive self, providing tea and support just when I needed it…

Tea and sympathy!

Tea and sympathy!

…while I set about getting support of a more technical sort from those chaps on the CCC forums.  Thanks chaps.

Asking for help on the forum!

Asking for help on the forum!

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