2016-02-05 12.28.11

The Fore Hatch

Well today (6th Feb 2016) I have struggled with removing the screws holding down the fore-hatch which are proving to be problematic. There are 20 screws and they probably haven’t been removed since the yacht was built in 1977!

A couple came out without a struggle but the majority have had to be heated and taken out. I have a small gas-powered soldering iron/rope knife which doubles as a blow-torch and heat gun. I used the heat gun and concentrated the flame on the screw-head for about a minute. There was a surprising amount of condensation built up on the surrounding metal hatch frame. The idea is that the sealant and wood softens and relaxes its grip enabling the screw to be turned. I got a further fifteen or so out that way. A big screwdriver with a wrench for extra leverage was the most successful method.

There are a number however which are improving significantly more stubborn and they will probably end up being drilled although I am going to have a go with a larger screwdriver, a bigger wrench and an impact screwdriver.


Boat Cover

A few weeks ago (end Jan 2016) Frank and I managed to get the boat cover on Anne-Marie.  Boy what a struggle that was.  We ended up filthy and knackered.

Firstly the main mast is our pitch-pole and until you have to lift one you don’t know how heavy a main-mast is – even when you are only lifting one end!  I had made a yoke (you can see it in the picture) the same shape as the cross section of the mast so that there was a good support for it.  Most of the rigging had already been removed.  I had also removed, cleaned up and replaced the mast step as that is where we have placed the primary mast support.  Fortunately for me Frank is younger and fitter so the lion’s share of the heavy lifting came from him.

The folded cover was also a real challenge as it was wet, slimy and cold so didn’t want to unfold or move.

I have left the stations in place for the moment to enable us to get more space under the cover and rigged a strip of 1200 grade polythene sheet along the full length of the yacht which gives us another two foot of headroom (see left side of picture).

This however has caused a problem in that within a week the stations on the starboard side had torn through the cover in a number of places.  These needed repair as more high winds were forecast and I did not want then to get any worse.

So what to do?  I didn’t have time to research methods of repair but in my extensive store of ‘stuff’ which I keep in my garage which I think is essential ‘just in case’ is some bitumen based flat-roof repair tape.  Now this stuff is useless cold but when heated with a hot-air gun becomes very sticky and so late one night I took the necessary down to Rye and made the repairs.  As long as you don’t get the ‘bitumen’ anywhere you shouldn’t the repair tape works well as you can see in the picture.  There were four patches.

Now what this repair does not do is take away the cause of the problem – ie the top of the stations.  So I was wandering round B&Q seeking a solution and came across some pipe lagging – the expanded foam stuff that comes in one or two metre lengths and is sliced down its length.  I bought five 2m lengths and clipped them over the top wire (you can see the effect under the repaired cover in the photo.  This takes the pressure off the stress points and so far is working fine.

Mast removal

Thursday, 22 October 2015 saw us with a crane at the boat yard moving boats and removing and setting aside both masts. First job was to  slacken off the bottle screws and then remove the cotter pins.  We didn’t remove the clevis pins yet as the mast would have fallen down!
I then got in a boson’s chair and was hauled up to the top of the mizzen mast by the crane to remove the clevis pin holding the Triatic stay in place. This was nerve wracking as I don’t like heights and I had no control of which way I was facing but I managed to do it without too much difficulty. I was relieved to get back onto the deck.  I had tied a length of cord to the loose(mizzen end) of the triatic to enable it to be restrained during mast dismounting.
We then got the strop around the mast, below the spreaders, where the crane gently took the strain and we removed all the clevis pins holding the bottle screws and stays in place.  I had previously drawn a deck plan showing the locations of every fitting for future replacement (and photographed each one).  Each stay anchor point was annotated starting at the bows numbering them in order with a prefix S(tarboard) or P(ort) and labelled each stay with the appropriate number so that I can easily put them back when the mast is remounted.   The running and standing rigging was temporarily tied to the mast to prevent it flapping about while the mast was removed.
The mizzenmast was the first to be taken down and was placed alongside the boat on top of an adjacent canal boat.  A bit of encouragement was needed to loosen the base of the mast from the mast step – salt had obviously crystallised and needed dislodging.  This caused a bit of damage to the cockpit sole but nothing that can’t be fixed later.

Once satisfactorily removed and stored, we were able to move on to the mainmast and place that along the centreline of the boat as it will form the pitch pole for an over-boat cover.  This involved removing the inner forestay and the genoa/roller reefing.  All the loose rigging stays were tied to the mast to keep them tidy.
At the same time we also remove the mast on an adjacent yacht and three other boats. The next job is to remove all the fittings from the masts and line up the replacement of various bits of running rigging so that we can check it all out and replace those bits that need to be changed. That will also allow us to place the boom cover over the boat and get it watertight.
I have also bought a set of old household stairs which I aim to fix beside the boat to provide a permanent accessway whilst we are doing the work. That I will be doing on Sunday the 25th of October.

Buying equipment

Today (Friday 7th August 2015) we have travelled to Oban in Scotland, in fact a little village called Benderloch, where an Endurance 35 was being renovated. This Endurance was made of ferro-cement and became too big a job to renovate for one person.  It was therefore being sold off in bits and I came up to collect some stuff.

Chris and I drove up from Glasgow on Friday morning after flying in from Gatwick.  We collected a high-top VW long wheelbase van from Thrifty and we drove from Glasgow to Benderloch, picked up our equipment (an engine, spinnaker boom, hydraulic steering gear, instruments and a full length boat cover). We drove from Benderloch back home to Tenterden and having got up at 4 o’clock in the Friday morning we arrived home at 04:20 in the Saturday morning. A long day.

The engine is older than the one I have but is in one piece and goes, as was demonstrated by John the Vendor. The weekend was spent changing the casters and putting everything away into storage. It has a leak on the gearbox shaft which is a “simple matter” of replacing the seal.

Today I have purchased some ACF 50 which is designed to remove and counteract the aluminium oxide that has built up on the masts and booms and seized some of the blocks. I am going to try to use this to save myself some money.

One of the real benefits of the trip was to buy a full length boat cover which will really help me with keeping the boat drive over winter and it will make such a difference to our project. This is worth it’s weight in gold.

Stripping the deck

well we’ve had a long period without any work whilst we have agreed ownership issues. The boat has been registered on the small ships register although we haven’t actually had a documentation yet.
over the past week or so frank a colleague has now joined to help with the repairs and renovations. I first task has been to start stripping the Tecdek which has completely lost its integrity over the years. This was put on when the boat was built back in 1977 and so is underneath all the fittings. With the integrity of the Tecdek Lost the water has been getting through onto the plywood decks and directly through the skin fittings rotting away the wood interior.

This is The root cause of the problem and so we are stripping it off along with the deck fittings. Yesterday we took of the Starboard Genoa track which took probably three hours. But it is now off although we did bend it slightly which might give us a problem when refitting.

The coach roof deck is different in that it has been sheathed in a single layer of fibreglass. This has cracked and letting water. The fibreglass overlays a proper teak deck which has lost its integrity and so water has been getting through into the cabin and causing huge amounts of damage. Again we are stripping the surface fittings such as handrails and will strip the deck next week. We will probably end up putting A six mil marine ply Sheet over the cabin top which is glassfibre and then sheath the whole lot with a few layers of fibreglass we will tie that into the cabin top and that will deal with the cabin itself. 

Side decks are plywood over a strip of fibreglass which is bonded to the hull. It looks like there is a 200 mm shelf of plywood all around the whole boat which the deck is fixed to. There are a number of deck beams supporting the plywood and some of these are rotten and need repair. None need replacement but they are rotten where they meet the hull. 

We have also removed the two booms and brought those home and I am in the process of cleaning them up and removing the running rigging. On the mizzen boom most of the pulleys are jammed and need replacing but on the main boom there appears to be only the clamp leads that are a problem in that they are corroded completely and do not move. I will have to remove the pin and take them out and find completely new replacements. 

Day 4 and 5

19th of March and another day stripping Anne-Marie. Today the steps into the cabin collapsed so that’s important job to repair her next few days but I’m going to do is to take the remaining headliners down in the main cabin and in the other cabins to see what secrets line belief.
Well the main cabin headliner has come down with signs are very heavy damp and indeed as rotten as is the ceiling about it attract come out in the through cabin on the port side headlinerhas come out and is very rotten hopefully the deck beams are in good condition but is lots of rot wet rot hidden away. 
It is clear that the main hatch has been leaking badly for a long time but it is also clear that there are leaks around the edge of the cabin roof and I’m going to find out about those when I start taking the trimming off from the outside later on this afternoon. 

I have now discovered the problem with the water ingress andit appears to come from the skin fittings are on the deck the water has got in through the deck fittings and has destroyed the balsawood core of the deck. 
What this means is that I have to cut the outside sandwich layer off remove the rotten balsawood call replace it and re-glass the deck simple.
Every time we pull something out I find something new and when we pull out rotten stuff the smell of wet rot and dry rot is really heavy so the saloon cupboards on the Port of got to be removed completely. Everything seems to be concentrated in the saloon on the port side at the moment and also on the rear. 
So today I’ve succeeded in removing the entire port side bunk and shelving units storage area mostly rotten mostly needs to be thrown away if that is all rotten it all mixed with runaway expose a very rotten bulkhead to the port side of the front of that and the seating support has collapsed which is a good thing the window demonstrator a degree of problems with the balsa call but the plywood facing seems to be coming off without too much trouble and maybe we’ll be able to salvage that if we lucky The plywood fascia to the front and Stabat panel seems to be good but the section to the rear on the port side especially is in very poor condition and will have to come out as well the section under the companionway.
Looks like we might have to demolish The area beside the navigation table which will be a great shame and I’ll try very hard not to but we’ll see as far as the decks are concerned I’ve decided we’re going to take the masts off and then be able to have a completely clear deck to be able to strip the old plastic teak deck off and see what we have in its place but I suspect that we will have a plywood deck with a pathetic little sheathing area and the solution will be to dry it out and then she’s the lot properly we will see

Her wardrobe

Anne Marie’s wardrobe consists of seven sails. All are covered in rust stains from sitting in a wet sail locker flooded with rusty water from the chain locker. The spinnaker has a couple of tears. The sail shanks are plastic or bronze. The bronze ones are stiff and covered with salt. Some are missing as are some of the battens. As we haven’t been given a spinnaker boom then that doesn’t matter. It was left at the Granada Yacht Club in 2007 or thereabouts- got in the way!

So what to do? A new suit will be a packet so help needed with cleaning rust off white sails. Any ideas out there?

Her sheets have all been scrubbed up and look good although some are missing and some replacing. 

Start stripping

removing cushions – soaking wet, wet rot, stained and disgusting.  All sumps and drawers full of water so baled out fully. It takes a lot to bale out a 35ft yacht. How do you stop rain getting in?

Took down the headliner in the main cabin. Found two large slugs between headliner and roof with loads of orange eggs. Kept everything as template for eventual replacement. Still Anne Marie looks better.

Picked up gearbox but not engine along with sails. Sails wet and stained with rust. A real challenge. 

Finding Anne Marie

Last Wednesday we became the new owners of Anne Marie, an Endurance 35 sailing yacht, lying in Rye, Sussex. 

We will save her and reunite her with the sea she yearns for.  She has no engine, her insides are rotting from too much fresh water and she needs loads of TLC.  She has been out of the water leaning against a concrete flood defence wall for over four years and not used for at least six. However already we love her and will see her in full working order.  Me?  I think 2 years.  Carrie thinks one.