Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Fitting out

I managed a further coat of varnish and also a final coat of interior hull paint.  In my last post I mentioned having used 2.5 liters of varnish so far.  I might have be wrong!  (it's been known.....)  As when I went looking for the second 2.5 liter can of varnish it was nowhere to be found...and now I have a sneaky feeling that I might have used that too.  5 liters of varnish for two seats, spars, transom and coamings (is that possible??) or else I have hidden the second can somewhere safe...where it can't be found!  No matter, I have had enough of varnishing for the time being and I am inclined to leave the existing coats harden up for a while, maybe months, before the final coat - if there ever is such thing as a final varnish coat!

My metal polishing kit arrived and so that provided an interesting interlude to paint and varnish.  I set up my polishing station and set to work on the bronze plate and some of the bronze parts.

Home made mast components, polished and ready for assembly.

I the set about fitting various bronze parts which I have been accumulating over the past while.  It's quite a pleasant task finally sorting out and fixing these to the hull - certainly feels like you are on the home straight.

Here you can see the pad eye being installed on the boom.  JB calls for long screws and so I chose 1 1/4" #10's and the solid boom provided a secure attachment.   Other parts were more awkward to fit which called for more drastic measures:- my €7 90deg drill attachment from Lidl finally shone!

I needed to drill pilot holes under the side decks to fit the jam cleats for the jib sheets, which are located just over the side lockers.  I sited these cleats on backing pads as they seemed to be a bit lost otherwise.

The plans describe options to lead the jib sheets over the coaming, but suggest that they may wear the edge of the coaming - seems very likely  - or you can alternatively drill obtuse holes in the coaming to allow the sheets run more directly to their cleats.

The jib is self tending and the jib sheets run through blocks attached to the foredeck.  So after a false start (drilling holes and missing the supporting  deck stringer), I installing two strap eyes, onto which are attached small jib sheet block with small bronze shackles.

Here you can see the mast partner and halyard cleats attached to the forward deck beam.  They took large 3" #14 screws mounted on backing plates to ensure the halyards clear the nosing on the deck.   Also in this picture you can see the brass angle stock which needs to be drilled and threads tapped secure the side seats.

Once I had the locker doors installed, I noticed that subsequent fitting of the sole boards became impossible as the boards were catching on the lower ledge of the aft locker trim.  So I took the temporary option of removing the door, fitting the sole boards and refitting the door.  Not sure that is the ideal solution, but I am reluctant to cut them short to allow for easy removal.  That being said, it's not a huge job to remove 4 screws and take out the rear door assembly.
Seats and sole boards installed

You can see where the lower sill on the rear locker assembly reduces the space to install the soleboards.

My next task was to install the traveler on the transom.  The plans call for a 3/8" bronze rod of x lenght (can't recall dimensions off hand) and then screwed into the bronze base fittings.  However the fittings I have seem different to those JohnB used on Red Sky which results in a longer assembly.  So I am wondering if there is any merit in having a longer traveler bar.  And while on the topic, I am not at all sure of the merits of a traveler system without a mechanism to control the main sheet position.

Here's a photo which shows roughly where the traveler will sit on the transom:-
Traveler sitting approximately in its final position 
The picture also shows up the orange peel and runs of my varnish work but I am stupidly optimistic that my next coat of varnish will absolve all!

Next I need to redraw the DWL on the hull and do a final exterior hull paint coat and antifoul paint.


  1. Still looking very sweet, Paul. Don't worry about the varnish now. Just use the boat for a year or so. By then it'll need a new coat and you will be refreshed enough to sand the old smooth and do a re-coat.

    That main traveler does look rather long, certainly it's longer than the one on Red Sky. I'm not convinced about using such a traveler anyway. I'm sure it's traditional but is the rigging the best or most efficient? Fortunately, I'm a ways off from having to decide anything. You might ask on the Yahoo forum for other SS thoughts.

    All the best,

  2. Paul,
    I had the same problem varnishing my transom.
    I too am new to varnishing and so, unlike the experts, the struggles are fresh in my mind.
    After much frustration and sanding, I found a youtube video that highlighted two of mistakes I was making.
    One; I was not pouring out a quantity to use into a separate container, but was working from the can. The long exposure to the air caused the varnish to thicken over time.
    Two; I was painting the transom from the top down, across the full width, and so had a long working edge. By the time I moved down to the next run the previous run had skinned and so I ended up with orange peel.
    The clue I picked up from the youtube video was to keep the working edge short and brush back into the applied varnish to keep the working edge wet.
    After sanding back I applied the varnish down the left hand side and worked across from left to right so keeping the working edge short, brushing back into the working edge of varnish and, voila, at last, a smooth glossy finish.
    Hope this helps,


    1. Pete - your insights are very helpful. I had been keeping the varnish in a separate container, but your tip about keeping the working edge short is one I will try next time. Many thanks, Paul

  3. Paul,
    My first comment didn't 'publish'.
    It was simply to say, the boat is looking superb.
    All you efforts are being rewarded.