Last jobs before launch, 2017

Having promised a launch in 2016, we were determined to get her back in the water by summer 2017, but there was still quite a bit to do.

As Steve prepared to paint the outside of the hull, he realised the waterline wasn’t level after all the moves since 2007. Using a long plastic tube filled with beetroot stained water, he worked out the line and jacked up the boat fore and aft . . . then she also needs moving port/starboard. Just to be sure, we found a photo of her as she came out of the water in Spring 2007 and compared it with her now in the tent.

With the hull painted, deck finished and all the spars ready, there’s plenty of smaller jobs to do before the planned launch in 2017. The coachroof is not being replaced, but the skylights and hatch covers are in need of attention. Winter 2016 finds the sitting room back in Derbyshire set up with a table to form a dry, dust-free and warm workshop for stripping down and varnishing! Steve also makes a start on the new tiller where it’s warm enough to glue up the laminated wood. The planing and sanding has to be done in the top shed, but it’s brought back into the house for varnishing, then takes pride of place along with the restored coachroof skylights and cabin hatch, awaiting the trip back down to Suffolk in spring 2017.

’Flaming June’ arrived in 2017 with temperatures into the 30s and a light breeze, excellent weather for anti-fouling! After another tidy up under the boat, removing all the stored wood and other paraphernalia we open the tent all round for ventilation and Bev dons protective clothing to start applying the red anti-foul. First coat is easy, painting over grey, but the second coat’s more of a challenge as it’s drying almost before it leaves the roller, Steve lends a hand to speed the job up!

The ‘ready to launch’ list is getting shorter with rudder stock fitted and new tiller in place. Control cables for the engine are connected with control lever and stop button installed in the cockpit, stern gland greaser re-fitted and new capping to complete the restored cockpit coaming. Bronze skin fittings, all cleaned up are replaced, along with her Dunkirk plaque, polished and back in place.

On 3 July, 2017 we collect all the newly galvanised fairleads from BronzeWork, Martlesham. Along with final coats of varnish and painting the deck, fitting all the metalwork is one of the major jobs for completion before launch. The four renovated fairleads fit snugly and with another coat of varnish to the capping rail look good. Moray and Dave arrive from BronzeWork to do a ‘final fit’ for the stem head, stem band, mast band, gammon iron and chainplates. Checking out the running of the bowsprit results in some modification to the capping rail and bulwark to let it pass through the gammon iron! Looks like we should be ready . . .