For all the busy people…

May 29, 2014 at 11:55 am

When did ‘busy’ become the new ‘fine’? (In response to the question “How are you?”)

This is for all the ‘busy’ multi-taskers out there.  I know I’m not the only one…

How I Saved My Sole

May 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm

When I bought Duet she had fitted carpet.  It was green (though it may once have been blue?), hessian backed and full of sand.  It was stuck to her 3 piece plywood cabin sole with lots of double sided carpet tape and it had to go.  I think ripping that out was one of the first things I ever did.

However, I was only able to remove 2 pieces and it left a horrible residue that stuck to your flip flops so I quickly bought some cheap door mats that didn’t fit properly and looked worse than the carpet had been.  The middle section remained carpeted as it was not only sticky taped down but was also sandwiched in place underneath a corroded table leg fitting.  It wasn’t nice.

Hurley 22 Cabin Sole

Before: Green carpet, sand and corrosion.

Originally I had planned to bin the lot after cutting some new ones using them as a template. However, to be honest my woodworking skills are pretty minimal and besides I don’t own a jigsaw, so one day while I was prepping the rubbing strake I had a bit of left over Nitromors which I slapped on the glue tape, and lo… it was dissolved and could be scraped off!  I brought the boards home for some intensive TLC.

Now, anyone who knows me will know that I do rather like stripes… And I have always thought that the lovely striped teak and holly cabin soles on boats are very smart. However, teak and holly inlaid 12mm ply is an eye watering £300 a sheet, while laminate to stick on top yourself is over £150 a sheet. Way out of my budget.

Then I saw this awesome hack with a roll of masking tape and some white paint. I clearly had to give that a go!

The sticky tape and varnish took 2 goes with Nitromors to remove, and I scraped off the gunk each time before reapplying.  Finally it had a good scrub with a hard brush and some washing up liquid.  Once it was dry it had a good sand and then a wipe over with some white spirit to remove the dust before I started with the masking tape and white paint trickery.

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Left: one go with the Nitromors, Centre: Original, Left: 2 coats of nitromors and sanded

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Stripped, sanded and ready to go

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Masking up. I did this by eye using the width of the tape

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Painted with a watered down white emulsion

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

“The Reveal” Unfortunately I didn’t press the edge of the tape down well enough in places and there was some bleed. But I neatened it up again by cleaning the edges with a fresh paint brush dipped in water before it dried.

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Back in the kitchen it got 2 coats of exterior silk varnish.

I have also bought 2 new brass ring pulls from which came from Australia via eBay as they were 50mm size which seems to be non-standard for the UK.  They cost $30 including shipping, so that’s £15 for the pair.  I also bought a new table base from eBay for £7 – it’s plastic so won’t corrode again.

I’m really chuffed with the result, it’s a vast improvement – they’ve gone from “Grotty to Yachty” (sorry I couldn’t resist that)

There are a few blemishes in the wood, and the stripes aren’t perfect but it’s flooring and hopefully won’t be looked at that closely. Anyway it’s all “character”, eh?


Sails, check!

May 28, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Took a tripdown to Clevedon this afternoon to pick my sails up from the lovely, helpful, knowledgeable Dick Hannaford at R&J Sails, just off the sea front.

When I arrived there was a pretty tan lug sail in pieces laid out on floor for ‘lofting’ and the Classic FM was blaring.  Clearly a traditionalist, and I’ve not seen a computer at R&J Sails, so I’m guessing Dick still uses the old ways.

Although Duet’s sails have been laundered, with an extra deep clean (twice) they are unfortunately still a bit grubby looking. They came back in March and we thought they hadn’t been done so they went back again for another wash but strangely although Dick has had mildewy sails come back sparkling, the grime on my sails doesn’t seem to want to shift. In mitigation though, I recently found the original receipt from Crusader for them which was dated 1994: So they are 20 years old!

R&J Sails  Sailmaker Hurley 22

In any event, when I first took them in back at the beginning of December I was steeling myself for the expense of a new genoa. However Dick is adamant that there is plenty of life in it (and the main sail) yet. He’s done quite a few repairs this time though: the main sail has had new battens (2 were split) and the batten pockets have been redone (the elastic had gone). The genoa has had a new sacrificial strip in smart Navy blue, a new clew, new spreader patch, new luff rope and metal fitings, and both sails have new telltales. I’ve also got some new dodgers, again in smart dark Navy blue.

Really impressed by the quality of work.  Dick clearly has amazing attention to detail and knows his craft.  He was so dismayed by the grubbiness of the returned sails he made them take them back again for another wash, and has only charged me for the standard wash when they still came back imperfect.

Can’t wait to get them all on. And I can now cross this off the list.

So, after picking the sails up I took the dog over Wains Hill, and round to look at the mud and boats at Clevedon Pill which, in its glory, always serves to remind me why I keep Duet on the South coast rather than closer to home. The tide was a long way out but I think that’s a very sorry looking Hurley 22 second from the left?  Flat Holm on the horizon in the distance too.

Boat Parking at Clevedon. Hurley 22

Boat parking at Clevedon.


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