Sunday, August 18, 2013

Getting on with the jobs

We have quite a long list of jobs to get done by the end of this week, and we're doing quite well so far. We've been a bit hindered by a number of days of rain, and wind - yesterday very strong and gusty indeed.

Colin came on Friday and fitted four new domestic batteries to replace the three defunct ones.

Yes, the stern deck needs repainting, too!
At long last, now that the painting has been done, we were able to stick the step mat onto the very front of the bow. Unfortunately, however, the mat on the opposite side had got partly pulled off whilst doing a new manoeuvre with Ray on our BWHC course back in June, and that needed to be completely removed, and the damaged paint dealt with before we can refix the mat. And the weather's not since been conducive to external painting.

One mat replaced...

...and the other removed!
When the paint on the taff rail (the "seat" at the very stern of the boat) started to peel off, it came as no surprise to me to find that the wood underneath was bare. No primer or undercoat had been applied by the previous owner when he painted over where the original varnish had weathered away. The wooden seat had to be removed, then, stripped down and properly treated before we apply new topcoat, which we'll buy tomorrow. Also unsurprisingly, the metalwork onto which the wooden seat is fixed was badly rusted, and this, too, had to be dealt with. The surface had had Red Oxide primer applied before the wooden seat has screwed on, but the person who did it apparently didn't know that primer is not waterproof, and needs undercoat and topcoat.

We still have to get the fasteners fitted to the cratch cover and hull, so that the cover can be fixed down firmly along its bottom edge. In an attempt to stop the cover sagging under the weight of rain or snow, or the strength of the wind, I cut two wooden supports which will lie under the top of the cover where it is stitched to the sides, running from the front of the cabin to the top of the window panels at the very front of the cratch. These still need to be varnished, and I need to find a way to stop them being moved when the cover gets moved by the wind. All in good time!

I finished scrubbing the roof, which was very dulled from tree sap and dirty rain, and the whole boat is now ready for a thorough washing and waxing - except that we still have to finish the small touching-up jobs on the paintwork first.

While I'm painting the taff rail seat, I'll treat the gang plank, bargepole and boathook in similar fashion. They, too, suffer from having had top paint applied onto bare wood or damaged old paint.

We've hardly ever watched TV on the boat. We have a perfectly good TV/DVD player combo on which we've seen numerous DVD films. We also have a FreeSat satellite dish plugged into the TV - which has a FreeSat receiver built in. But FreeSat has not been working for us for some many months now, and we've had no idea what needed doing to put things right. You can imagine my glee when I found that someone on the marina was giving away a complete FreeSat kit pretty much identical to the one we have. So today, we swapped out various parts of our system for parts of this newly-acquired one, and found that the problem had been with the dish itself, which must somehow have become misaligned with the LNB unit which points into the front of it. Once the new dish was installed, the receiver was able to tune in to all of the available channels, and we can now watch live TV!

Friday evening was beautiful, warm, bright and sunny, and a lovely time to be up in a hot air balloon. This one, however, found staying airborne too challenging. It approached the marina very slowly indeed, losing height all of the time, despite the pilot's frequent blasts of flame into it, until finally making an unscheduled but gentle landing in an adjacent field, watched appreciatively by a large proportion of the marina population.

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