Sunday, 7 October 2012

Updates on Mai-Star II Progress back to the water.

After the first year work was completed and the deck was refitted and covered and sealed with epoxy matting and glue. Then it was time to make a start on the inside of the cabin and get the cabin fitted out with its bunks, floor bearers a new cooker and sink, lockers and water tank  and a battery box. Then the new floor boards were made and fitted so I had something to stand on while doing the rest of the work.

 This took a long while to do as for most of the time it had to be fitted in around other jobs and client's boats.  The first part of the job was to work out how to fit it all in and  make it all work. that took a all of drawing out and reworking until I got it the way I needed it and that it would work.

The main problem was to make it work as a modern boat, but at the same time give it a traditional feel and look. The new interior was to look light and not dark like some old boats I have worked on in the past. This time it would be a mixture of white gloss paint and dark mahogany trims to set off the interior to its best and give the interior the look it needed.

With that decided it was then a matter of setting out the bulkheads in the positions they needed to be and then build the framework and bunk fronts and tops in. But before that was done, the floor bearers had to go in and be set up true and level. This was a fun job as getting the boat level was not easy as it appeared to look a bit out of true. But after a bit of shoring up one side and letting off the other it was sorted. Then the floor bearers when in and the rebuilding of the inside could get underway.

These photos show the start of the interior refit. It took a long time as the weather was against me and I had other comments to sort out. I got there in the end. After this time the boat was moved to where it would spend the next years getting more work done on it.

The interior layout was planned along the way that many boats of that era were laid out with the galley near the cockpit end, then two berths in the main part of the cabin. the heads in the fore end of the cabin along with a pipe cot on the port side. This took a while to do has other work kept me from getting on with it. 

Once it was finished the interior started to come together, Then new bunk cushions  were made and I had my first night's sleep aboard the boat. Although the boat was far from being finished, it did give a sense of what was to come over the next few years.

Now that the interior was well on its way and most of the fit out inside the boat was done apart from painting and varnishing. It was the turn of the outside and the keel to do. The next few weeks of my spare time and that of my wife's was spent on cleaning out the old caulking and cleaning up the seams and then re caulking the seams with new caulking Cotton and linseed putty. This was a long and mind destroying task as it when on and on and on. However, when it was complete it was a job well done as in was at long last going to be water tight and would keep the weather out once there were a few coats of paint on the outside. 

Then came the one job that I was not looking forward too doing. The Keel removal and refitting. This job was going to be one job that was going to be a battle of wills between me and the boat and I was not going to lose this battle. The first job was to remove the inside nuts on the hog. This was not going to be easy as many of the nuts had rusted away over the years and the ones that were left were not a standard  size.

So it was decided that the best course of action was to cut off the nuts with a cutting disc on a grinder and then drift out the bolts. Sounds easy, but it was far from that, At first they did not move, it refused to give an inch or even a millimetre.So to plan "B" get out the large oak wedges and drive them between the hog and the iron keel. At last there was a little movement, but it was painfully slow and hard work swing a large hammer under a boat which is only a few feet off the ground. At least it started to move once there was enough room to get a electric  hacksaw in the gap then I was able to cut through the old keel bolts and get the keel off the boat and start to the work on the hog and the keel and remove the old keel bolts out of the iron keel and out of the hog and get new ones made.

The hog was in good condition seeing as it had not seen the light of day for many a year if at all in it's 73 years. The bolts in the hog came out easily and the holes in the hog were not bad condition and just needed cleaning up and repainting with some underwater primer with a bit of red lead powder mixed in.  The keel on the other hand was a different beast altogether this took a whole lot longer to spilt into it's two parts and remove the old bolts. Firstly, the major problem was that the keelbolts were steel and the keel was iron so the two fused themselves together. So getting the bolts out was going to be a long job and at times a painful one. However, one by one the bolts came out but it was a long job. It would not many been so bad if the bolts had been fit so they were vertical, but they were not they were set at 5 or so degrees off the vertical and oppsite to each other The back one was at an altogether different angle, not only off the vertical from port to starboard ,but it was leaning backwards as well. so it was the worse one to get out.

Once these were all out then I was able to spilt the keel parts in two and clean up the surfaces of the keel so that when it was put together again and refitted to the boat, it would sit back in place correctly and true.

Refitting the keel was a fun job involving the boatyard's travel hoist and skill on the part of the hoist operater to get the keel back in place which needed the boat to be placed in some very odd positions in order to get the keel bolts lined up with the holes in the hog. This part of the job refitting the keel was by far the easy part as it when off without any problem. Making me a very happy person. .

With that stressful job over it was time to get on with some more enjoyful jobs like fitting toe rails and Rubbing stakes and finishing off the painting of the hull.