Every winter seems to have one large job that defines the whole refit for us: 2014 became ‘The Year of the new Mast’ 2016 was the ‘New engine Winter’, and this year is shaping up to be ‘the winter of many slightly smaller jobs, plus the two medium sized jobs of building a new boom and a new saloon table’ The snappiest of titles yet I think you’ll agree.
By the time Each of these big jobs are completed along side all the usual sanding, painting, varnishing and fixing, the winter is gone in the blink of an eye. As technically this year’s Big Job is the new mainsail, which has already been made, we’ve had time to see to fixing and changing things that have taken a backseat for the last few years.
Here’s a rundown of whats been keeping us busy since October:
Sanding and repainting white the insides of the bulwarks. A job that First Mate Gabriel keeps referring to as ‘brushing Eda’s teeth’
Servicing and testing every piece of mechanical, safety or electrical kit on the boat, including but not limited to: The eberspacher heating system, the generator, the steering gear underneath the wheel box, life raft, life jackets, fire extinguishers, loos, and cooker.
Replacing part of the pin rail around the mast. There is nothing quite as pleasing as applying the first layer of varnish onto freshly sanded wood, and doing so to this new chunk of oak was no exception, let me tell you.
New Mainsail from Penryn based sailmakers SKB. Already laced onto Eda and thoroughly put through it’s paces during the last charter of the season, it most definitely passed the test. We’re definitely looking forward to taking it for a spin in Scotland!
Removing and servicing all bowsprit fittings, including giving the decorative end cap a new paint job and varnish.
Removing the end of the saloon table and replacing the fridge and freezer. We have taken out a redundant spare water tank from under one side of the table, with the aim of relocating the freezer into it, in order to utilise this space, and be able to lop off the end of the table to create more room in the Saloon. This gained space, we have already started referring to as ‘The Dance floor’.
As it turned out, the freezer compressor threw a wobbly immediately after the season ended, almost as if it knew we were plotting to move it, so a new compressor it was, or rather two smaller new compressors. Having redundancy available is always nice, and we’ve even gained a little locker space. We have had two plastic boxes made, which drop into the table, have the cold plates attached to their insides, and become the new fridge and freezer. It is at this point in the process that we have gotten to, as illustrated by the photo. Next week’s excitement will involve pouring foam into the cavity around and underneath them, and ta-da, the innards of the new saloon table will be complete! (Just like that!) Then we get to the really interesting bit- redesigning and rebuilding the end of the saloon table. If you probed James about it he would eventually admit that that this has been one of his favourite problem solving conundrums to do with Eda so far… The table will be a beautifully varnished and user friendly arrangement of folding leaves and cunning support mechanisms, just you wait!
Stripping and varnishing the sole boards, as well as the trimmings around the sole boards. Again, an extremely pleasing job, especially with the aid of the new Mirka sander, and some good podcasts.
New bulls eyes turned from antique bowling balls, for the topping lift tricing lines. Possibly the most pleasingly tactile things now present on the boat.
Changing the sheaves in the blocks from cast iron to nylon in order to minimise weight in the rigging
Stripping back and wood-skinning the topmast, the same stuff we finished the mast with- it should just be a little harder wearing.
Repainting lots of the interior, a straightforward but extremely satisfying thing to do!
Building new boom! This job deserves a bit more detail- look for more on this in a new blog post in the near future!
Sanding and varnishing every piece of bright-work on deck with up to seven layers of the stuff. This happens every refit, usually with one or two bits taken back to bare wood and started on afresh. Again, this is where an excellent selection of podcasts and new music, wireless headphones, and an unbeatable Mirka sander/Henry Hoover set-up really come into their own.
Super noise proofing the engine room and adding a muffler to quieten Dooey the Doosan.
New Shower floor grate, built and with the first two of many coats of varnish applied!
I’ll go into more detail about some of these things as they progress but for more photo updates in the meantime, head over to the Facebook page where you’ll find a frequently updated photo album, (imaginatively) called ‘Things we’re working on this Winter’ Happy New Year folks!