My sailing life
The Re-fit
The re-fit 2 - Toe Rails and Cockpit Refurb
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The cockpit seats were made of solid mahogany which over the years, had warped and were letting rain water in. The plan is to replace the seats and create 2 more opening lockers, using 18mm marine ply and then to cover this with Deck King Vinyl Teak decking from MCP Marine , based at Emsworth Marina. http://www.mcpmarine.com  I took some time to work out the best configuration but I have now ordered the materials and have started to remove the old seats and I have cut out the ply for the new ones.

The Toerails are in bad shape and have been repaired numerous times and much of them are actually filler. These will be removed and I have ordered 12x 4mtr lengths of
Sapele from Goodwillies in Waterlooville to make the toerail, rubbing strake and capping rail.
I will also continue this on the Transom.

The first task was to remove the old seats and measure up for the new ones. I used 18mm Marine ply and cut the panels out carefully and then did a dry run. The old cockpit had 2 opening lockers and a removable panel at the stern under the tiller. this was not practical and I decided to add 2 more opening lockers and make access to the stern locker and gas locker with hinged seats. I found a bit of rot in the lower part of the coamings and so treated these with exopy , mixed with silica filler to give it a wood colour and to add strength. The sides of the cockpit were lined with 9mm ply and the engine control lever was re-fitted.

The cockpit as it was before starting work. The hole is where the old VDO slumlog was fitted.

The old cockpit seat panels all removed

New seat panels cut out and laid out to fit.

The seat panels now had to be coated with epoxy and this was done in my shed and each individually hung from the ceiling with the heater on. Sticky old job. The floor panels were sanded back as much as possible and then similarly treated with epoxy.
The Dek king vinyl material had arrived by then and I began to cut this. I started with the fgloor panels and made a frame with the bullnose profile with acurate mitred butt joints. The glue supplied is a solvent which welds the vinyl but while it is curing it has to be held firmly in place with gaffer tape.
Then the strips were cut to length and welded together to form the insert.. The whole was then glued to fit over the floor panel. When it was cured I applied the horrid black adhesive with a nottched spreader and fitted the vinyl. When using this stuff you have to continually apply heat with a heat gun to ensure that the material lays flat and does not distort.

The seat panels epoxied and ready for the application of the vinyl teak deck effect covering.

The floor panels , stripped back and epoxied. This was a messy and delicate job . the epoxy application had to be done indoors to get the right temperature and there was not much space to move around

The Dek King bullnose section , cut mitred and glued to make the outer frame.

The insert panel cut exactly to size, ready to be fitted.

The finished floor panel, sanded and all cleaned up. This is very effective material which really looks like teak but it is a fiddly and time consuming job to do.

One of the seat panels prepared and ready to be glued on. The adhesive is basically a PU sealant like sikaflex. You have to be very careful not to get it on your hands or the face ot the teak as it stains badly and had to be removed with thinners.

Whilst all the glueing was going off, I benefited from the short spell of warmer sunny weather to sand down the cockpit coamings and re varnish them. I used Sadolin stain on the lower side walls of the cockpit as the ply I had bought did not have an attractive grain and so this is much more forgiving.
I epoxied the cockpit floor and sealed all the joins with The Works poly sulphide adhesive/filler in Brown. I gave it 3 coats, and when all the panels were sanded and finished I took them to the boat for a final dry fit. I had to make a few adjustments and I will need to fit a few more drain channels to correspond with the new joins for the opening lockers. When I was happy it would all fit , I fitted the hinges and could now stand back and admire all my hard work. I certainly makes all the difference and hase given the boat a new lease of life. This Dek King is pretty much maintenance free and I think it was £500 well spent.

Final dry fit for all the panels. a few adjustments were neccessary. The fixed panels were bonded with  adhesive and the joins sealed with a neat bead of The works Sealant.

The hinges were fitted and a rubber seal was fitted to the back edges of the opening panels.
There we are. Job Done.  Chuffed with the result although it took well over a week to complete.

The companion way shelf all finished with the water filler fitted and the instruments and enginer control operational

The electrics were in need of an upgrade and so I fitted battery switches for engine battery, house battery, a shunt switch to connect them together, a neutral isolator. The battery is constantly charged from the solar panel which is wired to the engine battery. the house battery is charged through a voltage sensitive relay. the second battery is charged through the same circuit when the engine is running. All the lights, internal electrics and the instruments are wired to the second battery, leavinf No 1 battery excusively for starting the engine.  The solar panel on the fore hatch produces 40 watts so giving a charge to the battery of around 2 amps. This is sufficient for trickle charging when the boat is unattended. I will install a 20 amp 240v charger to recharge batteries when on shore power.

 The wiring behind the panel which incorporates a volt meter and 2 12 v sockets. The orange box on the left is the smart relay for split charging of the batteries. 80 amp in line fuses were used to protect each battery circuit.

The front of the electrics panel after a coat of white paint. The solar charge controller is above the battery switches. Next to the battery switches is the bilge pump selector switch.

 the toe rails were generally in poor shape. Water has collected in area and caused the decking ply to begin rotting. many area of the toe rails had been repaired with filler over the years. At the bow and stern a plywood decorative piece had been pinned on to the outside of the planking and water had collected behind it and seriously rotted the second strake on the starboar quater. this has been chopped out and a new piece of mahogany will be grafted in. Removing the toerails was ne easy as it was impossible to access the old screws. So I removed them with a reciprocating saw , small pieces at a time. I have sanded back the edge of the deck to clean wood and will epoxy this area before the new toerail is fitted.

The old toe rail had to be cut away using a reciprocating saw. A tedious job.

OOps, a bit more rot. The whole of this plank had gone soft where water had been trapped behind the decorative ply finial. A new piece will be inserted and epoxied.

I've managed to find a scrap of teak that will plug the hole where the rot was. I've used polyurethane wood  glue to fix this as it swells to take up any inperfections in the joint. I've begun to sand back the paint on the decks and have decided to strip the decks altogether. water has been been getting under the paint in places and it's no good putting more paint on top. I will sand back to the ply and then epoxy all over before fitting the new toerails.

The mast was removed today so that I can check the rigging, change the nav light bulbs and fit the wind instrument wirly thing to the top of the mast

the weather has turned on me for the next few days and as there is no paint on the decks I have had to spend another £30 on tarpaulins to keep them covered until I get a dry spell to apply the epoxy.

Patch glued in to repair the rotten plank. Just needs fairing off and a coat of paint.

There are areas where water has got under the paint on the decks. So the whole lot needs to be stripped and epoxied.

The mast being removed

The rig has been checked visually and seems in good order. New LED bulbs have been fitted to the navigation lights and a new cable has been threated in the conduit for the Wind instrument mast head unit. This was aligned on the boat and then fitted to the top of the mast. I checked the operation of the bulbs with a 12v source. I also fitted 2 small blocks to the side of the mast so that the lazy jacks can be eased and retracted back to the mast to make fitting the sail cover easier.

The weather has turned on me. I just need a few dry days now. So I've had to cover it over until that happens. Bummer.!

Luckily , I've had a few dry days but very very cold wind. I've managed to fit the toe rails which proved to be a tricky job as the base angle has to progressively change from the bow to about midships. so careful measurement was neccessary at small intervals and this had to be transfered to the piece of wood and then planed down. I also had to work out where to place the screw holes so they did not coincide with the old ones still embedded in the deck. I cut the scarph for the join and fixed the rail flush with the hull in the centre and then , using cramps gradually bent the rail into place securing with screws as I went along. The polyurethane glue sets after 5-6 minutes , so I had to apply the glue as I went along. I used 100mmx 6mm stainless wood screws.

The starboard rail glued and screwed

Improvised work bench for shaping the 4mtr lengths of sapele.

I have now fitted both sides of the toerails and the next priority was to put a coat of epoxy on the deck to seal the bare ply. The weather has been so cold that this has not been an option. However I did get one dry day when the temperature rose above 7 deg.   and manged to epoxy the deck. This means that I can leave the covers off now. I fitted the mahogany trim and capping on the transom and started on the side rubbing stake. When this is complete I will put one coat of epoxy to seal the sapele before applying a couple of coates of conventional varnish.

The deck sealed with one coat of epoxy

The transom trim and side rubbing strake fitted.

I've found a bit more rot in the transom planking so I will need to patch this before painting can proceed.

I have made up the side rubbing strake in the vicinity of the chainplates as a removable section which has been bedded and sealed with silicone. If ever the chainplate need to be accessed, this section can be taken out without damaging the rest of the toerail capping. Took a bit of careful measuring and jigsaw cutting but I got there in the end

New discovery of rot which has been chopped out and will have a new piece of timber gafted in

Removable insert fitted around the chainb plates. This has been sealed with only clear silicone so it can be prized out if neccessary . The strength of the toerail is not compromised as it runs unbroken inside the chainplates

The next task was to cut 130 x 8mm plugs to cover the screw holes. I took these from some scrap
and it took the best part of a morning to glue them all in. In the afternoon I cut them flush with a multimaster blade and then sanded all over to get a smooth finish prior to applying a base coat of varnish.

I re- epoxied the join between the deck and the inside of the toerail to ensure  a watertight seal and a smooth flow of water around the stanchion bases. I also applied a coat of epoxy to the inner face of the toearail, leaving the outside to be coated with a number of coats of varnish. I prefer this to epoxy if you want a nice smooth glossy finish. Epoxy always seems to run and leave a dimpled finish.

The deck with a second coat of epoxy around the edges and on the inner face of the toerail

New toerails all finished and sealed. just needs a few coats of varnish.

The transom capping over the exisiting iroko reinforcement beam which was fitted last summer.

Quite a pro job, although I say it myself. Just needs a touch up of the topsides and a couple of coats of antifoul and she will be ready to have her mast back on and go back in the water.

When I replaced the engine , I had a sneeky feeling that the shaft was very slightly out of line, so I thought I would double check and sought the advice of AD Marine to see what tolerances would be acceptable. I was told , "it must be spot on". So I loosened off the engine mounts to see if I could jiggle it to be more in line. Every time I tightened up the nuts it came back to the same position , about 5mm to one side. I removed the Volvo shaft seal to discover that this was worn significantly on one side, sugesting that this engine had never been in line and this would explain the reason why the cutlass bearing was worn in the first place.  Using the old cutlass bearing insert to centralise the shaft in the sterntube, I found that the alignment was way out. I also noticed that the plywood spacers on the bearers had been compacted and this would explain the up and down out of line I discovered as well as side to side. There was no  way round it the engine would have to come out again and the mounts would have to be re positioned.

Even after numertous atempts to re-align the engine the shaft persisted in not lining up with the drive flange.

The rubber insert from the old cutlass bearing was used to centralise the shaft in the sterntube. before realignment of the engine could be started.

New paragraph

The engine was removed and I found the mounts to have been wrongly positioned and had compacted the plywood spacers they were mounted on

New hardwood bearers were made and the mounts re-positioned using a tube extention to the shaft to get a centre line and inclination angle. The engine was re-fited and painstakingly  adjusted so the shaft would slide into the drive flange with no resistance.

A replacement Volvo shaft seal was purchased at the exorbitant  cost of £86. Following the instructions carefully, it was not too difficult to fit. It should be good for the next 5 years , so I suppose it is not such bad value seeing as it's maintenance free and is pretty much guaranteed to keep the boat dry.

The fuel system was bled and new antifreeze poured in. The engine was started to check that all was working. Thankfully, it all seemed to work ok. I put the water intake tube into a large jerrycan placed inside the saloon to check cooling water circulation. and check for leaks.
The week end weather is looking good, so I will be able to apply the final coats of paint and varnish.
Launching has been booked for next Thursday 25th April so I'm on the home straight.

The final coats of paint have been applied and most of the finishing jobs  completed. I re-hung the rudder only to find that the new mahogany trim I fitted to the transom fouled the rudder stock. So I had to lift it off again to shave a section off to allow the rudder it's full travel.

trhe guys from Emsworth Yacht Harbour were prompt to re- step the mast and fit the slings for getting her back in the water.

Renee all repainted with new name decals. ready for the re-launch

Re painted and anti fouled. Rudder re-hung. She looks a pretty picture. Like a new pin.

Mast re-stepped. In slings, ready for the lift.

On the way back to the water.

Back in her home berth.