Current location for King Malu

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Painting all day

There have been some south-easterlies at the end of this week. Where King Malu is lying this means that she tends to lie even more to port than normal, pushed by the wind. She lies to port because when the previous owner added a generator he balanced the boat for one battery rather than the normal four.

I check the bilges every time we visit and today there was slightly more water in the bilges than normal. Strange, I thought. Last weekend one of the tasks we did was to repair the for'ard heads. In particular to re-epoxy the crack on the lid. For a normal toilet a cracked lid is no problem, but for a Blakes it stops it working totally as it needs to create a vacuum in the bowl with a seal to the seat and from the seat to the bowl.

When I went to inspect it, Jacob noticed there was water running into the bowl. Even stranger, I thought. But when I took a pace back, it stopped. A pace to port into the heads and it started again. Hmmm... and it was leaking slightly... into the bilges. So what was causing? It was obviously siphoning water in through the sea cock. But that should be impossible. In the Blakes instructions it shows a small hole at the top of the loop of pipe into the toilet to control the amount of water in the bowl (and implicitly to stop siphoning).

Ahhh... the previous owner had decided he knew better than Blakes and I found that he had taped up the hole making the inlet siphon water in whenever she lay very slightly to port. South-easterlies make he lie to port. She was siphoning while we were away and hence the bilges were fuller than normal.

The main target of the next few days is painting. Finish off the undercoat and do as much top coat as possible. So while I re-masked up the cockpit, Jacob sanded and cleaned the for'ard end around the windlass locker to paint that.

Yesterday afternoon I did some undercoating and today I completed all the undercoat on the cockpit and the main hatch.

Painting the bow deck will be slightly tricky since the mooring line comes in the starboard side. But if we do it in two halves I can bring the mooring line in over the bow roller since the anchor is not there and then tie it off on the port side.

We covered our nice new windlass with plastic sheet before Jacob painted the bow area, but now the bow is beginning to shine. Well, its clean in white now after Jacob's painting and will shine when there is a couple of top coats on it.

We have now completed, bar a small part on the starboard bow, the first undercoat for the deck as far back as the cockpit. So... hopefully tomorrow I will get first topcoat on the cockpit, second topcoat on the cockpit rim and complete the undercoat around the deck.

My target then is for Monday afternoon to do the second topcoat for the cockpit, completing the cockpit totally, and a second undercoat for the whole deck.

We have been putting plastic sheet over the cockpit hatch weighed down with anchor chain to keep it watertight, but that is inconvenient when you are trying to paint the cockpit rim.

So... Jacob and I put up the cockpit tent that his family brought back from the USA. That meant we could put away the plastic sheet and anchor chain which makes moving around on the cabin roof and painting a whole lot easier... and moving along the side decks a whole lot more difficult!

We've not got it quite right yet, but since it feels today that spring has come it was nice to have some shade to sit and eat our lunch under. The intention is to have a bimini and spray hood for the cockpit and this tent will then be for the fore deck over the spinnaker pole as extra shade.

In between all this I have been varnishing the ceiling pieces for the galley. Tim had suggested that since the marine ply was already mid toned we should use a slightly lighter stain/varnish than normal teak. That made good sense so I bought antique pine varnish as in the shop it looked the same colour as the teak varnish but slightly lighter. I have put three coats of stain/varnish on now and its still somewhat lighter than the teak. It may not matter for the galley ceiling pieces as they are low and won't be seen against the teak, but I think we probably do need teak stain/varnish for the for'ard cabin door.

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