Sunday, May 5, 2013

Brass neck leads to bronze turnbuckles...

There's no two ways about it, we've been plodding along in too much contentment to have any great news as yet. We've been lucky that the usual Texas summer weather has been very muted and pretty pleasant towards us thus far. 

We'd better get a wriggle on though, as this good fortune can not last. It's lovely living on the boat all the time, we feel totally at home and happy but this also means that we spend more time cooking, making mess then tidying it up and chatting. 

 I'm still plodding away at the toerails and hatch amongst frequent distractions, and Duncan has been making the spreaders and tidying up loose ends.

The Spreaders shaped and being epoxy cored and cut in the ends

Lots of varnish and then white paint to protect the tops from the sun.

The chainplates are all bent now after that big learning curve, here's Jason and Duncan working on the last two.

Life's too short to polish a chainplate but just look what happens if you do!

We originally sanded the raw bronze with our 6" random orbital (for days) however once we tried out the big grit polisher it was a revolution in speed!  We then went to town with the different grits of paper finishing with 1000 and then polishing and buffing...

We've been ordering all new rigging as none of our stainless ended up being trustworthy enough. We've chosen to use Hi-mod mechanical fittings which finally arrived today. 

 Here is what one thousand pounds worth of fittings look like! 

A most unwelcome expense but at least they are reuseable and will last a very long time.

As it happens our trusty local marine suppliers do not have sufficient wire to fulfill our requirements (430ft of one size) so we're still waiting for them to get new reels delivered. This isn't such a problem as we still haven't dragged ourselves back over to Dickinson to fit the mast track and a few fittings yet.

Duncan has been working on our electrics panel so we can have dials and gauges

Drilling holes in the tops of the chainplates for toggle pins; borrowing a pillar drill press has helped us massively.

One of the problems to consider post splash day was what to do with our old boat cradle (that rusty old big metal stand which Impetuous had sat upon for the last 18 years and that we got transported upon). We wondered if someone would want it. The un-relished plan was to cut it up with an angle grinder and take it for scrap if not.

We offered it to a few people and got a bite from local character (legend) Bob Marsh, to whom we suggested that when he pick it up he might bring along one of those bronze turnbuckles he has lying around his place (at this point we were still 3 short from our full compliment). He has a yard full of boats and can sometimes rent out cradles but at this proposal he left crying you limey's!

We heard nothing for a week, but luckily the yard didn't seem too anxious about it lying around in the way; they are remarkably patient and accommodating towards us. We heard a whisper in the fullness of time that Captain Randy was interested in the cradle; with this our ears pricked up, we waited for him to call. Lots of people call themselves captain around here. As far as we can tell it is nothing to do with the military, but some US coastguard qualification they wear as a badge of honour.

When captain Randy came by, Duncan was out shopping. Once he got the idea that he didn't need to keep looking around for a man to speak to, we were able to come to an arrangement. I said unfortunately it was promised to Bob in return for turnbuckles but that as he hadn't come to pick it up yet... Captain Randy interupted that he outranks Bob, therefore he'd take it and we can have turnbuckles from the resale shop no problem. I wondered if Bob would be disappointed, but the Captain said he'd call Bob and let him know the score.

A few days passed and we heard nothing, so we went to the junk shop (sorry 'boaters resale shop of Texas') and set aside our needed three bronze turnbuckles. These had been more highly priced than those we had previously bought up. We labelled them for the Captain to collect and amazingly he did! We couldn't be more delighted with our deal; rusty junk for exactly what we needed. Everyone came out smiling. Even Bob, who just yesterday brought us the turnbuckle we had coveted for nothing, so now we have a spare. He's taken a bit of a shine to us!

Yes maybe we took it to an extreme but for now they look pretty cool...


Dan said...

I used Hi-Mods on my rigging I replaced myself. They're pretty easy to work with.

The chainplates look great. nice job.

Quinton Bartlett said...

wowzers looking great folks

Patrick said...

How did you square out the holes for fasteners on the chainplates? I'm in the same process of replacing mine with bronze..

Impetuous said...

We drilled out four corner holes with 1/8" followed by a half inch centre hole, then we jigsawed and filed what was left till the bolts fitted. Sounds like a long way round but went surprisingly quickly. Thanks for your interest.

Patrick said...

Thanks! The jigsaw worked a charm..