2017.03.13 - Mega-Varnishing

There is not going to be a lot of things done this week with the exception of the varnishing. The first coat went on this evening. All of the cockpit covered except the cedar slats and the seats which are already done and the cabin sides. even the underside of the Oak seat surrounds since leaving that untreated will allow the wood to warp. It takes about two hours to go around that lot and if the weather holds I should be able to get a coat on each evening except for Wednesday when we get home late.

There are a couple of other things that will need doing that I can get on with. The trickiest one will be the making of a bracket that holds the lower end of the bobstay. The bobstay is a rope or chain from the end of the bowsprit that leads down to a fitting on the hull right at the front and just above the waterline. The bobstay usually has a pulley arrangement so that it can be tightened up when sailing and loosened when moored or at anchor. The function of the bobstay is to stop the end of the bowsprit from lifting upwards when there is wind in the jib.

The tricky bit is I need to know how thick the stem of the boat is at the waterline and there are two ways available to me of measuring it. The first is to drill a hole right through and measure the depth of the hole and then fill the hole back up again, not my preferred choice, and the second is to measure it with callipers of a sort. You stick a piece of wood through the fore hatch or the hole for the Samson post so that it touches the back side of the stem at the waterline then screw pieces of wood onto that first piece until one touches the stem on the outside. The arrangement is then unscrewed at one point so that the whole thing can be removed from the boat and the two pieces then screwed back together again. the gap between the two ends is the thickness of the stem. Not easy to understand when I describe it but you'll see what I mean when I do it. If I remember to take photos, that is.

Why do I need to know this?

There are two ways of making the fastening for the bobstay. The first is to drill a hole through the stem at the right place and put in a galvanised eyebolt making sure that you use a lot of sealant to stop water from getting in through the hole and into the boat. The second is to make a bracket that fits to the outside of the stem and bolts through it from one side of the stem to the other without ever going through to the inside of the hull. This method has no leaking hole to seal up and is my preferred method. But in both cases I need to know the thickness of the stem.

I don't think that the eyebolt method would work on Naiad since as far as I can tell by careful measurement, if I did drill the hole in the correct place for the eyebolt, it would come out right under the Samson post!

The first coat of varnish on the cockpit.

The cabin side...

...the cabin front...

...the other cabin side at the front...

...and the back...

...and the cockpit from the other side.

I don't think I'll take any more photos of the varnishing as it will look pretty much the same. Perhaps after the last coat as it should all be nice and shiny by then.

I am going to need to buy more varnish, however, I'm halfway through the second tin and by the time all this lot is done it will be nearly empty and I'll need nearly as much again for the spars.