It's Over...

Teak Deck Oyster 406

Week 83. The refit is over. Now it is time to chart the journey. No Sharon, it's not now but every journey starts with little steps. I suppose the journey from Conwy to Deganwy was more of a micro step but it is the start of a season of testing. So what happened. The mast was stepped on Tuesday by Buckleys Mobile Cranes. Another company recommended to me, and their skill and professionalism was reassuring. PD Rigging have been responsible for the mast and were there to ensure all went smoothly. Unfortunetly it was windy and a little wet in the morning. As the mast is to be sealed with Spartite this requires it to be still and dry. The mast was secured but not tuned. Time then accelerated. Thursday, 10th of May was the appointed date for the launch. The morning quickly passed and before we were ready the crew arrived to move Sephina into position for the lift. Now the nerves arrived but luckily I was surrounded with friends who knew what they were doing. Jon and Iain are the sort of human beings that you know you can absolutely trust and will not only give confidence but will sort things. Ron the engineer and Carl the electrician were also on hand, the former proved essential as the engine refused to start. I don't know how many times Dan from Conwy Marina who was responsible for the launch was told to keep the hoist on hand in case of leaks, but he did his job well allowing us time to look at all the seacocks to spot water ingress. Luckily there were none. Sephina was soon on the crane dock and the wind began to blow. A huge motor cruiser was behind us ready to launch and our engine would not start and the bow thruster refused to turn on. Ron scuttled below and in 10 minutes had diagnosed the problem to the engine stop solenoid which was adjusted wrongly. A quick turn of the Perkins 4.108 and she fired sweetly. At the same time I realised that the bow thruster had two "on" switches and both needed to be pressed. By this time my brain was in overload and I was struggling to work out my port from my starboard. The wind was pinning us on but a blast of bow thruster, a squirt of forward and we were off. Sephina was suddenly a boat. The journey from Conwy to Deganwy was all of 3/4 of a mile but no mean feat. The final leg into the marina was greeted by gusts of 30 Knots of wind just as I approached the berth. More bow thruster and we were on. I didn't even look at the team tying her up as I headed for the Deganwy Quays hotel bar to get the champagne in. It was made more special by Barry and Paul turning up to join the celebrations. Poor Barry was working and one glass of champagne put paid to his afternoon! So the refit journey is over. The weekly updates will stop and it is now time to chart the sailing. Finally, it beholds me to thank friends who helped, contractors who all became friends. I was privileged to have the cream of the cream to work on Sephina and make my dream a reality. I knew what I wanted, often made it clear and I am immensely thankful that everyone responded. Thanks.

Tidy up...

Teak Deck Oyster 406

Week 75. As Sephina goes in the water in a few weeks, it's time to do the last minute jobs. Also a major completion job starts this week. The upholsters arrive. So this weekend meant that we had to get Sephina clean and ready. Barry from TLC and Paul started on an enormous jigsaw puzzle. The pieces were the "overheads" and locker linings and shelves. They were originally taken off some 18 months ago. As we have replaced the stained cupboards in the forward part of the saloon there were always going to be some pieces left over. However there are other pieces missing and a whole shelf assembly that for the life of us we can't identify where it might go. I might need to ask other Oyster 406 owners for a location report! My wife has again been on cleaning duty and has scrubbed the head linings as they have been replaced. The target was to get all the clutter and tools off the boat so the upholster can have free range. The choice of material has been a journey. On Barry's advice we chose "The Boatshed" in Port Dinorwic and this was 18 months ago. Originally we wanted to brighten up the interior so chose a white leather effect material. Then Stephen from The Boatshed visited Sephina and told us we couldn't put it on an Oyster as it would look too cheap. Back to the drawing board. Finally we choose a suede effect material, suffice it to say, it was a lot more expensive. It looks very sumptuous but is as hard wearing as the cheaper plastic. My wife decided to put it to the test. She subjected a sample to the following:- Oil, curry, turmeric, red wine, marmite and even bright red nail varnish painted directly on. Followed by robust cleaning with bleach, milton and Jif. (Cif to the new generation.) Unbelievably, they all came out and the material looked untouched. Decision made and order put through. We can't wait to see it in place this week. The team are coming on site to make and ensure a custom fit. We have requested the aft cabin bed be particularly comfortable with the use of memory foam as we will have to live on it for 3 years. Finally a most important job has been completed. The followers of the site will know that the initial problem with Sephina that started the whole refit was the leaking chain plates. Today they were finally sealed. Not once but twice. Firstly, by bonding the deck to the plates with Sika 292i and secondly by bonding custom stainless steel cover plates using arbomast. No water will dare to find its way into the lockers again!. This weekend also saw a number of visitors admiring Sephina.

 

PBO Forum

Teak Deck Oyster 406

Week 77. No visible progress on the upholstry but I'm hoping it is all happening off site. Time is running out. Boats in the shed and the yard are preparing for departure this week so there is much activity. On Sephina it has been cleaning again. Also in recognition of the huge advice I have received from both Practical Boat Owner's Forum and Barry from TLC I have mounted a plaque to recognise the help and advice so warmly welcomed. A bit of disappointment this week has been the saloon steps re-varnishing. I tried adding non slip additive as per the recommended mixture but it looked a complete mess. The varnish had grey lumps when dry. There was nothing for it but to sand it all off again. So another few nights needed to re-varnish again to build up suitable coats. I will try a test patch with a much smaller amount of anti-slip to see if it will work at all. The shed also smells of Sheep! Last week my friend and I "painted" the prop and shaft with PropShield. This involves heating up a wax like substance with hot water and then attempting to spread it on a cold propeller. It goes lumpy. So the propeller also needs to be heated. After some trial and error it all seemed to work but the aroma was pretty disgusting. It turns out that PropShield is from sheep wool and is mainly lanolin. Boy does it smell and even a week later as the shed gets warm there is the odd whiff. At least it will be under the water soon! The final jobs are being started and some have been on the list for some time. It's time to pay attention to the mast and dress it ready to transport over to the marina. As it was stripped down some 20 months ago I hope I can find all the bits. Talking of bits it is also time to clear out the shed. Lots of items have been replaced and at some point a decision needs to be made as to what is scrap, what can be reused and what needs to be sold. I not very good at the "selling" thing but I have had an offer of help. It will be accepted!

Missing

Teak Deck Oyster 406

Week 76. Sephina is starting to get the finishing touches and the list grows smaller. This week was programmed for The Boatshed to do the cushions, seats and beds. The first fit of the new upholstery took place on Friday and they are hoping to complete by the end of this week. It will lift the project. Also finished this week is the rearrangement of the chart table. Carl from TLC electronics has done a fine job. The new panel is perfect and added are the remote controls for the mast head camera, video input for the cameras to the E120, extra circuits for the deck lighting, inverter, CCTV system and deck wash pump. The panel is photographed on the right. The appearance of Reeds 2012 shows we are serious about completing this! This weekend saw much cleaning but also as seems to be the story of boat ownership another problem identified. I replaced the water heater switch and found that the water was not getting hot. On closer inspection the element in the clarifier tank under the bed in the aft cabin was not working and it appears as if it has been inoperative for some time. The electrical contacts were rusted and water seems to have been leaking onto it. Nothing for it but to remove the tank as it was not possible to get the element out with it in situ. In fact it was not possible to get the element out at all. Much force and heat failed to free the element. So the tank is off to JP Engineering for some serious heat. A new element is also not straight forward. Most domestic ones are 3kW which is fine when on shore power but if using the generator it is a bit too power hungry. So boat ones are 1kW. Domestic elements are £10 and boat ones for less power are £50. The story of the marine markup. And so to the 'missing'.  After Paul did the biggest jigsaw puzzle reassembling the cupboards, shelves and overheads, one overhead was missing and one surplus shelf was left over. We still can't find the position for the shelf but when Stephen from The Boatshed read the Blogg last week he realised he had the missing piece. I gave it to him to match the material over a year ago! I'm not telling Paul as we have searched high and low for it. I will put it back quietly one night!

Near to launch...

Teak Deck Oyster 406

Week 78. Sorry for the delay as technical problems have delayed an update this week. So what has been happening. Preparation for the final bug fixes on the deck and some gel coat repairs from old war wounds! By the end of the week the teak deck will be fully finished and Andrew will have brought the rest of the deck up to scratch. Also in cleaning the deck in preparation for Andrew a couple of leaks were detected. Firstly one of the port lights leaked into the aft cabin. This was removed and I found I had not put enough Arbomast around the rim. I will use more next time! The second leak was from one of the deck LEDs inset in the teak. Again a leak into the aft cabin. I tried covering the light with a teak off cut plastered with Arbomast and the leak stopped. So nothing for it but to remove the light. Carl from TLC helped and when it was out it was soon apparent there was again far to little sealer. So both leaks should be easy to fix. It's a good job the leaks will be fixed before Sephina comes out of the shed next week as the upholstery has started to arrive. So far the fore cabin is complete and the aft cabin partially complete. The photo opposite shows just how bright the interior is going to be. The aft cabin cushions are very complex in shape so are taking a little time to get right. I will post some other photos when they are finished on Friday. Also this weekend Paul finished the fitting out of the aft cabin lockers. It is a shame that the calorifier under the bed is broken. I have decided not to repair it a third time and have taken the plunge to order a new tank. Luckily it is in stock so will be here before the launch. After 78 weeks the butterfly is nearly ready to emerge.