To do....

Teak Deck Oyster 406 Week 65. Going into the new year it is time to take stock of the Oyster 406 project. It has become apparant that I am beyond getting her ready for a circumnavigation and have moved into a restoration project. I have no idea why but each job has had to be done to perfection. Not a single bolt, screw or nut removed has been refitted. Instead they have been replaced with new A4 and I now have several tubs full of old stainless fittings. I must get into ebay this year. Taking stock of my white board seen on the right, shows the "Jobs Done" list considerably longer than the "Jobs to Do" column on the right. Additionally the jobs done list includes all the big ones, Teak Deck, Generator, Water Maker, Air Con, Chain Plates and Washing Machine. Another observation I have come to is that suddenly jobs become smaller and are more satisfying as they become completion jobs. And so to this week end. My wife had the seasonal flu so I didn't have my usual support. The guard wires were all replaced, the anode bolts changed and the galley sink sealed in place. I have also been preparing for the engine team to come on board in a couple of weeks by cleaning up and fitting the new fuel filter. Jobs on the engine and drive chain include engine service, replace stern gland and cutlas bearing. It is also getting time to get the upholsters ready to refit all the bedding and seat cushions. My wife took great delight in taking a swatch of the material recommended (as with any women it turned out she chose the most expensive) and subjecting it to every stain she could find. That included biro, expresso coffee, cumin, turmeric, red nail polish and red wine. These were all subjected to milton and jiff cream and I have no idea how the suede like material looked exactly the same at the end of it all. It gives me some confidence that the near white material chosen to brighten things up will not wear too badly or mark easily. I am now making plans for the launch and finding a home port for Sephina. I am also looking forward to sailing my own yacht after nearly 25 years of sailing charter and friends' boats. And yes, for anyone who believes the old wive's tale that the only two days of yacht ownership that are enjoyable are the day of purchase and the day of sale, rest assured this is entirely rubbish. I have enjoyed every day so far and I haven't even sailed her yet! New Years resolution "To get fit" so I can climb up the 35 mast steps with ease!

Lights for Xmas

Teak Deck Oyster 406Week 64. I don't know what to say. I told the team I wanted "Lights for Xmas" for Sephina and they delivered. The teak deck is finished and the white LEDs inlaid into the wood.  I am so pleased with the result. It is beyond my wildest dream. The attention to detail is remarkable. Each day I think she is ready, new black patches appear as the quality control finds a new micro blemish. I don't think it is because I am getting fussy and posessive but the guys really do seem to care. I must thank Barry, Paul, Andrew and James for delivering a master piece. Paul who is the master teak joiner has had his skills recognised and in the New Year he is going to be working on one of the UK's Sailing legend's yachts. I will miss seeing the team but will be reminded every time I set foot on that deck, admire the galley and take the brick bats from my mates about the washing machine install, of the skills that they have lavished on Sephina. Thanks.

The LED lights in the deck have also been the subject of much scepticism but I am in no doubt that they are worth it. They add that touch of class that my restored 406 deserves. Carl from TLC had to burn the candle at both ends to get them done in time for Xmas and had to finally jury rig the last 3 so my wife and I can go to the shed and have a quite moment dreaming of what is to come. Happy Xmas to you all.



Week 62. It's starting to get very rewarding as jobs become finished. Putting the final touches to a number of projects has revealed the true potential of the 18 months of work, the cold Saturdays are not so bad when there is a reward. The picture on the right shows the solid stainless steel deck switches for the windlass. The fussy bit comes from opening the lids of the switches and finding that they flop onto the teak deck behind with a loud bang. I have visions of indentations appearing in the deck! So a quick ebay search revealed some simple rubber stops. With a couple of A4 self tappers at the ready I set about fastening them so the lids would fall nicely. It's a good job TLC were in the shed as my plan to screw the self tappers into the teak was amateur. Barry explained this would potentially split the wood in time. The real way to do it was to drill the hole in the teak bigger than the shaft of the self tapper, then use a smaller drill in to the deck itself to take the screw. Also the hole needed to be filled with "Arbomast" to stop water ingress. A quick search for some longer A4 screws and work began. I can't say how nervous I was about drilling and screwing into the new deck! I made sure the area around was protected and if my screw driver slipped it was going to hit something else. I am pleased to report the job's a good'en. Also seen in the picture are the nice new stainless steel deck cleats dry fitted and if you look carefully you can see two pencil squares in the top left. Sephina's deck is littered with them. They mark the slight imperfections in the caulking. To be honest I can't even see what some of them mark. I thought I was fussy but I must have caught the bug!

Royal Welsh Yacht Club

Week 61. Well they must have lost the black balls as our membership was considered this week and it seems we are fit and proper to be members of one of the oldest yacht clubs in the UK. Its premises are in fact the oldest of any yacht club being in the west gate of Caernarfon Castle and built in 1284. One of the principle reasons is to have a UK yacht club to keep in contact with as we sail around the world. We visited last summer when we were on an Irish Sea cruise with North Wales Power and Sail on Altea. On that evening it was truly gorgeous weather and the club had a function on. Despite the place being crowded they couldn't have been more welcoming to a visiting yachtsman. They even made space on the fabulous balcony as we watched the sun set over Anglesey. The decision was made and we realised we could keep our Welsh roots here. On the boat this weekend we managed to tick more jobs off the list. More painting and cleaning also. I still keep thinking I will be able to take a photo of the completed deck but it seems it will be a little longer. I did put back the primary chain plates, upgraded with hex bolds instead of machine screws. The aft chain plates are having a stainless steel backing plate made as recommended by the surveyor. Other owners have mentioned this is a potential weak point but on removal the holes show no sign of stress or elongation. However, Sephina has had fairly light use so no harm in improving on them in case. Talking of other owners, I have had recent contact with 7 so there are another 27 out there somewhere!

All quiet..

Week 63. Nothing to report this week as we were away for the weekend for a family birthday. With Xmas approaching I think it will be a quite time. We might get one day over the holiday period so I hope there is something to report next week.