Fire Without Smoke?

Too cold for nails for the foreseeable future I reckon, so time to maybe turn a bit of attention to the inside bits. had a (very) brief look down today, and discovered another first on the Pansy front... The world's First and only floating ice rink!.. The lovely blue tarp roof that was cobbled together has a few perforations here and there, so there's the odd drip or 3 dripping, hitting the floor, making a wee splash which then freezes instantly, have emailed the producers of Dancing on Ice to see if they'd in an interesting venue in which to embarrass and possibly (hopefully) maim some more D-List celebs, but heard nothing back.

So the only solution is going to be the Fire - reinstate the midget crematoria.

to that end, tracked down and bought a stupidly heavy cast iron Deck Collar this week - An Indestructible 'thing' which goes through the deck for the chimney to pass up and out with out setting fire to the roof (again)

One obviously flaw in that plan is that Pansy no longer has a roof, so the next job I'm going to try tick of the endless list is rebuild the coach roof and coamings etc, so I can get the fire going. Be nice to put a bit of heat in the old girls belly again.

Plan is to try do this in an IKEA stylee. Made several sets of measurements of the size of the hole, (all different - obviously!) so will just choose one at random, and build as much of it as I can at home then transport it flat packed (complete with spurious allen key) to the boat for assembly. To truly complete the IKEA experience I might even neglect to pack one critical component

Expect lots of bad words when I get there and it don't fit!

Also, being the sucker I am for punishment..... I saw an little ad on the ol'interweb for another wee fifie that is currently for sale up that Scotland. Even older than Pansy (106 years old!!), and in need of TLC. So I made the call, only to discover the owner was someone that was a follower of this blog and that we'd already had a few email conversations! Small world, and very nice to speak to you John!

Someone else looking at it this weekend though, but if they don't buy (and I hope they don't!) it I'm going to take it on, so there'll be another one to to shift down to these parts for a makeover!

Deja Vu...

A weekend filled with several bouts of Deja Vu, the main one being looking at the grotty side of a boat again!

Today the sun shone (a bit) so had a wee few hours tinkering. Got the last bit of paint on the port side, which involved an unpleasant couple of hours in the punt - it leaks, as do my shoes, luckily I've got big feet and my shoes leak faster, so got at least 15mins head start on sinking - nuff said!

The frame heads on the Port side were a bit grotty and I've had my eye on them for a bit now. Wire brushed all the punky wood off them last week, luckily the rot is pretty superficial, all on the surface, so brushed em down, got all the flaky bits off and gave them a couple of good soakings in CPES (epoxy stuff), then cleaned up some more, attacked em with a sander and stuck some paint on. Painting being painted , thought I might as well stick the tie board back on too, bit of huffing and puffing and bending of larch and job done.

All very dull and boring, but it will keep me occupied till Will' and Kate's wedding invite arrives

Scottish MFV for sale wooden hull painted
looks canny seen from the front properly.

Wooden Deck repair stringer frames replaced
something to ties the tyres back on to if nothing else!

A Revolution in Boat Building

Turned the boat around today (revolution... geddit!)

There was an aborted attempt earlier in the week - 30 tons of boat, 40knot cross wind and one man trying to hold 4 ropes was never going to have a happy ending

So the nice side is on view and in the sun now, although there still a few bits of primer that needs painting over, but should get away with that in the sunshine despite the cold temperatures

Nasty side is against the pontoon awaiting its fate. Did savage a wee bit of the scabby wood, before I left. major attack planned for this week, weather and dentists permitting

ok, in case there' any pedants looking in half a revolution as it's only pointing t'other way!

and a BIG BIG thanks to Captain Carlsens Inchcape and an Escort!

Pansy the politician

Finally a rain and snow free day - yup, had a fair bit of the white stuff already, so made the most of it and had a day doing boaty stuff. Was hoping to get her turned around today but no-one about to lend a hand so that'll have to keep for next time. Thought I'd paint the last bit of the rubbing strake.... so flipping cold it was like painting with treacle, so after a very thick coat of primer, gave up on that. Suspect the painting window has been and gone for this year, unless there's some wierd freak of dry warmish weather

So what else to do? Time to maybe make a start inside if the weather is not up to much outside. Now, as you approach the boat on the pontoon, she's doesn't look that bad now on the outside, almost normal even. But look inside and it's a scene of evil vileness. Black, dirty and festering on the inside, ready to trip you you up and bestow pain upon you. So in that respect pretty much the same as all the members (I choose that word carefully) supposedly representing us normal folk in westminster

Harriet Harman did make me smile this week though as she announced "it's not part of Labour's politics for somebody to be telling lies to get themselves elected"

Of course it isn't Harriet, they have to wait till they are elected to start doing that

dance monkey, dance! (aka the Pansy Knee Trembler)

No, I'm not moving to Hartlepool! Got the last bit of the neww rubbing strake done today (well port side anyways), there weren't a soul around the place so the monkey dance involved me, one foot on pontoon, the other on the rudder chains 5 feet away, trying to hold a 14' plank between my knees, drill in one hand, 2lb mash hammer in the other, 8" boat spikes clenched between buttocks and trying to fix a clamp using a combination of toes, fags and swearing. Didn't help that its the plank with the biggest compound curve of the lot either.

fixind said plank was further compound by the fact there's a 2 foot steel plate fixed to the hull about half way down the plank, and even I know that would be tricky to get a nail into, Had spotted this previously though, so took the welder down and welded some new studs to the plate that could be used to bolt the new plank on to that bit

anyhoo, much knee tembling later, and several tourettian bouts of swearing, the fecking thing is on. The curve is under a huge amount of tension, so keep your eyes on the news as its entirely possibly that the stern end will spring off and launch an 8" boat spike into some poor unfortunate soul... or my neighbours boat!

New wooden planking rubbing strake MFV Zulu herring drifter
New very very very bendy bit of wood bent into place using the monkey monkey knee trembler technique

So she's ready for the turn around. and with absolute perfect timing, 'Constant Friend' the converted trawler moored next to us, has got a big squad of arms and legs ready for just such a task.

with not so perfect timing they did their turnaround yesterday!

Another dent in the roof!

Boat stuff on pause for a couple of weeks....
not content with some big Larch sized footprints in the roof of the car, I sort of went one better last week, and stuck a Mazda 2 sized dent in the roof instead. Needless to say the car really really is written off now, so been stuck without transport for a bit.

Single track road, car coming the other way with no concept of 'pulling over' so I pulled over, to which they just kept a coming, so I pulled over a bit more then a bit more till there was no more pulling over left to do. (there was acres of space on their side of the road, but perish the thought they might get some grass or actual 'dirt' near their tyres. so the inevitable happened, pulled over as much as I could (up a grass bank) hit a wee tree stump and did a bit of a fosberry flop and landed on top of them (a bit)!

always wondered what is was like to have to climb out of car on its side that you've just rolled, conclusion over rated! As Brian might say 'bessed are the cheesemakers' for I climbed out with not so much as a scratch, no stiffness or bruising the day after either.

Normal boat stuff might resume next week

MFV trawler conversion for sale soon
pushed it back on to its side as t'other car reversed from underneath. Afraid the paint work got a bit scratched

I name this ship.....

Anyone remember:
Pansy gets her name back

Well today was a bit of an occasion. Quite a major landmark in my sad little world! Pansy really did get her name back. The name boards I made 2 years ago finally made there way aboard.

An important thing for any vessel, and one that warrants all the pomp and circumstance that can be mustered. Royalty, celebrity, a politician or Jordan were what was called for (lets face it Jordan would go the opening of an envelope!)

Lizzie was not returning my calls, the chuckle brothers had a prior engagement and Janette Crankie is apparently being sent down a small hole to entertain miners in chile, So next it was the politicians. Tried Richard Lochead and a few other government ministers but they were all away in Brussels negotiating an EU subsidy for KY jelly (all on expenses of obviously), This is of course all part of their helpful 'scheme' to help Scottish fishermen when they are forced to take it up the tradesmen's from the rest of europe once again.

It will of course be KY Jelly that is issued on a quota basis and will obviously be specially approved and distributed by a quango at £8 million pounds a tube, a price they fought vociferously to get a reduction on from the £3.59 that Tesco's wanted to charge. So another fantastically successful round of negotiations there then

They did at least get a reduction in nozzle size so its not all bad.

Oh yeah, and Jordan was apparently doing something to a horse.

Bugger it, better do it myself then. So I did, and then sat back with a mug of tea and a fag to take stock. There was a reward of sorts though. It was low tide (not that is a reward in itself usually) and a rather nice young lady stopped by and leant on the railings up above to say hello. Clearly she was a Byker lass born and bred. Mid october, mini skirt and no knickers!

I nearly spilt me tea!

any hoo, piccies:

MFV trawler for sale repaired hull planks
A before and after shot on the same boat! Top 4 (or 5... or 6... who knows!) planks to come off the scruffy side and then repeats as for the nice side

Wooden Boat Carved Nameboard MFV Zulu
Still cot to add a yellow pinstrip along the gunnels and get the numbers painted back on. Not 100% certain that the nameboard is big enough now though. It looks a bit lost

repairing a wooden deck
View from above from where my little furry friend said hello! I say furry friend, was possibly more akin to a badly plucked chicken

bit too damp...

... to do much today. Damp on the outside and wet on the inside. Glad I went down today, the indoor water feature had re-appeared, bilge pump going off every 6 minutes! Not long now though till that's resolved once and for all. If all goes to plan, she'll be out of the water for the winter shortly, which is going to be an adventure in itself no doubt.

The damp and fog killed off enthusiasm for much else, but did get the the rest of the gunnel planks on, caulked the new bits that needed it an slapped some paint on. Hopefully a good day next week and I'll get it all painted then turn her around and start again!

Converted MFV for Sale Scottish Fishing trawler
Grey is the new red! I'm so loving the fact there'll soon be no red left anywhere

so close.....

Did a bit more today, weather looks shite for the next few days so going to have to wait a bit longer to get the paint out and turn her around. Discovered another bit of scabby plank so ripped that off and stuck a new one one, stuck the new timber on the gunnels, itching to get the paint out but time was against me. Also ripped the rest of the rubbing strake off! The bit on the back half of the boat is basically sound, but I like the idea of having it all new and matching so the whole lot is getting done now.

Got most of the way down the port side before it was time to call it a day. The nails that were holding it on are in such fine fettle they are going back in again. Seems a shame to waste them. The old rubbing strake is burning merrily on the fire and keeping me warm though!

all in all, starting to look pretty good/

Also had an email from a Pansyite who'd google'd upon us in search of Ford Lehman engine info (a lot of people do!) and has sent me the full Service manual for the 2700 series. A mighty tome at nearly 400 pages, but good to have when the need arises (note the when and not if!)

anyone that wants a copy, or some more Ford lehman manuals and Borg warners manuals I've managed to cadge along the way have a look here:

Ford Lehman Marines Diesel Engine Stuff

Anyhoo... todays whyAyePhone picture:

Planking repairs Scottish Zulu MFV herring drifter For sale
looks canny, but contemplating not painting the rubbing strake but instead, creating yet another rod for my own back by oiling and varnishing it!

No 1.. The Larch... The Larch

Just in case there's any Python Fans out there!.

Needed Larch. So got some. Wrote my car off in the process though. Called in at the garage on the way home tonight to have it confirmed. Still driving it though. Basically, the weight of all the larch on the roof rack on its way home put 4 large creases in the roof which won't come out without major car surgery. ho hum

Any hoo...

No 1.. The Larch... The Larch

Rather than risk an even flatter car than I already have, just going to take the larch to the boat in dribs and drabs as I need it. Today was a drib. Target was the port side top plank and rubbing strake.

So the drib was slung off the car and onto the pontoon and power tools fired up in anticipation (hang on, quick digit check.... yup still all there)

The Planks are inch and three quarters thick and six inch wide, so big bits of wood to bend. Decided to forego the steamer for just the one plank, and seeing as the timber still has a pretty high moisture content thought, what the hell, bit of muscle and a big hammer should the trick, and so it did. After end of the plank butted up to the next plank. Muckle big clamp and some even muckler big nails and off we go. 6 Inch boat spikes and a 2lb mash hammer. what could go wrong?

As it happens, for once, nothing. I even broke my own rules and measured twice and cut once for a change! Planed the bevel and then with judicious use of the spike/hammer combo and a couple of comedy sized G clamps and the thing was fitted and fastened in no time. Was so chuffed I ate a pot noodle and sloshed a load of stockholm tar and oil on the plank, or was it the other way around?

Rubbing strake next. Even easier as the timber is not quite as big as the planks, so clamp and hammer and fitted it all on my lonesome! Metaphorically speaking of course. I had a wee helper along that was tasked elsewhere...

so here you go, some more new wood!

Wooden hull plan repairs on scottish Zulu herring drifter
Must remember to take a proper camera anlong instead of the WhyAyePhone. Top plank and rubbing strake now replaced, ready for caulking and painting

the view looking forward. Not be long now before the last of that red paint is gone forever

Another small section of the rubbing strake to fit, the fill missing plank on the gunnels, bit of paint and then.... the Port side is done... apart form the fitting of the nameboard. Really looking forward to that moment

Elsewhere, my little helper had been asked to firmly insert plugs right up to the butt! (The splinters are killing me!)
The deck... finally plugging the holes. Spent several hours in my shed/burrow yesterday making nearly 1000 16mm wooden plugs. Which Tracker has been carefully and lovingly inserting. The contrast between the new wood and the rest of the deck now the many coats of oil are starting to darken is quite nice!

Plugging nail holes wooden boat laid deck planking repair
need to lash some more boat soup on to tame the plugs a bit, but Progress! PROGRESS!!

and the big shock of the day... After spending most of the year wading through a sea of empty beer cans in the wheelhouse, couldn't stand it no more so I tidied and swept up in there!

Is it Because I is Black?

half a black boat! Even recaulked the hideous bit at the arse end, and tarted the rudder up a bit, top rail saw some more linseed oil and some paint too. Top Plank removed and made ready for the new one as well. Just another coat of paint on the hull, then paint the gunnels and I can start all over again on the other side. Soon be totally waterproof above deck so I'm planning on turning her upside down to do the bottom half

wooden zulu fishing trawler MFV hull recaulking complete and primed and painted
First time she's been her original colour in about 40 years!

Pansy's Granny Eats Spammers

Just realised, If every spammer that has stuck comments on with links back to all manner of shite, had given 5 minutes of labour, the old girl would have been finished months ago!

must spend half an hour a day deleting crap for everything from fake handbags car insurance to god knows what else. The spam trappy stuff I stuck in place ages ago has kept all the porn and viagra stuff out, but sheesh, some wierd old stuff gets posted, which is why anyone that posts legitimate comments (which are always welcome) doesn't see them immediately, I have to wade through the shite to get to them and publish them, but hey ho, least if I ever need to buy a truss, a pair of ugg boots, an online diploma or pay my college fees I'll know where to look

So where does Pansy's Granny fit into all this?? There was an episode of "Coast" on the beeb a few weeks back (you know the program with the scotsman with girly hair and the fat bloke you want to punch)...

They did the caledonian canal, which was interesting in itself (apart form the bits with the fat bloke in) and a little more interesting as not long after Pansy came down here from up there I got an email from the production company looking for an old boat to go along the canal in. It would have been brillaint to say yes, but I'd already pulled too many bits off to make it back up there.

Anyhoo, there they were trolling along, as they do, and had a bit of a snoop around Loch Ness, along with a small ROV underwater camera thing, again, as you do (I never leave home without one) and lo and behold there's Pansy sat on the bottom, only not this Pansy but that Pansy. the Pansy that was owned by the same family before this Pansy. That Pansy being a muckle big Zulu herring drifter, which sort of sank in Loch Ness a long time ago. Loch Ness being the place it is, and having a nice monster to look after things, the boat is in fairly good shape considering, the paint on the name boards even being reasonably intact.

Somewhere I've a photo I'll have to dog out of that Pansy under full sail, 100 years or so ago, but in the meantime, if anyone is interested, here's just the Loch Ness sequence from Coast

If you want to watch the whole shebang (including fat bloke and man with girly hair:

/** just found the pic of her above the water in all her glory. Enough to induce bowsprit envy in anyone! **/

Zulu herring Drifter Pansy under sail
Pansy's Granny. A true Zulu Herring Drifter under full sail. Thats some bowsprit, wouldn't fancy poking that around a tight corner!

Thanks Jeffrey!

Couldn't resist, still loads more to do but I just had to. Port side of the hull is now caulked and all the seams have been sealed with putty apart from a couple of bits at the hint end. Stood back an looked and then though 'got to do it'.

Paint! It's been sat there over a year since I bought the damn stuff, so what the hell get some slapped on. I've been feeding the planks with lashing of linseed oil over the last couple of weeks, so thought I'd get them primed and tucked up nicely for the winter

Does make you feel so much better when things are starting to be positive improvements rather than than the endless cycle of pulling things apart. Still the top plank to replace (next week probably) and the beltings/rubbing strakes to re-face but it looks so much better with a bit of paint sloshed on

so, end of this week should see the port side not only primed, but also a top coat on, maybe even 2!

Also going to get back on deck and finish that. Going to abandon the trowel mastic route as life is too short and unexpectedly going to get jiggy with Jeffrey's Glue

If anyone know's who Jeffrey is thank him for me will you!

Jeffrey's Glue adventures will follow soon no doubt, I have notified the Fire department and A&E, so should be a doddle!

then the starboard side, then the coach roof, and then and then and then........

How to make on old scottish zulu a happier girl - LOOK!  no cracked seams, and new paint on as well.
Painted and cauled hull seams after puttying on Scottish Zulu MFV conversion

More deck caulking, hull caulking and seam paying...

Pay the seams? Gladly pay a small fortune at the minute to see them filled. slowly but surely though its getting done. Done another couple of days and most of one side is almost ready for paint 88|

that'll be a shocker, will have to run her around so the crappy side remains hidden until that sides done as well I suppose. Still biting my fingernails though, and not dead yet, well not from the waist up anyway!!

hardened up the caulking in the hull (again) and got busy with the putty goo stuff again. tried the sloppy putty goo mix in a caulking gun and that didn't work. It worked for a bit, but as the stuff cools down from the bit of warmth put into it from your fingers as you mix it its stiffens up too much for the gun, so canned that idea and decided there's nothing for it but fingers and trowel/knife. Slow, tedious, laborious and frustrating, but gets there eventually. Found a neat little trick for the final smooth over. Brush the newly filled seam with raw linseed oil. smooths any lumps and bumps out nicely and the extra oil will do it no harm at all apart from possibly stopping the putty from over hardening which is no bad thing, and it gives the wood a bit of boost too I suppose.

Also did a bit of sealing on the deck. Some of the cotton caulking has been squeezed out a bit here and there with a summer of being totally exposed to rain/sunshine hot/cold, so it needed a going over with the mallet and a caulking iron first. Then masked it up and after much hunting around, talking to 'experts' and reading webby things, struck out on my own. Bitumen based Trowel mastic has been, well, trowelled I guess on a bit of deck to see what happens. On paper it should be the perfect. Its got plenty of coal tar type things in, so thats good for killing the nasties, it hardens on top but only semi sets under the skin, so thats good for the give and take of the wood as it gets wet, its oil based so it ain't going to sulk about all the oil thats been lashed on the deck, and most importantly it doesn't have the word Marine in it so is cheap as chips - Gallon can for less than some places charge for a single tube of sikflex. Only time will tell I guess- watch this space

Wooden hull plank seams caulking payed (sealed) with traditional putty
caulking hardened and seams sealed, brushed over with a bit of raw linseed oil. the rest of the exposed timber has been given a wee drink of linseed oil as well with the dregs of some white lead putty mixed in as well (based on the can't be arsed cleaning the brush principle)

caulking a wooden deck and sealing deck seams on a wooden boat
some black go in the deck seams, takes a couple of days to harden so if we get anymore burglars in the next 2 or 3 days (thats another story BTW) I should be able to follow their footprints

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, did anyone see Pansy's granny on 'Coast' on the BBC a couple of weeks back? Lying on the bottom of Loch Ness Must post the vid on here soon

getting things moving again (or how to stop biting your finger nails)

Still trying to beat losing the will to live with this old boat, so trying to get things moving again. Been a funny old year thus far, but at the end of the day If its gonna get done I'll just have to do it myself if its not to become another one of those 'abandoned projects' that seem to litter the country!

Had to move her today, the berth she'd been stuck in 'temporarily' while some giant floating gin palace was moved was needed for any potentiall visitors to the marina, as I I'm sure most people are aware that Walker is high on the agenda of the international cruising circuit! A delightful place for a visit and a gentle stroll along Byker Wall, its a bit like Hadrians wall but with less romans, although I swear I did once see 'romanes eunt domus' painted along it once, or something like that.

Any hoo, the old girl had to be coaxed back to life, engine not run in a year, and the engine room had been mouldering away in the damp and the dark with only occasional high bilge levels for excitement. Only a couple of things down there had suffered over the last year - the engine and the gearbox. The grease gun, hardened paint brushes, empty paint cans and (bizzarely) a bottle of washing up liquid and a grey sock (not mine, probably not grey originally) hadn't suffered a bit.

the nice shiny new starter motor I fitted was still nice and shiny (on the outside). The important whirry round bits inside it had seized solid. so that had to be stripped a few times. Engine Oil was checked, grey sludge on the stick being of sufficient quantity to qualify it as having at least some oil in it. I thought the mould on the drive belts would probably enjoy being made dizzy as they went around so I left them to there own sporish delights, connected up the batteries and turned the key. Yup bugger all happening, narry a click nor a whirr. Soggy wiring.

quick bypass of a few pseudo non essential bits of wire, and contact.... Amazingly, about 5 seconds of cranking and the old Ford Lehman started to splutter into life, so the I sniffed the unused can of easy start myself to celebrate

so one of the 2 things that has suffered is ok still (apart from desperately needing an oil change). So ropes off, into reverse (a bit stiff to be honest) and things started to move. Awesome. the feeling of euphoria was short lived though. Managed enough forwards and backwards type maneuvers to get her into a great postion just as all drive from the gearbox was lost and nice big gust of wind came to say hello and send 30 tons of boat scudding out of control towards some rather expensive looking yachts. Divine intervention came in the form of the marina manager in his rib who approached at ramming speed to divert the boat roughly in a direction where I wanted to go. At this point a couple of other boat owners fired there boats up and sensibly moved to the other side of the marina for the duration.

But she got to where she was going, didn't hit anything (much) and is now out of the way, rather disturbingly in suicide corner - every boat that goes there dies and sinks. luckily there's a queue at the moment, the one in front of us has maybe 9 months left!

Tied up and plugged in, thought it time to do some 'stuff' Shifted a a ton or so of ballast back to where it started, then started with a bit of caulking and sealing. A lot of the caulking had been done already, but the planks have opened up a lot so it needed hardening up a bit more first. Seams were primed with a bit of red lead, apparently its not very nice, luckily only got 'a bit' on me. then time to mix up the compound to pay the seams.

Lots and lots of debate out there on this subject. No single right answer to it either, lots of opinions and a fair bit of conflict of whats best and whats not. So for my recipe I thought for once, I'd go sheeplike with the majority (sort of)

So for filling the hull seams/planks above the water line the following concoction was created. Putty - the stuff folks used to use to put the windows in before all this uPVC malarkey came along, about, say, a grapefruit sized lump. To which is added a plum sized lump of White Lead, (really really not nice - got masses on me and probably in me) and a grape sized lump of grease (normal motor grease type stuff) this fruity mixture being garnished with a wee splash of raw linseed oil.

Now, all those nice people that recommend this mixture, there's 2 things they don't tell you, first is how to mix it together. There is only one way and thats to get your hands in. Forget gloves. I tried latex gloves, they got sucked into the sticky mess and have yet to surface. So It was bare hands. I'm still picking lumps of white lead out from under my nails now. Give some to the kids. tell them if they continue to bite their nails they will die, nice and simple!

So you squidge and you squeeze and eventually you have this sticky morass in your mits, perfect for sealing your freshly caulked seams. How the flip do you get it in, which is the second thing they don't tell you. I found poking loads in with my fingers worked, till I moved my fingers out of the way when half of it comes back out still attached me. But by the law of diminishing returns; keep working it in and eventually there will be a seam full, stuck nicely to the planks and the caulking cotton that was bashed in behind it, and smoothed off lovely with a putty knife

The Third thing of the 2 things they don't tell you is how long it takes to skin over so you can paint the damn stuff - I'll get back to you on that, hopeful we'll have an unseasonably warm december which might make painting a possibility

Traditional caulking hull seams sealant converted fishing trawler MFV
looks rough still but a long way to go!. Caulked seams and a couple with 'traditional' (pah!) seam sealant. I left the putty in the seams slightly concave. Figuring that when the planks take up again and it gets squeezed it might finish up flats

So there we go some 'stuff' has been done. More stuff to be done soon!