My few readers might have been worrying about Lockdown as there haven’t been any posts since May. Has the builder sunk her? Rest assured – she’s still in a sea worthy condition.
The last few weeks have been spent fixing snags. The centre board stuck down. Then it stuck up, so it was manhandeled out of the casing, taken home and sanded to make it thinner. When I refitted it a couple of weeks ago, it still stuck, so it was taken out again, transported home and vicisously sanded. All that expensiveCopper Coat that I had lavishly spread on both side of it was ruthlessly removed. I can’t make the thing any thinner with sanding off the woven glass fibre mat……
Fortunately, when fitted yesterday, the centreboard now behaves and slides up and down with comparative ease. But, I noticed it didn’t shift when we ran aground on our extended sea trial yesterday – fortunately, it was on a rising tide.
Then there were the leaks from the centre board case – not so much leaks as sloshing. First there was the leak from the rear of the case, out from the base of the cover. This leaked strtaight in to the blige sump, so provided that I kept the bilge drains open, the “excess water” went straight back into Chichester Harbour. This was fine under sail, but as soon as Lockdown became a motor boat, the stern dug down, lowering the bilge tank so the top was below the water line………
Then there was the slop from the front of the case. A rib, driven by a caring skipper, had cut across our bows at high speed. Lockdown thumped into the wash and most of it seemed to slop through the centreboard casing. Once Loackdown was back on her trailer, I measured the width and length of the slot.
The snag is that I now have to work in the integral garage of our house, giving rise to a certain amount of distress from the Owners Agent. Also I have to work some 80 miles from where Lockdown rests on the trailer, which causes me some angst too. However, over the course of the next couple of weeks I made a seal for the back of the Centerboad case, a box to sit on the stern of the case in which I could fix the controller for the motor and a wooden strip to seal the front of the centreboard case. Having swept up the wood shavings, I took all the bits to Northney and fitted them to Lockdown. To say that the slop is fully cured would be an overstatement but there has been a significant improvement.
Now I can start learning how to sail her. And that’s when we ran aground…….