Sunday 19 March 2017

Bunging up the ole

Its curtains for curtains
March 2017

Its hard to believe it, but in just over four weeks we will be setting off on our epic jaunt. One level this is great but on another it highlights the need to attend to all this little jobs on the boats which remain undone.

One new porthole bung

Sure, the installation of the solar panels and battery bank was a big achievement but everywhere I look there are outstanding tasks which, if I get my finger out, could be addressed before we go.

So, yesterday set about one of the most obvious tasks - washing Wand'ring Bark. This may not sound too hard but our mooring is under a tree and as a result we suffer from chronic verdigris. It all washes off of but it was so bad that the gunnels had become like ice rinks in the wet. So, I ran the engine for an hour or so to get a supply of hot water and tackled the task full on. I have to admit that the improvement was immediate and impressive, even if it did highlight the flaky bits of paint here and there.

Whilst the water was heating I tackled some internal jobs like fixing the pictures to the walls and most particularly, trying out the new bung in the window on the corridor. We have never really cracked this particular window from a curtain perspective as anything we have used has been snagged as we walked past either wrecking the curtain or our clothes. When we had the rest of the curtains made by Elite we asked for suggestions for this window which has a rebate of just 1cm, which precludes a traditional fabric covered porthole bung.

The suggestion was a circular bit of ply with some form of tape found the edge to bake a tight fit. Not a bad idea so I thought I would give it a shot.

I has some 8mm ply and with care I was able to create a circle on the bandsaw with a margin of error of about plus or minus 1mm. This was varnished and a nice curvy stainless steel handle added. To keep in in place the edge was trimmed with some self adhesive P profile draught excluder and hey presto - one bung which fits tightly in its ole. Time will tell if the slightly over tight fit continues.

In addition I have been giving security a bit of thought. Last year when we were in Walsall Basin with one of the BCN Explorer Cruises on of the boats had its back deck boards lifted. Whilst nothing was taken I did clock the issue, which is a particular concern on a cruiser sterned boat. A winter of cogitating resulted in the idea to add wooden "prongs" to one edge of the board which hook under the metal surround on which is rests. On the other side I inserted a barrel lock bought from Screwfix and drilled a slot into the steel surround which the lever rotated into - making access to the engine and batteries impossible without serious crowbars. 

Thats four jobs down - but a long way to go.

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