Page published 22 January 2021
As you will read on this page, during the month Diana and I made a trip to Germany and when you read about our walk around Weisbaden Marina you will discover that, while discussing the names of the boats we saw there, it was decided that Imagination will be known as Just 17 once her refit is completed after her repaint.
7 Jul 2011
Today I dropped into Tim Collin's workshop, on the Rhond in Wroxham. I wanted to see if he could supply new wood to replace one piece of the heavily battered strakes I had added to the gunwales during my work in readiness for the 2008 season. He was busy with another customer, so I left a sample with him of what I wanted. I went on to visit Dad in his nursing home and returned later, but only as Tim was shutting up shop, so I didn't really have a chance to tell him exactly what I wanted. We left it that he would ring me before cutting anything, as I told him it was possible that I'd want more than the one sample piece I had left with him.
Over last week Ian had been pointing me towards suppliers of rubber fendering and it's true I would have expected it to have been more robust than the wood that's been on the boat over the last three years. Mind you, I don't think I fixed the wood with as many bolts as I should have. I plan to almost double the number when I refit the boat.
I still slightly prefer the idea of the wood. That's because I'm not keen to add yet another finish to the boat. The existing wooden strakes on the gunwales match the cockpit lockers and blocks on which the jib sheet cleats are mounted. I feel replacing the wood on the gunwales with rubber fendering would only emphasise that Imagination is a plastic boat.
Although rubber fendering should be maintenance free, a quick rub down and quick splash of Ronseal's "Five Year Woodstain" is enough to keep a reasonable appearance of the wood for a season - and that's not too much work. I figure that they are meant to be sacrificial and it is expected that they will suffer scrapes over a season. Additionally, rubber fendering is not cheap, and that is a consideration at the moment. Unless the wood option turns out to be a ludicrous price, wood it's likely to be. Especially as I hope to get away with replacing just one of the four lengths fitted.
Awaiting the base coat - and repairs to the lower part of the cabin door.
Returning from Wroxham I dropped into the boat yard today. On Tuesday Imagination was still in her old place, on the grass outside. This time she was gone. Tim was in the office so I went to have a word. He took me down to the shed. Imagination already had her windows blanked off and tape on the line that Tim was proposing for the waterline. He's got that just where I would have placed it. However, he then showed me the lower part of the cabin door. It had been dribbling water.
The windows are masked and waterline taped. Under the trestle table a pool of water can be seen where the bottom part of the door had been leaking.
I had removed the weather strip between the two parts of the door back in October and during my work on the boat nothing had seemed untoward. Now, it was clear that it was full of water. It seemed so much heavier than the top half. It reminded me of the way the whole door had been when I bought the boat. Back then the water had got in through the huge vent cut in the top of the door. This time it seems that it had managed to penetrate the supposedly sealed gap along the edge where the top and bottom parts joined. Now there is no time for me to do the work myself so I agreed that I'd leave it to Tim to cut away the door lining, replace the balsa and foam he'd find there with a sheet of plywood and make good.
8 Jul 2011
Tim Collin rang this morning, saying he had found a 10ft length of timber he thought would do the job. I popped down this afternoon. I approved. Tim trimmed the length to the cross-section needed, so now I figure I have the materials to make good the strakes on Imagination.
As I did yesterday, on the way home, I dropped into the the yard to see progress on Imagination. Repairs were well under way on the bottom half of the cabin hatch and an initial coat had been applied to all the blue parts of the boat.
The entire inner skin of the door has been removed, a plywood panel laid in and the whole thing covered with a fresh layer of chopped strand matting.
Yesterday, "Boatyard Tim" (to distinguish him for "Woodman Tim") said he was looking forward to doing my boat. Explaining, he said it was that there were a lot of edges on it. One of the problems with curves is that it becomes difficult to make a decision on which bits count as horizontal and which vertical. It is difficult deciding how to tackle all the surfaces when you come to climb in the cockpit to do all the nooks and crannies.
The top part of the cabin door and cockpit lockers have also had an initial base coat. The matting used on the cabin door is seen in the foreground.
Today he seemed displeased that I was taking photographs of the half finished boat. Is there a superstition about this kind of thing? I consoled him with the news that I'd be away for a week or so starting from the middle of next week, so I wouldn't be plaguing him for a while.
Imagination begins to look white again after the superstructure is been given its initial coat.
As a complete aside, these images were taken with my new phone. I've been reasonably pleased with the results I've got from it. Obviously it's not got the lens quality of my normal camera, but it certainly seems good enough for capturing something for the web.
14 Jul 2011
Date: As Photos
Text: 22 Jan 2021
The record of the repaint, written at the time, stopped after the entry for 8 July. However, searching through my photographs, I find that did take more on 14 July. This was the day before Diana and I flew to Germany.
There doesn't seem to have been much change in a week!
Everything's in the same position on the work bench too!
Both these images appear to show no progress was made in the intervening week. I think it means that while hopeful that some progress was being made I was steeling myself for the fact that the boat might still not be ready on our return.
22 Jul 2011
Date: As Photos
Text: 22 Jan 2021
There are more photos taken the day following our return from Germany and there was an entry in the original blog associated with the site, not posted till 4 August, that said:
Then there is the progress (or rather the lack of it) on "Imagination" to report. I came home from Germany to discover her with a rub down and at least another coat of paint to go. It seems that John, the boss, had let someone in the shed who made a hell of a mess sanding, sending Tim, the guy who is doing the work, into a "hissy-fit" (his word). There's still a final coat to go, and the special panels on the fore hatch and cockpit sole to have a special "sanded" finish to provide a non-slip surface.
Imagination, as she looked on the day I got back from Germany. There's an additional sand down required to get rid of the dust that was flying about.
Hopefully, I'll get her back by the weekend. If it does come back then it will be an appropriate moment to arrange the return of the inflatable to Ian, not to mention his tools - what's left of them after all my adventures. He'll get the replacement sander I had to buy - with some kind of cash bonus for all the tools that fell apart while in my hands.
Besides the photograph, posted on 4 August, I have found another that was taken on the same visit to the shed.
Now, in a different position in the shed!
Together they show that Just 17 had been moved while we had been away and that, in spite of the dust that had been flying about, it seems there was an added gloss to the superstructure not seen before we had departed to Germany.
The reference to a "sanded finish" in the 4 August report, refers to an alternative to the "leather look" panels moulded into the fore hatch and cockpit sole on a SeaHawk. There is no easy way to replicate these when a thick coat of paint is applied, so I had decided that added a sanded finish to these areas would provide an appropriate alternative.