Page published 10 February 2021

Go to Top Just 17 - Way Beyond Compare!

12 Aug 2011

A week ago while in Germany I hinted that a decision had been made on the new name for Imagination. Today I committed myself. I ordered the lettering from a local sign company.

I had done some research on this Interweb Thingy and found a company with a page where I could could choose from a wide selection of fonts and get a preview of how it would appear. Having been inspired by Graham Richards, who had done something grander than I had in mind, a few years ago, to his SeaHawk, I had emailed the company to ask about the possibility of adding a SeaHawk logo to the text of the name However...

While I was chatting to some locals at the boat yard on a visit to inspect progress on Imagination, I was recommended to try the local sign making firm. I'm glad I did! Their price for the signage itself is about half the price of the Internet company, on top of that there will be no postage to pay and the work will be ready for collection sooner that it takes to come by post! Excellent!

Just 17 - Boat Name Mock Up

I made up this image to show how the name new name will look. I used the photo of a SeaHawk that was one being sold on the Isle of Wight a couple of years ago.

In terms of the name, the photograph spells it out. The photo is a mock up that I made to show the lady at the sign company what I wanted to achieve. It doesn't show Imagination. Instead the image was created from a photograph in my SeaHawk collection, which I have gathered since starting the SeaHawk site. It was the first I found that happened to show the cockpit side well, where the name is to go.

Putting aside the name for a while, I am quite pleased with what I have done with the SeaHawk logo. I started with a photograph of the emblem on my sail. That made me realise that it is a bit of a corruption of the original. I was disturbed by that realisation. I hadn't noticed it in the five years since I bought the sails.

The photo was processed, using the "GIMP", to remove the background. The cleaned up image was then fed into another program, "Inkscape", and "traced". Tracing converts the image from a raster to a vector format. Once in a vector format the image may be resized by any amount and curves will retain their gentle shape instead of developing a jagged appearance. It's what you need to be able to print or laser cut vinyl or even sail fabric. Once in vector format, I began to reconstruct the neck feathers, which was where the worse corruption had occurred, then I decided that the back of the head needed some work too. Before I'd finished, the mouth and eye had some minor tweaks too.

The next part of the job was taking a scan of an old SeaHawk brochure and extracting the text "SeaHawk" from it. This too was traced and added to two versions of the vector format file. Now there are port and starboard versions of the logo available. I don't imagine they'll be a big demand, but maybe I could act as agent and sell the logos with or without the text to other SeaHawk owners!

Another thing I've mentioned before was that I am still to find a source for the non-slip pads to go on the fore deck, cabin roof and cockpit. Some progress been made. I have made contact with the company that was recommended by the guy who is ceasing trading. They can supply a sheet of the stuff I want, in my preferred colour of grey (that will match what would have been the original colour) but want nearly £50 including VAT and postage. That sounds a lot to me, but maybe I have no choice!

As to the name itself, bear in mind that a SeaHawk is a seventeen foot boat and I am of the Beatles generation. You've got it! The name comes from the first line of the first track on the first side of the Beatles first album, "Please Please Me". So, with apologies to Lennon and McCartney for the subtle change to their words, and to remind you, the first verse sums up what I have come to recognise I saw standing there on Easter Day 2004, at Whitwell, Rutland Water.

Well, she was just 17,
You know what I mean,
And the way she looked was way beyond compare.
So how could I sail in another (ooh)
And I saw her standin' there.

Go to Top Just 17 - The Refit Begins

17 Aug 2011

It was yesterday when I made the time to get to the boat yard to bring Just 17 home. "I waited for you yesterday", I was told by John when I turned up. I think he was being a bit tongue in cheek. I know I had said, last week, that I would be back on Monday, but I intended it more as a "hurry up" than a promise. I think John recognised that and the greeting was his little tease.

As I got to my boat, which was standing outside the paint shed, I realised that I'd forgotten to bring my extension bars for the trailer, to get the lighting board level with the back of the boat, but the number plate was still just visible when I secured it to the back of the main trailer chassis, so I figured it would be all right for the few hundred yards I had to go.

Just 17 leaving the boat yard

With the trailer hitched up and ready to go home, I pop into the yard's Portakabin office.

Once home the only thing I had time to do, before going to visit Dad, was to stick on the registration numbers. That simple job seemed to take forever. The problem was that each character seemed to be of slightly different size. If I got the tops all aligned, then the bottoms were out and deciding when the three was upright, complicated things further when trying to get the heights equal.

After returning from Dad's nursing home, I replied to an email of Ian's with my check list of things I knew that I still needed to do before Just 17 goes back in the water. I didn't even mention the general re-fitting of everything I'd taken off in October:

The Lettering Applied

All the lettering was on before 11:00 on Wednesday, so I carried on putting some of the fittings back.

On Wednesday morning I knew I only had until about 11:00 to do any work on Just 17. I used this time to fix the lettering and logos that form the new name. I had a little time to spare and moved on to replacing the fittings on the transom. I figured the little jobs like cleaning up and re-fitting the pintles, on which the rudder will hang, and the aft navigation lights, were small jobs that I would not need leave half done when I had to stop.

It's true that the priority ought to have been to stop the rain getting in, but I didn't start on that work till after I'd finished my other business. Back with the boat, I gave the inside of both parts of the cabin door a coat of Dulux primer/undercoat. I used it the last time I wanted to do the cabin and it has been very successful. When I first painted the cabin I used "Kitchen and Bathroom" emulsion. It flaked off. The undercoat and Satinwood I used next did stick. One advantage is that both are water-based. The undercoat is re-coatable in two hours and the Satinwood, in six hours, though I have never bothered with a second coat of Satinwood.

After the first coat of undercoat, I returned to replacing the fittings at the back of the boat. The pair of mooring cleats were right monsters, taking me almost two hours to get satisfactorily in place. I really don't know quite what the problem was. Probably, paint had got well into the original bolt holes. Certainly all eight screws were a tight fit and the long bolts needed many turns. Another problem was that the battery on my super-cheap electric drill/screwdriver needed re-charging and it wasn't up to the job of the "heavy lifting". After that, I had to relearn the best techniques for applying the "Plumber's Mait" that I use to seal every screw or bolt I sink into the hull. I certainly got it wrong on the first side, so that cleat had to come off, to be cleaned up and start again. It seems to be that a very thin bead of the gunge is applied at the edge of the item with more wrapped around the screw just under the head. Certainly that allows it to squeeze out of the edges and from round the screw. It's easy enough to run the blunt edge of a flat bladed screw driver around the item to remove any surplus. After the mooring cleats the main sheet cleat was done in five minutes.

Experience taught me last time that each item will probably continue to ooze overnight and I may have to do another round with the screw driver tomorrow, both to tighten the nuts some more and to scrape off more excess gunge. A final wipe will be made with a rag soaked dabbed in white spirit to smooth the joint and eliminate the last of the surplus on the surrounding surface.

Starting at the back

Pintles and navigation light on the transom, mooring cleats and main sheet cleat are all in place.

I didn't get round to putting a second coat of undercoat on till the early hours of the morning, just before I went to bed. I wanted the first thing to be done after I got up to be a coat of Satinwood, so the doors could be fitted before the end of Thursday.

Go to Top Just 17 - The Refit: Report #2

24 Aug 2011

Although it had been around 02:00 when I gave the inside of the cabin doors their second undercoat last Thursday morning, I had been up early enough to get the final Satinwood coat on before Ian arrived at around 09:30. Then, after our cruise aboard Deux Chevaux, work on Just 17 may, to the casual observer, seem to have slowed down. That's not the case, the refit just got more complicated.

It was only when I came to bolt on all the door fittings that I discovered the problem. Replacing the fittings on the top half went smoothly, but while the bottom half of the door could be pressed into place, it no longer fitted as it should. Until that point I hadn't noticed that the new wooden infill hadn't been placed centrally and doesn't match the width of the infill in the upper half. That is just cosmetic, however.

Refitted Cabin Door

It took till Friday evening before the cabin doors looked like this, with the bottom half still not fully fitted.

In ensuring that there was enough overlap of matting to secure the infill to the door face, Tim had allowed the matting to run up the inside of the lip of the door and produced a number of high spots in the resin. There was going to be wear on the outer edge of the upstand round the doorway as it rubbed on the inside edge of the lower door lip. Not only that, the infill was thinner than the original. If I attempted to refit the bolts directly to the door, as had been done before, the hole into which they had to fit would need to be expanded and would get too close to the edge of the upstand to be secure.

The solution had to be fit some additional padding on to which the bolts could be mounted. I started work on that, first sanding off the three new coats of paint on the door where I would fit two small piece of wood on which to mount the bolts. I struggled to find anything to use as the padding, eventually settling on some plywood that happened to be about the right thickness. I didn't really want to use ply, but figured that I could embed it in some P38 filler so that the edges were protected. I could then varnish the exposed face. The alternative of fully encasing the ply in resin and fibreglass matting would have made it too thick.

There were interruptions to work during the rest of Thursday and Friday with visits to Dad and shopping to be done. I also began to research sources of black plastic strip that I could use to replace the aluminium window framing. However, I couldn't find anywhere that could supply it in the quantity I needed. I was chatting to Roger, my neighbour, about the problem and he produced from his garage, a can of black Hammerite spray paint. As Ian had also been suggesting painting the aluminium, it seems I am being pushed in that direction!

Wooden pads added

Most of my time on the boat on Friday was spent making up and fitting the new pads on the lower door.

On my return from Kenilworth on Monday I stopped off in Dereham, where Ian had suggested I could go to get some hex-headed stainless bolts to use instead of pop rivets. "Norfolk Fasteners" turned out not to have the bolts in stock, but they are now on order and I should be able to pick them up on Thursday when I next return to Kenilworth. They were able to supply a handful of pan headed bolts to replace the one that sheared when I came to remove the cockpit guard rails. I was impressed as they didn't want payment for them until I collect my main order for the 65 hex bolts, and I wasn't asked for a deposit for that.

I also stopped off at "Just Plastics", at Wayford Bridge, to pick up my socket set parts. The handle turns out to be a perfect fit in the case, although the 17mm socket is a slightly different pattern and it's a struggle to close the case now. While there I asked about plastic trim for the windows. They weren't optimistic, but suggested the local window firm in Stalham, who couldn't help when I visited them. I am now resigned to painting the aluminium, and perhaps even painting the bolts black as Ian had suggested, to produce the all-black modern look seen on Pyecraft-built SeaHawks.

I am hoping that the all black look to the windows will work well with the anti-slip matting that I had ordered on Wednesday night. This is also black. It should mean an effect that is a combination of the "restoration" I had been thinking of combined with a look similar to that of the most recent SeaHawks produced. Once home I found a card from the Post Office saying the anti-slip matting was available to be collected, so that was meant another journey in to town.

More Fittings on the Cockpit

One guard Rail and the motor bracket are now in place, but there is still more to do for the cabin to be water tight.

Work continued on Monday and though the intermittent rain on Tuesday. In the worst of the rain I took to the kitchen to spend the time removing the varnish from the wooden block on motor bracket and jib sheet cleat mounting blocks. I am going to try a season using just teak oil on those parts. While I have been really impressed with the way that the "Five Year Wood Stain" has stood up on the cockpit locker doors but I am less inclined to believe it will resist the constant scrapping caused by lifting the motor on and off the bracket or the friction of the ropes through the cleats. I figure that I can keep a can of oil on board and give the wood the once over on every cruise.

By the end of Tuesday the motor bracket was remounted complete with its nicely oiled block. I also had managed to fit one of the cockpit guard rails. I remembered from last time that these are a nightmare to fit. So it proved this time too! The nuts are hidden high in the gunwale. The is no room to turn a spanner and some of the bolts are too close to the edge to get a socket on them. I know this because having just got a complete set of sockets again, I manage to lose my ¼inch drive 8mm socket irretrievably into the depths of the bilges. Even Roger's magnet on a flexible rod couldn't get it back for me. I'll have another go at getting it back tomorrow!

Go to Top Just 17 - The Refit: Report #3

25 Aug 2011

Wednesday proved to be a good day for work on the boat. The sun shone for much of the day. However, I suffered distractions in the morning, so it was close to midday when I got out to Just 17. After yesterday's loss of the 8mm socket I did make the promised attempt to recover it, though I confess it was a bit half hearted as I was fairly certain I wouldn't be able to reach it

After that the first priority was to get the first undercoat on the inside of the lower part of the cabin door. With that done I went on to check that all the bolts tightened yesterday were still tight, before I fitted the port cockpit locker. Everything was firm enough, so the next task was refit the lids to the lockers. The lids had been in the garage since last October, so were very dusty. The bolts that hold the catch and hinges in place also needed a good clean as they were still caked with last year's "Plumber's Mait". A combination of scrubbing, sanding and wiping with white spirit soaked rags made reasonably light work of that.

The cockpit refit completed

The product of the day's work is a cockpit that is complete. Fitting everything else should be straight forward.

I made another brief attempt to recover the missing socket as I took a bucket and sponge to the bilges under the cockpit sole. The whole area was caked with damp paint dust, and a few sodden leaves, that had accumulated through the 30 sessions of paint stripping.

Then it was the messy and sticky job of buttering "Plumber's Mait" onto the lip round the edge of the locker moulding so I could ensure there was no possibility of water getting in to the bilges through the edge of the lockers. There is no doubt that leaking cockpit lockers are the primary source of water in the bilges in SeaHawks. The job went well enough, but I regretted not having done something to reduce the size of the screw holes in the cockpit sides, as a number of them seem to have enlarged. Tightening some of the screws seems to have left the holes stripped of thread. I plugged the loose ones with match sticks, but that didn't always work. It's something I will have to sort out, ideally before Just 17 is back in the water.

Following that, it was start on the other side. Before I could do that I needed to go and buy another cleat for the main sheet. It had been a mistake not to fill the bolt holes of my original cleat when I was preparing the boat for the paint shop. Rather than fill them at this stage I had decided to leave the existing one in place and fit a second, which I could reach more easily when using my extra long tiller.

Fitting the starboard cockpit guard rail turned out to be a lot easier than the port. The washers and nuts all slipped on the bolts without problem and I was able to tighten all the nuts bar one single-handed. Later, I got Patsy, one of my neighbours, to hold a screw driver while I worked inside the cabin tightening that last nut. After the guard rail the ring, used to hang fenders from, was fitted, and the second locker lid cleaned up and reassembled. It was not a quick job, but was just about the first one that had gone without any hitch.

In between the various tasks needed to refit the lockers I managed to apply a second undercoat and the Satinwood topcoat to the lower part of the door. It is the great joy of using water based paint that it will dry quickly and you can apply several coats within a day. By now it was sunset and I hadn't much daylight left. The bolts were screwed into place on their new pads and I attempted to line them up with the bolt holes. I pushed and pulled and eventually was able to throw the bolts, but clearly something is wrong. Either there is a lot more grinding and sanding to be done to trim down the lip on the door, or I have placed the bolts are slightly out of line. I'm beginning to think that maybe Ian was wise, when he asked me if I really wanted to return the sanders before I had finished the re-fit.

The lower door fitted

The bolts are in place but it's a tight fit and the hasp on the door does not align with the loop in the cockpit. Under the threshold you can see where the brackets for the electrics control panel dropped off taking the paint with them.

Things are going to have to wait a week or so now, as I'm being whisked off to France as part of a delayed birthday treat. It seems the right moment to review the progress made through the list I made for Ian:

And, of course, that list excludes refitting of the tabernacle and all the various items of deck furniture. There's still a fair bit to do, but from now on, apart from the lower part of the cabin door, it should all be straight forward - although I am still thinking about the best way to create patterns for the long curving strips of anti-slip to go on the cabin roof. I hadn't realised until looking at them recently that they are curved. It's a complication I hadn't allowed for!

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