Thursday, December 29, 2005

Don't laugh

Don't laughThere it is, the remains of my workbench.

It was a relatively simple, but dirty, job retrieving it from the mud, with the help of a chain block.

I'm not sure wether or not I should be pleased that there no pictures of me in my waders, all covered in mud. The worst bit though was definitely the smell.

That twisted blue metal you can see in the picture was once the frame, with what remains of the scaffold tubing, covered in mud, scattered about.

You can only just make out the broken bits of board, caked in mud, on the platform which itself is now slippery underfoot with that black mud.

I tried washing off the mud using buckets of water, but just made a worse mess of everything, including getting black mud on my new paint. I think a jetwash is going to be the only answer.

They say that pride comes before a fall, and I was once so proud of that workbench. Ah well, the next one will be better.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas prep

Christmas prepI don't know about you, but I'm all ready for Christmas.

All I need to do now is pick up the turkey I ordered and maybe get a few more bottles of wine, just in case...

Needless to say, blogging is likely to be a little sporadic between now and the new year.

A very happy Christmas/Holiday season to one and all.

Tim Zim

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Recovery one

Recovery beginsThe photo says it all really. This was taken from Lady Jane, looking down at the mud with the tide just starting to come back in.

Before even trying anything, I invested in a pair of waders similar to these. As it turns out that was a good move. You have no idea just how gross that mud is. It's jet black, thick, slimy and stinks unbelievably!

I previously justified the expense of the waders with the thought that they would be invaluable when launching and recovering the rib, as I inevitably end up wet on shallow ramps. Having only taken a few steps in the mud, buying them for this recovery operation is fully justified in it's own right.

I had to be hosed off like some big muddy thing afterwards.

Anyway this is recovery blog entry one, as I managed to get a rope on the thing that was my workbench, but failed to pull it clear using the boat and the rising tide. It's now sitting back in the mud, albeit a little bit higher than you can see in this picture.

For my next attempt I'll use a chain block. Something Robin suggested and I should have thought of earlier.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Grinding issues

Grinding issuesMy trusty ol angle grinder also broke last week.

I'm not really surprised at it having some sort of problem, as it has not exactly had an easy life, given that it's been used to wire brush pretty much all of the surfaces that I've painted so far.

After initially suspecting the switch, I finally traced the problem back to a broken wire in the power cord.

With a shorter cable and a new plug, purchased yesterday, all should be back to normal with the grinder.

I certainly hope so, as it's probably the most used power tool on board at the moment.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Monday, December 19, 2005

A few problems

Now going whiteI've now started painting the wheelhouse white.

The difference, even with only a first coat, is amazing.

Things have been going too well for me just recently, but all that has suddenly changed.

Just as I was finishing painting with the batch of Hempel white epoxy paint I had mixed, the temperature dropped to below freezing. Common wisdom from the folks at the marina across from Lady Jane is that the paint won't set now, as it was too cold. I'm hoping otherwise.

To add insult to injury, I also discovered that my workbench had disappeared.

What I had done the previous day, before the tide went out, was to move the platform right to the back of the boat, to stop the tyres, which I'm using as counter weights to allow the platform to move up and down with the tide, from messing up that day's fresh paint on the side.

I don't know for sure, but I think the platform must have ended up under Lady Jane's stern, when the tide came in the workbench must have somehow got jammed underneath, then pushed over.

Once the workbench was in the mud, the platform must have settled on top of it on the next tide, as all I could see was a small patch of blue in the deep, thick, black mud.

Unfortunately the tide was coming back in, so I could not reach in to get a rope around the workbench to start recovering it, or even get a photo of it for that matter.

Anyway, the platform is in such a position that I should be able to reach the workbench next time I'm there and the tide is out, though I already know this will not be easy, as the bench appears to have been squished into the mud sideways and it's pretty heavy.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Friday, December 16, 2005


PaulRemember Paul?

Here is a picture of a very much younger Paul on board the trawler he worked on.

He also very kindly also sent me a picture the boat itself, LT66.

Paul's shipIt's interesting to compare dear old Lady Jane with Paul's trawler, which used to fish out of Lowestoft, England.

To my eye, at least, there are a huge amount of similarities between the two trawlers.

Looking at these pictures, I can hardly wait to take Lady Jane out onto the high seas.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Z431 Judith

JudithI'm still chipping rust from the bow section of Lady Jane. It's a massive area, far bigger than I'd first appreciated, and is taking a little longer to chip than expected.

Here you see me working away right at the top of the bow section.

What is weird though, is that Z.431 - Judith is emerging from behind Lady Jane.

As I'm chipping away at the rust and old paint the name Lady Jane is disappearing and Judith and her Zebrugge registration number is beginning to show through, as her name and number were originally etched into the hull using a welder.

I know I also have Zeebrugge etched on her stern in large letters, underneath her current Southampton registration, which is visible in some lighting conditions.

I now need to decide if I want to keep the trace of her original name and number, or to get an angle grinder and erase all her original markings.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Steering room progress

Steering room progressAs I said in my previous post, it becomes hard to remember how awful things looked once they've been painted.

Click on the link to my last steering room post by way of a reminder.

Since that picture was posted, I've rubbed the whole lot down, put primer on the walls and ceiling, sprayed the steering gear with primer and given the walls a first coat of white paint.

I've still got to give the roof a first coat of white, then the whole lot a second coat. Once that is done, I also need to paint the pipes and brackets so the whole lot is looking smart.

I'll finish the steering room with a coat of green, non-skid, deck paint.

Oh yes, and before I go too far, I also need to remember to get the stern navigation light bracket welded back in place.

The light bracket was sacrificed as part of the job of welding up the holes in the back deck. That will impact painting both on the back deck and in the steering room.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Monday, December 12, 2005


I know I've said many times that if I knew then what I now know, I'd never have bought Lady Jane.
Not that I've got any regrets about buying her or anything. It's just that it's so much more work that I was expecting, needing such a big commitment in terms of time, effort and money.

Maybe though, after fine days like we have just had I would still do it.

Or is it that now the memory of all that rust is receding, and I'm feeling so much better about the whole thing? I don't know.

Anyway, the onset of dusk provided an opportunity for a well earned break and a welcome cuppa after a full day of painting.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Garage mess

Garage messMy homework finally dried out, so I could finally get going with the gloss paint.

My garage is now a complete mess, with newly painted white planks for Lady Jane standing around drying.

I don't doubt the paint is going to take quite a while to dry, as it's pretty cold in the garage.

Ah well, it's a good thing I'm not in a rush for them.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Another one

Another onePriceless.

I got an e-mail the other day entitled "We didn't mean to either".

It was from Ben and Gaelle who, by the sounds of it, are about to embark on an adventure very similar to mine with Lady Jane.

It turns out they had done a search for 'rust removal' and found my blog.

I've yet to actually chat with Ben, who is based somewhere in the UK, about his soon to be new ship - LV80, but I must say I'm very curious about all sorts of things...

Quite a club this is turning out to be: I'm sure all my regular readers will join me in wishing both Ben and Gaelle the best of luck with their new lifestyle!

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Monday, December 05, 2005


Work on Lady Jane took a back seat this last weekend.

RehearsalSaturday was the occasion of our annual Christmas dinner rehearsal, where everyone invited is given some aspect of a full Christmas dinner to cook.

For those who's culinary skills are a bit lacking shall we say, there are always duties such as organising the cheese board. Needless to say, I got the port in.

After the food, the entertainment consisted of jokes and stories, a quiz and various games, including messing about with balloons.

As you can see from the photo, a great time was had by all.

I know for sure I was not the only person taking it easy the next day.

Technorati Tags: ; ;

Friday, December 02, 2005

Big stretch

I'm continuing to make good progress with priming the hull, though the wet, cold weather and Big stretchlack of daylight is starting to impact on progress.

Often now, because of the cold, it's too wet to paint until well into the afternoon, then it gets dark so fast it's hard to see the paint properly.

I've got most of the rust off the forward end of the starboard side, nearly all the way to the bow, and am almost ready to prepare this last stretch for painting with a wire brush.

Stretch being the operative word here, as I just can't quite reach the very top bits, even standing with my wooden box perched end on, on top of the workbench.

I know adding ballast would make the bow more accessible, but that project has taken a bit of a back seat for now.

Fred suggested a bosun's chair but the problem, as I see it, is that this section overhangs quite a bit, so it would be hard to get to like that, especially if I'm working alone.

I had started work on cutting longer legs for the workbench, which you can just see dwarfed against the side of Lady Jane. That will, as designed, give me that extra reach. Unfortunately it started to rain just as I started cutting, putting a stop to that for the day.

Next time, if the weather co-operates...

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Something different

Something differentArriving down at Fareham just on high tide, I was greeted with a view of something a little different to the norm across the way from Lady Jane.

Of course, I had to go for a closer look at this Landing craft. Apparently it has been on exercises this week.

Not a spot of rust in sight anywhere!

As it happened, I ran into Dave Hardy from Trafalger Yachts. A friend of mine, from the village I live in, has been on at me for a while to drop in and say hello and I've just never got round to it.

We soon got talking about paint and paint systems, as he is working on restoring a beautiful looking classic wooden boat. Dave is truly a mine of information and well understands my problems, as he apparently also has a steel hulled yacht somewhere in France.

That Dave, who works right opposite Lady Jane, is a friend of someone else in my village is another unreal co-incidence.

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;