Monday 11 September 2023

HOW many hours?! (2)

With the boat on the trailer I thought it would be interesting to see how much effort has gone into PocketShip thus far.

The last time I did this was February 2021, and the figure was 2000 hours.

Considerably more than the designer's estimate of around 650 hours!

And back then I still had delusions of launching the boat in the same year. Of course, it didn't happen.

So I took some time today to go back through the build logs and tot up the hours spent to get to to this point.

The figure is 3800 hours. I reckon it will be around 4000 by the the time we splash.

Has it been worth it? Without any doubt. It's been an amazing experience.

But definitely time for a glass of something cold …

That's better.

Moving The Boat | She's On The Trailer!

The time came to fix the date for moving the boat from its build cradle onto the trailer.

There was nothing more to be done, and no more excuses to put off the big day.

So I picked a date two weeks ahead. The big event would take place at 5pm on Sunday 10th September.

Friends and family were drafted onto the team, and lots of beer and pizza and salad were prepared to refresh and feed the crew.

The move actually took place at 5.30pm, and despite my trepidation it went without a hitch.

I was not able to take any pics, but others took plenty including a professional video. So I will post again when they are available.

But I wanted to make this post today, to celebrate the momentous occasion. I will keep it short and sweet.

Here is PocketShip on her trailer, seen from the front.

And here is the rear view.

Wow. Just wow.

Moving The Boat | Setting Up The Trailer

I ordered the trailer back in April and it arrived in June, sitting on my driveway outside the workshop.

I explained in a previous post that it was custom made for PocketShip by SBS Trailers, based on my measurements.

Here it is.

It has an extended tongue so I can keep the bowsprit in place when towing, and the tongue and winch post are fully adjustable.

So we should be able to get a really good fit for PocketShip.

It looked to me that everything was about right as it was, except for the height of the bunks.

The bunks are not meant to take any weight. Their purpose is to keep the boat upright. All the weight is taken by the rollers which support the keel of the boat.

So the bunks should be a very slightly loose fit.

I measured up and determined that the tops of the bunks should be 13" above the keel rollers.

Here I am adjusting the height using lengths of wood to hold the bunks at an even height.

That worked OK except when I double checked again to be certain I found that the correct height was 11", so that's what it is now set to.

I am hoping that it won't be too high or too low, which will require the bunks to be adjusted during the boat move. Which would be a nuisance, to put it mildly ...

The last task was setting up the lighting board and testing it. Here it is.

All ready for the big day!

Moving The Boat | Ballast Bags

It began to seem increasingly possible the we might launch the boat this year, and for that we would need a lot of ballast to go under the floorboards, next to the centreboard case.

I purchased the ballast a long time ago, in the shape of 80 kilograms of lead pellets. They are actually off cuts from some manufacturing process, and they look like this.

They seem ideal, and would be perfect stored in bags in the bilges. The bags would obviously need to breathe and be water and rot proof, so some sort of man made material was required.

I saw on the PocketShip forum that a builder in the US had made his bags from something called Phifertex, which is an upholstery material designed for all things nautical. So I bought a 2m length.

The build manual states that a minimum of 36 kg should be stored in the forward compartment of the bilges, under the lift-out floorboard sections.

I measured the compartment and found that the bags should be 33cm long, so made a protype from a square piece of Phifertex.

Here I am making it.

I stapled the sides together rather than sewing them at this stage.

The test bag held 8kg of pellets, weighed on the kitchen scales in lots of 2kg.

This is the test bag.

And here it is in place, in the bilges.

I was doubtful that there was room for 40kg in each compartment, but there was easily room for five bags and even more.

The manual recommends adding more ballast if the boat is to be sailed solo or lightly loaded, which I plan to do.

So I ordered another 20kg of pellets and will increase the load to 50kg on each side of the boat.

Time to make the bags … I cut enough squares of Phifertex to make twelve bags. Like this.

I am now awaiting a slot in the work schedule of the custodian of the sewing machine to complete the ballast bags.

That was fun!

Moving The Boat | Getting Ready

In the last post I said that I had completed all the fitting out activities that could be done before the boat was moved outside, and it suddenly dawned on me that I needed to prepare for and organise the event itself.

Now that's a big deal!

But first the boat had to be made pretty again, so one evening I removed the protective covering from the floorboards and gave the inside a good clean.

This also entailed lifting floorboards to track down and remove two washers that had fallen into the bilges during fitting out. One was stainless so it didn't really matter, but one was plain steel and would rust and leave stains as soon as it got wet. So it had to come out.

Then, assisted by Mrs Boatbuilder, we removed the protective sheeting that had covered the hull since last July. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun!

Suddenly PocketShip looked stunning again, in all her finery.

This was the view from the stern on the starboard side.

Shame about all the clutter that has accumulated under her!

And here we are looking at the bow.

Lastly I buffed the whole boat (except the bottom panels) with P5000/9000/11000 polishing compound.

Here we are starting work. I did it by hand, since it seems to turn out better that way.

It looked really nice.

Time to set a date for the move!