Category Archives: working

Easter Weekend – Boat Work Weekend

For the easter weekend we got the RVYC crane to lift our little boat out of the water and reserved some foreshore cradle time. This means five days of intense work to brush her up and get her ready to sail. Just the right kind of holiday.

1st Day

This is what the first day looked like – lot of work still ahead.

2nd Day

getting rolling

3rd Day

more scraping, more grinding, more sanding. And sore muscles…

4th Day

some rain, the rest the same (scraping, grinding, sanding, sore muscles).  But slowly getting there.

5th Day

nothing new (scraping, grinding, sanding, sore muscles). Kyle, do you have photos?

6th Day

Sun: so getting this paint done. Aha.

7th Day


Puh, I’m happy to get back to my desk and just sit there, all i have to move are my fingers.

An unexpected swim & painting with a pressure washer

Chapter 1: An unexpected swim

Manuel and I set out from campus today at 2 so we could pressure wash the boat and make it back for an early evening study session.  We were heading to a guest slip at RVYC where we had already arranged with the foreshore to use a pressure washer for the afternoon.  The (not so romantic) walk down the beach, the launch of the tender (our bathtub size boat to shuttle out to the real boat) went as planned, but that was about the last thing that went as planned this sunny afternoon.  We were in the midst of a discussion (probably solving world hunger or something) as we drew up to “Her” when Manuel decided to hop on the boat without much of a warning.  Without any warning, actually.  The next four seconds passed very slowly to me as the tender rolled on its side and I elegantly flailed my arms in search of something to hang onto.  Realising there wasn’t such an option and studying our bags of supplies I decided to take one for the team and abandon ship before the tender completed its roll.  In my mind it was a graceful, back‑arching dismount like a humpback breaching the water.  Manuel, however, didn’t seem to appreciate the show of athleticism, because as I tread water peering back at the boat, he gave me a rather quizzical look, as if pondering why I decided to go for a swim without inviting him.  Luckily this was the warmest, sunniest day since we bought the boat so twenty minutes strutting around the deck in my European bathing suit (boxers) was as good as a towel for drying.  Then I slipped into the only dry clothes I had, rain pants and rain coat, and we got on with the day.  (Unfortunately, my phone was in my pocket during my swim and we didn’t have another camera so we don’t have pictures of any of this.  On the bright side, the phone is dehydrating in a bag of rice and I’m looking forward to some sea salt‑infused jasmine rice tomorrow for supper.)

Chapter 2: Painting with a pressure washer

Our boat is pretty dirty.  We bought it that way.  And although we will have it out of the water in a couple weeks for a marathon weekend of work (and the occasional refreshing beer), we wanted to get a head‑start on the cleaning.  The deck was so dirty and the pressure washer was so effective that the cleaning process actually appeared more like applying a fresh coat of white paint.  At one point Manuel remarked “There’s actually boat under there!”  It was also an incredibly effective sander, peeling away layers of green growth from the few pieces of wood Kyle and Manuel hadn’t detached for revitalisation at home.  But why stop there?  The inside had been stripped of everything so I ventured below deck with the magic diesel-powered wand, cleaving mould and grime and paint from the bits of the boat we want to keep.  This is a rather wet process that I imagine resembles a child with an overpowered water gun stuck in a fridge trying to kill the boogeyman with his eyes closed.  Manuel was jealous of the fun and wanted a go.  He also wanted to borrow my rain pants but I couldn’t just give him them because they were all I was wearing.  Naturally we decided to swap pants, but smartly waited until the teenage sailing lesson on the dock next to us finished rigging their boats and were busy tacking away.


We stopped at the grocery store on the way home at 9 pm (so much for studying) and during that awkward time waiting for my credit card to go through I noticed the guy at the checkout sizing me up (keep in mind it was a beautiful, sunny day)  – rain jacket, rain pants, shoes making that squishy sound because they’re soaked – when finally he asked:

“What have you been doing?”
“I was just pressure washing the inside of a boat.”
“Oh… yah… ‘cause you have some paint chips on your face and in your hair.”

Edit (manuel): some pictures just appeared:

Building a Rudder

We started the work on building a rudder and this will be a collection of our progress:

1) Pintles

We’re lucky to have a lot of resources at our disposal. This includes knowledgeable people as well as two really well-equipped shops: Manuel’s landlord’s and my dad’s in Cowichan Bay. Work on the rudder began with the manufacture of two “pintles”, the pins on the rudder that slide onto the brackets on the boat’s transom, called “gudgeons”. They can be bought, but they’re expensive and what’s the fun in buying something that can be built yourself? Over a weekend my dad and I put these together using 1/8″ stainless steel bands and two 1/2″ bolts.

DSC_3034 DSC_3036 DSC_3048



2) Drying Wood

We got some nice 4/4s, split them in 2/4s and now have them drying before joining them into the rudder blade.

Drying wood

as we found another rudder we abandoned this project here… see: here