Thursday 30 January 2014


Leo recommended Tom Cunliffes book Hand,Reef & Steer to us when
we first bought Teal, so Ken picked up a copy a while back.
I had read through it but without any practical knowledge of a Gaff rig, reading was all I was doing.
Now that I have gone over every little detail of the boat and the rig it now makes sense so I am studying
it carefully.
Its goes through the history of the rig, the advantages and disadvantages, setting up and finally to sailing
it. I will have to go through the sailing part again when I am at that point but for now the setting up part is
great. There is also a paragraph about the handling characteristics of yachts with offset propellers and the joys of terrifying everyone with your bowsprit.
I'm not concerned about handling the boat in general as I'm well used to that, but the only sailing I have ever done on a Gaff rigged boat is a few hours on Leo's Ketch Sile a dó so there will be a lot of learning to do when we get Teal out on open water. Getting excited now.

Saturday 25 January 2014


I haven't had a chance to do anything at all with Teal this week, I should be free to get back at it in a fortnights time. I did get a hour today to prepare stuff to go for galvanising this week.
I repaired the gaff saddle and cleaned up the gooseneck and crane, I also made some new plates for the beam-shelf where the beaching legs bolt through.  The old ones look a bit thin and out of shape and the beam-shelf hasn't got any younger so I thought it would be worth beefing them up a little.
Its worth getting as much stuff hot dipped as possible as there is a minimum charge of 25euro for the first 20kg anyway and its only a euro a kg after that. Considering a small can of zinc paint is 25euro its pretty dam good value.

This poorly cut piece of old canvas is a rough template for a cockpit cover, I'm going to drop it off this week and get a new cover made. I'll use the cover whenever the boat is left on the mooring. It'll save the cockpit and save me having to continuously sand and varnish it. I want to get it made now so I'll have it when the tent comes off.

Sunday 19 January 2014

Big days work

I headed of this morning with a car full and a trailer full of timber. I won't get back down there for a while again so I wanted to get a lot done. It turns out I had at least two good days work with me but I did what I could.
Anyway its another huge leap forward. I started setting up the frames for the side locker doors but decided I better start those fresh another day.
I didn't get much done in the forecabin either but.
The engine cover lid I have brought home and I'm going to make a proper hatch of it, I also want to varnish or paint it before it gets walked on too much. I haven't decided what will be painted and what will be varnished yet.
I got some nice beaded sheeting for the bunk sides which have turned out really nicely.

The space between the two horizontal pieces will be sheeted with the beaded sheeting and the doors I made will go above that and will open down to the level of the worktop.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

More varnishing

Well I've managed to get a second coat of varnish on the cupboard doors. I didn't want to spend loads
on varnish for the interior so I got a can of Dulux yacht varnish off Ken, I think I've been spoiled with the
Epifanes because I'm hating the cheaper stuff. They might look alright after another coat.
The spars on the other hand have had their 3rd coat of Epifanes and are starting to get lovely and shiny.
I've just ordered new eyebolts for the mast and boom and a cheap set of LED nav lights which I'll use as
donors to repair the lovely bronze ones that came off Teal.
Hopefully I might get a chance to get to the boat on Saturday and get a load of stuff done.

The closer one shows the back of the door, this is flush and will form the worktops & chart table when open, The doors are only half the size of a chart so I will have to make a 7th door at some point that will fold out to make a full size chart table. Three of them have the flush backs, The other three are just doors

Spars after 3 coats of Epifanes

I got a good price on some 9x2 red deal, I've cut it all down to make a 100 meters of 3 x1. Now I need to plain it all and tongue and groove about half of it. 

Look who we got back, She had ventured 11 miles from home but was quite cosy where she was. 

Saturday 11 January 2014

The coming months

I'm having withdrawal symptoms from the boatyard, I've kind of set the boats aside for a few weeks to
finish off another job.
Teal doesn't require a whole lot of time to finish her off. I have a huge amount of the interior on the go
at home, I've started preparing all the boards for the bunktops, engine casing, partitions under the bunks
and various other sheeting as well as varnishing all the cupboard doors. I'm having a pig of a time trying to
get varnish to dry.
Next day I can get to Teal I should have nearly all the interior in tow. The only bits of timber I still need is some Iroko for the cabin sole boards and worktops.
I will probably remove the tent in late February and try and encourage Liam to move her up to the top
of the yard.
I'll be busy with the Boy Scott in March but she will be going back to her mooring in early April and I hope
to be free to concentrate on getting the rigging and remaining jobs on Teal finished off then. Weather dependant I would like to see her afloat in late April/early May.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Cold weather

I haven't been near the boat but I have plenty on the go at home. The biggest thing I'm lacking is a bit of heat. I've moved everything into the driest shed I have and have stuck an oil heater in there for tonight at
least to see if I can get the wood glue to set and dry the coat of varnish I put on the spars today.
It doesn't feel any warmer in there but it might keep it above freezing.
All the cupboard doors are assembled and ready for sanding. All the framing for them is prepared and primed in white.

I rooted out the gaff saddle because I knew it had a worn piece on one of the eyes. Unfortunately it is actually cracked so I've given it a lick of the grinder and I'll weld it up tomorrow and put it in the heap for
re galvanising. There is also a hole in the leather so I'll have to buy some new leather for it and recover the bowsprit traveler as well.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Christmas break

So its been a more eventful holiday this year, We've had a funeral, our dog disappeared, the car broke down. We've had the worst storms in 16 years and sick kids for New Years. I thought 2013 had gone
well considering it was 13 but guess the last week made up for it.
Anyway its not all bad, between it all I managed to get all the varnish off all the spars, the base off the mizzen had various bits scarfed in previously, one off which had started to rot so I ended up scarfing the top of the
old main mast into the base of the mizzen and got the first coat of varnish on them all yesterday.

The repaired mizzen mast

The reefing gear had some kind of silver paint on it which made it look stainless, It was quite convincing but the worm gear was clearly bronze, so its now all sanded back to bronze

Teal's wrought Iron crooked tiller.

I planed up all the Douglas Fir I had left from the masts to make the doors that will go under the side deck on either side of the cabin. I had just enough for the six doors. I cut them all to length and tenoned them all today, I've now glued up the panels as well so hopefully I should be ready to assemble the doors tomorrow
and get them all ready for varnish. They will be fitted into satin white framing.