Following a change of Management in Portsmouth we are at present re-assessing the re-build in conjunction with the new Management. Work will re-commence shortly. We are at present drawing up plans of how we wish the wheelhouse, in particular, to be rebuilt to our specifications so we can get maximum benefit. We are also planning a chain locker in the forward part of the vessel, previously the anchor cable was domiciled in the cockpit!
No visit this week
Richard, Alan and I travelled over to Portsmouth today to see progress and talk to Bob Forsyth, who is in charge of the T.S. project now and also Diggery. We identified a list of main items to be looked at and Bob will now look at these in depth with a particular view to costings to check out the original figures and then get back to us. We also spent some time on board checking out places we felt needed looking at (already listed with Bob) and then thinking about the design of the wheelhouse. The College will need drawings which we will have to put together so that they can re-assemble T.S. to our liking. We also spoke to one of the students, Ben Liffen, who is working full time on T.S. for the last 2 weeks of his course before moving on to other work elsewhere. He is making excellent work of the wheelhouse re-build and proudly showed us what he has achieved so far and what he plans over the next 10 days. We also installed the descriptive sign, designed by Brian, on the roof of T.S. which is easily visible to visitors on the Balcony. A very useful day.
Myself, Richard Rees and Nigel Rodgers met with the new management of the College to discuss the way forward with the project. A plan will be drawn up for the ongoing work. The Roll-up banner we recently produced can now be displayed on the balcony and the notice which has been prepared for the roof of Tom Sherrin can also be put in place. This will be an easily read description of the project for those on the balcony to read.
David Castle and I visited last Thursday and found engine room covered with a thick layer of dust, so David cleared up the dust, whilst I attacked the rust stains on the gloss paint of the forepeak with a wire brush, lifted the flooring, and scraped all loose paint etc. at and below floor level. We then completed a thorough vacuum clean of both areas. We were unable to obtain any primer, due to a delayed delivery. It is unlikely that there will be any there for the 24th, so we need to take our own.
In the forepeak, the majority of the rust staining was removed, but I was unable to remove it from difficult to access areas near the ribs. It may be a good idea to treat these areas with oxalic acid and clean again before attempting to paint. Also, the gloss paint in the forepeak needs to be lightly sanded to provide a key for painting.
Suggestions for 24th onwards:- Take own primer and paint bare wood areas in forepeak – Lightly sand gloss areas – preferably using small rechargeable sander – Apply oxalic acid to remaining rust in forepeak – Apply undercoat to painted areas
Todays team was Phil Hudson (Christchurch Unit) Roger Wait and myself.
On arrival I spoke with Jon Carver who suggested priming all of the bare wood in the engine room and foc’sle. Phil and Roger took care of the painting and degreasing and I started cleaning the window frames.
The rear engine room bulkhead is now degreased and most of the woodwork in the engine room and foc’sle has been primed. There is still some priming to do and then the white areas can be undercoated and glossed and the bilge areas painted with Danboline.
The front screens and the port screen have been cleaned, there is some corrosion around the bottom corners of the frames but they are basically sound and can be refitted. Jon was keen to have the port screen ready for fitting as they plan to rebuild the port side of the wheelhouse and then start work on the starboard side.
Jon informed me that the two students who have been working on Tom Sherrin are currently involved in a project in Denmark but will be returning next week and he then plans to have them working full time on Tom Sherrin so we should see some rapid progress.
Todays team comprised Richard Rees, Peter Lockwood, Jacky Lindley and Trevor Ashworth.
On arrival, there were no students working on Tom Sherrin, the instructors all seemed busy running one day courses. However it was noticed that the port for’d sheer-plank work had been completed and was looking good.
The fibreglass overhang port side of the wheelhouse coach roof had been cut away and the filler-piece removed to expose the beam-shelf. Also a small area of the ply roof itself removed from the port aft corner.
On the skeg, the rudder pintle bearing had been unbolted, the steel shoe had been removed, all the gribble attacked area and marine filler cut back to sound timber and a new piece scarfed in and glued with what appears to be an epoxy glue and through bolted with new bolts into the prop shaft bracket.
John Carver confirmed that there was no work planned for today but the priority was on rebuilding the port side of the wheelhouse before they could start on the starboard side. He understood that we were going to take the windows back to Poole for cleaning up but I explained that we had transport problems and decided to do them in the boathouse. He said we could use the workbench alongside the boat.
Our own priority was to hopefully complete the preparation work for painting the Engine room. The foredeck beams have already been painted so the next to paint will be the ER deckhead which we set to and attacked with everything we could, scrapers, sandpaper and an electrical orbital sander. It was filthy work as the dust collection bag just kept blowing off and it took two vacuum cleaners to clean up all the mess. Trevor looked just like a snowman!
The jobs for the next crew(s) will be to
1. wipe down the deckhead with damp cloths and get some bare wood primer on all exposed timber ready to take the undercoat.
2. Get some dilute degreaser in a bucket and finish cleaning the ER aft bulkhead ready to take the spray adhesive for the new sound insulation. This includes the deckhead between the bulkhead and the first beam below the wheelhouse front windows.
3. Clean up the port-side window frames so that they will be ready for refitting by IBTC. I would suggest narrow flat scrapers and a hot-air gun to soften and remove the old mastic sealant and scotchbrite pads and/or fine wet-and-dry paper used wet for the aluminium
David Castle, Pete Joyce, Howard Ellis and Terry Churchill spent approx 4 hrs on board today and carried out the following all within the engine room and Fo’c’sle:-
1 Final ‘Hoovering out’ of bilges.
2. Degreasing of bilges and sides up to deck level.
3. Sucked out as much as possible of the liquid remaining after degreasing. It should be properly dried in time for next visit.
4. White primer paint applied to the new timber deck beams for fo’c’sle and where spliced inside of gunnel rail aft from stem.
Still to be primed are the few areas of bare timber exposed during the scraping work previously carried out. These could not be done today because they are in the degreased area and need to dry. Bilges, however, should be ready for Danbolin painting next visit, after all the upper white paint has been applied.
Tom Sherrin has been moved to the corner by spiral staircase and the whole shed rearranged – accompanying photos show. I did not find the engine but, no doubt, they haven’t lost it! I didn’t look too hard. (Engine whereabouts is known – Peter!)
Only Phil Hudson and I attended to day as both Brian and Terry were unavailable. First job was removing the corroded end cap clamps from the heat exchanger which was achieved with the subtle use of a hammer and cold chisel to remove the obstinate bolts. One side of the heat exchanger was in very good condition but unfortunately the other side is corroded to the point that we will probably need to replace the whole unit. I have brought the unit back with me for inspection.
I spoke to both Jimmy Green and Jim Brooke Jones. Jimmy is now concentrating on theory training and Jim is now working on the shopping floor and is no longer in the office. The lead shipwright who is looking after TS was on holiday so I was unable to talk to him about progress but Jim pointed out that most of the deck timbers are now in place and they are concentrating on completing the wheelhouse.
The rudder support has been removed from the skeg and some of the timber has been cut out.
We carried on with scraping the engine room and forepeak paintwork and hoovered both areas to remove a large quantity of wood shavings and paint scrapings.
Nigel Rodgers, Phil Hudson (MVS Christchurch) and myself were the volunteers for the day. On arrival we found Tom Sherrin in her new location as reported last week with the safety fencing refitted in place with the exception of the aft deck where the steps were fitted. The loose gear that had been heaped up beneath the boat was now all neatly sorted and stowed underneath together with the new dorado boxes plus two additional pieces of fashioned wood and two stainless steel plates presumably required for fire-flap modifications needed for Coding. No sign of the engine, but found later to be moved to a position close to where the stern of TS had been prior to the move. We also noticed that the name boards had been removed from the transom. The drying out shakes in the keel looked worrying but they don’t seem to think it a problem.
As it was Phil’s first visit I arranged for a H&S briefing from the new Yard Manager Nick Barnett and accompanied them on a tour of the fire-exits all around the building plus fire extinguishers etc. Nick mentioned that he was getting tough on the use of PPE and I assured him that we had goggles and dust-masks in our box. Unfortunately I only learned later that he was unhappy that we wore shorts and not safety boots as he never mentioned it at the time, although I donned overalls immediately after the briefing for the rest of the day.
Work resumed with yet more scraping and sanding in the after part of the engine room. Tiger supplied us with Wurth BMF degreasing solution in a bucket which we then had to dilute with water from the sink. I also signed for 4 sheets of 120 grit sandpaper and helped myself to 4 more used pieces. We removed most of the old pegboard battens from the bulkhead and scrapped them along with the mounting boards for the old circuit-breaker boxes and the shaft greaser. This made it much easier to clean and prepare for the new sound-insulation adhesive although more prep is required.
When it comes to painting, we agreed with Jon Carver that it makes sense to start at the top and work down. The deckhead and coamings are partly coated in anti-condensation paint and partly bare. The soundness of the remaining paint needs to be tested and removed if necessary, then this can be rubbed down and primed. An orbital sander might speed this process up somewhat.
No students were working on Tom Sherrin today. Jon pointed out slight damage to the hull planking well below the waterline on the port side indicating that she had contacted an underwater object at some time. A corresponding crack could be seen inboard that would have gone unnoticed obscured by the port fuel tank. They had also carried out an internal inspection of the skeg shoe (how, I have no idea), were not happy and intend to remove it in order to effect a repair to the gribble damage. He thinks they can do this without disturbing the shaft bracket and aim to only cut away the material below the chalk line.
One last thing, I promised Tiger and Sophie faithfully that I would remove the 3 containers filled with our waste oils and antifreeze for disposal before we left the premises. I forgot. Would the next work-party please make my apologies and oblige. I intended to ask the PHC engineers workshop if they would dispose of them.