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  • Writer's pictureRhu Strand

And then the top came off ......

This weekend was all about removing the wheelhouse and aft cabin constructions.

So here we are before, we think she looks dumpy with the wheelhouse and aft cabin - and of course just wrong for this stylish lady.

The box at the front of the wheelhouse was first to be removed, our first thoughts were that a couple of saws and screwdrivers would be just the job, but it didn't take long to realise a few wrecking bars were going to be needed, so a quick trip to Toolstation and we were ready to go - and then of course a cup of tea was needed to assess taking of the wheelhouse.

The first part to come out here were the windows, two sheets of glass siliconed together !!! gently prised from their positions.

Next onto the roof - that was going to cause more of an issue than we anticipated - as the ply was about 30mm thick, two layers of tough old ply, at this point we felt that a jigsaw was in order, sawing through this was not a job for anyone, not even Joe !! So off I went to Toolstation and acquired the requested jigsaw.

But running down the middle seemed to be a brass plate, sandwiched between the layers of ply which very soon annihilated all the blades that had come with it, including the metal ones. So off to Screwfix this time, (I like a change !!) and we have a reciprocating saw along with some decent heavy duty blades, I'm taking no chances.

This was definitely the tool for the job and made a much better job. The original plan had been to cut the roof and slide it back onto the aft cabin, but discovering the thickness and sheer weight of it, plan B was formed and we dissected it into foot wide strips, which were heavy enough. But this did the job, slowly, carefully, considered and one bit at a time it came off.

I was too committed to get any progress pictures, but this was the pile we were starting to create .... again !!

The sides were next to come away and thankfully, being fairly rotten they were easier to dismantle, I was slightly concerned, given the weight of the roof being supported by the sides, just how long they would have continued to support the roof, that would have done someone some considerable damage.

Time for another cup of tea and to reassess the aft cabin removal.

The reciprocating saw certainly earned it's keep today, we took the top of the aft cabin off, down about a foot on each side which was then gracefully heaved over the stern and added to our growing collection, this is its last know resting place..... and yes that is more of your finest marine grade B&Q CLS timber - good to be gone.

The sides were probably the easiest part of the removal job today and at long last Monaco Fortuna was free of unwanted superstructure and beginning to show her original lines again.

What a difference removing these structures has made to her lines, she looks like a completely different boat and thank goodness for that.

We will make a temporary and moveable tented cover to protect the wheelhouse area and aft cabin being exposed, but now we can start on the real renovation work - starting with replacing the missing deck beams.

Rhu and Joe x

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