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  • Writer's pictureRhu Strand

Weekends of pondering, planning, measuring and cleaning

As we move into May and being able to get started with renovations it feels like we have done a whole heap of work in readiness over the past few weekends.

With the last remnants of unwanted and non-original additions to Fortuna, getting her back to her absolute bare bones and another pile of rubbish ready for collection, thankfully the last of that side of destruction and moving on to a more productive phase.

Joe has also removed a lot of the redundant mechanical parts, old steering shafts, steering boxes, throttle and gear levers and all the wiring.

And some that is need of attention like these rudder arms which had mild steel pinch bolts that had corroded, hence the grind marks, and obvious previously worn pin which had been re-drilled off centre, so that will need to be sent off to specialist company we have found that will also repair the propellers and rudders, which are all bronze.

As with all projects it pays to take a step back at times and with no 36ft plans available we have taken some time to sit and consider the tell tale signs of previous fittings to work out how the interior was set out, especially in the aft cabin. Witness marks of bulkheads that had been removed but the remains of ply still visible on the beams, notches in woodwork suggesting the position of water tanks - the water inlet access point was also directly above, so that made life easier - strange iron additions in the bilges ....

..... which after some investigation we now believe to be the remains of a lifting eye, there is one just forward of the companion way - as you can see from this old picture of a Monaco being lifted ...... all very graceful !!

With the wheelhouse and aft cabin removed we have made some temporary covers to stop the worst of the weather pouring into the 8ft x 8ft hole left in the aft deck. We have also taken a template of the deck camber in preparation of making new laminated deck beams, which have either been badly damaged or cut out completely.

After the removal of the aft deck the first job will be to reinstate the deck beams to bring back the rigidity before removing the transom, for the multitude of repairs there.

This last weekend has been spent sorting a workshop area where we can get much of the woodwork done and building a workbench and a safe storage for all the fittings we have removed.

A couple of vices and we're away.

We were going to address some cleaning in the aft cabin today in preparation to start rubbing down the paintwork, but discovered that two layers of paint that appear to be emulsion, the blue paint pretty much just wiped off or rather flaked off with a soft brush, if somewhat patchily .... so now we are looking at the most effective and quickest way to remove these layers - we did consider soda blasting but a company we contacted about that don't seem very keen to do this internally due to the mess, we've brought a small handheld soda blaster, but think that might need a bit of experimentation to see if that will work. Other than that some rotary brass wire brushes to see if that will remove the flakey parts before sanding down - we want to get back to the wood as much as feasibly possible without causing too much harm, so taking it slowly and carefully to find the right balance.

It feels like we are at a turning point now and moving into a more productive phase, even though everything we have done so far has been a positive move.

I will leave you with a few snaps from the past few weekends and our frequent visitor searching for food

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