On the move

We’ve tried to make time this month to recommence work on Vassal. Where her old concrete ballast ended, water gathered and rusted the hull. Mark is down in the bilges grinding off the rust and painting where he’s been but we’ve hit a snag.

As Mark grinds, occasionally little holes appear and water seeps in. Attempting this whilst afloat is a damp affair and each hole needs plugging quickly. Today we have moved her to the end of our quay and she’s settled into oak blocks so we can get at the area for welding and she’ll be aground for longer each day for grinding.

 

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Engine craned in

Now that most of the yard boats are back afloat we can get back to work on Vassal. Today we craned her engine in through the wheelhouse so that we can put the roof on.

Signage

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Vassal now has her name and her Vokins signage back where it belongs in the original position and she’s nearly ready for relaunching. I’ve had to paint them by hand as the steel is dimpled but she looks great. Just the prop shaft to go and then as soon as tides allow she’ll be back in the water and against the quay for fitting out. As more boats are lifted out for the winter and stored ashore the space that Vassal is sitting in is needed. (Does anyone know what the number 6173 means? Is this a Vokins fleet number?)

Hull repairs complete

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Sorry for the delay in posting but with such a busy summer it’s taken this long to bash all the rust off Vassal, weld new steel into the holes and get her painted. The hull is now sound and we’ve begun to look at undercoating her top sides. Boats are beginning to book their lift outs for the end of the season so Vassal will need to go back in the water in a week or two.

Cleaning up the hull

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It’s a slow and noisy job but we (John and Mark) are slowly making progress. Bashing her with a hammer to remove the rust is dirty and tiring but a good way to see how sound she is. If the hammer disappears then that bit needs a piece welding in. The hole here is only a few centimetres across but there are a few. We are painting as we go to show progress.

Vassal lifted out

 

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We lifted Vassal out of the river on last night’s tide whilst she’s still light enough to do so. Over the summer we’d like to work on her exterior so that she’s weather tight and painted by the autumn.