Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

What have we started?!

On Monday afternoon we took the flood tide up the Dart to Totnes for out lift out which all went to plan:

The mast lift and the move into our work shed would have to wait until first thing the following morning but the yard guys were great and even worked though their tea break so that we could also lift off the pushpit and solar panel arch. By 11.00 Maunie was in her shed:

With the mast and rigging removed we could get on with the job of pulling the chain plates, substantial chunks of stainless steel which anchor the shrouds (wires supporting the mast) to the deck. More tricky access to the bolts below deck but we succeeded. 

Di is very pleased to wrestle the main shroud chain plate from the deck

Graham had to climb into the chain locker to unbolt the pulpit and forward deck cleats

By Wednesday morning we'd removed all the deck fittings except the anchor windlass (more on that shortly) and Richard, the expert who will fit the replacement deck, arrived with a big roll of plastic to make an accurate template.

So, with that all done (and it took until mid-evening), Thursday morning was the moment of truth. Just how strongly would the old teak deck be fixed to the fibreglass below it? Graham had studied several YouTube videos of other people doing the same job and it would seem that either the planks would come off in nice, easy long strips or they'd be glued down really hard. See if you can guess what Maunie's planks were like.....

Our teak had been glued very firmly into place and had to be chipped off in small pieces with a hammer and chisel. Oh, joy!

We used a small circular saw to cut across the planks before applying the chisel

A very slow and messy job
The epoxy glue was so strong that it either split the teak or pulled up some of the fibreglass gel coat. Sanding and filling will be required before the new deck is laid.
After a day and a half we had removed all the deck on the forward cabin roof and some of the starboard deck (about 40% of the total) but our wrists were complaining bitterly about all the mallet action. We left Maunie on Friday evening absolutely shattered and fairly dispirited. Clearly we had to find a better way of doing this.

After consulting the Google, we thought that an SBS+ hammer drill, which allows you to fit a chisel and apply it without the rotational component of a normal hammer drill, might be a solution. Graham went to his new favourite shop, Toolstation, and bought a cheap drill and a couple of chisel bits then drove back to Maunie today to test the theory:

The good news is that it worked. It certainly wasn't like peeling rolls of butter but the chisel did lift the planks much more quickly and with far less pressure on aching wrists.

The bad news is that, after a well-earned lunch break and optimistic expectations of removing all the remaining teak by the end of the day, the new drill developed a fault and stopped working altogether. Clearly we should have bought a brand we'd heard of! Words were said and some hand-chiselling followed but Graham abandoned ship at 4.30pm and will have to take the drill back to the shop tomorrow ....

However, at least we know that the project is doable and we've now stripped about 75% of the teak. The remainder will be a bit trickier in terms of access, though, along the narrow side decks.

The one major remaining worry is how to remove the windlass (at the bottom of the last photo) as, despite removing the circlips and seal and applying liberal quantities of penetrating oil, it just doesn't want to shift. We'll no doubt find a solution somehow...

We have a few days at home now so will update on progress with this project next weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Do you sometimes even wish you played golf........?! Tiddlywinks would be even cheaper!