25 November 2012 | Tunisia
After 40 weeks of work, representing some 14,500 man hours, I can’t help feeling proud of what we have achieved so far. It hasn’t always been without its problems but with a little reflection, the application of ingenuity and a lot of hard work, most of these were overcome quite easily and we look forward to the next 10,000 hours which will be required to complete the restoration.
On the shop floor the boom is being shaped, the bench for the mast construction has been completed, deadwood is being repaired, Sandra continues to apply copious amounts of varnish to just about anything she can lay her hands on and I shuttle back and forth between the boat and the office, juggling the many balls that I have in the air and hoping that none are dropped!
Up on the boat, the two structural bulkheads around the mast area have been permanently fitted and since the original ones no longer exist, it was decided to beef up this most important area. We now have a clear idea of how the galley will look and templates of the galley sole have been made. We will build up from there using the original plans. The new chain plates are being dry fitted and the mast step has been made and also dry fitted in place. The last floors have been finally fixed in place and now that the structure is nearing completion, we are turning our attention to one of those balls in the air, namely the imminent removal of the ballast keel which we hope to achieve before too long. That promises to be a very interesting exercise! The original bulkheads are in final preparation for fitting and the cockpit structure continues to take shape. We have slightly modified the structure to be stronger and provide more stowage all the while taking care not to add extra weight where it is not wanted, yet keeping the original aspect. I am very happy that we have remained faithful to the original interior layout and have only introduced some minor changes to cater for the modern usage of this kind of vessel.
The standing and running rigging are in fabrication, and we expect a visit from the sail maker in the near future to discuss the sail plan and take measurements. We eagerly await the arrival of the custom bronze forged items from the US and those items that are still missing to complete the fit out, are actively being sourced using all the resources available to us.
More next week.