Wednesday, 9 August 2017

New hand rails and the launch gets closer

Work continues to progress well and I am now aware that this fine vessel may get a wet bottom before the end of the year!

The next job was to purchase and install new Iroko handrails to replace the worn out teak rails on top of the coach roof. I sourced the timber from a local timber merchant who specialise in all types of hardwoods as well as having a milling service.

They cut the lengths to size as well as rounding over the edges for me which saved me a job as working with 4 meter lengths can be difficult.

My biggest concern was whether or not I would be able bend the timber into shape due to the curve of the coach roof, I had a plan B as there was a shipwright working on another boat in the yard who offered to steam the timber for me if needed, below is a time lapse video of how it was done.

I was very happy with the results and feel the new rails really make a difference.

After bolting the rails in place the next job was to fill the holes on top of the nuts that hold them in place, for this I purchased a 12.5 mm plug cutter for the grand sum of £6.50 from screwfix.

This allows you to use the left over timber for the plugs instead of purchasing the standard teak plugs which may not fit or match.

After fitting all 16 plugs with wood glue and leaving to set overnight I returned the following day to sand them level and apply some teak oil to finish the job, although in total this task took nearly three days I think it was well worth it.

I have also managed a couple of smaller jobs which were needed, this included sanding the teak floor sections in the cockpit and applying teak oil as well as hinging and securing the engine hatch.

I have also been doing some home work which includes replacing the worn out steps on the boarding ladder which will be refitted to the stern, I found a nice piece of hardwood to use and managed to make up three replacements so far which again I am pleased with.

With all of this progress made I have managed to take several steps forward although I did take one step back!..... Hermiones main sheet traveller had always been a bone of contention as it was pretty much seized and was one of those tasks I had been putting off  as I knew it would be a pig to remove!

And I was not wrong....the underside of the bolts are inaccessible and fibre glassed in so removal was with brute force and an angel grinder! Obviously I have caused some damage to my nice paintwork but hopefully I can repair the damage without too much of an issue and replace with a much more modern version.

Finally, a piece of good news is that I have managed to secure a mooring for when Hermione is eventually launched, I have a joined the Medway branch of the Royal Navy Sailing Association which is located within Chatham's Historic Dock Yard. They seem a very nice bunch of people who more importantly like getting out on the water!


  1. Very impressive peace of work and you have actually done hard work for that hand rail finish.