Saturday, 23 August 2008

Fiddling On The Roof

Having tackled the worst of the weathered sides of the wheelhouse, and on the hottest day of the year so far, i decided to take down all the clutter on the roof, and try to fix the leaks coming through it.
I took down the radar, the support strut of which was bolted through the roof causing it to leak

removed the old and rusted navigation light boards (i THINK this type of navigation light isn't even legal any more)

as well as an old pivoting searchlight mount, the ariel for the GPS thingy and a million feet of wire from the radar.

We were then left with the roof itself, the three removable panels of which (for if you need to collapse the wheelhouse to go under a low bridge) were covered with what turned out to be zinc sheet, not lead as i had assumed.

This would have been brilliant waterproofing protection, had various holes not been drilled through the sheets to mount the radar, searchlight and various other bits and bobs.

As it was we decided the best thing was to remove the zinc altogether, paint the wood with cuprinol for protection against damp, and then fibreglass the roof in one impermeable sheet. We took off the (very heavy, unwieldy) zinc sheeting with some difficulty, and painted the wood, and are now ready to put some nice flat plywood sheeting on top of the boards before finally fibreglassing the roof.

Stripping The Light Fantastic

The wheelhouse has been a bit scruffy ever since we bought the boat. It has been exposed to the elements for too long without the love and care it needs and was long overdue stripping and re-varnishing, or else the wood itself would stat to get damaged and rotten.

We started with varnish stripper, scraped that off, and then sanded the wood smooth, leaving just the bare oak exposed, which looked fantastic.

On the left, below, you can see the original tatty varnished wood, and on the right the bare oak.

I would have loved to have left it like that but we decided that varnish was the best way to protect it against the elements and so we then applied a good coat of varnish, which actually looked great too, as it made the grain of the wood almost glow.

I also then sanded and varnished the various strips of wood which cover the gap betwen the roof and walls.

Having finished the front of the wheellhouse we then completed the starboard side, and as they were the worst affected (they must have been in the way of the prevailing wind for the last few years) we can then do the final two sides when we have the time.