Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Stef or Glory

The bathroom has increasingly not been a nice place to be.

The problems are twofold, the skylight leaks when it rains (we had taken the ceiling down around the skylight to see if there was anything we could do but it was just basically rubbish):

and when it got cold huge amounts of condensation formed on the metal deck that forms the roof of the bathroom (it is under the front deck) and percolated down through the rockwool insulation (making it nice and damp) and into the plywood ceiling. There was a moisture barrier in the form of plastic sheet, but it had cleverly had lots of holes cut in it by the previous owners for various reasons (eg. putting speakers into the ceiling) and was only stapled on in sections anyway, so it wasn't actually providing a barrier to any moisture at all.

There are plans afoot to replace the skylight with a vastly improved new one (more of that later) but to fix the condensation problem we needed to rip the whole room apart, re-insulate, and build it back better. This was a situation that called for famous London Rollergirl Stefanie Mainey, so i put in the call and she turned up, grabbed a hammer and started smashing up everything in sight.

Between us we ripped out all the walls and ceiling, helped considerably by the fact that it was all really shoddily built.

Hardly any of the battens was actually fixed in place, they were just wedged in between the ribs, and the insulation fell right out as soon as the plastic was pulled away. We also discovered that part of the problem with condensation was that as the battens were wedged between the protruding ribs that span across the metal roof, those ribs were touching the plywood ceiling itself, and providing a thermal bridge which caused massive condensation. Also, as i mentioned, the vapour barrier wasn't providing a barrier to anything, and the insulation was poor quality, thin and patchy.

Stef and I worked hard all afternoon, and by the end of the day we had a huge pile of rockwool, wood and plastic

and a bare metal ceiling and walls.

To be honest it require a certain amount of imagination to see this as an improvement, but just because we hadn't been able to see the rust and much before didn't mean it wasn't there, and at least now we could see it, treat it, and make it better.

To be continued...

the daily grind

As you can see from the right hand side of the picture below, the back deck was getting into a shocking state, and needed some serious work before it rusted away, or we were shunned by society for having an embarasingly scruffy back deck.

So, rather than kill myself with 8 hour grinding sessions, and piss off the neighbours in the process, i've been doing an hour a day, each morning, in which time i can grind the paint off about a square meter of deck, and over the last couple of weeks i've made pretty good progress, from the very beginning above, gradually covering more area:

...to having nearly half the deck ground down.

I've currently run out of flap discs and am picking more up tomorrow, at which point i will quickly go over everything i've done so far buffing off the surface rust, and then get a coat of undercoat on it all, before then getting on with the other half of the deck.

Then it's on to the front deck, which we got half way through last year before getting distracted. The one hour a day technique is great as a way of avoiding getting bored or distracted with the task, as it becomes a routine and i can just carry on until the whole deck area of the boat is done, now THAT will be a happy day!


Ever since we bought the boat there has been a huge, heavy, rusty, ugly, broken welding generator bolted onto the front deck, and a couple of weeks ago we finally got round to getting rid of it.

We had tried to get it working to no avail, and all our welding needs are met by our tiny inverter welding machine, so there was no reason for keeping it, and it was way too heavy to get off the boat ourselves, so we called up Tidy Thames and they came over with their big crane...

...picked it up like it weighed nothing and chucked it in their barge.

Leaving a lovely big spacious front deck for us to caper around on.

Lorna was so pleased she declared a toast.

Hatching a plan part 2

(sorry, the pun was just too good not to use again)

I had noticed that the varnish on the wooden sliding cover of the main hatch was starting to peel a little, and when i picked at it it came off in great peeling sheets leaving sodden wet wood beneath. Not good. So i stripped off all the remaining varnish so that i could let it dry off for a couple of days...

...at which point it then rained solidly for about 2 weeks...

Eventually it eased off for a couple of days, so i could sand it down and dig out the rotten wood from a couple of places where it had gotten rotten.

Before treating it with wood hardener, and then filling the holes with wood filler.

and then eventually varnishing it all.