Rollover Day!

Hello, dear reader. Are you sitting comfortably or are you in the queue of traffic dashing to Dorset, only to be deterred by the local Police?  It’s the “late spring ”Bank Holiday in Staying Alert England and still lockdown in the wee lassies Scottish Empire, and the other outlying parts of the UK. We’ve just had a week of warm and settled weather and, in typical fashion, the weather has broken for the holiday weekend.

The other day I arrived at the cow boat shed to report for work as usual, flung back the pair of sliding doors and was assailed by a cloud of angry bees. I beat a retreat to my inner tent 1 and then, when things had calmed down a bit , I went to find out what was going on. It seems that a small colony of white tailed bees have established themselves  in the cavity between the outside timber wall  and the inner Asbestos cement wall of the of the cow boat shed. They seem quite active, a dozen or so bees hard at work.

White tailed Bees at Work

I’d temporarily run out of things to do on the inside of the boat – all of the inside surfaces have been given a coat of epoxy. Those that are liable to flooding (the ballast tank and the capsize recovery tank) have been given several coats and have been given a snazzy blue gray colour.  I’ve even fitted a couple of fittings (the drain / flood bungs for the ballast tanks).

It was time for RollOver. Not the kind associated with the National Lottery 3– but one that turns the boat over so that I can work on her bottom. I needed some help so arranged for the Purser and the (ex) NDN 5 to provide me with some socially distanced hired muscle. Before they arrived, I had to remove the boat from the trailer and get that out of the way.

I had arrived at work that day by bike, forgetting that my task for the day would require the use of a jack. So, some improvisation was required. Fortunately, as regular readers will recall, the CBS 6 os part of an extensive graveyard7 of builders equipment part of which is a varied collection of bricks and lengths of timber. So I built towers of bricks, used levers and generally utilised late stone age technology and, at the cost of a few scraped knuckles and strained muscles, the boat was lifted high enough for the trailer to pass underneath and so out of the barn. The boat was lowered to the floor and then dragged sideways ready for ROLLOVER day.  We’d need the trailer tie downs for the morrow and some sort of softish support to rest the boat on.

The labourers arrived at the appointed hour and the camera was set rolling.  Pieces of softish insulation were put in position under the boat. The trailer tie downs were secured to one side of the boat and then passed underneath her and back to the hired muscle. I stood opposite them where the boat was at it’s widest and gave the command. I lifted, they pulled and before you could blink, she was standing on her side and the hired muscle held her there.  Between us we walked her towards the stove to give more space to let her down in and slowly we lowered her to the floor.

Roll Over

Job done and the muscle went home. She then needed lifting off the floor to make working on her easier for my back.

A day spent rubbing her down 8 with sandpaper and getting ready to glue and tape the joints between the planks and between the hull and the centre board. I need to buy some more Epoxy before starting that set of tasks.

In the meantime, enjoy your trip to Dorset and back.


  1. The physical one, made out of cheap white tarpaulins, not the metaphorical (mental) tent 2
  2. According to the owners agent, I’m in that most of the time
  3. This lottery, introduced in the time of John Majors premiership is (in my view) a voluntary tax, so I do not participate. 4
  4. It’s used by the lottery fund to pay for a lot of stuff that used to be met out of GeneralTaxation
  5. Next Door Neighbour
  6. cow boat shed
  7. I think he refers to it all as “stock”.
  8. This seems to be known as “faring” in the boat building trade. I think there’s a lot more to come become she is ready.

Lock Down 3 – Mid May Motors

It’s now mid May. The trouble with writing a blog is you have to keep at it or your  reportage becomes rapidly out of date. My reader(s) (yes, there is now more than one of you) would think that with this lockdown stuff there would be oodles of time for me to put my thoughts on paper 1 as well do the boat building. Sadly, this is not the case for it seems that search engines produce the same time dilation effects as those emanating from  libraries and book shops (see previous posts on this matter). I apologise to one of my readers – the insurance underwriter (ret’d) – he is complaining that he doesn’t understand my blogs anymore because of these weird references so he’s probably watching cricket or golf – except that there isn’t any at the moment. 2

But, as usual, I digress. Now for some nature notes. 3 The weather can’t make up it’s mind about the season. On Monday last week, the workshop fire went unlit for the first time since I started this project. Only for one day, because we seem to be back in winters grip, with strong gales that rip the young leaves off the tress behind the cow boat shed. Speaking of cows, the farmer has bought some livestock. Last weekend he moved them into the field adjacent to my shed.  They were curious beasts and came to see what I was up to.

They soon wandered off when they discovered I hadn’t any buckets containing calf nuts (or whatever). No wonder the one in the middle looks cross.

Other news: I had an exciting (and probably illegal) visit early last week. It was the purser, last seen in blog form in Vagabond on the north Cornish coast. He was excited by the project and has requested to be present at the launch. That’s at least five who want to come – I’ll be able to sell tickets soon.

Now to the exciting topic of the motor. The designer and I had decided that it is time to go green and be rid of the noisy, oily  and smelly outboard that is usually hung on the back of a small boat. Yes, I now it’s going to have a sail (lug rigged) and even oars. But there will be a time when these can’t be used 4 so some form of engine is essential.

The intention is to use a new electric motor known as a Pod 1 supplied by epropulsion. Here’s a photo (taken from their web site).

The design of the boat has a well in the middle of the stern section that has been tailored round this Pod and the intention is that the Pod will be mounted in this well on some form of lifting platform so that the motor can be raised from the water when it’s not in use. 5

‘Don’t worry about that’ I said loftily to the designer, I’ll sort that out. It’s now time to put my creative skills to work.

A prototype of my efforts is shown in the next video, together with voice over. 6

Clearly, the design needs a bit of refinement! Now I know that there is room for the motor, I suppose I’d beter buy one, rather rely on the wooden blocks!

That’s about it as far as the motor is concerned.

Other stuff that’s been done in the last couple of week has been the addition of scantlings and lips around all the bulkheads in the boat, to add a bit of stiffness and to provide some “lands” on which to glue decks. The interior faces of the ballast tank and the various buoyancy compartments have been coated in epoxy to try to make them waterproof. Now that’s a really messy job.

We’re almost at the stage of gluing on the deck. But I’m sure there’s lots more I’ve go to do before taking that step.

You’ll have to wait for the next thrilling instalment.


1 A little outdated I’m afraid. I am actually bashing the keys on a pc.

2 Although I’m wrong about golf, I think our great leader Boris allowed it to be legal between consenting adults as of today!

3 This will annoy the other of my regular reader who complained the other week about woodpeckers etc

4 E.G. when the owner has mislaid the oars and nature has lost the wind

5 Or can be lifted out of the way when there is a danger of running into the hard stuff

6 Does this mean that I’m now a vlogger?

By the way, the pursers last exploits can be seen at :