Making the Doghouse Coaming

The top of the doghouse needs a frame to hold the acrylic “glass”. I’m doing this as another practice piece – tenon joints and a Light Oak finish this time – it will give a comparison to the forward hatch coamings. I’m only using cheap softwood because the whole doghouse is likely to be completely rebuilt before too long.


Because the top of the doghouse curves slightly I’ve tried steam bending the frame.  The picture shows one piece wrapped in plastic to keep the steam in, and the wallpaper stripper being used to generate the steam.  I was quite dubious about this technique but it works surprisingly well.

I use aluminium strip to hold the “glass” in place and I’m pleased with the final effect.


Especially looking back to how it was …

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More Painting

I’m happy to do the deck and interior painting where I can re-do and correct if I get it wrong, but for below the waterline and the topsides I want a professional finish. Unfortunately this comes at a cost and my estimates of the coast of prep and painting is the one area I was badly out on when I did my original estimates. Grit blasting and primer on the hull cost about £1600, the estimate for below the waterline is £3500 and another £3000 for the topsides. These two estimates are beyond the budget so we have limited the topsides to 2 coats of primer.

Joss has gone into the shed but the goalpost over the stern was too tall and has been cut off and will be made to bolt back on.

Seeing her indoors gives a new sense of scale.


Below the waterline there is a coat of 3m Gp120 metalic solvent free epoxy primer followed by two layers of Interfill 833 epoxy filler and four layers of Hemple High protect high build epoxy primer then two further coats of primer followed by a tie coat of Gel shield then a tie coat of International Interspeed Navy hard antifoul. She will get normal antifoul just before she goes in the water.

On the topsides the fill and fare that was done below the waterline has been carried on a short way up the topsides which deals with the worst of the pitting. Rather than then doing the rest of the prep to get a real gloss finish we just have two coats of Hempadur to protect the surface.   The proper glossing can then be done later.


The colour both below the waterline and on the topsides is RAL5003. The sheerline will be the same as the deck and then there will be a boostripe and a stripe at window level in yellow (RAL 3016??).


Less wood, More paint

It feels a bit that backwards is the new forwards. The big action in January and February has been stripping out all the wooden panelling and grinding the interior – yes, more grinding when I thought the grinding and cleaning was largely done for this year.

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The inside of the boat was still filthy after all the welding and associated grinding, and there was a persistent trail of water from the aft starboard corner every time it rained and it was building up to a significant volume. I was bailing out 40 or 60 litres of water every week to 10 days (depending on how much it had rained). Digging around showed that the water was coming in somewhere around mid-ships but exactly where wasn’t clear because of the panelling on the sides (confusingly the panelling is called the ceiling on a boat). If I was going to remove the panelling to find the leak then it made sense to finish grinding the inside to get rid of the accumulated grime and any rust patches. There was also water coming in from above what any normal person would call the ceiling (the layer above your head) but which on a boat is called the deck head. Anyway, call it a ceiling or a deck-head it was clear the time had come to take it off. The wood used for the deck-head was good quality and about 9mm thick unlike the very thin stuff on the sides and so I numbered each strip before I took it off so it can go back where it came from if that’s what I want to do.

Like so much on this boat once the structure was exposed it was actually in pretty good condition with just a few minor rust patches. Two weeks of a daily blast of grinding got it all cleaned back to paint or bare metal.

The picture below also shows the source of the leak, it was coming in at the bottom of the port-light – so they will have to come out and be re-bedded!

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I very nearly needed the same treatment – I’m not sure I have ever got so dirty!

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Changing the Deck Layout

Reshaping the cockpit

For no obvious reason, immediately aft of the wheel there was a deep (500mm) trough and the space ran forward of the wheel under the mizzen mast to the doghouse. The trough was too deep and too narrow to be sensible to stand in while steering, and too low to make a foot well if sitting in the cockpit. Forward of the mizzen mast the trough didn’t give a comfortable step down onto the engine cover. So, out with the trough and in with a better arrangement altogether.



(the work is done but no “after” photos yet)

Anchor Locker

There was no anchor locker, so I’ve cut a hole in the deck near the bow and we will put a watertight locker beneath it to hold not just the anchor chain, but also any gas bottles we have.


(the work is done but no “after” photos yet)


Joss came with no drawings or other plans and if it were just a matter of setting sail that wouldn’t be a problem, but wanting to make some changes to the deck layout and to completely revise the interior layout does require something to work from. Normally such drawings would be done with AutoCAD but I don’t have a copy, and its not trivial to learn to use. What I do have and have used for years is Visio, so my drawings are all done in Visio. I hoped to find some standard templates for parts such as winches, and hatch covers but I found nothing. Even those for AutoCAD which seem to be provided by some suppliers as part of their documentation are not meant as components to a larger drawing.

Visio has some measuring items in the templates but nothing I could find to allow a line or box to be set to a given size and angle so I had to fiddle around with a shape sheet to produce these.

I’ve not attempted a lines drawing such as you get for most boat drawings instead I’ve gone for a more conventional elevation and plan.

Side Elevation

Side Elevation 2015-1-01 fs

(actually this drawing has the doghouse shape as I plan it to be, not how it is now)


Plan 2015-1-01

End Elevation

This is a cross section on the line of the aft side of the doghouse.

End Elevation 2015-1-01

The topsides have been sanded back and given primer and undercoat. It will need to be filled and faired before more undercoat and then topcoat, but it’s starting to look like a boat somebody loves


and in case you have forgotten, this is what it looked like before:


Blasted Hull

There’s not much to see in this first photo, but under that sheet the hull has been blasted clean ready for painting. It’s been done in small sections with the bare metal done with primer immediately after before any rust can get back in. The mess is phenomenal, black grit everywhere and I take my hat off to the guys who have done the work – Thank you.WP_20150617_003

These next pictures show the hull with its coat of primer on


Hull Patching

When the hull was scanned to establish thickness there was only one patch that was seriously thinned. The inlet and outlet for the heads had obviously been weeping for a long time and the plate had scaled off on the inside. The affected area – and the heads through-hulls were cut out and a new plate was welded in. It’s a lovely smooth finish and won’t stand out as an obvious replacement.

Here are outside and inside views:

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At the same time the hole in the deck were the chimney from the stove went through has been welded up as well as a whole series of small holes – mainly from things that have been bolted on – have also been filled.