Our old friend the Mestral wind turned up in a feisty mood this morning. Charging round the garden like a frisky puppy begging to play, it wasn’t going to let me start gluing the interior seams as I had planned. Hoping it would calm down a bit after lunch I got on with installing the centreboard case.
But first I had to cut the slot in the sole. There’s something about cutting a hole in the floor of your boat that goes against the grain. Rationally you know it has to be, but there’s an irrational part that says to be sawing holes in the sole is just asking for trouble. The psychological impact of holing the boat had me erring on the side of caution. When it comes to cutting wood there’s the expression, ‘You can always take more off but you can’t put more on.’ But the real trick is to get it right first time. Having backed myself into caution’s cosy corner I had a hell of a job clawing back out and loping off the 2mm that was left. In the end I got the jigsaw out again and took off slightly too much.
Even though the wind was still boisterous I found a sheltered spot and got going with the glue. I had planned to pipe thickened epoxy into the seams using empty milk cartons. I’ve been saving cartons and yogurt pots for the past 3 months and the family’s fair sick of them teetering on bookshelves and cascading out of cupboards. Today would be their day. By cutting off one end, mixing the epoxy and thickener in the carton, then sealing the top and cutting off a small bottom corner I’d have a cool tool for applying filet. It seemed fool proof enough but it must have been very hot in there. The first ¼ pint batch went off in under 10 minutes and I was left with a solid carton in my hands. I went back to mixing small amounts in yogurt pots and applying filet with a selection of cutlery. Here's a taped seam.
And this is Joaquim. One of the few fishing boats still working out of the local port. Nobody catches much these days but Joaquim, run by a pair of burly brothers, is out most days looking for the Mediterranean’s last sardine. Today they were probably hoping to get their fishing done before the wind picked up big time. The Mestral, being an off-shore wind on this part of the coast doesn’t kick up too much chop near the beach, so fishing boats that get caught out by the wind sail as close in as they dare. Joaquim could still afford to come in