I trial varnished a piece of ply and filler as per Mr Mushroom’s advice and the results were such that I’ve scraped all the filler off Onawind Blue’s decks—I’d rather my shoddy workmanship were on view than some manufacturer’s cruddy product. Mr M recommended another brand of filler but he’s just run out himself and is waiting on a supplier. I’ve got a deadline now so can’t wait for anything or anyone. I worked the decks back to varnishing standard—the ply veneer is getting thin in places—and then a squall blew through out of nowhere bringing huge drops of filthy rain and the sort of wind that, as much as I love the wind, made me curse and splutter. I managed to get the boat covered and when the rain had passed discovered that I had one dirty dot per square inch of deck. I counter attacked immediately with warm water and a sponge and after several dousings the decks came up fine.
Then, despite a children’s birthday party raging in the garden with balls whizzing all over the place, then foam bubbles and streamers, I spent the rest of the afternoon cementing the deck fixtures; the cleats and the wave breaker doodah, with epoxy. And then this morning, after a dry night, I started on the varnish. There are no photos I’m afraid, I keep forgetting to charge the camera batteries. The next published shots will be of a finished
As well as finish the boat the idea is to organise a launch party. But while I’ve mainly been concentrating on the boat the party seems to have organised itself. What I at first envisaged as a subdued affair has snowballed and we have about 60 people coming as well as a band and maybe a firework display later. If I could lay my hands on some at short notice I’d get jugglers, stilt walkers, fire breathers and belly dancers too. A string quartet, a piano on the beach. A troupe of dancers in sailor suits. But this isn’t
In an ideal world I’d have a discreet, private launch first; a quiet, early morning row with Onawind Blue. But an ideal world it isn’t and there won’t be enough time. We will be ready by the deadline, touch wood, but with no leeway. I feel confident about the boat but any hiccoughs will now be very public. The last boat I built, when proudly launched at bath time, rolled onto its side like a playful puppy. Obviously I know that’s not going to happen but it’s the sort of image that sneaks in through the back door of my mind when I’m dropping off to sleep and makes my eyes pop wide open.