Today has been another beautiful day here in Kinsale, warm and sunny. I will never complain about heat – at least not for some time! It is actually interesting, Ireland is currently experiencing a dry spell and eighteen of their ninety water reservoirs are dry. It hasn’t been raining for over a week, disaster! This is not normal Irish weather, but I heard on the radio that there will be rain by the weekend. In. Some. Places… Exciting! To me it is just like summer. As it should be – warm, dry and sunny.
Anyway, I started the new project today by unbolting the helm station, so that I can refurbish the backing plate for it. I bet it has some other name, but in my world it is a backing plate, even if it also have two end stops to make sure that the rudder doesn’t break or turn too far. Drop a comment if you know what it is called in boat speech.
So, four bolts, easy-peasy. Right. But to my surprise they came of rather easily, primarily because the bolts, washers and nuts were stainless steel, unlike the backing plate. So off it came! Then I attached my wire brush to the grinder and had a go at it. Most of the crude oxidation was removed, but the steel was still black. Talked a little with one of the guys here in the boat yard and he recommended me to go at it a little harsher – “ye might need one of ’em flappy discs to really get down to bare metal”. Well, I don’t have any of ’em flappy discs. But I know who does! So off to the store and get some. And then I walked around. Oh, spanners. I definitely need to replace the ones I have, they look weak and.. oh..! hole saws! I definitely will need one of those. But, I wonder what size… I’ll get a few! And the drill thingy to put them on when making large holes.
I was pleased. My wallet wasn’t, obviously. But it usually is a 1/x relationship, so I wasn’t that concerned.
As I got back I made an awful discovery. My wonderful Bose Mini speaker was nowhere to be found. I mean, I used it this morning. It was either on the table or on the navstation as I left, but I just couldn’t find it. Sadness… It was a really fine speaker and I left the boat open since “who would actually get into my boat and steal from me”? And on top of that, I got plenty more interesting things to steal than a lousy bluetooth speaker.
You know, things that you really like and grow some sort of attachment to is something that you really miss when it gets stolen. My speaker was like that. So I went through the boat several times, checking both table and navstation plenty of times. I even checked both heads! Even if I hadn’t been in one of them. I mean, you never know. Maybe someone was playing an evil practical joke on me? But no. Nowhere. Gone.
I was about to go over to the boat yard office and start asking them if they’d seen anyone even close to my boat as a last desperate attempt to find some sort of closure. But just before I did that I thought to myself that I should clean up this place a bit. Took the toolbox on the navstation, flipped the lid closed and…
THERE IT WAS!!!
Oh my god, the sudden rush of joy! I grabbed it, looked at it and said “don’t to that again!”. Saved from total embarrassment by the bell. Phew. So, anyway. I started unpacking my shopping, since it got a bit out of hands when I was to get the flappy discs, and was quite happy with my purchases. Well, the spanners where some unknown brand so they would probably start to rust, the hole saws were a well known brand and they looked bad-ass! I will definitely make some serious holes with them. I felt kitted.
And then I heard someone climbing up my ladder, struggling it seems, and when I popped my head out I saw the owner of the yard pushing a seemingly heavy box up the ladder. Oh, more stuff, sweet! But what was that in the box, it was so large… and heavy… Then I saw that it was one of my last boxes from my orders from Sweden (still waiting for one!) and I realized that it was my toolkit, yay! Now I would definitely be kitted! Got the suitcase out of the box and opened it, total excitement! I had forgotten what was in it.
Yeah… Well, not just spanners, but pretty much the same kit as I just bought. And I just had opened up the one I bought and I didn’t ask for the receipt at the store. So.. I got spanners. A lot of them. But also bits in heaps (some I’ve never seen before!), ratchets and, well, really a full kit of everything.
I’m not going to buy much more mechanical tools for some time, I’m guessing.
Back to project!
So, the backing plate. I had a go at it with the grinder brush, as I wrote. But this whole ordeal with the stolen speaker made me loose speed and it is getting late. So I wanted to try the rust removing liquid that I found at the Bradon co-op some time ago. I mean, it is why I bought it. Even if it has been a nice way to remove rust stains on the gel coat in the bilge while I replaced the keel bolts, too.
It says that it should be applied liberally (I like that!), and then wait until all rust is gone or until it is dry. So it sits under the boat, waiting for either to happen. I was just out to take a look at it, and it is witchcraft going on! Or at least alchemy. Or, really, reducing an oxide back to its elements. No fizzing, no sizzling, no foul stench, no nothing. It just sits there and the rust becomes gray as metal again.
But it seems to work! You can see on the left side of the image above how it starts to look just like normal steel again. How cool! I’ll wait until tomorrow and we’ll see how it looks. I’m guessing I will have to go at it with the flappy discs in the end, and then perhaps give it one more go with this magical potion that turns rust back into metal again. Then I hope that my primer order has arrived so that I can coat it a few times.
Oh, yeah! I was able to record my wake up bird today too, even if it was mid day that I did it. You know, the one that sounds like R2-D2? I think it is a blackbird. I highly doubt that the Lockheed-Martin SR-71 is named after the bird, since it was supposed to be stealthy. This bird is nowhere near stealthy.
See you later!