Friday, 29 May 2020

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Wednesday, 15 April 2020


Managed to get a stick under the massive boulder that is the boat project and get it moving again, google photos link here.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Keels - The whole sorry saga.

Yep, everything from the start in October 2008 all the way to the end in May 2017 here it is in picture form. Don't say you weren't warned!

Google Photos Album link here.

Rudder - New ideas to old problems

Probably the first major job i tackled was removing the old rudder and assessing its condition, 10 ten minutes with a 20 & 40mm forstner bits proved the rudder was pretty fucked, the core black and disintegrating. So what to do? The original plan was to make a plug with an eye to taking a mould and making one and maybe several, this became known as the 'oil tanker' rudder. 

Having made said plugs (two halves) i stored them in my loft thinking that was the safest place only to bring them down a couple of months later to begin glossing and polishing with an eye to taking a mould from them. Problem was they got badly water-damaged in the loft so in the skip that went and a new rudder would be constructed around the old stock.

Google Photo Albums link here.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

2016/17 - A cessation

There's only so much you can bare when you realise your heart and head aren't in it anymore, this was very much my last couple of years on the project up to 2017. I basically just did days here and there throughout 2016 and part way through 2017 when i finally had had enough and through the towel in.

As in life it was no one big thing but many smaller things that coalesced in me an extreme melancholia accentuated by several projects i followed on the web all chucking it in for much the same reason i was. No money, no time & therefore no chance of finishing - a complete despair if you like of being in my early forties and flat broke with this fucking boat still in my back garden. But i still got things done in between the darkness.

The last time i did anything of merit was four years ago to the day of writing this but tomorrows another day and i'm making my way back be it slowly........

Google Photos Album links here.

2015 - Revelations

In so far as i remembered how to bend ply evenly without it breaking and also my attempts to conquer the window frames finally paid dividends in the shape of some carbon/oak units that turned out nice. I also got to finally execute the drawings Eric Sponberg did for me in 2012 to mount the mast.

But once again paid work would take me away from the project for long periods of time and so progress was minimal but a result of this was my electrical work coming on leaps and bounds as i refitted the van to live in which needed insulation, power and storage so a great primer for the Centaur.

Google Photo Albums link here.

2014 - Progress, yes - but i was phoning it in.

The idea to build a shop proved fruitful as i use it today to make custom joinery and cabinets but i thought this would be the injection of enthusiasm that would get my head back in the game. It didn't and to be honest 2013 was the peak of the project in terms of committing to doing as much as i could and it turning out pretty decent. 

But - i dunno, you know when you're on autopilot and things appear to get done but you don't know how, this was 2014 compounded by my now permanent anxiety of no money, no savings and spending my days pouring everything into this project. Eventually it wears you down but i rounded out the year with engine in place and many new parts fitted.

Google Photos Album link here.

2013 - It began to look like a boat again.

In hindsight this was my most productive year, i got so much done and as usual with little to no budget, this did start to wear my down towards the end of the year what with paid work still up and down i couldn't ever get focused and with the lack of work space it drove me into the floor motivation-wise.

I took the now foolish decision to cut out the inside of the boat as most of it was rotten and didn't really work and to alleviate my ever-growing unease i built an extension to the shed.

Google Photo Albums link here.

2012 - A pause in the proceedings.

Thanks in part to a contract on the IOW, work on the boat slowed to zilch in the early part of this year but with more breaks later on in the year as work ground to a halt some progress got made. Got on sheathing the keels and hull, the keels because the weather had partially destroyed the epoxy coating due to the iron expanding underneath. 

So not for the first time it was back to the drawing board by way of chopping the dead bits of keel away super-heating them and eventually vacuum bagging three layers of cloth over each one to isolate from the elements. The real highlight towards the end of the year was bolting the keels back on.

Google Photo Albums link here.

2011 - Hatches, Lockers, Filling & Fairing

2011 saw me slice and dice the cockpit to within an inch of its life. I now have a ton of storage space new hatch surrounds to take the hatches and what would turn out to be an almost continuous battle with the voices in my head to get the Centaur looking, well........... Centaur shaped.  

I finally solved how to make a draining companionway hatch without it looking like a wedding cake & work began on the new engine bay, this was quite a productive period.

Google Photos Album link here.

2010 - Peeling, Sheathing, Keels & Rudder

2010 started off with hiring my one & only 'marine' professional only after trying to peel the gelcoat myself finally relenting.What a pain in the arse he was, absolutely reinforced my already dim view of people that work this industry, you know the type, all triple-barrelled names and horrific pricing, he was no different. 

Still the Centaurs bottom got removed, the water started running out everywhere and so began the series of experiments in the shed culminating in the internationally known 'Home-brew Hot Vac System'.

Google Photos Album link here.

2009 - Keels, Canopies, Cradles & Cranes

2009 was when it got serious, work had slowed due in part to the financial crisis. So now with a bare hull and deck on the front lawn i distracted myself building a canopy over the the boat. Big mistake! No sooner had we got the structure up it all had to come back down following a complaint from a guy who lived literally the other side of town - go figure! 

So after hiring a crane, chucking the boat in the back garden it was back to rebuilding the port keel and stripping the hull and deck of every fitting ready for the gel strip and rebuild.

Google Photos Album link here.

2008 - Keels & Rudder (Removal & rebuilding)

It was around May 2008 having acquired a purpose-built cradle from a fellow Centaur owner that it become obvious i should bring the boat back home. With the boat firmly set on the hard in my front garden the first job (after emptying the remaining lockers) was to remove the Keels & rudder.

This album includes this process and an abortive attempt at making a plug for a new rudder as well as a pictorially in-depth look at rebuilding the first (starboard) keel. 

Google Photos Album link here.

2007 - Stripping out / dicking around.

Back then paid work was crazy as was the money and so all i really did was get to the boat on the weekends and pump out the water in the bilge and wash all the leaves and algae off outside and generally try and keep her looking like she hadn't been abandoned.

I had also started stripping the boat down internally, headlinings, joinery and about this time the engine i decided was well past its best. Google Photos Album link here.

2006 - In Elkin's Yard

As it was, residing under foliage, bird shite and slowly being overtaken by the scenery but a start of sorts. Google photos album link here