24/05/2020 0 By Chris Phillips

It has been a while since I wrote anything, so I thought I’d give you all a quick update on what I have been doing with Meander since I got back from Foreign a few weeks ago (we no longer speak the name of that country where there has been some football going on recently).

I had earmarked this summer for some serious works on Meander’s coachroof – seeing as I returned half way through the season, I thought I might as well do the work in weather warm enough to allow epoxy to cure properly!  I am also planning to replace the engine with a more reliable modern lump, so hoping to remove the old one, and I just learnt today that I need to bite the bullet and order the new one soon before prices go up in time for Southampton Boat Show!

Anyway, I started work on Sunday, stripping the coachroof sides down, inside and out, in preparation for their removal and replacement.  That all went reasonably well, with all 8 windows coming out without a single broken pane, and all the fittings remaining pretty much intact.  The trouble is that Bob put the boat together so well that nothing likes to come apart again easily!

Today’s job was to cut back the fibreglass sheathing (which covers the coachroof top) to enable me to see the join between the side pieces and the framework, so I could start building templates for the new bits.  As I trimmed back, it became obvious that some of the plywood of the roof had also delaminated, so I have spent much of today removing more and more fittings from the roof to find where I need to cut back to.  Handily, Robbins misdelivered my plywood for the sides, sending 12mm rather than 25mm as I needed, so I actually have some 12mm ply which is what I require to fix the top.  Tomorrow therefore I will be removing hopefully one last fitting (a big one – the mainsheet horse), to trim back to sound wood so I can peel off the old stuff – layer by layer!  I also need to trim back the glass on the stbd side, where I dont’t think (fingers crossed) there is such a problem.

Work in progress – coachroof rot cut back and templating the sides

Just a short post today then, to get me back into the writing thing.  I’ll keep you all updated as I go.  Oh, and by the way – I could still do with a beautiful assistant for at least some of the time – partly for company, to stop me talking too much to myself, and partly to get on with some of the other stuff that needs doing, like varnishing spars and stripping back the paint in the cockpit.  I have experimentally posted a thing on a website called HelpEx, which puts volunteers in touch with hosts – usually for hairy backpacker types to spend some time getting free accommodation in return for work.  I’ll see what pops up.