Sunday, May 30, 2010

First and sixth

Em chose her new North sail and sailed a marvellously consistent 3-1-3-1-3 this weekend which gave her first place overall on the discard. Her name will be the first on the Optimist cup for this event.
I sailed a slightly more shaky 3-2-11-4-14, and was squeezed out of the top five in the Radial fleet.
We all had a great weekend's sailing, thanks to those organising the event and to all those who came from other clubs to sail with us.
More Optimist photos will appear over on the Praat site soon.

Single-handers weekend

Em and I are off to a single-handers weekend event at the VWDTP. She now has two sexy rolled sails to choose from, I have an old folded Laser Radial sail for my old Laser.

The bed

... and this will be the bed, with drawers and heating elements underneath.

The bathroom

This is going to be the bathroom on the Arma, with shower and toilet and lots of epoxy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Girls rules

This made Em laugh [only works with English buoys]

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Almost eleven

Tomorrow Em will be eleven. Today she wanted to bake pizza with her school friends so we took over the large kitchen at the Jumbo supermarket in Groningen and they did just that.

Not quite a birthday present

In fact I spent money my Mum sent me on a new North sail for Em's Optimist for this year's racing. Her she is setting it up before training last Thursday evening.


Sometimes I wonder just how much of my time is spent woodworking and how much on doing all the other things that make it possible to work as a self employed ships carpenter ... all the administration, for example. Probably better not to know.

First panels

The first panels are in aboard the Arma and There's no stopping Birgit, who dives in with her roller, undercoat and dreams of sleeping in the stern cabin.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


While we were away hundreds of thistles have sprung up next to our mooring. Our neighbour Eddie has a thistle tool, capable of removing thistle and root in one go.
I offered Em one cent per thistle and after some hard bargaining [that would have resulted in a new parliament if applied in the UK] she agreed to do it for 2 cents. She enlisted Mats' help and half an hour later I was presented with the bill for 1 euro 60.
Now they are off to offer their services to the neighbours [at 3 cents a thistle!]

A new toy

When the bottom of the barge is spray-cleaned before blacking a large proportion of what was attached to the bottom ends up on the top.
Our last client had fitted a filter to the centrifugal pump he uses to wash his deck and was then able to run a high pressure cleaner on canal water.
Enough of an argument to finally drag myself into the Bouwmaat to buy a Nilfisk high pressure jobbie. The filter was blocked within minutes but it does work and there is an email on it's way to Nilfisk to ask how fine the filter has to be.
Back at our mooring I connected up to the water point and cleaned the canvas covering cloths. Very satisfying work.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Arma steelwork

De Arma heeft in de machinekamer een nieuwe traanplaat bij de... on Twitpic

While we were hard at work in Leeuwarden, De Lasserij Groningen boys were equally hard at work in the bowels of the Arma. Looking good, lads.
If they are finished on monday morning we can get back in and try and make up for lost time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We're done

At seven thirty this evening we finished our last round with the rollers; an extra layer on the wind/water line. Tomorrow morning the forecast is rain, but we don't care. We've had three perfect days and everything we wanted to do, we've done. Tomorrow it's back on the wagons and down into the water.

New L25 video

Blackening the barge seemed like a good moment to film a new L25 video.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spraying is the new rolling

Under the watchful [and somewhat dubious] eye of 'master of the tar roller' Klaas, Wharf boss Herman demonstrates the spray gun for Intertuf blackening. Apparently the layer is thicker and it certainly goes on quicker. This'll be the first time in 84 years that our barge gets spray painted.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Meanwhile, down below

Niels, the insurance inspector, checks for thin plating by hammering and listening. He then measures the bits he's not sure about using an untrasonic gauge. We scored 5+'s and 6+'s, and since the barge was built with 6 and 7 mm steel both we and the inspector were happy with the results.
Tomorrow the blackening, International vinyl stuff, gets sprayed on - a first for us.

More up in the air

..and suddenly you have to climb six feet up a ladder to paint the bits that are usually just above the waterline.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Up in the air

Here we go. Four feet above water level and rising. We had hoped for better weather for our visit to 'Welgelegen', where we will be spray-cleaned and blackened.
Tomorrow afternoon the insurance inspector from EFM will come and check our underwater bits, before the Hempatex can be rolled on. With a bit of luck and a couple of dry days we'll be back in the water on Friday.

These bits will travel the world

Using offcuts from the offcuts used in the sculling oar repair [only the best will do] I've made up four little blocks of ash to protect the edges of Richard's German Double Bass when lying down. [The bass, not Richard - aka Mr. Lazy]
Richard and the Neil Cowley Trio are at present on the road without little blocks of ash.
Watch Neil's video diary here: NCTvideoblog

A sculling oar repair

One of the Impeesa sea scouts' sculling oars was cracked. Some of those girls are strong. Here I have scarfed a new piece of ash into the part of the oar that gets the most wear and tear over the transom - and a little piece into the blade too, where a corner had gone missing.
I'll plane and sand to shape when we are back in Groningen.