It’s been a funny year this year what with short breaks, holidays, buying a wrecked boat and yes got some work on Dicton done but not as much as I would have liked and the latter part of the year recovering a 4 stroke outboard motor that had been sunk for 6 months then left to rot on land.

January, Just before Christmas I had purchased a Chinese wind turbine from china which had taken my fancy, on opening and inspecting I found the main bearing had way to much play in it,

so it was stripped down to investigate further, what I found was a wide single bearing that was slack on the shaft with no rear bearing, witch meant the bearing needed to be replaced and although the bearing had id numbers on it I could not find one with the same diamentions, in the end, I got two bearings to replace the one with a spacer added between them (I did get a good refund from seller after I posted a video on youtube showing bearing play) anyway this cured the issue, it was then tested for output which wasn’t great but did generate some power, anyway it was put on a pole on top of the wheelhouse, then connected to a bridge rectifier then connected to a 12v battery.

The results were very poor even though the winter gales it achieved nothing, although I liked the turbine blades and will use them again, the generator needs replacing but that will be for another day, please do not buy one of these your money will be lost.

February, didn’t much done apart from rebuilding my petrol driven hydraulic pump which runs my log splitter which I made from an old fire rescue kit, the ram has a 10-ton push so will split any log you choose to throw at it, anyway, it blew an oil seal which meant a full strip-down of the hydraulic pump, I managed to get new seals online and serviced the pump it was full of crud and muck and needed a good clean otherwise it was all good, all tested ready for use the next time I would need it, as it was time to go back to work.

April/May started with a short break with the family in Cambridgeshire which was great, on our return home I spotted a wrecked fishing boat that had been sunk and holed and most of the bow ripped out and was in a sorry state.

(bow damge, it was taped back in place the inside was then ground out to provide a good key and glassed with 7 layers of glass, the outside was then ground out and refibreglassed and primed and painted.)

however being fibreglass it was repairable and I allowed a week to do it but like most thing it took a while longer, fortunately, I could get at both sides of of the repairs, and it seems it hadn’t sunk completely as the battery and radio were both serviceable, the fact that the cabin had a seperate sealed bilge probably saved them.


The boat being a semi-displacement meant it should be reasonably quick and being only 16ft long the 50 hp Yamaha should be well adequate for the job, however, this proved incorrect as the boat was quite slow at 9 knots where I would expect about 20, after some investigation,


we changed to a smaller pitch propellor this cured most of the problem and would cruise at 16/18 knots but my engine is not fitted with a tilt and trim unit so was has a fixed trim, so I think once I get an engine with a tilt ‘n’ trim this will get the speed somewhere near. watch this space.

May, Back to work
June, We had a 5-day break at center parcs (wife’s birthday present) lots of good food and swimming and relaxation.
anyway it was time to get some work done one of the lads off the boat yard gave me ahand to get the rest of the bridge deck done,

although the fibreglass deck was water tight it had started delaminating fromthe plywood beneath it, so a new frame was secured through the fibreglass and into the frames below which add alot more strength to the deck, as a few boater have surgested i put a bar by the wheelhouse….Theres a thought.

any how with the framing completed we got with cutting the ply, most sheets went down in one peice, one sheet had to have a hole cut in to allow for utility room extractor fan, this was acheived by removing the mushroom cover which left behind the riser pipe we simply rested the board onto the plywood and gave it a gentle tap [wallope] with a hammer which left an indentation, it was then drilled to get jigsaw in and a circle cut out, and fitted first time.

Next the new deck was sanded down then the EPDM was laid in place and fastened arround the edges to keep the weather off till i could get to finnish it and it was getting time to return to the day job again.

(wheelhouse front ready to be sanded back and sealed before panel fitting)

this was the last we did till november due to having the grand childern for their holidays which was extended as we all then went camping and glamping down the lizard for 4 days, then of course it was back to work.
Oct weather was not good so spent some time making up fibreglsss panels to go arround the the lower part of the wheel house, the mould was given to me by a fellow boater who had the mould and panels made for his boat the panel are made to look simular to t & g.

(image of mould just been polished)
Nov we had a few nice days so i attched some of the fibreglass panels which had been cut to size arround the port side of the wheel house,

(image of gelcoated mould)

(image of fibreglassed mould ready to be released)

the reason behind covering the the bottom of the wheel house was the timber had been wet and dried so many times that the wood remained porous but required so much work to put right i decided to go down this route, given they are removable we can revisit this another day, but for now we will be water tight and this is more important.
The temporary plywood fitted to the front of the wheel house was removed and new panels fitted.
also during this trip i made 3 more fibreglass panels but in white as next trip i would refitting the upstairs bathroom with a walk in shower.

Dec…the week before xmass i ripped out the the old bath tub, wood work arround loo and tiles from arround sink,

next i put a stud frame in to straighen the aft bulkhead as it was leaning backwards this wasn’t a problem before but the shower enclosure needs to be reasonably square, then a timber frame was made to raise the shower base off the floor to allow for waste pipes to run.

i had intended to use the old shower unit and plumbing as it was in the correct place
buuuuut the strife was having none of it she wanted a new complete shower unit with extention head? so i had to rip half the wall out to get at the plumbing, what joy.
Whilst the bathroom was in dissaray i took part of the deckhead down to fit an extractor fanand also add some more fixing bolts into the bottom of the new wheelhouse which ran above a steel beam so it was just a case of drilling through the steeland then screw in the 12 inch steel screw bolts and the steering pedistall was bolted down through the bathroom deckhead/wheelhouse floor.
Now when we did the bathroom orginally we had put lino on the bulkheads and this worked great but the adhsive i had used was not comming off any time soon so i left it there we did score it toget adhsive to stick, the panels were cut and fitted into place and left to cure over night.
The shower base was fitted with a low profile drain and trap the trap has a removable/washable none return flap which stops anything comming back up the pipe, not cheap but very good and you can attach the trap once the tray is fitted [as long as you cut the pipe to correct size].
When i made the frame for the base it was notched so the base could not move once it was fitted and with the posts and glass fitted this held it down futher.

The deckhead was refitted as we went and theĀ  plumbing was completed including new sink taps the back of the sink was tiled with square mosaic type tiles this included an area arround the loo and along the deviding railjust above the radiator, a small shelf unit was made and fitted between the shower glass and the vanity unit which is removable to access pipe work behind.

The last job was to groute the tiles and the strife painted the top half of the bulkheads

and the bottom disstessed timber was refreshed.

Merry christmass

Time to hit the rum bottle, Barti ddu, me thinks Welsh seaweed rum, if you haven’t tried it get here
if you enjoy your rum this is one of the best