Green Cove Springs Marina, Florida, USA

5th October - 2nd December 2009

Back to work at the yard, we made the most of the time we were waiting for Anju to move from the storage yard into the work yard, by re-sealing Harvey's windows.   Harvey got to enjoy watching Anju pass by on wheels for a change!

Our main objective during this stay in the yard was to remove and replace all the little bits of Anju which needed constant maintenance in the battle against rust.    Most of these "little bits" were things we'd added before leaving on our cruise, when we were considerably more ignorant about the treatment of steel after welding than we are now!    

Out with the old and rusty.....

Anju's favourite welder, Harry, was summoned.   The preparations had taken a while.   We'd had to remove the hydraulic steering ram and cap off the hydraulic pipes and of course.  As usual, it seemed we had to dismantle half of the interior of the boat, to remove the wood cladding and insulation behind, to reduce the risk of fire during cutting and welding.  The solar panels and antennas on the stern had been removed.   

Harry set to work with his plasma cutter.  Off came the old steel supports for the rear platform, bowsprit and solar panels.   These were being replaced with stainless steel struts.   

Next the old gas lockers and forward locker were chopped off, with fibreglass lockers to be installed instead.   All the corroded steel around the lazerette was cut out, making the opening larger.   New supports for the steering ram were welded in stainless steel and new locker lids fabricated in aluminium.     All the steel stanchions were removed and replaced with new stainless stanchions, then Harry added a new, solid rail around the boat also in stainless steel.  The old heavy wooden forepeak hatch with its corroded steel surround was cut out and replaced with a new standard plexi-glass hatch mounted in a specially fabricated stainless steel surround.

The painting crew followed close behind their welder, eager not to repeat previous mistakes!

Scary lazerette with steering removed

Lazerette hatches - after

Bowsprit with wood removed - before

Bowsprit with new stainless supports and aluminium decking instead of wood.  New forepeak hatch in foreground.

Once Harry's work on these projects was complete and everything was painted, all that remained was to try to put everything back together again.     The steering was reassembled, with its ram now mounted on its new stainless base.   The new lazerette hatches were fitted and the catches pain-stakingly installed.    The bowsprit deck was fabricated from sheet aluminium and installed.  

Now we came to the re-installation of the aft deck.    First there were countless holes to be drilled in the stainless steel, resulting in the early death of several drill bits.    These probably joined two of our angle-grinders which had expired earlier, in tool heaven!    Once Phil finished drilling the holes, we re-secured the plank decking, a task which would have been easier if the planks hadn't warped out of shape during their brief taste of freedom!     We precariously shuffled the solar panels back into position on the stern arch.    

We fought off boredom between tasks (and probably intensely irritated our neighbours) by chipping 25 years of deck paint off the deck with welding hammers, in preparation for repainting.

Fortunately we had a couple of visits by friends to help preserve our sanity.    First our new camping friends Steve and Lori brought their small Toyota camper to visit Harvey.   They also kindly brought along lunch, which we all enjoyed together.     We also had a visit from Gerda and Jack, friends we'd visited in Maine, who dragged us out for an enjoyable dinner away from the boat yard.    Suddenly we were running out of time despite our growing job list.   Anju had to be prepared for our 6 week absence during our Christmas visit to the UK.    By the time we headed to the airport, we were certainly ready for a break.

Lori and Steve visit Anju

Harvey spends time with his smaller cousin.

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