I have now filled in the voids on the mast with epoxy putty. Tomorrow, I’ll sand the mast so that it is ready for a coat of primer.
While I had the epoxy on the go, I filled in a void on the starboard chine runner, and I filled other voids at the front of the cabin top.
I checked the steering and found that the pulleys for the steering line were slightly corroded and they did not run smoothly. That was the main reason why the steering was stiff. The line was worn and I must put in a new one. I shall be buying good quality blocks to replace the galvanised ones. They will make a lot of difference, because I shall be able to feel the helm. Unless I can feel what is happing, I shall not know if the boat is balanced, especially when on the wind. Too much weather helm will slow her down, and lee helm will be no good for going to windward. She will sail best with a neutral helm, as did ‘Faith’.
I spent a while in the cabin removing bits and pieces that could be potentially dangerous because of being sharp and protruding. The ends of two bolts retaining the capping pieces for the side ballast where particularly unwelcome; not just because they could cut into any part of my body coming into contact with them, but they would puncture my self-inflating mattress. I got rid of a retaining strap over the floor lockers because it would not have functioned properly, on account of being fixed with copper tacks which would have pulled out when subjected to a heavy load. In any case, the strap was irritating because it had to be moved every time the floor lockers were opened.
A fixed bilge pump in the lazarette took up a lot of room and got in the way; therefore I took it out. The pipes were the biggest problem, because they seemed to be everywhere. I’ll try working out a solution for stowing it with immediate access, although the likelihood of it being used is remote.
An inspection of the side ballast revealed that Robert did a very good job of cementing in the lead. There’s no way it will shift, even in the very unlikely event of a total capsize. I like the fact that I shall not have to pump water in and out for ballast, as with the original design.
I’m looking forward to another day working on ‘Minnow’. Incidentally, I’m still cogitating changing the boat’s name.