Building, renovating and sailing boats have been rewarding activities for me. ‘Minnow’ was the latest project. She arrived at my front door, all the way from Sweden, looking for a bit of TLC, and I was able to provide for her and nurse her back to health. I knew from the beginning she would require quite a lot doing to her, and that I would have to obtain a road trailer for making her a viable. That was mid September of last year.
Incredibly the autumn and winter were unusually mild and often wet, but spells of sunshine at crucial times helped when I wanted to work on her out-of-doors. After much graft, smoothing irregularities where repairs had been done to her gunwales, I took her outside for painting the exterior with International Toplac 289 (Atlantic Grey). Two coats were applied over two coats of Danboline (Grey 100). Her copper-based epoxy antifouling I left untouched, apart from a few imperfections that I sealed with epoxy, and where there was a minor leak at the bottom of the drain hole to the vent box.
The whole rig required a makeover. I stripped the mast, sanded the spars and painted them in Toplac (Rescue Orange 265). Her single lugsail I had repaired at Jeckells of Wroxham. I was able to save and clean her side windows, but I had to replace the badly stained forward one. While I was about it, I replaced all window nuts and bolts, as the originals had rusted. Inside I removed polystyrene buoyancy that took up a lot of room and posed a fire hazard. Then I painted and varnished the interior before fitting new hinges to her floor lockers.
There were loads of other jobs like adding an outboard bracket, re-hanging the rudder, fitting a battery and building a fold-up gimbal for her single Gaz cooker. I reshaped the yuloh and fitted a support pin. Six months of enjoyable labour whenever I was free, brought much reward in terms of pleasure and satisfaction. None of it can ever be lost.
If I find myself sailing her again I shall know that what was done was done well, and it should not let me down.
I want to say a BIG, BIG, thank you to all who have followed the story of her renovation by logging in, because you have greatly encouraged me and helped with your suggestions.