FROM Village Girl

Red hot spikes and other stuff

What a week! It’s been Sydney hot and we have no usable shade so dehydration is a hazard to be respected. The Examiner nearly got us both yesterday. The little boat is in great nick for her age – I wonder how you compare boat ages to human. I seem to remember that dogs get about 14 years for their four score years and ten but boats? VG has been in Australia about as long as I have – she was built in 1967 ish by East Coast Seacraft, so she’s already 52 but apart from the usual battle scars she’s better that a lot of today’s production boats. Heavier, no internal volume so very cramped for 2 people but structurally she’s got another 50 years with TLC. I’ve spent the last 3 days rebuilding the mast — a new half inch PVC tube (called a case here) for the wiring, new nav lights, coax fittings for the VHF antenna and putting it all together. Rivetting the case to the inside of the mast was interesting – careful measurement, pairs of holes drilled through the mast every 2 metres or so and then a red hot spike through the drill holes and into the plastic to make holes first for holding screws and then rivets. A very hot long day’s work with much walking from one end to the other and not a little frustration. But it happened. PTR rigging have been wonderful, lending us their tools and workshop and lots of advice and they will run the halyards next week. There will, of course, be a bill but hey! Meanwhile Megan melded 2 cast off hatch covers we found in a dumpster into one, removed the sliding hatch and built a parapet around the sliding hatch coamings and fitted a new and very different opening hatch. We think that it will work well with a little dodger. Huge job. Cross ‘em! We need to have it all sorted in the next week or so.

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