Saturday 22nd February – Life in the Shid

Jon & Carol Dutton
Fri 21 Feb 2014 11:49

Saturday 22nd February  – Life in the Shid


Shid?  Oh, yes.  Brin Wilson’s boat shid -just as every self-respecting Kiwi male has a ‘man shid’ in which he spends much of his time engaged in some utterly outlandish project (DIY kidney dialysis machine, moon rocket, casting a 3 ton lead boat keel using an old gas stove   you name it).  These people are a lot of fun.  But, this Kiwi mangling of vowels can get a bit confusing for Brits.  Carol once encountered baffled looks in a supermarket when searching for eggs.  It took a little time for the assistant to twig that what she really wanted was ‘iggs’.  Another thing that any self-respecting Kiwi will have is a large area of decking adjacent to his house.  On this will be situated the ‘barbie’ and the furniture necessary for downing a few beers in comfort.  He will paint this with preservative as soon as the sun shows its face in the early summer.   So, if he tells you that he intends to spend the forthcoming sunny weekend painting his dick, you (now armed with the foregoing crucial information) will have a clearer idea of his intentions.


The butchery has started aboard Arnamentia.  The first stage was the removal of all the stuff in lockers that needed to be accessed to get at the deck from below.  That’s a lot of ‘stuff’.  Then the head linings and the deck fittings – including 12 of the 14 deck winches, the hatches, cleats, foresail tracks, mainsail track, binnacle and wheel, stanchions and guardrail - the lot.  This is what she looked like a day or so ago – she looks a lot worse now that the boys have started planing off the old teak – whoa, what a messy business.  



                                                                        Nearly ready for the real butchery to start





                                   Removing the head linings to get at the fixings for the deck fittings – not a tidy boat


About 5 years ago, in the UK, we had all the deck fittings removed and the ageing and thinning deck routed and sanded to tide us over until we got to somewhere sensible to do a full deck replacement.  No names, no pack drill, but the guys who did that thought it sensible to refit all the deck fittings using M3 5200 adhesive sealant.  This is absolutely excellent stuff but, please note, the tube says ‘Permanent’.  What this means, if it is not entirely obvious, is that it is not anticipated that anything you bed with this stuff is ever, ever going to come off the deck.   If M3 wish to use us as collateral for that claim we would be happy to oblige.  In short, it has been quite a struggle to persuade some of the fittings to come off the deck.  Fortunately, because it is our intention to re-teak the decks, the big lumps of the original teak deck that have accompanied the removal of many of the fittings do not matter.  But, there is no need for this at all and that perhaps indicates how detailed one might need to be in specifying/supervising/overseeing what it is that individual contractors do.  It has to be said that we feel no anxiety in this regard with Brin Wilson.  Neither is it, in any other way, an issue for us.  The underlying glass fibre deck is just fine – we think.



                                                                            Some of the stuff we removed to aid access. 

                                      Bucket-loads of (now very clean indeed) winches and their bits in the foreground.




                                               Hotfoot from Burma (or, Myanmar if you prefer) a whole load of teak


Now for some real excitement.  Below you will see a picture of 100m (or, around 220kg/about a quarter of a ton) of newly galvanized 10mm chain.   Because of the ineptitude of the apprentice photographer you may also note a male left lower leg and big toe (in my opinion, a very attractive combination – Ed).   Is there no end to the delights to be experienced in browsing this blog?




                                                                               Very shiny, newly galvanized chain


Having the anchor chain re-galvanized here has been pretty good value.  It costs about NZ $3.00 per kg which means about NZ$6.00 or £3.00 per metre for 10mm chain.  That is about the same price per metre as we paid for our 100m of chain from Bradney Chain (really charming West Midlanders - honest) three years ago and well under half the price you’d pay to any of the UK chandlers they supply (even taking account of delivery from Dudley – Lenny Henry may even have been supervising the loading - to the Solent).   Here, in NZ, new chain would cost about NZ$13 or £6.50 a metre for general sales tax (GST) exempt yotties like us.  So, broadly speaking, the retail cost of new chain is about double that of re-galvanizing the chain you have.  But, it seems that most new chain is relatively lightly galvanized.  Not quite as lightly as most shackles, but you take the point.  This is fine provided that you don’t use it much and, when you do, it is on some chain-friendly bottom.  If, on the other hand, you intend to use it a lot (as your default method of spending the night whilst not on passage) and you intend to do this in coral sand and amongst coral heads, your galvanizing is going to take quite a hammering.   The upshot is that we think that our re-galvanized chain is quite a lot better now than it was when new.  It is still well within spec for 10mm chain and is much more deeply and thickly galvanized than when we bought it.


We also have not been as good as we should have been about taking every opportunity, whenever the boat is ashore, to drop the chain out of the boat onto a pallet beneath her.  There are kinder ways to treat your chain than leaving it to fester in the chain locker, covered in salt, longer than is necessary.


That’s probably quite enough excitement for you all for now.  We’ll be back in a bit with photos of the giant teak jigsaw puzzle that will be Arnamentia’s new deck.