The Final Push to the North

Well, as I may have mentioned we have decided to relocate to Cumbria (330miles north of current location) – this of course means moving house and more significantly relocating the workshop and boat! This decision has resulted in the gap in posts and also a final push to get Befur in a state ready to hit the road.

Trailer

Earlier in the process we had purchased a semi-derelict trailer, with the intent to stretch it and refurbish it to provide a trailer for Befur….  Since then I rebuilt the brakes/bearings and sat it by the workshop waiting for paint and welding torch.

However, following advice from friends and a more realistic analysis of the work still to be done I had a change of heart and found a new home for the old trailer via the SBA and researched new trailers.

I had some uncertainty of the total weight of the finished boat, Selway Fisher estimated it’s weight at 1500kg (1.5tonnes) including plant, but we have added a cabin, mast, sail etc. (but probably saved some weight by going for a water tube boiler) – so in the end I decided we should allow for an all up weight of circa 2.5 tonnes on the road.

I researched trailers on line, but finally decided on an aluminium trailer from Gecko Trailers in Cornwall. I opted for a twin axle 8m long trailer with a gross weight of 3 tonnes – being aluminium this meant it could carry a boat of up to 2,600kg, which provided the margin of uncertainty we were looking for. Nigel Thomson was good enough to help me collect it (as the Landy had suffered a catastrophic head gasket failure and run-away, so was being rebuilt).

Here is it behind Nigel’s fine Range Rover (pictured on the return journey via Bridgend in South Wales collecting the mast from ALC (Aluminium Lamp Post Company) in Port Talbot.

Behind Nigel's Range Rover

Behind Nigel’s Range Rover

Paint

We had decided that the key work to get Befur ready for the tow was to get it weatherproof, and this realistically involved painting her from Stem to Stern.

We opted for a 2-pack Polyurethane system from Epifanes, all supplied by MarineWare in Fareham. (A very helpful and knowledgeable company).

The paint process/system goes as follows:

  • Hull above the waterline and Topsides: 2-part Epoxy Primer (two coats), Epifanes Poly-urethane (4 coats)
  • Hull below the waterline: 2-part Epoxy Primer, International Anti-fouling
  • Cabin Interior: 2-part Epoxy Primer or Marineware Undercoat, Epifanes Yacht Enamel (single part), and Ronseal Yacht Varnish for clear finished timbers over West System Epoxy.
  • Bilges and Lockers: Marineware Bilge Paint and Epifanes Danboline??
  • Clear finished Wood: Epoxy Sealing (2 coats), Epifanes High Gloss Clear Varnish – 10 coats (only two so far!).

Lesson’s Learnt!

I had never previously understood the difference between single (ordinary) paint and varnish and 2-pack paints. The difference is that traditional paints “dry” by the solvent in the paint (this may be anything from water to petroleum-based solvents) evaporating leaving the paint dry. Whereas 2-pack paints cure by a chemical reaction between the two packs causing the paint to “cure”/harden.

The implications of this are many, for example:

  • Single pack paints will not dry if applied to thickly as a skin forms on the surface preventing the solvent deeper in the coat from evaporating and preventing that from drying.
  • Single pack paint will always re-soften if you re-apply the solvent to the surface. Hence some of the horrors experienced when over-coating old paint. (2-pack paint will not do this as the chemical reaction has happened and cured the paint) – this is recommenced as a mechanism to understand what an existing unknown paint finish it.
  • Drying time can be very short for 1-pack or 2-pack paints in hot weather, as the evaporation or chemical cure will happen faster – the 2-pack epoxy primer can set within 3 or 4 minutes in my experience.
  • You can NEVER overcoat single pack paint with twin-pack paints – We almost had a major disaster when we allowed the single-part varnish on the side decks and combing to be covered by the 2-pack paint on the hull – the varnish un-set and crinkled badly (MORE bloody sanding needed).
  • YOU SHOULD NEVER paint in the dark! We broke this rule one evening trying to rush to get the last coat onto the hull, and needed to sand it all off (remember this stuff costs £50+ a litre) and recoat the engine hull above the waterline.

But Louise and I became almost experts and with a month of very long days we finished Befur in Dark Blue and Cream. The dark blue REALLY shows off the humps and hollows in the hull, but should be OK when viewed from more then a quarter of a mile away.  But we were both STUNNED by the gloss finish and depth of coverage you got by just rollering this 2-pack top coat on.

We think she looks good.

Cabin hull and combing glossy if lumpy! Seats and Cockpit

Mating Boat and Trailer

The final task was to load Befur on to her trailer. We adopted the same approach as we did in turning her over – (acro-props to support roof beams, 4 chain hoists on roof beams, and two strops under the hull).

We had to strip off the winch post, jockey wheel and bunks to get the trailer under the boat (as it had to be pushed in from the stern end) an lower all the rollers as far as possible, and there was just enough clearance to do the job.

All in all quite a memorable and tense day, but it went well.

…now we just need to tow her north!

Befur on her Trailer

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