Friday, 31 January 2014

Heads and Galley Surfaces

We have completely stripped out the heads and will need to replace the surface for the sink and create a cabinet underneath. As such, I have been trying to source something that will be both functional and attractive. I had high hopes that I had found the right option when I stumbled across Hydrostone but unfortunately they only manufacture it in one size. So, whilst it would work in the heads, it would not work in the galley as it is too narrow for the application. Aside from which, I have no intention of wasting half a slab, when you consider what it costs. This does slightly annoy me because I view it as a lost selling and marketing opportunity for the company manufacturing these modified acrylic surfaces. A little further thinking would have made them realise, that the surface is as suitable in a bathroom as it is in a kitchen.

Hydrostone sample

I have looked at other modified acrylic surfaces but they are not as economic as the Hydrostone was. So, I have completely changed tack and I am considering using large tiles of marble, travertine or limestone to achieve the same thing. I have found some slabs, which are 900 mm x 600 mm in size. Most of them are a minimum of 12 mm in depth. The depth is not a major issue as the tile can be supported with mdf. The important thing is that the slabs are larger than what I need and they fall comfortably into the budget. I have ordered some samples and look forward to receiving them. I see no reason, why they won't prove to be appropriate once the tiles have been appropriately sealed.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The perils of drilling stainless steel

To fit the fuel gauge sender, required drilling and tapping a number of holes in the fuel tank, so that I could screw down the flange that mounts the fuel sender.

I started with a regular drill bit and got one hole done successfully, give or take a bit of unpleasant screeching and smoke. The second hole went nowhere with the drill bit quickly dulling to the point where nothing happened. Given that the tank was made from thinnish sheet, maybe 3mm thick, I was surprised.

A bit of googling enlightened me. Apparantly stainless steel work-hardens, which in turn overheats standard drill bits and blunts them. The solution, apparantly is Cobalt drill bits, a slow drill speed and loads of cutting fluid.

A trip down to the trusty Screwfix to buy some bits and I tried again. An unbelievable difference - like a hot knife through butter. It's amazing what you learn along the way.......

The first pic shows the holes drilled in the tank top. 

The finished article ready to go back in the boat.

I neglected to mention what I saw when I peered through the newly cut hole, but I save this for another post.

Saturday, 25 January 2014


One of Big Al's early recommendations, was to dispose of the contents of the diesel tank. He said you can never be sure of the state of the fuel and it's probably something you don't want to precipitate a breakdown when you least need it.

This job looked like a pain in the ass for little gain (if the fuel was OK).

I should mention at this point that the "fuel gauge" was a rudimentary piece of wood that you needed to insert through the deck filler. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see the "calibration" marks.

I did not fancy using this in a heaving seaway; a more modern sender and gauge were required. This necessitated the removal of the tank from the wet locker behind the heads. Pain in the ass it was, as I tried with great difficulty to get my 6'3" frame through the locker door to unscrew the endless jubilee clamps on the filler & breather pipes (one handed!).

Eventually I got the tank out and as I emptied the fuel it quickly turned from clear to a murky mix as I got near the end. Poking a flash-light down the filler hose showed this sludge, visible in the photo:

Sludge in fuel tank

Big Al was right (again). 30 years of sludge in the bottom of the tank. Apparantly bacteria and certain types of fungi thrive in the marine/diesel environment (I can't imagine why) and the sludge visible is the result. Fortunately the filler hole is 2" in diameter which enables me to get a brush on the end of a stick, into the tank to clean it out. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


The headlining on Genesis is somewhat worn and tired. It is drooping and the foam backing is disintegrating. So, unfortunately, it will need replacing. 

I ordered some samples of headlining from Hawk House Ltd. Looking at the samples, I would say that I think the best option is the Off-White EM144 Unfoamed Vinyl. I think it will brighten up the space and give a good clean finish. The reason we are using the unfoamed vinyl is because, we will be lining the space behind the vinyl with 5mm closed cell polyurethane foam insulation sheets from hawk house. I am aware that one can purchase foam backed vinyl headlining but the foam backing on the vinyl is an open celled foam and is not going to provide as good an insulation as a closed cell foam. In addition, open celled foams are more likely to cause condensation issues, especially when you consider that it is sandwiched between  2 non-permeable layers (the fibreglass hull and the vinyl), which is not what one wants in a boat. If space was not such an issue, my first choice would have been to use Spray on closed cell polyurethane foam insulation

Removing the headlining is definitely a job neither John or I are looking forward to; it is literally going to mean stripping Genesis right back to the fibreglass hull. It is also going to be pretty messy with all the disintegrating foam.

I will use the old headlining once it has been stripped off as a template for the new headlining. The sewing should be fairly simple, as it is simply a case of hemming the new headlining.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Carpet Lining on the Hull

I have had a look at samples of carpet lining from various chandleries and I simply don't like any of them. They all seem as though they are lost in the mists of time in some sort of dreadful 80s inspired time warp. I then came to the conclusion that there is really no good reason to install the stock standard carpet. Just because something has always been done, doesn't mean it always has to be done. Ultimately, we want the three 'C's on our boat:

  • Comfort
  • Cleanliness
  • Convenience

We truly believe this is possible, even though we are having to work with the fourth 'C', which is of course: Cramped Conditions.

The only way to achieve what we want is to think laterally. In the spirit of broadening my thinking, I ordered some Jute, Sisal, Seagrass and Coir carpet samples, as I think they are a much better option than the standard carpeting. These are some of the samples I ordered:

The following samples are the ones I have narrowed it down to in terms of what I like the most.

 In this photo, you can see the samples sitting against the current carpeting. My preference at the moment is leaning toward the sample in the middle. The middle sample is a sisal basket weave and it is called Summer Hamper. My second favourite is the Seagrass sample on the left.

The only problem of course is that, I need 16m2 of carpet and the one I am particularly keen on costs £25.83 per m2 excluding VAT. The seagrass is £11.67 per m2 excl VAT. I might just have to live with the seagrass. I think John would have an absolute heart-attack if I bought the sisal. Well, I suppose, at least the seagrass is somewhat appropriate!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Toning Down the Orange Wood

If I had to choose one thing I truly disliked about Genesis, it would have to be the profusion of orange wood. I think orange wood, like tangerine self tans, are one of my pet hates. Why on earth anyone would actually choose to have orange wood is beyond my abilities to comprehend. To remedy this ghastly odium of orangeness plaguing poor old Genesis, I decided to varnish over the wood with Polyvine White Wax Finish Varnish.

White Polyvine next to Orange Wood

4 Coats of Polyvine

 I do still have quite a lot of painting to do but I can only really get it done once the headlining has been stripped out and once John has cleared out of the boat. At the moment we seem to be tripping over each other.

The Polyvine White almost gives the wood a lime waxed appearance and feel and it certainly does make it seem so much lighter,brighter and airier. Certainly more modern!

I purchased the varnish from: The Polyvine Online Shop Delivery was quick.