Too hot! Books and boats.

Yesterday was a busy day, and far too hot too. The trouble with this country is that it is a wet country. That means that sunshine makes that dampness evaporate, and in turn become horrible sticky humidity. We’ve tried all sorts here from fans to dehumidifiers to opening windows, but none are totally effective. Today looks to be more heat too. Still, it is helping dry out and keep dry the boats I’ve been working on.

I turned up at midday after dropping Zoë for an interview on the south side of Manchester. The main aim was to get a new gunwale (pronounced as ‘gunnel’ to rhyme with ‘tunnel’) on a dinghy where the old one had rotted. We managed to get that done through ingenuity and brute force and all that is left is finishing and painting that now. I also finnished putting the clips to secure the new tarpaulin cover for the finished ASC boat that I’ve renovated. This will mean it can be perminantly covered on its morring so hopefully won’t deteriorate and need repainting every year. Trust me – doing the insides is a laborious and thankless task! I also began work on a second ASC that has lain abandoned under a tent cover for at least four years. It’s actually been there so long that the tent is rotting away – I’m told it is the second tent to cover it. I found the hull being used as a skip for junk, so I cleared it out and started preparing and painting all the wood. It looks a huge amount better now, and hopefully its new state will disuade people from skipping junk in it and maybe even encourage them to help do the repairs (though the person in charge laughed and said I was being optimistic given how he had struggled to get help over the years from people).

It was a tiring day, but I got so much done. There are years and years of maintenance backlog at this place, with boat hulls just rotting in the open. My aim when I started was to get five boats back on the water in good refurbished condition. We’ve done the two easiest with one already being used at the lake (the motor boat) and another finished and shiny to be launched this Sunday. We’ve also nearly finished one of the harder ones that gives us practice for the second sailing dinghy which needs two new gunwales and possibly a prow post too. The second ASC should also get done which would be a real coup given that it had largely been given up on for the last few years. After they are done there are more boats that can be looked at, but in honesty boat number six looks like it is fit only for the bonfire. Boat number seven looks more promising as it has been well sheeted up this last decade or so and I’m told it just has rotten bottom boards that need replacing.

I’m really enjoying this boat work. It gets me out of the house and makes me feel that I am acheiving much for the charity I’m doing the work for (the Sea Cadets). It’s hard work in the humid heat, especially doing all the sanding by hand. On the plus side it must be giving my arse a good toning work out!

And finally, the proof copies of ‘Bringing home the stars’ arrived yesterday. They look exceptionally good. I think the cover might need lightening a little, but Zoë disagrees with me. She’s likely to get the casting vote though. Such is married life!