Checking out the RMS Jennikins

It has been a really sunny day today; March the 1st seemed to bring a little change in the weather! I took the opportunity to uncover my boat that has languished under its cover since September last year. It has survived the Winter without calamity, which is good. Only a little water had made it under the cover, and this soon dried off in the sun. What did intrigue me were the three rather sleepy wasps I found under the cover on the foredeck. They had clearly been riding out the Winter under here, but had survived unscathed when the temperatures had reached minus 16 degrees.

There was a surprising amount of dirt on the new white paint on the buoyancy tanks and foredeck. It will clean off though. One little faux pas was my storing of the sailbag with jib, rudder, sail batons and tiller extension in the bottom of the boat. I had to take all those out and dry them out because of trapped moisture. Next year I’ll avoid making that mistake and the sailbag with contents has been moved to the kitchen for now.

When I bought the boat it had had the foredeck and outer hull hurriedly (and badly) painted in household blue paint. I really wish the former owner hadn’t bothered with the tarting because the paint was totally unsuitable, and it took more work to clear it off the transom and foredeck to do them properly with marine filler and yacht enamel. Just as I predicted, the exposure to freezing conditions and damp has meant that the crap paint on the outer hull has bubbled in places. No doubt it will spend the year slowly removing itself in patches each time I sail it, so the repaint I had budgeted to need to do will take place at the end of this year. I have the proper paint for it, so it’s no bad thing.

For those who are interested, the boat is an historic rarity. It is a Bosun built by Bossums, for the Royal navy. However it predates the production Bosuns and is sail number 3 – the earliest known to survive (number 11 may also still exist). The first 16 were prototypes built to try and win the contract with the navy (which they did) and to see what modifications were needed. Consequently there are a few minor detail differences with the production boats. It was new in 1961 and still retains its original issue sail with number 3 on it.