Monday, 10 May 2021



As we have all now had two Covid jabs ,we are tentatively returning to work.

Wally and Wednesday Phil gave the boat a thorough clean to remove a year of pigeon muck.

Then Ron ,Phil and Wally, suitably masked, began to move the engine with block and tackle into its correct position.

This created room for Wednesday Phil to build the final bunk on the port side.

In doing so ,it became clear that there would be little room to reach the back of the engine due to the bunk so redesigning was needed.
The original frame was removed and a new  design constructed.
This time it was able to be lifted up to allow greater access to the engine.

Due to passing a building being renovated, Phil noticed a pile of  8 x 3 beams being removed and with the aid of  a mates trailer ,they were relocated to the compound 

Wednesday, 11 March 2020


For the  past weeks the power in the compound has been off,but now all is well.
So here is the update.
 The chain plates  which will hold the mast ropes were galvanized and refitted. The holes for the bolts through the hull were firstly mastic filled  and then bolts pushed through and tightened by trustee Dave.

They look beautiful !

The metal fastening which holds the bow sprit , having been galvanized, was bolted back into the bow with screw bolts.
This proved a two man job due to the weight.

The metal  floor created to strengthen the bow was fitted after much contortion with stainless steel bolts.


A donated toilet was set up in the bow and as it needed to be at a comfortable height and position ,it was tested by Ron who was not expecting the photo !!
Wednesday Phil then built a plinth at home and first fitted the loo. Looks impressive and is now ready for relevant connections.

Ron has now finally fitted the hydraulic drive connected to the prop shaft which turns the propeller. He is now ready to fit the engine above this.

New volunteer Tony Scott fitted slats along the boat ribs to create a space between the hull and anything stored against it.This should create a good airflow and prevent dampness and condensation.

Meanwhile trustees Alan and Dave continue to plane the telegraph mast from 12 inches diameter to 8 inches - a long and arduous task .
( well that's what they told me ! )

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Many thanks to Mark Russel for the donation  of Stainless steel stanchions, galvanised engine bracket, step bolts and a prop shaft  key way for Helen II.
 This has saved the trust valuable time and money !

 The engine bracket is now in place and the prop shaft connected to the hydraulic drive thanks to Ron's dedication and Wally's welding skill.

Wally also removed a weak hinge locking the bowsprit in place ,and replaced it with a  much stronger creation of his own.


Sadly the project has lost the services of Wally for some time as he has now gone "walkabout" in New Zealand ( more accurately "fishabout")
The trustees would like to thank him for his time and skills and wish him a speedy return as the jobs list is already building !!!

Meanwhile trustee Dave continued securing R clips to the stanchions with s/s wire ties. These are tight fitted so loose cable cannot trip up crew.

Wednesday Phil made a streamlining addition to the the stern which creates a smooth flow of water between the stern post and the rudder. It surrounds the rudder post leaving clearance for wood expansion.This was epoxied on.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

The last few weeks have seen much preparation to move things forward . Now our preparation is paying off.
 Some works have failed to progress due to lack of workers , but Ron ,Wally and Wednesday Phil continue in spite of this.
Ron has now fitted the stern bearing which the propeller shaft is threaded through.
Ron was proud of this achievement as on this special day Ron wore his MICKEY MOUSE CLUB hat .Still young at heart !

The inner bearing is now in place and the bracket to hold the drive pump  has had to be modified .Wally cut 3 cms of metal off the bracket and re welded the base for a perfect fit.
Both gents are now ready for final fit next week.

 Wednesday Phil has begun fitting all his pre fabricated sections that he has made.
The lee boards that stop you falling out of a bunk when the boat leans over ,are now fitted 

 The port (left) storage lockers are now being fitted after a long wait for painting,

The final fit is halted as we await the return of  the  galvanised chain plates from Liverpool !

Wednesday Phil and Wally have made and fitted the final sections of the second rubbing stake which protects the hull from damage when the boat is along side a wall etc.

 Wally asked why the boat had a second rubbing strake. Phil told him off for asking hard to answer questions.
As with all good management practice, Phil took the photos while Wally did the work.

Today we found a problem with this bowsprit holder.(don't know its proper name ).
The hinge which locks the ring in place became welded when it was galvanised.When it was finally forced open, the hinge bent out of shape and is useless.

Wally is going to cut the hinge off and weld on a much stronger one he has designed.

Wally's work load increases and he's still grinning and stating his favourite saying..." I'm appy with at !"


Sunday, 15 September 2019

The orders of parts by Ron for the prop shaft etc. have now arrived and he is in a happy place.
All parts are correct and he and Wally are planning installation. 

 Tegwyn from SUPERSHARP came to replace the planer blades which had been badly damaged by someone planing wood which contained metal parts!
The machine now works beautifully.

Wally then gave the planer a full 3 hour service and it is now a joy to operate .It can now do things it never did before ! Cheers to all above.

Wednesday Phil started homework on creating locker spaces for storage alongside the bunks using 12mm ply wood.Once cut out, they were taken to Helen II for first fitting .

They were then sanded down and are ready for painting and final fitting.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Wednesday Phil was really excited at the prospect of creating the toilet (heads ) !!
 While waiting for the toilet floor to dry, Phil made and fitted the door.

Having noticed the loo hull was not glossed he set to and remedied the situation. 

 Once the floor was dry and fitted, Phil made a template for the partition between the loo and the chain locker and was awarded  a gold medal for creative contortionism !! Work areas are getting smaller and more awkward.

 Ron has begun fixing the remote controls and guages in the cockpit. While Wally draws up plans for the parts needed to fit the engine and gearbox.

 Then Wally and Phil created the hatch runners using the bench saw and elbow grease.
"I'm happy with that !" said Wally .And when Wally says that, we all are .

Sunday, 11 August 2019


After many mornings of drilling to create a passage  through the hull to house the propeller shaft , Ron finally bored through the metal obstacles blocking his path.

When the hull was built,the position of the engine was not clear and so nails or bolts were fixed as normal and only became an obstacle when the  route of the shaft was drilled.
 Ron has now been able to measure accurately the required prop shaft and accompanying hard wear and has  ordered the parts.
Ron grinned all morning long and planned the next phase.

Wednesday Phil had the exciting job of making the floor of the toilet section (heads). Having created a rough cardboard pattern , he used a technique taught by shipwright Dave and used a block of wood to accurately measure the edges of the floor.
The final pattern was then transferred to ply wood - drawn and cut out. 

 Welder Wally and Ron then discussed the sliding system  for  the  the cabin hatch .
It was decided the runners would be made of a hard smooth plastic  called NYLON 66  
Wally went all the way to .Sheffield to purchase it.
( He has now caught the Helen II bug ! )

Wally and Phil practiced  cutting the running grooves the Nylon 66 strips will slide on , using pieces of wood and the  circular saw  instead of a router .
Wally has the smile of confidence as the method  proves a success !
He then sanded down the grooves which Phil wrongly assumed was a snooker shot technique .