Wednesday 25 May 2016

Shipwright Dave immediately pirked up and got all excited.

The sheets were stowed and the first sheet swiftly marked out and cut to form the initial cabin roof section.

Once cut out, it was placed in position and tried for size .The sheet was a couple of millimeters out and Dave faired it in with a plane.

Dave then drilled the screw holes to make sure they would meet with the cabin roof beams.

The first fit was perfect and was screwed in temporary position .
The cabin suddenly seemed not so tall when we stood inside !

 Apprentice Dave now had to play catch up on the starboard side (right) to prepare for his roof sheet by fairing in a roof half beam and a full beam, which had changed shape after it was cut and fitted.
(sometimes due to stresses in the wood, when they are cut ,they can spring open)

Meanwhile Wednesday Phil prepared, planed and cut various lengths of larch and continued caulking all alone     aaah!

But having seen the price of second hand caulking hammers, Wednesday Phil decided to make one for himself with the help of one friend ,as he doesn't have many friends or hammers.
I will inform on its progress........later.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

A lot of work goes into some key pieces of the boat.
The two Daves set to work on completing the beams to the cabin hatch.

These prove quite complicated in design and it became a matter of measure fit and amend until both were satisfied with the cabin posts.

If you click on the photo it will expand to show the detail shipwright Dave has created in this post.

Meanwhile Wednesday Phil instructed Sally in LIMBO dancing whilst holding a caulking hammer. This is a required skill as our caulking runs are now going lower down the hull  and we have to manoeuvre ourselves under the planking around the keel.
Modesty prevents these photos being shown especially the one of Phil displaying his dexterity......
Duncan also caught the mood of the occasion and joined  the caulking crew.Shipwright Dave gave him a crash course and let him rip.
Duncan is now a remedial caulker showing potential ! He just needs to learn how to work and talk at the same time. Luckily his tea making skills are legend.

Sally then helped Dave to epoxy and varnish cabin pillars before final fixing.
Each Wednesday evening Sally then drives  home to Cheshire.
Helen II has a strange hold on us all.

Wednesday 11 May 2016


This was the view as we began the day.

 The epoxy resin arrived via the harbour master's office.
So the two Daves set to with a will ! Gluing everything in sight, as we have been waiting for its arrival for some time.

A new volunteer arrived to swell the ranks.
Sally Fishlock arrived bearing gifts !
She is to begin a marine design course at Llandrillo College in September.

Wednesday Phil offered her a cup of tea after her journey, but she declined
stating she preferred a healthy option which she had brought with her.(You can't please some people!)

After a brief training session, she began caulking and took to it like a duck to water.We now hopefully have two caulkers on Wednesdays.She worked all day without complaint.....

Shipwright Dave glued all the port cabin sides together and clamped them to set
While apprentice Dave tackled the starboard (right). Note the plastic inserts to stop glue attaching to the clamps.
West epoxy is a great invention.
At dinner time we decided to re-enact the epic journey of Shackleton who hauled his boat across the ice floes of the antarctic to save his colleagues .We used a boat which was now in the way within the compound to what we thought would be a trailer outside the gate.Alas no way!

 But we continued on until we were halted by a parking barrier ( not normally found in antarctica)
Finally we ended our expedition leaving the boat in the parking area with generous contributions to the swear box.

This was the view as we left today.

Wednesday 4 May 2016


It was another exciting day in the life of Helen II.

Last week cameraman Malcolm Barron was on the quay filming an election article for ITV Wales.
 Afterwards Wednesday Phil invited him to view our boat and he was so fascinated he said it might  make an interesting piece for TV.

He must be a big cog in the TV world.... because six days later Rob Shelley, another big cog, rang to ask if they could come to film today.

The rush to the mirror was unseemly .Hair laquer expenses soared and the team all grabbed their elocution C D's
Murray and shipwright Dave explained the history of the vessel prior to filming, to Malcolm and Rob  while a group of students from Llandrillo College came to  assist in caulking the boat.

Cas Kenworthy and Lee Edwards set to with a will and impressed us all with how quickly they learned the technique.

They said they might come again if college allows! 

Shipwright Dave was filmed teaching them the skills of caulking.

Murray Taylor did a piece to camera to highlight the work inside the hull.

Wednesday Phil was interviewed up a ladder showing work done and featuring a disproportionate rear end.
I could sue for that shot!!!

Duncan discussed the lines of Helen II and her naked beauty .I'm sure he's on something!

And by dinner time all was done and elation gave way to calm resolve to continue the task.

Shipwright Dave prepared the supports for the cabin skylight.
Apprentice Dave came out from his hiding place to create the starboard (right)skylight half beam.
Phil continued caulking... alone.
And all the other starlets disappeared.
That's life .

 And the final view at the end of an exciting day.
Thanks to Malcolm Barron and Rob Shelley for being such nice