Saturday 27 July 2019


Work on the portholes stopped as the epoxy glue set too quickly in the heat on Wednesday .29 C
So work on fixing the rudder permanently began. 
We decided to tighten the wooden rudder against the metal shaft.To do this we needed to clamp the two tighter together but with only two pair of hands it was difficult.

Luckily Sam Markland from North West Model Shipwrights was showing a keen interest in Helen II and was more than willing to lend a hand.
So we tightened the wood to the metal and drilled the bolt holes.
Cheers Sam !

Unfortunately trustee Ron noticed the stainless steel bolts were round headed so, as Phil bought them,  it fell to Phil to grind the heads on Thursday, so they could be held by a spanner if ever the need arises.

Trustee Ron explained the need for extra support
to stop the sky light glass from being pushed outwards in the event of a capsize.

Phil then set about making wooden batons to negate such an action.
These will be glued and screwed when it cools down.

Monday 22 July 2019


The welding of the rudder finally took place thanks to Wally who volunteered his time and supplied the materials free of charge.

Wally clearly enjoyed the task as he never stopped grinning !

He is also proving invaluable  in teaching Wednesday Phil exciting facts about screws and bolt threads and how to order the correct ones in the future.
It's amazing what you can learn  on this project !

Wally has also offered to help with future welding projects.

Just to show that Wednesday Phil is still learning as he goes.......

Ron " the one who knows"came to see progress on the port holes and said
 " Phil you have made a good job of the first fitting BUT
You've fitted them inside out!!!  They should open from the inside.

Phil went to the naughty corner for the rest of the morning and thanked his lucky stars he had not fitted them permanently.

After therapy,Phil continued work extending the top hatch as it did not fully cover the washboards.

 To make sure water does not penetrate through the sky light Phil has added a border round the edge of the opening lights.

The reinforced glass is now ready for fitting soon.

Monday 1 July 2019


Wednesday Phil finally plucked up courage to fit the portholes gifted by Tony Banks.

Having decided where they would go (over the chart desk and above the cooking area) Phil began by taping over the wood to protect it from scratching and marked the hole to be cut.

He then drilled a hole  big enough for a jigsaw blade to go through and cut out the circle.

The hole was roughly cut as Phil 's blades are only DIY standard.
The tape covering the wood also proved difficult as it pulled up obscuring a good view.
(Phil knows all about blaming the tools!)

Once the holes were cut the brass fittings could be positioned for first fit.

These now need to be sealed in place but Phil is not sure which sealant to use yet.
He awaits advice from" those who know ".

The tiller bolts finally arrived and were fitted today to complete the job.