Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Home Alone But Still Working

Wednesday Phil has continued to work over the past weeks on jobs that need doing.

An old Nobby mast was purchased as Ron thought it might do for the boom.
Phil was charged with removing the fittings and  preparing it for use.

On removing the fittings Phil discovered  some hidden rot and awaits Ron's opinion on it.

He also made a cover to protect the electrical switches from careless feet.

Jeremy had said that when sailing alone, many skippers would drive pegs into the woodwork to hold the tiller while they went to make a cuppa and it would be good if we could do the same .
NO ,NO, NO,!
The wood surrounding the cockpit built by shipwright Dave was too good to damage so Wednesday Phil came up with a plan to save the woodwork.

He built a detachable steering board with movable pegs to hold the tiller on a course.

This is bolted to the cockpit  and can be removed when not needed.
It's  very artistic!

Today's inside view.


Sunday, 8 August 2021


of the maritime midwives returned to Helen II for four days to finish the engine installation with Jeremy.

Wednesday Phil was out of his depth with the process so left them to it .He knew success was close as Francis started singing .

With Jeremy ducking to avoid sparking wires and a few adjustments ,Francis turned the key and the engine burst into life !

It purred quietly with little noise and no vibration. WONDERFUL !

Thanks for a job well done.

Meanwhile Wednesday Phil was charged with trying to make 12 dead eyes .

These are part of the rigging to tension the wires holding up the mast.

Having been given a one foot square chunk of GREENHEART wood Phil cut it into 4 inch lengths and made a pole lathe to round the blocks.

BUT the greenheart was too hard to turn .So he turned to a friend DAFYD HUGHES who is an expert wood turner with a proper machine.
After roughly rounding the block and with a number of welsh expletives Dafyd turned the wood into a cylinder .It was great to see how it should be done.
Then each one was measured and marked up for individual deadeyes.
Grooves were carved into each section, sanded and returned to Phil .
Many thanks  to Dafyd for his expertise !

The cylinders were then cut to thickness on the circular saw .

The holes for the wires were drilled from a pattern using  a pillar drill.

Using a tungsten gouge ,the holes were filed to the required shape.
Mass production ensued to make fourteen deadeyes.
Wedenesday Phil was chuffed with the results and grateful to Dafyd without whose help they could not have been made.
Cheers !

Wednesday, 30 June 2021


On Sunday the group went their separate ways and returned home leaving a much improved Helen II.

Our thanks to the team.

(left to right) Jay, Mike, Malcolm ,Jeremy, Gordon, Francis, Tony, Ian, Andy, Nick  

and up above..Paul.

So here's part of what they did...

Rounded and planed the three main sail masts .and made, bolted and glued the hounds.


Secured the chain plates 

and made and fixed the   fastenings for the bowsprit chains.( don't know the name )
Shaped the foot of the mast to fit into the step in the keel.

Created the gas box and seat on the aft deck

refurbished the drop down table 
as Paul was keen to show his pole dancing capabilities in a confined space.

Remade the extendable chart table top

Created the new galley area.


Wired the boat and fitted the battery area with three isolating switches

 and prepared the mast lighting connections and radio mast.
Fitted the fuse board and switches to all areas.
Supplied and fitted the depth  gauge , speed and distance log.


Francis and Malcolm fitted the hydraulic pipework etc to the hydraulic drive and will return later to finish the work.

The fuel tank and hydraulic tank were supplied and  fitted .

The toilet was completed but Andy failed to test it !

and all valves through the hull of the boat were fitted.
Many other items were worked on and Wednesday Phil apologises for these omissions.
As you can see a great deal has been accomplished in the space of a week and the trustees are very grateful to the MARITIME MIDWIVES.


Friday, 25 June 2021

 Maritime Midwives Spring Into action Again !

 Once the coffee has filtered .

Jeremy's list of jobs for the next two days.

We all love an optimist !

The Australian version of the crew table is stained and ready for oiling or varnishing. 

Tony ,whilst painting the rudder pillar ,listens for woodworm.

Holes appear in the hull for ..
Left black hole - speed and distance log
Middle bump -depth finder
Right brass hole -sink drain ( I think)

The fixing to hold the  bow sprit is now secured.

Paul continues being creative with the sink / cooker area and has made the doors to finish.

Mike and Gordon continue wiring the electrics ,fuse boxes etc in a mass of wiring beyond Wednesday Phil's understanding. But he enjoys turning them on and off when no one is about !

Tony has made and drilled the hounds which affix to the mast to provide a strong fastening for the wires holding up the mast. 

Malcolm continues to fit the hydraulic system as Francis has retired with a leg problem which we hope will soon improve and all will be well ! 

Progress continues apace with one more day to go until it's home time for the lads and a well earned rest.
Many thanks on a wet and windy day today.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

 Tuesday And It's All Go Again.

Jeremy and the Maritime Midwives  sprung into action with little discussion today. Once the coffee machine was activated a sense of focussed calm ensued.

The mast ,spars and boom which Wednesday Phil thought looked perfect were again planed  sanded and oiled .

The engine now has the hydraulic drive attached 

and the hydraulic tank is awaiting connection in the stern.

Mike continues to make connections and isolator switches ready for fitting into
the battery boxes under the aft bunk. 

These were Jeremy and   Nick's doing.

The old donated table is being sanded and  modified to become the crew dining table

and Jay tasked with oiling the new top. He is instructed to oil all  smooth and shiny surfaces. ( Are you thinking what I am ?.)

Paul and Nick finalise the design of the hatch cover which will also house the gas bottle and be complimented with a seat on top  
for those who wish to live dangerously .

Andy continues squeezing into small spaces connecting more tubes and fastenings in loo of  his first flush.
Paul  first fits a redesigned sink and cooker area.

leaving space behind for useful utensils.
(It seems a big space for a can opener.)

There are lots of other goings on in a day but Wednesday Phil keeps getting in the way with the camera and so fails to record them from the naughty corner where he is  sent !