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 !

Monday 21 June 2021


(They've berthed more ships than they can remember !)

The team of volunteers, who have come to help finish the boat, have come from around the country under the watchful eye of team leader Jeremy.

The team is made up of  eleven volunteers, or as Jeremy puts it "conscripts"
Ian and Tony work together  as sanders and finishers .
Mike and Gordon are electricians
Francis and Malcolm are engineers
Jay and Andy are plumbers
Paul and Mick are carpenters.
They have volunteered for work together for 10 days to hasten progress on Helen II
 and have promised not to fall out , swear (much), and only stop for coffee or rum. (it's brown and in a big jug !)

Tony ,Alister and Ian began work on finishing the planing of the mast.
To achieve the necessary round shape they created a template to check thickness along its length.

Once completed ,they oiled the wood to seal it - only to find they needed to take more off as someone decided it was too thick.(this is called a learning curve )

Trustee Ron and the rest of the team had a long discussion re the positioning of  all the necessary internal items and once all was agreed ,they set to work in their own fields of  specialism .

Francis and Malcolm began final fitting of  the engine onto the beds and a lot of technical stuff Wednesday Phil didn't understand !

Paul set to making a new pair of steps for the entry to the cabin which will clip on to the cockpit  lip.

Meanwhile Mike and Gordon were building a battery system while Jeremy wondered if he could trim his beard with the oscillating saw.
There will be one engine battery with an isolation switch charged by the engine.
Two leisure batteries with an isolation system but these can be charged by solar panels or the engine.(well that's what they said !)

Jeremy found a better use for the saw and made one of the battery boxes.

Nick was" home alone" creating a box for the 120 ltr fuel tank which is to be housed in the stern section.

Jay got the unenviable task of filling the cracks of the drying mast with very messy putty but he didn't complain  'though, he did eat his sandwich with care as Phil didn't supply any soap !

.Wednesday Phil and Ron are so pleased with the pace of the work and are amazed and the daily  progress after only two and a half days..
On behalf of all the trustees its a BIG THANK YOU  to the  MARITIME MIDWIVES.