After eight weeks, Angie has turned out a truly magnificent Lugger, totally rebuilt and with modifications to suit her new life in the Med including full Bimini sun shade and picnic set. It will be a pleasure to have her moored on the apartment jetty at Geni Garden Apartments, awaiting one’s desire and time to sail her.
Let’s just recap on what has been achieved in the last pieces of the fitting out process.
The screws and fittings on Drascombes were mainly Bronze, an alloy comprising of the elements Copper (Cu) 88% and Tin (Sn) 12%, a much stronger material than Brass, which is an alloy of Copper and Zinc. Therefore my aim is to to reuse as much of the original fitting as I can, with cleaning and a refurb. This includes the screws that secure the Gunwale rail, where there are some 26, and it is a labour of love to clean and re-cut the slots in the head of the screw, but well worth the effort.
You will have already noted that I have only four hatches in the cockpit sides, when originally it had six. The Luggers that preceded this early model did only have four. I have blanked off the two aft cut-outs and fitted additional buoyancy bags into their cavities.
Noted also are my floor boards which are made in four sections, with the centre aft section available to bail or sponge out, all much easier to get out if need be. Yes, for bare feet after swimming the finished coating is an anti slip paint, so no accidents with children slipping on the boards.
The sun in the Med is not kind to certain surfaces and finishes, in particular the applied graphics. Each year the stern name plate is removed and brought back to Wales so we can clean it and apply the new graphics. These are ready to pack for the road trip on 26 June.
Both the main and Mizen masts that came with the Lugger were original. Whilst superficially looking in very poor condition, they needed a total refurb which involved a complete removal of all varnish and then a hand scraping back with a Cabinet scraper back down to the wood. I then spray the spars by rotating between centres with a high quality oil based Yacht Varnish, starting with a few very thin coats that are absorbed into the wood and prepping between further build up coats. Around 10 coats in total.
The Gaff and Bumpkin were not with the boat at the time of purchase – the piece of timber that was called the Gaff, as you will remember, was very short and not useable. Angie’s new Gaff and Bumpkin we made from scratch at Dragon Design, with the S/S claw and beads on the Gaff.
I mentioned in a previous blog that Angie did not have a main sheet traveller, and this is now fitted with a sliding ‘O’ ring to take the main sheet jammer. This can be tensioned from either side by using the red line, which runs through a cleated jammer. So good to be able to jam the main sheet when on a long tack or passage, then when necessary it’s just a quick flick and you’re back in control again of the main sheet.
My favoured bow anchor for Luggers in the Med is a 6 kg Delta anchor. It’s self setting and brilliant in sand, weed and mud sea beds. To have good access to its warp and chain I use these deck bags for storage, and keep blocks and ties for securing the blade, otherwise the anchor is left in the bottom of the boat, causing damage, not acceptable and the likelihood of causing injury to one’s feet.
We also need to have a stern Kedge anchor. When approaching a beach, the sea shelves away very steeply, so only the bow is on the sand. It’s necessary to throw the kedge out as one approaches the beach, then tension it after securing the bow, which stops the boat blowing beam-on to the beach and causing damage.
Last but not least, we have a new rudder and centre plate, all fully galvanised and ready to fit.
My cabinetmaking company Dragon Design has had these made to the original spec locally in Wales. These along with our range of joinery, swimming ladders and fittings for Drascombes and for Luggers in particular, will be available through the company.
We offer a unique complete Lugger and marine service, you will I’m sure note from the high spec rebuild of Angie, that we know our stuff when it comes to marine work, presentation and finish. Call Phil for help and advice, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will have read so much about the navigation pros and cons, i.e. GPS units, one’s mobile phones, Google Earth etc? Issues with signals and other technical problems, let alone charging a battery. All so difficult to work out.
However, what’s so difficult with using the basic Imray chart in a bag and Pilot book? Yes, eventually they get damaged, creased seams, but so easy to use. For children in the evening at the table in the Taverna they can get around it and go through what they have seen in the day, then plan a route for the following day. This along with the small hand-held Silva compass they learn how to navigate from the concept and principle of ‘Line of sight’. It’s bomb proof!
The most fundamental and important issue for my 1600 mile drive to the Ionian on 26June is the road worthiness of the trailer. I have check every ‘U’ bolt on the frame, replaced the original damaged wheel rims and fitted new tyres. But most important is the stripping down of the wheel hubs from the stub axles and attending to the tapered roller bearing units.
The hubs that came with Angie’s trailer did not have grease nipples, a MUST to be able to pump grease into the bearing. These hubs came off and new hub units with the fully assembled bearings fitted. Before leaving I will have taken the trailer and boat out on a road trip of at least 60 miles, and on return she will be jacked up, grease cap removed and a check made on the castellated nut that holds the hub onto the axle. It will have now bedded in and can be tweaked up to the required level of tightness, not too tight so causing the wheel to be stiff to turn and not slack when the whole rim assembly is rocking.
So we are just about there. All the kit and spars will be bubble wrapped and loaded into the boat. She is now fully rigged and ready to launch, since I have only 3 days from getting off the ferry at Igeomenitsa on 30 June to my first couple from Kentucky in the US arriving for their 2 weeks of “LUGGERING ABOUT IN THE SUN”
Please keep reading my blog. My next will be on launch day and the first crew to arrive in Nidri.
The very best from Bengy and myself. Bengy cannot wait to be swimming again in the warm Ionian Sea!