03/05/14 Work continues slowly! I've now fitted four
of the five new led lights into the cabin deckhead and night time
illumination is now so much better than I've had to put up with in the
past! A big concern at the moment is the non-slip areas of deck;
the old Treadmaster is in a sorry state, battered by water, UV light and
general wear and tear. I've looked into differing methods used by
other yachties and decided that a coat of urethane paint sprinkled with
cork granules is the way to go, but of course getting hold of these is a
hurdle to be overcome! I may have found a supplier of cork
granules in the UK and have asked about shipment to Kudat. The
paint is possibly available in Kota Kinabalu, so I'll go down there
tomorrow and see if I can find any. Once I have the required paint and
cork, I can carry out the job bit by bit.....after all the other jobs!
The heat is relentless........
04/05/14 Up early, showered and in taxi to KK by 0730.
Arrived in KK just after 10.30 and walked to the Cititel Express Hotel
where I stayed the night I arrived back from UK on the 1st of last
month. Then off in search of paint but without much success - all
the small shops didn't stock polyurethane paints so maybe tomorrow I
will try further afield.
05/05/14 Met up with old friend Giovanni, also staying in
same hotel and on his way back to his boat in Puerto Princesa. Had
some breakfast together and again went in search of paint, finally
ending up at the Nippon Paint head office some miles out of town.
They arranged for me to collect five litres of two pack urethane paint
from a local distributor before we had lunch and headed off back to
town. Later on in the day, I met up with Giovanni again for
dinner and a few beers.
06/05/14 Early start again! At the so called 'long
distance bus station' by 07.30 and luckily became the last passenger
needed for the taxi to make the 300Km journey back to Kudat, so got
underway immediately without the normal obligatory wait! Back in
Kudat just before 11am - and the cockpit thermometer reading 43 deg
.....it was a little cooler in KK!
08/05/14 Still trying to confirm cork granules can be
delivered from the UK, and I am still melting in the heat.
09/05/14 Well.......an hour of rain this afternoon, cooled
things down a little and was a much more comfortable evening!
10/05/14 Started taking off the old and worn treadmaster from the deck this morning at 7.30am. I have taken on
a local guy by the name of Al to help me with the tedious task of
scraping and together we managed to get perhaps 50% of the old stuff off
using chisels and elbow grease, but it is very hard work in blazing
sunshine - and my delicate soft hands are now covered in blisters!
In the evening, four of us went to a Chinese restaurant for our dinner
(and a beer!)
11/05/14 Both Al and I are suffering with blisters, so into
the rear cabin and rummage until I found my hot air gun; now heating the
treadmaster to melt the underlying glue makes things somewhat easier. By
the end of the working day (4.30pm) all the worn treadmaster had been
removed, leaving just four 'squares' of relatively new non slip
covering. I'm thinking that I should remove them also despite
their good condition, so that the deck will be uniform when the new
light grey covering is on, and not look like a patchwork quilt.
12/05/14 Decision made to take off ALL the treadmaster, so
I started with the area by the liferaft but it was much harder than the
'old' stuff which I now think may have been the original deck covering.
The 'new' must be at least 10 years old, but is well glued down and
difficult to remove, nonetheless it has to come off! The through
hull fitting for my anchor locker drain, which I ordered from the UK on
the 28th of last month, arrived this afternoon - so that's another job
that I can now complete.
13/05/14 Fitted the through hull for the anchor locker,
along with a new section of pipework. Took all the anchor chain
out onto the pontoon and remarked the 10 metre sections. All the
deck is now sanded with the exception of three 'new' areas of
treadmaster - and that is very difficult to remove!
14/05/14 It took the whole morning to remove the remaining treadmaster, leaving a thick brown glue on the deck which
then had to be
sanded off, and that was the day gone!
15/05/14 Mixed up some epoxy filler and filled holes on the
foredeck where the stubborn glue had brought off some of the gel coat.
Then I fitted the remaining fifth led light in the galley area. As
temperatures rose to the low forties again, I decided to take down the
bimini, which absorbs heat and put up the awful sun awning I had made in
Turkey. It may look dreadful, but it lowered the temp. in the
cockpit by five degrees - and that is where both Al and I were working
taking off the old varnish around the companionway. Also went into
town for bread and another 18 litres of drinking water.
16/0514 My sprayhood and bimini cover have both lost their
ability to shed water and now leak badly, so I have been researching
means of re-waterproofing them. Commercial products specifically
for boats are just not available but there are several "recipes" online
for DIY waterproofing using so called 'readily available'
ingredients........that may be the case in the US or Canada or Australia
but it's not true here!! It seems the favourite method for canvas
is a mix of beeswax and boiled linseed oil - both almost impossible to
get in this neck of the woods - but I will continue trying. In the
meantime, I am now removing old varnish around the aft cabin access
17/05/14 Gave Al the day off today as he has an eye problem
which isn't being helped by the dust from sanding. I went back to
trying to locate ingredients for waterproofing - I can get beeswax, but
not boiled linseed oil, despite it being produced in Malaysia!
Further research suggests that linseed oil turns things, like roof
slates, to a black colour - obviously that's no good for me! Other
methods use turpentine (easily bought) but that rots canvas type
material. Alum.....not available! I wonder what others have
done in the past? In India, I met a couple who had melted candles
into kerosene and painted that on, not sure I like the sound of that!!
18/05/14 With Al, removing varnish from the six washboards,
then sanding them smooth ready to be re-varnished. The saga of
waterproofing continues; in the UK, I would simply go into B & Q
and buy it! There is a commercial product which is recommended by
the makers of Sunbrella (so it's expensive!) and there are plenty of
sellers, but they are in the US and will not ship overseas. There
is however, a supplier in Kuala Lumpur, so I am now awaiting a reply to
my e-mail asking if they can deliver to Sabah.
19/05/14 I dismantled the cockpit table this morning, then
left Al to sand it down along with the hatch surrounds while I went into
town to get several items still needed for the re-varnishing. My
cork granules are on their way to me from the UK but have already gone
over the 2-4 day delivery quote!
20/05/14 Al had to go to the clinic again today, so I had a
day of rest too! Cork granules are now somewhere between Kuala
Lumpur and here. I have received no reply from the suppliers of
waterproofing fluid despite a second e-mail.
21/05/14 A wash out day! Awoken by the sound
of rain at 0530 which continued for most of the day - so no varnishing today but at least it's a nice cool
22/05/14 Getting hold of waterproofing liquid is a
nightmare. Companies in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are happy to
sell it to me, but will not ship to Sabah - I have to find my own
shipping agent, and that is proving almost impossible because the
product is classed as a flammable substance, so cannot be sent by either
air or sea unless a specialist company is used........and that could be
just too expensive to contemplate! First coat of varnish applied
to bare woodwork today and my cork granules for the non-slip deck coat
24/05/14 Continued varnishing over the last couple of days,
along with a few other jobs - like inflating the dinghy and checking for
leaks (a valve needed replacing), running up the outboard motor (have to
strip the carburettor), removing the autohelm and steering wheel for
varnishing and repairing the toilet pump which wasn't flushing
correctly. I am still no nearer to getting my needed waterproofing
25/05/14 Sunday and a bit of a lazy day - just scraping old
paint off the top and bottom of the steering pedestal in readiness for a
new coat. I am thinking that the fridge is now giving up the ghost
as I have noticed water forming in the bottom each morning, and the
normal layer of ice on the side wall is diminishing. If it has
developed a fault - it will be a catastrophe!
26/05/14 More varnishing and painting. Now I know how
the painters on the Forth Rail Bridge feel - it's never ending!
Stripped and cleaned the outboard engine carburettor but found no clear
evidence of fouling.
28/05/14 The outboard engine is giving me grief! Over
the last two days, I've had it apart countless times but it still
refuses to run. It starts first thing in the morning, runs for a
minute or so, then stops..........and refuses to even try to start for
the rest of the day! The inflatable inboard keel on the dinghy is
in need of glueing down too, and the glue bought from KK some time ago
for exactly that purpose, has exceeded it's shelf life and gone 'off.'
So at the moment, I don't have a fully usable dinghy, and no engine to
put on it anyway! At least the majority of the varnishing is
complete, just another coat or two on the wheel required and that will
be the topside woodwork all protected again. The interior is
29/05/14 Made a start on the deck this morning. After
washing down, we taped up the areas on top of the coachroof and the
forward end of the deck, trying to guess the area we could cover in a
day without 'painting ourselves into a corner.' Mixed up the
paint, a nice light grey colour which hopefully will be cooler on the
feet than the blue treadmaster, and not reflect into my eyes too much
when sailing. I made up a sort of salt shaker to sprinkle the cork
granules with - all experimental as I haven't done this before!
Starting on the coachroof, we applied the paint and sprinkled cork onto
it while still wet, then moved onto the main deck and worked backwards
from the bow and down the starboard side to the half way point.
It's a bit of a messy job because there is a lot of cork granules miss
the target or get blown in the breeze! After lunch, the paint was
'touch dry' and we were able to apply another coat to cover the
granules. With hindsight, I think I should have put more granules
into the paint as I am going to lose some when sanding the high points
off, but for now, it looks OK.
30/05/14 A threatening sky this morning and a weather
forecast of 'possible showers.' Painting cancelled for the day!
As it turned out, it didn't rain until 7pm, then continued through the
31/05/14 Once more a weather forecast of thunderstorms due
around 9am forced me to cancel work on deck again. They came at
11am. Monday (the 2nd) is so far looking good to continue with the
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