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  may 2014


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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 hatch. 

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 27oC.

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 have arrived.

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 supplies!

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 another matter!!

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 night.

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 painting.



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