The Boat Project - April onwards 2013

29th April 2013

Apologies dear readers, I have been a bit neglectful of the project of late... there have been many changes and adjustments in my life recently, and the boat has taken a temporary back seat, but don't worry... the project is not at risk!  Contradanza will float one day!  In the meantime, she has moved from my back garden to the sailing club sheds.  So over the course of a recent Sunday we cleared all the kit and tools out of the boat, done some welding on the trailer, strapped her down and towed her south to the sheds.  Here are a few photos of the events.

Sitting on the drivewaySitting on the drivewaySitting on the driveway

The exit to the driveway looks rediculous, but was fairly non dramatic.  I had to reverse the jeep up the drive and between the two garages with inches to spare.  When the boat came out, there was less than 2 inches on either side of the boat!  Fortunately all went well and there was no contact.  You can also see the bow snubber assembly I quickly fabricated to get the boat to Stonehaven, and there is a few extra braces I fitted to give e a bit more confidence in my trailer, owing to my shocking welding skills!

In the sheds!In the sheds!New Bow Snubber

So there she is all snug in the shed... It was weird to be able to stand on her again.  She felt like a much bigger boat.  Plenty access now to get the paint on!

13th September 2013

Hi Readers!  Apologies for the enormous delay in updates... My life has gone a little turbo of late, and since moving out of my old place, I have spent less than a month in Aberdeen, work having sent me all over the place for a while.  Rest assured that Contradanza is still safe, dry and awaiting the next phase of the project when that can occur.  She has been moved to a caravan storage site, somewhere in Aberdeenshire to patiently await the next efforts.

Interestingly, her arrival at the storage site was not without some drama!  on the way, a wheel came off the trailer!  Fortunately, no one was hurt and nor was the boat.  The wheel came off on a bend on a minor country road and I came to a controlled stop from about 40mph while pulling in to the verge.  Damage to the trailer was fairly minor considering, and it left about 200 yards of well scarred tarmac as the U bolts for the axle dug in.  I spent a good 20 minutes trying to find the wheel behind the car, never imagining for a second that it would have travelled so far in front of the car!  We had to wait for the recovery truck to come and pick us up and deliver us to the caravan site.  Root cause of the failure?  I painted the hubs.  This created a soft joint between wheel and hub allowing the wheel to work free.  Lesson learned.  Don't introduce paint or lubricant between the wheel and the hub, and be wary about lubricating the studs when torquing.

Trailer wheel came off...It went a long way!It went a long way!

Also, its good advice when towing a larger load, like a caravan or boat, to carry a torque wrench and check the bolts every 10 or 20 minutes for the first hour of a tow, until the wrench indicates that there is no loosening occuring.  Also, wheel nut indicators are a good idea.  I will be adopting both strategies after this incident.  I will be replacing the following:

  • 2 new wheels (1 intact old one will become the spare)
  • All wheel studs and nuts
  • Axle U Bolts on one side (these saved the trailer from a lot of damage)
No major damage fortunatelyContradanza's home for the time being

If this ever happens, prepare for your wallet to become a bit lighter!  I had let my breakdown insurance lapse, so had to join on the spot.  Then as it was an abnormal load I ended up about £230 out of pocket.  Could have been a lot worse all things considered, and the boat survived its first structural test with flying colors!  

Last Updated (Sunday, 29 September 2013 01:15)