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February 2000 Diary

28th of February I have many problems with my computer. Since 14 days I am unable to download FTP data. Hopefully in a couple of days I can fix the problem. I had erased the whole hard disk, because I could not overcome a problem which prevented the Laptop from loading the battery. After a month of trying I gave up on the battery and soldered for a last time on the powersource board. Now I have the feeling I had some viruses on the harddisc, because since I installed a new system on that blank hard disk I can charge my batteries again. Now I have to fix most of my software because most preferences are lost. At the time I programm all HTML with a simple texteditor, because my webdesign tool is lost too. I have had some Zips as backup but was unable to backup 9 Gigabite of software. Most of it was trash anyway. So I only saved my 2600 JPG pictures and get the rest of data and software per FTP from my homeserver.

Work on that steelboat is slowed down, because it rains cats and dogs. This month is the worst of the winter so far, with temperature below 15 degrees Celsius and hail and rain.

26th of February After I got a second job offer I called Georg, my sailing friend, who was in Turkey and we now do the job together. It is much more fun this way. I have seen George in November last time and we have a lot to talk. I want to convince him to join us on the way to the Caribbean. He is more fond of the Red Sea and Madaskar. 3 years ago he had to return from a trip through the Red Sea, because of bad weather. But since then he got stuck in Turkey.

With the money I make on the jobs I am able to pay the marina and save something for the summer. But work on AMBERELLA is hold up. I hope I can finish the heading before my parents come visit us. I would not be able to make an excuse this time

A friend of Nina is visiting us for a week. Nina and the kids will explore the island a little. This summer will be very busy, I guess, We have friends and family coming almost every month. But the main goal is to start the trip across the Atlantic, because otherwise it will be to late. Nastasja is getting 4 this year and we have only 3 years left, until she would go to school. School is not the most importend thing, but with her getting older, she needs friends and family around.

16th of February I got hold up because the weather changed. I started to work on another boat. It is a steel boat. After 2 days of sanding, grinding and scratching rusty metal I am convinced that a steel boat is not for me. I guess if someone is able to keep up with the fight against oxidation that he has a strong hull, but again I don’t like to work with steel. The boat I work for was painted just 6 month ago, but turned completely bad.

12th of February The rig is back and I finally turned back to the inside of the boat. I still need to finish some jobs on that rig, but for the moment I have to make Nina happy. The heading needs to be finished. Most boards are cut in size; painted with anti wood stain and I now join white venyl on one side. I have a book that explains how to glue it properly, but it is a hell of a job. On SY Maveria a Swan 65 I found that it was fixed with staples, even galvanized ones. My Canadian neighbor is working on the same job. He used glue for some boards, but decided later for stainless steel staples. It is the easiest way. The white venyl looks nice, cosy, is washable and it is cheaper than sanding/painting. The advantage of attaching it with staples is, (and I allready had to do it) that one can take it of, change the size of the wood and staple it back. SV "Canadian Sunset" with Jim and June is actually the first sailing couple I met who are telling me that repairing my boat while afloat is not unusual. Jim bought his boat as bare hull and launched it when he had 20% finished. Inside there was only a bunk and a cooker, when they sailed to the Bahamas. They cruised for 5 years the Caribbean Island, took all tools and spares, paint and gear from Canada and built their boat while anchoring at beautiful places. Just my idea of boat building:)

8th of February I stopped counting how often I went up the mast lately. It must be more than 20 times. Today I changed the top stays and the upper set of spreaders. The forestay will be finished tomorrow. With the still good wire from the fore stay I will make short and intermediate shrouds. This way I will have changed the whole rig except the backstays. Since I have two of them I consider it safe to leave the old until I have an obvious problem. I don’t believe two will brake at the same time.
With Andy from SY Maveria, we tried to slice some of the old wire on Sunday. The result was poor. Without special tools and a special vice it is impossible to splice them perfectly. It is not too hard to actually splice it, but very hard to pull the wire tight around the eye and one almost certainly damages the wire while puncturing it with the spike.

So I decided for the Nicopress terminal method. When I double-checked about 5 different boat-building books and they say that if it is properly done it is one of the safest methods. A bronze husk is slipped over the wire and eye is attached to the loop. With hydraulic it was pressed tight and evenly on the wire. I used two husks and it should be a very strong bond.

5th of February A French sailor wanted to trash his old Sony Short wave radio, instead he gave it to me. After 30 Minutes playing on a few cables it started work again. Now I have two radios and can listen to the sailors who use two frequencies, one for transmitting and one for receiving Cool. At the moment I manage quite well with electronics.

Just a few weeks earlier I opened my laptop and soldered the power plug back to the board. In order to get to the power board, I had to remove the LCD Screen, the keyboard, The motherboard, the hard disk, the RAM, the modem, and a few other gadgets. I wrote a report about the event in German only, but you just might have a look at the mess on my table.

3rd January 2000 The job on the first set of spreaders is done. They are made of peach pine and the tang is tightly around the mast. I took the upper spreaders of too. They are still okay since I have more wood I make them new as well to keep the rig look good.

I am a bit more self-confidant with big jobs like this now. It was hard to rivet up there, but with a little practice it worked out.

I checked the stays and shrouds and found problems on the lower shrouds. The terminals are spliced and it is easy to check them for problems. If I could learn the art of splicing I would splice my wire again.

I will now change the top and intermediate shrouds and use the still okay wire of them for lower shrouds. The forestay will be changed too, just to be sure. I found a little crack in the eye and that is a good reason to change.

Arbeiten am Mast

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