Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What happened to 2012?

Full of Enthusiasm, I varnished my mast and spars to perfection in the sun of March and early April, washed and cleaned the hull and applied antifoul.  I then rigged Margherita and loaded up all my (rather too extensive) inventory of stowed items.  Then it rained and the wind blew.  Then I hurt my back.  Then it rained rather more..........then I gave up! I did not launch at all in the end.

So, all that was accomplished in 2012 was varnishing and the construction of a new experimental and as yet untested toilet which is a cross between a "bucket & chuckit" and a comode (see below).  Looking on the bright side, all I have to do this year is antifoul again. I have to get afloat in 2013 if only because I have entered in the Old gaffers Association's 50th anniversary rally at Cowes in August.

When I was discussing the build of Margherita with Phil Swift, I was keen to fit in a Porta-Potti. however, even the smallest available was a stowage nightmare, let alone the problem of using it without mishap. So, we settled on "bucket & chuckit" and I stow a bowl under the cockpit sole.  The picture above shows the cabin in normal sitting mode.  The idea for the toilet shown below was to see if I could get more privacy by rigging up something in the cabin for those times when one is not moored up in isolation somewhere.  The picture below shows the toilet base sitting across the side supports that hold the seat base when it is raised to form the head of the port sleeping berth. The seat base stays in its low position and I moved the cushions out of the way for obvious reasons. When not in use, the toilet base stows under the seat base rather neatly. The plastic bowl, with its plywood lid, stows under the cockpit sole as before.

Dry run testing suggests that there is just sufficient knee and head room to use the device with washboards in, but I am not sure about with the hatch shut - I may have to cut my head off.... we shall see! (update 2015 - it works just fine with the hatch shut and washboards in and allows useful privacy when other boats are moored close by) 

Meanwhile, on a more uplifting note, and to help me remember what it all feels like on a good day, here are a few pictures of Margherita anchored up in sunshine during 2011.  I hope for the same in 2013.