Saturday, 7 March 2015

A riveting read

I was getting on with my jobs by 08:30... serves me right for going to bed the night before at 21:00!

I had been pleased to see the night before, as I drove into the marina, that my mast had been moved as requested, so I would be able to get on with the work.

It however, proved easier to think about doing the work, than actually doing it!

The rivets were bastards to remove.... most had still got the mandrel  in them (that's the bit in the middle that is supposed to snap off and be removed... but sometimes they just break level with the rivet head)... the mandrel is slightly proud, so hard to get the drill in the right place, and secondly, is quite hard material, so not easy to drill to start with.... so it took 'some' time to remove the previous rivets. They had been in pretty poor condition...

I don't know what material they were, but they're not supposed to rust like that!

However, once removed, the second challenge was getting the new rivets in.

I have a scissor style rivet gun, thanks to my mate Jim... not only did he buy me one a few weekends ago, but upon discovering that it wasn't big enough for the rivets, posted me his own.

Imagine my horror then, as I pumped the first rivet tight, to see the handle snap in two!

And then a bit of luck. I discovered that the bolt mounting patterns on my new, too small one, were exactly the same size.... so out of two bad, I got one good.... Jim... the handle on the one you bought me is much better quality, so you've had an upgrade!

Each rivet needed the centre punching out, for which I used an old screwdriver bit... and then, the hassle of trying to get the new rivets installed.. some just wouldn't be 'grabbed' by the rivet gun, so it took me almost as long to fit the new ones as it did to remove the old ones!

I did have to take a short trip out to ScrewFix along the way, as sharp drill bits proved neccessary, and mine weren't!

By 15:00, the job was done, and each spreader is now located firmly with fresh, good quality rivets.

The yellow gunk is Duralac paste, which is a corrosion inhibitor, to stop the aluminium mast reacting with the Monel rivets and the stainless steel brackets.

Next job was the steaming/deck light.... I had to pull through a length of 3 core cable, as the old bit was not in good nick, and then locate the fitting, wire it up, and rivet it to the mast, followed by a protector guard, to stop the foresail or halyard wiping the light off the mast... job done by 16:30.

Last, but not least, I had finally brought the repaired hatch back down, and set too in refitting it.... it was easy to mount the hatch... less easy to mount the hatch struts in the right place.... a fair bit of head scratching and contemplating, and finally, the job was done... looks great!

I'm rather pleased that I decided to keep the old hatch struts and restore them, as they are such good quality... really heavy duty stainless steel construction, and have come up nicely.

So, tomorrow, I'll set too on the engine again... remove the prop shaft, remove the prop, and detach the final few bits, ready for an engine lift out next week.

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