Available DIY plans:

Windscreen hinging conversion: – Click to view instructions

materials needed – 25mm x 3mm aluminium bar – 4 x 75mm stainless steel hinges – 25mm x 200mm mahogany (or similar) pse timber. Stainless screws.

Above opening window shelves and cupboards:

materials needed – various plywood for cupboards – 75mm x 18mm mahogany (or similar) pse timber & 25mm x 8mm sash window spacer for shelves. Small brass hinges, catch, handle. shelves have a lip to prevent items falling. There is a further larger cupboard design that protrudes above the tables, has over table lights and side storage with two doors.

Above sink unit cupboard:

materials needed – various plywood – 175mm x 19mm pse – perspex – knobs.

Vents. Above sliding window shelves join to cupboard. In addition, speaker housings were used to support shelf. Sliding perspex doors.

Replacement Hatch:

materials needed – PVC house cladding – perspex.

How I replaced the rubbing strakes

by George and Celia, Zapateros, Halingbury Marina

The strakes are formed in two halves as its difficult to bend a single piece of wood to that degree. I bought mahogany strips one foot longer than needed from the local builders merchant and steamed them over a fish kettle till they had softened sufficiently to bend. This was rather clumsy & not very easy so I put them individually behind the vent pipe on the outside of the house and tied them across to a fence post being the only way I could get sufficient purchase to bend them. Every few days I tightened the rope and poured boiling water on them to keep up the bending & softening process. You only need to get a good bend at one end, the end that will meet at the bow.

After a couple of weeks of this I undid them and took them to the boat.

The old strakes are brass nut & bolted through the hull with the internal nut being captivated behind a blob of fibre glass. I also found that the extrusion of the bolt through the nut had been cropped off hence the bolt was squashed & the damaged threads prevented the bolt from screwing backwards out of the captivated nut from the strake side.

To get to the forward bolts I unscrewed the inner forward bulkhead panel & using a sharp saw I cut out half of the internal panel down the fibre glass overlap on each side and across the middle with an electric jig saw, this in effect lets you into the anchor chain locker if you have one.

One side at a time I then removed the external wood plugs from the outer edge of the strake to reveal the screw head and having chiseled off each fibre glass blob to reveal the nut unscrewed the nut from the bolt with a socket whilst my wife armed with a large screw driver stopped it all turning from the outside. Once you have done all this on one side only you can introduce the new wood.

Chose a pair of strips from your four and introduce the most bent ends to the bow and mate up to the existing strake. One or two people will have to hold all this in position temporarily while some one drills a pilot hole through from the inside and through the wood strakes. Drill back from the outside a hole large enough to accommodate the new bolt and then countersink the hole to enable you to bury the head, I used stainless steel nuts & bolts and washers and sealed each hole with silicone from the inside before applying the washer & nut. Its a bit tricky getting the first bolt in but once this is achieved the rest are pretty straight forward.

Tighten the first nut & bolt and then at the other end of the strake make a loop with some cord and pass it back through the last hole and round a large nail or old bolt to stop it pulling back through. Tie the other end of the cord round the strake and pull it as tight as it will go without snapping the wood! Just use your judgment here the strips will not wind back to a complete fit first time, mine took several days, just kept tightening the loop periodically a little at a time till the end eventually meets the hull.

Only fit as many bolts as the strake’s position against the hull with the cord loop will allow, you may get two or three in at the first attempt but remember the strips all bend at different rates, the outer will be longer than the inner, hence you have to do one at a time as the wood bends gently to its final position. You cannot rush this, the wood will bend but only in its own time.

Once you have all but the last two or three bolts in you can trim the inner and outer strips to fit the overlap arrangement as they join the rubbing strips along the hull. I then used mahogany coloured wood filler to cover up the screw heads, sanding it down when hard, dressed up the edges of the strips with a small block plane, gave it a light sanding by hand and painted it all with some mahogany coloured varnish.

Repeat the process on the other side and finally trim up the bow joint to shape.

My wife and I managed it all on our own, it’s not a hard job just rather time taking.