Puffin - a 1937 Hillyard sailing yacht

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  • More varnishing!


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  • With all the iron out of the bilge I needed to find a couple of hundred kilos of ballast from somewhere. Investigated buying scrap lead and melting it into ingots myself but quite frankly, it didn’t appeal. I would probably burn my eyes out or melt off an arm or something. Patio blocks from wicks at 2kg and 45p each are the current solution. There’s 35 of them in there so far…


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  • how do you keep them from moving?

  • I’m just sort of jamming them in between the ribs, hopefully that will do, but we’ll see!

  • I love this project.

    I don’t know how it works in the UK, but when I was a kid I used to shoot at an indoor shooting range (the Olympic discipline, and the same rifles as in biathlon). Anyway, once a year they would go back and scoop up all the lead and melt the little pellets into ingots. Could be a cheap source of lead.

  • Great thread - more power to yer elbow.

  • Wouldnt bags of coarse sand be heavier/cheaper? Guess they might leak

  • Yes, thought about that but I would need to make sure they were very well sealed, might still do this

  • First coat of Antifoul on. Boatyard dog has been helping


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  • Part of the toe rail had been badly painted, water had crept in and it had caused rot. The rotten wood was chopped out, a new rail laminated, then glued and screwed. Teak plugs over the screws, left to set, planed, primed. This work was done by a professional boat builder, far beyond my abilities!


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  • 2nd coat of Antifoul done, some more varnishing and a few bits of painting to touch up and then booked to launch on Monday. Before Puffin was lifted out, I had plans for various improvements but in reality all I’ve had time for is keeping on top of the maintenance, painting and varnishing. Oh well, looking forward to getting back on the water and going sailing. Will be waiting for a decent weather window from the 27th of May onwards and going straight from Chichester to Dieppe. It’s 91 miles so will probably take around 24hrs. Then it’s a sail up the French coast to enter the canal and river system through the sea lock at St Valery sur Somme.


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  • And we’re back in the water. Now I have to sit on board for 24hrs, watching the water trickle in, pumping it out when it gets over the floorboards while I wait for the planks to swell.


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  • looking very tidy!

  • Packed and ready to go, just got to fit the bike onboard…


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  • Looks wonderful. Is that stove tied down?

  • Good luck! have you quit your job? (think I recall you were a teacher?)

  • Made it across the channel


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  • What a proper adventure

  • You had good weather for it - much traffic ?

  • My goodness this is great.

  • Dieppe. Full write up of channel crossing to follow at some point…


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  • This project will involve cycling


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  • Was hoping for a Landshark ;)

  • Looks magnificent. Well done.

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Puffin - a 1937 Hillyard sailing yacht

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