Saturday 5 May 2012

Trailer Refurbishment

With almost all the exterior of the yacht finished or nearing completion, its time to concentrate on the trailer and ensure its safe and fit for the road. Since purchasing Pelagic last year, I have done nothing to the trailer other than take the mudguards off to aid access to the keel area.

mudguards removed - showing the condition of the mild steel chassis

The front & rear axles

The front axle is braked via steel rods linked forward to the tow bar. Pressure on the tow bar (during breaking of the towing vehicle) forces the connecting rod to exert pressure on both the front drum brakes. 

The first thing to do was to jack up each side of the chassis in turn and remove the wheels and hubs for a good inspection. The wheels were easy enough to get off and the hubs where also easy to remove; which required taking out the split pin locking the castellated nut which holds the hub against the taper roller bearing and hub in place. The rear wheel bearings were fine with just a tiny amount of wear, well greased and requiring nothing other than putting back in place and re-mounting the hub with a little new grease. Note before I removed the wheel from the hub (with the wheel off the ground), I tried to move the wheel in and out to test for play in the bearings - there was none. The same could not be said for the front wheel, which was literally hanging off... I was lucky indeed that nothing happened  during the tow back from Kent. Inspection of the front (braked wheel) revealed no split pin and a loose castellated nut - which accounted for the excessive play. However, once again the taper roller bearings were fine if not a little worn. The break shoes and operating mechanism were very rusty and just about seized. I took everything off the hub, derusted, greased and put everything back. The shoes are worn so these will have to be replaced before an distance towing is undertaken. Two of the studs also need replacing as these were missing, replaced with standard bolts...

The wheels and tyres
3 of the 4 wheels had flat tyres; from slow punctures or poor sealing at the rim. I inspected each tyre of age, perishing, tread depth, uneven wear etc. If you don't already know tyres have their date of manufacture stamped on. This is useful, because trailer tyres, like caravan tyres, as a result of little use can look to be OK showing little wear and good tread depth. However they could be several years old, UV weakened and possibly quite dangerous. Guidance seems to indicate modern tyres are good for about 5 years max. Normally, car tyres wear out before five years so tyre ageing is not really a problem generally.

The trailer tyres had an age range between 2-4 years so I'm planning to start changing them next year. The slow punctures were a result of rusty rims preventing a good seal (the tyres were tubeless) so I needed to get them off to clean-up the rims before re-mounting the tyres. I took the tyres one at a time to the local tyre & exhaust centre where they gladly removed the tyres for me. I could not leave them to clean the rims because the tyre fitters are not allowed to have grinding/descaling machines because of H&S concerns. I found this a bit of a joke given the equipment they work with - but not surprised. So I descaled the rims using my 4" grinder with a descaling wheel fitted. This cleaned off the rust very quickly and some care was needed to ensure I didn't take any of the metal away, resulting in an uneven rim.

Rim descaled


After cleaning the rust of the tyres rim, I took them back to the tyre centre. The guy told me that this rim should have a inner-tube, so I asked for one to be fitted. Total cost for taking off the tyre, fitting a tube and re-assembly £13.56 which was the cost of the tube on its own. So for less than £60.00 I have 4 x good wheels, tyres (with tubes) - four less things to worry about...

I decided to paint the rims on the outside white and to fit wheel trims. This would enhance the look of the trailer and give it a newer-look.

Wheels & trims fitted -Tyres have new inner tubes.


Given I cannot lift the boat off the trailer in my garden I decided to derust what I could and paint it with a good quality marine primer until such time the boat is on the water and I can spend more time to properly finish-off the refurbishment. I fitted a new winch and cleaned-up the tow bar and break mechanism. The trailer is now ready to go, bringing the launch date for Pelagic one step closer.

Sunday 22 April 2012

The interior
The interior of the boat was as you would expect having not been touched for at least ten years; was pretty awful. I've loaded some more pictures (yesterday) from my Flickr photo sets, to give you a better idea.

During the first few days of the project, Philip (my son) and I proceeded to strip everything out of the cabin, throwing everything in the skip apart from the saloon table, which I would restore later on and the roof linings. Although these were quite rotten (vinyl faced hardboard) and shabby, they serve for good patterns when it comes to making new panels. This will save a huge amount of time, trial and error etc. to make up new panels from scratch.

Image shows roof panels marked-up before removing, they looked to be the original panels so fit nice and snug to the bulkheads.

As I said, I decided to keep the table for a couple of reasons, 1, apart from the varnish having peeled-off the wood was sound. 2, The plan would be to re-design the interior based on a more contemporary theme; modern laminates for the galley area, light wood veneers for the bulkheads etc. but I wanted to retain something original from the boat - the table was the best choice.

Image showing drop-leaf saloon table, galey sink and the temporary companionway step.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Pre-restoration interior

Some photos taken last July before any refurbishment work began.

                                                                                 Roof  lining

Looking up into the hatch

                                                                     Bulkhead lining and cushions

acrylic windows 

 Galley sink

 Keel bolts and table leg which holds 
the drop keel plate rope/chain

Friday 20 April 2012

Just got round to posting some of the photos I have taken since starting the refurbishment of my Dockrell 22.

Latest photo showing new lettering, stripe and partially refurbished trailer.

I won the boat in an EBay auction last July, I was delighted to have won it at the time, but a day or two after, I became worried in case I had bought a load of scrap. I had no real way of telling from the photos posted and to make matters worse, the boat was Kent - a long way from my home in Devon. I new it was in very poor order generally but kept telling myself if the hull was sound I had a good chance of refurbishing it to a very high standard. Anyway I went to Kent, paid the money (after inspecting the hull) and towed it back without incident.

July 10 .2011. Dockrell 22 arrives at its new home in Devon. Untouched for ten years. The last owner bought it as a project but never got around to starting it. In a few days time it would be stripped of everything, leaving just the hull sat on a very rusty trailer. The person in the photo is my son Philip. Looks quite pleased with himself doesn't he - he should be, he convinced me to buy it to go fishing as well as sailing... Take a look at the pre-restoration photos of the boat - look at the bottom of this page and you will see the scale of the project.

Devon-Marine's photostream

Hatch hinges and tiller platesGenoaMainsailcockpit mainsheet travelleracrylic windows
Transomhull paintworkcockpitcoach roofLetteringlettering