After a brief period of enjoyable alfresco boatbuilding the rain has returned, the lawn is saturated and the tarpaulins are back on the boat. To be fair there has been several days on pleasant weather when the activities on the project have been humming along but the majority of the time progress has been weather affected.
There was a brief few days when the sun shone enough for the lawns to be mown and for one sail to be hosed down on the grassy slope and then taken into the sun room for final drying but since then it has been damp.
Yesterday was Wednesday 27th and with persistent rain I confined my activities to cutting timber for the mast step and for the water tanks.

I have found the vacuum cleaner attached to the saw bench does a reasonable job of sucking up the sawdust and so long as the lengths are short I can operate inside the garage and so the mast step timber is cut as are some 30 by 30 triangular cleats for the water tanks and the V berth bunks.

Inside the garage the jig saw has been busy cutting out the 9 mm ply for the water tanks and various other locations. Fitting the water tank tops has been a little more difficult than on Passion X as on the new build the sheet plywood meets the tangent stringer at the hull so there is a lot of careful cutting to get a fit that is good enough for the gap to be filled with thickened epoxy. It took a full day to fit the water tank fronts around the massive keel floors and a day to fit the water tank tops around the tangent stringers but both are now ready to go when the weather invites me outside again.

Before the water tank plywood I was fully occupied with completing the infill blocks on the keel floors and installing the king plank. I am particularly pleased with the king plank fit and the 12 to 1 scarf join situated over a long solid infill section just behind the mast step. It was a bit fiddly getting the surfaces coated both sides with thickened epoxy but by sliding the king plank forward the rear could be moved from side to side to expose the surfaces that needed glue and then by sliding it back the front end could be swung from side to side to repeat the glue application. I tried to err on the side of too much glue so there was lengthy clean up exercise once the planks were clamped in place.

Keel floor infill blocks all glued in place
Thee king plank goes all the way forward to bulkhead C
The trial fit of the king plank showing the 12 to 1 scarf join over the solid infill block behind the mast step

My last job yesterday was fitting 30 by 30 cleats to the frames for the join between the top and sides of the water tank so when the weather and mood are aligned there will be photos to show.

Today it rained consistently so instead of starting with boat building I headed out early to ready Passion X for the upcoming Winter Wednesday series. Sails were retrieved from the sailmaker and reloaded on board together with fuel and a little water to keep the bottom of the tanks wet.

Reloading Passion X for the Winter Wednesday series

Between showers and they were the predominant feature of the day, I acid washed the hull to remove the grime from the last trip to Port Stephens. The floods had brought down so much iron that the hull was a light beige colour and in need of some cleaning. The acid wash worked a treat to my surprise as I applied coats between showers and retreated to the comfort of the cabin whenever the rain returned.

The intermittent cleaning and resting was a relaxing way to spend the day and with a break in the weather I was able to disembark along with some surplus equipment that is not needed for the winter racing.

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