Saturday, February 16, 2008

Refit: winter update

marathon refit is almost complete. As ever, the yard is taking as long as possible to finish work, but there has been significant progress since the turn of the year, with two long-overdue projects being ticked off the checklist.

The first was the installation of Tek Dek (artificial teak decking) to the cockpit. Having worked so long and hard in 2007 to clean, cut back and polish the cockpit gelcoat, it's personally very satisfying for me to see the end result, with the scabby old seats and sole covered over and lots of clean shiny gelcoat between each panel.

Tek Dek proved to be very reasonably-priced to buy and have installed. It looks pretty realistic until you get right up close to it, and is considerably grippier underfoot than the old grp used to be, even with anti-slip paint. It will be interesting to see how well it weathers and how long it lasts.

The other item that has made a real difference is the completion of Arabella's interior port surrounds. This turned out to be a particularly difficult job for the yard, because the port and starboard side window apertures were different shapes and sizes!

The yard has made a really nice job of the surrounds, and the combination of these and the decking to the cockpit has made Arabella feel more 'finished' than ever before.

And yet more good news. The images below may seem unremarkable, but anyone following this blog will know that at no point in the past have Arabella's electronics ever previously interfaced properly (or in some cases, at all) with one another. It took weeks of tinkering and the addition of an NMEA/SeaTalk interface box, but everything now officially works.

There remain some hard questions to ask, like how it took the yard over a year - even with Raymarine's help - to achieve this happy state of affairs. But for now, I'm just going to bask in the sheer joy of seeing everything just working, like it's supposed to.