The complete hull was de-greased and primed with Bernardo Ecenarro Alfapox 1675 Grey 2 component epoxy. The outer hull to the gunwhale the received a further 3 coats of Black Alfapox.   This paint is sprayed on airless and built up to quite a thickness.  It is also very tough and resists the inevitable knocks and scuffs well.  Being a matt colour, it will not loose its gloss or dull/bloom with age.  Below the water line, International anti fouling was applied.  The superstructure was painted with De Ijssel paint, a pearl white on most of the superstructure and Bordeaux Red on the wheelhouse superstructure.  The decks and cabin roofs were painted with non slip grey.  During the painting, all external seam welds above the "berghout" were filled and faired. Additionally, welds at panel joins were also filled and faired. The filling and fairing of all external seams should have removed any potential rust raisers.

Internally the hull was sprayed with the same Grey Alfapox. Forepeak, tiller flat and bilges below the spray foam insulation line were painted with 2 coats Ameron Coatings Amerlock 400C in white.

Fuel tanks were left unpainted.  The grey and black water tanks were degreased, rinsed out, touched up and sprayed out with 3 coats of Antel Coatings water based 2 component epoxy which is specifically designed for sewage treatment plants, tanks and systems.

The wheelhouse and other teak were sprayed with Bassin Chemie 2 component varnish. The Douglas Fir mast and boom and other deck fittings were varnished with 5 coats of Le Tonkinois.  Performance of the Le Tonkinois and to a lesser extent the Bassin Chemie has been disappointing and the coatings are failing badly after 2 years.  I tried Ronseal Harwood Furniture Wood Stain on the fore deck locker tops and was very impressed with the coating performance.  Being a microporous coating it does not lift from the wood.  It is however not glossy, so the traditional glossy surafce is missing.  After further research and lengthy discussions with the Sikkens and Sadolin technical helpdesks, I am now using Sikkens products.  The mast and boom are stained with Sikkens Cetol Novatech, a spirit based microporous medium to high build wood stain.  The teak wheelhouse and other teak will be stained with Sikkens Cetol BL 21 Plus and Cetol BL 31 water based low to medium build wood stain.  The new water based coatings have advanced the durability of stains considerably and should give a 5 - 6 year life.  Unfortunately, all the old coatings were impervious to the toughest industrial paint strippers and had to be removed by scraping with pieces of glass.

Filling, fairing, sanding and painting the outside of the superstructure and hull took a long time.  I had thought that it would take about a month - but the majority of the painting took 4 months and the hull and decks only received their final coats in May 05 - with a final anti fouling coat a couple of hours before launch - well lowered by crane.  The inside was not quick either - we painted a stripe coat on all the internal weld seams, frame returns and other inaccessible areas for spraying.  After the hull had been sprayed, the forepeak, tiller compartment, bilges, gas and other lockers were painted with the Amerlock by roller.  The grey and black water tanks took 2 weeks alone in the hottest period in Summer 2004, and as they are only 700mm high - and baffled - it was a tight fit to crawl around in them.  Hopefully, all the effort expended will pay off and the rust will stay at bay.

The fijfsters were initially painted yellow.  I've since found that a  book of 23.5 carat gold leaf, suitable for external use, is fairly inexpensive so the fijfsters will be gilded for an added touch of individuality.


            We are installing a relatively simple fit out.  Tongued and Grooved deck heads (ceilings) in moisture resistant MDF.  MDF came in 10ft x 4ft sheets and allowed large areas of the deckeads to be covered with the minimum of joints.  Birch plywood bulkheads (walls) have soundproofing built in using 35mm x 35mm studs cut from reclaimed 1900's pine roof purlins from doing a loft conversion in both our house and other houses in our steet.  Other reclaimed items included an Ikea bunk bed which provided the desk/bunk in the study cabin and posts at the wheelhouse ladders.  The pine decks (floors) were sourced and fitted in NL and the boards were robust enough to be fastening directly to the steel floor beams.  There will be some varnished wood trim in places.  Furniture will be mostly loose, but with fitted cupboards and lockers where the hull shape and space makes it logical to use them. Galley and bathroom will use normal domestic equipment.

            Deck head is painted with Dulux Bathroom and Kitchen anti condensation paint and rather late in the day I discovered Thermilate micro insulation bubbles.  These are tiny ceramic hollow spheres with a vacumn, so are in effect tiny vacumn flasks.  They can be added to any paint, both internal and external, and are reputed to considerably enhance thermal insulation.  If used externally, they will also keep the inside of the vessel warmer in winter and cooler in summer and may also have some anti slip properties.  Bulkheads are painted in Dulux satin emulsions in light colours.  Most varnished woodwork has had 5 coat of Blackfriars satin floor varnish.

            An internal layout diagram is here.  The aft cabin has a shower and toilet and will be used as a double cabin and work/study room.  Cabin has an internal water and gas tight door to the engine room and stairs to the wheel house.  Additional storage is in a small cupboard under the aft side decks on one side.

            The wheelhouse is large enough to use as a living space and the roof above the aft cabin has camber but no sheer and so is reasonably flat enough for sitting out on and big enough for a 4 seat Microcar.

            Forward and below of the wheelhouse will be the galley followed by the saloon, with step down to a passage way with bathroom on one side and a single cabin/study opposite.  Finally in the bows is the second double cabin, which we will use as the Master cabin.  The galley equipment will be domestic and I am thinking of using an induction hob and speed oven.  Induction hobs are about twice as efficient as gas and are capable of running off a well sized battery bank.  A speed oven is one that combines a conventional fan oven and grille with a microwave, and again can be run off a well sized battery bank for short periods.

The wheelhouse, pigeon box and main windows are all double glazed and it has proved to be extremely efficient in winter.  On cold days when there has been a little sun, the wheelhouse temperature has been raised from around freezing to over 20C in a few hours.  Although double glazing adds some weight, this is outweighed by the thermal benefits.

Internal fit out photo gallery    External completion photo gallery

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