3201Hrs – Bringing Up The Rear
A good day today, I’ve grafted hard, made good progress, and I feel a lot better for it.
My first job was to get the aft platform in position and to make and fix the support blocks to the aft face of the crossbeam.
This was a fairly straightforward operation. I lifted the platform into place and then used a trolley jack to lift the forward edge until it was level fore and aft. Once that was done I made up a couple of appropriately sized hardwood blocks with nicely rounded edges and glued and screwed them to the back of the aft crossbeam. I’ll figure out the lashing points later on but for now it sits in place beautifully.
Once that was done I turned my attention to the stern ramp. This was a bit more of a challenge as I had to get it into the right place before I could mark and drill the holes for the 15mm stainless steel rod hinges. I used ratchet straps to hold it in place and spent a goodly amount of time with a tape measure and spirit level before I marked the holes.
I then dropped the ramp down onto trestles, drilled the holes, cut the hinge pins, and then offered it all back into place. The pins slid in nicely and after screwing on some temporary covers to stop the pins sliding out, it was now part of the boat.
After a bit of a breather I added a couple of eye bolts to the aft corners so that I was able to lash the ramp up to the aft tube and then manoeuvred the dinghy onto the ramp to test how it fitted. With help from a couple of the lads I was then able to lift the ramp, hook it into position, and find the right place for the dinghy to sit.
I was delighted to find that it sits there as if made for the job. My plan is to make some hardwood blocks and fix them into position on the ramp so that the dinghy can be positively located in the right position before lashing it down.
I’ve decided against fitting any permanent ladder to the ramp, I’ll fit some loose netting across the void as per the plans, and then use a lightweight aluminium ladder which can be fixed into place when the dinghy is in the water and removed when the dinghy is on the ramp.
I finished off the day with a coat of primer on the upper face of the aft platform.
All in all a good day.