Since last update, spent what little time faffing and fitting.
The trailer on which the boat sits needed some modifications; it's a long story but in essence it was a modified trailer that I extended. However the extension meant that a) the stern prop was now some way away from the rear axle and therefore the beam flexed too easily, not supplying sufficient support I felt and b) the cross beam at the end of the extension fouled the rudder so I couldn't check the fit, shaft length etc.
Got the local agricultural fitters round and explained my plan to amputate the cross beam and then weld longitudinal diamond bracing down the length of the pair of extension beams from tip to rear axle. This would allow me to slide the rudder between the extensions and up the rudder tube as well as stiffening the rear part of the trailer.
I could now fit of the new rudder for the first time since I got it about six months ago.
All went well, All the old and new bits went together well, heights adjusted etc...
This large gap can cause issues with snagging weed, submerged branches and more importantly the mainsheet.
So the shaft needed to be shortened. This is a pain because the tiller socket casting mates with the shaft as a keyed, conical fitting i.e. line up a slit in the tiller socket with a removable bronze key, drop onto the shaft & tighten down the crown nut. No wear, no lateral slack.
A good solution, except that it involves a lot of precision machining of the shaft. If the shaft needs altering it means effectively chop it of an make a new one. Thinking laterally I decided to weld 1.5" on the top edge of the rudder blade instead....
Moving forward to the stem; I decided some time ago that I wouldn't refit the bowsprit for the first couple of seasons. However I might choose to do so later on, so the gammon iron would need to stay (not the ghastly stainless one I bought with the boat, it but a nice bronze one an older owner gave me).
The bilge pump bits needed further specialist machining, but when fitted seemed to do the job well:
Moving inside, the forepeak was cleaned up and scraped so the upper inside planks could receive a dozen or so coats of shellac and the bilge a couple of coats of red lead.
Also finished off making the runners for all the cabin drawers:
Externally the rubbing strakes were marked up to determine where the chainplates were, so the rebates could be chopped. The screw holes all countersunk, inside edge sealed with penetrating epoxy and dry fitted to check all was OK:
Now it's looking a bit dangerous - seems varnishing the hull is just round the corner...