Maintenance of the hull
JASTARNIA, POLAND - OCTOBER 2014
So here we are all safe and sound in the north of Spain, after all the adventures which you can discover in our logbook...
Work can finally begin on restoring the Norda. Many months will be necessary to bring her up to the allure that this old rig deserves and welcome our guests in a convivial, safe and comfortable environment.
Step 1: clear the Norda of all the superfluous material to gain access to the structure of the vessel and go over every detail. This first step didn’t take long to bring us a few surprises and confirm our first thoughts: the deck has had so little maintenance the last ten years that we have to replace it all.
Luckily however, the deck beams have resisted to the major part of the deck leaks and only require minor repairs...
And the discoveries begin
RIANXO, SPAIN - SPRING 2015
Evaluating the state of the deck
RIANXO, SPAIN - SPRING & SUMMER 2015
We decided to start our work on the poop deck under which are found the crew quarters, diesel tanks and the engine. It is also the occasion to remodel the space inside to make it more accessible and ergonomic.
The iroko deck seemed to be in good condition, so reusable. Except we quickly discovered that, due to the porous screws covered in sikaflex, along with an astronomical quantity of glue to fix everything to the underlying plywood which was slowly decomposing, we were constraint to rip off the deck replace it all with new wood.
Hammers, wooden wedges, chisels and crow bars became our weapons of choice for the next few weeks to lift of the deck.
The Iroko that we managed to save will be used to create two new bigger tables, in the saloon and on the poop deck, as well as completing some finishing details in the cabins...
The workers from the shipyard watch us as we sand down the frame in the transom... and congratulate us.
One of them admits that, if his boss asked him to do a job like that, he would absolutely refuse and quit his job directly without collecting his wage! “It’s way too much work!!!"
It's true that most people would cover the wood structure with paint or plywood to hide the imperfections, what a shame!
Even with the work load, the decision is made, we will conserve the charm of these old frames, which wear the marks of nearly a hundred years of service, but very healthy and extremely solid... After dismantling the old structure, cleaning and sanding, they will be apparent a much as possible in the cabins, with the only treatment of a good oiling for protection.
Out with the old
RIANXO, SPAIN - SUMMER 2015
No questions asked: despite all the advice we received from the Polish to leave Poland before the November storms start in the Baltic Sea, Gordon would not risk sailing the Norda to Spain without first taking her out of the water to get her hull prepared for the job.
10 days were necessary to sail to the boatyard in Jastarnia, lift out her 46.5 tonnes to dry land, clean the accumulation of 8 years aquatic life which had taken residence on her hull, sand, caulk, seal, replace the anodes, repack the propeller shaft and put on new antifouling.
Whatever the outcome, our decision to proceed with the refit in the north of Spain because of the weather seems to be the right one: the wind in Poland in November is already glacial and interrupts work on the hull during 2 days.
Totally replacing the deck
RIANXO, SPAIN - WINTER & SPRING 2016
After ripping off the iroko deck and replacing the decomposing plywood from the poop deck a few months ago, we were eventually ready to do so with the rest of the deck at the beginnig of 2016, in spite of the bad weather...
Galicia being Spain's Scotland in terms of weather conditions, we are carefully following the forecasts in order not to waste any convenient window. The equation is pretty simple:
3 consecutive days without rain
a new part of the deck sucessfully replaced
It is all the more difficult since we discovered that the shipyard, who had assured us they could accomodate a boat such as the Norda, are not equipped to handle such work.
Fortunately, our dear friend Julien, who already took part in our adventures during Norda's first trip between Poland and Spain last year, joined us in Rianxo to give us a hand for a few weeks.
For those who still wonder: YES... we DO sleep on board the Norda during the works!!!
A brand new deck!
RIANXO, SPAIN - SRING 2016
After a few rainy days, the sun returned.
And as we had already discovered, in Rianxo, good weather never shows up alone. It is always very quickly joined by a crowd y audience very busy observing and commenting, not only the weather forecast, but also our work progress on the deck.
Some of our "regulars" even spend 2 to 3 hours a days, morning and afternoon, standing on the dock in front of the Norda.
On our programme this week: caulking of our new deck. Not less than 42 sika cartridges were used to seal the joints from the main cabin to the prow.
A hard work, specifically for back and knees but the result is highly appreciated by our expert audience: "Well... It took you quite some time... but it looks really good!"
Next step: sanding and protecting the iroko with layers of oil...