Renovating Casper

Alicatt

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And so it begins.

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Casper, yesterday, looking lonely and unloved, waiting for a clear spell to get the tent off and give it a good clean.

Casper is getting a small make over, not as in depth as @kashurst is doing to his boat but still she needs updating.

While the weather is being inclement here, we decided to get on with what we could from home tackling the upholstery.
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We had gone to Maastricht just after Xmas to the open air market and got some fabric as a test swatch but we needed more.

We planned a trip to the shop rather than the market to get more fabric and at the same time we decided to go to Ikea and the outdoor leisure shop that sells components for motorhomes caravans and boats.
When we got to the fabric shop looking at the range of fabrics they had we decided on a change of plan and colour with the purchase of a better quality water resistant fabric. That was 2 weeks ago.
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Bluish Grey water resistant upholstery fabric

After the fabric shop we went to the camping shop De Wit Schijndel. Oh Boy, it was HUGE, they cater for just about every type of outdoor sport/hobby. We looked around and got a few small items but did not see the DIY stuff for making your own motorhome or caravan. We had lunch in their restaurant which for a cafeteria was quite good, we continued our search upstairs where the tents and camping items were, we did see some things that were close to what we were looking for but it was still not exactly what we wanted. One tent caught our eye for all the wrong reasons, at €15k it was eye watering dear!

We got directed across the road to their other warehouse where they kept the diy articles, the door opened and it was an Aladdin’s cave. One of the things my wife wanted was to convert the boat from gas to electric, so I walked her through the items that would be needed for that and she changed her mind, back to gas we go, I need to re do all the gas fittings etc. as a previous owner had kind of butchered the system, drilling a large hole in the bottom of the gas locker so he could use a larger gas cylinder, the pipe work had been cut and joined together with proper gas hose but the length of those sections were too long and they were not fitted properly either, the gas hob is rusted and parts are broken so we will be replacing it. After looking at the different range of combination sinks with gas hobs they were all a bit on the small side to replace what we have on board, so we took measurements for reference and will look at what we can do.
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The hob unit that should fit to replace the 2 burner one in the boat
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Next was Ikea for a few things including a couple of single size mattresses to replace the thin foam that the previous owner had there, we also got cutlery and we had already picked up a full 6 setting diner service in a thrift shop in Dumbarton last year, it was unused and still in it’s original packaging, it was a bargain at £2 :)

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My wife inherited her mother’s sewing machine, it is fairly old and had not been used in more than 10 years, so it was unsurprising that it only partially worked, the Zig did not Zag.
Thursday night was spent stripping the machine down and finding the cam follower for the zig-zag was seized on the shaft, lucky it was only the grease that had gone solid locking the cam follower from moving, freeing it up and re assembling the machine, re timing it and now it works great.
Mrs Catt had used the foam that the previous owner had left in the bow and made a template to cut up the foam of the Ikea mattress, first we used a sharp knife but that was a bit of a pain so I used the electric carving knife and it cut through the foam mattress like a knife through foam…
I took the foam to the boat to check for fit and it was perfect, back home again and we cut up the mattress cover to fit the new shape and Mrs Catt sewed it up, that’s when we found out the sewing machine didn’t zag.

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Today has been spent picking apart the covers of the seats to use them as patterns for the new fabric
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And the cushions now
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the back rests have been done too.
And my back may forgive me by tomorrow :)
 

AndieMac

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Good start Alicatt!
Assume you are based in Netherlands, but made reference to Scotland? Can you tell me what brand of boat she is, looks production GRP, also engine and drive system?
I like a good renovation thread :)
 

benjenbav

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Nice work!

And I’ve learned a lesson about skim-reading. I picked up on the word ‘electric’ and have been staring at this picture thinking it looked just like a gas hob until I re-read the original post properly. Hope you enjoy the project and the finished boat. 👍
 

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Alicatt

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Good start Alicatt!
Assume you are based in Netherlands, but made reference to Scotland? Can you tell me what brand of boat she is, looks production GRP, also engine and drive system?
I like a good renovation thread :)
Based in Belgium, but close to The Netherlands, about 2hours by my boat and 10 minutes by the car.

As for the boat I have no real idea what she is, there is a mention of Falcon 750 on the Belgian registration, and in the tent it also mentions Falcon 750, I found one of the cushions plywood backing had writing on it when I took the cloth off and a date of 1979. She was first registered in Belgium in 1980 she has a VP MD7A through a Saildrive to a 3 bladed propellor.
On trying her out we achieved a GPS top speed of 11.9km/h or 6.4kt, not too bad for a 44 year old 13hp driving a 2ton 7.5m x 2.5m boat, she is flat bottomed with only a skeg which protects the saildrive and propellor and gives a bottom mount for the rudder sticking down from the hull.
Prop walk is quite pronounced in her and she can turn on a sixpence to port and to starboard takes about an ocean width :)

This was our first run on her from our haven to Leopoldsburg marina and back.

Nice work!

And I’ve learned a lesson about skim-reading. I picked up on the word ‘electric’ and have been staring at this picture thinking it looked just like a gas hob until I re-read the original post properly. Hope you enjoy the project and the finished boat. 👍
Yeah wife wants 'leccy on board but when I priced it up it was getting close on what we paid for the boat!
 

Alicatt

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She certainly tracks nicely looking at the minimal wheel movements you are making.
Once going she is not bad, there we were doing about 4-5km/h, but you do have to keep an eye on her.
... it may be the weed that's holding her in the centre of the channel ;)

This is against a 2-3 km/h flow in the canal, for the same RPM we were doing over 11km/m on the way back
 

AndieMac

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You will have a lot of fun with the renovation and cruising the vast canal systems of the neighbouring countries no doubt.
I think the weed problem is within all freshwater canal systems.
 

Alicatt

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You will have a lot of fun with the renovation and cruising the vast canal systems of the neighbouring countries no doubt.
I think the weed problem is within all freshwater canal systems.
Our canal is fairly shallow and as it is a dead end there is not much flow other than over the spill ways into the local brooks and burns, that coupled with low traffic then the weed gets a good chance to grow. Our last trip out in November was a case of 100m forward and astern to clear the weed, then another bit of forward and astern clearing the weed, with only 13hp to play with the speed drops off very quickly when a weed patch can't be avoided. Once out of our back water it is plain sailing as they are quite well used and a lot deeper than the Canal to Beverlo ( Kanaal naar Beverlo) where we are.

Well we re-covered all the cabin seating and made covers for the mattress in the same material so it will have the same look, the infill cushions are done too, and when doing them noticed how shaped they are to fit along the hull, so compound curves and this is the first time my wife has used a sewing machine too.

My wife loves to paint so that is a big bonus, we do all our decorating etc. in our houses

The painting of the insides will continue to have to wait as it is forecast to freeze this week and it is still too wet here to think about taking off the tent to clean and waterproof it.
 

Alicatt

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Today's task was to try and make a new wooden bar for the cleats

Nice piece of hard wood from the local DIY shop and a bit of help from a friend
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And no I didn't cut it up in the kitchen :) I have a nice big garage where I can work just it was warmer in the kitchen :)

After a bit of sawing and sanding...
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Fits perfectly, now to make the other 3 then I can take the rest of the cleats off to get them chrome plated.

Edit: this is how it should look when it was new:
BollardNew1.jpg
 
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Alicatt

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Lovely day today, so was down at the boat getting the rest of the cleats off and plugging the holes until I can put them back.

Opened up the hatch and rolled up the sides of the tent
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Removed the ceiling lining in the bow and found a message from a previous person that had the boat...
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:oops:🤘🤘🤘 looks like a Metal Head had the boat before, looking at the state of the washers on the bolts for the cleats then the lining could have been there since she was built, that bands are certainly old enough to be.

after that I dug out some of the gravel ballast and struck water at the bottom :(
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Six buckets full, and I don't think I'm half way through it yet.

Off to get more buckets tomorrow and some stainless steel washers for the cleats for when I put them back, also taking the lining down let me see how much insulation I can put up there.
Also measured the headroom in the cabin 1.86m so quite generous, took a lot more measurements to see what we may need if we replace the panelling on the ceiling of the cabin, undecided yet. also need to get a new hatch seal as the one on it is not a seal at all, just a finishing trim.
 

Alicatt

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10 and a half buckets of gravel ballast removed from the bow, about 200kg worth, found that some idiot spilled a can of diesel in the bow and it soaked through the gravel, all the gravel is out but there must be about 4litres of diseasel oil in the bottom of the bow. :oops: :mad:🤬
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Hope to be able to go and pump it out tomorrow

On a lighter note, there was a mass of ooievaar or storks flying over making a lot of noise when I left the boat today
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this was the 3rd formation to fly over and another couple passed overhead after this.
 

Bouba

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@Bouba Now I know how you felt with the diesel tank saga :)
Without digging up the thread again did you get rid of the smell of the diesel? If so what did you use?
I used vinegar a lot....but after the fuel tank was replaced and the engine put back in, I had bought loads of vinegar and other chemicals....but the boat yard did such a great job of cleaning while the tank and engine were out that it never smelt at all...so I didn’t have to do anything.
But while I was managing the situation before it went into the yard, I would pour vinegar (and lemon I think....all information I got front the internet) and then pump it out with a small 12 v pump (very cheap to buy, they are made for extracting oil from engine sumps) and a battery....over and over again. I always put it in the oil waste container in the boat yard after each extraction
 

Alicatt

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I used vinegar a lot....but after the fuel tank was replaced and the engine put back in, I had bought loads of vinegar and other chemicals....but the boat yard did such a great job of cleaning while the tank and engine were out that it never smelt at all...so I didn’t have to do anything.
But while I was managing the situation before it went into the yard, I would pour vinegar (and lemon I think....all information I got front the internet) and then pump it out with a small 12 v pump (very cheap to buy, they are made for extracting oil from engine sumps) and a battery....over and over again. I always put it in the oil waste container in the boat yard after each extraction
Thanks @Bouba
Yeah I have one of those small pumps, got it to drain the engine oil from the boat's engine, was going to use that to suck up the diseasel from the bow bilge. won't get back to the boat today but heading there tomorrow. the smell of the diesel has penetrated just about all the fabric on the boat so will be replacing the carpets in the cabin too now, it never ends :)
Now I see why the acronym BOAT means Break Out Another Thousand :ROFLMAO: 😭
 

Bouba

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Thanks @Bouba
Yeah I have one of those small pumps, got it to drain the engine oil from the boat's engine, was going to use that to suck up the diseasel from the bow bilge. won't get back to the boat today but heading there tomorrow. the smell of the diesel has penetrated just about all the fabric on the boat so will be replacing the carpets in the cabin too now, it never ends :)
Now I see why the acronym BOAT means Break Out Another Thousand :ROFLMAO: 😭
All the boat fabrics and mattresses spent a month or two outside in the Mediterranean summer sun constantly turned over....eventually the smell went
 

kashurst

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Once you get the diesel puddle out it will immediately smell better.
I had a big diesel spill in a boat, got the diesel out then washed/wiped it all out with a sponge and straight washing up liquid. Rinse and repeat a few times. Last thing I did was chuck an entire bottle of bathroom cleaner in and the diesel smell went. The soft furnishings might do OK in a hot washing machine. The gravel with diesel contamination is probably best taken to a waste disposal site and buy new.

Getting all that gravel out must have been back breaking.
 

Alicatt

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Once you get the diesel puddle out it will immediately smell better.
I had a big diesel spill in a boat, got the diesel out then washed/wiped it all out with a sponge and straight washing up liquid. Rinse and repeat a few times. Last thing I did was chuck an entire bottle of bathroom cleaner in and the diesel smell went. The soft furnishings might do OK in a hot washing machine. The gravel with diesel contamination is probably best taken to a waste disposal site and buy new.

Getting all that gravel out must have been back breaking.
Febreze worked well to get some of the smell out of the seating, we were renewing the upholstery anyway and that has been done, now trying to source a replacement ballast that will not hold liquid like the gravel did, shocked at the price of lead! €600 for 200kg.
Not been at the boat today we were invited out for lunch so it has been a lazy day with the family out cycling. Tomorrow we will be back at it and will wash out the bilge, it is a sealed compartment with no connection to the rest of the boat other than through the hatch, then we have to make a discission on how we are going to tackle the gas hob/sink.

Was not bad just the smell as I had to hang over into the hatch to dig it out with a garden trowel.
All the cleats are replaced and sealed, we did not get them re-chromed yet, there is almost a year's waiting list at the factory!

old wooden spar to compare with the new ones I made
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Alicatt

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Well today I found out a bit more about our boat, it is a Placom 750 made in Holland in Sept 1979 ...
Well at least I now know what she is and found other owners too in Germany, one other guy has a Mercedes-Benz engine producing 55hp which is a bit more than the 13hp the VP MD7A in mine :)
 

Alicatt

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I lifted the floor in the lazarette today as there is diesel in part of the bilge there, might have an @Bouba in the diesel tank :oops: ;)
So far all the diesel has run to the bow, it flows through a small crack in the bulkhead between the galley and the bilge in the bow, so far I'm taking out about a litre of diesel out the bow per day, it is getting less each time thankfully, so it may be that it was just someone spilling a jerry can of diesel, but I have my doubts.
The floor of the galley and dining area are sealed off and there is no access under the floor except maybe from the lazarette, that's my job tomorrow is to take the wall down between the lazarette and the rest of the boat.

One thing I noticed is that the engine bearers are quite large and run from the stern to where the bulkhead is between the lazarette and the cabin.
Our boat seems to have the "small" engine option in the 13hp V-P MD7A with saildrive where the two others I have found have a Thornycroft T108 47hp and a Mercedes-Benz OM621 54hp both with V-P outdrives.
 

Bouba

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I lifted the floor in the lazarette today as there is diesel in part of the bilge there, might have an @Bouba in the diesel tank :oops: ;)
So far all the diesel has run to the bow, it flows through a small crack in the bulkhead between the galley and the bilge in the bow, so far I'm taking out about a litre of diesel out the bow per day, it is getting less each time thankfully, so it may be that it was just someone spilling a jerry can of diesel, but I have my doubts.
The floor of the galley and dining area are sealed off and there is no access under the floor except maybe from the lazarette, that's my job tomorrow is to take the wall down between the lazarette and the rest of the boat.

One thing I noticed is that the engine bearers are quite large and run from the stern to where the bulkhead is between the lazarette and the cabin.
Our boat seems to have the "small" engine option in the 13hp V-P MD7A with saildrive where the two others I have found have a Thornycroft T108 47hp and a Mercedes-Benz OM621 54hp both with V-P outdrives.
First test is to wait for the diesel to stop…then fill the tank
 
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