One of the Facebooks groups that I follow is the Airfix Modelling Club. If you don’t know, Airfix is one of the companies that makes plastic kits of aircraft, military equipment, car, ships etc etc. I spent a lot of my teenage years building models of Spitfires, tanks and other assorted war machinery plus naval vessels and sailing ships. One of the predominant themes in the Facebook group is “The Stash”. Some of these guys are serious modellers and constantly troll E-bay, model shops, second hand shops and markets for old and new model kits, which they invariably purchase and take home and put with all their other kits that they haven’t yet gotten around to building. The Stash. There can literally be dozens of unbuilt models in the stash and who knows if they will ever get around to building them.
My own personal stash of Airfix kits comes to a grand total of two, the sailing ship Mary Rose and 1/72 scale Supermarine Spitfire. I will definitely get around to building them, fairly soon in fact, and in the not too distant future, if not eventually.
Meanwhile, whilst I have dreams of reliving my youth by building plastic models the refit on La Mouette continues. The parallels of refitting a fibreglass yacht from the 1970’s and building plastic kits are so close it’s scary. Is La Mouette basically, a full scale plastic kit with a few metal and wood bits chucked in for good measure?
Hopefully, it’s much more than that but the similarities are there. The other similarity with model kit building is of course, The Stash. Oh yes, I have one of those building up nicely. Much more in fact than my Airfix stash. Currently in my stash I have a Seaflow electric galley pump, a tap for the galley sink, a Raymarine VHF radio, a Fusion marine entertainment unit with two speakers, the start of a slab reefing kit, a replacement masthead anchoring light, an electric fan, a cleat for the base of the mast, a lock for the soon to be new top washboard, a sheet of engine soundproofing, an almost new Rocna anchor, 10 metres of 8 mm chain, an 8 mm anchor chain joining link plus other various bits and pieces. Quite an impressive stash, even if I do say so myself.
Of course, these items are not going to be installed in a day, nor even a week, but over the course of a couple of months as time permits and hopefully, interspersed between daysails and weekends out on the water. The other problem with dealing with the items in the stash of course, is that even though they are individual projects, they inevitably require other stuff being done, ie they are not stand alone projects. For example, installing the electric galley pump and tap requires wiring, fuses and extra switches in the distribution panel. Currently, all the switches in the distribution panel are in use, so that means an upgrade with more switches and fuses. Which is effectively another project in itself. Similarly with installing fans in the cabin. These also require their own switch in the distribution panel, so that’s a project that needs to be done before I can install other electrical items such as pumps and fans.
It is starting to get quite daunting. Added to the stash projects, there are also the other items waiting in the wings such as varnishing, painting the lockers, a furler and new headsail, curtains, plus the usual maintenance items, such as cleaning, polishing and all the ongoing fibreglass repairs. Then there are the not necessary, but nice to have items, such as book shelves and spice racks. I can see why some people take their boat out of the water and prop it up in the back yard and work on it for a year or so. That would be good, but then you can’t go sailing or enjoy those sunset gin and tonics or throw a line over the side and see what you can catch for dinner. In any case, a boat never gets finished, so it’s better to keep plugging away than try to do it all at once. I don’t have the resources to do the whole lot in one go. Apart from the glaring fact that I need a job to fund this. Taking time off to do a full time refit isn’t a reality as it can’t be funded. I need to work to fund the refit but by working, I don’t have the time to do all the boat projects. If I have the time to do the boat projects, I won’t have the money to do them. Definitely a catch-22 situation. Hence the build up of the stash.
What to do, what to do. Easter is coming up soon, and like the Christmas break, I plan to spend a few days aboard working full time on projects. On the to-do list, is climb and mast and fix the anchor light, sort out the exterior woodwork which needs a couple of extra coats of Cetol, as well as do some more fibre glass repairs. I managed to buy a tin of gelcoat tint in beige and hopefully, that will be a closer match than the previous tint I have been using. In between the coats of varnish, I can get in and get the cockpit gelcoat looking good. The Boatworks Today YouTube channel showed a technique where you can make a mould of the non-skid and use that to make repairs. I am keen to have a go and try and get the gelcoat on the boat looking half decent and I really think I can make some progress, but more on that next time.