Monday, August 16, 2010

What one does on one's holiday....

....if one is foolish enough to own a very old boat; even worse if one decides with one's other half to share another even older boat that needs even more fixing up.

The photos below are of the foredeck of the Hennie Ha which I have spent the weekend needle scaling to get all the old paint off. Last weekend I did the the gangboord on the starboard side, and I guess next week, I'll be doing the same thing on the port side. A needle scaler, for those of you who haven't heard of them, is run on compressed air and is a 'gun' stacked full of steel needles which vibrate like crazy when the machine is in operation. It does a brilliant job of knocking off anything that can come free of the steel, and is a super speedy paint stripper.

One needle scaled gangboord

Portion of foredeck I did today.

The famous needle scaler, without which none of this would be possible.

The poor little boat looks a mess at the moment as we strip, sand and scale, but at least when it's painted again, the paint will stay on and not need doing again for a year or two.

I would have gone on today, but rain stopped play. We are having a week of really horrid weather. I do hope it cheers up soon, or August won't have been a good month for my holiday. I'm off back to Rotterdam tomorrow to do some more on the Vereeniging...yes, I know, I know but that's what having old boats is all about.

Hope you are all enjoying your August.


  1. At least those old boats get a lot of love.

  2. Val, it sounds like far too much work for a vacation, to me.
    I have a couple of days off and I will now go out and mow the lawn...


  3. Hi Val, we are using a needle gun (as we call it) on the inside of the hull to clear off all the crap! We have also found that the better the compressor the better the gun works. Don't work too hard, holidays are supposed to be about fun and relaxation! xxx

  4. Resting on a holiday, lying in the sofa with a good book, basking in the sun (if there's some), maybe a cold drink beside you?? I never heard of such a thing! Working during vacation keeps you healthy!


  5. Thanks Stu, Dale, Fran and Maria. You are all right, it does sound like a lot of work, but Maria has hit the nail on the head, really. I'm not sure what I'd do with a relaxing holiday if I had one. I've been accused of being hyper active before, and although I don't think that's true, do find it nigh on impossible to sit around and do nothing!

  6. STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP, ma you need a real holiday!!!

  7. it's already been said Val, hard work for a Holiday. Take some time for yourself. xx

  8. You should have been here last weekend Val, we did absolutely nothing! :)

    Shot some photos, that's all...
    Temperature was 25 to 27 C all of Saturday, almost no wind. My skin color is now pink to roast beef.
    Read a whole book in one day.
    Finished off with a nice sauna session and had a Scrabble competition with Her Indoors until it got too dark to see.

    Be careful with that paint stripper, the vibrations are bad for your hands and fingers. Take looong breaks every now and then! :)

  9. Hi there

    Those needle guns are hard work!

    It's worth it in the end though.



  10. Vally how would you compare the needle stripper to using an angle grinder and grinding discs? We were stripping Hendrik's deck using the latter but it takes FOREVER. How many square feet do you think you cover with your needle stripper? And does it make your hands numb with all the shaking?

  11. I can hardly wait to get my hands on one of those things, Val!!! Must give you a terrible thumping head at the end of the day though! Hope you took enough breaks to let your muscles relax a bit... maybe with some sort of convivial beverage even???
    Stefano should be just about ready to land in Amsterdam... and Mike has said he will be out behind the station in a boat waiting for him. He will be flitting between the Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam for the next couple of weeks, mainly helping Mike do some jobs on his boat... so you never know. They might yet drop their anchor near you!!!

    And Melissa...
    sounds as if the Italian journalist had his tongue well rammed into his cheek if the title for the images is anything to go by! Something the Italians do not understand, even to the point of avoiding having any kind of legislation to cover liveaboards.
    Tell me about it...

  12. Hans, I've already decided Finland has summers worth going north for!

    Grace, I'm not getting up all that early...does that make it a holiday?

    Mo, I can't, especially as Koos has been braving all the trials of the HH on his own mostly.

    Tim, you're right
    And Melissa, I'd back the needle gun over the angle grinder for stripping paint any day. It also leaves less of a scar. However, those pirago things are pretty good at taking paint off too, although you need a flat service or they lose their steel points. The needle gun is fast. I did about three square metres in roughly two hours yesterday, although I'm not really sure of how good that is compared to an angle grinder. To give you more of an idea, I did the whole of the foredeck in approximately 4.5 hours if I add the time on two separate days together. It's not a big boat, but the deck still has its old diamond shaped profile and of course the bits round the hatch and bollards and round the rivets at the edges all take longer.

    Janys, you'd love it, but yes, I did have a headache when I finished, probably due to my determination to get it finished before the rain started again!

  13. Val, I'm sorry about the horrid weather. It seems we bailed on Rotterdam just in time. ;)

    Make sure you take the time to just relax, my dear. The summer is going, going fast!


  14. Yeah horrid here as well...what a lot of work, but keeps you fit, I bet! ;-)

  15. UGH! Needle guns; one of the curses of our life at work. A couple of tips, if you are not aware of them~ #1 These work great on flat, open areas: #2 Heavy, padded leather gloves help your hands a lot! #3 After scaling an area, we zoom over it lightly with a cup brush on an angle grinder; it zips off the tiny bits left by the needles and makes the steel nice and smooth for primer.

  16. it does Val. Sleeping in is a big part :) xx

  17. I think you do need to look up the word holiday in the dictionary... any dictionary! Of course, I am not one to talk really. How are you other than working your fingers to the bone as always? I have been so absent, but thinking of you often.
    much love


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