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Ruffles Spray was beginning to take shape although the plated hull was only tack welded it looked like a boat. Next came the question of welding up the hull. There was no way I could use the generator I bought to do this as it was a petrol one and used more than three litres an hour so I shopped round and found a company which hired large generators and welders.

I hired a 350 amp mig welder and a 12kva diesel generator for three weeks. But before I could start welding the boat had to be covered so that the welding gases would not be blown away causing all sorts of problems.

I therefore built a shed made out of wood. The frames were bought and erected then old lorry tarpaulin was stretched over the frames and nailed in place this took two weeks.

The generator arrived on time, it was huge, argon gas bottles were hired and the welding could begin. As I have said before Bruce Roberts the designer advised me to weld the hull inside and outside so I started inside.

This exercise took two weeks. I then ground a vee back into the weld from the outside and the whole welding process began afresh, again this took two weeks but hiring the welder and the generator saved a lot of time as if I had done it by stick welding I would probably still be there now.

So the hull was completely welded from the inside and outside. There were no windows cut, in fact there were no openings at all so these came next. Windows, openings for the lazarette lockers, holes for through hull fittings, all the various small holes for cables, engine exhausts, water intake etc. were all cut.

By this time it was September 1999 and I decided to work full time on Spray and things started to happen.

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