The V-groove panels were more difficult. Yesterday, when we applied the primer to the V-grooves with a brush and then rolled and tipped the panels it went on thicker than we anticipated. When we went to sand them this morning the primer had not cured enough to sand without tearing. So we set the V-groove panels aside and concentrated on the flat panels where the primer went on thinner. Later we went back and sanded carefully and primed one of the V-groove panels and applied a coat of Brightside. It came out pretty good. However, if you look closely you can see some of the tear out in the V-grooves. We left the rest of the panels to further cure. They will need more primer to address the tear out unless I come up with a different plan.
For the last four days I have continued working on the overhead panels. I removed them from the boat and set up some plank supports to hold them in the shed while we perform the sanding, sealing, priming, and painting. It was not till I laid the panels out on our back deck that I really got a feel for just how many panels we would be dealing with. I started off by sanding the backs of the panels with 80 grit paper and applying two coats of West Epoxy. After the epoxy cured I flipped the panels over and sanded the interior side with 120 grit paper. Then I began sealing the wood with Interlux Inter Prime Wood Sealer. The tech department at Interlux recommended I seal the ply wood before we prime and paint with Brightside LPU. They said the sealing would prevent the primer from being sucked up into the exposed end grain where I routered the V-grooves. After the first coat dried overnight, we lightly sanded the panels again and applied the second coat of sealer. We have some rainy weather coming so I don't know if I will be able to start applying the Prime-Kote primer tomorrow.
19 Nov: For the last two days we had cold weather so we did not prime the panels until this morning. Today the temps got up to about 65 degrees with night time low forecasted for about 55 degrees. We are supposed to have about five days of nice weather. We used Interlux Pre-Kote. No major issues. We rolled and tipped. It took about three hours. If they are dry enough to sand tomorrow we will apply another coat.
"On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousands of men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history."
The above is an excerpt from General John A. Lejuene's birthday message to the Marine Corps in 1921 and is republished annually on the birthday of the Corps. Happy 236th Birthday Marines. It was an honor to serve by your side in every clime and place.
10 Nov 11I spent most of yesterday building the remaining templates for the overhead panels. Today I built the templates for the underside of the deck over the quarter berth (these will all be painted white with a varnished beam across each end and two across the middle). Starting yesterday I left all the templates stapled in place. As soon as I built the last one I pulled the templates down from above the port and starboard quaterberth. I traced the templates on 1/4" 1088 ply, cut them out, and fit them into position with a minimum number of #8 1" self tapping ss screws. I braced the panels into position and then predrilled the holes with a combination drill bit/countersink installed in one cordless drill, then drove the screws in with another cordless drill. I always drill each hole then install a screw before I drill another hole to make sure the holes line up properly. It goes pretty fast. The full size 76"x24" panels went in pretty easy as a single piece. But, after thinking about it some this afternoon I think I may take them down tomorrow and cut them into two pieces so they will be easier to remove once all the trim is installed. I have to be careful not to install anything I can't remove without disassembling half the boat. I finished up the day cutting out and installing the panel over the galley area.
At the top of the photo to the right are the v-groove cabin top panels. In the center of the photo, under the side-deck are the panels above the galley area and portside pilot berth. The green tape marks the location of beams so I drilled in the correct place when I first installed the panels.
Happy Birthday Dad--you would be 89 years old today.
The trick to this kind of projects is to establish a single datum point, in this case it is the centerline of the boat on the overhead. I build each template from the centerline and work outboard. I also build each template aligned with the previously installed panel so I know that they will line up and fit together.
To make the seam invisible down the centerline of the boat, I cut a half V-groove on each panel, port and starboard sides. When I installed them they formed a V-groove on the centerline which blends in perfectly with the other V-grooves. Eventually, we will laminate and install 'thwarship beams about every 26". They will hide the screw and joint lines.
Later in the day I drilled the holes for the chain plates. I have been waiting a long time to check that off the list. I expected it to be complicated but it turned out be a simple anti-climatic event. I drilled from the interior up through the existing holes and through the deck. Last year I glassed over the hull deck joint with three layers of biaxial but left the holes as a guide so I would be able to reinstall the chain plates in their previous location. It worked like a champ. I drilled all seven chainplates in 45 minutes. I did not caulk or install nuts or washers. I just drilled the holes and dropped the old bolts through to check for alignment. I did not drill out the holes for the aft intermediates. I am considering replacing them with running back-stays with will required the pad-eyes to be installed much further aft than the old permanent aft intermediates. If I change my mind I can drill out the old holes pretty easily. It is great to have this done.
We had a wonderful time in NYC. We have visited there four or five times over the years but we thought it was a good time to take the kids and introduce them to the wonders of the Big Apple. It was interesting to see their reaction to NYC and how different it is from living in our small town. We visited the usual NYC spots. They marveled at the skyscrapers, the subway, and all the hustle and bustle of the city. I think the highlights for the kids were the views from the observation platform on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, Time Square, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, riding the subway, and seeing the Statue of Liberty. They also got a chance to travel from Quantico to NYC through Penn Station, something everyone should get a chance to do.
Though we had a great time I am looking forward to getting back to work on the Far Reach.
Since the last entry I pretty much completed installing the AP foam to the under side of the cabin top and side decks except in the area over the forward double berth. Before I could do that I needed to install the cleats for the over head panels which I did not do during the summer as I did not know exactly where the windlass was going to be located. Now that I know where it will be positioned I installed the 1/2" G10 as a base plate for the ABI windlass. I could have used a piece of manufactured fiberglass sheet stock at about 1/3 the price but I had the G10 on hand so I used it. Anyway, I wanted to raise the windlass a little to improve the chain gypsy to roller angle and to get the chain hole a little higher off the ceck to make it a litlle more difficult for rain water to get into the chain hole. I positioned the windlass on the plate and drilled the 3/8" holes through the plate. Then, after positioning the plate on the deck I drilled the holes through the deck. That told me where the backing plate would be located and I could continue on with installing the insulation.
After pulling the tape and masking paper I cleaned up the inside of the boat. I spend about 45 minutes lightling sanding the inside of the cabin sides with some 320 grit paper thinking I would apply a couple of more coats of varnish this week in preparation for installing the portlights in the near future. But, then decided I would put the varnishing off till the overhead panels are installed. So, I sat down and made a list of the next dozen or so projects to be done and made up a list of supplies to order to keep everything on track. Tomorrow, I'll start installing the overhead insulation.
They told me not to pull the tape till Sunday morning . . . I will have a closer look then.
When sanding by hand, I normally use a 3M hard rubber block but instead I tried wrapping a 1/4 sheet of paper around one of those foam sanding blocks you can buy at Lowes. Because much of the areas I was sanding have a gentle curve I think it worked better than the hard block. Except for some early work on the boat I have pretty much gone to using a vacuum attached to the shop vac when I use a power sander. To be sure, it is a PITA to have the shop-vac on the deck and have it connected to the sander but it does a pretty good job of capturing most of the dust which helps save a lot of time in the clean up phase. This would be a wasted effort though when using the powerful DA RA sander. It would clog the filter in minutes. I think this is the fifth time I have sanded the entire boat and sometimes it seems like that is all I do. But, this time it seemed less difficult . . . probably because I have hired a professional boat painter to spray the topsides, cabin sides, and cockpit. It's one less thing I have to worry about. After finishing up today I the washed the boat and wiped it down with denatured alcohol. Tomorrow I will start masking the boat off.