After building the scaffolding I found out the supports on the lower part of the leg were in fact to low. They wouldn't fit around the boat stands. So I spent most of the morning removing them, recutting, and raising them to the same level as the first step. This is much better and I should have recognized that this was the right way to lay them out the first time. I also had enough scrap would and screws that I built another scaffold for a total of six. Now, combined with the other stands I already had, I have planks all the way around the boat.
I thought I would start sanding the gelcoat back on the hull deck joint to prepare if for eventual lamination. But after thinking about it a bit it made more sense to go ahead and sand the top sides. I started with 80 grit. It was hard to see exactly where I had sanding and where I had not unless the light was right. And, because I have a clear coat on the topside I must make sure I get it off or I will most certainly have adhesion problems later when I paint. With some trepidation I decided to "mist" the hull with some black lacquer paint. Don Casey recommended it in This Old Boat as a way to see where one has sanded. I have also heard from very reliable sources that this can backfire and cause all kinds of sanding problems. But it went well. The photo to the right shows where I sprayed and then sanding off part of the spray paint. My vertical axis RO sander would not really cut the paint on boot top. I switched to the Porter Cable right angle DA RO and it took it right off. There is nothing like having the right tool for the right job!
It was also a small milestone to sand off Far Reach's name and the hailing port of Philadelphia. They had been on there since I bought the boat. I have nothing against Philadelphia but it obviously had to go. I have been wondering for years when I would get this far so I feel great about reaching this point.
Tomorrow will see more sanding and hopefully much more progress on the topsides.
It is time to start work the long awaited work on the hull deck joint. I have enough ladders and platforms to work one side of the boat at a time but I want to be able to around the entire boat without having to relocate ladders and boards. Though the shed is great and there is a lot of room, when it comes to moving heavy platforms around it can be a tight squeeze to get the them between the boat stands and the side of the shed.
Yesterday I few up a sketch of some platforms that would be easy to build, be narrow enough to walk past, and stable enough to work five feet off the ground. The design also allows three heights--2', 3 1/2', and 5'.
I picked up the supplies yesterday from Lowes. total cost was $105.00. That bought (24) 8' 2X4s, (5) 10' 2X10s, and 2 lbs of 3" deck screws. Today I build the stands. It took about 5 hours. I only needed two angles--5 and 15 degrees. They are stackable. Tomorrow I'll put all the scaffolding in place and begin sanding back the gelcoat as preparation for the three layers of glass tape and epoxy.
I sanded the entire deck with 80 grit today on the right angle DARO sander. It took less than 2 hours since I was not having to remove the non-skid, just smooth out the roughness caused by the 40 grit. Next will come 120 grit though I will wait to use the vertical axis RO sander.
Though I removed the cockpit hatches a couple of days ago I had not sanded them. I removed the hardware and bagged the hinges and hasps so I wouldn't loose them. Then I sanded the hatches with 40 grit followed by 80 grit. I also finally removed the wood trim around the companionway hatch. I don't know why I waited so long to do it. It's funny the things we will avoid somehow thinking it can be left in place and save some work . . . talking about living in a fantasy! The wood was beat up pretty bad so I must have known all along it had to some out. It took about an hour to remove it and in fact it splintered coming out due to be installed with screws and 5200. Nonetheless, I kept it to be used as a template for new trim.
I am holding off on sanding with 120 grit until I complete the hull-deck joint glass work and that may be another month while I wait for the temperatures to come up. Next on the list is to install about (50) 5/16" bolts to replace the 1/4" bolts I had installed then removed because they were to small (these replace the original bolts used to fasten the hull-deck joint together). To be able to glass over them though, I'll have to increase the countersink hole size . . . tedious but not difficult.
I spend the last two days sanding the entire deck with 40 grit on my right angle DA RO sander. It took a total of 10 hours of sanding. The goal was to remove all the non-skid and make the entire deck smooth to all proper application of the primer. At this point I intent to use Interlux Epoxy Kote designed to support Perfection two part LPU. That's the plan. However, there is a lot of work to be done before I get there. I will need to eventually sand the deck several more times increasing from the 40 grit I used today to 80 then to 120. But before I do that I have a lot of repair work to do. There are stress cracks that need to be repaired. I think the stress cracks were caused by the deck being two flexible due to bulk heads being bolted at the top to the headliner vice tabbed to the deck. I fixed that after I cut the headliner out. But, the damage still needs to be repaired. There is the hull deck joint to be glassed over. There is the propane locker hatch to complete. And I can't do any glass work till the temps come up. I need 36 hours above 50 degrees to ensure the epoxy cures properly. So, in the mean time. I sand.
I spend the day today prepping the deck to start sanding. In fact, after this picture was taken, I removed both cockpit hatches and the wood hatch coaming and started sanding on the foredeck for an hour. By then it was getting dark and it was time to knock off for the day. Tomorrow I will go at the deck hard. I am using 40 grit and my Porter Cable Double Action Right Angle Random Orbital Sander (what a mouth full). I think I'll just have to refer to it as the DARO.
The plan is to sand off the non-skid, then go back over the entire deck, to include the gelcoat, with 180 grit. I sand the deck edge back 3 1/2" with 40 grit, probably through the gelcoat to get it ready to glass over with three layers of biaxial and epoxy. Though it might be a month or more before the temperatures come up enough to epoxy I'll get as much done as I can in the mean time.
Since the last entry much has been accomplished. I recently added a "projects" tab to the navigation bar to help locate and individually track separate projects. The inside of the shed was a disaster due to stuff piling up. So I built another shelving unit to get scrap wood up off the floor and out from under my feet. I also built a vapor liner to keep condensation from dripping on to the boat. Most importantly, I began prepping the deck for glassing the hull and deck joint together. This consisted of washing the boat down with warm soapy water and then wiping the entire deck and topside down with Interlux 202 Solvent Wash. Then I "routered" a round over in the deck edge. Next I begin sanding the deck and topside to prep for the glass work itself (when the temperatures come up) and then priming the deck and topsides. In the meantime I have several projects backed up also waiting on the temperature to come up--completion of the propane locker, finish installing the rudder, finish installing the water tanks, etc. Since it is too cold to epoxy I have just kept moving on to other projects not affected by the cold. 31 Dec 09
I finished reassembling the ABI windlass a few days ago. It works great . . . "smooth as butta." Since then I have had to go back and remove some bolts in the hull deck joint that I installed last spring after I removed the toe rail. The problem is I used 1/4" bolts which are what the drawings in the Cape Dory 36 owners manual indicated were used . . . and that is true except where the genoa track was bolted down. Those are 5/16" and I didn't figure it out till I completed the installation of nearly 50 bolts. Anyway, since they are structurally related to the hull deck joint, I pulled them out and have been cleaning out the caulk. Then I will drop in 5/16" bolts before I glass over the hull deck joint.
For the next few days I'll be performing some boat shed maintenance. Do to the cold outside temperatures I now have some condensation problems which result in water dripping down on the boat from the inside of the sheds plastic cover. I also have a couple of small holes, 3/16" diameter, along the ridge pole. So, I am adding an inside layer of plastic sheeting to the ribs of the shed from the ridge pole 10' down each side of the shed. That should allow any water that condenses on the inside of the outer plastic cover to drip onto the inner sheet and run down the side the shed clear of the boat. We will see how well it works.
21 Dec 09
I called West Systems today to talk to the tech department about how cold the temperatures and can be when working epoxy. They recommended no work below 50 degrees unless I use heat lamps, etc. The boat shed usually heats up to 55-60 degrees during the day but goes to air temp at night. Lately it's been dropping down to near freezing. So, I decided to set aside glass work for a few days and instead will start rebuilding my ABI windlass. To follow this project click here.
Today I worked on building the system that will secure the water tanks in the bilge. The temperature is too cold to do any "glass" work in the boat shed so I have been fabricating the fiberglass trays and runners in the heated wood shop. Click here to see how the water tanks are coming along.
I also cut out biaxial patches for the eight through-hulls I prepped a few days ago. As long as the temperature keeps dropping below 40 degrees at night I will hold off on applying the patches. There are plenty of other things to do while I wait for the temperature to cooperate.
No work on the boat today. I made the epoxy trays for the water tanks yesterday and they are in final cure phase. I'll take some pictures of them tomorrow. Tonight I uploaded a picture of the final painting of the steel beam that supports the pillow block. Click here then scroll down to see the series of pictures showing the before and after pictures.
The water tanks have arrived. I think they look great. They were built by Dura-Weld who were great to work with. The pictures depict how the tanks will line up in the bilge. The top picture is looking from what will be the forward end (shallow end of the bilge) of the tanks to the aft end (deep end of the bilge). Then "down angle" of the tanks reflects the bilge sloping down as it runs aft. I am not sure of the capacity but I think somewhere between 60 and 80 gallons. When the weather warms up I'll fill the tanks with water to determine their capacity. There are three tanks. The forward tank is about 34" long and the aft tanks are each 16" long. All have baffles. I had to divide the aft tanks in two because they wouldn't fit through the companionway hatch otherwise. The tanks are made from polypropylene and were nitrogen welded. They are FDA approved for potable water and are supposed to impart no taste to the water. They are supposed to be very strong (3/8" thick). Each baffled compartment has an inspection cover.
I'll build shallow fiberglass trays, molded to fit each tank bottom. I'll fastened the trays to fiberglass runners that I'll glass into the bilge. The trays will keep the bottom of the tanks from moving around. I'll use blocks on the top end of the tanks and SS straps to hold them in place. The temperature are pretty cold here this week so I'll work in the garage (it's insulated and easy to keep warm) vice the boat shed.
I got a lot done today. Unfortunately it required what I hope is the last day of heavy interior grinding. I completed all the prep work to ready the eight through-hull holes to be patched. That meant I needed to grind a 12:1 bevel on both sides of the hole--interior and exterior. By patching on both sides I kept the overall diameter of the patch much smaller. The radius of the patch is 12 times the thickness of the fiberglass to be repaired. But according to West Systems, because the holes are "machined holes" I can do even better by using an epoxy plug 1/3 the thickness of the hull and by grinding on both sides. So, I made some 3/16-1/4" thick epoxy plugs, trimmed them down to fit the various through-hull holes and epoxied them in the center of the hole--centered between the interior and exterior surface of the hull. Then I ground down a circular area around the hole to a 12:1 bevel. A hull thickness of 3/4" requires a plug of 1/4 inch in the center of the hole leaving 1/4" of thickness on both sides to be beveled. This requires a bevel radius of only 3"--on the inside and on the same on outside of the hull. If I tried to patch with a 12:1 bevel on only one side of a 3/4" thick hull without a plug the bevel would have a radius of 9" from the edge of the hole or a diameter of 18" plus the width of the hole! Click here for the link to the West System web page that details how to make the repair.
I removed the bob-stay fitting and prepared the holes to be filled. I will relocate the fitting down the stem about 8-10 inches, still above the waterline, in order to have the best possible angle to the cranse iron for the new and slightly longer bow sprit.
I also ground "paths" along the overhead that I will eventually secure plywood strips to in order to screw the tongue and groove panels for the overhead.
Lastly, I did some grinding to prep the holes that used to contain the wind instrument dials (aft end of cabin top), engine controls (starboard side cockpit foot-well), and diesel and holding tank bronze fittings in the cockpit floor.
The boat and the shed are a disaster area. I hate it when it is a mess like this but it goes with the territory. I will spend the day tomorrow cleaning up the boat, the shed, and the tools. The next project will be to apply the epoxy patches to all the through-hull holes and finish up the propane locker rain gutter system. I will eventually add pictures when I have something completed to show. 8 Dec 09
That hatch gutter system for the propane locker is installed. I spent the day fairing the inside edges. I have also begun filling all but two of the through-hull holes. I will work on that for the next couple of days. I'll post some pictures of the propane hatch system and the through-hull hole repair soon.
3 Dec 09
I took some time off over Thanksgiving. Since then I finished tabbing the bulkheads that Cape Dory only tabbed on only one side. It’s nice to have that done. This will make the bulkheads attachment stronger. I would estimate about 1/3 (eight) were only tabbed on one side. I can’t see any value in only having them tabbed on one side.
Today I also worked on the propane hatch gutter insert that I molded a few weeks ago trimming the opening per the specification in my drawing. There are few small spots that need fairing in the actual gutters caused by a few small bubbles that formed between the mold and the first layer of cloth. I will attack that tomorrow and then work on creating “lips” for the propane hatch. I will add some pictures tomorrow.
22 Nov 09
Since my last entry I washed the boat out with a hose in preparation for finishing up the tabbing of the bulkheads. I also spent a day cleaning up the boat shed which was a mess and all my grinding tools. Then I built the propane locker hatch coaming that will be installed to the underside of the locker opening after Thanksgiving. Click here to see how the propane locker is coming along. Finally, I added the pictures showing the construction of the aft watertight compartment that I build earlier this fall. Click here to see I that project came out. 17 Nov 09
I pretty much finished up the grinding today. I swept up another 5 gallon pale of paint and fiberglass dust. Then I vacuumed the boat out. I may wash it out tomorrow or I may just clean it up some more and fishing tabbing a few bulkheads that Cape Dory only tabbed on only one side. If i chose to tab, I don't want to get any of the bulkheads wet washing the boat out. I'll decide tomorrow. 16 Nov 09
Today was more grinding. With a full face respirator, a tyvek suit with a hood, and long gauntlet gloves with the tyvek sleeves pulled over them, the grinding is not too bad. I just about finished off the main cabin and the forward cabin. I worked on the overhead as well.
After measuring for a while I decided to remove the forward bulkhead. Not too difficult--roto-zip saw and saws-all did the job. The plan will be to install something "more better." I think 3/4" ply and moved aft about a foot. For a double berth on the portside I will have 6'4" on the inside edge, about 7' in the middle, then about 7'6" on the outside. With the bulkhead moved aft a foot, it will be easier to relocate the bobstay fitting (down the stem about 8" and still about 6" above the waterline) which will give me the angle I need for the longer bowsprit. Moving the bulkhead aft also will give me a bigger chain/rope locker and allow the chain and all its weight to come aft a bit more. I also gain more storage in the chain locker for some light weight items like fenders and such that don't really weigh anything but take up a lot of room. I might be able to fit in an integral water tank increasing my water capacity and serving as a watertight bulkhead.
With luck, I'll finish up the major interior grinding in the next couple of days. Since I plan to glass over 6 of the 10 holes in the boat, I need to grind a bevel on the inside of the hull now--half on the inside and half on the outside to reduce the diameter of the patch--so I can reduce the grinding I'll invariably have to do later.
From there I may go ahead and begin sanding the decks and topside and work towards getting primer down before I go to the interior.
15 Nov 09
When it comes to working on a boat is there anything more awful than grinding fiberglass? Well if there is, I haven't experienced it yet. I have spent the last two days in a tyvek suit with a full face respirator, armed with an assortment of grinders, sanding away the paint and damaged fiberglass tabbing, etc on the interior of the boat.
Yesterday I spent about three hours down inside the three cockpit lockers, including the lazarette, wedged like a pretzel, grinding old paint. There is no other way to remove it. I tried peel-way a few weeks ago with little luck. The paint had to come out because I intend build shelves and add few bulk-heads here-and-there at some point. I also need clean fiberglass to mount the various blocks for the Cape Horn Windvane. Since I am not sure where any of these things will be mounted at this point, I decided it is better just to sand down as much of the paint as possible now. Today I spent six hours grinding off the old paint and tabbing in the main cabin. When I finished for the night, I swept up about half of it and it filled a 5 gallon bucket! The boat is a giant mess and the boat shed is a disaster and paint and fiberglass residue everywhere.
I have talked with a few folks that have performed major restorations and they all advised the same thing--to the extent possible get as much of the interior sanding done at one time.
The tools of choice have been my 8" Makita VS grinder with a soft Stikit pad and 36 grit PSA paper. I ordered some 24 grit but it did not arrive Friday as I hoped. I also rely on the 5" Porter Cable RO VS DA sander. My latest weapon, recommended by Tim Lacky, and mounted on my 4 1/2" Makita right angle grinder, is a 4 1/2 inch Norton, 40 grit, flapper wheel. An amazing sanding disk. The small makita is easy to hold and get into tight spots. It's also a lot lighter than the big 8" Makita. But at 11,000 RPM you have to be very careful. This thing can get away from you and cause some real damage if you are inattentive for even a second. Tim told me to use great caution when employing this combination and he was right. Still the majority of sanding has been with the big Makita and the Porter Cable.
I also ripped out all the old copper foil that had been installed as the ground plane/counterpoise for the SSB. I assumed it had been in the boat for at least 20 years. It was installed in a amateur fashion with resin that had dripped and run down the inside the of hull. It was unsightly. Also, I could see significant corrosion on parts of the copper foil and if it was compromised now was the time to remove it.
I hope to finish up the sanding tomorrow but expect it will be Tuesday. Though I truly detest the sanding it is exciting to think that the majority of it might be behind me . . . then again I have to sand the deck, the topsides, and the hull at some point. But that's different since they are all on the outside . . . right?
II Nov 09
Today it poured down all day. This is the remnants of Hurricane Ida that came ashore in Louisiana a couple days ago.
I faired the rudder again. I think it is about finished. I also built the wooden "plug" for the propane locker. To see how it is coming along click here.
Tonight I spent a couple of hours continuing to reorganize the website. I hope it makes it easier to navigate around. It was getting a little unwieldy. This should make it simpler to find specific projects. 10 Nov 09
Happy Birthday Marines!
Though I have not made an entry in a few days I have been working hard on the boat.
I made some changes to the website to organize it a bit better. I added separate pages for different projects to make it easier to follow each project along, e.g. if you click on "Restoration Hull, it will take you to a separate page that will give you navigation options for different projects.
I have spent most of my time fairing the rudder--very time consuming. I can't really sand the thickened epoxy till the next day even using fast 205 hardener. The keel fairing is complete--just a little more to go on the rudder. I completed restoring the steel pillow block beam with three coats of POR 15, two coats of barrier coat, and two coats of Rustoleum Marine Alkyd paint. It looks nicer than I expected. I'll post pictures tomorrow.
After much thought, I also started work on building an integrated propane locker. For more information on the locker click here.3 Nov 09
More progress was made on both the rudder and keel aperture. I epoxyed in the plug for the rudder today and began fairing in the groove in the back of the keel. I also did some fairing along the sides of the keel aperture plug. Pictures Here.2 Nov 09
Today I added some more biaxial cloth to the sides of the keel aperture plug. I also added 6 layers of 1.5 oz woven roving to the groove I built yesterday. It looks pretty good so far. I also cut out the template for the rudder side of the aperture with my skill saw and then routered a "round-over" to match that on the leading edge of the rudder. Then, since I had not had my daily dose of grinding, I "suited-up" and spent about 30 minutes grinding a bevel on the rudder to accommodate the biaxial cloth I will use to glass the plug into the rudder.
I worked on fairing in the aperture on the keel today. I also laminated four layers of plywood that I will cut out tomorrow that will serve as the plug for the aperture in the rudder. Fairing in the aperture on the keel is more complicated than I thought it would be. This is due to my desire to create a "groove" in the trailing edge of the aperture plug that is seamless with the groove molded into back of the keel above and below where the aperture was. The rudder fits into the groove and increases the streamlining of water across the gap between the back of the keel and the rudder. Go here to see how it is coming along.
Yesterday I scribed the curve of the rudder from one side to the other. I think the rudder is pretty close to symmetrical after all . . . not great but pretty close. However, there are definitely some waves in the surface.
I painted three coats of POR 15 on the pillow block beam. I faired the rudder for the third time and I laminated in the second layer of plywood to the propeller aperture. Not a lot of work today but between soccer games and Halloween . . . not too bad. Pictures of the work posted here. 29 Oct 09
Today I sanded down the first fairing coat on the rudder. In the process, it appears to me that the rudder may not be symmetrical--this can cause significant steering issues. Though measuring is the only way to be certain, to my eye the rudder appears to be flatter on one side than the other. I'll scribe some lines from one side of the rudder tomorrow and check them on the opposite side. I also noticed that the trailing edge of the rudder is not tapered for maximum water flow and efficiency. Instead of being tapered down to a 1/4" - 1/8" squared edge, it's more of a 1/2" rounded trailing edge. The former is far more efficient. It may well be that a Cape Dory 36 is not a high performance cruiser but sailing is sailing. There is no reason to be less efficient just because you are not out to win silver. I'm not sure I can do a whole lot about this without significant work so I may let it go for now and keep pressing ahead. But at some point I'll fix this.
I also started glassing in the "plug" for the propeller aperture. Yesterday, I laminated four 1/2" Douglas Fir marine grade plywood pieces together to form the plug that would serve as the foundation for filling in the aperture. Today I glassed in the plug using west epoxy thickened with 406. I secured the plug in place while the epoxy cured with two ratchet straps. Over the next few days I'll add a few more tapered layers of plywood and epoxy and eventually fairing compound to create a smooth surface completely eliminating the old aperture. When I finish faring the repair to the rudder crack, and taking any action to correct any lack of symmetry between the rudder sides, I'll glass in a similar plug on the rudder side of the propeller aperture. 27 Oct 09
Yesterday I ground out the crack out on the bottom of the rudder and filled it with thickened epoxy. Today I taped it with three layers of 17oz biaxial cloth. This afternoon I began the fairing process by coating the repair area with epoxy and 407 medium density filler. I also cut out and laminated the plywood that will serve as the foundation for filling in the propeller aperture in the keel. The photos are posted on the hull restoration page.
Over the last few days I sanded the back of the keel in preparation for glassing in the propeller aperture. Yesterday, I picked up the rudder from the machine shop. The rudder post was cut down about 2" and a new keyway cut to fit the coupling that will join the extension to the rudder post. The machine shop also made a delrin bearing that fits over the lower part of the pintle to reduce some minor wiggle in the bottom of the rudder. I also removed the steel beam that the pillow-block was bolted to. It was rusted but not to bad. I was able to keep it "blasted" and it cleaned up pretty well. I plan to paint it with POR-15 then epoxy barrier coat it. For more on the rudder job go to the Hull Restoration page.
Today I goofed off. I went fly-fishing for False Albacore off of Cape Lookout with a friend of mine. The air temp warmed up to about 75 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky. The water laid down nice and flat which it has to do to go out by the Cape as there are sandbars and breakers for many miles off-shore (we worked south of the outer banks and stayed well away from the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." We ended up chasing groups of breaking fish off-shore for about 10 miles. In the back ground of the one photo you can see the breaking fish. Sometimes there would be hundreds of Albies slashing at the bait schools and literally surfing on their sides as they chased down bait-fish skimming on the surface. We caught a bunch of fish. It was a terrific day and a nice change from grinding fiberglass!
I spent the day working up a list of supplies to order from Jamestown Distributors, laying out the design of the propane locker, and confirming the measurements for the bilge mounted water tanks. I did get some sanding done to the back of the keel where the rudder attaches. I hope to get the rudder back from the machine shop this week.
I learned yesterday that the keyhole in the top of the rudder post is not the same as the keyhole for the steering quadrant. The steering quadrant key hole is 3/8s while the key hole in the top of the rudder post is 13/32--1/32 larger. This is a problem because the coupling I bought from Edson, which will join the rudder post extension to the top of the rudder post was machined for a 3/8" keyhole. I took the rudder to a machine shop today to discuss the options and the machinist/owner saw the solution right away. Instead of cutting off 1 1/2" (to keep the coupling below the cockpit sole) and extend the current key hole another 1 1/2", he suggested cutting an additional 3/4" off the rudder post for a total of 2 1/4" and then cut a new matching 3/8 key hole that is compatible with the coupling. Perfect solution. Another 3/4" will make no difference in the overall stiffness of the upper rudder post. The coupling will be used to connect about a 7-8 inch extension that will pass through the cockpit floor and be keyed to accept the bronze tiller head.
I ordered a new self aligning bearing (pillow block) from Edson today to replace the one that was galled and chewed up.
I also started sanding the bottom paint around the keel where the rudder attaches.
I successfully removed the rudder this morning. Not a small undertaking but it had to be done for a couple of reasons: 1) the rudder stock needs to have 1 1/2 inch cut off the top to allow for the coupling and rudder extension to fit properly and allow the tiller head to fit over the extension and not hit the back of the cockpit well; 2) the keyhole in the top of the rudder post (originally intended to support the emergency tiller) needs to be lengthened; and 3) there is a very long crack in the bottom of the rudder that needs to be repaired. When the boat was hauled, the water settled into the bottom of the rudder. Then when the temperature fell below freezing, the water froze and when it expanded it cracked the bottom of the rudder.
For more info on the rudder removal and pictures go to the hull restoration section.
Though it has been two weeks since my last entry I have been getting a fair amount of work done. I did, however, take a week off to visit a very good friend near Annapolis, Md and while there took in the Annapolis Boat Show. I was able to spend some time with Yves Gelanis who designed the Cape Horn Windvane. He is very clever and gave me some great ideas for my boat on a variety of topics. I glassed in the aft watertight compartment over the last few days. I will post some pictures soon.
I spent a couple of days building templates for the bilge mounted water tanks I will install. My best estimate is the tanks will hold between 70-80 gallons. Have considered a wide variety of tank material from Epoxy to stainless steel to plastic. I may go with welded plastic. The best quote so far is about 40% the cost of SS 316L tanks. Weldon plastic makes it possible to install baffles and shape the tank to any design. There are pros and cons to each of the materials. I still have some time to decide.
I have also prepared the rudder to drop in tomorrow morning. Yesterday I grinded most of the glass down around the bronze rudder shoe. Today I knocked out the bronze pins and dug a very big hole under the rudder. Then I removed the "pillow block" and the stop ring that prevents the rudder from accidentally unshipping. They were difficult to remove 27 years after being installed. I had to beat on them with a hammer, heat them with a torch, spray PB on them and finally was able to remove them with a small wheel puller. With luck, the rudder will slide right out (not!).
1 Oct 09
A good day. Spent some time on the phone this morning with the tech dept at West Systems Epoxy. I have probably talked to them a half dozen times and they are always helpful. I talked to them today about concerns regarding epoxy and "matting." I have read that epoxy does not have styrene which dissolves the chemical binder that holds the matting to the biaxial cloth and thus can be hard to work with if you use them together. I noted that MAS Epoxy, which I have been thinking about using on my water tanks, specially mentions not to use their epoxy with matting as part of biaxial cloth. The West Folks told me this should not be a problem. They have a paper on their website that addresses it. They told me that almost no one manufactures biaxial cloth/matting with the binder anymore and that most mat is now stitched to the cloth. They said even if there is binder in the cloth it only makes the cloth a little "stiffer" and harder to wet out. I have used a fair amount of biaxial cloth and matting and have had no difficult so far, but then again this is the only system I have used so I have nothing to compare it to. I may do some experimentation with some different resins at some point to see if there is a better way.
I was able to epoxy cleats in the bilge area to support the top that I will glass-in either tomorrow or Sat. Also did some glass work in what will be the sump area. I also cut and fitted the douglas fir plywood that will be the top and front of the compartment that will enclose the after bilge area. I'll insert pictures tomorrow. 29 Sept 09
Today I worked on glassing in the area where the old holding tank was joined to the hull. I cut the tank out a long time ago. I also cut the floor timber out and will replace it later. It was pretty chewed up. This will be a multi day project. When complete I'll post some pictures and it will make sense. Bottom line, I am glassing in the old space at what will be about half the size of what the holding tank comprised. Where the top of the holding tanks was, I'll glass in a top about a foot below that point that slopes down to a point about 6" above the aft end of the lead keel. That will give me more space above the top and a sump area in the same place as before. I won't do anything with the void--just glass it in and put an inspection port so I can check in there if I feel the need. 28 Sept 09
Picked up two large sheets of cardboard today then 2500 lbs of "crush and run" for the shed. Shoveled it along the inside edge of the shed all the way around to keep out the flooding that occurs with heavy rain. The yard is pretty level and when the rain comes pouring off the shed it seeps under the edge. Then when the sun comes out the humidity in the shed sky rockets. Along with the gable vent additions this should help with the ventilation plan. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll actually do something that resembles boat work.
27 Sept 09
Spent the weekend with the family and thinking about the next couple of projects. I'll pick up some large sheets of cardboard tomorrow that I can use for templates. Will likely tackle the old holding tank area next. I intend to seal it up, create a place for a gray water tank, and a sump for my bilge pump pick up tube. After that, I'll probably drop the rudder to effect repairs and make final mods to complete the conversion to tiller steering.
Listed a bunch of items for sale tonight on the website. I am not looking to make much but there is no need for these things to sit here, since they all have life left in them, when they could be put to good use on someone else's boat. 24 Sept 09
This morning I built a 8 foot long shelf above one of the two primary work benches in the shed. Then I spent the rest of the day dragging out all the boxes of boat stuff I have been storing since I gutted the boat. Some of the items I'd like to sell vice take it to a consignment shop--water tanks, Edson steering system, CQR Anchor, dodger, anchor chain pipes, Anchor rollers, Harken Roller Furling System, etc. I threw out a bunch of stuff that wasn't worth keeping or selling. I added a link on the web page but have not listed anything yet. I'll take some pictures tomorrow and post some of these things in the near future.
Tonight I moved much of the info from the 16 June entry describing the bulkhead repair to the bottom of the "interior restoration" page. I also added some info and inserted some pictures. 23 Sept 09
This morning I pulled down the transom hatches in the shed and installed gable vents. They were simple to install. I build a shelf in the next few days to support a box fan so I can push air out the vent and pull it in the other end. I hope this will improve ventilation in the shed. I spent the afternoon cleaning out the shed work area in preparation for more serious work to begin. 22 Sept 09
It is great to be working on the boat again! As I previously mentioned, the boat was more than just dirty after months of neglect and baking in a steamy hot greenhouse. It was filthy. I power-washed the deck and hull. Then took a hose to the inside and washed it down. I dragged the Edson bilge pump up the ladder and placed it on some plywood laid across the floors and pumped the bilge dry. Then I set a couple of box fans up in the boat to get the air moving. What a difference. It is cleaner than I ever remember.
I spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the boat shed. There will be more work to do organizing and cleaning up the shed getting it ready for the work to come but tomorrow I'll pull down the transom hatches in the peak of the shed and install the gable vents I bought from Lowes Hardware. I have now seen first hand what can happen with out proper ventilation in the shed. I can't always be here to open the shed every day. It's also a good example of why a boat interior needs to have good interior ventilation to retard the growth of mildew.
I have been planning the work necessary to build a propane locker. I think the best place for it will be under the cockpit seat where the helmsman would normally sit. I should have enough room and can vent the locker each side and install the vent tubes under the transom but above the waterline. That way the lock can vent regardless of which tack I am on. After a lot of research I ordered three 10 lb composite bottles that are 9 ½ inches wide, so they will fit in the space availible. Thirty pounds of propane should give us at least 8 weeks of fuel if we are cooking everyday. The cylinders arrived yesterday. There is nothing to rust or corrode and the literature states they do not explode. You are supposed to be able to see the propane through the translucent bottle. They are made by Lite Cylinder http://www.litecylinder.com/ and I bought them through RV Supply Warehouse. I suspect I will buy the components through Trident Marine. At some point in the near future I will take my jigsaw to the cockpit and begin on this project.
Well it has been a while since I entered any thing on the daily log. In fact it has been a while since I worked on the Far Reach. In late June I took all the tools out of the shed and we took the kids on a nearly six week long road trip out west—Mammoth Cave, the Arch in St. Louis, the Badlands of SD, Mt. Rushmore, the Little Bighorn Battlefield, the Beartooth Mountains, Yellowstone Park, the Tetons, and the Oregon Trail. Then back across the Midwest. We camped much of the time and had a great trip.
When we returned home it was late July and the middle of high heat in coastal NC. It was too hot to work in the boat shed and besides I had been putting off some house related building projects. So I took on those jobs thinking I would be back to work on the boat by 1 Sept. But, the projects have taking longer than expected (isn’t that always the case?). With some luck, I’ll have this project wrapped up by the middle of next week and then I will be back working on the boat full time.
In the mean time I have not been completely idle regarding the boat. I ordered some fittings for my bronze Edson gallon-a-stroke bilge pump . . . and my Cape Horn Self-steering Wind Vane arrived and it is a piece of artwork. My wife has accused me of paying homage to it daily.
The very first boat project will be to wash the boat down inside and out. It has suffered some mildew due to the heat and humidity generated by being closed up in what is essentially a green house. I could not ventilate it (open the doors) while I was on the trip out west. When I returned, I failed to ventilate the shed thinking if I stayed away from the boat, I would get these other projects completed quicker and get back to the boat. By the time I recognized the growing mildew it was of course already there. Since then, I have been opening the shed every day. I have also decided to install a pair of gable vents, one in each in the shed, in the transom hatch, to allow hot humid air to naturally exit the shed. I’ll also build a shelf on the inside of the shed, next to the gable vent, to help push the air out thus drawing in cooler air at the other end. It’s exciting to be getting close to working on the boat again. With some luck I hope to make a lot of progress on the boat this fall and winter.
Well it has been a while since I added anything to my daily log . . . but that does not mean I have not been working on Far Reach. My computer hard drive crashed and I temporarily lost pictures and the ability to add to the website. Fortunately a local computer shop was able to recover the data from the hard drive. Additionally, other projects have slowed work on the boat and interfered with the time it takes to maintain the web site.
Since my last entry I repaired the bulkheads in the boat. This took nearly two weeks . . . much longer than I would have liked. It required more grinding--ugghhh--and some interior paint removal which had to occur before I could bond bulkheads with epoxy.
Today I was able to pull all the through-hulls and the speedo and depth sounder. I also was able to install all of the screws between the bolts that secure the hull to deck. I have a couple of bolts left to install. When I ran out today I went to my local chandlery to buy about a dozen 1/4" x 20 SS machine bolts. However, when I tried to install them, the nuts would bind up about 2/3s of the way up the shaft. The nuts were also #20 but for what ever reason they would not thread all the way home. So, I ordered a bunch more from Jamestown Distributors. The last bunch I ordered from there gave me no trouble. Despite that, I was very happy to get a bunch of work done. I played around with the new tiller head, coupling, and bearing for a while. A plan is developing but I have some time to refine it.
The through-hulls came out with very little trouble once I came up with the right tools. I'll post the tools I used on the tool page.
Hopefully, later this week I'll start filling in all the holes and gouges in the hull deck joint. Then it will be on to glassing the hull and deck joint
I did not work on the boat this week end. At the end of last week I finished up removing the remaining caulk and the above-the-waterline through-hull fittings. I went through a gallon of acetone and had to resharpen my chisels about a dozen times.
Today I was finally able to do some "constructive" vice the never ending "destructive" work I have been doing since Far Reach arrived at the house. I installed about 50 1/4" SS bolts that replaced the ones I removed when I took off the genoa tracks and the toe rail they sat on. I counter-sunk the heads first so I can glass them over. Tomorrow I'll countersink and install the #14 SS screws that will fill the holes that held the toe rail on. Then all of these fasteners will be glassed over with epoxy and three layers of biaxial fiberglass cloth tape. This will prevent any water from entering the boat via these bolts holes. There are numerous signs of where water leaked down the inside of the hull when it got under the toe rail and then ran down the bolts into the hull. I will not be reinstalling the toe rail. In its place I'll install a raised bulwark. This will eliminate standing water on the deck.
I also removed two of the eight below the waterline through-hull/sea cocks. I will remove the remaining six and then reinstall the only two--one for the galley sink drain and one to supply saltwater for the galley sink. Two of the sea cocks were nearly inaccessible. I will be glad they are gone and I won't have to worry about them.
My bronze tiller-head, rudder post extension coupler, and extension post upper bearing arrived from Edson today. All are massive. The project to install them is not simple but it should be worth it--I hope. Once I get all the parts lined up I'll cut out the cockpit floor, build a new one with the scuppers in the aft end to allow the cockpit well to drain via though-hulls mounted above the waterline. One of the problems with the cock pit well is that it is too wide. It was designed this way, I believe, to accommodate a larger wheel. This causes three problems: 1) the well is large and will hold a lot of seawater if/when the cockpit gets pooped; this will cause the boat to squat in the back and become vulnerable to succeeding waves which can be dangerous; 2) the well is so wide that when sitting on the high side you can't brace your feet on the opposite side; and 3) the wide well makes the seat a bit narrow and makes the cockpit hatches very small--about 9 inches on the starboard side locker and not much better on the portside. The lockers themselves are large enough (if that is possible) but the openings are so small you can't get large items into the lockers (fenders, inflatable dinghy, outboard engines, etc.) So, I have been thinking instead of just cutting the floor out, I could cut the whole well out, except for the forward and aft vertical faces and then build and install a narrower cockpit well. This would have many benefits. The volume of the well would be smaller making getting "pooped" less dangerous, the seats would be a bit wider and more comfortable for sitting and sleeping on, you could brace your feet on the opposite of the cockpit seats, and the locker hatches would be much larger. What's not to like--except the work! I'll think on it for a while, but if I am going to do it it needs to happen before I begin work on the interior, which means after the hull/deck joint is glassed together. 3 May 09
For the last couple of days I have continued to remove old caulking and silicone that was under decking fittings, around port holes, and under the eyebrow trim. I also removed the metal "buttons" that ran across the cabin top from one side to the other that the dodger was fastened to. 48 holes! I am not suggesting a dodger is a bad idea. I'll probably install one but there ought to be a better way to attach it than penetrating the cabin top so many times. I'll do some research and ponder this a for awhile.
The bronze tiller head, and rudder post coupling that attaches the rudder post extension to the rudder post, and upper rudder post bearing I ordered a week ago should arrive in the next week or so. Once I have them, I'll shift work to determine the length of the rudder post extension required to connect the tiller head to the rudder post. I have limited room at the back of the cockpit for this conversion to work. Once I have that sorted out, I'll cut the cockpit floor out and begin work on the new floor. This may seem pretty radical, but I'll be able to eliminate the two sea cocks whose sole purpose is to drain the forward cockpit scuppers below the waterline. If I slope the cockpit aft, I can move the scuppers to the back and drain the cockpit well above the water line eliminating these two potential holes in the boat.
It is slow going right now and I am not spending that much time on the boat every day but working as much as I enjoy. I figure it is the proverbial "marathon and not a sprint." 29 April 09
Today I measured for a Cape Horn Windvane. Since each vane is custom built for every boat I needed to ensure I provide Cape Horn with the right measurement so the vane will work properly on my boat. This took several hours of crawling around in the lazerett and under the cockpit with a tape measure and level, reading through the measuring instructions, hanging a plumb line, measuring some more, and determining which of the several installation options I want to use. I'll recheck my measurements tomorrow before I send them off to Cape Horn.
I have researched self-steering windvanes for several years. I think the Monitor windvane is a very capable system. But I like the Cape Horn. I have corresponded with Yves Gelinas and he has been very helpful. There is a lot of great info on his site that is well worth reading. I met him at the Annapolis Boat Show last year and he was just as helpful in person. I like his windvane design because it is simple and very unobtrusive. The Monitor just dominates the stern of a boat. Like the Monitor the Cape Horn has proven itself offshore in tough Southern Ocean conditions but is has also proven itself in the light breezes as well. Since he designed the vane for his own boat, an Alberg 30, and since my Cape Dory 36 was also designed by Alberg and is very similar in design I believe it should work equally well on my boat. It should arrive in July. Time will tell if this was the best choice. My Grandfather used to tell us, "Sometimes you just have to pay your money and take your chances."
27 April 09I have spent the last three days removing the old sealant where the toerail, rubrail, and bowsprit were. I used my Dremel Multi-Max, a chisel, a lot of acetone, and green scouring pads to scrape and then clean off the adhesive. I finished the gunwale today and tomorrow I'll clean up the gelcoat where the "eyebrow" trim and deck fittings were.
I ordered the tiller head and rudder post extension coupling from Edson Marine today. After these parts arrive, I'll determine how much I can raise my cockpit floor. Then I can determine how long the rudder post extension needs to be. After I order the extension, I'll cut the current cockpit floor out and begin to construct the new cockpit floor along with glassing the hull/deck joint.
24 April 09
I spent the last two days working on what I thought would be an easy "to do" item--remove the key from the keyway on the rudder post. It turned out to be much more difficult than I anticipated. But it is done and now I can drop the rudder when I am ready to repair the split that runs along the bottom from front to rear.
22 April 09
Successfully removed the bowsprit backing plate. I was prepared for a multi-day effort but it came out intact in less than two hours. See "deck restoration" for the pictures and the details. 21 April 09
I was able to accomplish a fair amount of work today. First I removed the bungs on the bowsprit. Then I finished cutting out the vertical anchor locker divider. Next I pulled the nuts off the eight bolts that secured the bowsprit to the infamous backing plate and was able to get the bolts out without destroying the bowsprit. It took about three hours of hammering hardwood wedges between the bowsprit and the deck in a leapfrog fashion but the bowsprit came off in one piece.
Tomorrow I will attempt to cut the steel backing plate out of its very tight and confined space under the foredeck. I have a plan . . . .
19 April 09
I removed the chain plates today and the bow pulpit. No major issues with them. However, when I pulled the aft deck dorade sleeves I learned that Cape Dory did not cut the balsa core back and fill the exposed inter skin area with thickened resin or epoxy. This a requirement from every book I have ever read on boat maintenance or boat building. Should not be to hard to repair depending on the degree of water intrusion.
18 April 09
I did not get to the chain plates today. My 9 year old son and I rode our bikes to the beach and played in the sand. By the time I made it out to the boat most of the day was gone. I did have time to remove the wood trim and rub rail that were on the stern. I also removed the two turning blocks, the lazerett hatch and the stern pulpit.
17 April 09
Today I removed the rest of the bungs and screws for the port side toe and rub rail. Then I removed both toe and rub rails. The rub rail came off easily. The toe rail required the use of the hardwood wedges and the mallet. Still, not too difficult. Tomorrow I'll remove the wood trim that runs across the stern, the chain plates, and begin the work to remove the bow sprit. Right now I have about eight nice long half-oval strips of bronze approximately 1" X 3/4." The longest are about 12-14 feet long The bronze strips were screwed into the wooden rub-rail which in turn was screwed into the hull. I do not intend, at this point, to reinstall the rub-rail. I don't think it really protects the topsides much (I could be wrong about that) and it puts about another 150 holes in the boat. On a good note, the screws that fasten the wood rub rail to the boat do not go "through" the hull. They screw into the edge of the inward turning flange.
14 April 09
Today I worked on the port side toe rail. I removed the bungs and pulled out some of the screws that hold the rail down. I spent the rest of the day working on the website.
Today I finished removing the starboard side toe rail and rub rail, the port and starboard side stanchion bases, and both the primary winches. They are beautiful Lewmar 44 Self Tailing winches. When I lifted the cover to remove the bolts that secured them to the deck I was appalled at the grime and dirt in there. I suppose it should have been expected since they have not been used or cleaned in the last eight years. I bagged them and will completely rebuild them sometime in the future. I also removed the large teak mounting bases. I'd like to replace them with the bronze winch bases from Spartan Marine. I'll have to see if the budge will support it.