Note: I copy the daily log entries to their repective project pages almost daily. If you want to read all the entries for any project sequentially, go to the "Projects" tab and you will be able to navigate to the appropriate page. Most of the interior contruction projects will be found via links in the "Rebuilding the Interior" page. The rest of the projects have separate tabs on the "Projects" tab.
Note: I added another page under the "Projects" page that should allow smart phone and iPad users to access the separate projects via hyperlinks. I don't know why but it seems that smart phones can't access the drop down menus.
28 Apr 14
I spent the afternoon working on the bow sprit. It still needs a little more detail work but we are mostly there. I am very pleased with it. It always amazes me how a little detail work can transform something from blocky to refined. I have a wedge under the gammon iron and under the gammon to secure it since the heel is not bolted down. I hate to have to pull it down tonight. I need to find some 3" rollers to fit the bronze anchor roller system that bolts through the bowsprit.
27 April 14
Gayle and I were able to get a little kayaking in this morning. It was great to get out on the water. But, I spent most of the day working on the taper to the nose of the bowsprit to accommodate the cranse iron. I have only done this once before, to the mock up, and that was a rushed job . . . but I was familiar with what I was trying to do and that helped.
I used a home made depth stop on my small hand saw to limit the depth of the first cut. I set it a little less than I needed for the cranse iron to fit properly. I cut along the line and then used a trim saw set to 5/16" deep to cut a bunch of kerfs from that first cut all the way to the tip of the bowsprit. I used the draw-knife to remove the kerfs and rough in the taper. I drew a circle on the end of the sprit with a compass, using the old vertical and horizontal hash marks to keep the same center point. I drew lines down the length of the sprit as reference points and then I went at it with a spoke-shave and cabinet makers rasps. It was a long slow tedious process but I was pleased with the results. I had on some good music, opened the double doors to the shop and the garage doors, and let the cool breeze blow right though. It was a lovely day.
I used a straight edge to continually check the alignment and to keep the taper consistent. The spoke shave really performed yeoman's service today. In fact, it has been invaluable throughout the rebuild of the Far Reach. By this afternoon, I was able to seat the cranse iron in position. There are a few uneven pressure points. I think the fit should be very snug . . . but evenly snug, around the cranse iron. I have a little work to do to be fully satisfied. This is one place I might use some epoxy. I am thinking I will, at some points, wax up the inside of the cranse iron, slather on epoxy thickened with West Systems 404 High density filler to ensure I have a perfectly flush and even fit of the cranse iron. But that will be later. Tomorrow is about detail work on the sprit. Working on the flutes, the heel, the aft taper, etc. I need to order the 1/2" bronze rod to make the bolts for the bow rollers . . . and I need to order the delrin bow rollers. Still lots to do but we are getting darn close.
26 Apr 14
I picked up a draw-knife this morning as I have been wanting one for a while. This was the perfect use for it. I have never used one before. I read a helpful artical in Woodenboat Magazine No 222, pg 44 by Jim Tolpin that got me started. It's a very useful tool. It was fun work to take the sprit from four to eight sides. I used the draw knife to get close to the 7-10-7 lines I drew yesterday. Close, but not too close. Then, I switched to the smoothing plan to get the new surface flat and true. I checked my work with a straight edge as I went along. I used a back saw to make small kerfs when I need to scallop the flutes on the part of the bowsprit that is just forward of the gammon iron. The, I cleaned up the kerfs and filed them smooth. Next, I used a low angle block plane to take the bowsprit from 8 to 16 sided. After that, I started sanding. The bow sprit looks good. I am pleased with it but there is still a fair amount of work to do to smooth it out properly. Also, I need to start working on the end of the bowsprit for the fitting of the cranse iron. More work to come.
24 Apr 14
We spent most of the say on a family field trip to Tryon palace (The North Carolina colonial governor's residence) in New Bern, NC. However, this afternoon, I went out to the shop and figured out another way to layout the lines for 7-10-7 ratio on the bowsprit without using the gauge. Measure the width of the bowsprit at a selected point (best if near the end of one of the tapers) in millimeters. Divide by 24. (7+10+7=24) That number becomes the unit of measurement for that point on the bowsprit. Multiply the base unit by 7. Mark it off out the outside edge towards the center. Then mark out the same measurement from the opposite edge. Then, multiply the base unit by 10. That should be the distance between the two marks. Do the same on the other end of the bowsprit. Draw lines between your marks. You should have perfect lines for making your four sided bowsprit 8 sided by planing down between the lines.
The photo on the left below shows and example. The width of the sprit is 131 mm. I divided it by 24. The base unit of measure meant for the spot is 5.45 mm. 5.45 X 7 = 38.2 mm. Measure it off. Measure the same distance on the opposite side. Then multiply 5.45 X 10 = 54.5 mm. That is the distance between the two outside marks. You only need this number to confirm you first measurement was correct as the center width was determined when you made the outside marks. Do the same thing on the other end of the sprit. The numbers will be different since the sprit is narrow there (or wider depending on which end you started with). Draw lines between the two marks. You are ready to plane the four sided spar to eight sided.
More on this with the next post.
Laying out the marks for 7-10-7 ratio for turning square sided tapered spar to a round tapered spar
After working the simple math for the wide and narrow ends and laying noting the marks on the spar I drew lines between the fixed points. Planing the spar across the corners to the same lines on the adjacent side will turn the four sided into an spar eight sided.
23 Apr 14
I don't have time for a write up tonight. I posted pictures with some embedded narrative. Suffice it to say, I am focused on the on the bowsprit right now. It's still rough and looks big and blocky and the curves at the butt end are not true yet, but it will end up slender, symmetrical, and, dare I say, sexy by the time I am finished. The original DF timber was 50.5 lbs before I started shaping. I suspect It'll be around 35lbs when Its complete. Some math regarding weight so far:
I think by the time we add the wire and turnbuckles we will be about the same as the original or a little lighter.
20 Apr 14
It is time to start working on the bow sprit. I made a couple of mock ups a few years ago (click here for more info). But, at the time, I left the butt end wild as I did not know how I would address the heel of the sprit. I had thought about bitts or a sampson post. But, they both seemed more work boat style and though I love them both I thought the style would not fit on the more elegant Alberg designed Cape Dory 36 Far Reach. Then, a year or two ago, while I was working on other projects, I saw a picture of the 65' Lion's Whelp, built by Phineas Sprague, in an old issue of Cruising world. What a gorgeous boat! The lines of the two boats are similar to my eye--kind of long and lean with similar overhangs and a low sheerline. It turns out Lion's Whelp was designed by John Alden, and of course early in his career Carl Alberg did design work for Alden. So, maybe the similarities are real and not just imagined by me. Anyway, the bowsprit on Lion's Whelp is captured in a rounded bronze heel cup. It looked very elegant. Click here for some a link to some pictures of Lion's Whelp--scroll down to see her bowsprit more closely . . . beautiful. So, I bought a similar design from Port Townsend Foundry and set it aside while I continued to work on other projects.
I have been thinking about how I would shape the bowsprit to fit this heel cup ever since I bought it. Once I decided this week to begin the project it seemed like a good idea to start by carving up the slightly undersized mock up instead of risking a huge mistake on the hunk of doug fir I have for the real bow sprit. So, I started by creating a template of the inside of the heel cup. I used wooden stir sticks that I glued one on top of the other to make a profile of the interior curve. Then, I took careful measurements and traced the template on the side of the sprit. I cut the excess off with a jigsaw and then used a power planer and the belt sander to work up to the lines that I had drawn. From then on out it was a batter of using calipers and cabinet rasps to sneak up on the fit. I finished up by using chalk powder to get a more precise fit. I am pleased with the results. The fit is good. However, I am a little unsure how snug the two should fit together or how I should bed it. I want to keep the water out but I also want to be able to remove the sprit for maintenance. I have some feelers out to a few folks that I think have experience with this kind of project. I have actually started work on the final doug fir sprit and I'll post some pictures over the next few days as I continue to work on it. In the gallery below are some pictures of my practice efforts on the mock up.
I took a couple of hours over two days and build shelves in the bottom of the head sink cabinet and in the closet. I used some scrap mahogany for cleats and scrap juniper for the shelves. I had to accommodate for the drain and water lines so that took some planning. Having a flat surface in the bottom of these two sloping lockers provides a better surface for organized storage. Both shelves easily lift up using 7/8" diameter finger holes. And, small items can still be stored under the shelves. I measured the slope of the hull, dialed that number into the compound miter saw, and cut small sections of Douglass fir to use as "nub" cleats along the hull. I abraded the hull in the required area with some 40 grit abrasive paper making sure to remove the paint. I vacuumed and cleaned it up with some acetone. Then, I applied some unthickend epoxy to the wood "nub" as well as the hull and followed it with some epoxy thickened with cab-o-sil making fillets all around. I used the laser level to make sure everything was lined up. The shelves fit perfectly.
I was not happy with the copper tube that I ran from the LP regulator to the manual shutoff valve. So, I decided to replace it with a flexible hose. The problem was I could not find one short enough for the job--about 10" long. The shortest 3/8" ID line was two feet long. It would have to be coiled up in the locker and that is not what I wanted to do. I found a 1/4" ID hose a foot long but it really should be 3/8" ID the same as the rest of the low pressure lines. So, one of my mentors suggested trying the local gas company. Bingo. Mallard Gas made one for me on the spot--heavy duty 3/8" ID hose with the brass fittings for $13. The were very nice and even gave me some pointers on installing the MIP tapered thread fittings into the regulator and manual shut off valve. I had no idea that they should be installed that tight. They used two 12" crescent wrenches and cranked them down as hard as they could and were emphatic they should be that tight. We are back in business.
I replaced the copper tube with a rubber one. The local gas company make it for me. Took them about 10 minutes. $13 including the hose and the fittings.
12 Apr 1--Two Steps Forward and One Step Back
It took some time, but yesterday, I was able to complete the installation of the stove, connect the LP lines, pressure check the system (more on that later), and light off the stove.
When I went to install the four screws (they are supposed to be installed through the top outside frame into the wood cleats that support the stove) to hold the stove securely in position I noted the holes for the screws were not centered in the access openings. The were so far to the side I could not get a drill in there to drill holes into the wood frame and follow it with a screw. So, I removed the stove from the frame it was hanging on and drilled new holes, from the outside in, ensuring they were centered properly. In the photo below, you can see the original hole covered with green tape on the outside of the stove. It's not even close to being in the center. You can see the hole I drilled in the center of the access hole. Next, I reinstalled the stove. However, even though the top grate is hinged it needed to removed to get the drill into position to drill the hole through the access holes. But, of course, it was held on with bolts and nuts instead of the quick release as depicted in the instructions. There was no way to remove the grate with the stove installed as the outside head of the machine screws (slotted) is set down below the counter top which blocks access to the large headed screws (which did not even fit properly). Once again, I removed the stove and went to the chandlery down the road. I purchased a couple of 10-24 standard pan-head machine screw and SS wing nut returned home. Then, I reinstalled the stove and attempted to install the screws with the stove in position--to see if it was double as I do not want to have to remove the stove to remove the grate. I was able to do it but only after dropping one down inside the stove. Why do manufactures insist on designing something like this?? Though doable, it is a difficult evolution and will no doubt cause problems later. At some point I'll come up with a better solution. With the stove in position it was time to connect the LP lines and pressure check the system.
I connected the lines, ensured the stove was shut off, and opened the manual remote shut off valve. I turned the gas on, charging the system. I watched the pressure gauge on the system, then shut off the propane bottle. The pressure should remain the same for at least three minutes. The pressure dropped to zero in three seconds! I heard the gas run out. I tightened all the connections. Retest. Better, but still leaking out. I made up a soapy solution of water and used an acid brush to soap the connections. I recharged the line. I cleanly saw the bubbles and tightened the connections more. This went on for a couple of times till at last the pressure held. I could see after about 10 minutes there was the smallest drop in pressure, maybe a pound or two from 122 lbs. I decided to light the stove off anyway as I was confident the leak was in the locker.
With all the gas shut off at the bottle and the manual shut off I tested the electronic igniter. The battery was dead. It is easy to replace, so I installed a new AA battery and the igniter clicked as soon as I pressed the button. I read the directions for the third time, turned the bottle on, opened the manual valve, turned the burner knob pressing it in, and hit the igniter--no flame. I closed the knob. The instructions said if it doesn't light right away try a butane lighter. With the butane lighter, the burners lit off right away. I shut them off, then relit them trying the electronic igniter. It fired right up. I lit all the burners, the oven, and the broiler. Then, I shut everything down.
Today, we went to the boat show in Oriental, NC. We were not there to see new boats, or even used boats for that matter. I wanted to see the marine flea market and swap meet. it was very small. I have that much stuff in my garage. Nothing to get excited about. I did score a chain pipe cover to my ABI windlass, but that was on the consignment shelf in the back of the Inland Waterway Provision Company and not the boat show. The weather was beautiful. The people were friendly. It was a nice day to get out.
I thought about the propane leak all day. This is a very small leak. But, it needs to be eliminated. It seemed to me the copper tubing, and the bend in it, is the most likely culprit. The high pressure line is 1/4". The Trident Marine line from the manual remote shut-off to the stove is 3/8". But, but the copper tube is 1/2" in diameter by 9 1/2" long. It is a short section, rigid between two fixed points--the regulator on one end and the manual shut off on the other end. Even though I could no longer see a leak with the soapy water on this section, that is where the leaks were and I suspect that is where the small one is as well. Also, I just don't like the copper tube. I think it is a vulnerability. So, this afternoon, I crawled back into the boat and removed the regulator, manual remote shut off valve, and the copper pipe. I went to the hardware store to find the fittings I needed to make the connection 3/8". Lowes did not have what I needed. Maybe I'll run it down tomorrow. I will replace the copper tube with a custom made rubber one about 11" long with 3/8" swivel female fittings at each end. That's how I should have done it to start with. Two steps forward, one step back.
10 Apr 14
There have been no posts for the last couple of days but we have been plenty busy. I have been working on some dividers for the locker under the forward double berth. I bedded the hinges for the propane locker. I installed and bedded all the hinges and hasps for the two cockpit lockers. I completed the fiberglass modifications and painting of the propane locker. I did not spend a lot of time fairing the inside of the propane locker. It is very strong, absolutely water and airtight to the interior of the boat. It is vented to the outside of the boat, above the waterline, to ABYC standards. Today, I installed the gas system in the locker. I bedded the regulator with 3m 4000. I used butyl rubber to bed the vapor tight line fitting, and I used a combination of butyl and 3M 4000 to bed the manual shutoff line. The manual shut off valve is UL approved brass fitting designed for a home propane fireplace. By attaching the square "key" to a long copper water pipe, and run to the galley, we can manually turn off the valve from inside the boat. Its design keeps the locker air tight to the interior of the boat. For more info on the manual shut off valve and the building of the propane locker click here and scroll down.
The propane gas system is installed.
7 Apr 14
I cleaned up the juniper shelf bottom and milled it to a uniform 15/32" thick to remove the resaw marks (it is scrap from an earlier project). Next, I cut a dado in the 3/4" african mahogany that I used for the fiddle/face frame. I test fit it. Then, I decided to round the outboard edge as there was no sense in trying to match it to the inward curve of the vertical face of the ash ceiling strips, and if fit tight it would just be hard to remove the shelf and would probably squeak when sailing. The rounded edge looks nice and was simple to make. I made the fiddle as tall as I could and still able to remove all but the tallest books off the shelf without removing other books. Because the shelf is oriented 'thwartship a tall fiddle should not be necessary . . . one hopes. I left a one inch gap at the back end to allow air to circulate behind the books and reduce mildew. I'll varnish the shelves and fiddles during the next phase of varnish work. I had to make the outboard ash cleat taller as the shorter cleat I wanted to use would have had the fasteners land right between two ceiling strips. The cleat will be much less noticable when varnished as it will match the color of the ash ceiling strips.
Test fitting the book shelf. Simple and easy to make.
It was time to install the cabin sole under the box where the WC will sit in the head compartment. I made a pattern for the sole with doorskin ply and a hot glue gun. I had enough plantation teak for this project. I had previously milled the plank to 3/4" thick. So, all I had to do was joint the edges and cut a blind 1/4" slot in the edge of the plank to receive a spline. I cut the splines a little thin so there would be room for epoxy adhesive. Because teak can be a little fussy to laminate I thought the splines would give the joint a little more strength. I could have used resorcinol but choice to go with System Three T 88 epoxy for this project since the teak will be on the interior, will not be exposed to saltwater, and will be varnished. I cut the spines for a blind slot (they don't protrude beyond the end of the planks and remain invisible). Resorcinol and Tightbond require significant clamping pressure but epoxy is the opposite as you don't want to starve the joint--very light clamping is all that is required. After test fitting the planks and splines, I mixed up the epoxy, applied it, and clamped up the planks. I used a West Systems plastic wedge stir stick to scrape up the epoxy squeeze out. I left it overnight to cure.
The next day, I unclamped the planks and hit both sides with a belt sander--working a figure eight pattern--then followed that with a cabinet scraper to remove any machine marks. I laid the doorskin pattern on the planks, traced it will a pencil, used my table saw with a cross cut sled, a jig saw, and a block plane to get the proper fit. I lightly bevel cut the planks on the ends so they would drop into place. It was a very good fit on the first try. The outboard edge had to be beveled to match the angle of the hull but it was simple to achieve with a bevel gauge and a block plane. These planks will eventually be varnished though they could be left bare.
I have used plantation teak before. I had originally thought I would use more on the Far Reach but I don't like the color and it is not as straight grained as Burma Teak. Of course, it cost about a third as much. It smells like teak and has an oily feel but its not as oily or pungent as teak--it smells more earthy than Burma Teak. The growth rings, at least on the plantation teak I have used, are not as tight as Burma teak. Anyway, I have used it for the interior framing around the opening of the icebox and places like that on the interior of the boat where it is not going to be very visible. It's good stuff but not as good as Burma teak. Just saying . . . .
5 Apr 14
The weather is gorgeous. I have the shed open. There is a nice cool southerly breeze. I have been pushing ahead working several projects at the same time--propane locker, scupper lines, book shelves. Today, I started working on the book shelves that will be installed over the foot of each pilot berth. There is 12" above the cushions for your feet to the bottom of the shelf. There is about 11" above the shelf to the underside of the deck. I made some simple cleats that I screwed to the ceiling strips and to the inside of the inboard divider . . . I used a laser level to make sure they were level. I had some scrap Juniper that was 1/2" thick. It is very stiff wood. I made a template for the shelf from some door skin strips and a hot glue gun. I left 1" at the back of the shelf to allow air to flow up around the books and help to reduce mildew. The shelves fit perfectly. Next, I rummaged around and found some scrap mahogany that I'll dado tomorrow and then glue to the edge of the juniper as a face frame. That will keep the shelf stiff and provide a fiddle to keep the books from falling out.
I installed the cleats and the shelf today. Tomorrow, I'll cut the face frame/fiddle to stiff up the shelf and keep the books from falling out.
The galley sink drain took a little work to sort out. Because I bought a standard sink, the drain assembly is larger than that often used on a boat. I found one that is SS and has a composite basket with threads for a tailpiece. I was able to find to two part female/female threaded PVC pipe coupling at Lowes. I screwed a male threaded nylon 1 1/2" hose barb to the coupling. I used the same Shields Wet/Dry Exhaust Hose for the drain tube that I used for the scupper line. I was able to get 6' of hose from Jamestown Distributors for about $40. They cut it and sent me just what I wanted. I previously checked with the local West Marine--I almost never buy anything from them as they are just to expensive. They wanted $13.99 a foot and I would have had to buy 12 feet! I don't know how West Marine stays in business.
Galley sink drain line.
I have worked diligently to avoid having to do things over. I have made a few mistakes that needed to be fixed . . . but not many. I initially installed Shields white vinyl sanitation hose for my scupper lines. I don't remember why . . . it looked cleaner or something--one of the lines is slightly visible from the interior. Anyway, the stuff was beastly to work with. It does not like to bend and it will not go over a hose barb if it is slightly oversized which the barb on my cockpit scuppers are. I used a heat gun to soften the ends but the stuff does not like heat. It was OK but I needed a more durable proper solution. So, I replaced them with Shields Wet/Dry Exhaust Hose. This is a more durable hose. It is wire reinforced and bends much better than the sanitation hose. I used the same line for the galley sink drain.
I replaced the white vinyl hose with Shields Wet/Dry Exhaust Line.
The next day I continued with the modification to the propane locker to hold the three aluminum 10lb bottles. I applied 6ox cloth to the back of the panels and let them sit till I could trim the edges with a box cutter. Then, I wet the edges of the 1/4" ply wood panels out with epoxy. Next, I mixed up some epoxy and thickened it with cab-o-sil. I gooped the thick epoxy on the edges of the panels and pressed them into position. Then, I trowled on more thickened epoxy making wide filets. I let it kick till it was rubbery and I laid the pre-cut cloth on the panels and wet them out in place. I laid multiple layers of 6 and 10oz cloth on the panels and in the corners covering the fillets. I applied several coats of unthickend epoxy to fill the weave. I went back about an hour layers and laid on some more epoxy with 407 medium density filler in the those areas that needed some additional fairing. The next day, I scrubbed down the fresh epoxy work with water and a 3M medium purpose pad and wiped it dry with paper towel to remove the amine blush. I'll let it continue to sit for a few more day, then I will prime and paint it with grey Interlux bilge kote paint.
3 Apr 14 -- I Still Don't Like Grinding Fiberglass
Not a lot of fun today but this had to get done. For those that are new to this site, over about a three year period I built a custom propane locker at the aft end of the cockpit (click here for the full build to date). I built it specifically to fit the 9 1/2" wide 10lb epoxy propane bottles made by Lite Cylinder. The day, the very day, I finished the locker and applied the second coat of paint, I received a copy of Practical Sailor that revealed that Lite Cylinder was out of business and all their bottles were banned by the DOT from being filled. There were no other 10 lb bottles on the market of that small size. That was in July 2013. I put off doing anything about it for a few months then realized I needed to act so I bought three aluminum 10lb bottles, knowing that I had just enough room in the locker for the three aluminum bottles if I removed one of the filler "boxes" I glassed into the locker to eliminate dead space. I put the project off till now for two reason: 1) I was heavily committed to other projects and by the time I completed them it was early winter and the temperature had dropped and it was too cold for exterior epoxy work, and 2) I did not have the mental state for the project which required destruction and grinding. I was still mad about the whole thing.
Now seemed like a good time to modify the locker. The temps are great this week. The question was, did I want to add another filler box and just go with two 10lb cylinders or remove the one filler box already installed and go with three bottles. I think the box works better with two bottles--it is less likely to get water in it via the vent tube since the space is narrow 'thwartship, but I really think with four people on the boat, 30lbs of propane will be nice to have.
I started by assembling all my cutting tools. I donned the paper suite, 3M full face respirator, and gauntlet gloves. I carefully cut out the filler box then sanded it smooth. I vacuumed and cleaned up the work space. Next, I measured and cut some 1/4" 1088 plywood and beveled and shaped as necessary to achieve a lose fit. I test fit everything to make sure I have enough room for the bottles. I then laid out some plastic sheeting in the wood shop, sanded the plywood parts with 80 grit abrasive and cut fiberglass cloth to cover the panels. Tomorrow, I will epoxy in the panels and do a little fairing. All that will be left to do will be to let the epoxy cure fully and apply paint. I plan, later, to build a teak grate to fit in the bottom of the locker.
1 Apr 14 -- Is the joke on me?
I installed the cockpit locker hatch lid hinges and bedded them in place. I still have to install the latches.
I also temporarily installed african mahogany trim for the head sink. I cut a small caulking groove along the bottom edge. I'll remove the trim during the next varnishing session and then bed with mahogany colored polysulfied when I reinstall. I also installed the galley sink top and counter. It had just been sitting in position. I cut a small strip from some 1/8" thick silicon bronze, drilled the holes, heated it red, bent it 90 degrees, and installed it underneath on the port side of the sink. I used a self tapping screw to secure the vertical part into the ash cleat. But, I drilled and tapped into the corian for a 1/4" machine screw. On the other side of the sink, the cleat was wide enough that I drilled up through it, and tapped a hole in the corian. It's strong, clean, and was easy to do.
The african mahogany holds the sink counter in place. I cut a caulking groove along the bottom edge of the trim. I'll remove the trim for varnishing, then caulk when I reinstall.
I made the "L" bracket (top center of photo) from some scrap 1/8" thick silicon bronze.
28 Mar 14
Not exactly what I wold call a productive or fun week. Our family was besieged by the stomach flu. Only one was sparred and it was not me. Nonetheless, we pressed forward as the situation permitted. I bedded the head sink (SS) onto the varnished ash counter top with mahogany colored Boat Life polysulfide and have had it clamped up for the last few days as it cures very slowly. I also installed the sink drain system in the galley sink . . . so some progress there. I spent the last day or so working on the mast winch base plates. These were custom built by a friend out of aluminum and my job was to drill and tap them for the three winches that will support the halyards. I could not tap all the holes as my instructions were not to penetrate the welds till after they are anodized . . . so I drilled the ones I could and will ship them back on Monday. This afternoon, I bedded the two cockpit locker frames with 3M 4000UV. In the next couple of days I'll install the hinges.
UPS delivered my Danforth High Tensile 12H stern anchor a few days ago. I spent a little time looking at options for stowing it on or about the fantail area so it can be rapidly deployed and easily retrieved and restowed. So far, there is no "this is it" solution. Each option is less than ideal. I'll continue to mull on it.
I bedded the cockpit locker frames with 3M 4000UV.
21 Mar 14 Today, I completed the installation of the #1 (forward bilge) water tank vent line. It took a little while to determined the best way to route the line. I cut small sections of 3/8" fuel line and them slid it over the 1/4" ID vent tube as a protective sleeve. The fit was snug but with only a little effort I could easily position them where needed. I used the sleeve as a chafing guard to protect the vent line from abrasion. I used Perko aluminum and rubber hose line support clips and #8 SS 3/4" pan head self tapping screws to secure the vent tube as required. This should complete the installation of the vent lines for the three water tanks located in the bilge.
We had beautiful weather today. I opened up the big doors on the SRF. It was wonderful to have some sunshine and warm temps after the month of rain, cold, and wind.
I ran the line under the sole at the aft end of the head compartment and up through the hanging closet.
I routed the vent line up through the head sink cabinet on the outboard side.
20 Mar 14
My focus for the past week has been installing the "hold-down" system for the three water tanks in the bilge. After a lot of thought about what was in the art of the possible while also trying to keep it simple I decided to bolt a single wood cross member above the tanks to existing floor beams. It took a while to figure it out but it was straight forward. I glued 1/4" EPDM rubber to the bottom of the cross pieces and then through bolted them with 5/16" cap head bolts. The end pieces are half-lapped with the cross pieces. The outside edges of the tanks are held firmly in position so I don't think there is a need for more than a single, robust, cross pice above the each tank. The more difficult part was figuring out a way to hold the aft corners of the tanks in place. Eventually, I decided to cut wedge blocks from scrap Iroko (see gallery below).
The forward tank already had a floor beam installed above the tank though it cleared the top of the tank. I bolts (2) 2X8 blocks of Iroko to the beam and glued 1/4" thick EPDM rubber to the bottom of each block.
I bolted a fore-and-aft cross piece over each of the two aft tanks. The end pieces are half-lapped with the cross pieces. The cross pieces also have 1/4" EPDM rubber glued to the bottom.
I had to cut recesses in the wedge blocks to allow for the epoxy tabbing to the knees (or what would be called floors on a wood boat). It was time consuming but not difficult. I'll eventually install a simple brace to keep them from sliding out when the boat heels though they are in there snug. In reality, I am not sure how well this will work till we sail the boat. Plastic tanks have some draw backs when it comes to methods to secure them in position since there are no taps to bolt to sub framing. Custom plastic welded tanks were about 40 percent less than SS tanks. However, it has been a lot of work to develp a method for securing them in place. Would I do it again . . . ask me in a couple of years.
While working on the water tank hold down system I also did a little work on the refleks heater. The regulator has three fittings on it. One is the fuel line "inlet". One is the fuel line outlet--it goes from the regulator to the burner pot. And, the third is on the underside of the regulator and is an overflow outlet. The directions for installation very clearly state that the overflow outlet is an important safety feature that many people dangerously cap off. The purpose of the outlet is to allow any excess fuel that might collect in the regulator to flow out of the regulator and into a separate container. The trick is to figure out how /where to run the line since it needs to be below the heater and accessible. I have been thinking about this for some time and finally decided to connect a rubber Trident fuel line to a copper tube attached to the overflow valve and run forward and to a collection bottle in the bilge adjacent to the heal of the mast. It will be easy to see and easier to collect and return to the main tank should the need arise.
Looking under the platform that supports the refleks kerosene heater.
14 Mar 14
I spent the last couple of days installing vent lines for the three water tanks located in the bilge. The tanks, being positioned in the bilge, in some ways, made it more difficult than if they were under the settees. The cabin sole being right over the tank meant I needed to run the lines out to the side in order to gain vertical elevation. The risk is that water will flow into the line and form a water trap so that air can't make it's way back to the tank. Air has to flow into the tank when you pump water out or a vacuum lock will form in the tank. No air in, no water out.
The tank vent lines are installed. I used Watts Quick Connect Fittings. I ran the line for the foward tank (not seen in this photo) foward and up behind the head sink cabinet.
I drilled a one inch diameter hole in the walnut sole under the galley sink cabinet near the center line of the boat for the aft two tanks vent line.
The best option for me, to start with, was to run one line forward from the forward most tank then angle it to the starboard side and up to the locker behind the head sink cabinet near the gunwale. For the aft two tanks I connected the vent lines together (see photo) and ran the single line up through the galley sink cabinet as it is near the centerline. That meant I did not need to run the line all the way out to the side of the tanks as I was able to route the line diagonally aft and about 10" off the center line before routing the line vertically up inside the cabinet base. The top of the vent line is about 40" above the top of the tank and because it is so close to the center of the boat theoretically the boat should be able to heel 62 degrees before water can make is way to the top of the line when the tanks are full. If the tanks are less than full we can heel even more. I think there is some risk of getting a water-block in the line with this plan. If that occurs I will run another line on the opposite side of the tanks going forward and tie in to the forward tank vent line. That way, one line will always be running up hill regardless the tack. It will not be hard to add a second line if necessary. On a lark, I decided to use the Watts Plumbing Quick Connect fittings which I have seen for a couple of years at the hardware store. I hear nothing but good things about them but I am still skeptical--I am a hose barb and SS clamp kind of guy. But, they they were easy to install and are inexpensive at about $4 each. I used a semi flexible 1/4" ID polyethylene hose that is a lot like PEX. I spent the rest of my time working on a "hold down" system to secure the tanks in place should we suffer a severe knock down. I hope to have that installed in the next couple of days.
11 Mar 14
I have spent the last few days working on the companionway ladder. Finally, I was able to replace the old 2x4 ladder I have had for way too long. The rails are african mahogany and the treads are teak. There were a few constrictions that were at odds with each other requiring some compromises. In order to reduce the apparent steepness I made the steps wider at the bottom than at the top--the lower tread is 5 1/2", the middle 5 1/4", and the top 5" wide. If you look at the photos you can see it. It changed the angle by nearly 2 degrees. It looks quite natural and feels even and consistent. I will varnish the rails and leave the treads bare. For previous posts on the ladder click here.
The old 2x4 ladder. It performed yeoman's service for me--it never failed.
The new ladder. I'll varnish the rails but leave the teak treads bare.
I made a tempate for the rails from a pice of 1/4" ply. Once I was statisfied I used it to make two 15/16" thick rails from african mahogany. They are are about 43' long and 4 1/4" wide. It took some fussing to come up with the right angels for the rake of the ladder and then the angle, relative to the rails for the treads. Once I determined the angle I spent a while marking where the treads would be located. The key tools were a sliding bevel guage, my starett protractor, and a sharp pencile. I milled th teak for the treads to 3/4" thick. I thought about making them a little thicker but I did not see any advantage. It seeemed to only add unnecessary weight to the ladder. It also made setting the dado stack up much simpler. The ladder was a little steeper than I wanted--but I had to contend with the lower platform that I built two years ago and I wanted room for the watch seat. To "buy back" some of the shallower angle I wanted I decreased the width of the steps from bottom to top which decreased the steepness of the angle by two degrees. It was noticable when climbing and decending. With the dado in place and set to 1/4" depth I ran a test piece with a scrap piece of wood. The slot was a snug fit for the tread. Then, carefully I cut all the slots. In less than 10 minutes it was complete. Next I router the edges of the rails creating flairs above and below the treads to add some visual interest and make it look a more elegant. I cut bevels on the back of the treads to align with the ranked edge of the rails. I test fit it together and then screwed the treads in place. I clamped it in place in the boat for a day or so and decided to make it a little narrower buying a small amount of additional room for the watch seat. Once statisfied, I glued the treads n place with Tightbond III and clamped it over night.
Determining how to attach the ladder took some time. I have been thinking about it for months while working on other projects. I knew the ladder was going to attach at the top under the lip just below the threshold. There was really no other way to make it work. I looked a various hardware options on line and in my old books. I looked at the original stainless hardware. I wanted something simple to operate, strong, and yet not to distracting. Many boats use sliding bolts but they can come loose. Then, doing an internet search for "take apart hinges" I found these snap-apart bronze hinges. They come with two parts and, for a companionway ladder, would normally be mounted vertically, but I did not have enough room on that 'twartship plank of of mahogany for it to fit. So, I decided to mount them horizontally and make my own receptacle from some ipe wood I had on hand. Ipe is often classified in the "ironwood family." It is very hard--the hardest wood I have every used. It is also extremely rot resistant. I found a design I liked on a boat I have long admired and incroprated a similar design. I think it adds visual interest without drawing too much attention. It took a little while cutting the pieces to the correct thickens, getting the shape so, and then using files to smooth the edges. I mounted them to the ladder with #10, one inch, oval head, bronze wood screws. The ladder fits between the snap apart hinges which "pop" into the holes in the ipe. But, I still had to address the bottom of the ladder . . . .
The ladder had to be secured at the bottom. Mostly, on the boats I have owned or been on, the bottom of the ladder is held in place with a "U" shaped piece of wood mounted on the sole on the forward side of each of the rails. They keep the ladder from kicking-out and crashing to the ground. And, even though the top of my ladder was held in place with the snap apart hinges there needed to be a strong fool proof way to keep the bottom of the ladder in place. But, I wanted to avoid the "U" blocks if possible as they trap dirt and water and, though very functional, add a little visual clutter. I looked at pictures of boats I admired and I found a few boats that did not have the "U" blocks . . . but how were they held in place? So, I contacted someone that has mentored me from time to time and they told me how me how they did it on their boat. So simple . . . . screw a # 12 bronze screw into the bottom of the rails, leave the shoulder proud, cut off the head, drill a matching hole in the platform, and "Bob's your uncle." So, I measured, drilled, screwed, sawed, filed, and when I went to put the ladder in place it literally jumped in the hole while at the same time the top popped in place. It is very secure and is exactly what I had imagined when I started the project.
2 March 14
Slow but steady. I installed the cabinet doors in the forward cabin after numerous coats of varnish. I need to install some small catch chains to prevent the door from opening past 90 degrees. One of the nice things about high gloss varnish is that it reflects a lot of light and makes what would otherwise look dark kind of bright. Way back in the days of black and white when we started this project I thought I might varnish the interior with a less glossy rubbed effect varnish. In fact, the Epifanes rep I talked to even recommended it. He said it was so much easier to apply . . . just two to three coats of gloss then two coats of Rubbed Effect and you are done. He said that becuase it is less glossy it was more forgiving in application. So, I bought some and tested it on a sample. I did not like it. It was dull and flat and I knew right away it would suck the light right out of the boat. Despite the extra work, I have very happy with the high gloss. It makes me smile evertime I go below.
Two of the three small cabinet doors I installed. All the doors are now in place.
Since I am varnishing the ash counter top for the head sink I decided to apply a few extra coats of varnish to the forward dorade boxes. These are the original boxes. They required some repair work before I could reinstall them. I would have built new ones but I was out of teak and I thought I could just salvage them. I would have preferred that they not be varnished. There were some splits and I had to use some epoxy and some graving pieces to effect the repairs, so varnish seemed like the best protection. I applied two coats of varnish before I installed them. I noticed the varnish starting to dry out from the UV (we get some through the SRF greenhouse cover. Thus, I applied two more coats the past two days. I'll probably pull the tape tomorrow and apply four or five more coats when I get around to adding more coats of varnish to the cockpit coamings.
Four coats of varnish to the dorade boxes. I still need another four or five.
26 Feb 14
Yesterday we chose the shop to make and install the interior upholstery. They seemed professional, easy to work with and, and eager to help us achieve our visions. We order the fabric tomorrow. It's an acrylic velvet sage green. It's more neutral than we wanted but we simply could not find the darker green we were looking for. And quite frankly, I couldn't bear to look at any more fabric. Gayle seems happy about it, so I am happy. I'll post some more on this when we get a little closer.
Yesterday, I trimmed some wood plugs in the cockpit coamings that I had installed the day before and I varnished the bead cove in the forward cabin.
Today, more varnish on the bead cove and started the varnishing on the ash sink counter top in the head. This afternoon, I started on the companionway ladder. I looked at some old photos I have been savings and some sketches I made a few years ago. I had a piece of 5/4 mahogany I have been saving for this project. I edged jointed it on both edges a few months ago so all I had to do was chop it to length (46") and then rip it in half (4 3/16" wide). I ran it over the jointer to smooth one side, then ran it through the planer which took it to 15/16" thick. I had to rip before I could joint because the plank was 8 1/2" wide but my jointer is only 6" wide so sometimes one has to modify the ideal sequence of milling to what one can do with the equipment on hand. Tomorrow, I'll start shaping the rails to fit under the companionway in the desired manner and I'll pick up some teak off-cuts for treads. I'll also need to order the hardware to fasten the ladder to the underside of the bridge-deck.
23 Feb 14
It's been a busy couple of weeks but there is not a lot to show for it. We pulled some more trim out of the boat to varnish. We completed it yesterday and I went to reinstall the forward cabin cabinet doors and was surprised to see that I failed to varnish the bead cove that surrounds the door opening. Ugghhh. The rest of the trim will be installed by tomorrow afternoon. I installed the cabinet door hardware. This is simple hardware with a turn knob. Overlay doors are easier to secure. Most of the hardware I have seen that provide solid latches and are brass cost about $40 each. These are $13. I like their simplicity. I will need to make new rotating tangs as they are steel but the bolt, nut, and knob are all brass. A simple inexpensive fix.
The knobs are brass and very simple to install.
Turning the knob rotates the tang behind the face frame and the door is secured. The knob, bolt, and nut are brass. The tank is steel and I will replace them with some brass ones later. Eventually, I cut the bolts to the nut.
We have spent a lot of time the last two weeks running down fabric for the interior. We looked at a lot of fabric . . . . We narrowed it down to a few samples that would fit with the character of our interior. Not too loud, yet durable, harmonious, elegant, and simple. I made drawings and took photos of the work to be done. We researched upholsters in the area, and prepared all the specifications we wanted to incorporate. I emailed the project to five different upholsters asking for bids. We contacted upholstery shops, canvas shops, and an auto upholstery shop--we wanted to see the range of options. We visited a few of the upholsters. All the bids are back. The price differences broke down into ridiculously high, middle, and what I call the more reasonable. Because the cushions have to be made from scratch and because we want separate knee roll settee cushion the project is more expensive than it would be if we were going for the simple style most stock boats come with. This is one area I am not going to do myself. So, there is no way to really save much money except to find a competent upholstery shop that will work with us and can do a professional job without viewing anyone with a boat as related to the Vanderbilts. We will visit with one of the bidders tomorrow and if all goes well we will be on our way.
I completed the installation of the kerosene fuel tank. I had to add a vent tube (photos below). There were not many place to install it. When I designed the tank I had already determined this was the best option availble so this was not a surprise. It was the plan all along. I drilled down through the side deck, next to the cockpit coaming and just aft of the primary winch pad. The tank vent hose barb was directly below. I over drilled the hole and then filled it with epoxy. After it cured, I drilled a 5/16" diameter hole through the epoxy plug and chamfered the hole. I applied some Teff-Gel to the washers and installed the 1/4" bolts through the aluminum tank flanges and bolted it in place to the bulkhead on the aft end of the quarterberth. Next, I used a piece of 1/4" copper tubing and bent it to a "U" shape and test fit it down through the hole I drilled in the deck. I had to install a teak spacer block since I could not get the hole next to the coaming as the deck mold was recessed down for the coaming to bolt to. I needed copper straps to secure the vent tube in place. I used a hack saw to cut 3/8" wide sections from a 1" diameter piece of scrap copper pipe. I split them and heated them up. While they were glowing hot I hammered them flat, bent them around the copper tube, and then quenched them in cold water. I drilled holes in the end then secured them to the teak spacer block with bronze screws. After test fitting I bedded the teak block with Dolphinite. I caulked the chamfered hole the copper tube passes through with Boat Life polysulfied. It's not a perfect solution but I am satisfied with the look and how it blends in with the rest of the boat. Last, I installed a short section of Trident fuel line to connect the tank to the copper tube and secured it in place with SS hose clamps. Once I install the teak wood plugs the project will be complete.
10 Feb 14
Yesterday, with Gayle's assistance, I was able to complete the installation of the winches. Bedding the multiple parts of the base, riser pad, and winch requires some dexterity and thoughtful planning. Adding to the difficulty is the necessity of removing the drum in order to run the bolts through the winch flange exposing the freshly cleaned and greased innards of the winch. To do this I covered the exposed spindle with a zip-lock bag. We work well together so it was pleasant work. We used a combination of butyl rubber to make thin "donuts" around the bolts where they pass through the chamfered holes in the various parts. The rest was bedded with teak colored polysulfied caulk. We scrapped up the squeeze out wearing latex gloves and using a yellow "Dap" scoop and West System beveled plastic stir stick. We cleaned up minor smears with paper towel wetted with paint thinner. It's great to have the winches installed.
All four headsail sheet winches are installed.
I completed the installation of the forward cabin cabinet doors today. I built a little plywood jig that I was able to clamp to the forward face of the double berth which held the door steady in the open position. I carefully marked for the screws, drilled, and installed them. I used the jig on the second, lower door, as well but did not need it on the third door as I was able to steady the door on the doubled berth seat box lid. The door openings are small but with two different right angle drill attachments I had no trouble drilling the holes. Next, I cut and installed the lower outside corner bead cove trim. There is still a little more work to do on them tomorrow but they are essentially installed and ready for removal and varnishing. I finished off the day reinstalling the under side deck panels and supporting trim.
8 Feb 14
Continuing with the installation of the winches, I first needed to cut an additional inch of threads on the 1/4" bronze FH bolts. To do that I clamped the bolts in my bench vise and used a standard 1/4-20 die to extend the threads down the shaft. I have cut a lot of threads during the rebuild and though there are a few tricks it really is pretty simple. The key is to clamp the bolt securely, use some lubricant such as cutting fluid, and don't turn the die to quickly. I normally make 1/4 of a turn, back 1/8th of a turn, then turn forward 1/4 turn, then back 1/8th and so on and so forth. It goes pretty quickly. I kept an eye on the heat build up and took my time. Next, I wrapped a little tape around the end of the bolts, marked them with a sharpie, and used a hack saw to cut one inch off the end of the bolt. I cleaned up the ends with a mill file. They were ready for test installation.
Next, I took the bases, pads, winches, bolts, nuts, backing plates and tools up the boat. I had to lightly ream out a few of the holes to get a proper fit without any binding but I was very pleased with the overall fit. I spun on the nuts and lightly tightened them to make sure everything would be ready for the final install. Next, I took spent about 45 minutes tapping off the winches in preparation for applying the bedding compound tomorrow. I had to reposition the winches from the original location due to the addition of the staysail winches. Originally, the stay sail was self tending and the line snaked down the cabin top and terminated at a number 8 winch. I eliminated the self tending boom because I think it is a hazard to anyone on the foredeck and it makes it impossible to get good sail shape. Because of the longer bowsprit I could afford to move the sheet leads for the staysail to the side deck, near the cabin top bottom edge, and still have a sheet angle three degrees less than the jib. The sheets, however, will run down the side deck, near the cabin top and run to the Lewmar number 10 winches mounted just forward of the Lewmar 44 two speed primary winches. It's not a perfect solution but it was the best of the options I could come up with. It will make trimming the sails a lot easier when there is only one person on deck. You can stand with the tiller between your legs and reach all the winches without any required acrobatics.
It was too cold today for bedding compound. I hauled the trailer full of scrap wood to the dump, watched some of the winter Olympics (a distracter that I simply am powerless to resist) and finally tore myself away this afternoon to start the installation of the last three doors. All three go in the forward cabin. I checked the fit of the doors, which I glued up a couple of days ago, and trimmed them just a little to ensure the appropriate clearances around the edges. I applied six coats of varnish to the panels before I glued up the rails and stiles. Once I was statisfied with the fit of the door in the opening, I installed the solid brass butt hinges and then cut a piece of cove strip to fit between the hinges and installed it in the door frame opening. Using the cove strip as a guide, I'll attach the hinges to the door opening and fit the bottom outside cove strips last. Once that is complete, I'll remove the doors, tape off the panel, apply six coats of varnish to the rails and stiles and reinstall them. For more on the cabinet door build, click here.
The doors are just sitting in there the opening for test fit. I hinges still need to be attched to the faceless frames. If you look closely you can see I also need to add the bottom outside edge cove strips as well.
6 Feb 14
After teaching this morning I had some personal business to attend to. This afternoon, however, I had enough time to drill the holes for all four winch bases down through the deck and the filler plugs I previously installed. All the holes lined up nicely. I had just enough light to temporarily install the winches on the starboard side. Tomorrow, I will install the port side winches. Once I have test fit the backing plates, I'll start taping and preparing to bed the bases and winches for final installation.
I took the better part of a day off to visit a couple of upholster shops to investigate what they can do for our interior. We know what we want so it is a matter of providing photos, dimensions, and some drawings so they can make an estimate. Once we select the upholsterer they will travel to the boat and take the exact measurements to make the cushions. It's great to be this far along.
Next, it was time to disassemble and clean all the winches--two Lewmar #44 two speed self tailing winches, four #10 single speed standard winches, and two #8 single speed standard winches. All the winches have bronze hubs and spindles. I won't cover the details of winch cleaning as there is a lot of information available on the internet and each winch brand and model has it's own unique design. My primary sources were my own experience, the Lewmar Maintenance Guide, and Compass Marine website which has a lot of great information with photos.
I used kerosene as a solvent, plastic pails of different sizes, a chip brush, a tooth brush, a tooth pick, a dental probe, and lots of rags. I disassemble the winch one at a time, scrub them in the solvent bath (these were very dirty and grimy, and wipe them dry with the rags. I inspected them carefully and reassemble them after lightly greasing the gears, bearings, and spindles with Lewmar winch grease (applied with an acid brush) and 5-30 synthetic motor oil (the same oil I use in my vehicles) for the pawls and springs applied with a Q tip.
It's not hard work but it is tedious and time consuming. All the winches were in very good shape except for one area--there is a lot of galvanic corrosion on the underside of the # 44 aluminum ST disks that sit on top of the bronze hubs. This was a terrible design by Lewmar to allow these two very incompatible metals to have direct contact with each other. There was so much corrosion in fact that chucks of the underside of the ST disks have simply been eaten away. Lewmar no longer carries parts for these winches as they have long since been replaced by newer designs. It's a real shape as other than this one area the winches are in very good condition. I'd like to replace them but new winches of a similar size (Lewmar 40s) cost about $1600 to $2000 each. Also, I would have to build new bases and risers since the 40s have a different hole pattern . . . of course. I used a liberal amount of "Teff-Gel" to help isolate the metals from each other and hopefully slow any further corrosion.
I completed the cleaning of the winches. I'll start installing the primary and secondary winches tomorrow. I'll set the remaining winches aside until I turn my attention to the mast and rig.
2 Feb 14
It was time. Actually, it was past time. The shop and SRF (sailboat restoration facility) were jammed with off cuts and stacks of wood, some of which did not come close to qualifying as off-cuts. I had stacks and boxes of small pieces of wood that I was determined to hold on to "just-in-case-I-need-it." To be honest, I did throw out scraps all along, but not near enough. And, I did "need it" as many times I would rummage through piles of wood for that perfect piece. But, we were well past the point where it made sense. The shop was jammed and though "kinda" organized it was becoming a hazard. So, what started out as an effort to throw out some scraps turned into a multi hour bring the utility trailer around to the door and "get after it" event. Once started, there was no stopping. I think the shop is at least twice as big now that it is cleaned out. It is a pleasure to work in there again.
Hahahaha. The "pile" of scraps.
I have been doing a little more varnishing--behind some cabinetry in the head and at the rear of the quarter berth. It was also time to install the primary and secondary sheet winches. I gathered up the supplies I needed--wash pails, brushes, grease, oil, parts diagram, spare springs and pawls, etc. But first, I set about cutting and drilling out the backing plates for the winch bases. The Far Reach originally had only primary sheet winches. Only the port side winch had a backing plate (the only one the "owner" would be able to see). It was 1/4" aluminum. The starboard side winch was under the one piece head liner and not visible. I don't remember there being an access to the nuts. Anyway, the starboard side winch had just washers and nuts. Criminal.
Because I added riser pads to the winch bases I needed longer bolts-- 9" vice the original 7" long. The primaries use 5/16" and the secondaries use 1/4" fasteners. I purchased them through CC Fasteners. They were easy to work with and professional. The fasteners were, as you can imagine, shockingly expensive. I would have been fine with SS but I could not find them that long. I already had the bronze nuts and washers so I saved money for that part of the assembly.
I decided to use 1/4" G-10 manufactured composit epoxy flat sheet. This is great stuff. Super hard and strong, impervious to everything, can't rust or cause galvanic corrosion, etc. It's expensive but I will need some for the running back stays and for under the deck cleats and the section I bought we be more than enough. I used 1/2" thick G-10 for backing plate for the windlass and the bow sprit and gammon iron. I used the original aluminum backing plate to guide the size for the G-10. Normally, I would make it a little bigger but there are some restrictions under the side deck such as the molded cockpit coaming, proximity of bulkheads, and of course the camber of the deck. Also, all the strain is in sheer. I also pre drilled oversize bolt holes in the deck and back filled with epoxy to make solid non-crushible plugs--click here for more info on that project.
To cut the backing plates I used my compass to draw the appropriate diameter circle. Then, I traced over it with a sharpie. Next, I used a Bosch jig saw with a carbide tipped blade to cut the shape out. Then, I cleaned up the edges with the bench top belt sander. Next, I taped the backing plate to the underside of the winch pad and with the appropriate 12" long bit, I used the pad itself as a guide for drilling down and through the backing plate. I inserted bolts as I went to make sure everything would like up. Last, I flipped the base and backing plate over and marked the position with the sharpie to make sure all the holes would line up.
In the next day or so I will clean the winches and then install them.