Monday, July 30, 2007

Almost finished grinding the tabs

My brother Russ recently refit his C&C 35 and suggested hosing down the interior and using the wet vac to remove the sludge rather than vacuum it out dry which continuously plugged the filter. What a great suggestion! It worked like a charm. Blake, Chris, Ty, and I formed a bucket brigade: Me below with the hose, Blake in the cockpit manning the vac, Ty on the ladder, and Chris on the ground. I would grind away for an hour or so until the layer of dust made it difficult to see were I was working. Then the boys would come out of the house and lend a hand hosing and empying the vac for fifteen minutes. Then it was back to the grind for me, and the house for them until the next round. It made for a much cleaner and comfortable work environment.
At the days end we fired up the BBQ and had a great feast of ribs and burgers.

Sold the car to help finance the project

With the boat project taking up most of my time and resources it was time to sell the GT.
It was not easy to let her go (I loved that little car) but it was purchased by my stepson Blake and has stayed in the family. He has promised to let me drive it from time to time,.....if I'm good,.......and he's not grounded..........

I purchased a little Honda 80 scooter, mounted a basket on the back, and have been using that to commute to work and to run out for parts. It gets 115 miles per gallon and is the perfect vehicle for small part runs to the hardware store. The boys smirk and tell me its ok "for a guy my age", and that I still look cool,.......even on the scooter. Ya right!

Removing the Floor

There was a plywood floor that had been installed much higher than the original that had to be removed. It was bedded in a mixture of polyester resin and chopped fibers. Much of the mixture was improperly mixed when applied, and as I ground it out I kept hitting large pockets of uncatalized resin. The flap disk would bog down as the goo clogged the disk and the fibers wound around the shaft. It was slow going but eventually the floor was freed and tossed over the side.

Below the floor was a large holding tank that was poorly constructed and had to go. I heard the high pitched soundtrack of a horror film in my head ("reee,... reee,... reee,... reee") when I lifted the floor and set eyes on it for the first time, knowing it may have been used and had to be removed,....piece by piece.

I suited up for the job and went below with small sledge hammer, pry bar, and grinder.
After several carefully aimed swings with the hammer the top of the tank was loosened and then pried off. The tank was clean and dry and unused! Knowing I was not about to unleash a deluge of effluent I proceeded more aggressively and soon had the tank apart and the pieces tossed over the side.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Leveling the boat

Leveling the boat with a rotary laser

The wasps have moved in again! We have removed no less then ten nests in various states of construction. Every time we think we've plugged all the holes they find a way in and start building again! I peeled off my respirator and grabbed a can of bee killer from the shop, hopped below and exterminated the little buggers! I should have put my mask on first; I managed to dislodge some fiberglass dust and got it in both eyes. It didn't seem to bother me much and I though nothing of it,.......that is until 0530 when the pain woke me. My eyes were red and swollen and I could hardly see. My wife drove me to Walmart to to fetch a bottle of eye rinse with the little eye cup to fill and place over the eye. We asked the sales clerk who was standing in the eye care aisle where we could find some sterile solution. "We don't have any sterile eye solution" she said. I described my situation and asked if they had anything that could help. She was adamant that they had no sterile solutions and I was outta luck. I thought about this for a moment and realized that all the eye solutions must be sterile. I pointed this out to the clerk who replied "well, its not sterile once you open it". Ok says I,......can you direct me to a bottle of sterile right now,....but not once I open it,....eye solution please. She gestured down the aisle and off we went. We procured a bottle with an eye cup and made our way home. After several rinses my eyes started to feel a little better. I have custom spectacles being made for my respirator but until they are ready (in about 10 days) I have to wear contacts lenses when wearing my full face respirator.
With my eyes being tender for several days I was unable to wear contact lens and had to do something other than grind fiberglass. We rented a rotary laser level and set it up near the boat at the hight of the water-line. When we sanded the hull we found a second line lower than the first, we decided that being the older line we'd use it as the benchmark for leveling the boat (and judging by the numerous layers of paint over it we thought it may well be the original line). The hardest part was adjusting the laser so it would strike the line amidships. Once we had that dialed in it was a simple matter to move jacks around the cradle to make the necessary adjustments.
The temperature has hit 100 degrees in the yard today, much hotter in the boat! Working in Tyvek suits in that heat is not possible, at least not for me. Instead the day was spent in the much cooler garage sanding teak moldings and applying coats of satin Poly Wipe to them. I've prepped enough for two bulkheads and will prep more when its too hot to work inside the hull.