Monday, December 14, 2009

Dis & Dat

With snow predicted in the near future we spent the day outside stripping all of the fittings off of the salvaged sailboat out back. We managed to get em all before the snow flew. The stanchions are much more modern and are in better shape than the Albergs so we will use them instead of the originals. The pulpit was placed on deck and looks like it will fit well also with a little alteration.

We did a little more work with the longboard, and did some DA sanding on the Hull, little by little, bit by bit, the sanding gets done.

I was thinking about a dodger and put out a request for some pictures and measurements. A big thanks to John Irving for the pics and measurements of his boat, and to mom and dad for taking a bunch of pictures of the dodger on my bro's boat and sending them so quickly.
I always liked the way the front of that dodger is a hard dodger and the back is canvas that could be folded forward. I laid the pictures on the cabin top and hot glued together a very crude stick frame with a cardboard front panel. I find it really helps me develop reference points if I have a crude mock-up of what I'm trying to visualize. I temporarily put the companionway steps in place and climbed in and out of the cabin adjusting the stick frame as required for easy access and proper clearances. Then I sat back and stared at the pictures and the mock-up for a good half hour, visualizing what to create. I wanted curves and not hard angles on the front........the top should have the same camber as the cabin top. We'll start there! A Half inch foam sheet was laid atop the cabin and two layers of biaxial cloth was applied to the top.
The following day it was cured so we trimmed its width, made a couple temporary brackets for it, and put it in place above the hatch. It looks pretty good sitting there, we will work on it over time to break up the monotony off sanding the hull.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Deck Fittings

Sometime in the past a previous owner attempted to repair the deck under various deck fittings by simply doing a little superficial grinding and then pouring polyester resin into the void. In some places there was no grinding done and the resin was simply poured into the depression made by the fitting and left to cure in a puddle on deck. I ground out all of the resin, then down through the core to the lower laminate. Removed the core material about half an inch depth from between the laminates around the edge of the repair then filled all with west system epoxy mixed with 404 high density filler. Once cured it was tooled as required and glassed over with mat backed biaxial cloth. This was done to all the deck fitting locations as they had all been previously repaired to some degree. Should make for a secure footing for the fittings now.

While I was in a glassing mood I prepped the top of the companionway hatch and laid in some glass. Once cured it was faired and is ready for paint.

I can sense some who may be aghast.......paint! Where's the bright work that was the original! My boat will have almost none on deck. Don't get me wrong, I love admiring a pretty vessel with lots of bright work. But alas my vessel will be moored under the intense tropical sun and I will be away from her for long periods of work and don't want to spend the time I will have aboard maintaining bright work.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jordan Drogue

Jeff has owned several sailboats of his own and has sailed with me on my vessel in the past. He is joining the vessel for her first offshore passage to Hawaii and I feel very fortunate to have him aboard for the passage. While I was visiting with him in Honolulu he offered to put forth some funds for the voyage. I suggested he put it towards some safety / survival gear and we discussed our past adventures and storm tactics and what we might like to have aboard. Aside from the mandatory Jack-line and harnesses, we felt a good drogue would be a very usefully piece of gear.
I thought back to the time I was in sixty knots of wind and surfing down monstrous waves on the way to Hawaii in my twenty six foot sloop. She would lift her stern to the wave then begin to surf down the face until we matched the speed of the wave and lost steering, then she slewed, her stern falling abruptly off to starboard, steering would be momentarily restored and she would be straightened out and then slew off to port. We careened down the wave in this sickening zig-zag manner on the verge of broaching.
After the second time that happened we came about and hove to. A precarious task in those conditions. The ride was much better with the exception of the odd wave crumbling underneath us dropping us with a hard jarring, or slamming hard against the windward bow, tossing the boat and launching us off our feet if we were standing, or hard into the Lee cloths in our bunks. I rubbed my bruised ribs wishing I had the foresight to bring chest protectors and hockey helmets. Jordan drogues would not be invented for a number of years.

We definitely wanted to have a Jordan drogue aboard this time.
We researched the drogue and both quickly agreed we did not want to spend time sewing together over one hundred cones, better to order the cones from a reliable source. We could handle assembling the drogue. During our research we kept seeing Ace Sailmakers referenced as a source for drogue parts. I called them and left a message Friday night, Saturday morning they returned my call and spent a lot of time on the phone answering all my questions and making some very good suggestions. I ordered the cones from them and it was a very pleasant experience; every time I called to check status or ask a question my call was promptly returned with an appropriate response to my question.  The cones arrived well packaged and in good condition. The workmanship and construction is very good. They included a stack of literature; diagrams, assembly notes and tips, testimonials.....and even included an installation tool (at no charge) to make it easier to put together. I recommend them if you are in the market for a drogue.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


We've been doing a great deal of long-board sanding on the hull and deck joint and thought it would be a good time to mix it up a bit and do something other that rocking fore and aft with the long-board. So we tackled the task of fitting the port-lights we got from New Found Metals.
It was apparent that it would require a fair amount of altering of the existing port-light opening to fit the new ones, so we ordered the installation template from New Found Metals. When it arrived we checked it against the port-lights and it was a good thing that we did,......the mounting holes were WAY off on the template! I sent it back and emailed NFM only to find they did not have the correct template on hand.

We ordered the trim ring spacers for the inside of the ports as we had too much of the ports protruding out the cabin side the way they were. The teak trim rings were  delivered in a timely manner but the quality was not of the same standard as the ports.
Each one is made from four pieces of teak and no effort was made to ensure the pieces were even close to the same color. The end pieces on some were much lighter than the rest of the pieces, giving it a chunky look. The frames were rough and one had a notch caused by careless routering at the factory. Fortunately the port-light covers much of the trim ring and after some careful sanding and finishing to blend the colors they would do.

We used the trim rings as guides and drew the cut-outs on the cabin sides and cut them out.

The port was fitted several times and adjustments made until we were happy with the fit.

Inside the cabin the area under the trim ring was sanded to bare glass and the trim ring was bedded with 3M 5200 and installed. After the 5200 cured the port was removed and the outside of the cabin was glassed and faired as required. The ports were then installed and bedded with 5200. Now I know there are those that feel that 5200 is overkill and would prefer something not quite as tenacious in case the port needs to be removed in the future. Those folks have never had to climb into a wet bunk under a leaking fitting on a three thousand mile passage........been dere........done dat boat fittings get bedded with 5200 and I have never had one leak. Boats on long passages are subject to endless flexing and twisting cycles and I have yet to find a better adhesive bedding compound, and though the fittings can be difficult to remove its not impossible.