Sailboat Progress

行色天下Yesterday was a good day to get some work done on the sailboat. The weather was sunny, but not to hot (low 60s) and no rain forecast until later today.

行色天下I had been trying to figure out how to replace or repair the toe rails. I was trying to remove them as full pieces, but he bolts were fiberglassed over from the inside, so I couldn’t easily unscrew them. Yesterday I started grinding the bolts/fiberglass cover off from the inside. And it worked! I also learned that the deck is solid fiberglass, vice a cored fiberglass. That will make repairs easier (no repairing rotted core material). I wound up cutting up the toe rail and removing it. I’ll build a new rail out of sapele or teak once I repaint the deck.

行色天下
Toe rail removal process.

The boat has some interesting (and strange) construction characteristics. The backing plates were made from plywood, and in some case enclosed in fiberglass (or at least the were for the railing base and bow pulpit). In most cases water has leaked past the deck fittings and completely rotted the backing material. But those are quick to grind out.

Port bow deck with the toe and forwared stanchion removed. Holes filled with marine fairing compound.

I’ve also added a disk sander to my tool collection. The disk sander is much more aggressive than the random-orbit sander, and excels at removing he old paint/gelcoat/nonskid from the deck. I think my next step will be to remove all the hardware from the bow section of the deck and repaint that section and reattach the appropriate hardware. Though, maybe I should sand and repaint the interior part of the deck before adding the hardware.

After sanding and making a mess, I decided to play around with gelcoat. I don’t have spray equipment for the gelcoat, so will have to decide if it is worth the work to brush on gelcoat or painting is easier. I painted a small section of Will’s boat with gelcoat as well as the top of the companionway hatch. My thought is to sand the gelcoat on Will’s boat down to smooth as a base for the top cover (paint or gelcoat, depending on what he wants).I plan to wet sand the fresh gelcoat on the companionway hatch to see how smooth the painted surface and one layer of gelcoat appears.I’m hoping that the thicker gelcoat acts as a high-build primer. It seems pretty easy to sand smooth, at least for a small area.

Next question. What colors to use on the big boat?

Workshop Updates – Quarantine

I have had a lot of extra time over the last two months. I have been able to go into work part-time, and have to work from home the rest of the time. For a few weeks I was only able to go into the office for 10-15 hours a week, but am back to 5.5 hours/day in the office and 2.5 hours at home. I set up my telework workspace in my workshop – that allows me to get out of the house and work without too many distractions (at least not limits the 4-year old distractions).

As part of preparing my workspace, I removed my old, small desk from the workshop, and built in a new larger space. That gives me room for two computers (work and personal) without having one on top of the other.

My new desk space in the workshop. I moved the computer into the closet next to my workspace. I added a cat door (bottom left) so the barn cats can go upstairs for food and I can keep the door to the second floor shut for heat.

In addition to my desk area, I have been spending a lot of time cleaning and organizing the workshop. I have been spending evenings over the past few weeks cleaning out the closet. I moved my personal computer into the closet, which will hopefully keep the dust down on it.I built a shelf and am in the process of building storage drawers.

The closet is heated, so I can keep paint/glue in it over the winter. I’m trying to keep the resins and glue a little better organized so I can be ready when it is warm enough outside to work on the boat.

Rearranged closet with a glue/epoxy station on the right, and paint storage under the shelf. I have one additional shelf to install under the printer and should finish off the ceiling with some scrap lumber

Once I finish cleaning up the rest of the space, I’ll add pictures of the (hopefully) organized workshop.

Workshop Airborne Dust Filter

This morning I finished and hung a homemade airborne dust filter in the workshop.

I had a fan blower sitting around from an old above-the-stove microwave thanks to an unnamed household member. The microwave was run for several minutes with no food inside – which didn’t help the microwaving part. But the vent fan was fine. Ben and I took the microwave apart a few years ago, and the fan has been sitting around in my shop waiting for a project.

I had to order a filter, switch and a starting capacitor (since I apparently didn’t save one from the microwave). The plywood was left over from another project.After being distracted way too many times, I finally got the project finished today. It has two speeds wired in, but no labels on the box (yet).

I’ll see how much dust the filter collects, which hopefully reduces the dust my lungs collect.

Air filter assembled and hung above the tablesaw. The blower exhausts on the left side of the box.
Fan blower and wiring – the wiring harness from the blower didn’t leave a lot of room to work with.

A new (and crazy) project for 2019

Macwester 26 Sailboat – moved from storage in Groton to our yard.

Getting a boat is always a bad idea. The question will be how bad of an idea this one will be. The first step, moving it from the storage yard to home went without a problem. The trailer needed 4 new tires, but the rest of it is in decent shape. The lights even worked (which was not expected).

I had been keeping my eye out for a new family sailboat. I was looking for something bigger than the O’Day 22 we previously owned. But one small enough to keep on a trailer.I really wanted one with an inboard engine and a proper head (toilet). This had both. Plus was a reasonably shallow draft, which is good for exploring Long Island Sound.

I had looked at the boat a few years ago, but the price was higher than I wanted to pay at the time. The previous owner listed it again this year. He lives in Colorado and was tired of paying for storage. So I decided to go take another look at it.

Cabin – looking forward from the aft end.

I initially looked at the boat with a couple of friends from work in late November. It was a mess. I didn’t want it. It had a few inches of water over the cabin deck, and was filled with foam pieces (almost like an animal had been living inside of it). However, a week later, the owner asked if I could pump the water out of it, and would give me the dinghy behind it if I would. I wasn’t interested in the dinghy, but I figured I could spend an hour and pump it out.

Will and I went down to the boat, but the water in the bilge was frozen, so we couldn’t pump it out. However, we cleaned up two garbage bags of trash, and the foam pieces. It was just foam from the hull-liner, and the cushions were in perfect shape (just dirty), so no animal living on the boat.

We went down a few more times and did some more cleaning and looked around. The diesel engine turned over by hand, the rudder and screw turned easily. The biggest problem is that the trailer tires were shot, and the rudder was coming apart and needs to be repaired.The access to the diesel is excellent, so working on the engine won’t be too difficult.

Rudder in need of repair.

I spend more time talking to the owner.I wasn’t planning on sailing in 2019 and was only looking to pick one up if it was a really good deal.This one wound about as cheap as they get.It was sitting in a storage yard costing the previous owner around $100/month. I initially offered to take the boat at no cost so he didn’t have to keep paying for storage. After some more talking, we finally came to an agreement at a cost of approximately two months of storage fees. So I picked up a new boat for a total of $200 plus four new trailer tires.

I asked a friend to help tow the boat, and he towed it the 10 miles home on Saturday afternoon. Now comes the process of cleaning it up over the next year or so.I’ll probably redo the electrical (because I like doing that sort of thing). The topside and bottom both need to be repainted (at least the bottom below the waterline). The diesel needs to be tuned up and returned to running condition. And the inside needs a good cleaning, some new hull liner, and some paint. The wood is dirty, but mostly in good shape. The rub rail needs to be replaced in sections, but none of the fiberglass is soft.

Cabin looking aft.

I will try to start posting here again for 2019 – I pretty much dropped off for the past 5 months.

Keeping cool…

A couple of pictures of us making the best of a very hot weekend. The mini-pool was a great idea – thanks to Susanna!

Susanna and Izzy in the pool

Ben and his little sister playing in the pool.

Izzy, keeping cool on a very hot weekend.

Will at Devil’s Hopyard State Park.

Workshop upgrade (new window)

My goal is to replace both windows and the door in the workshop this summer. I have a door in the garage that is ready for me to install and have been looking for windows. I was able to find a used replacement window for the east-facing window, but couldn’t find a used one for the north-facing window. In addition, I had the window a/c unit in the north-facing window. It is a heavy unit, and I haven’t been taking it out in the winter, but that means lots of air leaks around the window.

I decided to permanently install the a/c unit so I could insulate around it properly, and add a smaller window on top of the unit. I picked up a bottom-line replacement window (it is a workshop) and started working before it was too hot outside to work.? The window sill was replaced with a piece of reclaimed decking material. All of the other wood used to frame the window was either reclaimed or pulled from the trash bin.

Window frame with new sill and spacers for the air conditioner.? Reclaimed decking for the sill, and pressure treated lumber reclaimed from the same deck for the spacers.

A/C unit installed. Preparing to install the replacement window.? A piece of reclaimed decking was put on top of the unit to give the window a place to land.

Project completed! Just in time for the heat.? I still have to add insulation around the A/C unit – but good enough for now.

Sunday at Mystic Seaport

This morning I dropped Ben off at the Seaport for his first day as a junior volunteer. Susanna’s dad, Dan, joined Isabella and me for a morning at the museum. It was the wooden boat show weekend, so the museum was packed. We arrived at the museum more than 30 minutes before opening to drop Ben off?and there was already a line to get in the door.

Dan, Isabella and I spend a few hours walking around enjoying the show, although all Izzy wanted to do was meet dogs and throw gravel into the river.

Boats, Mystic Seaport Museum

At Mystic Seaport with morfar.

Waiting for Mystic Seaport to open.

Waiting for the museum to open

At the water table, children’s musuem, Mystic Seaport

Weekend Pictures

A few pictures of Sunday. We spent the afternoon by the pool to escape the heat.

Enjoying a cool dip in the pool on a hot day.

Ben and Izzy drawing on the patio.

Plus a few of Izzy at the Mystic Seaport from the previous weekend:

Isabella in a barrel at the cooperage, Mystic Seaport Museum

Checking out one of the sawhorses at the shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum.