Monday, July 28, 2008

Slow week

Rain, fierce thunderstorms and cash paying jobs ruled the week.

I did manage to get the fiberglass tabbing on the interior panels behind the settees that I had installed last week. I also scuffed up the hull in preparation for an additional coat of gray primer. Hopefully this will be the last coat but the way things are going it is hard to have much confidence in that.

Sadly, when I pulled off my new tarp today I got it caught on the edge of the companionway hatch and ripped a 6 foot section.

The topcoat, thinners, and converters came in this week. The color has an Awlgrip code assigned to it so I was thinking it would come at the standard price which seems to be about $150 a gallon these days. Apparently I was wrong. They had to mix it and my final price through my normally very reasonable distributor was about $350. I guess it is the price you pay for being a little different. I console myself by saying in two years I won't be crying over the extra $200 the special color cost me. Total cost for the topcoat materials alone was $591. Nothing about boat projects is cheap. Hence, when someone offers me some work I really have to take it.

This week looks more promising, productivity wise. I am looking at painting the interior overhead liner, painting the inside of the settee lockers, painting the hull again, maybe painting the bottom ...

I guess I better order up some more painting supplies.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Low priority stuff

The weather has not been good for priming or sanding so I have been keeping busy with some low priority items. Actually, it is about all I can do at the moment. I would rather be working on stuff critical to launching next spring but I can't until the topcoat is on. So until I get that done I have been filling my time with some boring but necessary interior work. At least I can entertain the possibility of having the basic interior layout built when I launch next spring. That will be nice.

First though, I promised a picture looking at the aft cabin 'bulkhead' from the cockpit side. This is looking through the port battery access hatch hole in the cockpit. You can see the engine exhaust and part of the battery shelf. I thought I had more storage area under here until I closed it in...

Okay, so then I attached some pieces that the interior panels will connect to. The pieces also will support the aft end of the galley table. Crude but effective. Then I cut out sections of the Armacell foam insulation I am using and bonded them to the panel with contact cement.

I bonded the insulation to the areas behind the settee backs too.

Then I added some foil backed 'bubble insulation' to the mix.

To be honest, I really don't know if this stuff is helping me. However I did it for the following reasons.

1.) it can't hurt.

2.) it is cheap and it was lying around taking up space in my cellar. I don't want to store this stuff forever.

3.) it should at least improve my radar signature slightly.

4.) it might actually reflect radiant heat from outside.

Quick lecture warning:

From my research into my icebox contruction... heat travels in two ways. By conduction, that is by contact, and by radiation, i.e. infrared radiation. The foam will handle the heating from conduction. The foil might block the radiant heat energy from the sun. It might. On a more positive note, it will most likely reflect the radiant heat coming from my solid fuel heater. One of the nice things about wood heat is that it radiates as well as conducts. That is, it releases infrared radiation and makes all the furniture and walls in the room heat up even before the air heats up. So my thinking is that the foil should reflect the heat from the stove and help make it more efficient. Like I said, it might work. It was there and I put it to use.

So then I went ahead and made the interior backing panels. On the aft end I only did the portion under the galley table. I still need to figure out how I am going to finish out the visible portions above.

The panels were trickier than I imagined. Nothing is square on a boat and that took some work. And then the hull curvature changes constantly so the panels don't lie on the same plane all the way along. They twist a bit. It was also a mistake to put all the fiddles in before the panels. Some of the panels fit quite tightly and the extra fiddles for the settee fronts and tops made it that much more difficult to work around. I had to bend the panels quite a bit to get them into place. And most of the time I had to remove them and shave a bit off several times before I got the fit right. As it turns out, after I started securing them with screws into the backing blocks I had installed previously, they continued to twist into position making the fit along the edges worse. I am also not that happy with how strong four screws in the corners are (considering the pressure they are under from the flexing plywood) so I am going to add some support by laying in some fiberglass tape on side edges. That will also help keep moisture out too I suppose.

I finished today with some expanding foam in a few nooks and crannies where a few gaps appeared. I couldn't epoxy directly over the wet foam so I called it quits for the day.

I haven't sorted it all out yet but my plan is to use the forward starboard section as a bin for storing fuel for the stove. The middle section for general storage, most likely food, wine, dishes, etc. The aft starboard section will house my trash bin.

On the port side, the three sections will all be for general storage. The aft section will be partially obstructed by the galley table which I will be extending out to match the starboard side. I might make that a bin as well. I could store my hatch boards and such. I don't know yet.

Weather, job searching, odd jobs to supplement the meager unemployment checks and other life stuff continue to challege my productivity on the boat. On a good note, the paint has been ordered, should be here today actually, and the final topcoat is scheduled for the first week of September. The ball is still moving forward. Just not as quick as I would like.

More coming soon...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Green, Beige, Polka-dot, White...

and now Gray.

At 7:00 am this morning:

At 9:00 am this morning:

The gray was MUCH easier to see and work with and it covered much better. Never did I have to squint and cry with the pain of burning eyeballs. I would be a little happier if I had a little more gray primer on hand for a second coat. On the other hand, if this does it then that extra can would sit on my shelf for a very long time.

Doing hull work is just so much easier than deck work. I was thinking about trying again on the deck and I immediately felt sick. I just don't know if I can try again and have to sand it all back down again only to be right where I am now. I may have reached the point of 'achievable perfection' on the deck. To do better I would really have to have a wind free shelter and some better working temperatures.

Note to anyone thinking of doing something like this boat project:

1.) DON"T! Just buy a new boat (if you can find one that doesn't make you want to wretch - new boats are horribly ugly and poorly designed, hence I have a project...)

2.) Build a shelter first while you still have the money. I read the magazine articles about painting outdoors in the boatyard. They lied. It just isn't feasible unless you can settle for a poor paint job. Obviously they wrote the articles to please the paint manufacturers that pay for advertising. If you don't need a top-notch paint job then skip Awl-Grip products and try the Interlux stuff. Everyone says they are easier. They might not be quite as good, but easier sounds pretty nice to me right now. Maybe I should even consider switching to Interlux Perfection for the decks... I am not there yet but if I didn't have a friendly painter who is trying to help me out then I would undoubtdedly go that route.

Sadly, when I washed the hull prior to paint this morning I noticed some fresh 'battle scars'. I don't know where came from but I wasn't happy about it. They were not so bad or numerous as to cause me to break out the fairing filler but I wasn't too happy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back to work


The first time the tarp has been off in over two weeks I think. The hull really doesn't look nearly as bad as the photo suggests but the ultra bright sun messes with my camera's light readings. It isn't perfect but it isn't as terrible as you might think either.

I wasn't able to paint today. That would be too optimistic. I did however return to work.

The galley this morning.

The galley this afternoon.

I forgot to take a picture from the cockpit looking into the cockpit lockers. It seems somehow much smaller with the cockpit storage areas closed off from the cabin areas.

Just getting back up to speed and remembering where I left everything took a bit of time. There were a few trips back and forth before I really got busy.

I finished up by installing a bunch of little blocks that will hold interior panels in place. Rather mundane and boring but necessary. They don't look pretty but I get a perverse sense of pleasure from re-using parts that came out of the boat originally. These blocks are all mahogany bits that were removed when the original interior was gutted. The wood is in good shape after 40+ years. A few odd holes and and rough edges make them look bad but bilgekote will hide all that and make it look beautiful. You won't be able to see these bits with the interior panels installed anyway.

I spent a little time trying to sort out how my galley is going to look. I need to have an idea before I install structure and panels under the galley table. At one time I had big ideas about maximizing the storage area with little cubbies and shelves and such but now I think I am going to stick with a simple and open plan and modify it in a few years if I feel the need. Often times less is more anyway. I put in an 'interior' in four hours using AC plywood several years ago in order to get cruising. It looked ugly but was quite functional and versatile. Sometimes too much clutter is just too much clutter.

My four hour interior:

Anyway, nothing terribly exciting. There is hope for a good hull washing and a fresh coat of gray primer on the hull tomorrow. I can only hope.