Monday, September 15, 2008

Getting the ports ready

When I head back up to the paint shop tomorrow I am bringing my ports along so I can start closing the boat up and making it water proof. While the boat is enjoying the indoor storage for now I know it can't last long so I need to get the boat prepared for rain. Somehow I know those first few raindrops on my new paintjob are going to hurt.

By mixing and matching I was able to get all the broken parts (mostly) on one port. I spent a few hours trying to find a glass company that could fix the broken glass. When I dropped it off they said it would probably be ready tomorrow and cost around $7-$8. What a deal.

The port comes apart by pulling out the rubber seal (carefully- its 40 years old) to get to the six #4 screws holding a retaining plate underneath. 5 of the screws came out with some soaking in penetrating oil. The last screw I had to drill out. Sometimes my left turning drill bits will grab the screw at some point and spin it out. Not this time. I am pretty sure I can fill the hole with epoxy and tap a new hole. Its not a high stress fastener.

With the retainer removed I had to scrape out the very hard -what appears to be- window glazing. Its hard, flaky white stuff. With the glazing out the glass popped out easily.

Two of the outer retaining rings are broken on my boat. On one, it is only cracked at one point so I think it will still function correctly. On the other, it was cracked in two places and a chunk was missing. That one I had to fabricate new.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the 0.1" stock I needed so I substituted some 0.063" stock instead. Its a low load application and for now it will hold the port in place and make it water tight. I am going to order the correct material to fix it properly before I set off on my next ocean crossing... The holes are custom drilled so I need to wait until the glass company returns my frame before I can drill the final holes.

One of the large deadlight frames was cracked completely through too. I don't know how I am going to fix it well so instead I stuck some epoxy in there and I am hoping for the best. Again, it is only clamping the lexan sheet between the inner and outer frame so I don't know if it makes a difference - other than cosmetic under close scrutiny. I am going to have to keep my eyes out for a replacement but I am not holding out much hope. Maybe I could have it welded. That might look worse than it is already. For now, it will keep the interior dry until I can do better.

Tomorrow, I pack up and head north again. The plan will be to raise the waterline up to the new bootstripe. When we found the original scribed waterline that I had painted to be no good we raised the bottom of the bootstripe up to more appropriate place and made it straight. That left some topside hull below the bootstripe. I need to sand that bit and apply bottom paint up to the bottom of the bootstripe. It doesn't look bad as-is but the awl-grip isn't going to like being submerged for long. I need bottom paint below the bootstripe.

Then I have the non-skid to paint.

Then I will be installing ports and whatever deck fittings I can squeeze in. I expect the boat to remain at the shop - indoors or outside - for another week or so until the paint has a better chance to cure and its convenient for the painter to haul it back.

Then its rush rush, build a winter cover install a toerail and rubrail, and get to work making the boat launch ready for next spring. Chop chop, there is a lot to do...


Ariel, CD 36 said...

Cool to see things really progressing, Britton. Nice color, by the way. Unique AND classy.

Britton said...

I am a little dizzy with the pace actually. It just all came together all at once.

I have been a little worried about the color selection. I am not a daring person by nature and this seemed like a bold step from the ordinary.

Happily, I am quite pleased with it too. :-)

Tim said...

Epoxy: the wonder fix. :<)