Friday, January 25, 2008

Rigging progress

It remains too cold for my fragile constitution out at the boatyard but I have been making plans and spending money nonetheless.

Yesterday I dropped off my rigging at a highly recommended rigger sans forestay/furler which was still out at the boat being too long to easily transport. We went over a bunch of details; swages at the top, mechanical fittings on the bottom, extra set of lower shrouds so I can add lower forward shrouds to the standing rigging system, turnbuckles on the jumper struts for easier adjustmentments. The rigger took one look at my turnbuckles and declared them junk. I guess I am getting new ones then. I also put a downpayment on a Harken Code Zero MkIV roller reefer. Very few riggers will even consider the cheaper cruising model. Cheaper parts and a few other things that I can't remember now are cited. At $1400 with the forestay I think the price is pretty fair.I was also considering the Schaeffer unit which eveyone likes but the Harkens are a bit cheaper and the new models are considered slightly better by every rigger I talked with.

Speaking of the forestay, I couldn't fully disassemble the stay from the old Furlex unit that came with the boat so I resorted to gorilla tactics and simply bent the foils unti it would fit in the trunk of the car. The rigger really wanted the original stay to base the new measurements off of. He is going to love the package I drop off at his door.

Curiously, the rigger didn't want to give a firm estimate. "it will cost what it will cost". Well, okay, but I would like a ballpark figure. $600. Okay - sounds rediculously low to me. I was talking to an underling as everyone else was out making calls. I think he was thinking wire and upper swage alone with that estimate. I decided (partially because it had been a very busy day) to just go ahead and trust the many recomendations I got for this company. I was told they were not the cheapest but they were very good. Fair enough. Like I said, it was a busy day and I wanted to get this project moving. They positively guarantee their swages for 15 years. Since I went with mechanicals on the lower ends they will stand by the rigging for 20 years.

In other news, I have ordered a bracket for mounting the throttle cable correctly. Last season the cable was 'anchored' to a random bit of wood that was drywall screwed to a nearby sem-flexible totally unecessary intermediate bulkhead behind the original icebox. I meant to measure out the length for the correct sized cable but it got too late and I got too busy. Shouldn't take long so I am not sweating it yet. I am also thinking I will replace the throttle level with a new shiny lever that it a bit longer. I figure besides looking nicer, the longer lever arm will allow me to fine tune the throttle position better (the more secure cable mount will help lots too). Do I need that level of fine tuning? Probably not. I will have it though.

Finally, I have my boom apart in the basement. I have the end piece out which took some doing considering the two broken screws frozen inside and holding it in. I am going to drill out the screw holes and re-tap them for 0.25-20 screws. The mainsheet attachment was held in by a bolt through this end cap with the nut on the inside. With a good gust of wind the nut finally unwound itself and the mainsheet connection parted with a loud gunshot and nearly left a brown stain on my trousers. I replace the bolt with another and put the nut on the outside where I could keep an eye on it. Over the summer the nut still had a tendency to loosen so I replaced the bolt with a rigging pin and cotter pin. That actually held quite well. I don't like the connection being held by the cotter pin though so I was looking for a bolt with a hole in the end so I could use a castelated nut and cotter pin. They don't seem to exist in stainless stell so I am fishing around for alternatives. I also need to figure out an outhaul system. I might just jury rig it for another season and deal with it when I replace the boom - hopefully next year.

The boom needs to be replaced to handle the larger loads from the boom vang I want to install and the loose footed main I want to convert to. Adding six inches of length will greatly help my outhaul options too.

Em tasol for now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Being a total Wuss

I was planning on getting out to the boat today. And then I decided that 30 degrees was too cold so I stayed at home.

With my paint and adhesives option being about nil this time of year there isn't much I could do anyway. On the other hand, having little to do is making me very lazy. Recently I thought I heard the tick-tock of the launch clock which has me worried. It is going to be a busy spring.

I was going to build my own rigging this winter. After doing some research it looks like it might cost just the same or even cheaper to have a professional rigger do it. I want to learn but maybe I don't need to do the complete rig, especially when it looks like it could be MORE expensive than having the pros do it. Maybe I will rig the dinghy for sail instead. I have an appointment next week with the rigger. If nothing else I should have a better idea of how I want to do it and what state the current rig is actually in.

The secret color chip from Awl-Grip came in last week. It looks good. Maybe not quite dark enough but I am sending it to friends with better senses of color than me to check it out. At the New England Boat show yesterday I walked by a dark red "Claret" hull that called out to me. I keep thinking that red really isn't my color but it does look nice and I don't think there is a single Triton out there in that shade. So many choices...

I am trying to build a small paint booth for painting small parts in the basement. It is not up and running yet but if I can get it to work I can get several small projects about done which will make my springtime workload much easier.

And then I have to figure out where the boat is going this year. I definitely won't be cruising all summer so I am going to need a mooring. Salem, MA is the most likely candidate. Newburyport is another more expensive option. I need to check it out this week. They don't give those things away, that is for sure. It might be cheaper to cruise all summer rather than pay for the mooring. Salem is further away from me - a real pain to drive to - but the cruising area is better (Massachusetts bay and Boston harbor area). Newburyport is close and a nice town to hang out in but it is a long motor against strong tides and currents with very little destination options once I get out of the river.

Oh, we did have a warm day last week so I glued down my vinyl flooring under the toilet. Now I can mount the toilet and hook it up whenever I grow some balls.

Em tasol wantok

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Stoking the fires

Nothing of worth to report.

It has been altogether too cold for my fragile constitution. With the holidays behind me I can start planning for a couple of projects however.

I have contacted the makers of Awl-Grip and started the process of procuring a custom paint mix. For the moment I am going to keep the final color secret. It should be good and it should be unique. It probably won't go with my canvas so I guess I will be shopping for new canvas next year too.

I am also planning on buying the material for replacing the standing rigging this winter. The New England Boat show is coming up and I might find a deal. In either case I am going to load a credit card and get moving on that project while it is still too cold for much significant outdoor boat work.

If I get lucky then I might try and finish up the head project and do something about my missing cabin sole. It would be nice to have them done before the mad rush of spring.

I was hoping to work on a couple of projects at home but so far my efforts to paint have been stymied and the solution hasn't presented itself. The results are getting better but not good enough yet. The problem seems to be the amount of dust particles in the air. Covering up the painted material has helped but not enough. I might try fully enclosing the painted materials but then I am not sure how well the paint is going to cure in such a restricted atmosphere.

I am pissing in the wind here and I might just be better off doing nothing rather than continuously doing the wrong thing.

I reworked my ugly dinghy oars. That is something I guess.