Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wanting is...

the root of all unhappiness.

If I didn't want boat work to progress faster I would not be unhappy with the progress. Saturday was a demonstration in progress against all odds. Sunday was somewhat better.

During the week, I installed my new 1/8 inch blade in the new bandsaw and cut out backing pads for some of the deck hardware. After using hand tools for so long I forgot how nice a fixed shop tool can be. It was a much more pleasant experience cutting the blocks out. For the pads I used G10 which is great stuff (pre-made sheets of epoxy/fiberglass composite with a near perfect ratio of resin to fiber). McMaster and Carr has it among other sources. When I first got the boat I didn't know about it and was using epoxy coated plywood. It is working okay but the G10 is far superior. For some reason I had two pieces of G10 in 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch thicknesses. I have no idea why I had the 3/8 inch stock. The 1/4 inch was fine. All the same, I had to use the thicker stuff up so I used the 3/8 inch stock for under the stanchion bases. Had I been really smart I would have pre-painted the pads. I briefly considered postponing installation to paint the pads but decided I couldn't stand any more delays. The pads will most likely be hidden behind cabinetry and can always be painted afterwards in any case.

I had anticipated installing everything easily within a day. How silly of me. The little things took forever. First, I had to drill the pads for the mounting holes. I had already learned that I could not simply put the pad against the fitting and use the fiting as a drill guide. While the holes through the deck look straight, they are usually not, and after traveling though an inch of deck the holes don't come out directly under where they went in. In other words, somewhere in the drilling process a little crookedness is introduced. The solution is to drill one hole and then temporarily secure the pad via the single bolt hole. Then drill the opposite hole and run another bolt through to fix the pad into position. Then I was able to drill the remaining two (or whatever) holes in the pads. This means the pads are perfectly drilled... unless they get flipped upside down. Its a good idea to mark the orientation of the pads before walking away. No need to ask me why I believe this.

So, most of Saturday was spent drilling on deck and then going below to fuss with a pad and then going up and drilling a second hole and then going below... etc. I had to make several trips back home to pick up a forgotten tool or two. I was nearly done when my large and torque-y drill motor got the drill bit slightly stuck and promptly snapped the bit in two. I only had the one bit so I was finished with drilling for the day.

No problem, I wanted to mount my foredeck cowl. I used a taper drill to pre-drill for the mounting screws. I reached for my tube of sealant and found the end to be solid. No problem, I grabbed the first available tool - the new taper drill bit - and stuck it in the end of the tube and gave it a whirl. The new taper drill bit snapped in half.

Okay, I grabbed my utility knife and cut into the side of the tube and sort of spread the sealant out in a less than precise manner. I then set the cowl on top of the sealant and started screwing the mount screws down. Apparently I didn't drill quite far enough with the taper drill. Since I had just broken the taper drill I couldn't go back and drill a little deeper. I figured I could just muscle the screw down the last 1/8 inch. And that is how I snapped the screw in half. So, after pitching the remaining tube of sealant half way across the boatyard, I grabbed a roll of paper towels and wiped up/smeared around the sealant figuring I would try another day.

A long work week and temperatures in the 90's with 90%+ humidity might have contributed to my fatigue and set me up for the series of small failures. I was pretty disgusted with boatwork Saturday night.

Sunday I slept late and ate a good breakfast with 'my boys' at the diner which put me in a much better mood. I was able to buy some new drill bits and finish drilling the holes and then bribed a helper with a fried clam lunch to make installing the hardware go more smoothly.

Thanks Mom.

A few issues still managed to crop up. The pad for the aft stanchions straddles the division between the underside of the raw deck and the interior liner. The thickness is about the same but the angle between the two is a little off. That meant that the bolts that I had ordered were too short. Once I tightened one side of the stanchion base, the pad pulled away from the underside of the deck too far for the bolts to reach, I tried starting the bolts in different orders but in the end, I deemed it better to clean up and try again next week with longer bolts.

The other issue I had was that I had grabbed what I thought was 1/4 inch and 5/16 inch washers from my hardware rack. That is what I thought I had done. In fact, I had 1/4 inch washers with different sized outside diameters. The middle stanchion bases use 5/16 inch bolts and I didn't have any washers. I decided to mount the bases without washers. I was using the 3/8 inch thick G10 under the stanchion bases so I think they can handle nuts without washers. In two years when I re-bed the deck hardware I can add the washers.

Next, with my helper, I was able to mount the jib tracks. I didn't use a backing pad under the tracks, just some large area washers. There are 13 bolts holding each track in place so I think the washers alone will do just fine.

Yes, that is mold on the underside of the side deck. When there is water in the bilge, and the boat is closed up for a week, and the temperatures are in the 90's, mold spores go into a breeding frenzy. I didn't have anything on hand in the truck to clean it up and I wasn't going back home to get it.

After supplying my helper with the fried clam lunch I went back and installed the stern pulpit.

And by then I was pretty well cooked, working in the bright sun in the 90 degree weather.

The forward pulpit will have to wait until next week.

I might shift gears and get more varnish down if the weather cooperates. The three applications of varnish are looking a little thin already. No biggy. If I varnish I will continue with the cabin sole painting. There is always something to do.

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