Sunday, September 26, 2010

More surprises

So the plan last week was to install the wind vane. The week before I had secured the vane mounts on the deck and had only been held up when I found the upper mount tubes were too long. About fifteen minutes after work and I had the tubes cut down and re-drilled and ready for assembly.

I had followed the directions carefully and spaced the deck mounts exactly 15.5 inches apart equal distance from the centerline. So I was a bit surprised when I went to hang the vane and found the tubes to be about an inch too far apart. I attempted to bend the tubes a little closer but I could see the aft deck flexing under the load I was putting it on. That wasn't how I wanted things to go.

After a few minutes of head scratching and measuring three times I realized that the aft deck has a camber to it. The mounts were spaced exactly the right amount apart but they also angled outward slightly due to the camber. Apparently, the camber is large enough to make 15.5 inches at the deck become 16.5 inches about a foot up. I was pretty disgusted at that point and didn't have a ready answer to the problem so I called it a day and went early to some family birthday stuff that I had been trying to work around.

Sunday, I had some ideas as to how to correct the problem but I wanted to think about it since my first thoughts are often a bit crude and less than the standards I would like to see on the boat. If I am going to own the boat for the next 50 years I didn't want to keep staring at something I couldn't wait a week to figure out properly. The following Saturday was full of household chores again but Sunday (today) I was ready to finish the job.

The first thing I did was cut a piece of scrap wood and drill two holes spaced exactly 15.5 inches apart. This allowed me to accurately position the top of the tubes exactly where they needed to be in order to mount the vane. You can see in the pictures how much of an angle there is and how much the mounts overhang the lip on the aft deck.

The plan became to grind down the mounting pads so that the tubes would rise perfectly vertical from the deck. It was going to be a tricky operation with the overhang and my normal clumsiness with power tools but I think it is the right way to fix the problem. I went home to get my grinder and came back to find my new neighbor six feet off my stern doing his end of season cleanup. The gusty winds would have blown the grinding dust directly into his open cabin. Its tough being the nice guy in the boatyard sometimes...

So I switched gears and started assembling the galley bulkheads. Not much to say there. I had to make some minor trimming to make things as square as possible. Way back during the 'disassembly' phase of the project I had left some hull tabbing in place as a convenient way to secure future interior panels. Once again I find myself really regretting that decision. My attempts to square up the interior were in direction opposition to the original bits and pieces left behind. Now I really wish I had just taken EVERYTHING out down to a bare hull and started over. Maybe leaving the crooked main bulkheads but trying to save some time and inconvenience has only resulted in more inconvenience and a standard of quality that I am not terribly happy with. Oh well.

So I started securing the bulkheads and put in the blocks for the interior liners (ceiling?) that will cover the insulation. I was just measuring the closed cell foam I use for insulation when the unforecasted rain started and ended my day early.

So, once again, not a terribly productive two weekends but still inching towards the finish line.

Speaking of the finish line, the main goal for the summer was getting all the deck hardware secured and ready for sailing next season. I am 99% done, with just a few fittings at the bow that still need mounting. For the past month I have been trying to arrange for a helper to hold the screws while I put the nuts on from inside the anchor locker but something keeps coming up and the postponements seem endless. Maybe next week.

No comments: