Sunday, October 10, 2010

Resisting the urge

The urge to continue with the interior construction is a strong temptation but it really isn't a priority so I focused instead on the wind vane project that is starting to feel like a never ending journey. Even the pictures look the same week to week.

In any case, last week I filled the old holes with the plan to more or less start over installing the deck mounts. I also installed the mounting pads very permanently in a bed of thickened epoxy. This week I wanted to get the deck mounts in place for good.

Since I have learned that even a little misalignment at the deck can cause serious problems where the tubing connects to the wind vane I wound up putting together a system that allowed the whole wind vane to sit in position so that I could see exactly where the mounts wanted to be. The end result looks simple but it took a few hours. On a positive note, everything is looking much better. The modifications I did earlier seem to be exactly what the vane needed. Now it is sitting pretty close to it's ideal location on the transom.

With the location of the mounts accurately located I drilled new bolt holes. First I drilled in a quarter inch with the 5/16 drill to get the exact center of the hole. Then I grabbed my 48/64's drill and went all the way through the deck. Doesn't everyone have a 48/64's drill? I bought it a few years ago for drilling and tapping a pipe thread. I needed something bigger than 1/2 inch and the only other option was my forstner bits which would have been harder to center exactly. Not too important. The job got done. Then I dug out some coring and filled my new holes back up with thickened epoxy.

Sunday, I positioned the mounts again and drilled through the center of the plugs I made Saturday. Again, I took a fair amount of time to make sure the mounts were positioned as accurately as possible. When the holes were all drilled through I mixed up some thickened epoxy and bedded the whole mount and bolted them in place. Now those mounts have become part of a rather permanent installation.

I also did some shopping around for concrete re-bar. It is time to start thinking about the winter cover and while I was pretty happy with last year's cover, the one area in need of improvement was how the structure was fixed to the ground. I used some garden stakes last year and during a few high wind storms the structure bent over the stakes and started moving around. I am thinking the re-bar should resist that tendency a bit better.

Other than that, I am going to finish this blog and order a tarp, some engine box sound insulation and some interior hardware so I can figure out how to make the storage locker doors - Some good advice I received was to figure out the hardware first and then build the doors to match. Otherwise, when it comes time to install the hardware you might be in for a surprise.

So that's it. Not terribly exciting.... oh wait... one more thing.

We had lots of rain this week with one particularly rainy day so after work I went out to the boat to look for leaks. It took awhile but I think I found my mystery leak. Well, two really but one leak is just a slight seepage from the aft starboard dead light. I have some bronze frames waiting to replace the aluminum ones anyway so I am not too worried about that one. The really tricky leak was coming out around the bulkhead between the saloon and head areas along the bottom of the settee front. A few weeks ago I did some destructive investigation and ruled out a deck leak and traced the leak back to the galley area. My search the other night confirmed that the underside of the deck was bone dry so I moved my search back into the cockpit where I think I found the problem.

Apparently, the cheap ($100 Bomar) plastic hatches are leaking. No surprise really. I knew they would. I had assumed that any leakage would travel harmlessly into the bilge. On the port side however, the leak was dropping onto the house battery shelf and running forward to the panel that I had installed which divides the cockpit area from the cabin area. The original structure was a 'mini bulkhead' about six inches wide that gave shape to the hull but wasn't a complete panel. The old icebox used to fit through this part. When I closed off the area, I screwed a full panel to the old partial bulkhead. And because there are no square bulkheads in the boat, there is a little gap between the panel I installed and the mini bulkhead. The leak was running along the battery shelf and dropping into this crevice and from there it was following the front edge of the settee until it found a place escape. At least I am pretty sure this is what is happening. I made a fix and now I need to test it.

I made the fix during the rainstorm at night so it wasn't pretty. I will have to do some cleanup later. Because of the tight confines I couldn't get a tool into the area effectively so my solution was to hold out my bare hand ... and unload several pumps of polysulfide sealant into my waiting palms. Then smear the sealant into the gap. Crude but effective. Once the sealant started to set up I was able to clean my hand. I would have taken a picture but I couldn't touch anything . Imagine a human hand and forearm completely encased in white sealant. Pretty yucky. On the other hand, I came back the next day to find the cabin sole completely dry for a change and all the damp areas dried out. I think I fixed the problem but the next rainstorm will confirm it.

And that's it. Now it is time to get the winter cover up. I will probably also be taking a weekend off soon to help out a friend getting a new-to-him boat home. By November I should be able to fully immerse myself in interior construction. My design juices are flowing these days and I can't wait to get moving on that.

Someone please remind me that the boat needs to be ready to sail next spring...


Tim said...

Reminder: The boat needs to be ready to sail next spring.

Bill Inch said...

I just posted a comment on your August blog suggesting you do all the things you just did! Adjusting it to changes in waterline can be accomplished by changing the length of one of the lower tubes--off hand I can't say if it's the break away tube or not.

For the interior, I rebuilt mine to put the sink and counter space to starboard, with a two burner gimbled stove and oven to port. These were up against the forward bulkhead. Where the galley was to starboard, there's a quarter berth. I never did get around to pulling out the icebox to port and extending the port berth, so it was never usable as a bunk, just as a settee. I had a lee cloth on the starboard settee/quarter berth, to use it underway. But since I mostly singlehanded, what really worked was laying a half inch of closed cell foam under the carpet and just sleeping on the floor underway. It was a perfect width to keep you from rolling around and was the most stable place in the boat. I'll try to figure out a way to email you some pictures of the interior. There is a picture of it online: go to I sold the boat in La Paz in 2004 to someone from L.A., who abandoned the boat. It was taken over by the fleet in La Paz and given to a guy who's Triton had burned and sunk.

Anyway, the Triton is a great old boat, a great sailor and you're going to be very happy you're restoring such a classic.