Sunday, May 22, 2011


Closing in on the goal of a launch. Nothing is scheduled yet but a firm date should be established this week. I am aiming for the first or second week of June at this point.

A working head was high on my priority list so with rain in the forecast Saturday, I figured it would be a good day for that. Naturally the 10% of the project remaining took an awful lot of time; making all the bits fit together and having to fudge a few connections that weren't quite as straightforward as I expected.

I am even less enthused about using PVC tubing now. Next time I would just use hose and forget even trying to incorporate the tubing. On a small boat it has turned into more trouble than it is worth. The problem is getting everything connected. Firstly, the pipe to hose fittings never fit the hose. Its always a fight to get the hose over the fitting. I guess a tight fit will be good in the long run but there is the real risk of breakage with the force needed and in small cramped quarters getting enough force on the target area can be tricky.

The second problem is getting the bits to fit at either end. I need to slide the piping down to get the top piece connected and have to slide the piping up to get the bottom piece connected... simultaneously. The 1.5 inch waste hose doesn't bend too easily either.

After fighting for a bit I removed some sections of the PVC tubing and just used hose. Luckily for me I had a few extra lengths lying around (eye roll).

So after several hours of fussing and blood letting since I didnt have the right cutters for the wire in the reinforced hose, I nearly had the head up and working. One problem remains. When the waste tank was built, the welder asked me if 7/8 inch outlet tubing for the vent would be acceptable since he was out of stock on the 3/4 inch I had specified. I made the assumption that 7/8 inch hose was readily available and told him that would be fine. Now on several of my custom made tanks I have to figure out how to get the oddball sizes to work. My vent hose outlet is one of those oddball sizes. To make it more challenging the through hull fitting is for a 5/8 inch hose so I have some serious adapting to figure out.

Plus, another lesson I have learned is that after boat parts sit on the shelf for a few years they tend to get bored and walk away. I know I had hose set aside just for the waste tank vent line but now I can't find it anywhere. So the head is complete minus a tank vent. I will order some parts and try again next weekend. I had some more pictures but I wasn't paying attention and they came out black. The back panel is still loose to make it easier to install the vent line.

The rain never came so I finished sanding the hull repair. It looks pretty good now and is just waiting for bottom paint to make it disapear. I also got around to reinforcing the sidedeck that was improperly reinforced earlier. Its plenty stout now.

Another new item on my short list was having the stanchion tubes installed. Turns out they were all custom drilled so it took me a bit to figure out which tube went where. Then I learned that I didn't have any hardware for them. That's about where my Saturday ended.

Sunday, I picked up the stanchion tube hardware I needed and installed them. After that I ran 1/2 inch Sta-Set line in place of the old old cable. I had cut the cable a few years ago to prevent myself from trying to stretch them one more season. Getting the rigger out at this time of year to make me some nice swaged cables doesn't seem realistic so I plan on using the line for the season. I would like to replace the tubes and set up the boat for double lines with removable section at the cockpit. That means there isn't much reason to invest in the current system. The line should keep me from falling overboard this season. No lifelines make the boat look better I think but the tradeoff is a bit rough. I know for certain that my boat will happily stay on course with me on board or in the water. There is no rounding up and waiting for me with Jenny.

With the lifelines on, I dug out my mast from the storage rack and started getting that set up. I vaguely remembered when I took the upper jumpers apart last year that as I set down one of the cheesy adjusters I was thinking "I sure hope I remember where I am putting this".

Well, today I looked everywhere for it and can't find it. I have some new aluminum threaded rod on order McMaster and Carr to make a new one. Once again, McMaster's for the win. Those cheesy adjusters can only be adjusted before the mast is stepped. I thought I was being smart when I asked my rigger to add turnbuckles to the jumper stays at the lower ends so that I could adjust the tension with the rig up. What the rigger installed was some pathetic little turning things with a knurled thumbscrew. Totally inadequate and impossible to do anything with as I learned at the last launch. Earlier this year I ordered some real open turbuckles to replace the thumscrew thingies. Turns out the turnbuckles come in 10-32 and 10-24 threads. My cable has 10-32. You can guess what the turbuckles were. I found an open turnbuckle made by Hayn and I ordered a pair. And they never arrived so I ordered from somewhere else. And they never arrived. Finally, while at Hamilton Marine last weekend I picked up the only thing they had that would work; a set of closed turnbuckles.

I am not crazy about them but its an improvement. I went to install one and found out that the threaded end on the cable is quite long. Too long in fact. I will have to cut down the threaded section to make it work with the turnbuckle body. You can't see it in the picture but the threads on the cable continue under my fat little finger on the right.

I thought about setting up the furler but I couldn't find the instructions. I will have to get them from the web this week.

Basically, I uncoiled everything on the mast, re-affirmed that I want to make overhauling the mast my main priority next year and that's it.

Finally, I removed my two water impellers from the engine (raw water and coolant). They look okay but they have been sitting there for two years all crushed up and I figure I would start the season with new impellers.

I spent some time cleaning up under the boat and hauled a load of shelter bits home and that was it for the day.

With some decent weather, I hope to do some painting and varnishing next weekend as well as finishing up the rigging.

Its been six years since the boat has moved under sail. I think this could be the year that I break that streak.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I had every intention of posting to the blog last weekend but it was late, I was tired and I figured, 'Monday' would be close enough. But Monday was busy and Tuesday... blah. Anyway, the usual painfully slow progress but progress nonetheless.

Let's see. I am sure there was some reason why more didn't get done last weekend - probably weather related. Cold, wet, windy, take your pick. I did 'fix' my companionway step by shortening it. Now I will need to make some nice trim along the top edge to hide the fact that the panel is now too short.

I sanded the keel where the repairs had been made a layer of fairing filler had been applied. I expected to have to add another coat and I did. I had a picture but I wasn't paying attention and the image is too dark to be useful.

Oh, I glued and screwed the panels that go on either side of the head area. It made a huge difference and I like the look. Thank God for trim that will someday cover up my poor pattern making. I also installed the shelf in the head locker. I could have installed the back panel with the door but I forgot the hose clamps and it is much easier to install them before the panel goes on. Its doable either way but why make it harder than it has to be?

So this weekend, the sun was shining and I was itching to make the boat more launch ready. Interior panels are nice and all but I only have a few weekends left before the launch and there are more pressing things to do. So I started taking down the cover by cutting the strings on one side and letting the wind blow the tarp over to the other side. Then I started removing the frames. And then the heavy thunderstorms started. I removed some frames, ran inside the boat for cover, came out 20 minutes later and removed some more frames, ran inside for cover (found a few cabin leaks) removed some more frames. Eventually the job got done.

Today was a little drier if cooler. I finally finally finally, finished securing the deck hardware to the deck. The bow pulpit was the last remaining piece. Normally, I ask a friend to help hold the nuts while I turn the screws or vice versa. A friend of mine suggested getting a few more vice grips and doing it myself. Spending all that money one three more vice grips seemed kinda silly until I realized that after receiving help from a friend I was usually obligated to buy them lunch. Turns out the vice grips are cheaper. It actually worked pretty good too. Once again, I should have done it a long time ago.

And then, I sanded the hull one more time. There are a few spots that are still slightly low. I shouldn't worry about it, it is on the bottom after all and I am bound to whack something again sooner or later. On the other hand, the last time I made repairs down there I was .. shall we say... less experienced and the fairing job left something to be desired. I applied another coat of fairing filler to bring the work up to my current standards. No doubt in a few years I will be doing it again.

So here finally is the boat uncovered for the first time this spring. Its a lousy picture but in the middle of the day with the bright sun its about the best I can do. Jenny really prefers early and late day lighting. Mid day lightly is just too harsh.

The pressure of launch day is really starting to kick in and the list of things to do just keeps on growing. I am not sure why that is actually. The boat was in the water just two years ago and I haven't done anything to make the boat less seaworthy. The real difference is that at launch the boat will immediately be going 30 miles away and I will be raising sails for the first time in five years. I guess that is the part that has me worried. Its the stuff that I have forgotten about that I will remember as the boat goes splash that has me worried. Oh well, that's what motors are for.

I am a little envious of my friend that told me last week that he returned to his Triton after not seeing it all winter and within a day had her in the water. Someday that will be me. Just not this year.

To add to the pressure, next weekend I won't be around for boat work. Its something I have to do to make more boatwork happen though so its all in the name of progress. Just a couple more weekends now...

P.S. Blogger had a problem with the new IE9.0 and wouldn't accept this post for a few days. Its not ALWAYS me just being lazy... :-P