Various projects

Trying to get the thinning of the paint just right, I tested it on a pane of glass first. Always got bubbles, runs, drips, sags, or brush marks in some combination.
One of the wheels on the cradle just wouldn’t turn. Problem was the brakes. All rusted. Left over from the days when this wheel/axle was part of a minivan.
So I just ripped it all out, both sides, and regreased the outer bearings.
Happy is now retired! How does one follow up teaching inner city youths? By sanding bottom paint, of course.
As part of the deck recore I got rid of the spinnaker pole deck chocks. Pole collected dirt under it and it took up precious deck space. I found this setup on eBay. It stores the pole essentially outboard, and raised off the deck.
Final portion of deck painting now completed with the cockpit. Plenty of drips, runs, and sags on this complex shape.
In replacing the aft teak cap rail I left it short so that the line guides rest on the fiberglass rather than the wood as before. The old cap rail had been split by the forces exerted by lines on this fitting.
In our last storm the anchor got loose and did some damage including battering the clamshell vent covering the holding tank vent. Here is the “vintage” replacement. Note the gelcoat scratches, which were also repaired.
Another clamshell vent was also replaced, this one at the other end of the boat: the cover for the engine-compartment blower intake. Old vs. new.
And here she is after two days of compounding and waxing. But not by me! I paid three young guys $800 to spare me that chore.
Because I had lots of exercise in store for myself: sanding teak! Here is a portion of caprail after scrubbing but before sanding.
And here after sanding but before varnish (Cetol, actually).
And here’s the final product after almost two years of (mostly part-time) work. Let’s say fifteen hundred hours, roughly speaking.

Installing a New Traveller


Afterdeck painted but will need some touch-up after a complete dry (two weeks). Fittings removed from cockpit to prepare it for painting and a new traveller on the bridgedeck.


Here’s the custom Garehauer traveler in place. The old traveler had a teak shim piece underneath to make a flat run for mounting. I plan to do the same thing with G10 and paint it along with the cockpit.


No surprise, the old traveler mounting screw holes had not been core-bonded. But only one hole showed any dark balsa. So I took care of that using this little bit to remove balsa from around the inside of the holes before filling with epoxy/Cabosil.


G10 wedges for the ends of the traveler support.


Long flat piece for the middle section.


Machine screws into the existing mounting holes positions everything while the epoxy cures.


Made sure to coat the machine screws with mold-release wax before insertion.


Added a fillet of fairing compound.





Cockpit primed and ready for two-part polyurethane topcoat.


Rethinking the Foredeck Sail Bag


In an old “Saturday Night Live” skit, Father Guido Sarducci describes a parallel universe where everything is exactly as in ours with the single exception that people eat corn-on-the-cob while holding the ear vertically rather than horizontally. I feel like I have travelled to a similar place when I look at foredeck sail bags. On the left is our 112% genoa, flaked and rolled up while hanked on to a mock-up of a forestay/turnbuckle. On the right is a foredeck sail bag that I made from a Sailrite kit. See the problem?


The bag in no way reflects the shape of the flaked sail except for the sloping zipper, which mirrors the angle of the forestay.


The existing bag is fine for our well-worn staysail, which is so flexible that it can just be stuffed inside like a spinnaker. But our genoa is virtually new and therefore very stiff. So my plan is to sew up a bag that has this shape.


So here’s the bag. I made it larger in volume than the 112% genoa that we usually use so it will also fit the 150%. (And it’ll fit the 112 after a hasty/lazy flaking job.) It has a long zipper that differs from the usual bag in that it faces the foredeck rather than the stemhead. This will obviate the need to climb out onto the bow pulpit to bag the sail.


Mirroring the shape of the flaked sail the profile is that of an upside-down ice-cream cone: triangular top and hemispherical bottom.


Laterally its just a rectangle, again, like the flaked sail.


The whole thing was made for fifty bucks; forty for the Sunbrella fabric and ten for that long zipper.

Helicoil installation, new shaft anode, bilge high water alarm, track car midship cleats

Inside the saloon are two SS struts that prevent the turning blocks at the base of the mast from pulling off the doghouse. The in-deck fittings for these are of mild steel and the wet balsa core had caused all of them to rust. The lower one on the port side was rusted enough that I was unable to extract the bolt – it sheared off. So I drilled out the stub and retapped for a SS helicoil of the same dimension.

When our transmission went out near the end of our last voyage I found that I was unable to push the drive-shaft rearward to gain clearance for repairs. The problem was the shaft zinc placed just forward of the strut. This necessitated some swimming (against marina rules, of course) to remove the zinc. Upon examination I found that this zinc, though years old, has not depleted at all. In fact, its covered with an apparently protective layer of oxidation! To solve both problems I replaced it with a magnesium anode aft of the strut. (Left/forward: old zinc anode removed. Right/aft: new magnesium anode installed)

Installed a high-water bilge alarm.

Its a clever unit from New Zealand which is independent of the house electrical system.

More Garhauer bling. Midship cleats that fasten to the genoa tracks.

Updated genoa cars, steam-bending teak, refurbishing the water tanks

New towable ball-bearing genoa cars that can be adjusted from the cockpit and under load.  These Garhauer units are custom fabricated to fit the existing T-track.

New towable ball-bearing genoa cars that can be adjusted from the cockpit and under load. These Garhauer units are custom fabricated to fit the existing T-track.

The teak toe rail on the transom is almost weathered away. It needs to be replaced.

This is a section of the old toe rail compared to the new. I’ll modify the profile on a router table to make them match more closely.

That’s better. Probably a bit beefier than the unweathered original.

But the old one was steam-bent to fit the curve of the transom.

So we need to make a steambox. Pretty easy. Done using PVC tubing I had on hand plus a 1000W electric kettle ($5 at Salvation Army Store). All it needed was a little modification with a utility knife and file to make it fit a PVC street elbow.

Its tilted so that condensate will restock the pot – it needs to last for 40 minutes before boiling dry, based on the thickness of the teak. Removed the thermostat from the kettle so we get the full 1000W 100% of the time. Also surrounded the PVC tube with pipe insulation and bubble wrap so it will achieve the full 212 deg. all along the length.

I need to get the hot piece into this form within seconds of removal from the steambox.

Temperature gauge shows 212 deg. at the far end: start the timer!

Pot ran dry at exactly 40 min. Slapped it in the form and applied the clamps. I’ll let it sit here for a few days before removing. There will be some snap-back so I made the form more curved than what’s desired. (Old piece laid on top for comparison.)

Here’s the piece sitting on the transom. Degree of curvature is pretty near perfect.

Our galvanized water tanks had rust in their narrow bottoms where the undrainable last gallon would sit year after year. This was causing a bit of rust to show up in the pumpout; no perforation of the tanks had occurred. To deal with this the rust was removed using a chelating agent called Evapo-Rust. The interior was then etched with muriatic acid, rinsed, dried, and coated with 3M Scotchkote Liquid Epoxy Coating 323. This is a product designed to create potable water tanks within the weldments of ships. It is certified to ANSI/NSF Standard 61, Drinking Water System Components. Its the bright green stuff.

When first registering the boat, the State of Illinois wanted the hull number. Search as I might, I never could find it. But here it is in the aft lazarette. You have to actually be inside to see it. (If I was one inch taller I’d never have made it.) Had to crawl in here to unbolt the taffrail, stern cleats, etc. to clear the aft deck for painting.