Note: I copy the daily log entries to their repective project pages almost daily. If you want to read all the entries for any project sequentially, go to the "Projects" tab and you will be able to navigate to the appropriate page. Most of the interior contruction projects will be found via links in the "Rebuilding the Interior" page. The rest of the projects have separate tabs on the "Projects" tab.
Note: I added another page under the "Projects" page that should allow smart phone and iPad users to access the separate projects via hyperlinks. I don't know why but it seems that smart phones can't access the drop down menus.
27 May 2103 With the coamings more or less complete (they need only the teak cap) I went to work on installing the companionway framing and trim. I decided to make the vertical frame a little more robust than the original, which was ¾” thick. It seemed like a good idea to make the slots for the vertical drops boards a little deeper so I milled the teak to 7/8”. The first part I constructed was the bottom horizontal piece (threshold). To keep rain and spray from entering the cabin underneath the drop boards the threshold is cut with a rise from aft to forward—about 5 degrees. I rounded the outboard edges to fit in the corners. Next, it was time to cut the vertical frame with slots for the drop boards. After determining the height and cutting and ripping the two pieces I spent some time figuring out how to cut the slots so that they had a radius on the inside corners. A straight dado cut would leave sharp inside corners while the original drop boards (which are in good shape) have radiused edges. I looked at the tools I had and remembered that I had a small ¼” cove router bit. I cut a scrap piece of pine and tried out the technique that occurred to me and it worked fine. I drew a line on the teak where I wanted the slot to start and ran the teak over the cove bit raising the bit in the router a little each pass. It took maybe five or six passes to get the depth where I wanted which was just over ½” deep. Next, I repeated the procedure for the other side of the slot. I then installed a ¼” wide dado stack in my table saw and cut out the center piece. The slot looked great. I then repeated the process for the other vertical piece. Only minor sanding was required to smooth some tiny edges.
I noticed that the molded fiberglass threshold was not flat and there was a gap under the threshold. So, I applied packing tape to the underside of the teak threshold and also taped around the threshold where I did not want epoxy. I left a small gap at the front end so there would be a place for bedding compound to be applied. I then trowled on epoxy thickened with 406 and some 404 and pressed the teak threshold into place cleaning up the squeeze out. I left it for three hours then gently pushed up on the threshold till it popped off the cured epoxy. I now had a perfectly molded surface for the threshold. That completed the day.
Next day, I screwed the teak threshold down to the bottom sill. I then cut eight degree bevels on the bottom edge of the teak vertical frames to match the 5 degree rise in the horizontal “sill” (5 + 3 degrees for the forward slope of the aft end of the cabin top) and drilled and screwed them in place (bedding comes later). I spent a little time trimming the original drop boards to fit properly. They needed only minor adjustment as the fit was pretty good from the start.
I looked at the next part of the trim—a long side rail on either side of the companionway and a center piece attached over the forward thrwartship edge that connect the port and starboard side trim. I decided to put the forward center part in first. I used some doorskin plywood strips and a hot glue gun to make a template then used that to cut a test piece from ¼ ply. It fit fine. I then traced that onto a piece of teak that I milled down to ¾” thick. I cut it and then spent about 45 minutes rounding the outside edges with a cabinet maker’s rasp to fit into the correct position. I cut the rounded top edge with a jig saw then used a block plane to smooth it out to a nice even arch. The trim rises about 1” above the fiberglass lip of the companionway opening to keep water from dripping down inside the boat. The water runs out through little channels molded into the lip. But, the sliding hatch needs to be able to clear the raised teak edge. That took some time to ensure I had it right. Then, I screwed then center piece in place. Next, I cut the two side pieces. I painstakingly measured the angles and very carefully “snuck” up on the lines. I was very satisfied with the final fit. I did not screw the side pieces into position. I will do that tomorrow. All the bottom edges need to be trimmed even. The center piece needs to have an arch cut along the bottom edge as well. Once everything is fit together and some of the remaining trim is added then I will radius the top edges of the trim. I am very pleased. I enjoyed “flinging” the plastic covered cardboard “door” I have used for the last four years off the boat and took some pleasure sliding the drop boards into position.
23 May 13
Today, Gayle and I installed the cockpit coamings. First, I ran the bolts through the holes I drilled yesterday. I shortened five with a hacksaw earlier so they cleared the overhead panels under the side decks. Next, I wrapped a small bead of butyl rubber around the bolts. Then, I chambered the holes in the fiberglass. I vacuumed and performed a quick wipe-down. Next, we applied a small circle of Boat Life Polysulfied then preceded to find out that it had started to dry up in the tube. Rats! I switched to 3M 4000 UV. This is pretty good stuff. A little more grippy than polysulfied (its a polyurathane) but not near as tenacious as 5200. Then, we applied a bead along the coaming right at the edge where it joins the deck. We then braced it into position and installed the nuts and tightened it down. Finally, we cleaned up the squeeze out and I left one brace in position to let the bedding compound cure overnight. In the next day or so I'll install the wood plugs.
We applied a bead of 3M 4000 UV along the coaming where it meets the deck then clamped it into position.
After installing all the bolts and nuts we left a single brace in position till the bedding compound cures.
22 May 13
I had the galley cabinetry disassembled for the past week while we applied six coats of varnish. It was boring and tedious but it is complete. I reinstalled it yesterday. It looks great. There is no substitute for real varnish. There is no way around the required sanding between every coat to keep it all smoth and level. I have seen "no sanding varnish" and it always shows the uneveness of the surface. I don't think "no sanding" varnish can compare to the real stuff, though it is less work. Anyway, I also varnished the vertical face of the book rack over the icebox/chart table. It was hard to get much else done though I did work on the cockpit coamings some. We only applied three coats of varnish to them because I'll need to install wood plugs in the countersunk holes through which the bolts are installed, and sand them smooth. I don't want two many coats of varnish on before I do that. I also applied grey Interlux BilgeKote under the stove where I previously installed the divider. I still need to install some wood plugs in the walnut trim around the sliding door and on the edge of the ash counter top. Later I say . . . keep moving forward.
High gloss varnish really brings light into what would otherwise be a dark interior.
After I reinstalled the galley shelving I went right to work on installing the cockpit coamings. I applied only three coats of varnish to the coamings as I will need to install wood plugs then start piling the varnish on afterwards. I also needed to drill out the oversize holes where the fasteners penetrate the cabin top side. I used a 3//8" bit to drill the oversized hole and filled the hole with thickened epoxy. Next day, I drilled out the holes big enough to take 2" long #12 SS screws. That left a sealed ring of epoxy to protect the plywood end grain on the inside of the cabin side. I laid the old coaming over the top of the new coaming and drilled the holes in the same place. No need to do it that way but the spacing was already done. I filled the old holes in the face of the cockpit where the coamings attached so I could have drilled them anywhere. After drilling the holes I counter-sunk them for the 1/4" flat head SS bolts. I took the coamings up to the cockpit and braced them into position with plenty of padding. I then drilled the holes through the cockpit sides and ran the fasteners in and tightened them down. I drilled the holes for the return blocks and ran the screws through them. I taped everything off as to keep the squeeze out from being a mess. I ran out of time so the bedding will have to wait till tomorrow.
I think the African Mahogany looks good. The top edge will be "capped" with 3/4" tall teak left bare. My expectation is the teak cap will greatly reduce the wear and tear on the varnished coamings since that is where the coamings takes the most abuse. I'll sort out the winch bases later. I will have to address the changing angle for the sheet leads with the raised bulwarks. I also need to carefully consider how the sheets for both the jib and staysail will be routed to the winch and determine which winch need to be forward--the primary or secondaries.
Lots of progress. The coaming is almost installed.
16 May 13
It was time to glue up the return blocks. I used Aerodux 185 which is a type of resorcinal glue--it will cure down to 50 degrees. Applied properly, it is stronger than epoxy and more resistant to heat but its not very good at gap filling. It requires tight joints and high clamping pressure. It also leaves a purple glue line which, depending on the type of joint may or may not be hard to see. I predrilled the fastener holes and then taped off the wood around the joints. I applied the glue and left them to cure overnight. Next, I spent a long afternoon sanding with 180 grit and applying the first coat of varnish thinned 1:1 with mineral spirits to the coamings and the remaining galley shelving and trim. I went to World Timber and picked up the last of their 4/4 mahogany--about 80BF. I hope that is enough to complete the interior trim and the bulwarks. It's beautiful wood. Today, I went to Atlantic Veneer and picked up some short Burmese teak planks they were selling for $16BF, which is a good price. Some of it is quartersawn. I'll use it to build the companionway trim. I also grabbed some 8/4 Juniper for the shelves. It's light weight, it smells great (I'll only varnish one side), and it repels bugs. We sand the wood again, this time with 220, and applied the second coat of varnish thinned 25 percent.
I test fit the cockpit coamings with the attached return blocks.
13 May 13 -- A Chance Encounter
Yes, all you slave drivers, I worked on the boat today. In fact I got a lot accomplished but that is not what this entry is about. This entry is about the Zartmans. If you don't know who they are click here for a link to their just launched Blog/Website. Like a lot of people I was first introduced to the Zartmans through the pages of Cruising World magazine. For several years Ben Zartman wrote an every-other-month column called "The Backyard Warrior," in which he told humorous stories about the building of his Cape George 31, Ganymede. Anyway, about a year and half ago I recognized their boat anchored off the waterfront in our small town and we got to know them. I wrote a story about it and submitted it to Boat US for publication (truth be told several other magazines politely rejected it). But, Boat US saw it as an opportunity to promote the fellowship of boaters. They did not run it as a stand alone story but asked if they could print it as a letter to the editor in their monthly magazine. . . and they would pay me to use it! It was a pretty easy decision to make though they did chop it up pretty good to fit it into the small space they had allocated. Anyway, lucky you . . . if you click here, and scroll down, you can read the whole story.
The bottom line is Ben and his family are just great people. Ben is one of the most interesting people I have met in a long time. He and his wife Danielle and their three girls live on board their 31' cutter. They left California a couple of years ago and have been living aboard and sailing ever since. They are about to head offshore from the US east coat. Ben, is pretty much near the top of the pyramid when it comes to keeping it simple. And, he is a damn fine sailor as well.
The Zartmans on the left and the Stones on the right. Ganymede is in the center of the background.
12 May 13
Over the last few days I have been working on the coamings. After careful consideration I decided not to reuse the teak coamings. They were just too beat up. So, I pulled down from the wood rack two planks of A. Mahogany I have been saving for the coamings in case I replaced them. They were 11' long and about 14" wide by 1 1/4" thick. I planed them down to 7/8". I used the original teak coamings as a template. I traced the originals on the mahogany. However, after talking to someone I trust I decided not to curve the topline of the coaming. I left it straight. I cut the outside corners copying the originals. The cut outs are important to keep the wood from bindings on the inside corners of the cockpit as they are pressed into position. With that completed, I took the coaming up to the cockpit and braced them into position. I left the front wild and the same in the back until I decided what I wanted to do for shaping the ends. I left them pressed into position overnight to adjust to the new stresses that will be placed on the coamings.
After the return block is glue, screwed, and plugged, I will shape the outboard corner with a significant round-over.
The next day I decided to more or less duplicate the aft end of the original coaming but kept the "S" a little shorter. I made a template from 1/4" ply, traced the pattern on the coamings, cut them out with my jigsaw and cleaned them up with a cabinet makers rasp. Next, I went to work on the return blocks. The originals were sloped forward 30 degrees and they extended forward about a foot past the trailing end of the cabin top. To my eye this made the cabin look shorter and the cockpit longer which looks odd to me. So, after a lot of measuring and careful consideration I decided to reduce the angle to 15 degrees. I also wanted to "ship lap" the end grain of the coaming, if possible, to cover the endgrain. One thing I decided not to do was to try and duplicate the forward slope of the return block with requires a compound bevel. Once again I thought, though elegant looking, it would make the coaming look longer. So, I decided to build the return block with more of a right angle though there is still a small angle on the block where it extends forward from the outboard end to the inboard end. I started each step by cutting a scrap piece of pine. I shaped it and check for fit. I made any adjustments necessary and once the saw was just right I then cut the mahogany. I did this step by step. I cut the angles, then trimmed the board to width, and finally used a dado stack to cut the ship lap. I decided not to make the last cut with the mock up and forgot to add 15 degrees to my final cut and butchered the return block on the final cut. Wow. I was not happy. Fortunately, I had been shaping both return blocks at the same time and I adjusted the final cut for the other block and it fit very nicely. It took about an hour but I was able to make another return block for the one I messed up and it fit nicely as well. I should have known to keep using the mock up all the way till the end. I have learned this before. Like they say, "We learn from history what we do not learn from history." I will glue and screw the return block to the coaming tomorrow and then conduct final shaping and sanding before I varnish them. I'll varnish first and then install. The top edge will be covered by a teak cap, which I will mill from the original coaming boards.
5 May 13
I spent the day working on the cockpit coamings. As I previously wrote in an earlier post, I decided to try and reuse the original teak cockpit coamings. Today, I used the heat gun and scraper and removed the varnish from the second coaming--I stripped the varnish from the other one about a month ago during some down time. They are both a banged up and one has a small split. I think I can run a 1/4" straight fluke router bit in a line down the split and cut a matching square strip of teak to fit in the trough and then epoxy it in place. I may do that part tomorrow. Anyway, after stripping the varnish I decided to cut a slight "spring in the top edge of the coamings. Originally, they were straight on top sloping down from fore to aft. I always thought they clashed with the gentle upward slope of the cabin top and the spring in the sheerline. So, I used straight edge that I clamped in place and then used a pencil to draw what pleased my eye. I removed the straight edge and used my Bosh jig saw to cut just shy of the line. Next, I clamped the coaming vertical and used a block and smoothing plane to smooth out the new edge. It came out very nice. I left it square on top so after it is varnished I can attach a bare teak cap to the top edge. The teak cap will take the wear and tear greatly preserving the more delicate varnish on the vertical faces of the coaming. At least that is the plan. I finished off the day by applying Te-Ka cleaner to both sides of the coamings in an attempt to restore the original teak luster. Even though the teak is 30 years old and has seen a lot of abuse it is still oily and has that wonderful strong teak fragrance. As I was planing the edge the entire shop smelled of teak. What's not to like about that? I have two 14" wide x 10' long African Mahogany planks sitting on a shelf in the shop in case the teak can't be reused. I would prefer to use the teak since it is much more durable than mahogany, but the mahogany is a good back up. If I don't use if for the coamings I'll use it for interior trim.
4 May 13
There are a few small things left to do but basically the galley is complete. For the last few days I installed shelves and the cleats for the small cabinet door. It took some time but I wanted to be able to remove the cabinet door face frame if necessary. The fasteners are hidden and it is a simply job to remove them. I also installed cleats and the shelf for the area behind the stove. This is an awkward space as there is about 10"x25" of space behind the stove. I decided to make the shelf removable and I also installed a divider under the stove that separates the space. The space lends itself to a water tank which I estimate would be about 15-20 gallons . . . it's a possibility. For now, I just wanted to be able to store items in there, such as one liter water bottles, and not have them slide to the front. I can access the compartment from behind the stove as well. The stove is not difficult to remove and I have had to do that several times over the last few days to complete the galley.
The chart table/icebox is just about complete. The vertical face for the book shelf is about 5" tall. I made the book shelf wide enough to hold a typical three ring binder and I also made sure it was wide enough from my navigation publications. The remaining part of the chart table is about 29" x 29"--wide enough for a folded chart in either direction. There are cleats behind the vertical face secured with oval head screws so I can remove it as well. However, before I installed it I drill out four of the six wood screws that secured the outboard portion of the chart table. I did that because, as I have learned more about wood movement throughout this project, I became concerned that the large ash panel top might split if it couldn't move with changing humidity. So, I drilled out the plugs, removed the screws, and installed new plugs. The two fasteners nearest the hinges remained in place. This allows the top to expand and contract from the inboard edge. The vertical face of the book shelf will hold the middle portion down and the yet-to-be-installed trim along the outboard vertical edge of the bulkhead will hold down the outer part of the chart table. The only screws that remain are the ones nearest the hinges, and of course the fasteners that hold down the smaller section on the inboard side of the hinged lid.
After installed the book shelf over the chart table/icebox I immediately turned my attention to installing the dinghy chocks and navlight fittings over the new Kiwigrip nonskid deck paint. I carefully taped everything off with 3M 233 tape. I applied 3M 4000 UV bedding compound and cleaned up all the squeeze out then removed the tape. Bedding unvarnished teak, or any unvarnished wood for that matter, is tricky and one is advised to be patient and very careful. We had no problems and I am glad to have it completed.
2 May 13
I installed the doors today. It was a pretty straight forward project without, thankfully, any surprises or difficulties. The doors look great. The photos don't reflect the nice amber color of the maple. I am pleased. I have the door hardware but it has to be modified (of course) before I can install it. I will work on that project on the side.
As soon as I hung the doors I began work on the winches, mast step, and deck collar. Mostly, I spent time gathering up the parts and looking them over. Because I eliminated the club footed self tending staysail, I need to incorporate another method for sheeting the staysail. My plan is to install a conventional sheeting system. I need to have a way to trim the sail and cleat the sheet. I looked through my various extra winches and conducted some research to see what kind of loads will be placed on them. Once that is accomplished, I'll have a better idea of the way ahead.
30 April 13 We spent the last several days visiting family and friends in northern Virginia. It was time well spent but I am glad to be back home and working on the Far Reach.
This morning I applied the final coat of varnish to the cabinet doors. I should be able to hang them tomorrow morning. Next, I spent a couple of hours removing winches and some hardware from the mast and boom. Most of the hardware came off easily enough but a couple of pieces were stubborn and required a propane torch and PB Blaster to be convinced to let go of the mast. Then, I spent about two hours disassembling the winches and performing an initial cleaning in a mineral sprit bath. I don’t think they have ever been cleaned and they were pretty gummed up but they seemed to clean up nicely.
I dissasembled the winches and performed an initial cleaning in a bath of mineral spirits then left them to dry.
I have one broken #7 winch that I will need to replace. Interestingly, the bottom half of the spindle that the winch turns on is plastic for the #7 and below. They seem to be all metal for #8 and up. My #7 winch was broken (cracked spindle) when the mast was in storage. I have a couple of spare bronze #7s that could be substituted but I had been thinking I would use them in conjunction with the running backstays that I intend to install later. I will take a look at the consignment shops and see what they have. I am not at all interested in replacing these winches as they are very expensive and anyway I would be tempted to replace them with self tailing winches and I already know that is not in the budget. I have ST #44 Lewmars for the primary winches and that is where STs really show their value. Anyway, I’ll keep my eyes open for used winches.
24 Apr 13
Though I have not made any entries for the past two weeks I have been working hard on the Far Reach every day, save one or two when we had other things that needed to be accomplished.
As soon as we completed painting the deck I turned immediately back to the cabinet doors. The task: varnish and hang them. This is a boring multistep project that is built around sanding . . . which I loath, but there is no way around it. I applied a single coat of varnish to the panels before I installed them to mask any varnish lines should the panels contract. I removed the doors and the hinge hardware. I taped off the panels to keep the joint from getting covered with multiple coats of varnish. The panels need to be able to float, expanding and contracting with changing humidity. I sanded the rails and styles with 150 grit and applied the first coat of Epifanes High Gloss Varnish per my usual protocol--first coat thinned 1:1 with mineral spirits. From that point on it was sand every day with 220 and apply another coat of varnish. I sand and varnish both sides at the same time supporting the doors on blocks under the panels. Second coat cut 25 percent. All subsequent coats are applied as unthinned varnish. I used a 2" Jen Poly foam brush on the rails and stiles. After five coats I removed the tape and then gave the varnish an additional 24 hours to cure. Then, I taped off the rails and styles and started varnishing the panels. Same protocol. I used a 3" foam brush on the back and on the wide raised panel part of the panel front. I cut down a 2" foam brush with scissors and used that to apply the varnish to the sloping part of the raised panel. The bird's eye figuring really "popped" with the varnish. Today I applied the fourth coat to the panels. Tomorrow I will apply the fifth coat then we will pull the tape and apply one last coat over the entire door. That will be the only coat that covers the panel joint. Then, we will rehang the door and declare victory. I'll install the knobs and latches later. I am very pleased with how the doors have turned out so far.
We love the amber color of the maple as it contrast beautifully with the mahogany rails and stiles. This photo was shot after three coats of varnish were applied to the maple.
In between varnishing and sanding the cabinet doors I worked on the galley shelving. Gayle wanted the dinner ware (Corelle) on the bottom shelf. We had several long discussions about the galley lay out. We did not want a lot of cabinet doors as they cut off the flow of air and will make the boat fill small. Once we had a plan, I milled African Mahogany to about 5/8" thick and fit it in place for the vertical face. We marked where the hand slots need to be located and I built a pattern out of 1/4" ply. I traced the shape and cut it out with a jig saw then used a router with a pattern cutting bit guided by the original pattern that I clamped in place. I used a 1/4" round over bit to radius the edge. I used 1/2" okume ply for the upper shelves and cut a dado in the A. Mahogany vertical face. I glued and screwed the shelves into the dado. The lower aft shelf was tricky. We wanted a straight line on the tops of the shelves for symmetry. But, there was not a lot of room between the bottom of the top shelf and the top of the bottom shelf. What to do? I decided to hinge the lower vertical face with some brass butt hinges. That way, the lower shelf can be folded down and there is more room to place or removed objects from that space. We like the design so far. I still have some work to do to tidy it up. Completion of the galley shelves will have to wait till the cabinet doors are installed.
One evening, I decided to have a look at the original cockpit coamings. They have been hanging on the side of the SRF for nearly four years. In fact, I had only kept them because I was going to use them as a pattern for new ones made of mahogany. But, since I have walked passed them about 1000 times I had begun to think that maybe I could reuse them. A close look revealed a little splitting but nothing dramatic. They are, after all, made of Burmese Teak and I thought it would be criminal not to use them if possible. So, I took one into the shop, clamped it to the top of the table saw, plugged in the heat gun and began to scrape the ancient peeling varnish. They actually look pretty good. I only spent an hour or so on them but I think I might be able to reuse them. If I do, I will sand and clean them, remove the radiused top edge, and square it. Then, after applying the varnish I will top the coaming with a bare teak cap rail. The contrast will look nice and the teak cap rail will serve as protection for the top edge.
13 Apr 13
After completing the painting of the deck I started varnishing the cabinet doors and frames. It will take about 10-14 days to for this project as I had to tape off the panels to varnish the rails and stiles. When I have 4-5 coats I'll' tape off the rails and stiles an varnish the panels. That will prevent a heavy coat of varnish from covering the slot in which the panels float. When complete I will remove the tape and then apply one coat over the whole cabinet door. It takes longer to do it that way but that is the right way other wise the varnish will crack as the panel tries to expand and contract under numerous layers of varnish. While the varnishing project is being completed I'll work on shelves, trim, the mast step and deck plate, and I'll also apply grey Interlux Bilge-Kote paint to select parts of the bilge that have not yet been painted, etc.
To the right are "before" and "after" pictures of the deck. I think it is very illustrative of how far we have come and how much better the boat looks now than when we started. Later, after the trim is installed I'll add a page of just before and after pictures. I am very pleased with what we have been able to accomplish. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The hardware has pretty much been removed. This is the orignal paint. Note all the instrument holes in the back of the cabin and right side of foot well. The white squares on the deck are where I replaced damaged deck core before I started the website.
Each time I go up on the boat I get a great big smile. I am very pleased. Note that we filled all the holes on the aft end of the cabin and the cockpit foot well. There is absolutely no sign the holes were ever there.
10 Apr 13
The deck paint is complete. We applied the second coat of Kiwigrip today. The temperature was about 75 F. It took about four hours not including lunch. There were no problems with pulling the tape after laying the base coat yesterday, leaving the tape in place, and applying the full textured second coat today. I am glad we followed Tim Lackey's recommendation and laid down a separate base coat first. It made a big difference in how quickly, easily, and thoroughly the second coat went down. As far as I can tell from the limited time I had to look at the deck, there appears to be zero "peek-through" of the cream colored deck primer beneath it. This is no small thing as you have to work quickly to apply the paint and get the tape up before the thick coat dries and it dries very quickly in temperatures above 60F. If you have a lot of time to paint and are working in small sections with good light you might be able to get good coverage with a single coat. We used about 1 2/3 gallon, which is a little less than I thought we would.
The deck looks great.
A couple of additional thoughts. Even though we practiced on the hatches yesterday, I think we still laid it down a little thin on the cabin top till we determined that was what we were doing. I could tell the texture was changing and I was not sure why till I realized we were not putting it down as thick. Also, you really have to think through your strategy of where to start and finish each surface area to be painted--it is tough to maintain a wet edge on such a big deck with out "paint breaks". Most production boats have paint grids with gelcoat separating them. I eliminated those when we resurfaced the decks because they looked too cookie cutter to my eyes. But, we also lost the ability to easily paint separate sections. All the cabin top gets covered at one time. The cockpit can be done in section as it has a paint grid due to the locker lids. Then, we ate lunch. Next, we started on the deck.
As I mentioned, there was no place to stop when painting the cabin top of the deck so each has to be painted completely without a chance to stop. We started at the front of the cabin top and worked aft pulling the tape as we went. I established "paint breaks" in the fore and aft tape lines when I taped so that helped. We painted back for a few feet and quickly pulled the tape along both sides of the cabin top till we arrived at the aft end of the cabin top. For the deck we started at the stern and painted around the port side to the bow then back down the starboard side till we joined where we started. We painted and pulled the deck tape from the scaffolding as we moved along. It was not difficult. Gayle laid the paint on and spread it out and I rolled with the "loopy goopy" roller. We moved along side by side and when we got to a "paint break" I passed the roller to her and she slowly kept applying paint and rolling it out while I went back and pulled the tape up to the break. Then, we continued on till we came to the next paint break. That ensured we kept a wet edge. There was a little concern about the difficulty of pulling the tape since we laid a thin base coat down yesterday and left the tape in place. But it was a non-issue. We had a half dozen small tears--mostly operator error--but we had some dental picks on hand and they were outstanding at grabbing those recalcitrant strips. The dental picks were also useful to lift up the edge of the tape to start removing it. Instead of using a plastic bag to place the used tape into we used a one foot x one foot cardboard box. It worked very well.
I'll be able to walk on the deck tomorrow without shoes and it is supposed to be fully cured in about a week. I am very pleased with the ease of applying the Kiwigrip. The grey color is perfect. Not too dark and not too light. The clean up was easy as well. It remains to be seen how durable it is but at this point I am happy to have this protect in the "completed" category. And one last thing. With the Awlgrip paint and new deck paint, the Far Reach looks like a brand new boat.
9 Apr 13
The first coat of Kiwigrip non-skid deck paint is down. It's supposed to be a one coat paint but the fact of the matter is that unless the color you are applying it over is the same as the Kiwigrip you may get some "see through" to the underlying deck color. Based on the manufacturer's instructions I would have unwittingly applied it as a single coat paint but Tim Lackey ran some tests and recommends laying down a thin base coat with a short nap mohair roller, letting it dry overnight, and applying the textured coat the next day. For more info on his experience click here. Tim has high standards and I always feel safe following his experienced advice. As much as I hate taking more time to finish the boat, I hate it even more when I have to spend the time twice because I didn't get it right the first time.
First coat of Kiwigrip applied. I have been looking at the primered deck for more than two years!
The first coat looks great. Now, if I can only remember to clean the camera lens!
The trick with Kiwigrip is pulling the tape. You have to pull it right after you roll the paint . . . or in a very short time afterwards. The paint is so thick, if you try to pull it after it has dried the tape will tear and then you have to remove it with an razor blade. Bet Tim Lackey's test revealed you can get a clean pull on the tape if the first coat is applied thin and the tape is pulled right after applying the second coat the next day. I use the same tape he does (3M 233) so I felt safe following his advice. But, because I like to know more about why I am doing something, yesterday I replicated his tests. My sister and I removed the cockpit lockers and companionway hatch slide and seahood. We previously taped and sanded them and then I applied the kiwigrip as a single part to two of them. I could see what Tim was talking about. When I looked closely I could just see the creamy colored Awlgrip primer peeking through where the heavily textured roller nap pressed down on the deck. So, I applied a smooth base coat to the other three hatches and let them dry overnight. This morning, I applied a thick coat of Kiwigrip over the base coat and rolled it with the "loopy-goopy" roller that comes with the paint and attempted to pull the tape. It came away cleanly. With that experience, Gayle and I went ahead and rolled a smooth base coat over the cabin top, cockpit, and deck. It did not take much paint and I purposely kept it thin. All I wanted to do was to add a matching color undercoat to make the top coat provide thorough coverage. Reading the instructions and the information from Tim Lackey there is no prep work required for the second coat. Just roll it on. Hopefully, tomorrow will see this project behind me.
My sister flew home this morning. It was great having her here to help out with the sanding and taping. Where were you when I was grinding fiberglass?
For the past week my older brother and younger sister have been visiting. There are five of us and we are all very close. Anyway, no one gets away from here without contributing to the Far Reach. My brother led the effort to build saw-horses for mast work that will come later. The saw horses needed to be built at some point so now I don't have to do it later and we had fun working together. Thanks Brad. After my brother headed home, my sister Tricia stayed on a little longer. I guess some people are just gluttons for punishment. Tricia and I started sailing together when she was eight or nine years old. She plays second fiddle to no one though. She has helped deliver sailboats back to southern California from Cabo San Lucas and Hawaii. She also used to own a West Sail 32, so, she is pretty comfortable around sailboats and she's also a retired San Diego Fire Captain. Did I mention we can be competitive? Ha! Anyway, together we taped and sanded the deck in preparation for applying Kiwigrip non-skid deck paint. We started by washing the boat with soap and water. We left the boat to dry overnight. Next day, I wiped it down with Interlux 202 degreaser. I used the two rag method. Yes, I wore a full respirator and multiple gloves on each hand peeling them off as they melted. This is nasty stuff. Next, we taped with 3M 233. It took the whole day. Next day, we started sanding. I used a RO sander with 80 grit to sand down all the locker hatches, cabin top, and deck. We hand sanded along the tape edge with folded 80 grit so as not to destroy the tape. We taped over any areas that looked damaged. It took the whole day, but the boat is ready for painting. Thanks Tricia.
Taped, sanded, and ready for the first coat of Kiwigrip non-skid deck paint.
7 Apr 13
I have been pushing hard for the but past week we have had family here so we slowed down a little but, we are still getting work completed. For example, my brother and sister helped me build the new saw horses for work on the mast even though I have not started that project. We also attached the cleats to the dinghy chocks though I did not take pictures. I'll add them later. Today my sister and I trimmed some remaining butyl rubber from under the bulwark blocks and then taped the deck to prepare for applying the kiwi grip non-skid paint. Tomorrow we sand the deck . . . I really know how to show family a good time.
Previous to their arrival I had been working on the cabinet doors. I finished the project though I still need to varnish them. That will have to wait till after the deck is painted. The last door to be installed was the sliding cabinet door. The doors were not hard to make and I documented the construction during the Jan-Mar 13 daily log plus you can find the project as a whole in the projects tab.
The sliding door was a little tricky. When I installed the fore and aft bulkhead that support the starboard side of the stove I had to calculate all the different requirements--width of staving, thickness of plywood, width of stove, room needed for door, etc, etc. I am pleased that the measurements worked out perfectly. I had about 1/8" of gap on each side of the door between the vertical flange on the stove and the staving that makes up the vertical face of the cabinet under the ash counter. I dadoed a 3/8" slot in the bottom of the door and a 1/4" slot in the top and glued hardwood "tongues" into those slots. Then, I dadoed corresponding slots in two 1 1/8"x 1" walnut cleats. I installed the cleats above and below the cut out for the cabinet door. The door slides great. Having a sliding door there eliminates the door from flying around when opening it in a seaway, provides more space, and is just more convenient to use. As I mentioned I still need to varnish and I also have to install the door knobs.
I finally found the right kind of thimbles for splicing my standing rigging. I ordered them a couple of weeks ago and a bag fully of newly cast thimbles arrived in the mail. I tested a couple of different thimbles over the past two years but was not satisfied with them. These should be perfect and were not that expensive. The are bronze meriman style. They are very strong and are sized properly for the 7x7 5/16" SS wire I intend to use. Splicing the rigging will be one of the last projects I do before we launch the boat. I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel. I still need to order the additional turn buckles, the wire rigging, and the X and the Y and the Z . . . "some day this war's gonna end."