The last couple of days were spent preparing the interior of hull for painting and then applying grey Interlux Bilge Kote paint. Like much of the US it was hot here all week so the going was slow. I took everything out of the boat--tools, scrap wood, water tanks, etc. I vacuumed the boat. Wearing a full face respirator I wiped down all the surfaces to be painted with Interlux 202--nasty stuff. I was drenched with sweat by the time I finished. Next day, I taped off the edges and then vacuumed again. I decided not to paint the ribs where the ash ceiling will be installed in case I need to epoxy 1/4" ply to them to better secure the ash. I also did not paint the rope locker. I have a little more work to do there. The following day I painted. It took about six hours. I planned for two coats but the Interlux tech rep told me if the there was neither opacity or loss of sheen one coat was fine. That was good news. One coat looked great so I pulled the tape this morning and reinstalled the trays, tanks, and beams.
Before I applied the bilge kote paint to the inside surfaces of the hull.
After. The ribs are not painted where the ash will be installed in case I need to epoxy 1/4" strips to them to provide a better surface for the bronze screws to bite into. I won't know till I try to install the ash.
I tapped holes for machine screws to secure the water tank trays that were previously secured with self tapping screws. I as never happy with the self tapping screws. They did not provide the strength I desired. I initially planned on multiple coats of Interlux Bilge Kote to protect the fiberglass and make it easier to clean. However, the Interlux rep told me that if there was no opacity and no loss of gloss one coat was fine. All the surfaces were previously sanded. After tapping the holes and test fitting the trays, I wiped all the surfaces down with Interlux 202. This was miserable work. it was over 100 F in the boat and I had to wear a full respirator. All the inside fiberglass surfaces had to be wiped down and not just the bilge. The next day I tapped off key surfaces and the applied the paint. Fortunately, one coat did the job and saved me a lot of work. I was very satisfied with how this project turned out.
25 July 12
It was oppressively hot in the SRF today and, to be honest, I did not get as much accomplished as I had hoped. I did manage to clean up my shop which was crying out for some TLC. I also completed the installation of the flue for the Refleks heater. I don't know if this is the final design but it is pretty close. I decided to start with the flue pipe as long as possible to the upper 45 degree elbows. A long straight flue is supposed to create a better air flow and reduce sooting and the likelihood of a back draft. It also helps keep the elbows out of the way and create a less cluttered look. I have a smaller piece of flue pipe so if I decide to shorten the pipe and lower the elbows a little I have the pipe to do that. I may need to add a little shielding next to the cabin side in the area of the elbows but I'll wait till I run the heater this fall to be certain.
I started by drilling a hole the overhead panel after taping it off. I followed that will the 4 3/4" hole saw from the inside up. Then, I removed the panel and coated the end grain around the hole with a couple of coats of epoxy. Next I reinstalled the panel. Then, I cut the flue pipe to length. Finally, I installed the pipe. The photo has a little optical illusion to it as it makes the assembly look a little distorted but it is perfectly plumb and square. I need to come up with a design for then inside trim. I think it is important to incorporate additionally shielding inside the hole to reduce heat transfer to the overhead panel and the cabin top around the edge of the cut out. I'll set that aside for later though since I don't need to drop the overhead panel to install it.
25 July 12
For the last few days I have been working on the flue for the Refleks Type 66MK kerosene heater. I originally ordered a deck flange with a 9 degree bevel thinking that would make for an easier fit but the deck crown is more like 13 degrees where the flue needs to be located and the mismatch caused complications I did not want to deal with. So I sent it back to Hamilton Marine for a zero degree bevel deck flange--the deck flange is perpendicular to the flue. But, the one they replaced it with looked like it had been cut with a can opener. I am not a fan of SS but sometimes you have to compromise.
This the way the deck flange came from Refleks and Hamilton Marine. It looks like it was cut out with a can opener.
A couple hours of work with a mill file, sand paper, buffing compound and buffing wheel.
The bronze one I wanted was about $400 from Navigator Stove works and required a bigger hole. But, I expected a better finish on the Refleks product. I called Hamilton Marine, where I purchased the part. I emailed them photos. They basically said that all the round ones from Refleks are like that. Not true . . . the 9 degree beveled one was perfectly smooth--I sent pictures of it to Hamilton Marine. They were polite and offered to exchange it and pay for the shipping but the ones they had in stock were not any better than what I had. I sent photos to Refleks and they basically said, "All the ones we have look like that too." Fine, I took a mill file to it and filed the points smooth. Then, I sanded it with 120 to 320 grit. Then I hit it with a high speed sisal wheel and finished it off with some polish on a high speed buffing wheel. Much better. It looks just fine.
Next, I went back to work on the trim ring. As detailed in a previous post, I cut the trim ring from the square lamination I made on a band saw. Now I needed to cut a 4 3/4" hole through the trim ring for the deck flange to plug into. I hate buying one time tools. But there was no reasonable way around it. I bought a Lenox 4 3/4" hole saw. I saved a few dollars as it came without the arbor but since all my other hole saws are Lenox I was able to use the arbor from one of them. I decided I needed to cut the hole before I beveled the trim ring to match the deck. It was the only way to ensure it would be vertical. It took a while but I was able to cut it on my bench top drill press. First I drilled a 1/4" hole al the way through the center and out the other side. Then I used the hole saw to cut half way through the plug--all the way to the bottom of the hole saw. I flipped the plug over and using the 1/4" hole as a guide I cut back through all the way to the bottom of the hole saw which just made it through. A perfect hole. Next, I took the trim ring up to the boat and used some wood scraps to prop the outside edge up so that it was level on top. I then scribed around it with a compass. I used a power planer to cut most of the excess away. Then, I used a block plane and spoke shave to trim to the scribed line. It fit perfect. I was pleased. It made me realize how much I have learned during the rebuild as the did not require days of research and planning . . . it took maybe 45 min. Next, I took the hole saw up to the boat and after taping off the area I needed to cut through (to protect the gelcoat) I cut a matching 4 3/4" hole through the cabin top. I checked the fit of the trim ring over the hole. They lined up perfectly. I finished up the day by rounding over the top and inside edge of the trim ring with the router.
Next day, I cut a caulking grove in the bottom of the trim ring to provide a place for caulk to lay and not get completely squeezed out. I developed a couple of options for securing the trim ring to the cabin top. In the end I went with the simplest of the options as suggested by someone I trust. I used 3M 4000UV and no fasteners. 3M 4000 has about the same adhesive capability as 4200 but with more UV protection. I dug out the balsa core in the deck around the hole I cut the day before. I only needed to cut back about 1/4" since there would be no fasteners penetrating the deck. I coated the balsa with unthickend epoxy and followed with epoxy thickened with cabo-sil. After it was hard taped off the hole and trim ring and I applied 3M 4000 to the bottom of the trim ring and pressed it into position. I used a "Dap Cap" to clean up the excess, removed the tape that protected the teak trim ring, and cleaned up the excess with alcohol.
22 July 12
I have been working on several projects at the same time. There are various reasons for this but mostly it has to do with not having something I need. Normally, I do a pretty good job of staying ahead of the next projects regarding supplies. But, this time it caught up to me. To the right is a photo of the ash hull ceiling for the Far Reach. When I removed it years ago, I marked on the back where it was located and in what order (Thank God I did that), and bundled it up. At one time I thought I might replace it. It was filthy and had a lot of oil grungy oil the PO applied. But a few months ago I cleaned a strip up with TE KA cleaner. It worked great. So, today, Gayle and I spent six hours cleaning about 150 pieces of ceiling. TE KA cleaner has two parts. Part A is the acid and part B is the neutralizer. After cleaning each bundle we laid it out to dry. I will stay it with stickers between the layers and allow it two air dry for a few weeks. In the mean time we will paint the inside of the hull with Interlux Bilge Kote paint and then start install it. We will oil it with teak oil only.
A small sample of the nearly 150 pieces we cleaned with TE KA cleaner.
Work on the gammon iron continues. I drilled the 3/8" holes for the stem this past week. Previous to that I drilled the 1/2" holes through the horizontal plate. I finally wore out the counter sink and ordered a new one from W.L. Fuller for 3/8" flat head bolts. It worked great. I marked on the stem with a sharpie to remember to drill the hole through the stem with a 5/16" vice 3/8" bit so I can tap it. The lower two will be through bolted. The reason the upper one is tapped is the bolts threads are not exposed on the inside of the boat due to its top location and the upward angle of the bolts. In fact, since the photo was taken I drilled all the holes in the boat and test fit the gammon iron. it fits very well. I also drilled the holes for the backing plate as well. As soon as the last of the bronze bolts arrive, I will install the gammon iron for good.
I started work on installing the deck flange for the Refleks kerosene heater. First I removed the overhead panel where the flue will pass through the overhead. Then, I used a pump bob to decide exactly where the center of the flue would be located. I drilled a 1/8" hole. On deck I measured how tall the teak "riser" would need to be to accommodate the slope of the deck--about 1 7/8" over a width of about 7 1/2". After that, I cut three piece of teak so they would measure 8"x8" and 1" thick. When stacked they would be three inches thick. I decided to use resorcinol glue. To my knowledge it is the only 100 percent waterproof and UV resistant glue made. Unlike epoxy, it can withstand very high temperatures before it looses it's strength. I like epoxy. I have used a lot of it. But, I have seen some problems with it when exposed to high temperatures. Larry Pardey wrote an excellent piece discussing adhesives in his book, "Classic Boat Construction: The Hull." It's a great resource. Anyway, it took about a year to run down the resorcinol I wanted--called Aerodux 185. It is sold by C.P Adhesives. It is a cold weather resorcinol (down to 50 degrees I think) and fillers can be added to make it gap filling. Many other resorcinols will not accommodate fillers. Anyway, I used it for the first time for this project. After I cut the teak I sanded it with 120 grit paper to remove residues. I wiped it with acetone. I mixed up the resorcinol (it must be weighed) 5:1 liquid to the powder activator. I used a small kitchen food scale to weigh the parts. I brushed it on both sides for each of the two joints and clamped it firmly. I left it over night.
The next day I removed the clamps and used a compass to draw the circle necessary to support the flue pipe deck flange. I took the glued teak to the Camp Lejeune Base Wood Hobby Shop as they have a couple of band saws. I set up the saw to cut a five degree bevel. It took about 5 min to cut out the part. I cleaned it up on a very large bench sander. In the next few days I will cut the 4 3/4" diameter hole through the middle and begin shaping the under side to match the camber in the deck.
16 July 12
I spent the last week in Kentucky so no boat work until today. After a slow start, I installed the "risers" for the deck hatches. Before I left I sanded and then painted the risers with black satin Rustoleum spray paint. I also ordered a 5/16" bottom tap which I needed to penetrate all the way to the bottom of the blind holes for the SS bolts that needed to be cleaned out. After running the tap in and out of the holes I vacuumed out the debris. Then, I coated the SS bolts threads with Teff-Gel which is critical to keep them from corroding and seizing inside the cast aluminum frame. I used a SS washer on the lower riser arm but will replace it with a synthetic one. I removed the paper that had been protecting the lens. I think the look great. Hatch Masters did a fine job rebuilding them.
Rebuilt and repainted risers installed. I finally removed the protective paper from the lens.
The risers look new after a light sanding and rustoleum spray paint.
7 July 12
I spent most of today and some of yesterday working on the gammon iron which I built the pattern for last year. Pete Langley at PTF cast it for me. Click here for more on building the pattern. This project was about drilling the holes for the horizontal plate. I would have liked to have the fasteners outside of the "box" but the slope of the hull underneath combined with the thickness of the deck and the backing plate required they be set more toward the centerline. I originally thought that I would use carriage bolts. But, they would stand proud of the surface and make installing the bowsprit more complicated. I wanted the surface of the gammon iron horizontal plate to be smooth--nothing to bang into the underside of the bowsprit. So, flat head bolts seemed to be the way to go. The original stay sail tack fitting was installed with four 1/4" SS bolts. As part of the new designed bow sprit I moved the stay sail tack forward 24" to match the increased length of the bow sprit. This will increase the sail area a little but the angle of the forestay will be improved making it stronger. The gammon iron also wraps around the stem and will be bolted through the stem with three bolts. Nonetheless, I decided to bolt it down with 1/2" bolts. To order the "shouldered" silicon bronze bolts I needed to know how long they must be to reach through the gammon iron base, the deck, and the 1/2" G10 backing plate. The only way to do that was to drill the holes first. So I did. Because I knew ahead of time that the forward most bolts would need to be under the gammon iron "box" I needed a way to drill them and counter sink the top. The only way to do that was to buy a countersink that would let me "pull" vice push to make the bevel. I talked to the folks at W.L. Fuller and they helped me pick the right one. The photos below give a good indication of how it works. Unlike all the holes I drilled in the stanchion and bulwark bases I drilled these by hand as I could not get the gammon iron on the drill press. This was not difficult but it was time consuming especially cutting the counter sinks underneath. I had to keep removing it to check it for fit. Also, these are not expensive bits and I had to resharpen which took some time. I tried out some cutting fluid with unimpressive results. I think water works just as well and is a heck of a lot less messy. Also, my old Craftsman 3/8" VS drill is starting to wear out. I drilled slowing, as you should do when cutting metal, and it is starting to make all kinds of buzzing sounds. I'll need 1/2" x 3 1/2" long bolts for the horizontal plate and 2 1/2" long bolts for the stem.
An interesting side note. The bronze gammon iron weighs 24 lbs. The original steel backing plates weighs 26 lbs. The new G10 backing plate weights about 2 lbs. I believe the new Douglas fir bowsprit will weigh about 1/2 - 2/3 of the original teak platform bow spirt. Also, I am not installing the 25lb SS pulpit. My new craze iron will weigh more than the original as will the anchor rollers. In the end, I think the new design will weigh a little less than the original but increase the sail area dramatically as well as reduce weather helm.
I still need to work on the stem piece.
5 July 12
It was time to install the deck hatches. I decided to experiment. I have been using butyl tape to install some of the deck hardware. It is interesting to work with and is supposed to far out live modern bedding compounds. But, I wonder how much better it really is. You can always find someone with an opinion but I wanted to know for my self. I needed a test with two similar items. So, I bedded the hatch over the saloon with 3M 4000UV and the forward hatch with butyl tape.
Saloon Hatch. I could just have easily used Boat Caulk vice 3M 4000UV but I did not have any on hand. I went with what I had. I chamfered the predrilled and tapped fastener holes (for both hatches) with a countersink. I taped everything, just like I did with the companionway rails. This stuff is messy. I vacuumed then wiped the hatch frame down with acetone as well as the deck where the hatch would be positioned. I got a small plastic bag like the ones they give you at the grocery store. I laid all the tools out. I double checked the fit. I applied Teff Gel to the bolts (remember that I tapped the holes for the deck hatches) to reduce the likelihood of galvanic corrosion between the aluminum hatch and the SS fasteners. I applied small "donuts" of butyl under the heads right on top of the Teff Gel and dropped them through the holes in the hatch frame. I applied the 4000 to the deck vice the hatch as there was no way to hold the fasteners in place if I turned the hatch frame upside down to caulk the bottom of it. Then I gently lowered the hatch onto the deck frame so the bolts went right into the holes. Then, I slowly tightened the fasteners getting good squeeze out all around. I cleaned up the squeeze out with a small plastic scoop (Dap Cap) and paper towel dropping everything into the plastic grocery bag. It pays to be determined to keep everything clean. Once I removed the squeeze out I peeled off the tape. Only minor smoothing of the edge of the hatch and caulk was required. It looked great.
For the forward hatch, I conducted the same pre installation routine--chamfered the holes followed by a vacuum and acetone wipe down. I then applied the butyl tape to the underside of the frame. I applied Teff Gel to the fasteners and a small donut of butyl under the head of the fastener (right over the Teff Gel) and also on the bottom side were the faster comes out through the flange. This took about an hour. Because the butyl does not "set up" there was no rush. Once I completed applying the butyl I lowered it down onto the deck flange. Then, I slowly tightened down moving back and forth across the hatch so it would be pressed down onto the butyl and the deck evenly all the way around. I did not tighten down too hard. The butyl does not squeeze out like the 4000. It takes a couple of days. Even though I was careful I stripped one bolt. No worries as I fixed it later with a 2" #14 oval head SS self tapping screw. It matches perfectly. Anyway, I retightened a couple of hours later and let it sit overnight. The next day I tightened it twice more. I had pretty good squeeze out by then. I pulled off some of the squeezed out butyl and used it to stick to the rest of the butyl and pulled it off just like you would use gum to pull gum off the carpet. It works well.
Initial impressions: The caulk requires more preparation and tapping. It can be very messy if you are not careful. But, when you are done, you are done. The butyl requires several days to get it to settle and squeeze out. Also, you have to be careful not to over tighten it as you can strip the threads, especially when the threads have been tapped into fiberglass. The butyl looks a little ragged around the hatch. Partly it is because I did not want to spend a lot of time getting it perfect as I think I will continue to get some more squeeze out over the next couple of day and partly because it is time consuming to get it just right. Time will tell how one performs against the other.
Next, I went to work on cleaning, sanding, and painting the hatch risers. I used acetone to wipe them down and then sanded them with a maroon 3M scrubby pad. I performed another acetone wipe down. I painted them with Rustoleum semi gloss black spray paint. I hung them on little loops of wire to dry. I cleaned up the dogs and installed them with the 5/32" SS coiled spring pins. I applied Teff Gel to the pins to provide some protection between the aluminum and the SS and gently tapped them in with a small hammer. Installation was easy. Tomorrow I will install the risers. I may not install the coiled spring hinge pins in the hatch hinges for a while. I can use a 1/4" bolt as a temporary fastener. It's easier to remove the hatch lids if I wait to install the pins later. Tomorrow I will call it complete.
Bedding the companionway rails was pretty straight forward. First, I marked the ends that I left wild. Next, I cut the ends off to match the slope of the aft end of the cabin top. Then, I rounded over the edges. I taped everything to minimize the mess since I decided to bed with what I had on hand--3M 4000UV. There was no excitement as it went smooth. The next day I cut some wood plugs from some scrap teak and installed them. Finally, later that I day I trimmed the plugs. It looks great. I still need to bed the sea hood but I need to paint the under side first. I am in no hurry so it can wait.
The companion way rails are bedded with 3M 4000UV. The fastener holes are plugged.
I am pleased with how the rails turned out.
2 July 12: So What Have You Been Doing All This Time? It's been a crazy couple of weeks since the last update. After getting a good start on the hatch slides all boat work suddenly ceased after my wife's foot went through one of the planks on the deck behind our house. We immediately turned all of our attention to that project. We essentially spend the next two weeks ripping of the old decking and part of the sub deck, as we decided to make it a more useable size . . . still pretty big though at about 300 sq feet. There were many trips to the dump. We had to make a few modifications to the sub frame to accommodate the new design. Then we redecked and finally trimmed. We are pleased with the new deck and I am glad we got it rebuilt. There is some landscaping to do but that is not my department.:) As soon as the deck was completed I turned my attention back to the Far Reach.
Companionway Hatch Slides. It was time to rebuild the hatch slides. I was sick of the folding 1/2" plywood cover I have been using for the last couple of years. I thought I had kept the old rails as a pattern. But, I must of tossed them when I gutted the boat. To build new ones I reached out to some fellow CD 36 owners I have corresponded with on occasion and they were kind enough to send some photos of the factory set up. Thanks David VanDenburgh, Victoria Younger, and Jim Brady. After looking at the original design I decided I could improve it without too much extra work.
I started by milling some inexpensive 2x4s I picked up from Lowes. The forward end had to be angled slightly (6 degrees) to fit the molded cabin top lip that supports the assembly on the front end. I next cut a 1/4" dado in the side of the rails for the flange on the hatch to slide in. Then, I trimmed the rails to length. Next, I decided to cut a rabbet for the sea hood to sit in as it would look better but it would also allow the rails to be a little thicker. Why is that important, because instead of having the hatch flanges slide on bare wood I wanted to inset UHMW into the rails for the flanges to slide on for the final version. I initially cut the rabbet with my table saw and then trimmed it up with some hand tools but decided a better technique was to make the cut on the router table which I used to clean them up. Next, I assembled the frame on the boat and installed the hatches. I screwed the seahood in place. I spent the next two weeks looking at it and opening it when I could get away from the work on the house. I liked it.
As soon as I completed rebuilding the deck behind our house I returned to the hatch slides. I needed a good piece of 8/4 teak. It was going to be expensive. I could have used a number of different less expensive woods as long as I varnished them. But, hatch rails are always getting stepped on and horizontal wood gets beat up in the sun even with varnish. I wanted wood I could leave bare. Teak was the answer. Fortunately Jack King at Atlantic Veneer helped me out by cutting some long stock down to a reasonable 6 foot length. 8/4 X 6'x6" was the perfect size with little waste. It was not that expensive afterall (we are so good at rationalizing aren't we) and fit into the budget fine.
I carefully laid out the dimensions on the teak and started by jointing two edges. Next, I ripped them oversize to allow a little movement once the tension of the larger plank was released. Next, I ran them through the planner. I have to say that I have never enjoyed handling wood as much as I do teak. The smell is fantastic and very strong when running it through a planer. The wood is oily and smooth. Down right sensuous. It was a pleasure and I enjoyed every minute of it. I set the teak aside.
Many of the Cape Dorys have hatch flanges that slide on the bare wood of the dado cut in the teak. The problem is that teak is not that hard and it will wear down over time. Also, stagnant water will sit in the open dado. Jim Brady's boat has a synthetic insert and duplicating that seemed like a good idea. Tim Lackey suggested UHMW. The advantage it is the fiberglass flange would slide easily on the UHMW. Also, epoxing the UHMW into the teak would eliminate the chance for water to sit in a wood grained dado. Thus, I bought a 6' long 3/4" thick 4" wide piece of UHMW International plastics. Based on a conversation I had with the tech reps at West Systems Epoxy I wiped the UHMW down with isopropyl alcohol (which they recommended over denatured alcohol) to remove any contamination before I started milling it. I ripped two pieces 3/4" wide. So, I essentially had a 6' long strip 3/4" x3/4". Next I planed it down to 1/32" under 5/8" thick. Why will become apparent later. Then finally, with a 1/4" stack dado I cut a slot for the hatch slides in the UHMW 5/8" deep. I next cut a 3/4" dado in the teak rails to accommodate the UHMW. I test fit the pieces. All was good.
I laid out the pieces on a table in the SRF. I gathered all the clamps and tools. I sanded the teak inside the dado with 40 grit paper. I wiped the teak dado down with isopropyl alcohol. I taped the side of the teak around the dado to protect the wood from the epoxy. I also covered the work surfaces with plastic sheeting so I did not inadvertently epoxy the project to the work bench. I mixed up some West Systems Gflex epoxy. I used a propane torch to "heat treat" the three sides of the UHMW that I would be in contact with the epoxy. This was based on very specific guidance from West Systems regarding the best way to epoxy UHMW. If you have not used Gflex before I recommend you give it a try. There is an impressive video on the West Systems website of the tech staff sawing a plastic kayak in half and epoxying it back together with Gflex then doing their best to break the bond (in one scene they through it off a highway overpass!). Anyway, to heat treat the UHMW you quickly move the flame over the plastic about a foot per second. A couple of passes on the three sides and it was good to go.
With the epoxy all ready mixed up and standing by I brushed it in the dado with a small acid brush and then used a notched plastic epoxy squeegee to spread it evenly in the dado. I mixed up another batch with some cabosil and spread it as well. Then, I pressed the UHMW into the dado. Here is where the slightly wider cut dado is important. There needs to be room for the epoxy to move and flow else you won't be able to get the UHMW down into the slot and the sides can also be glue starved if the fit is to tight. The slightly over sized dado worked fine. I took a few minutes to press the UHMW down into the slot until the epoxy evened out and I had some squeeze out all long the joint lines. Then, I clamped a small piece of wood on top of the UHMW (not wide enough to span the dado slot but so it sat only on top of the UHMW. This further pressed the UHMW in place. I spent about 10 minutes hovering around the rail cleaning up slow moving squeeze out. Then, I let it sit for 90 minutes and removed the clamps and the tape. I used a chisel to clean up any additional epoxy squeeze out. I set it aside and repeated the whole thing on the second rail.
The next day I cleaned up the UHMW fuzz in the dado slot (which you can see in the early pictures) and ran the rails back through the planer one more time to make sure the teak and the UHMW were perfectly flush. Then I spent a fair amount of time carefully shapping the rails with a 3/8" round over router and a bull nose plane and chiesels. I marked the rails where the seahood wood sit and then used a straight fluted router bit on my router table to cut the rabbbets for the sea hood. I chielsed out the ends for a nice fit.
Finally, it was time to fish or cut bait. I positioned the rails, test fit everything several times, clamped them in place and started drilling. I installed them with a combonation of 2" #12 SS self tapping flat heads (aft of the rabbet cut) and 2" # 10 SS self tapping screws (which require smaller wood plugs) in the rabbet cut section on the forward half of the rails.
Next, I will bed them with caulk and declare victory.
Cockpit Seat Scuppers. I had put off installing the cockpit scuppers that serve to drain the seats into the foot well for too long. A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I filled in the hole cut for the engine control panel in the side wall of the cockpit foot well and filled everything in. In fact, even with close examination there is no trace of the repair work there or for the instrument holes filled in on the aft end of the cabin as well. Because of the engine control boxs proximity to the scupper hole, the hole was filled in as well. It was a simple project to cut the hole and install the scupper. I checked to make sure where the hole would be cut to make sure I would not cut through anything I did not intend to cut. I taped it up to help reduce the likelihood of cracking the fiberglass as the drill started to cut with a 1 1/8" hole saw. With the hole cut, I cleaned up the residue, wiped it down with acetone, and bedded the through hull with 3M 4000. One more project checked off the list.
Installing Deck Hatches. A while back I had the deck hatches sand blasted and painted with awl-grip. Then, after a lot of thought about the best way to proceed I decided to send the hatch lids off to "Hatch Masters" AKA Select Plastics to have them rebedded. Though I thoroughly researched what I would have to do to install new lenses myself, in the end, I decided it was a lot of precise work and that if I did not get it right I could have significant leaking into the boat. This is one of the few areas I decided to let someone else do the work. I also chose to replace the flimsy 1/4" thick lexan with thicker 3/8" acrylic. It was not cheap but Hatch Master did a very professional top. They look brand new. Based on the way I framed in the underside of the hatch frames (see previous hatch entries here) I decided not to use self tapping screws to install the hatches. Tim Lackey gave me some great advice about tapping fiberglass for machine screws, which is what I decided to do. These would be blind holes, meaning the bottom would not penetrate the bottom of the material being tapped. This requires two taps. A tapered tap and a bottom tap.
First, I positioned the hatch and clamped it into place. Then, I drilled very shallow 1/8" deep "starter holes" with a 1/4" bit to keep everything centered. Then, I removed the hatch base and with a home built small 90 degree jig I carefully drilled the holes (they need to be undersize when you tap) with a 13/64 bit and a drill stop to make sure I did not drill further than necessary. Next, I used the tapered tap to cut the threads then used the bottom tap. I wrapped some tape around the tap to mark the depth I wanted to go to. When all the holes were tapped I vacuumed out the residue. Finally, I set the hatch in place and installed the 1/4"-20 x 1" long, 316 SS oval head machine screws for a test fit. Perfect. I have the hatch hinge pins on order from McMaster Carr so I used some 1/4" machine bolts to insert through the hinge holes to hold the hatches in place. There is some work to be done to clean up the dogs and risers but that is small stuff. I'll bed the hatches in the next few days. It's great to get rid of the plywood that is being covering the hatch opening for far too long.
6 June 2012
Sixty eight years ago the Allied Forces, lead by the US, conducted Operation Neptune and Overlord landing tens of thousands of troops in Normandy--nearly 130,000 troops on the first day. Two airborne divisions parachuted into Normandy the night before. It's an incredible story if you are not familiar with it. Much of the free world owes those veterans a huge debt.
I have continued to hammer away on the Far Reach. Below is a roll up of the work undertaken since 19 May 2012.
One of the things on the project list was to reinstall the chain plates. Interestingly enough the most challenging aspects of the project was to find the right fasteners. The chain plates are manganese bronze from Spartan Marine Hardware. All but two are original to the boat. The original fasteners were SS and though they seemed to be in pretty good shape it seemed prudent to replace them. I thought about replacing them with bronze but unable to find domestic made bronze that did not require taking out a loan I decided to replace them with 316 SS. Though 316 is slightly less strong then 304 I wanted the extra corrosion resistance. After contacting many manufactures, starting about six months ago, I learned that it is very difficult to get any one to certify that their bolts (Jamestown Distributors, McMaster-Carr, McFeelys, Bolt Depot, etc) are made in the US. They would say it, but would not put it in writing which to me, call me silly, means they are not made in the US. OK, but where are they made? B &S Bolts in Norfolk sells lots of milspec and ISO 9000 certified fasteners but not in what I was looking for--flathead, 316, 3/8" and 1/2", etc. But they would certify they were made in Sweden, Canada, Belgium, etc. And, they would put it in writing. That was the best I seem to be able to do. Once I had the bolts it was pretty simple to install them. Once again I decided to bed the hardware with butyl rubber. Check another project off the list.
Chainplates installed and bedded with butyl rubber.
It was time to install the supports for the top of the water tanks. I built the trays they sit on two years ago. For more on that project click here. One of the challenges with plastic tanks is securing them in place. They don't have flanges on them to bolt to cross beams like SS tanks do. Many sailors foam them in place but I did not want to do that because the foam would slowly absorb water and mildew would result. So, I called Dura Weld and discussed my plan with Gareth, who built my tanks. He liked the plan. So, I spent the next couple of day installing the supports. I started by building doorskin templates between the hull and the upper edge of the tanks. Then, I traced the pattern on some Doug Fir. It took a while but I slowly shaped the fir to fit between the hull and the tanks. Once I was satisfied, and after installing and removing them several times--which by the way made me wish I had bought SS tanks--I was ready to epoxy the supports in place. I could not take the tanks out of the boat to do the work as the tanks ensured the supports were in the right place. So, when I was ready I "spot welded" the supports in place with a little thickened epoxy. Then, once the epoxy cured I removed the tanks, Next, I completed filleted the supports in place being careful not to cover the holes I cut in the support to serve as limber holes. Once the full fillets were pretty tacky I applied a single layer of biaxial to the outboard side of all the supports and to the inside for the supports that hold the center tank. The center tank has square outside edges and so the supports are vertical. They needed the extra layer of biaxial on the inside to make sure they could not move. After everything was cured I washed the amine blush off and sanded the epoxy tape and fillets. After they fully cure (about two weeks) we will paint the bilge and the supports with Interlux Grey Bilge-Kote. I still need to install the hold down blocks but that should be a simple project. One of the nice things about these supports is that it will be much harder from something dropped, like sockets, to get past the supports and under the tanks. Not impossible mind you but much less likely.
In order to applied the non-skid I needed to decide where the bronze heel cup for the new bowsprit will be positioned. I have been thinking about this for a while and there were several options. However, the one that sounded best was to position the heel cup in an area of the foredeck that did not have any balsa core. From the area where the deck was molded to accept the original plank style sprit to the stem it is solid glass. There is a little work to be done to the under side of the deck as there is a reverse image of the raised portion there and I will need to fill it in so the backing plate will lie flush to the underside of the deck. To position the heel cup I marked off equal distances along the gunwale on both sides. Then I used a straight edge and a tape measure to find the centerline. That is where the heel cup will be positioned. The heel cup requires nine 3/8" flat head bolts. I think I will use shouldered bronze bolts for these. According to Dave Gerr in his book The Elements of Boat Strength, bolts with shoulders have nearly twice the breaking strength in sheer as bolts threaded to the fastener head. Once the underside of the deck is filled in I plan to install a 1/2" G10 backing plate. Normally there is no requirement to epoxy a backing plate under the deck. But, I think in this case, with all the loads of the headstay pushing aft on the bowsprit which ends up on the heel cup I would feel better of the backing plate is epoxied in place.
After installing the premanufactured fiberglass to build out the inside edge of interior of the hatch frame I cut small corner pieces and epoxied them in place. I filed them to match the round inside corner of the hatch base that will be fastened to the deck on top of this new inside edge. Next, I applied two coats of primer then three coats of Interlux Brightside one part LPU in white. This is the same paint I used on the overhead panels. The Doug Fir you can see just below the painted fiberglass trim will be varnished mahogany. Instead of drilling and installing self tapping screws I plan to tap the holes and install SS 316 oval head machine bolts. They have been on back order for nearly three weeks. They should arrive next week and then I can complete the installation of the hatches.
There are a couple of areas in the boat that did not previously have hull ceiling installed. In one case I made the forward cabin a little larger so I had to add a "rib" to attach the ceiling to in that area. The rest are completely new. Anyway, after considering various options I decided to use some 1/2" Blueboard I had on hand left over from one of the kids school projects. I used a felt tip marker to mark on the hull interior where the ribs needed to go and how long they need to be. Next, I ripped the Blueboard to the necessary width on the table saw and at the same time beveled the sides 45 degrees. After cutting them to length I used contact cement to position them on the hull (for the rib in the forward cabin I had to use double thick blueboard to attain the same "standoff" thickness of the original ribs). I covered them with a single layer of 1708 biaxial. After it cured I scrubbed the amine blush off with water. I ripped some scrap 1/4" marine ply on the table saw and secured them to the ribs with thickened epoxy and held them in place with some self tapping screws. After the epoxy dried I removed the screws. I will coat them with a couple of coat of epoxy later. The ash ceiling will be screwed in to the plywood with bronze oval head screws.