Friday, August 26, 2016

Hot Mess - The Top Part 5

Everything is moving along nicely now and while I may not quite make the project launch date this weekend, it's going to be close.  Given that the paint really needs a week or so of dry time before it fully hardens up, I may opt to do the maiden sail without painting the bottom and just leaving the primer on.  The other thing holding me up is varnish.  I want to get the new wood varnished up nicely, but it just takes a lot of time and I really want to sail this thing.  I may defer full varnish until after first sail as well.  I want to get a few coats on, but just to protect the wood.

Now that the thwart is complete and in varnish state, I moved along to the coamings.  Using the template from Chris Z (thanks again), I traced it out and cut it out of a Honduras Mahogany board I planed down to 5/8".  Before planing, I cut a 2" strip off the main board that I will use for the new tiller, but I won't do that until after first sail.  The current tiller handle is ugly, but usable.

When I fitted the cut out coamings, they had quite a bit of overhang on the raised section of the foredeck where they mount.  Not sure if Chris's foredeck section is somewhat larger than mine, but in any event, I cut them down to fit better and with the help of a Shinto rasp and roundover bit on my router I smoothed everything out and got it looking nice.  I still need to cut out the center piece that cover's the joint, but that should take more than a few minutes.  I sanded them down with decreasing grits from 80 to 220 and put a coat of varnish on.

I also started reinstalling some of the hardware and the inspection ports but ran out of time before I got everything done.  I did have time to get the mast base fairleads and the fore and aft 6" inspection plates reinstalled with butyl tape to seal them.  I used butyl tape during my Alberg 35 restoration and feel that it is the best solution for mounting hardware where you don't want water to get in, ever.

I first discovered butyl tape when I was restoring a Pearson Ariel.  I was removing the port windows from the cabin top so I could paint, and was thinking it was going to be a complete nightmare.  When I pulled the trim off the ports, I found a gummy substance underneath that was super sticky, but allowed me to remove the ports with little difficulty.  I found the same thing on my Alberg 35.  Given that the Alberg was 50 years old, the ports never leaked, and the butyl tape was still just as pliable as the day it was installed, I felt like it might be pretty good.  The market is saturated with all sorts of cauks and sealers these days, but they are a mess to install and depending on the type, they can make removing hardware infinitely difficult.

Anyway, butyl tape is awesome as long as you are mounting something in compression (ie. using screws or bolts to hold the part in place) and it makes removing hardware a breeze.  The only semi-annoying thing about butyl tape is that once you install the hardware, you have to trim off the squeeze out from around the base, but you can usually just use a fingernail or knife to cut it away and roll it up into a ball.

Fairleads installed, but I still need to trim the butyl tape from bases.

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