Tuesday, July 18, 2017


For once, I finished a project in the time I allotted myself.  The mizzen mast step assembly is done and mostly glued in.  Now that there aren't single big jobs to focus on I have been trying to get better at organizing and doing many small jobs at once.  I can easily see where build projects like these can go from months to years.  Hopefully it won't come to that and I still have hope that I will get the boat finished and launched by the end of August.  We'll see.

I mentioned in the previous post that I was going to use a piece of 3" pvc pipe to contain the mizzen mast and keep water out of the aft compartment.  I spent a fair amount of time getting and marking the 94 degree angle needed to have a 6 degree rake on the pvc pipe before cutting it. I had bought enough extra in case I screwed up, but I think it worked out fine.

Next I found a nice old piece of mahogany that used to be a deck support in my Alberg 35 and shaped it so it would fit in the channel I installed earlier when I was building the supports for the aft deck.  I like using salvaged wood where I can because in many cases, the quality of the older wood is way better than what you can buy today.  This piece was in the Alberg for at least 40 years and I like the thought of carrying a piece of my old boat with me for new adventures.

Next, I bored out a 25 mm hole on center to accommodate the butt of the mizzen mast and drilled out limber holes in the top and bottom to make sure water drained.  Next I found another piece of mahogany (from a different project) and bored out a ~90 mm (3.5 inch) hole to accept the butt of the pvc pipe.   I did a little shaping to get a good fit in between the deck support pieces and then epoxied both pieces into the boat (one on top of another).

The step assembly will be the only piece I actually epoxy to the boat; pvc pipe will just have sealant holding it in place and the top piece on deck (collar?) will be screwed to the surrounding deck supports with #12 x 2" screws and waterproofed with a bead of sealant.  This way I will be able to disassemble the step for periodic inspections and make sure everything is ok.

For the top piece I used a piece of 25 x 190 mm wide white pine.  I know, it's shocking that I am not using some high end wood for some of this boat, but it's light, cheap and I can replace it if needed.  I am coating every piece of wood in this boat with epoxy, so hopefully I can keep rot in check.

Anyhow, I bored another 90 mm inch hole in it to accept the top of the pvc pipe and made a plywood trim piece to cover the pvc and screwed and glued it together. Once it cured, I did some shaping and radiused the corners to make it all pretty like and put it all together.  I haven't glued the plywood deck down yet because it will be easier to paint the compartment first, but aside from that, I'm calling the step done.

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