Friday, October 20, 2017

Bringing it all Together (Sort of)

So I have been slacking ever since I've sort of come to terms with the fact that I probably won't launch this year.  I haven't totally ruled it, but even though this weekend is going to be great weather wise, I don't think there are many warm days left in the year and I'm just not quite ready. 

With that said, I did a mini push over the past few days to get my shit together and get some more of the odds and ends closer to completion.  It all started when I picked up a lathe (Rigid w1200) on craigslist for no good reason other than I happened to be looking in tools and this was really cheap.  It's not a very good one, but it came with a set of tools and I've never done any lathe work before so I wouldn't really know the difference.  I had been thinking about a lathe ever since I saw a nice implementation of a Norwegian tiller arm somewhere out on the interwebs. 

Anyway, I glued up two pieces of sapelle I had laying around early last week and once it cured, I threw it on the lathe and started turning it down.  Originally, I was going to do a round hole through the rudder for simplicity's sake (just cut through it with a hole saw), but as I started playing with the lathe I decided it would be fun to have a square cut threw the rudder and have it taper to round on either side.  Really no reason other than I was having fun with the lathe.  Now that I have a lathe, it's just the most fun toy ever, it's fascinating to watch

Next, I drilled out the rough margins for the square hole in the rudder and then chiseled it out.  It took a while to get the fit right, but I finally got a good tight (but not too tight).  For the backside of the opening, I drilled a 1.5" hole in a piece of cherry and screwed it on so the tiller arm would seat in the hole.  Last up I rounded off the top edges of the rudder to get rid of the angular look it previously had and dry fitted the assembly on the boat.  I still have to rout the edges for a little more smoothing, but I'm satisfied with the overall look.  Ultimately, I will paint the rudder assembly, but will varnish the tiller arm. 

The second thing I got done this week was to get the bilge pump installed in the port seat tank.  On a boat this size having a mounted bilge pump isn't really necessary, a bucket will do, but I wanted something that could drain water under the deck without having to remove them.  The pump is a Whale Compact 50 and was the biggest one I could find that would fit in the space I had.  It has a removable pump handle and a cover that makes the whole arrangement look tidy.

It was still a tight fit, and getting the hose routed from the bilge, up into the seat tank was awkward.  I had previously dry mounted the pump itself prior to painting, but not with hoses attached so it took a bit of work to get it all set.  In the bilge itself I mounted the hose to a strum box with a 3 pound lead weight and butyl tape to hold it in place but be movable if necessary.  I ran the discharge hose from the pump through the port seat tank to the stern where I installed a discharge pipe as high up as possible near the rudder.  I finished it up by sealing up the access plate with caulking and screws to keep it watertight. 

Finally, I reinstalled the seat tops that I had spent a few afternoons applying way too many coats of Deks Olje oil.  The pine I'm using for seat tops soaks up Deks like crazy.  Anyway,  kind of a mish-mash of accomplishments for the week, but it all had to be done and there's lots more of the same to come as I get closer to launch.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Floors and Round Things

I'm so close to finishing this boat I can taste it, but no matter how hard I try, there is always another thing to do.  This weekend I picked away at a bunch of little things but the big win was getting the floors cut and installed.

I'm not using anything exotic, just the same clear premium grade pine that I used for the seat tops.  This task was pretty straight forward, but I did spend a fair amount of time marking out the curves along the forward portion of the deck area.  Once I cut and dry fitted all the boards I ran the router over them with a roundover bit to eliminate any hard edges.  Then I refitted the boards and tapped each one with a countersink bit and screwed them to the frames. 

The only exception is the center floor that I will not be screwing down so I can access the strum box for the bilge pump and inspect the lowest point of the bilge.  I will fasten this floor with some sort of button toggles on the underside to keep it in place, but I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to do it yet.  Once I figure it out and implement it, I will pull all the floorsboards out and have a marathon oiling session with Deks Olje D1 as I did with the seat tops and spars.

I really like Deks because you can get everything oiled in an afternoon.  The application process goes like this: wipe or brush on Deks onto the surface you want to oil, wait 15 minutes and do it again, and again, and again, etc...  You keep applying it until the wood stops absorbing it and then you leave the last unabsorbed application on the wood for 30 minutes and then wipe off.  The only other thing you have to worry about is that it shouldn't be put into service for 3 days.  It gives a nice satin finish and gives the wood a nice glow. 

In other news, I finally got around to installing the seven round deck plates throughout the boat.  There is one in the forward compartment, two adjacent to the mast step, two big ones amidships in the watertight seat compartments, and two in the aft compartment along either side.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Not much to say on the topic other than I mostly finished up the interior painting this afternoon.  I used grey bilge paint in the areas that will be covered by floorboards and and put two coats of white primer followed by two coats of Kirby's Marine Paint (#32 Sand, low lustre).

I hadn't planned on using Kirby's, but I have heard a lot of people saying good things about the paint so I checked out their site and found that their prices were right in line with Brightside Polyurethane and the color range was much wider, so I ordered a free color chart.  Computer monitors tend to change the color a bit, so I try to always get something real and in person if possible to see it in natural light.  

Two days later I received the color chart in the mail along with a hand written note from George Kirby Junior thanking me for my inquiry and that he hoped we could do business in the future.  You don't get personal service like that very often anymore, so I thought I'd give it a try.  It didn't hurt that their shop is in New Bedford, MA which is just a few hours away and shipping usually only takes a day.

I won't go into the details of painting because it's about as much fun as watching paint dry, but I will say that I really liked the flow and coverage characteristics of the Kirby paint much better than some other paints I have tried and it smelled very different, more like turpentine or something old time-y, rather than made in a giant factory somewhere.   We'll see how it holds up, but so far so good.