Check it

My photo
Florida flat-lander refitting an Alberg 30, hull #329, for an eventual circumnavigation of the globe and the journey of a lifetime before I get too old!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Still kickin!

Yes, still kickin but what a bad streak of health issues I have had. Nothing life threatening thank goodness. I did however get the flu six weeks ago to the date, strained my back twice and caught the "Kentucky Crud". At my lowest point during this period I was literally crawling on all fours while drowning in my own fluids. It has been awful.

I am now, as of a few days ago 90% again. Thanks to a very good chiropractor, my back issues are behind me as long as I exercise, stretch properly and mind how I sit and stand. My spine was a mess and my back  muscles were in full revolt! The "Kentucky Crud" is perpetual chest congestion and everyone I know has it. Meetings at work are a cacophony of sickly coughs and hacks that have become the norm. I can not wait to get back to Florida or some other warm place!

Now that you are up-to-date with the minute details of my biological and physiological well being....

I did some boat related work this past weekend! WOO HOO! I built two temporary hatch covers, one for the bow hatch and another for the lazarette. Three coats of paint later and they are protecting the interior of the boat like champs!

They fit perfectly which made me happy. I needed something to go right!

I took the rather beat up teak hatches off so that I could give them new life over the winter. I bought the materials to do so, including a new lens for the bow hatch. With all of the idle time I have had lately, my mind has wandered to taking it a step further and fabricating new ones. Mind wandering is really an understatement because what I have in mind is building a mold and making the hatches out of FRP rather than teak. Teak would be too easy! I will update on this later but I am actively studying the art of making molds and all of that kinda fiberglass science.

Not boat related but still worthy of reporting: I bought a small gas grill and converted it to a lava rock grill of our childhoods. The kind that dad used to burn dinner on but the food still tasted awesome. You remember. Long story made short with pictures!

The last pic is after curing the grill on high with some wet, green oak wood in it for a couple of hours. It cooks like a wood burning grill and does not burn or dry food out like a modern gas grill. I have been using it for a few weeks now and everything cooked on it has been perfect. I am very proud of this baby!

Keeping with this theme: I have lost 19 pounds since my last post nearly six weeks ago! Fried everything is a thing of the past. My new diet during the week; no beer, eat like a King for breakfast, like a Prince for lunch and like a pauper for dinner. My weekend diet is the same; beer beer beer until Sunday evening when I finish off with something extravagant like a deliciously rare steak and veggies. Hey, its working!

Fair winds...._/)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More deck patching

First post in three weeks! Writer's block.....

It rained all weekend three weekends ago so nothing to write about then. The following weekend I was hobbled by a strained muscle in my back. I did patch the holes in the port side cockpit deck that weekend but I also re-injured the muscle while doing so.

This past weekend I made some real progress. My blinker is on and I am about to turn a corner in the project!

The rainy weekend was disappointing but my new toy helped wile away the hours. A boat sized bass.

I managed to strain my back by simply stepping out of the shower. It always seems to happen in such a mundane way. Even when I re injured it, it was not during my heroic attempt at boat work while crippled. It happened again that evening while rolling over in bed after I made these port side patches;

Healthy again and no rain for three days a week later allowed me to get'er did. The Grind.

The backed bottom patches pulled up snug with mono strung through the centers and wrapped around the sticks. The 2x4s are there to keep them from falling over and unwinding.

I let those harden so they would not sag but still slightly tacky. Then I patched them.

I let those tack up then painted with neat epoxy, let that tack then faired.

The dead soldiers

It is amazing how long it takes to do this shit. Ninety percent of the time involved is preparation. The other 10 percent is equally divided between actually doing the work and drinking beer.

I left a lot out for speeds sake. I have to be leaving for work five minutes ago!

Fair winds...._/)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Starboard cockpit decks

A little more good news. No rot encountered on the starboard side cockpit deck! This was an area that I thought was going to be ate up because of all of the holes. Upon further inspection it appears that each was sealed with silicone. I had not noticed this when I was taking everything off. The fuel fill holes were a little discolored where the silicone had wore away but the balsa seems fine.

I am going to patch the fuel fill holes later along with some others. Grinding them out would have made a mess and delayed filling the hardware holes. Here is the deck, hardware holes sawed out to 1" and 1-1/4", dremeled for recess and cleaned up ready for expoxy. I drilled out some of of my test bores too but not all. 

And filled with epoxy mixed with milled fiberglass and later leveled with thickened epoxy.

Small update, I know. I played golf on Saturday and I still feel guilty three days later!

Fair winds...._/)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Baby steps

Little by little....very little. That is the speed at which things are progressing. Oh well.

I worked on the decks on Saturday. The genoa track holes and the chainplate holes on the starboard side were patched.

I want to show how I kept water out of the chainplate holes. After I removed the plates, I placed some butyl tape over the holes and them covered them with packing tape.

These held up for six months and they never leaked. Cleaning these off prior to patching was a little messy but it worked as intended. The tape had to be scraped off and then the area had to be cleaned with mineral spirits.

Here is the genoa track holes after being drilled out, the core dremeled back and cleaned up with acetone.

And the chainplate holes. I dremeled them clean which also made them bigger but there is a good surface in them.

I used the same epoxy-milled glass mixture as before and poured all of the holes full. Once tacked up, I went back and leveled them with thickened epoxy.

I also went around the cabin top and filled some holes that I had ready like these.

That is all I did on the boat itself over the past few days. I did some other stuff though!

The fore hatch captured my attention....mainly because I could work on it in the shade! I needed to send off the lens to have a new one cut to fit so I took it apart.

Guess what? The lens is what was holding the frame together! I was afraid of that. It didnt come apart totally but it was rather loose at all joints. The wood is good but the forty eight year old screws are shot. To save it, I am going to cut four pieces of 1/8" x 1-1/2" leg bronze L bar in 1-1/2" lengths and screw them to the corners. So, my frame will have 1-1/2" bronze corners! With the new lens screwed on and these new bronze fittings, the hatch should be pretty strong. If it doesnt work, I am going to use the old frame to make a mold so that I can make my own frame out of FRP.

Here is how I secured the frame so that I could carry it upstairs to its very own space out of the way! Seems like overkill doesnt it? I didnt want to take the chance of it folding over and breaking the joints at the screws. The clamps are just snug enough to carry it.

And I made some "corks" for lining up and recording the shaft alignment using the old shaft log.

The little cork is for the old shaft log and the bigger one is for the hole in the deadwood. I will reinstall the old log, run a string through the cork, install it as pictured above and then run the string through the boat to a board clamped in the door at the forward bulkhead. I will then line the string up perfectly at the center of the old log and mark the string position on the board in the door. The board needs to be marked where it meets the bulkhead too. This will give me the alignment of the old engine and shaft which I will need when I build new engine beds for the new Beta 16 that sits in my dining room.

And now it is time for a rant! Why do retailers put stickers that do not come off easily all over there wares? Look at this:

That box is wrapped in a nice plastic covering. That sticker is stuck to the surface of the box, not the wrapping!

GRRRRRRRRR! I had six or seven things around the house that had these torn stickers thoughtlessly stuck to them besides the two new boxes. So I gathered them all up and cleaned the obnoxious stickers off of them all with mineral spirits. Is it just me or is stickers on the product and not the wrapping stupid?

I let it bother me for exactly one beer and then I was fine!

Fair winds...._/)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rain is a pisser!


It has rained for days and days. Never once during all that time did I think to check the boat because I knew the little 5/16" hole I drilled a year ago was on the job. Last Sunday, when I was inspecting the rudder gudgeons, I noticed moisture where it did not belong and decided to poke the above mentioned hole. When I did, a stream like you see in the pic, shot out and was actually almost horizontal. The stream of water was shooting out over the frame for a minute or two. It startled me but I was able to gather myself and capture the pic like a hero.

I only mention this because I forgot about it when I was writing the last post. I have not forgot about it since though. It has been a wet week again and I have checked it every day because I can not sleep knowing there is water in bilge!

I really need to install this very nice 1" ID bronze garboard drain that I have had for some time and even bought fancy, schmancy tools for. This job is now the No. 1 priority once dry air returns.

Fast forward now to today, Friday! My Saturday! There needs to be another name for Friday if one has three day weekends. Lazyday! Screw-it-till-Saturday Day! Procrastinateday!

I woke up at 5am so that I could beat the heat, humidity and the forecast which called for...rain...again. My main objective is recoring so any chance of rain rules that out.

Plan B  was to secure and tighten the tarp covering the open windows/deadlights/saloon which has been blowing around wildly all week in the shitty weather. I got that done by 5:30am, wearing only my Dolphins underwear! (really? yes. it was dark still)

Plan C (coffee and FaceBook) was executed afterwards, flawlessly and for too long. It is funny to me how the more coffee that I drink, the more I think about the "other things" I need to do. Well, it finally sank in and I got busy.

I need a high quality, carbide (preferably) or diamond grit, 10" saw blade with a 5/8" bore, designed for cutting fiberglass. I set about trying to find one online and soon found that you have to know people to get that shit. Four hours later I had lunch but I also found what I was looking for thanks to Minaret from Cruisers Forum.

With that score I could move on to doing other things, like check the mail and make a beer run. Hey, its gonna rain!

Mail was good. It brought me deadlight lens blanks, 3/16", 50% grey Lexan:

17 courtesy flags:

these treasures: (original Alberg 30 stanchion bases)

This wonderful USB stick filled with the complete discography of "All India Radio", a band from Australia. If you like ambient, soft music Google/YouTube them. My ears are smiling :)

AND 2 bottles of Datu Puti sugarcane vinegar. If you want to cook authentic SE Asia dishes that call for vinegar, you must have this brand and type. There is no substitute. I lined up the others for the pic but they are second rate. Behind them though...Maltose for sweet asian bbq....Rose wine for everything!

I did do some boat related stuff. I need to build a new companionway hatch to replace the one that was blown off the boat and exploded in to exactly six pieces last fall. To that end, I gathered the pieces and arranged them for this picture!

Actually, I was going to reassemble/glue it all back together so I can better understand and make a clone. Then it rained.....the rain that was forecast all day....for 10 minutes.

It was the 10 minutes of oh so sweet rain that I needed because I had an epiphany during it's song. The melody of the rain reminded me of the measurements that I made of the hatch while I was in Annapolis. Measurements made and recorded before it met the winds of Kentucky that not even Indians would dwell in:

Thank the spirit wolf/bear/goose or skunk I made those measurements then because if I had not, I would be lost like the fair skinned, red headed tribe that haunts the land that I work on. (ask me)

Wooo, shit was getting deep. Out of my trance now, back to reality!

I measured a few things that I missed the first time, did some magic and came up with some fractiods:

With this info in mind, I ordered the material I need to build a new companionway hatch and sea hood! I know, I said I was going to do it last week.

I also futzed around with ideas on how to save the fore hatch:

More on that later because I have to get up in five hours. No rain in the forecast but hot. Early bird gets the worm....

Ignore the typos...and the prose....and the dramatic. I have been drinking!

Fair winds...._/)