Monday, August 30, 2010

August 29, 2010.

Its official. The dodger and bimini are done. Completed. Over and done with. Finished. Well, not really but the remaining items needed to complete them are small piddling little things that I can do during the week after work so we should be in good shape to install them both on schedule next weekend. Unless Earl screws it all up.

On Friday night we finally decided on Awlgrip as our choice of paint. So when Saturday morning rolled around we did a little final sanding and then shot a coat of Awlgrips suggested primer. This of course highlighted some of the places where there were still divots and scratches in the finish. So that called for a little more glazing compound and then some more sanding.

We followed this with another coat of primer which of course led to the discovery of yet more areas needing attention. Finally after 3 coats of primer we were satisfied and headed home for the evening.

When we arrived back at the shop on
Sunday morning we looked at the project through fresh eyes and still weren’t satisfied. Christy puttied a few more spots while I laid out and cut the openings for the 2 hatches that we intend to install in the roof of the dodger. After that there was a bit more sanding before a final coat of primer.

After letting the primer dry we mixed up some paint and sprayed 3 full coats. This pretty much took the rest of the afternoon so we headed home pretty satisfied with the weekends progress. Now if it will all just fit into place.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 23, 2010.

Life is good, but time is flying. We’ve been spending every extra minute working on the dodger and bimini. In the photos there doesn’t seem to be much progress being made, but there has been. I sprayed both units with Interprotect 2000 barrier coating. This will aid in sealing the fiberglass and adds another waterproof layer of protection before final paint.

Once the Interprotect was applied the added benefit was that several anomalies were readily apparent in the dodger’s finish. So on Sunday Christy and I applied some filler and spent several hours wet sanding in an effort to improve the surface’s finish. We ordered some special rubberized non skid paint for the top of the bimini so once that arrives, I can apply it and the bimini will be officially done. The weekend after next is our target installation date and we are SO ready to be done with this.

At work this week I had the opportunity to repower a customer’s sailboat. The old 18 horse diesel was taken out and replaced with a 29 horse, brand spankin’ new Yanmar diesel. I’ve pretty much had the project to myself and I have to say that I’m pretty proud as to how it’s going.

Once the old engine was removed I had to cut away a lot of the old engine bed to make room for some ½ inch aluminum “T” that will act as the mounting platform for the new engine. The new engine is 4 inches longer than the old one and I really had to rely on the old adage “measure 67 times, cut once”. The new engine fits like a glove. I had to send the prop shaft out to have 4 inches removed to accommodate the new, longer engine. There’s now less than an inch of shaft left between the dripless seal and the engine coupling. The engine was stripped in an effort to make getting it into its new home a little easier. It slipped in perfectly with loads of room to spare. It actually looked a little small in there for a while. Of course, now that the alternator, starter, exhaust manifold, primary fuel filter, electric fuel pump, water lift muffler, raw water strainer and associated hoses were all added the space is getting a little tight. But the important thing is that it all fit and is actually pretty user friendly so far as future servicing goes.

Back on our boat we made a bit of a discovery. The galley sink wasn’t draining so I thought it would be a simple matter to remedy the situation. I looked under the sink and was expecting to see the drain leave the sink and head straight down thru the hull. That would be normal, but evidently the Veranda is a little more special that we had realized.

I was surprised to find out that the drain made a 90 degree turn and headed for the engine room. WTF? I can’t believe in all these years I never noticed that before. I headed to the engine room and found that the drain was actually just over 12 feet long and traveled a slightly sloped path as it headed for a T in the drain line for a cockpit scupper. The entire sink drain was practically horizontal for over 10 feet. So, inanimate matter has been gradually building up in the entire length of the hose. Crap. Removing the drain hose and taking it outside and beating it on the dock would require a minimum of 4 hours. So I invented the Verand-o-Rooter. I took an electrical snake, put a heavy wrinkle in it, slipped on the spout from a silicon tube and bent the end of the snake over. I forced it up the drain line as far as I could and was pleased to find out that every time I withdrew it I was able to pull pieces of dead rodents or what ever disgusting shit was in the hose out into a bucket. The drain is now clear and the water disappears like it oughta.

While walking through one of the yards today I was struck by just how many cruising boats there are for sale here. Oversized anchors, wind generators, solar panels and dinghy davits are in evidence on

most of these boats. It’s ironic how 2 people can look at the same boat and while one person sees the end of a dream another person gazes and imagines the possibilities.

Friday, August 20, 2010

August 20, 2010.

I was driving along on my way to work the other day when I passed this parked work van. Hymen Restoration? Really? Is that even possible? What would the neighbors think if he was parked in front of your house? So I’m thinkin’ “Why would you wanna?” Does it really make a difference to anyone if your hymen isn’t in mint condition? I mean, they all break sooner or later, what’s the difference? While I’m thinking about it, what the hell does he do with the ladder?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 8, 2010.

I believe that we’re officially half outta here. Our 5 month stay in Annapolis is just more than half gone. That said, Damn, I gotta get busy….like we’re not busy already.

The windlass does in fact work once again. So we can scratch one chore off the to-do list. After test driving it, it looks like we’ll be selling our current dink and buying Grants used one. Of course, this means that we’ll have to make a new set of dinghy chaps to protect the new one from the sun. Add another chore to the to-do list, crap.

On Saturday Christy & I worked on the bimini and dodger. She applied a final coat of fairing compound to the dodgers exterior while I fiberglassed the bottom of the inverted bimini.
After that there was just enough time for some food shopping before we headed home for the evening.

Today while Christy went and did a combo pool/ laundry day, I headed back over to the shop to flip the dodger upright and finish up the top. The 2 X 8’s that I used to form the bimini’s radius are now on top of the bimini. I followed the radius of the bimini and cut them away leaving only an inch and a half wide by one inch tall stringer. These stringers serve the dual purpose of helping to maintain the bimini’s shape and once the bimini is installed on the boat they will become the mounting location for our solar panels. On my first attempt I tried to do the cutting with a cordless circular saw. I’ve never used one before but I thought I’d give the Ryobi Gelding battery operated saw a shot. My patience with that plastic piece of shit lasted for about three minutes. The thing ran like a champ until you actually came in to contact with the wood. Talk about no balls. After they were cut to shape with a real circular saw I went about the business of adding a layer of fiberglass to the whole enchilada.

Of course there had to be just a little bit o’ drama. Theres a colony of small winged insects with stingers living in an underground hive right near my work surface. We’ve been peacefully coexisting until one of the little bastards decided to sting me right between the shoulder blades.

My first thought was “Oh no, Dullard showed up and he’s got an icepick”. Then I realized it was only one of the bees……and now he’s dead. I’m not sure what it was but something got them all pretty worked up. I grabbed a can of Wasp spray and sent a torrent of the lethal liquid down into their underground lair. After administering about 47 times the recommended dosage I once again found myself king of the foodchain.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4, 2010.

A quick recap of he last few days. The fridge seems to be up and running although I think there might be some reinsulating of the box in my near future.

I got to work on a few cool boats including this one, whose helm station was reminiscent of the Starship Enterprise. Yes, that is my cheat sheet on the dash.

The dodger is almost ready for paint with the first coat of fairing compound applied and sanded. A few touch ups, a bit more sanding and we’ll be ready.

I was also able to get the hard bimini started. It’s a lot simpler than the dodger so the construction should go a bit quicker. I want to have them both done before we start to install either one. I’d like to get both of them onto the boat in one weekend.

I also FINALLY got the part I’ve been waiting for to get the anchor windlass up and running. It was some bizarre, low profile, metric bearing. So it looks like after more than a year of pulling the hook by hand we will once again be amongst the upper crust and hoisting our anchor with the touch of a button.

Last but not least, the dinghy. We were at the shop working on the dodger when my company’s co owner who I’ll call “Grant” announced that he had decided to clean up and sell his dinghy. He’s had it sitting in the yard for a while now and he finally decided that the dink had to go.

He left and the next thing I knew, I looked over and Christy was sitting in the dink on the lawn. I know what’s running through her mind as I say “You want that dinghy, don’t cha?”. She answers with a half smirking ”what do you mean?” Yeah, like I was born yesterday. You see, we have a bare bones 9 foot Caribe dinghy. It’s an excellent quality dink but the short length really hurts performance. Christy and I can plane quite nicely but with any additional weight aboard we find ourselves plowing along.

“Grants” dinghy is a 10 footer of lesser quality. But it does have the one thing I know that Christy covets, a bow locker. It’s a little fiberglass cubby that you can stow your anchor, lifejackets and other necessities. I proposed a deal to “Grant” and the dinghy is now hanging from the stern of the Veranda as we wait for an opportunity to do some real world testing.