Saturday, December 31, 2016

The days are now getting longer...

...which means that it's okay to even think about spring, but let's remember that it's four months before we can launch the boat.

We had a very nice Christmas, low key as we like them, and we are writing this on New Years Eve. Frances is making an apple pie, so things are good.

Our boat projects continue but we won't bore you with too much detail. The reclamation effort on the port triangle has come to a stop. Dr. Bill performed all of the needed surgery, removing all of the rotten plywood. We have a template for the new plywood to replace what had decayed but the low temperatures make it questionable for applying resin. Better wait until it gets a little warmer before completing that project.

But, other projects continue. We wanted to add a light in our head and we did that today, We've learned not to do all this stuff on the boat but to do some prep at home where it is easier to work. It was really cold at Portland Riverside today but we headed down and, after warming the cabin to a toasty 40 degrees, got busy mounting the new light

This is where the light should go but only in a way that looked as though it had always been there:

Up near the ceiling with all of the wires hidden.

It took us an hour or so to mount the light (which we had prepared and painted at home) and run the wire channel, which worked perfectly.

Snap the cover over the wire and we were done.

If you've become feverish looking at these exciting photos, it's okay. Take a cold shower and enjoy New Years Eve.

We still have to connect power to this new light and since we don't use electrical tape or open splices, we have to come up with something that is correct and safe. No problem. We have ideas.

There's more innovative and fun stuff to do on our boat this winter but right now, Frances is putting that apple pie in the oven. You get the idea.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

We cut some of the triangle

If you're still reading this, you are truly part of our blog. Boat maintenance can be really boring.

When we left last weekend, we had discovered some extra rot creeping into our cabin. We needed to cut out the bad sections of plywood and replace it with new wood.

But how would we cut out sections of 3/4-inch plywood without damaging the fiberglass? We gave that some thought during the week and came up with using a multitool. It's a handheld machine that can use a saw-like blade to plunge-cut wood, vibrating the saw blade at something like 15,000 rpm.

We looked into such a device and found that the best one was Fein Multimaster but, at more than $230.00, it seemed a little more than we wanted to spend. We ended up with a Sears MultiTool for about $70.00 and we picked it up at the Sears store at nearby Manchester.
Here's what this thing looks like.

On Saturday, we we went to the boat and first measured along the triangle to separate the good wood from the bad. Then we used our new Sears MultiTool to do a plunge cut. We dialed  it up to 18,000 rpm.

We know, not a good photo, but it was the best we could do at the time.

The result?

Looked good to us. That piece of molding on the right will have to be removed to keep from damaging it as the last cut it made We'll do that next weekend.

Remember that we have to make the same cut on the inside, That should be interesting.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Back to the rotten triangle

We're back on the case of the rotten triangle. We used a variety of tools to see if we could get the damn thing off but at the spot where it met that piece of trim against the wall next to sliding door, it simply wouldn't budge. Then we realized why.

That piece of 3/4-inch plywood isn't really a triangle. It goes through that wall and extends all the way forward to the side window in the cabin.

Yes, that beautifully painted section up to the window is all the same piece of plywood. No wonder the part showing in the cockpit wouldn't come out.

And it gets better. When we poked that inside section down at the bottom just over that gray molding that runs under the side windows, it was also soft.  So the outside rot crept along the bottom and got inside. Keep in mind that looking at all of this from outside of the boat, everything is covered by the fiberglass structure of the cabin so this surgery is going to have to done entirely from the inside. Swell.

Why did it rot? Because there's a joint where the fiberglass cabin side meets the fiberglass cockpit liner and the material that sealed that joint had failed, allowing water in.

The plan, then, is to cut away about 10 inches from the bottom of the triangle (back to solid plywood) on the outside and about 3 inches (again, back to solid plywood) on the inside and then slip in new, epoxy-treated 3/4-inch thick plywood sections. Then we'll fair those seams and repaint.

Cutting the rotten plywood away is going to tricky since it needs to a straight cut and can go no deeper than exactly 3/4-inch, otherwise we'll damage the exterior fiberglass.

What about the starboard side, you might ask?

Solid as a rock, we're glad to report. (The marks seen on the inside surface we're left from us removing some old caulking with heat gun.)

During the previous week, we refinished the mahogany trim pieces that go along the upper edge of the triangle and re-habed the section of rail that mounts on top of it.

We'll eventually re-caulk all of the seams but for now, that's it for the starboard side triangle.

Now on to some other things on the to-do list

A couple of years ago, we installed LED reading lights in our v-berth and guest berth and they have been a really good addition that we use all the time. Last summer, we decided to augment the lighting in the cabin with two more of the same LED fixtures. We also selected spots to mount them and here I demonstrate where I think they will go.

What I think means nothing. Everything screwed down (or painted) on the boat requires the approval of the Admiral. The Admiral has the eyes of a hawk and she can detect a minor problem at quite a distance. We're sure that before those lights are actually mounted, the Admiral will have made a small pencil mark showing where they should be. Actually, we wouldn't have it any other way.

Turkey done right!

Frances cooked what I think was her best turkey ever for Thanksgiving. It was just 10 lbs. but even at that size, that's a lot for two people to eat. Her solution was a turkey pot pie and was that great! Lot of vegetables and small hunks of turkey. We had fun creating the roux (if that's what it's called) and seeing it thicken and even more fun talking about all of our crazy boating adventures while it cooked.

Boating doesn't end around here when you take the boat out of the water.