Friday, May 30, 2014

Leather Wheel Cover

We got the chain/cable part for the steering system yesterday and installed it. We also put the fittings back on the aft cap rail, so this morning we took the boat out of the harbor to test everything and then came back and "nosed" in.

When we were sterned in, we met nearly all our dock neighbors as they walked up and down the dock. It's really very sociable to be sterned in. Unfortunately, our boat is too fat for this slip and our hull has paid the price. It is all scuffed up from rubbing against the dock in the wind. I think we have spread the fingers enough to nose in without rubbing, but sterning in just doesn't work well.

This afternoon I sewed the leather wheel cover on that we ordered from Edson. It looks pretty good, but I wasn't entirely happy with it.
I did this locking stitch and it looks great if all the holes are lined up.....
Unfortunately, the holes are not consistent, so I had to skip holes in a few places to keep the stitches even. One would think that for $180.00, you would get a little scrap of leather with consistent holes! Damn, the marine industry is frustrating sometimes.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Monumental Cockpit Renovation

This whole project started on March 20th with replacing the cable lifelines from the gates to the push-pit with stainless tubing. Then on April 7th we went to the canvas shop and got a new dodger and bimini.

When we got back, we sterned the boat in and we have been working like crazy to address all the issues in the cockpit area. And I think we are finally done!

Here is what we have done:
1-Removed and replaced the corroded steering idler. The new chain and cable have yet to arrive.

2-Removed and replaced all the teak seats and flooring.

3-Repainted and re-installed the pedestal.

4-Installed a hawsepipe and divider in the aft lazarette to create an anchor locker.

5-Repaired the propane locker drain.

6-Restored the engine panel.

7-Built and installed a bridge deck/storage locker.

8-Stripped and re-varnished the cap rail, combing pads, and companionway trim.

9-Made hinged doors to replace the drop boards. We have to get more varnish on these before we install them.

10-Stripped and re-varnished the cockpit table.

11-Replaced the teak on the saloon hatchway.

12-Revealed our HIN under three layers of paint.

As soon as the steering chain and cable arrive next week, we can start our next big project which is removing the mast, getting rid of the in-the-mast furling, and replacing all the standing rigging. The sails have already been ordered and hopefully it will all come together by the end of July.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bridge Deck

Here is our new "bridge deck" that the Captain installed yesterday. He made it out of 1/8" aluminum, painted it to match the cockpit, and put the same teak decking on it as the rest if the cockpit.

It will serve several purposes. Firstly, it would prevent massive amounts of water from going below if the cockpit was pooped. Secondly, it will provide a perfect night watch seat under the dodger and yet close to helm. Thirdly, it will provide dry, easily accessible storage in the cockpit. And lastly, (and most importantly) it will provide more seating for parties!

It does add one more step when going below, but I think it's worth it. Luckily, it matches the angle and rise of the steps pretty well.

Here it is open. We still need a latch for it, but I'm already planning what to store in it. I'm thinking binoculars, hats, gloves, sunscreen, books, charts, bird guides, winch handles, sail gaskets, camera, phone, etc.

Friday, May 16, 2014

More Fun In, Around, and Under the Cockpit

Earlier this week we thought we were done with the steering repairs, but while calling Edson to discuss cable tension, they asked us if we had replaced the chain and cables when we replaced the idler. Noooo....., why?
They told us that those chains can look great, but have microscopic corrosion and should be replaced every 8-10 years. Great. So we ordered that new part. It should be here next week.

We also discovered that the plastic drain fitting in the propane locker was broken and would have allowed gas to drain into the bilge if there had been a leak. Great. So we replaced that too.

We did check one little item off the list though.
See the instrument panel above? We took it all apart and repainted it and now it looks like this:
With all the "one step forwards, two steps back" that we've been doing lately, it's nice to get SOMETHING done.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Winch Switches

Today we drilled lots of holes through the beautiful teak we just installed and started putting some parts back in. Here are the winch switches and the emergency tiller access plate. By the way, they say you should practice inserting your emergency tiller, so we did. It may be functional, but it is supremely inelegant! Lets hope we never have to use it.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cockpit Teak Is Done

After a final sanding early this morning, we put Tung Oil on the floor pieces and THE COCKPIT TEAK IS FINALLY DONE!

It's been a long, messy job, but well worth it in the end. We figure when you're cruising, your cockpit is your "patio" and you spend most of your time out there, so we wanted it to look really nice.
The captain is now working on the pedestal parts while I am refinishing the cockpit table. Oh, and we have stripped both cap rails from stern to midship, and are starting to get varnish on those also.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teak Almost Done

Saturday we glued the strips down on the main part of the cockpit floor, and Sunday we removed the screws and filled the seams with more epoxy.

This morning the Captain sanded that part and finish-sanded the four seats. Then we applied the first coat of Tung Oil to the seats. 
So now ALL the new wood is installed and we are starting to apply the finish. We plan to apply three coats of Tung Oil.

We got some new parts from Edson to replace the rusty old things. We need to install those and repaint the pedestal, but hopefully we will have the helm re-installed by the end of the week.

And in case I run out of things to do, the Captain wants to strip and refinish the aft half of the cap rails while we have the boat backed in.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


We discovered this stowaway yesterday. She hasn't laid any eggs in the nest yet and my plan is to remove it when she goes out this morning. Will she keep rebuilding or go to a friendlier place?