Sunday, February 26, 2017

Out and About in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a great town to visit. It's so full of history and everywhere you go there is something interesting to see. I hope you enjoy seeing a few of my snapshots from our travels around town.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Re-installing Hardware

We've actually installed quite a bit of hardware lately. We are using butyl tape to seal the holes and are quite pleased with it. It's a bit fiddly, but it goes down into the holes, stays soft for ages, and is easy to clean off the deck. Not at all like that messy goop in a caulking gun, so "Hurrah!" for that.

First we dry fit each piece to make sure the backing plate still fit. Next we countersunk the holes and wrapped a little worm around the fastener. Then we put a layer of tape on the bottom of the hardware and slipped it into the holes.
The first day we tightened each piece really well, then the next day we tightened everything a second time. After the first tightening we picked/pulled off the excess butyl.

On the genoa tracks we put worms of butyl on the top of each fastener and also on the bottom of the riser, and a strip all along the bottom of the riser. We had the new risers made at a local sign shop out of 3/8" thick acrylic plastic because the old ones were broken and crumbling.

We did have a big problem with the bolts though. They are 3/8" x 3" and we thought we would use the old bolts, but there just wasn't enough room. Check out these sketches I made illustrating the problem.
The teak decks were about 3/8" thick and when we removed the wood, the decks esentially became 3/8" thinner. The space between the bottom of the decks and the headliner is only 5/8", just enough for the lock washer, nut, and three empty threads. Consequently we had to order ninety shorter bolts and lost a day waiting for them to arrive.
In other places where there was more room we were able to use old hardware.

One of the really good things about installing hardware is that we can put the lockers back together and install the headliner pieces. Oh, but wait. The headliner is vinyl that has been spray glued to 1/8" plywood. Over the years, because of age and heat I guess, the glue had all dried up and several places were baggy.

By removing lots of little trim pieces we were able to pull back the vinyl, apply new glue and reattach a lot of it. Unfortunatey, some pieces are behind large, difficult to remove trim pieces so we couldn't reglue all of it.

And what a terrible mess that old adhesive made; it was all dried up, crumbly, and dusty, and went everywhere, but we had to remove it before applying the new glue. I cut open large black trash bags and taped them over the walls and cabinets for protection, sanded and vacuumed off the old mess, then sprayed the new glue on both surfaces. After waiting a minute I smoothed the vinyl back in place and we put the trim back. The headliner looks better than it's looked in ages.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pulpit Back On

After weeks of riding around on top of the car, the pulpit was finally re-installed yesterday! WhooHoo!

Now, how will we find the car in the big parking lots?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Just a Liveaboard?

We’ve been here in St. Augustine since October 5th. That’s over four months that we have been in exactly the same spot, tied to the same pilings, NOT MOVING at all.

I don’t really feel like a cruiser anymore.

Way back here up the San Sebastian River, the boat hardly rocks, we rarely see any boat traffic, and we can’t see the ocean. We don’t swim or snorkel or fish. We don’t use the dinghy and we never go sailing.

We have our weekly routine of working on the decks and social activities on Wednesdays and Sundays. We have a car that a friend loaned us. We make regular trips to Home Depot, Harbor Freight Tools, Sailor’s Exchange, and Marine Supply. I’ve even become familiar with the grocery store layout where we shop!

But this isn’t cruising.


At least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel on the deck project. We have done the messiest part, figured out all the materials and methods, gathered our new parts and products, learned how to brush these primers and paints, and are almost ready to apply the final coat in the waterways and gutters. Then we can re-install the hardware and finally apply the KiwiGrip. And then maybe we will be cruisers again.

It's been too long.