Friday, December 21, 2012

December 12, 2012 - painting underway

Lots of things are going on right now with the boat.  I am removing several through hull so they can be up-sized, or moved, or replaced.  The old holes will be fiberglassed over.  The stabilizers have finally arrived and we need to get going on that project now.  I have had to remove two depth sounder transducers and several through hull to make room for the active fins (including swing room) and the actuators inside the hull.

One of the stabilizer fins.  This thing weighs about 150 pounds and is 5' long!
A crate full of VERY expensive hardware.

One of the hydraulic actuators.  This goes on top of the fin and moves it
back and forth directed by the "brain box".  Amazingly, it will eliminate more
than 90% of the roll of the boat in heavy seas.
Lots of final prep work has been going on so the flybridge can be painted.  Sal applied primer the other day and it looks great.  But the primer did reveal several flaws that we just couldn't see before.  All minor an easily dealt with using a special 3M marine filler compound.  The primer needs a few days to cure before it can be sanded.  Sanding should begin next week.

Sal applying the two-part epoxy hi-build primer.  He's painted a lot of boats
and really knows what he is doing.  I'd mess it up if I tried to do this.

Flybridge exterior primed

Back of pilothouse ready for sanding.

The flybridge interior.  The helm isn't getting painted because I'm going to
rebuild it next year to incorporate modern electronics.

Flybridge bench seat all primed and looking good.
Several parts received their final paint today.  First is the hatch for the v-berth ceiling.  It was a rough textured lid before, with paint coming off the aluminum vent louvers, and it was all an extremely dull finish.  It almost resembled a find sandpaper.  Lots of sanding and filling of gouges and holes on my part, and then Sal took over to apply primer and paint.  The results are simply amazing!

This is the lid after a few coats of final paint.  WOW.  Look at that gloss!
The three doors also got painted today.  And they look equally impressive.  Extremely smooth and unbelievably glossy.

Nice looking doors.  Super glossy, flaw free, and ready for
another 10 years of service.
And finally, the cockpit ceiling is taking shape.  The rough texture and peeling paint on the ceiling have been sanded off.  The inside lip/edge has been sanded smooth, filled with epoxy filler, and sanded smooth.  It will be a smooth finish now, not the rough texture it had before.

Looking much nicer.  The ladder opening is gone, the BIG old lights are gone.
The terrible paint and texture are gone.  Two small and efficient LED lights will
be flush mounted in the ceiling.  It's looking SHARP.

The inside lip converted from rough texture to smooth finish.  I can't wait
to see it with the final paint.  These changes are going to really update
the look of the cockpit.
  Nest week progress will slow with the Christmas break.  Same for the week after with New Years.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012 - things are about to "pop"

I've got Sal back now!  He's done with the fishing boat.  He started painting parts from the boat today, and he finished fairing the boat deck repairs.  I took off some painted metal brackets and supports that were in poor shape, sandblasted them, painted them with Zinc Chromate primer, and handed them to Sal to paint.  They are going to look great very soon.

Dinghy davit modified.  I chopped off more than two inches so it could
go closer to a nice support wall which will make the davit system stronger.

Dinghy Davit base, shortened on one side by me, ready for paint.

The dinghy davit base, and two radar mast supports primed with epoxy primer.

Sal was busy today sanding our 3 doors and painting them with the finish primer.  There are looking GREAT!  Hard to believe they are 35 year old wood doors.  I can't wait to see them with the final paint.

One more time sanding them perfectly flat and then it's time for the final coat.

He also primed the two side panels outside the pilothouse doors, the escape hatch for the vee-berth, the stairs to the flybridge, and the boat deck repairs.
The flybridge steps.  Looking SO much better!

The escape hatch for the v-berth.   Also looking good.
The boat deck repairs primed.  I can't wait to see this deck with the final
coat of non-skid paint.  It will look great.

Sal had some left over primer so he had me prime the crack repairs I have done on the inside of the flybridge.  Two coats and it is starting to look finished again.
Flybridge bench seat cracks primed.  They were at the base of the seat.

Cracks primed on the flybridge interior.  Starting to look finished again.
I ordered the boat name decals for the side of the flybridge and they arrived yesterday.  So, just before I left today I taped one on the side to see how it looked.  I like it.  It has the protective paper cover over it so it's not as vivid as it will be when it is applied.
Our boat name "Adagio" which means slowly and gracefully
in Italian.

Next week should see all of the spray painting finished.  I may still have to paint the non-skid decks, but I hope to have all of the painting done by the end of next week.  I'm crossing my fingers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dec 12, 2013 - not much visible progress

It's been a slow week on our boat, but I've been back working at my job again, which has taken away a good portion of my time for our boat.  I don't see much in the way of visible progress on our boat, although a lot of little stuff is getting checked off the list.  I now have a pile of parts waiting for Sal to paint;  the three doors, the steps to the flybridge, the bottom liner of the anchor pulpit, two side panels that go outside the pilothouse doors, and a few aluminum brackets and supports.

I'm pulling out all 4 portholes (port lights, technically, when they are a window) so that I can replace a broken one and reseal the rest.  We had problems coming up the coast with water coming in the port lights when we buried the bow in the heavy seas.  I now know why.  The sealant that was used 35 years ago has let go in several places.  The way it is constructed the water can get in, and then migrate slowly to the inside of the boat.  I am going to fix it permanently by fiber-glassing the wood support that the port light attaches to.  This will prevent water from migrating through the wood (there are some gaps in it).  It should be a permanent fix.  I have bought two new port lights to replace the two in the vee-berth.  Instead of the "privacy glass" it originally had I am installing clear glass so that you can see out.  That's kind of a safety thing for me.  If I'm sleeping and hear a noise, or feel an unusual bump/motion, I like to be able to quickly look outside to see what is going on.  That wasn't possible before.  Interestingly these port lights are still manufactured.  And you will never guess who makes them.  The Fuller Brush Company!  How strange...

I'm slowly mapping out the radar mast modifications.  There is a lot that is going to be installed on the mast and I want to really think it through and get it functional without looking totally cluttered.

The radar mast in the garage.  Trying to get everything figured out.

So far I'm got a second radar, a satellite dome, a remote spotlight,
anchor light, weather station sensors, forward and side facing lights,
a rear facing PA speaker/monitor, a rear deck light, a high powered
aft light (to illuminate the shore at night, in a storm), a rear facing camera.
Oh yes, there is also a forward facing white navigation light.  Can't forget
the lightning rod either.

Wow, that mast is going to undergo some major changes.  I have some ideas for tucking things into dead spaces and voids so it won't look so busy.  But, there will be a lot of stuff installed on this mast.

I continue to pick away at the preparation for exterior painting.  I have that cockpit ceiling modification almost done now.  One last sanding tomorrow and it should be ready for paint.

Almost done.  It's a smooth transition now, and these two pieces are
structurally tied together now, so it should be stronger.

I'm moving the dinghy davit mount forward a few inches.  This will put the weight of the dinghy (almost 500 pounds) almost directly over the rear salon bulkhead, which will be much stronger.  With Sal's changes to the roof structure there (now 1.5" solid fiberglass) it's going to be bullet proof :-)

We got the new "Adagio" decals to put on the sides of the flybridge in today's mail.  I can't wait to put them up there to get an idea of what it will look like.

 I'll take some pics tomorrow of various projects and post them.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 07, 2012 - progress slows

Well, I lost Sal to another project for the next week or two.  La Conner Maritime is building two fishing boats from scratch.  Big projects.  One of them has a deadline (imposed by the boat owner) that it needs to be a usable boat by next Friday.  I guess crabbing open on the Oregon coast right after that and he wants this boat down there making money, even if it's not done.  So, there is a crew of at least 10 people working overtime trying to get this boat done.  Unfortunately for me, Sal is one the the main guys when it comes to fiberglass and paint.  So, that's where his time is being spent.

This means our boat isn't getting his great fiberglass and paint work for a week or two.  But that means that I suddenly have more time to prep the boat for painting.  I can tackle a few other exterior projects if I want to.  I did decide to tackle one of them.  Where the roof of the cockpit meets the sidewall of the salon there was a very poor looking joint/connection.  It was just a bunch of caulk that had been painted over.  And guess what, the paint had cracked.  So, it looked pretty bad.

The ceiling join that was just filled with caulk.  I've removed the caulk here.
I found a piece of solid fiberglass that just fit in the gap between the two pieces.  I cut it and bonded it into place with Duraglas.  Then I ground it down to provide a smooth transition for laying in new fiberglass.  I'm going to make this a smooth transition instead of the abrupt and very noticeable joint we had before.

Gap filled and ground into a smooth transition

The first round of fiber-glassing the joint.

More fiberglass

Faired into the basic shape with structural fiberglass filler (from Fiberlay).
 Once I'm done with this it should be a little bit stronger than before.  That's good because the roof has to support our big dinghy, which is almost 500 pounds.

I also decided to have two drain tubes installed into the boat deck.  Up in the front of boat deck water would collect on each side just above the stairs leading down to the pilothouse.  We would always have a puddle there.  A big wave and it would come cascading down the stairs.  I think we have all soaked our socks at least once with this puddle.  So, it's an easy fix right now, just before painting.  Sal drilled a hole through the boat, then fiberglassed in a fiberglass tube.  This will allow the water to drain out and over the side instead of pooling in this very inconvenient location.

location of new drain, the red spot at the bottom right.
Tube installed, glassed over, ready to be finished.

Rain hole basically done.  No more puddles!
While all of this is happening in the paint shop, I need to figure out the locations of a bunch of gear on the radar mast.  There is a satellite dome, a second radar, the anchor light, a weather station sensor, a lightning rod, a PA horn, a rear facing camera, forward facing flood light, a remote control spot light, some deck/spreader lights, and perhaps even a few side facing floor lights.  Whoa, that's a lot of stuff to install and run wires for!  I am mocking up things both at home, and at the paint shop.

Trying to figure out where to mount stuff on our radar mast.
A friend of mine is a stainless steel fabricator that does all the work for a well-know local boat builder.  Things are a bit slow in the boat building business, so he is going to take my mast and add all the custom mounts I need, once I figure this all out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4, 2012 - project update

We are getting close to painting now.  The flybridge exterior is ready for paint.  The interior is 95% ready.  I've got the boat decks all done and ready for paint, except for the repairs that Sal is doing on the boat deck.  I decided to paint the bench seat on the flybridge, so that is eating up another day or two of time.  I had to grind out the cracks at the base, then fill them with a special epoxy filler.  I removed all the old snaps, countersunk the holes and filled the holes.  I ground out a few bigger flaws and filled them with fiberglass.  Tomorrow I'll sand all of that stuff smooth and also sand the entire bench seat.  Then it will be ready for paint.

Back of bench seat.  This entire wall is now going to be painted.  There
were a lot of cracks in the base of the seat, and there were at least a dozen
old snaps that were no longer being used.

Front of the bench seat.  We have nice new cushions for this sitting at home.
Example of the cracks I'm taking about.  They aren't structural at all.  But
they sure look bad and just painting over them doesn't hide them.
I also filled the deepest cracks in our three doors with special epoxy filler.  The ones that the high-build epoxy primer couldn't take care of.  I've got all three door frames sanded and soaked with penetrating epoxy.  the epoxy has now cured and is ready for me to lightly sand.  Then it's time for primer.

Salon door frame ready to be lightly sanded, All the wood plugs
 I made are sanded flush.  No exposed screws anywhere.
The starboard pilothouse door frame, ready for paint.

I removed the steps to the flybridge and I am repairing some damaged areas on that, fixing lots of cracks in the base, as well as filling some holes for snaps that had no purpose anymore.

Steps to the flybridge.  I have removed it and am repairing it.  It will get
painted too.  things are going to look nice and new when I'm done.

Repairs underway on the steps.
So, I might be ready for painting by the end of the week, but I have my doubts.  There are a lot of little things left to do, and it always takes longer than expected.  We will definitely be painting by next week.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012 - finally, I found a good light

I've been looking and looking for a good, affordable, reliable solution for a forward facing light to turn night into day when we need that.  The best light I had found so far is one of the major lights used by commercial fisherman.  It's a Metal Halide (HID) light.  It's big.  It's expensive.  It uses lots of electricity.  And it has one big drawback; if you turn it off it takes about 10 minutes before it has cooled down enough to be turned back on.  And even then it takes a few minutes to reach full brightness.

The other day I was talking to my friend Earl, who is in the Sea of Cortez with his wife Louise on their Nordhavn 43.  He's been looking at some of the new LED lights.  He sent me a few links but nothing really grabbed me.  That is until he sent one link and a note that simply said "check out these lights!".  I did, and they looked great.  I did some research and found out the company is a pioneer in LED lighting, and their lights are used for all sorts of purposes.  They even have a marine version that is waterproof, salt resistant, stainless steel hardware, etc.  So, I check my wholesale supplier and they carry these lights.  I called my sales rep.  He had just one thing to say about them and that was "they are the best lights ever!"  He said that the fishing fleet in Westport is moving over to these lights, and he's sold a lot to Alaska and Canada fisherman.  Even WA state has installed some on their buoy repair boat and they are very happy with them.  Tom said he only knows of one light that has failed, in the hundreds they have sold.  Well, Tom isn't one to blow smoke, so based on his comments, and the reviews on the web, I bought one today.

As soon as I got home I tried it out on our deck.  I put a car battery on the deck and wired up the light.  But first I tested a 12 volt, 100 watt Hella automotive driving light I have.  It was OK.  It managed to light up a few boats in the marina but was a very narrow beam.  Then I tried the new light.  WOW!!!!!   I could seen 50+ boats, and I could see almost all the way across the marina.  Plus, it throws a nice wide beam, in addition the long distance.  In short, this light ROCKS!

What is is you must be asking?  It's a Rigid industries LED light bar, 20" wide.  It's extremely well made, from what I can tell.  But man, this thing is BRIGHT.  It is truly mind boggling.  And it only draws about 10 amps, which is about what that one Hella light draws.  Same power draw but 50 times more light.

View of the marina with no lighting, other than our X-mas lights.

The marina with one 100 watt Hella halogen driving light.

The marina, our lawn, the road, with the Rigid 20" LED light bar.
Here's a link to the new light.  I can't wait to get this installed on our boat.  It's going to be amazing.

Rigid 20" marine LED light

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 29, 2012 - coming together

Today was a good day on the project list.  I finished the navigation light mount.  I finished prepping the exterior of the flybridge for paint.  This morning before light I tested the new LED cockpit light that I'm going to be installing.  It has 3 light colors in one fixture.  White, Red, or Blue.  It draws almost no electricity and it is plenty bright.  They are outdoor rated (for wet conditions) and the frames are powder-coated stainless steel so they will last a long time.

One LED light fixture, in "white" mode.

Same fixture, now in "night vision preserving" red.

Same fixture, now in "cool" blue.
I'm not sure I will ever use the blue color, but maybe.  The kids like the blue the best so far.  White will get used most, but red is almost essential because at night you can still see around the cockpit without destroying your night vision.  Try looking at a white light then looking outside at night.  Ever notice that it takes a minute or two to before you can see in the dark again.  If you do the same experiment with a red light, you won't need to wait for your eyes to adjust before you can see outside a gain.  Lots of boats are equipped with red interior lights for night (and so are fighter planes, submarines, ships, etc).  With the red lights you can walk around the boat in safety AND still have your night vision so you can see beyond the boat at night.  I'm really happy I found these lights.  In case you are interested in them, they are made by i2systems. click here for info on these lights

Anyway, many other projects are now coming together.  I am checking off items from my list quickly now, which is making me feel better.

The 3 sliding doors have now been primed with two-part high-build epoxy primer.  They received 4 coats of paint this afternoon and will now need to be sanded smooth in preparation for the final/finish epoxy coat.

Sal getting ready to prime the sliding doors.

Sal applying the first coat of high-build primer.  The doors got 4 coats.

4 coats of primer later.  Hey they are white again!
The flybridge is now basically ready for paint.  I have another couple of hours of work sanding a little bit of fairing compound (like automotive body filler) and then I turn the job over to Sal to paint.

Ready to paint, finally.  I bet I spent at least 30 hours getting this ready.
I used an air grinder to grind out all the cracks in the fiberglass where the flybridge attaches to the floor.  Then I filled my groove with an epoxy filler.  And of course there was a lot of sanding involved to make it smooth.  But, the cracks should be gone forever...

Cracks in the fiberglass removed and filled with grey epoxy filler.

Closeup of the repair job.
I am about ready to install the bottom and side rails for the salon sliding door.  They were both damaged during the trip up the coast from California.  I had to make quite a few repairs to the wood rails.  But, I'm done now and I think it is going to be stronger than new when I'm done.  I expect this will last another 30 years before someone has to deal with it again.  I hope that's not me!  :-)   I decided to make my own teak wood plugs to hide all the screws that hold these rails in place.  I want a nice clean look with no screws visible.

I have cut my own wood plugs out of a nice block of teak.
Two sizes of wood plug installed.  They need to be trimmed and sanded flush.

The back side of the two larger plugs.  This is where the door "catch" goes
to latch the salon door shut.  The screws had stripped out the wood and so
someone just put bolts all the way though.  It looked bad.  The only solution
was to install new wood so that screws could be used once again.

We are having a new swim step made for the boat.  The existing one is not deep enough.  With the transom overhang you really only have a little over 12" to walk on.  So we are extending it another 12", which will double the walking room.  Also, it will be wider at the sides than it is in the middle.  Our transom has quite a curve to it and there is no reason to duplicate this curve exactly at the outside edge of the swim step   The guys were over last night to make a template for the new swim step   It will be fiberglass, not teak like we have now.  This should make it maintenance free!

Our swim step when we bought the boat.  Still looking pretty good.
Our swim step now.  Not looking so good.  
What our new step will look like.  Wider at the sides
than in the middle.  Pop-up cleats.  Fiberglass.
And best of all:  Maintenance Free!
So, that's it for now.  A lot is going on right now.  Our boat will be quite different when we put her back in the water.  Lots of things will be upgraded and/or repaired.  A lot of things will be looking much better with new paint.  But the biggest improvement is going to be the new stabilizers, which should be arriving in about 2 weeks.  Perfect timing, as I hope to be done with the paint shop projects by then.