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.

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