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May 2011

2011/05/14 – After a business trip to Phoenix, a personal trip to Buffalo and a short vacation in South Carolina, finally got started on the boat! It was a small start, but a start nonetheless.

Disassembled the spreaders and started sanding off the old varnish and weathering. The castings on the outboard ends of the spreaders look to have corroded over time and gotten quite brittle and porous. One broke during disassembly. Have contacted Bristol Bronze to see if more durable castings can be made. The owner e-mailed back saying that this would be no problem, but price hasn’t been discussed, yet.

2011/05/15 – Started disassembling the spinnaker pole for refinishing. Like the spreaders, the fittings are riveted in place. The copper drift pins are proving to be difficult to remove without drilling them out.

2011/05/21 - Finally completed disassembly of the spinnaker pole. The drift pins holding the end fittings on were particularly stubborn. The pins themselves are made of 1/4-inch copper and they were peened over to act as rivets. For whatever reason, it was nearly impossible to drive them out of the end fittings, so I wound up having to cut them off. Looks like I'll have to replace them with bronze wood screws once the work is complete.

Spent a couple of hours with a heat gun, putty knife, and sander to remove the existing varnish from the pole. Still have about 2-3 feet left to strip, but the spruce still looks quite nice. The photo gives you an idea of the before and after.

Also took advantage of sunny weather (the spring has been particularly damp and rainy) to erect the remaining frame for the boat cover. Unfortunately, some mice took up residence in the tarp where it was stored in our shed this past winter and nibbled a number of large holes in it. I'll have to find another tarp at a store tomorrow.

2011/05/22 - A productive day! Found a tarp at the local tractor supply store that perfectly matches the one eaten by the mice. Got this up onto the frame before some sprinkles around mid day.

Finished sanding down the spinnaker pole. There are some cracks in the wood that I'll try to plug up with some filler before I seal and finish the spar. This brings up the next question: Varnish, Cetol, or epoxy? The former looks great, but requires a fair amount of maintenance. The second is more durable, but doesn't look quite as nice. The last one is permanent, so if the wood underneath starts to discolor or rot, refinishing will be next to impossible and I'll have to replace the spar. I'll keep you posted on where my thought process takes me.

Also managed to lower the boom off the deck to ground level without dropping it or hurting myself. (The boom weighs about 130 pounds and is 15 feet long.) I've been able to remove most of the hardware from the spar except for the gooseneck casting. It appears that the wood has gotten a bit wet and has swollen as the fitting is locked on tight and will not budge. The boom is sitting in the garage now, so with any luck it will dry out over the next few weeks and allow me to get the fitting off.


Last, but not least, I made a temporary companionway door out of plywood and removed the washboards so that they, too, could be stripped and refinished. The photo (above, right) shows how badly weathered these boards are.

2011/05/28 - Further inspection of the companionway washboards showed that the splines that had been inlaid into the vertical sides for wear resistance were all badly rotted and pithy. This was removed with a table saw and router and new sides were milled out of ipe (ironwood) to replace them. With the new sides, it was possible to trim back each end by about 1/2 an inch.

2011/05/30 - Lots of activity over the past two days! The mast has been raised and placed onto taller supports to make getting around the deck easier. Tie-downs for the tent and tarp have been moved because they were wicking water onto the deck with each passing rain storm. Some of the shrouds on the mast have been removed in anticipation of some of the work that will need to be done there.

With all of the rain, the boat is really damp. Mildew is beginning to appear below decks and there is actually some algae and mold growing on the fiberglass deck in places. Hopefully, the deck problem will be resolved by moving the tarp tie-downs. The interior of the boat will simply require more ventillation and light.

Significant progress has been made at clearing the deck for core repairs. Port side lifelines and stanchions have been removed, along with the stern pulpit. Cleats and other deck fittings have been removed from around the aft lazarette hatch so that this area can be recored first as it's a relatively small area on which to practice and test concepts. Pad eyes for the spinnaker sheets have been loosened, but will require more work to completely remove before the deck can be sectioned and opened up. There is a considerable amount of moisture in the deck core as all of the screws were wet when they were removed.

Below decks, the teak trim under the side decks has been removed along the port side in order to get to the bolts holding the stanchion bases. As with other fittings, there was considerable evidence of water intrusion into the cabin via multiple deck penetrations.

Removal of the trim pieces also exposes the wiring run to the forward areas of the boat and will allow for upgrades to the AC and DC electrical systems in the near future.

With the stanchions and lifelines removed, the side decks are clear and ready for some TLC.

Work on the boom continues. The swelling of the wood seems to have gone down a bit, as it was possible to move the gooseneck fitting about 1/16th of an inch with some "persuasion". Hopefully it will dry out a bit more over the next week.

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