Week 16: Still going along

When we got to the shop on Friday the cockpit combings and propane locker opening were installed. We can now see what the finished boat will look like.

Coming together. The stern looks complete now.
Coming together – combings to propane locker to aft seat.

 

Close up of the locker.
Close up of the new locker.

It was a weekend of continuation for us.  We put the toe rails back on so the stanchion mountings can be finalized. We continued to work on the painting. We now have shiny engine beds and the locker is ready for the new water tank.

Easier to paint before the tank goes in.
Easier to paint before the tank goes in.

Other stuff happened this week end: the bolt holes to mount the forward hatch were drilled and tapped. On the cockpit end of things, the angled backing plates were finished and more work was done on the cockpit locker lids. Inside the cabin, we now have the grab rail backing plates epoxied to the cabin top.

grab_rail_blocks
The backing blocks are 1/2:” thick aluminum. They allow us to stagger the grab rails so the outside rails are closer to the side decks and the inside rails are in reach from the center line.  Someday we’ll be installing 1/2″ of insulation and finish panels to make the ceiling all one level.

On Monday two big projects were started. Nina got to work on the mounting platform for the autopilot drive and motor and Bill started aligning and working on the Monitor windvane mounting. Both of these project are going to take awhile to finish.

It may look like a maze of tubes, but the wind vane will steer Gypsy without using any power
It may look like a maze of tubes, but the windvane will steer Gypsy without using any power other than the wind.

We bought the windvane third hand (at least two previous owners, the last of whom has a sugar scoop on the end of their boot) so the mounting tubes need to be modified to fit Gypsy’s traditional stern. Tom rigged up a crane  out of an old boom to hang the windvane for fitting.  It was adjusted so that it we have the vane hanging in place so we can take measurements and get new tubes made.  Tom had the smaller 1 1/4 inch diameter 316 stainless pipe so the only pipes we’ll have to order from Monitor (Scanmar) are the 2″ stainless pipes to connect the Monitor to the top of the stern.

The hanging arrangements.
The hanging arrangements.

Nina got to spend most of the day in the cockpit locker measuring for the platform to mount the auto pilot on. This is what happens when you ask a  question that you hope will get you out of sanding.  The autopilot allows for more precise steering and it works when the wind is not blowing.  While that sounds exciting, what it meant was that she got to spend the day measuring and dry fitting equipment in a space not much bigger than the box below, and with much less headroom.  More measurements and more cardboard templates.

This is the kit she need to build a mount for. The drive unit can exert about 1000 lbs of force so the mounts need to be sturdy.
This is the kit she need to build a mount for. The drive unit can exert about 1000 lbs of force so the mounts need to be sturdy and reinforced (redundancy is very good).

Marsden got a reprieve from polishing, sort of.  The cleats that will be mounted on the combings (remember the alligators?) needed backing blocks on the hull sides.  He got to fit fiberglass blocks and then bondo them on place.  Keeping with recent family tradition, it took more than one try to get it pink enough to kick. (The hardener catalyst is red so if you use enough the bondo is bright pink, if it is light pink that is not peachy as it won’t harden.) They are now in place and ready to do their job.

Week 15:The great white hope.

We have gotten into painting mode. It is imperative that we paint the cabin where stuff is going to be mounted when we put Gypsy back together. This has meant a flurry of filling and sanding so surfaces are ready for paint.  What we do is paint a coat of primer and then after it has dried, sand it. If there are defects in the surface, more filler and sanding. Then a second coat of primer followed by at least two top coats of enamel.

We are using oil based paint because it is tough and holds up better in a marine environment. Oil based paint stinks so we have to wear respirators while we paint and it takes at least a day to dry. After painting now for two weeks the results are looking good. We got our first coats of the semi gloss white enamel on the shear clamp and cabin sides. This is the best the cabin has looked in years.  We’ve been adding fiberglass reinforcements, new ports and other projects as we could, but it’s meant that the cabin still looked like a project, in spite of cheerful curtains.  It’s finally beginning to look finished.  Wow!

the main bulk head and cabin sides are looking good.
The main bulk head and cabin sides are looking good.
cabin_paint_1
Above the galley.
This is where the engine and fuel tank are going.
This is where the engine and fuel tank are going. The paint really lightens up the space. 

We also cut big holes in the bulkheads for the 4 ” furnace ducts.  Being warm has to make up for the lost storage space because we’re suddenly realizing how much small locker space is being taken over by ductwork. Plumbing hoses and electrical wires also needed bigger holes and some of those holes have run into the new shear clamp.  We mend and forge on.

The dorade boxes are coming along. They got a starter round of sanding to fair them into the cabin top.  Imagine them painted with cowls on top, and they’re gorgeous.

\sanding_dorades

The other project was the cockpit locker lids. They had been installed wrong ever since the boat was new, with not enough lip to properly screw in hinges. We added fiberglass to the back edge where the hinge attaches and added a foam core to stiffen the lids.  They will also sit level with the rest of the cockpit seating now.

The lids have had the foam core added and have been fiberglassed over to make them stronger and to repair the back lip.
The lids have had the foam core added and have been fiber glassed over to make them stronger and to repair the back lip.
More fiber glass has been added to the hatch lids. You also see the sliding companionway hatch with its new wood front edge glued in. The round circles are fiber glass wedge backing plates for the winches on the cockpit combings. This will make sure that the nuts and washers on the winch bolts land flat and not just on one side.
More fiber glass has been added to the hatch lids. You also see the sliding companionway hatch with its new wood front edge glued in. The round circles are fiber glass wedge backing plates for the winches on the cockpit combings. This will make sure that the nuts and washers on the winch bolts land flat and not just on one side.

It’s exciting to see how the interior of the boat is coming together.  The exterior doesn’t have much left to do, and that should be well on it’s way during this next week.

Week 14:Sanding, Sanding, Over the bounding main…

We left you on a cliff hanger last week. We showed how we were molding the Kevlar lining for the anchor hawse pipe. Now you get to see the Kevlar, it is bright yellow (well, it is in a bright light.  Otherwise it’s just a variant on fiberglass brown).

The Kevlar will keep the anchor chain from damaging the sides of the hole. The hawse pipe is where the anchor rode falls through into the anchor locker after the windlass pulls it up.
The Kevlar will keep the anchor chain from damaging the sides of the hole. The hawse pipe is where the anchor rode (chain and rope) falls through into the anchor locker after the windlass pulls it up.

Bill’s big project was the dorade boxes. The air tubes have been installed, the boxes gelcoated and the boxes have been fiberglassed to the cabin top.

The air tubes are installed and a fillet is holding them in place. They hve been fiberglassed to the deck with resin and cloth.
The air tubes are installed and a fillet is holding them in place. They have been fiber-glassed to the deck with resin and cloth.
The dorade boxes and the deck where they go have been coated with gel coat, a pigmented paint like resin.
The dorade boxes and the deck where they go have been coated with gel coat, a pigmented paint like resin.

Here they are installed on the deck.

 

Dorades fiberglassed in place.
Dorades fiberglassed in place.

This doesn’t show all the fiddly bits inside.  Part of the dorade glassing was that the interior of the box needed to be glassed to the deck as well, but this had to be done through two three to four inch holes.

Inside of the dorades was a very narrow (about 1 inch) wide strip to glass it onto the deck).
Inside of the dorades was a very narrow strip, about one inch wide, to glass it onto the deck).

Meanwhile, the interior of the boat was progressing.  Nina spent more time sanding than she cares to think about, but we got the cabin sides primed where the ports (windows) will be installed.

Cabin sides primed.  They were sanded, will get another coat of primer and then two coats of enamel to make sure they are painted well.
Cabin sides primed. They were sanded, will get another coat of primer and then two more coats of enamel to make sure they are smooth and finished well.
Instrument holes were cut and epoxied.
Instrument holes were cut and epoxied.  Upper left will be the compass, below it is the chartplotter.  The two holes on the right are for the wind/depth and speed instruments.  The hole at the bottom in the cockpit is for the emergency bilge bump.  At the very left of the cockpit, and hard to see in the picture, is the throttle control hole.
Seat lids.  Marsden added a layer of 3/8 inch foam to stiffen them up.
Seat lids. Marsden added a layer of 3/8 inch foam to stiffen them up.  The weights help glue everything together.  They will get a couple of layers of fiberglass covering the foam to level them out with the cockpit.  Earlier in the weekend, Nina added fillets to the seat locker lips to stiffen them up and to create a smooth surface for pulling things out of the lockers.  This was one of those practice makes better exercises – the second time took (iso resin takes a lot of stirring to get it to kick properly!@!) .

We’re definitely on the home stretch.  Tom will be connecting the new platform on the stern for the propane locker.  At that point, we’re pretty much ready to start prepping the outside of the boat for paint (this means yet more sanding).

Week 13: Sanding and really big holes

It has been a week filled with dust and shavings.  Friday we re-drilled all of the toe rail holes after they had been cast with epoxy. That’s one more job off the list. The cabin, cockpit locker and dodger have been sanded some more. We want to be able to paint the insides of the cabin where the ports will go and where the engine, fuel and water tanks will be.

We made our dorade boxes. The molds were ready to go with a coat of wax and gel coat. We added two layers of fiberglass mat followed by three layers of biax cloth on the sides and 5 layers of biax on the tops. These are going to be stout boxes. (Dorades are water trap vents, they have a cowl vent on top, drains on the bottom and a air tube that lets air into, but keeps water out of the cabin.)

It took a half gallon of resin to laminate the layers of cloth.
It took a half gallon of resin to laminate the layers of cloth.

Sunday we popped the dorades out of the molds and trimmed off the excess cloth. Monday they got fit to the cabin top. The location of the dorades was dependent on the location of the oar rack. The oar rack had to avoid lines for the main sheet and vang. The dodger got installed to help decide on how the lines would run. In the end we found a place where everything will work, but it took a little fiddling with where thing would go.deck_and_dodgerTuesday the holes for the cowl vent and inspection plate were cut out on the dorades and a baffle was glued in to keep spray coming down the cowls from going into the air tubes.

you can see the baffel epoxied in place. The 4" PVC pipe has been covered in fiberglass and is ready to become the air tubes.
You can see the baffle epoxied in place. The 4″ PVC pipe has been covered in fiberglass and is ready to be cut into about 6″ lengths to become the air tubes.

The cockpit is ready for us to layout where the hardware goes.

Getting winches and cleats where we want them.
Getting winches and cleats where we want them. Nina jokingly referred to this as getting the alligators in a row.

This was followed by drilling holes and casting them with epoxy. Next week we will re-drill them.

The new engine instrament panel was installed. The old location was around the corner.
The new engine instrument panel was installed. The old location was around the corner to the left.  The new one will be sealed and watertight.
The hawse pipe for theanchor windlass was lined with kevlar. The plug will give us a nice round hole.
The hawse pipe for the anchor windlass was lined with Kevlar. The plug will give us a nice round hole for the anchor chain and rope (rode) to drop down.

The bulkhead to support the cockpit was fiberglassed, but it had not been sanded properly first. The fiberglass popped off, it was a sad day. Here is try two.  This one did actually stick.bulkhead_try_2

propane_locker_top
One of our goals has been improved access to the propane locker. This is the new top for the locker and cockpit combings. It is sitting on top of its mold.
propane_locker_
This is where the lid will go.  This will also create a wider seat to sit on.
Inside the propane locker we found the original hull number plate.
Inside the propane locker we found the original hull number plate.
Our new 60 gallon fuel tank came back from being welded. It is almost ready to install.
Our new 60 gallon fuel tank came back from being welded. It is almost ready to install.  All the openings are taped off to keep the incredible amount of dust we generate out of the tank.

Week 12:Balance

It was a shorter week of boat work for us. My sisters came out from the midwest for a visit and we took a couple of days off to do sightseeing. I felt very guilty not working on Gypsy. I even felt more guilty sleeping in to 8:00 am on a Sunday morning. We are usually on the road to the boat shop at 8:00. After weeks of non stop work and boat work it was very nice having a real weekend. The itinerary included wine tasting, Columbia Gorge waterfalls and a Portlandia Tour including Voodoo Donuts and Mississippi Ave. We made up for our time off guilt by staying late on Tuesday.

If you remember back a couple of weeks we had cast the port hole openings into the cabin sides. Friday I drilled out the bolt holes for the ports and then test fit the ports to check the holes. Nina sanded the shear clamp wood so we can paint it before the bolts for the toe rail are installed. When we had returned Tuesday the cockpit drains and fore hatch had been started.

Base for the Lewmar Ocean hatch. We will get lots of light with the new hatch.
Base for the Lewmar Ocean hatch which has an aluminum frame and plexiglass top. It will be a big improvement over the old wood hatch. We will also get lots of light with the new hatch.
Cockpit drains, the 3" drains will empty the cockpit fast if we get pooped by a big wave.
Cockpit drains, the 3″ drains will not only take care of rain. They will also empty the cockpit fast if we get pooped by a big wave.
Drain tubes heading for the transom, (back of the boat).
Dual drains! pretty cool, huh?
Dual drains! pretty cool, huh?

Other stuff that also happened was our oar rack got built and Marsden polished it. Tom has also been working on the propane locker/aft deck/ and cockpit combings to finish the stern of the boat.

Locating where the oar rack will go.
Locating where the oar rack will go. The rack gained improvements that will make it stronger and more functional, but they required adjusting the location of the rack.
Aft deck and propane locker lid mold.
Aft deck and propane locker lid mold.
Monitor wind vane and the new water tank await installation.
Monitor wind vane and the new water tank await installation.

Week 11: Just past half way.

Anchor windlass platform installed and drilled. The hole upper center is for the cowl vent and the lower right hole is where one of the foot switches for the windlass will be mounted.
Anchor windlass platform installed and drilled. The hole upper center is for the cowl vent to keep the anchor locker smelling fresh and the lower right hole is where one of the foot switches for the windlass will be mounted.

This week we’re starting from the front and working back.  In sailing terms: forward to aft.  Tom fiberglassed the new platform for the windlass in place and Bill drilled the really big holes.  The platform was needed to get the chain feed from the anchor roller to the windlass level.  Nina is looking forward to having an electric windlass so that she will no longer need to be the cranking lass to get the anchor up or down.

Tape dams for the toe rail holes.
Tape dams for the toe rail holes.
Dams for toe rail holes made out of pvc pipe.
Dams for toe rail holes made out of pvc pipe. They are glued down with dabs of Bondo.

All of the holes for the toe rail got drilled out this week with a 5/8″ bit. That’s 164 holes! Drilling went much faster after Bill learned how to sharpen drill bits. The pipes work better and are faster to install than tape, and leak less than tape, at least on top.  The height helps get rid of epoxy bubbles from air escaping the wood.  We had a couple of holes that that kept on being leaky nuisances inside the cabin, but they’ll be fixed this coming weekend.

Chris put together a welding jig for the stanchions.  Marsden bent and polished all the pieces on the lathe and milling machine.
Chris put together a welding jig for the stanchions. Marsden bent and polished all the pieces on the lathe and milling machine.  These will bolt into the toe rail and the side of the hull and we will have very stiff, safe stanchions.
The bulkhead installed with fillets for glassing.
The bulkhead installed with fillets for glassing.

Nina’s bulkhead project was installed!  The pieces of wood were epoxied together with a spline and glued to the after end of the cockpit.  She also made fillets on both sides at the bottom to make fiberglassing them in place easier.  They were sanded to smooth them up for the glass cloth and resin, and sanded once the glass was in place and cured.  She was quite pleased to be told by Tom that she’d done a good job!

Glassing in progress.
Fiberglassing  in progress.
The fillet done on the starboard side.
The fillet done on the starboard side.
View of the bulkhead from the engine bed.
View of the bulkhead from the engine bed. This view will never be seen again once the fuel tank is added.  The tank will sit in front of the white area.  The post going down the middle is the rudder post.
The fuel tank.  It fits! It will block the view of the bulkhead.  It has a 60 gallon capacity.
The fuel tank. It fits! It will block the view of the bulkhead. It has a 60 gallon capacity. The angled side will be the after bottom side. (It is on its side in the photo).
The dodger glassed and the sanding begun.
The dodger edge fiberglassed and the sanding begun.

The boat is really starting to feel like it’s going back together rather than being torn apart.  That being said, we don’t have much time left to get it to a state where Tom and Chris can begin prepping for paint.  Once that starts, we’ll need other projects to work on, like the mast.

 

Week 10:Progress.

We have been busy and it is starting to show. For awhile it has seemed like not much was happening. This week progress has been more apparent, which means all that prep is paying off. We have finished filling in the gaps around the holes for the ports so that they will have solid, tight fits. We have even made shims on the inside of the cabin to create a flat spot in the curving sides of the cabin for the forward-most ports. This should mean trouble-free and leak-free ports.

The inside view of the forward porthole opening. The shim gives a flat surface for the port to mount to.
The inside view of the forward porthole opening. The shim gives a flat surface for the port to mount to.

The dodger got glassed. The edge stiffener and hand grip that we have been working on has been covered in fiberglass. Last week we were gluing on the PVC pipe. Chris smoothed all the curves and we gave it 3 layers of glass cloth and one layer of mat. It’s a nice, strong edge. Now it has to get sanded and finished.

Papered to catch the drips we are ready to start glassing.
Papered to catch the drips we are ready to start glassing.
After glassing. Lots of resin drips, but the glass work looks good.
After glassing. Lots of resin drips, but the glass work looks good.
Dorade_1
The molds for the dorades. Bill still needs to add a fillet around the bottom edges before starting to glass them.

Dorades are another project we need to get done. These are water trap boxes that ventilation cowls will be mounted on. This lets us get fresh air in the boat even if it is stormy. The old wood boxes were showing their age so we are making fiberglass replacements that will get glassed to the cabin top.

Sanding the fillets in the mold. I use sandpaper and a dowel. To get them right I will fill with putty, sand, refill and sand.
Sanding the fillets in the mold. I use sandpaper and a dowel. To get them right I will fill with putty, sand, refill and sand.

Nina has been working on the bulkhead that will go at the aft end of the cockpit. It will provide support for the cockpit. The cardboard template has been cut out in plywood and fitted to the hull. It is made in two parts so it can fit into the boat.  They will be glued together with a spline and epoxied to the hull.  Her last job for the week was to prep the hull with 36-grit sandpaper (full bunny suit, goggles, respirator and many layers of gloves while creating storms of fiberglass dust in a small enclosed space. She’s glad that’s over.)

Ready to install. It has been caoted with epoxy to protect it from moisture.
Ready to install. It has been coated with epoxy to protect it from moisture.

Other things that have been happening this week.

PVC mock up of the oar rack. It will hold oars, and the dinghy mast, boom and seat.
PVC mock up of the oar rack. It will hold oars, and the dinghy mast, boom and seat.
Head vent base.
Head vent base.  Having a composting toilet requires a dedicated, always-on vent.  The doughnut shaped piece will have a solar powered fan/vent screwed into the top of it.

Marsden meanwhile, has been working on stanchion brace parts.  He’s milled the straight pieces, bent them to shape and smoothed out the rings and prepped the mounting brackets.  They’ll all be sent off to be welded.  Hopefully the new stanchion posts will arrive this week.