Sunday, March 22, 2015

Many Projects.

Been a while since I posted but this is what I've been up to lately. Winter projects continued but even those were slow going.

I want to expand my battery capacity so I build a battery box to replace the one I had before. I took some 6oz. fiberglass cloth and lined the inside of the box. Still not done yet as I want to cut away a little near the top for the thick battery cables to make their way to the battery terminals. There's a few touch-ups that are still needed but overall, I don't think it's all too bad.

One day, while visiting the boat, I decided to grab the ships bell for cleaning. When I got the boat, the bell wasn't in the best of condition. Before I used Brasso. It made the bell look really good, or so I thought. This time, I was going to use the same thing but decided to use some Collinite Metal Wax. I used this metal wax on the bell and it bought it from dull to a really nice mirror shine.

In a previous post, I mentioned taking the rudder cheeks off the boat to refinish. Right now, they have 5 coats on and a few more before they would go on the boat. I also refreshed the varnish on the tiller too.

I bought a Sailrite sewing machine some time ago but haven't really tried putting it to use. I sewed the ends of a webbing strap that would be used to hold the battery box down once it's on the boat. I also have a buckle that will get sewn onto the webbing too but haven't gone that far yet with it. At the same time I got the sewing machine, I bought a yard of Sunbrella Linen marine grade fabric. I got only a yard so I could practice with it. So I tried making a cover for the forward hatch. I think it turned out pretty good but when I took it to the boat this weekend, it was a very close fit. It could work for now but I think it could be made better.

A week ago, I went to the boat and found out the bilge was full of water. I used the manual bilge pump and got it out of there but thought of how it got there. I opened up the floor boards and opened the panel towards the engine. The engine was very wet. Then I thought of the most recent snow we had that was immediately followed by a lot of rain. So what I think happened is with the snow in the cockpit, the drains were blocked. So, when it rained afterwards, it had no other place to go so it got into the boat through the engine instrument panel. Another reason why I think that is what happened is because one of the cockpit lockers was also full of water, which has never happened before. I had a sponge in there so I soaked up all that water to clean it out. So now, I hope for a dryer boat. To prevent future leaks through the engine panel, I'm going to get some 4200 and seal up around the edges. I was also given a suggestion to move the pull-stop to the inside of the boat. I think I'll take that suggestion. Anytime I pull it from the cockpit, the engine panel lifts up. with that, I'll look for a place I can move it to.

I've started removing some of the bottom paint to get it ready for paint later on down the road. I got the rudder cleaned off for the most part. Found a lot of spots that looked like it was damaged before, possibly from blisters. Needless to say, there's going to be quite a bit of work to fair it out for a smoother look. I also found a spot that is cracked that will need to be filled too. I'm planning to keep the bottom cleaned off until right before I can get the boat back in the water again, which might take some time but at least it would be ready to go.

And the latest is the trailer the boat is on. I found out there's a place for brake fluid. I hadn't thought of it before so I wasn't looking. Well, the reservoir the fluid goes into was empty and dry. I bought a pump to try bleeding the lines but so far hasn't worked out so well.

I'll be moving in the next couple months from Tennessee to Northern Virginia so I have some work to do to make sure the boat is ready to move. I'll travel there first to scout out the area until I find a place where I can move the boat to. Then projects will continue along the way.

So, until next time...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Head Lighting

Got a quick project done today with the LED strip lighting that I recently bought. I wired up the vent fan to the Airhead, spliced with the existing lighting that was already in place from the old lighting. I also installed a switch that can go between white and red LEDs. The reason I did this was so if at night, red could be used so the light wouldn't mess with night vision or if having to use the head at night, I wouldn't be blinded by the white light. The white is non-waterproof and the red is waterproof. I didn't get them for their resistance to water, mainly got them for the colors.

The project turned out pretty good. I'm looking at using the white lighting in the engine space too. wearing a head lamp gets annoying and it still isn't bright enough much of the time.

old light wasn't so bright

This time, instead of filling this post with a bunch of pictures, I decided to try a video instead. It's a little longer than I was hoping for. Much of it was talking out the plans of what I was going to do. If you want to see what the results were, just skip to 21:15.

Decided to show what it was that I got for this project if anyone is curious.

From Amazon:
White LED Strip
Red LED Strip (Waterproof)
LED Strip Connectors

Precision Equipment:
Recessed Toggle Guard
SPDT On-Off-On Toggle

Marine Grade Wire from Genuine Dealz
Red and Black wires were 16 guage, 12ft long.

Comments, Questions, and Suggestions are welcome. :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Winter slow down

No, I haven't gone anywhere. This time of year, things slow down and like most people, it's just a matter of staying warm. In the meantime, there are winter projects and project planning.

I've sold the Garmin 546s. Didn't take long for that to sell. I intend to upgrade to a nicer chartplotter and integrated radar.

I've been looking over where and how I'm going to mount the Pronautic charger.

Still working (slowly) on building a new battery box that will hold two Group 31's.

Varnishing the rudder cheeks and adding a few coats to the tiller.

And, I just made a few orders for supplies on other smaller projects that I'm waiting for a couple more things to come in but here's a picture to show what I have so far. Just not going to talk about what the projects are just yet, but I have some wires, a strap and hardware. :-)

Checked on the boat today. I thought I left something I needed on the boat, then realized what I was looking for was in the truck. I saw the pink anti-freeze was frozen in the water filter for the engine. From what I've seen, it does freeze, just doesn't expand (maybe when it gets even colder?). Decided to look in the bilge and saw it's frozen too. I really need to dry that out as soon as it warms up again. I'll keep a close watch on everything as this winter continues.

Not much but that's the latest I'm up to. Hopefully soon, I'll find out where I'll be moving too for work and will then have to sort out where the boat is going to be stored at later.

Stay warm out there!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Short Move

Went to check on the boat today. The red I painted is looking good. When it warms up, I'd like to paint a few more coats on it.

While I was there, I ended up talking with the manager of the storage lot. He asked me if I got a message that was sent out. I didn't so he explained to me that they're looking at redoing the gravel in the parking area and they sent out notices to everyone with vehicles and trailers to move them elsewhere in the storage spaces. So I hooked up the boat trailer to the truck and moved it around to another area for them to do their work.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


This post I should have done at least a few weeks ago. Got distracted because of work being crazy busy lately.

The last time I did any painting on the boat, it had warmed up a little that day from the previous week. Not bad, right?

Well, warmer weather brought on some (ok, a LOT) of flying things. I thought the last coat of paint was going on pretty good but the downside of it was a bunch of gnats flying around. It seemed like they were attracted to the paint. That figures!

Not only were they trying to fly into the cup the paint was in, but they were flying into the paint on the boat too while it was still wet. Frustrating, to say the least. I figured I could get them off by washing the areas and/or when I sand for the next coat. Either way, they're done for.

Can you spot them in this picture? all the little black spots on the paint, those are gnats.

I went down the starboard side, got gnats. Went down the port side, then a new surprise.

I was painting with a plastic cup. You know, the one's you use for picnics. Well, by the time I was finishing up on the port side, I look into the cup and saw there wasn't as much paint as only a moment earlier. Turns out that the paint (or maybe it was the thinner) had eaten through the plastic.

The paint didn't just leak out the cup, it got all over the ladder, the ground, part of the trailer and down a pant leg and part of my shoe and on the BOAT. I was wearing gloves so I didn't feel it running down my hand.

With the streaks on my pants, I was thinking it looked like I had a nose bleed. So, a good pair of pants are now work-pants, for boat work and yard work, etc.

During the same visit, I took out the Garmin 546s to sell as I intend to upgrade someday to a larger-screened and more "proper" chartplotter. The latest from Garmin, like the 741xs is looking nice. I'd like to install a new radar and have it all integrated. So now the swing arm is empty of electronics for now. But all that will come later in the refit.

Some good news, due to good timing. I've been looking at battery chargers to replace the 10 Amp charger I had before. There were a couple of them that I was considering. While looking at Cruisers Forum in the classified ads, someone had just listed a ProNautic 1230P charger. Apparently, the guy who listed it bought it then changed his mind for what he wanted to do. So, I nabbed it up quickly as it was at a discount from the list price shown on Defender's website.

It's bigger than I expected it would be so now trying to figure out how/where to mount it, then may have to make new wire runs to hook it all up.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I have this pull switch with LED in the galley. The previous owner told me what it was, or what he thought it was but I don't recall what he said. I think it was once used for turning on the compressor for the refrigerator unit in the ice box, but there's a different switch for that in the starboard quarterberth.

I went around finding some wires that didn't go to anything any more and took them out of the boat. Not much, but it's a start. I've read how people will remove loads of wires from their boats that don't go to anything.

Here's what I got out of the boat.

Turns out, I found the wires on the other end of the switch above, also in the quarterberth where all wires end up with the electrical panel just above it. I couldn't pull the wires from the switch, it's wedged up pretty good. I could cut all the wires and clean up what I can get to but decided to leave it for now. Maybe I could use it for something else, just not sure what right now. Besides that, if I remove the switch and LED, I'm left with a couple holes.

I also took out the shore power charger. I think it went out on me that caused my batteries to go dead. I may have found a replacement but still working on it. It'll be a while before the boat is back in the water so I still have time.

I also took out the old GPS, a Garmin 546s, that I intend to replace with something more current. This replacement will take some time since new units cost much more than I can afford at this time. I will sell this unit soon along with a Garmin Vision card for lakes.

I've also painted a second coat of burgundy on the starboard side of the boat. It turned out to be a nice day. I only did the starboard side so I now have two coats on each side. Now it'll be the same number of coats on each side.

Cold weather is setting in so there may be less work on the boat itself. Lately, I've been working on varnishing the rudder cheeks and the spacer boards for the chainplates. I had hoped to get the chainplates on before it got too cold but still need some more coats of paint on the boat.

I've also been hearing discussions (from non-boaters of course) who question the point of being on a boat. The assumption is that unless you're actively piloting the boat, you're just sitting around and not doing anything, and thus bored. It would seems that non-boaters would find sailing a boring useless pastime but those of us who are fortunate enough to take up sailing know better. There's always something to do and certainly not boring. If it was, I wouldn't be doing it.

I find it funny the perceptions non-sailors have when it comes to boating.

There are others who post sailing type quotes and I find these to be pretty good that can relate to how I think of sailing.

Aside from what it teaches you, there is simply the indescribable degree of peace that can be achieved on a sailing vessel at sea. I guess a combination of hard work and the seemingly infinite expanse of the sea - the profound solitude - that does it for me. - Billy Campbell

"There are those that stand at the shore looking to the sea, wondering, and there are those standing at the helm looking back at shore, knowing." - Kurt Leisenfelder

“A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.” — Bernard Moitessier

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Some Bling

Bunch of projects to report here. This has been on going since my last post.

I stripped down the old varnish on the rudder cheeks. The finish that was used before was worn and the wood itself is cracking but overall, not so bad that they need replaced. These are large pieces of wood, I think mahogany that's 3/4" thick. Taking the old varnish off, they showed some nice looking wood underneath. They soaked up some thinned Epifanes varnish when I mixed 50% mineral spirits so they'll take quite a few coats to really start looking good.

Sanded down

First coat of varnish, thinned 50%

First coat on one side of chainplate spacers

I was chatting with others online about my chainplate replacement and there was a mention of Collinite Metal Wax as being a good metal polish. I took them up on that suggestion. I don't have a bench grinder with a buffing pad as another Nor'sea owner, Greg, did so I wanted to find an alternative. I found at Lowes hardware store an attachment for the drill that accepts sockets. This allowed me to spin the bolts quickly that got them to polish up really nice.

Here's a video showing how the bolts were getting polished.

New chainplates made of 316 stainless arrived. They are nicely polished. Looking forward to getting them on the boat once the paint work is finished. These together with the polished bolts will look pretty sharp on the boat.
Aside from replacing the chainplates, the other big project I'm doing while the old one's are off is to repaint the blue stripe by the toe rail a different color. On a couple nice days, 13 and 14 Sep, I painted some primer to get it ready for the top coat. I put a coat of primer on and came back the next day to sand smooth and paint a second coat. The second day was sunny and it was drying pretty quickly. Next, will be having to sand the second coat smooth and put on the top coat of Burgundy Pettit EasyPoxy.

First coat of burgundy
 27 Sep, I sanded down the first coat of burgundy on the port side. I sanded the primer on the starboard side and painted the first coat of burgundy. I've thinned the paint pretty good but still getting brush marks. It's likely to be because it's been warm out and very windy. I may try adding a little more thinner but not sure how that would work. I'm expecting to paint several coats to at least get an even color.
Sanded first coat

Second coat on port side
A lot of work has been done but still much more to do. I've been working once a week in the weekend. Not enough but I'll take what I can. All this work will get the boat looking better than it has in a very long time. This boat will be ready for another 30+ years soon enough.