Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Beginning of a Refit

A lot of things have happened since my last post to this blog. I've been working on a college class so that has taken up a lot of my time. I've also received notification for a trip overseas for work that could last four to six months. My wife saw the boat for the first time and I thought I would take her for a sail, then find out the batteries were dead. The starting battery was just over 10 volts and the house battery was just under 9. From what I can tell, the shore-line charger went out on me. I was originally going to haul out in September or October to get ready for a work related move but with everything going on, I decided to haul out. So I took my car battery and a set of jumper cables and got the engine running so I could move it to the dock for haul out. Yesterday, it was hauled out, bottom pressure washed, and loaded onto the trailer and took it home, or rather to the storage lot in town.

The boat felt good during the tow. At one point, on a smooth part of the road, I didn't realize at first but I was going quite fast (75mph). No sway in the trailer at all. When I realized how fast I was going, I decided to bring it down a bit and went 60-65 on the bumpy part of the highway for the other two thirds of the trip. Drive down took an hour and now, she's tucked away in the storage lot again about 20 minutes away. Now, I plan on working on a sort of refit getting things fixed up.

Here's a list of some of the things I am looking at eventually doing:

1. Replace seacocks: Replaced one already and have 7 more. 1, maybe 2, from the head I removed I'm looking at removing and covering the hole(s) with fiberglass. The one I defiantly will remove was from the head water intake, that's located by the starting battery box. The other I'm considering is the overboard discharge. The discharge one I thought of just replacing, but not using, not sure yet.

2. Finish installation of Airhead: Need to connect electrical for the vent fan and connect vent hose.

3. Replace Fuel tank: Found out when I got the boat in the water and filled the fuel tank, that it was leaking so the boat yard pumped out the fuel. Need to eventually figure out how I'm going to remove engine to get to it. I've had some previous advice that will be helpful and of course plenty of info on the Nor'sea Group archives.

4. Hoses: Looking at replacing hoses for sink and cockpit drains and possibly those on the raw water lines on the engine.

5. Paint: Looking at repainting the stripe by the toe-rail. It's currently a worn down light blue than I'm looking at painting to a dark red. May consider painting the waterline stripe too. I thought of painting the topsides but now just thinking of going with regular compound/wax. The interior storage compartments are painted a yellow color that I want to paint with Bilgekote or maybe something else to brighten things up. When replacing the fuel tank, I want to paint the engine compartment too.

6. Exterior Wood: I'd like to refinish the wood. I know a lot of people say "leave it grey" but I like the look of varnish. I'm hoping the extra effort will turn out good results. I'm also interested in making a split door for the companion way to be able to close things up quicker, like being out on the water and a squall line shows up.

7. Canvas: Much of the canvas on the boat was worn when I bought the boat. Everything looks like Pacific Blue Sunbrella, which many boats have. I'm looking at changing the canvas to Linen color (light tan). I have thought of making a cover for the entire boat too.

8. Mast step: There are a couple times I visited the boat while it was raining and saw water at the top and bottom of the compression post. The step needs to be resealed. At the same time, I thought of replacing the mast wiring and there's a couple plugs coming through the mast step that would need looked at too.

9. Chainplates: There are other Nor'sea owners who have boats as old as mine and while removing their chainplates, they fell apart in their hands from hidden damage. With how old my boat is, I figure it would be good preventative measures to replace them so there is no doubt to their age and condition.

 There's plenty of other work in mind. This list is a start of what I have planned. I'm expecting this refit period to take a few years but I'll see how it goes once things get started. This list may seem ambitious but it's not something I expect to get done quickly by next season. I'm thinking a few years but reality may end up being longer.

Only time will tell.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Deck Vent Work Finallized

A trip to the boat turned out to be a good day. I finished some work on the vent. I took the tape I had around the vent off and cleaned up a bit of the bedding that had squeezed out. I used some wood plugs and filled the screw holes. Two of the holes were deep enough I was able to put them in easy enough and two others needed to be cut down. I put a couple coats of varnish on it too. Toward the end of the day, it had rained so the water beaded up nicely. I plan to apply more coats but this is a good start to protect the wood.

 Most of the exterior wood has turned grey. There's still some old varnish still flaking off. Some time, I'd like to finish the rest of the exterior wood. I had a bottle of Teak Cleaner so I wanted to see how it would work on the grey wood. I started off with a test spot but then spread over most of the port side. I like that it turned out well. It might work well in getting it refinished.

Wet from rinsing with fresh water

Transition between grey and cleaned teak
 I want to get the Airhead ready to use. Then I can go for a weekend sail and stay anchored out. I took one of the two coir bricks and added water while in a 5 gallon bucket. I broke it apart as it absorbed the water. The brick ended up expanding to fill half of the 5gal bucket. I didn't put any of it in the toilet but left it so it will be ready to go. Now, the only thing I really need to do is to wire up the fan for ventilation and it's ready to go. I might do something for a temporary setup until I can set it up better but I'll have to see what I'm able to find.
At one point, I was adding the second coat of varnish around the vent. One of my dock neighbors who was around decided to check out how everything looked and got to talking. I set down the cup of varnish and next thing I knew, I saw it had spilled over onto the deck. Not too crazy about it so now I need to find a way to get it off. I've already been suggested to try a heat gun and/or acetone or some other solvent. Hopefully I can get it cleaned up and looking nice again soon.
Just goes to show you not everything turns out great.

Apparently the neighbor makes suggestions saying certain things are not good for when I sell the boat. He said having a composting head would make it hard to sell. Today, he saw a small amount of varnish and run off of the vent base and said it would make it hard to sell the boat.

And NO I'm NOT selling my boat.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Hole in the Boat

Previously, I was working on getting a block of wood to the curved shape of the cabin top. I cut away much of the material that I didn't need. I tried sanding it but the paper was loose so it didn't work out well so I got another sheet of 60 grit and taped it down to keep it from moving. This worked out well and took quite a bit of material off that smoothed it out.

Today was a very busy and productive day. I got a lot more done than I thought I would. I originally thought I would only be able to install the vent on the cabin top. It was a bit nerve racking since I was about to drill a new hole in the boat. To get an idea of placement, I placed the fan housing from the Airhead toilet on the ceiling to see how much bend there was in the hose.

I used a 5/16 bit to drill out the four corners to mount the wood block, but not all the way through. This allowed the  #8 screws I got to be countersunk below the surface. I used a smaller bit to drill through the rest of it, then the pilot holes into the cabin top.

I taped around where the block was being mounted. I also used tape around the block. I used Dolfinite bedding compound to bed the block onto the deck. Dolfinite has been recommended by other Nor'sea owners numerous times so I thought I would give it a try this time. A dock neighbor suggested I use 5200 or 4200 and said he never heard of Dolfinite. I wasn't about to go buy another type of sealant.


After using the Dolfinite, I smoothed it out on the edges and removed the tape. I wonder if I should have waited for it to setup before removing the tape but it seemed to work out well. I then used a 3 inch hole saw to cut out the center of the block. Turns out the cabin top is about 1 1/2" thick.

Nice skylight

I mixed up some epoxy. I used it to coat the interior of the cutout of the deck only, not the wood block. I only used it for a single coating.

The vent I got is a Vetus Mushroom vent. I took the base and drilled pilot holes for the screws I got at the nearby shop.

I also used Dolfinite on this too. I put some of it in a ziplock bag and cut the corner out of it to spread it out a little at a time without putting too much on. After placing the vent base back on, I decided to leave the tape in place this time. I also put the top piece of the vent in place and the knob that is installed from underneath.

I put the fan housing over the hole that was drilled out. The surface was flat enough, I didn't need to put anything else over the hole to mount the housing. I also ran the vent hose like the second picture at the top and it reached where it needed to on the head.

I mounted the head and the liquid tank onto the base. There wasn't much clearance for the mixing handle so I may cut that short for it to do complete turns.

There's only a few other things that need to be done to complete the install. I need to connect the wires for the fan that's mounted in the housing, install plugs on the wood block to seal the screw heads, connect the vent hose to the head and then it's pretty much ready to use.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two Weekends Sailing

May 4th

I went to the boat to get work on a couple things. I decided to take the boat out on the lake and just as I was about to get the boat ready, my dock neighbor invited me to go out with him on his Catalina 27. I took his offer, we went out on the lake and he showed me a few bays that people anchor out into. We didn't go into the bays, but just sailed down the lake. It was a good day. It was nice that his boat had a bimini to provide shade from the hot sun.


Total Sail time: 5hrs
Total Engine run time: 15min

May 11th

Went out only for the day. I went to the boat, I didn't want to do projects, so I got the boat ready. I ran the engine as I took the main sail cover off, untied the dock lines and unplugged the shore-power cable. I motored out and had a nice sail for the day. It wasn't very long but it was still a relaxing day out on the water. Got a good sun burn and I got rained on pretty good too. It was nice having the refinished tiller back on the boat.

And took video of my day on the lake. You can see a little about how much it was raining at the end.

Total Sail time: 1 hr
Total Engine run time: 2hrs