Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Today I spent some time cleaning up the frozen snot drippings that happen while fiberglassing overhead and large quantities on curved surfaces. I then vacuumed the boat. It takes about 3 trips with a vacuum before shes habitable without a dusk mask...
I made a mistake. I went to the marine surplus store... and found some beautiful pieces of aluminum angle iron that were intended to be engine mounting brackets for big yamahas. The kind of stuff I feel compelled to build a boat around. Then I found the backing plates to go with them... and an anodized high polished aluminum tube 1 5/8ths outside diameter... 1 3/8ths inside, which means I can slip fit a piece of 1 inch schedule 40 aluminum tube inside of it and have a friend plug weld them together...
Then I went to fastenal, and ordered a 1 inch diameter 316 stainless bolt. 32 dollar bolt... 50 bucks after washers and stuff.
Long story short, I've got the stuff to build a mast tabernacle. Basically, a pivot point a few inches off the deck that allows the mast to rotate forward or aft and be taken down for servicing without a crane. I have high hopes of one day taking her through the canals of europe... and it'd be nice to be able to hoist and lower the mast as needed... that and I've always wanted to be able to fly the bird at stubborn bridge tenders that wish to watch sailboats do circles for an hour before they allow them passage by lifting the bridge.
Back to the boat I did some studying on the mast beam, and decided didn't want to mix any more epoxy today... So let the ideas fester till tomorrow on how to best glue everything up. it looks like I'll have to through bolt everything, as I haven't found a local source for massive wood screws as they used originally.
I went to west marine three times... cotter pins, seizing wire, spreader boots, rigging tape... pricing out bottom paint and through hulls... and to buy a chain plate. They had one schaffer 3/8ths pin chainplate. 1/8th inch thick 304... 40 bucks out the door. I'm thinking I may go that route to get the stick back vertical and sailing for a while. Not as massive a saftey factor (I like the dumb numbers of overkill) but the original 1/8th inch bronze chainplates made it 48 years. Stainless is as strong, but not as corrosion resistant... will be good for a few years. I just need the longer length to get the bolts below the toe rail on the hull.
I'm dreaming up a way to center everything, I think Ebb over on the pearson ariel board talked about it once... taking two sticks the same length with two marks at equal points. Measure back from the stem down the sides of the boat the same distance... the stand up the sticks changing the angle side to side till they cross... showing the centerline of the boat. I figure I can hang a plumb bob from the two sticks to find the center of where the mast step ought to be. Moving it forward 2-3 inches, my tabernacles bolts will pass on each side of the beam, with plates under it. Ought to be plenty strong.
I'm figuring to do some measuring of the scribed waterline and see if it is symmetrical on both sides of the boat. If it is, I'll take a square and mark a line on each going vertically, then take a flexible batten to transfer the line up to the toe rail. That way when she is trimmed as designed, her chainplates will be plumb... which means if the stick isn't raked fore or aft at all, the pull will be perfectly inline to the chainplates.
I think it'll work, but that might just be the acetone exposure...
After doing my thinking on the mast beam, I pulled off the cockpit seacocks, and the raw water seacock, and scraped out all the sealant. I made a tool out of my 2 inch piece of cold roll by grinding it to fit the inside diameter of the through hulls. They laughed at it, and I bent it into a pretzel. So, I ground off the heads of the through hulls. On the two cockpit drains this slackened the seacocks inside, so I unthreaded them from the through hulls, then I used my pretzel, and unthreaded the through hulls from the hull... after heating them up with a torch till the sealant started to bubble. After that I started grinding. I pulled out the brownout box (dimmer switch/receptical combo) and detuned the beast... 7 inch grinder with a soft pad and PSA sandpaper discs. at 8,000 rpm it would roast the adhesive of and sling the paper off. I spun it a lot slower and it did a pretty decent job at bottom paint removal. With the paint out of the way I loaded a new 40 grit flap disc on the beast and ran it full throttle for as long as my arms held out... 2 through hulls. The hull is an inch thick here, so I'm feeling pretty content to go 3/4 of the way and fill it with biax, then grind back the inside a smidge, lay down a disc or two then fill up the rest with thickened epoxy with milled glass fibers. It's not like the hull isn't fine with the holes there now! (It would take a ridiculously large bevel... 1 inch times 10 = 10 inch radius around the hole...plus the 2 inch hole... I'd be starting with a 22 inch wide piece of glass cut in a circle and working up 10 layers thick, each layer a 1/2 inch or inch smaller diameter. I don't think so...
I then cut the exhaust outlet and sink fiberglass tube flush inside. The hose to my sink disintigrated when I pulled on it, ripped in half. Yikes. I'm re purposing one of my cockpit seacocks to sink drain duty. Deciding between a real pair of 2 inch cockpit drains, or going to a pair of 2 1/2's... Cost will play a big roll, but in any case the through hulls on my 1 1/2s necked down to 1 1/4. Unacceptable for an offshore boat.
Being that I am a connoisseur of overkill, I'm pleased to note that my friend Dave shared an idea... He uses concrete grinding discs to do fiberglass work. I had a metal grinding disc loaded on my 4.5 inch grinder tonight so I gave it a try. Wow! I'd say doing the first 80% with a grinding disc, then switching over to a flap disc to smooth things out... then finishing with a random orbit or DA... gives the exact same finished product, but at a much much quicker pace than starting with the DA.
From 7 to 10:00 tonight, I ground the bevel for 4 through hulls.
Zach - Almost like a day off!