Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fastener Nightmare

I spent yesterday morning sorting out the boat hardware and figuring out all the stainless steel and brass fasteners I needed to purchase. Then it was off to the local Big Box Depot and spend an hour trying to match up all the correct nuts, bolts, and washers. Stainless steel and brass fasteners are not cheap, everything cost at least $150 total.

The brass deadlights are now installed and also the dorade box vent cowls. The bow eye is in place and the nuts are hand tightened but I need to borrow a couple socket set extensions to tighten the nuts. Working in the forward bulkhead compartment and reaching in through the inspection port was to say the least a little awkward.

This photo shows the stainless steel tubing fitted and cut to the correct length for the boom gallows. I must have measured 10 times before cutting the holes in the seatback decking for the tubing. It was a tight fit but the gallows seemed to be straight and true. As mentioned in the manual the stanchions for the tubing that are mounted on the cockpit decking inside the storage astern must be trimmed with a cutoff wheel or else the hull sides interfere with the stanchions lying flat. Even then it is an extremely tight and awkward fit and if I had the foresight I would have simply moved the holes in the boom gallows about an inch closer and would have had a much simpler installation. WARNING: Do not permanently install the boom gallows while the boat is in a standard garage. The height of the boom gallows from the keel is about 82". A standard garage door is about 80 inches so if you install the gallows at this point you will have an interesting conversation piece in your garage for awhile.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Magic Companionway Hood

I guess I should be satisfied with the fit of the companionway hood. It was a little stiff so I sprayed some waterproof, odorless lubricant and now it slides open just by gravity. The companionway sea hood has 4 coats of varnish but on inspection you can probably spot some areas that I scuffed or scratched during installation. This was not unexpected and I will put the final finish coat on once all the hardware is installed.

Topsides painting is now complete and the rubrails need to be varnished. The mast and spars also need a couple more coats of varnish but I am now ready to start installing all the hardware and rigging. There are a few small spots of the white that I want to touch up but as with the companionway hood I thought it would be more efficient to wait and see what kind of damage I do to the paint drilling all the holes for the sailing hardware.

As you can see I have not painted the cockpit deck with the non-skid Interdeck yet. You are not supposed to walk on it for a couple of days so I will wait until I have most of the hardware installed.
I am more optimistic about a mid-October launch for my Pocketship and am now curious if mine will officially be the first Pocketship to be christened since the prototype Pocketship was launched.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Right side up again

The boat was successfully flipped over again and moved back into the garage for topsides finishing work last Tuesday. I had sanded most of the fiberglass previously so I was ready almost immediately to start painting.

I test fitted the bowsprit and made the adjustments that were not possible when the boat was facing the other direction in the garage.
You may remember in a previous post my difficulties with the tortured rubrails at the bow. My worst fears were realized and after the stress of flipping the boat the rubrails pulled apart on the first foot of the bow. It appears with all the struggling I had pulling the rails together that some sections were joint starved of glue. It has now been repaired and I have left some stainless screws in place for reinforcement.

The topsides now has two coats of primer and one coat of finish paint. I am using Brightsides white on most of the topsides but I am using non-skid white Interdeck on the cockpit bottom, cabin decking, and bottom of the anchor well. The Interdeck is also non-glare so the sun's reflection won't be blinding; which wouldn't have been much of an issue during this year's disappointing summer.

The companionway hood is now glued to the cabin and since I constructed it entirely out of varnished mahogany I am not going to put a fillet around the edge. The fit turned out to quite tight when screwed in from the cabin decking but for complete water tightness I will put a small bead of clear marine caulking along the edge. You can also see that the tabernacle made from the leftover ribbon striped tiama used on the transom turned out nicely. The manual suggests that the tabernacle could be made from 1 inch timber instead of 3/4 inch for extra strength. I figured using plywood should give me at least the equivalent strength of 1 inch timber.
A couple more days of painting and it will be on to all the rigging and hardware. With a bit of luck with the weather So True's maiden voyage could be in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time to Rock and Roll: Part Deux

Hull painting is now completed. The Interlux Brightsides Sapphire Blue went on much nicer than the VC Performance Epoxy. Tipping off with a foam brush after rolling on the paint was not quite the hectic rush as with the bottom paint.

My waterline looks straight and as can be seen by the reflections in the photos the blue paint dries to a nice gloss finish. Boat flipping is scheduled for Tuesday night and I can then start painting the topsides. Most of the fiberglass on the topsides is already sanded so I will be able to almost immediately put the primer on the topsides. Varnishing of the companionway hood and spars is still underway.

I picked up the trailer last Friday and have installed the keel trough. I selected an EZ-Loader EZL80B 15-16 galvanized model that is rated for 2000 pounds. This is quite a bit more capacity than needed for Pocketship (800 lbs) but it was the trailer that best seemed to fit Pocketship.

The smaller capacity trailers also did not come with the drop axle and therefore I should save a little height when my Pocketship is trailered and launching should be a little easier. The trailer weighs just over 400 lbs which is about 150 lbs heavier than the aluminum Trailex model used with the prototype Pocketship. On the other hand its cost was only $1539 Cdn as opposed to the at least $3200 the Trailex one would have cost (plus the Trailex one comes as a kit that you must assemble).

It is now official, after much deliberation and consultation, and reminders that the captain has final say in naming the boat (especially since he has built the boat), the name of the boat will be:

So True

This means the boat will have its own theme song "So True" by the Black Seeds.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some things you just don't anticipate

Progress has continued on my Pocketship but reporting on just a lot of sanding and painting didn't seem to be all that interesting. The Pocketship manual casually states that sanding the fiberglass on the hull bottom could take the better part of a day. That's true if your typical work day is 18 hours long. After a couple of days of continuous sanding and listening to a good part of my Itunes library I finished the sanding and started painting below the waterline with Interlux VXC Performance Epoxy. I chose this two part paint because I don't need antifouling and this paint is supposed to give a very slick but durable finish for trailering. It is supposed to take 3-4 coats but I have not been entirely pleased with how it covers and will be using at least 5 coats. This paint sets up extremely fast. It was quite a rush to roller on a 2 foot section and then to tip off air bubbles with a foam brush before the paint was almost dry.

These photos show that I have multi-tasked and also applied 2 coats of primer for the sides that will be painted with Interlux Brightsides Sapphire Blue. When I remove the masking tape for the white bottom I will re-tape and fill the narrow strip that needs primer.

And now for something that I just didn't think ahead about. I decided today to install the centerboard before I put on the last coat or two of white paint because I thought it was likely I would scratch up the paint while installing the centerboard. I carefully maneuvered the centerboard and myself on to the top of the hull only to discover that the garage door opener motor hanging from the ceiling was blocking me from dropping the centerboard into place. I contemplated having to temporarily detach the opener and then thought I'd try to see if I could shift the boat enough on its tire supports. I was able to slide the boat just enough and was able to carefully lower the centerboard into place solo and insert a screwdriver into the pivot hole. I had previously put a rope through the centerboard pendant hole and centerboard sheave to which I could attach the real pendant rope attached to the centerboard. I slowly pulled on the rope, it got a little stuck, so I gave a harder pull and my tape connecting the two ropes pulled apart. After much colorful language I spent about an hour trying to fish a line around the sheave and through the pendant hole. Luckily I remembered the access ports in the centerboard trunk to assist me in this formidable task. This time I made certain my splice would not come apart and managed to pull the line through successfully and got the centerboard in place for the SECOND time. The pivot bolt is now epoxied in place, hopefully never to be seen again.

My tentative schedule is to have the finish painting completed in the next few days and the boat ready for neighbours and friends to flip back again early next week. There is still hope that the boat can be ready for its sea trials before the frost is on the pumpkin.