Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rudder Cheeks and Boomkin Inspection and Termites and $8 water sound

A couple of weekends ago I removed the rudder cheeks and boomkin to get a better look at the shape they were in and refinish them if they were salvageable.  I removed the back stay and tied it off to the port side lifeline stanchion. I then took both of the halyard lines and tied them to the aft cleats. I used the mast winches to put some tension on them. I do not have as much concern now about the mast staying up as I did when I took the front stays off when I replaced the bowsprit. I feel confident that it will stay up. ( I hope I didn't just jink myself!)
The first order of business was to take the rudder cheeks off. I tied a rope around the top of the tiller box so when I removed the bolts I wouldn't lose it in the water. (It's 25 feet deep here at low tide.) I am certified in scuba, but I really don't want to dive in the harbor....but I would if I had to!

As you can see there are a bunch of bolts holding the rudder cheeks on. I tied a small rope to my ratchet and open end wrench that I used to remove the bolts.....just in case. Yes I did tie the other end to the boat thank you. The nuts came off fairly easy but getting them out of the hole was a learning experience I would have to pay for. By that I mean i figured that i could lightly tap the bolt out using a screwdriver. As I tapped the first one started to move then got stuck. So I "tapped" it a bit harder. Ya know water makes an $8 dollar sound when a long stainless steel bolt flies from your hand into the water. Why do I make a big deal out of am $8 dollar bolt when I there are a lot more expensive items I have to replace or HAVE replaced so far? Because I could have reused that bolt had I not donated it to Davey Jones locker! I must say that after that I did not drop any more items in the water that day. I'm certain I will donate again soon.

I was able to remove the rest of the bolts and pull the cheeks off in one piece. (OK two pieces actually, one per side.) I was also able to keep from drooping the tiller box in the drink also.

The cheeks didn't look to bad...until I flipped them over.

Look at them closely. See all those little balls. That is actually crap. Termite crap to be exact. The little buggers ate my cheeks! Dang it! Now I have to replace those too! But the top piece of wood that sits on the top of the tiller box was still in great shape....big whoop it is about 6x8 inches. FYI, if you look at the pictures you can see where the tiller box (a stainless steel plate in a U shape) fits into the cheeks. 
 OK onto to the boomkin. I hope the little buggers didn't get that also...we'll see.

(Side note...look at the color of the fiberglass where the cheek blocks were. A beautiful blue color! That is how the topsides are suppose to look. )
There are three bronze bolts holding each side of the boomkin on. These bolts go through the boomkin, through the spacer blocks, through the deck and into the lazerette. The nuts came off easy but the bolts did not want to go through the spacer blocks or the boomkin. So I took each side off as an whole unit or assembly. I figured I could disassemble them at home in the garage later.
I took the boomkin stays off also. I have a new set plus new tangs to replace.

At home in the garage I set to remove the bronze bolts from the boomkin. Yeah.....easier said than done. I had to beat them out of there. Doing so I buggered up the threads EVEN with the nuts on them. I did chase all the threads with wit a die. All of them cleaned up except for one of them. So I will have to buy one.

OK so the bolts are out and the spacer blocks should just pop right off with just a few smacks with the hammer. WRONG!!! They would not budge at all. So I put a bit more force into it......yup cracked that b***h right in half...the spacer block...heck no the WHOLE PORT SIDE BOOMKIN.
The above picture is what it looked like before I made kindling out of it. I was too pissed to take a picture. I'm still pissed! But wait if that broke with just a hard hammer blow that it wasn't too sound to start with. So now I am thankful! (It is almost Thanksgiving here in the US for all you overseas viewers.) By the way I did not see one termite turd in the boomkin. But I did notice that the previous owners did put a nice coat of paint on the topside of the boomkin while the underside was raw wood from the previous coats of varnish flaking off.  I found out with the bowsprit...beware of fresh paint on a boat for sale, it usually hides something bad under it. My bowsprit being case in point! 
I took the boomkin and the rudder cheeks over to H&L Marine  last Wednesday (11-14-12) to have them build new ones for me. I just don't have the wood working equipment to build new ones. Plus I really don't have the time either. Which is a blessing in this economy.
I have a bunch of small boat projects going on in the garage. I'll blog about those later. (rebuilding the merriman winches, polishing the winches, polishing the winch stands, etc)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Spike TV....Looking for a story line.

While working on the bowsprit two guys walked up to me and asked if they could take pictures and film while they asked me some questions. They explained that they are with a production company for Spike TV looking to a story line about living at a marina. Well I don't live there but they asked questions about what I was doing, how did I learn to work on boats, etc. They also asked what my plans for the boat was.....well I explained about the "50 month plan".  Don't we all have a plan to sail away? They asked about why this boat. Oh that was easy. I love my Westsail and quickly went on to brag about the quality of the boat and it's toughness. The "crew" then asked if they could go aboard. Deena had just finished sanding the engine room and the boat was a mess as it gets when we work on multiple projects. Just the camera man went below and asked Deena a lot of questions and how it was to live on the boat. She explained we didn't and answered a ton of other questions concerning the boat, other people etc.

So we were offered a 3 month contract for them to film us. Can you believe they offered to pay us $20,000 a month...each!!
The picture above is the crew interviewing Barbara, the marina owner.

 By the way I lied no contract, no offer...I made that part up!  But the rest is true! I don't think we were...ahh...mmmm.....shady enough if you know what I mean. I guess we have to keep our jobs dang it!

The napping place or the bowsprit platform

The napping place.....we'll get to that later.
The bowsprit has been on for a few weeks but the platform was still being worked on. Meaning I had to finish putting on 3 coats of cetol light then two coats of cetol clear. It seemed to take forever. I could only do one side at a time, the top or the bottom. I guess I could have hung the platform like I hung the bowsprit when I painted it. For whatever reason I didn't so it took a loooong time finish. This is my first attempt with cetol so lets say there are a few oops in it. I call it my 10 foot cetol job. If you look at it from 10 feet it looks great! But hey I am planning on sailing this boat so as long as she is protected I'm good. No marina queen here!

Above is the platform resting on the polished bowsprit pulpit. You can see where I am putting butyl tape on the edge that will be against the bowsprit.

Here you can see the butyl tape being squeezed out as I tighted up the nuts on the allthread. I learned that I have to make sure the bolts go through the holes after I complete the finish. It sure makes it easier to install at the boat if I know the bolts will go through.

Oh I like the look of the platform against the white bowsprit! To heck with stainless steel.There is something to be said for the look of wood be it painted or stained.

Ok here is the napping place!