Friday, March 15, 2013

Tanks....a sneak peek

My tanks got started. Here is a sneak peek. They are made of 14 gauge mild steel. The guys are doing a great job!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

So what is happening overall?

What is going on with the boat?  My reasoning for the way I do things is this. I figure that I do not want to take a chance of sailing the boat in the condition it was in when I bought it. Plus the engine was kaput so that stopped me from sailing anyway. (I know it's a SAIL boat why do you need an engine? Lets see ...moving the boat in and out of my slip with a ten foot spear on the front is going to be tricky enough with an engine must less at the mercy of the wind and tide! Plus my neighbors would hate me if I ran my spear through their boat.) Anyway...I wanted to make sure the mast stayed vertical. So that is almost done, then to re power, then to the deck and do the pretty stuff and finally do the cabin. Last but not least do the bottom before we head out. So there you have my game plan. Now keep in mind that this list will change and get longer and shorter at my desire...or the boats desire really. She is after all calling the shots. It is her that "tells" me what she needs! The list looks short but that is just a fantasy. It is really long!

Fuel system - The latest is the fuel tank was removed and I have two new ones being fabbed. I will have to make two fuel pickups as I could not find some steel ones that I liked. I found a used Racor dual filter system at a consignment store. It is a bit large but I think I will go and get it as it is priced right and I can rebuild it. (If it is still there.) I have figured out the valves I want to install to control the fuel flow. I will also use the filters to polish the fuel. I figured that it won't take much more time or money so I might as well go ahead and do it. Some people think it is a good idea some don't. I'm torn so I will do it just to be on the safe side.

Engine - I have most of the hoses I need. I am missing one so I need to get it ordered. I plan on firing up the engine at home just to make sure it does fire up....after all I bought it used. I need to make a stand for the engine for when I start it and for transporting it.  I need to buy all new gauges and sending units. I'll go with VDO gauges as they seem to hold up well and are price friendly. I do need to rewire the engine or at least inspect every wire just to make sure.

Standing rigging - Well I have most of the "support" items all in great shape, the bowsprit, bobstay, whisker stays, boomkin and it's stays. So I know the mast won't fall down. Next will be to remove either just a few or all of the chain plates ti inspect them. Chances are I will replace them all before we head out but it they are in descent shape I will keep them for a few years more.  I will sail with them locally but only after I have inspected them closely.

Deck - Let to do...everything! Oh I did by replacement teak handrails and wood for the companionway. H & L Marine was going out of business so I bought a few things before they closed their doors. I was the last customer..sad sad day.

Cabin - below deck - Same as above. Everything is still left to do. But really it is in pretty good shape down there.

Sorry no pictures...all talk....or err all words.

But here is the picture I keep in my head. Just replace the hat with a bottle of rum :)

(If this is your picture let me know and I will give you credit or remove it if you wish.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fuel Tank Removal

Last weekend while I was fiberglassing in the fiberglass hawser tubes I took some time out to remove the fuel tank. I figured that I better at least pull the tank and see what shape it is in. The last thing I need is to have it start leaking after I put the engine in.
I pulled 26 gallons of fuel out of the 35 gallon tank and gave it away to anyone who would take it. Needless to say it was gone in short order. Now getting the tank out of a Westsail is a bit of work. Mind you the engine is removed so that did help greatly. I did have to cut the corner of the shelf it sits on.
You can see the shelf I cut and the cockpit drain and hose I removed. I had reattached the hose as you can see.

 I also had to remove the cockpit drains and hose in order to make it so the behemoth would come out. This would be the same cockpit drain I re-bed not to long ago.  It took about an hour to get the tank out. All in all it wasn't too bad to remove I guess. Being that the Westsail 32 has a engine room really helped. At least I didn't have to remove any furniture like some boats do!

And here is the tank looking down on me laughing. I'm sitting in the engine room it is on deck.

Once I took the tank home I was able to give it a better look.

 I found that I could not read the tank plate.
So I took a marks a lot and marked over the writing then immediately wiped it off with a rag. This left enough ink in the "groove" of the writing to be able to read it if you held it up to the light just right.

It says the tank holds 35 gallons, was made in 1974, and is made of 18 GA. galvanized steel, made for diesel and tested to 5PSI.

The outside only had two surface rust areas on forward end. These were not bad at all.

I shone a light in the tank and used a mirror to look inside. There was very little crud and I saw no rust. Over all the tank is in great shape. But I will have the shop make two new ones. One for the port side and one for the starboard side. The tank above came out of the port side. It was an option to have two tanks but this boat only had one. I think it will serve us well to have two tanks with 35 gallons each. With two tanks it should give us a motoring range of about 538 mile figuring that we will burn about .65 gallons an hour traveling 5 knots an hour. Actual mileage may vary...
 The new tanks might be shaped slightly different so that they will be easier to get in and out. But I do not plan on taking them out ever again once they are in!
I am having them made of 14 GA. black iron (mild steel). This is a normal metal to use and will last a lifetime if I take care of them. A lot of people are making them out of aluminum these days but I the price I am getting the steel tanks for is so great I can't say no. (Thank know who you are!) I had the option of stainless steel but doing research found that the welds start to leak after a few years compared to steel. Plus the coast guard does not like to see tanks made of stainless steel holding more than 20 gallons.
 Being the tank that came out is 39 years old I think the new ones will last just as long. They will get several coats of paint and possibly a tank sealer put inside just in case.
Once the new tanks are fabbed I'll post about them and the install.
 I'm still working on the engine at home. I will be installing all new hoses, gauges and sending units. I am  designing a fuel system that will allow me to "polish" the fuel. I hear there is some nasty fuel in some of the places we want to go. So now is the time to plan for it!

FYI if you want to see another Westsail 32 that is being refitted down in New Orleans take a look at Tate and Danni's Sundowner. It has some great history and they are preparing it to make some more! I get a lot of great input and ideas from them!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Making the fiberglass hawser tube for the bulwark.

The new solid bronze hawsers that I want to install have a smaller O.D. flange than the spun bronze ones on the boat now. This creates a problem as the opening in the boat is too large for the new hawsers. The new ones will cover the opening, but the screws have nothing to grab onto. I have to fiberglass the existing holes smaller so the new hawsers will fit
 My friend Marty at the marina came up with the great idea of fiberglassing a tube from one side of the bulwark to the other for the hawser to mount in. I like the idea as it will make the area completely waterproof and not depend on sealant to keep the water out. You can read about it here.  (FYI for my boat nomenclature challenged friends the bulwark is the "wall" at the very edge of the deck. Most small boats don't have these. It keeps you in and the water out..some of the time. For a better description look here at #4.)
Original spun bronze
New solid bronze 

The old spun bronze hawser versus the new cast one. No wonder the spun ones would crack! All of mine are cracked.

First I have to make a tube. I used polyester resin as it is cheaper than epoxy and didn't need to be structural. I needed the tube to be 3 5/8" O.D. (outside diameter) and the I.D. (Inside diameter) to be just large enough for the bulwark hawser to slide into.
I made a wooden caliper that was the O.D. of what the tube needed to be.

I needed a form that was the correct size for the hawser to slide into.
I found that the paper core of a wide format printer was the correct size. It was just a tad bigger than the hawser...perfect.  So I cut it to 18" long, wrapped it with saran wrap and packing tape and screwed it to a piece of wood to hold it in the vice. (The resin will not stick to saran wrap or packing tape.)

You can see I covered my bench with saran wrap to catch the drips.
I used some cloth my neighbor gave me to build up the thickness as I needed about a 1/4" all around.
I kept using the wooden caliper to check my progress as I added layers. Finally I had the thickness I needed.

I waited for the resin to harden then I removed the "form" tube from the fiberglass tube. I wish I could say it just slipped right out but I really had to just tear it out. It wasn't stuck to the fiberglass, it was just really tight!

(Looking back at the way I made the tube I would have made someway to be able to rotate the tube so I could see all of it easily. Or just put the jig in the vice with the tube hanging over the floor sticking out so I cut see it all the way around and have better access to the back. With it being over the bench I did not have great access to the back of the tube.)

I cut off the ragged ends of the tube and squared them up with 36 grit sand paper and 80 grit.

Time for a test fit.
Looks good. So I cut a 3 1/4" long piece and squared up the other end. The bulwark is 3" wide, at least the ONE that I measured. (There are four.) I left the tube a little long so I can "fit" it at the boat.

Next I took to cutting down the hawser itself. The over all length of the two halves together are over 3" long so they have to be cut down.

I figured out how much I needed to cut off and marked it on the longer half of the hawser.
Then took tape to mark the cut area. This would be a better guide that just the black line.

And I started to cut away with the hacksaw. I thought about using the abrasive chop saw I have but I don't think I would be able to get an accurate cut with out making a jig. So the hacksaw it was.
I was able to get a fairly square cut. I did lay a sheet of 80 grit flat on my bench and sanded off the high spots of my cut.

Now I put the hawser inside the tube to see what it would look like.

Not too bad if I say so myself. Lets wait and see how all this really works this weekend when I go to install it!

So the weekend came and went. I was able to get one of the tubes installed. I had to grind down the tube exterior to get it to fir in the existing opening. I used a 4" grinder. This made short work of it. The fit was really tight and I had to hammer the tube into the opening. It took several attempts to get the tube to fit. I wanted it to be a tight fit so I took my time.  I had cut the tube a 1/4" long so that I could grind it flush to the bulwark. I hammered the tube in from the deck side flush with the outside so any grinding would be done from the deck.

Here is the tube after I ground it down and had a force fit. Mind you I did check to make sure the bronze hawser did fit because if I got the fit to tight the fiberglass tube could distort and the bronze hawser may not fit.
The final deck side fit with the fiberglass tube ground down and a slight bevel ground into the bulwark to give some "bedding" room for the epoxy. 

The outer side with the tube in place. This side already had a bevel on the bulwark so I just had to had epoxy.
Below are the openings with epoxy installed. I did sand and clean everything before I put the epoxy on. I used a syringe to fill the existing screw holes.

These last few shots are the final test fitting of the bronze hawsers into the installed tube. I did have to sand a bit of the epoxy off. I did put it on a bit thick so I could make sure I covered everything and made the final fit as snug as possible.

I did put some sealant around the outer flange and the new screw holes. Plus I put a bead where the two halves of the hawsers meet in the tube itself. 

One down three to go. I did get the other three tubes installed and epoxied in. I just have to cut down the three remaining bronze hawsers and install them.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rudder cheeks and boomkin installed!

Finally, I was able to get the rudder cheeks and boomkin installed. It seemed like a long time to get this task completed. Now I just need to pull a few chain plates and see how they look. Then that will complete the standing rigging system for now. I plan on changing out all the standing rigging cables in a few years. I will inspect them all just in case..

I did replace the boomkin tangs, stays (cables) and turn buckles as you will see below.

The easy bolts first.

My best view!

Too long in this position and the ice tea wants to come back up!

Just a nice picture with palm trees in the background.

Gratuitous wiener dog pictures for Nancy! Miss Mae enjoying the sun.

And when she gets too warm.

The old versus the newboomkin tangs. FYI these old tangs were known for breaking and bringing down a mast or two. It was a no brainer to replace them. They would break at the top hole in the picture. There is very little metal there for how much tension the get.

The old ones didn't leak. Do you think I need a bottom paint job!

New tang and stay installed. I had the rope tied to it in case I dropped it while installing it.

And the cheeks installed and the boomkin installed with the back stay attached. (The back stay is the "cable" coming from the middle top of the picture to the end of the holds up the mast.)
See the rope hanging off the end and going into the water? Yeah, well, that is for the diver so he knows where to look for my craftsman 3/8" ratchet and socket that decided to jump out of my hands! Did I tie a rope to that...nooo, I won't drop it. I'll be "careful".  (Curtis this is all your fault...this is what we were talking about this weekend!)
By the way the diver that cleans my hull will fetch my dropped items for free...if he can find them! Maybe he can pick up my $12 stainless bolt and rubber sanding block from a few months ago too. They say global warming is causing the ocean level to is actually me just dropping stuff that is raising the ocean level. Sorry Mr. Gore!
I know the wiener dog floats......don't ask.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cetol(ing) the rudder cheeks and boomkin

Just so you know I'm not slacking off after work I get home and put one layer of cetol on each night. Here is how the layer count goes:

Rudder cheeks = 2 coats of penetrating epoxy, 2 coats of cetol teak light and 3 coats of cetol gloss. They are done.!
Boomkin and the six boomkin spacer blocks = 2 coats of penetrating epoxy, 2 coats of cetol teak light. Only 3 coats of cetol gloss to go before I can install them! Maybe I can get it installed on Sunday or Monday. That would be nice!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Engine Pan Liner Top... making progress

Two posts ago I showed you how I cut up the engine pan. I had already cut the new tops and coated them with penetrating epoxy getting them ready to install. This last weekend I worked on the boat in the engine room again. I cut a bit more of the fiberglass pan of in order to give the engine more room and to make it look like it was not done by a complete amateur. (But it  I made a ton of dust again cutting out just a few pieces. Amazing how "dusty" fiberglass gets when cut.

Here is a picture as I left it before the new cuts then a picture with the new cuts.

You can see I removed more from the aft end.
I cut two stringers to mount just a bit below the height of the remaining pan on the hull. This stringer was attached with thickened epoxy to hull sides. I used a lot of thickened epoxy to build up a ledge for the stringer to "sit" on and support the plywood at the hull. I then used thickened epoxy and covered the stringers with it and the pan where the plywood sits on it. I was generous with the epoxy to make sure the plywood was sitting in a lot of it to bond it well. FYI, I did scuff up the hull with the grinder and sanded the other areas with 60 grit so the epoxy had something to bite into as it cured. But it was taking a long time to cure by now as the temps were in the low 60's. 
You can see the fillets of epoxy between the hull and the 3/4" plywood.
I left the epoxy to cure and will come back this week sometime to apply several layers of cloth to tie it all together as one big piece.
One last thought. I will end up cutting my cockpit hatch in two. That thing is heavy and cumbersome to lift. I can't see having to remove it if needed in a seaway. It would be difficult at best! But that will have to wait. I want to get my engine installed!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Finally getting to the rudder cheeks and boomkin again

Man it seems like time is flying by and passing me up. I picked up my rudder cheeks and boomkins right before Christmas and here it is early February!  Sunday before the super bowl I gave them all a coat of penetrating epoxy. This was the second coat for the cheeks and the first for the boomkin. Monday night I went out and took the cheeks and boomkins down from their hanging position in the garage last night to wash the epoxy blush off. This time I didn't wash them in the kitchen sink! You can read about that here.

 I hung the boomkins back up and gave them another coat of penetrating epoxy. The last one for them before they get the cetol. The cheeks I sanded them down to get the drips and runs out (How could I get drips and runs when I was thinking I didn't put enough epoxy on?) to prepare them for the gazillion six coats of cetol I need to put on. I am going to do the top, let them dry then do the bottom. So this should take some time. I really want to try and get a nice smooth finish on the cheeks and I'm not so good at smooth. So we'll see how they turn out. the main thing is that they get protected. We all know protection doesn't have to be pretty.....right?

Here is the boomkin hanging with it's second coat of epoxy drying.
Sorry about all the clutter in the background...I'm building a boat!

And the cheeks with their first coat of cetol teak light. They "look" OK now, lets see tomorrow.
Look in the upper left corner you can see the engine pan tops. I also coated them with penetrating epoxy on Sunday.

Stay tuned and watch epoxy dry!