Friday, April 29, 2005

A hole is to dig

Whew! I've successfully installed a new thru-hull and seacock for the head. It looks great! Of course none of this plumbing stuff can be tested without sticking the whole stinking boat in the water so.... I'm sure it will be fine. It's hard to drill a hole around a hole with a hole saw (don't say hole!) as there is nothing for the pilot bit to grab onto. Additionally, I couldn't drill from the inside where I had epoxied a plywood pad as there wasn't enough room for drill and bit to get lined up. So, I used the idea given to me by my clever old dad... I drilled a hole using the hole saw into a 3/4" piece of plywood. Then, my friend Chuck held this board tight against the hull, centered over the existing hold while I drilled away from the outside in. This worked great and gave me a better chance to make the hole perpendicular to the hull than hoping from the inside.

Today I'll do the same with the engine thru-hull. I got that one off yesterday and have the new Marelon replacement ready to go. There is already a pad in the engine room for the thru-hull and room to drill this one from the inside. I'll still need to use the "sleeve method" for drilling though and hope I can hold the board and drill at the same time.

As to the remaining thru-hull for the sink drain...I give up. It is really glassed in with a load of fiberglass and it is right next to the water-lift muffler. I can barely get at it. I tried to unscrew it yesterday but have no leverage for this job. I suspect that this went in BEFORE any engine or galley item was in the boat. This is always a problem with boats. What they say about fixing and installing stuff may not always be possible without completely taking the boat apart. I did take the valve itself apart and cleaned it up. It looks sturdy and free from any rust. Since this one is for the drain it is important that we keep stuff from going down there and possible jamming the valve.

Since my last update I've received and returned the new rudder! They made one for a newer Catalina that has a flat spot where the rudder tube exits the boat. My boat is angled there. To their credit they are not arguing. I'm shipping it back today and they are going to fix it and ship it right back. "They" are

We closed on our house back on Tuesday and are now living in an Extended Stay America in Des Plaines. It will serve it's purpose just fine but if I can get into the water earlier than 5/27 I think we'll move aboard then.

This weekend we will paint the bottom of the boat and start to put it back together. There is stuff everywhere from our various projects. Stay tuned for pictures!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Here is Cindy and some of her crew. Hey. Did you know you were in charge? Or were you just smiling for the camera?!? Others in the background are  Posted by Hello

So you've been wondering about Becky the Great. Here she is!  Posted by Hello

Hey, got any boxes?

Well, now the real work starts. We SAY we've sold all our stuff but then what are these boxes lying about? OH yeah, there' some Leah stuff and some boat stuff and some memorabelia stuff...Yikes! It all has to really go by friday because we're going to Florida for the weekend to see my Dad.

I helped the guy who bought the lathe haul it out of the basement today. That was fun. I swore I wasn't going to get involved but there was no way without putting more men on the job. Holy crap that thing is heavy! The only major tool to not sell was the jig saw. I'm surprised because you can do so much with it.

Well, I organized some boxes and packed up some Leah stuff in her car to take to the city. Then I got caught in traffic far from the Kennedy and decided that this load could wait. We'll see.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

And here I am in my living room after the big "Not Dead Yet Estate Sale"! Posted by Hello

giving up things

Well, we've really done it now. We've sold most of our worldly possesions at today's "not dead yet" estate sale. Lucky for us Becky Miller knows how to sell stuff and not just piss off potential buyers like your faithfull write does! Way to go Becky. We now have a completely empty living room, dining room, bedroom, and kitchen...except for the coffee pot. Got to hang on to that! Most of the small hand tools sold along with the table saw, router, biscuit joiner, and sander. The drill press, circular saw and jig saw are still there for the taking. I wish we could move to the boat tomorrow but we're a month and a half away from our launch date!

I can't believe they got that awful couch out of the basement! Posted by Hello

Who will ever buy this stuff? Posted by Hello

The "Not Dead Yet Estate Sale" is about to begin! Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Another productive day...

Yesterday was our last weekend day to work on the boat for the next couple of weeks. Next week we are having the big 'not dead yet' estate sale and the week after that we are visiting Florida to see my dad. So, here's an update on our ongoing projects. Some pictures follow this entry.

Thru-hulls and seacocks (if I can even say that!) I've learned so much about this little corner of the boating world since I started this project. Seacocks and ball valves are NOT the same thing. Fooled you I bet. NO! A seacock is designed to screw onto the thru-hull (which, yes, is the part the goes through the hull). These are straight threades (NPT or NPS...can't keep it straight). They are straight so that the nut that screws this thing down will press down against the pad of plywood that you install there for that purpose. The seacock is the very next thing and that has the handle to turn water flow off and on. On the top of the seacock it has regular pipe threads to accept elbows, barbs etc. A ball valve only has pipe threads. It looks like a seacock but it is not. So, having learned all that I happily prance about the internet looking for a 1/2" diameter seacock. There are NONE but the pipes in my boat ARE 1/2". So one solution is to drill a 3/4 inch hole over the 1/2" hole. In the case of the thru-hull for the head this is perhaps a good solution as that hole was not perpendicular to the outside of the boat anyway. In preparation for this solution, yesterday, I ground down the fiberglass around the 1/2" hole to make a flat area around it that was also parallel to the outside hull. Then, I epoxied a 3" disk of 1/2" plywood over this hole. I had put a long machine screw through the center of this disk which went through the hole to the outside. Out there Sue passed this screw through another piece of wood and tightened the two together with nut and washer. This then holds the inside pad in place while the epoxy sets up. The idea now is to drill through the hull AND this pad witha 1" hole saw which will then accept the 3/4" thru-hull . (note, pipe sizes are given by their inside diameter hence the 3/4" thru-hull needs a 1" hole.)

Upon inspecting the engine thru-hull I find that it is in fact a good thru-hull. It doesn't have to be replaced but the old gate valve on it does. Here we go again. Now I need a 1/2" thru-hull and as far as I can tell their aren't any. I really don't want to tear apart a perfectly good thru-hull just to get to the size I want. This will remain a puzzle until I can get some suppliers on the phone.

Galley Whoopee! We finish a job! The new pots and pans cabinet/stove holder looks great! See pictures below. The old alcohol stove was dangerous (plus I couldn't keep Sue out of the alcohol supply). This coupled with the fact that we rarely used the oven made us look into this new two burner non-pressurised stove top. It uses alcohol but it burns like a big warming tray. Works great and simple to operate. I've lost the ability to gimble the thing but we rarely are at sea, heeled over for long periods of time AND looking for a hot meal. We normally cook at anchor and mild rolling can be handled with some pot holders...yet to be invented by me.

Spreaders: Flag halyard blocks and deck lights were put onto the new spreaders. We then threaded the upper shrouds through the keepers at the end of the spreaders and left them on the mast. It's up to the yard to put the spreaders back on the mast when they step the mast.

Turnbuckles: We had purchased new turnbuckles for all the stays. Two problems: first I ordered 1/4" instead of 5/16" for the lower stays so those have to go back. Secondly, the threads seem pretty gunked up on all the stays. I can get some old turnbuckles off but not others. Seems like when I get near the end of the thread they hang up. These old turnbuckles seem to be in ok shape but they are the closed type and I like to see what's going on. Plus these closed ones require some sort of tool to pass through the hole in the middle for adjustment. A tool that I do not currently own. The regular open type turnbuckle can be operated with a large screwdriver. So, here's another "little project" that opens up an entire locker of worms!

Rudder The new rudder is on it's way from Florida in another week or so. At that point the tricky part will be drilling two holes in the rudder shaft at the proper places and at the proper angle. This shaft is 1/4" stainless pipe so drilling is not trivial. This will have to be done accurately on a drill press. Hmmmm....ok, another project that is in the works. I did patch the small gap between the fiber tube that holds the rudder post and the hull.

OK, I think there is time for everything to still be done but there can't be any more BIG problems or questions and the thru-hull puzzle needs a solution soon.

Look at Sue use those tools! Sue has finished putting the old hardware back on the spreaders.  Posted by Hello

There, Done! Finally a project with a finish! Posted by Hello

Assembling the new cabinetry under the new little alcohol stove. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 01, 2005

One step forward...

We managed to remove the old rudder from the boat today. It's not actually as hard as I thought. We rigged a line from the two stern cleats under the rudder. Once Sue removed the last screw holding the cap on the rudder post she could ease the lines while I wrestled the rudder to the ground. As you can see in the pictures below, this thing is seriously cracked. Also, plenty of water poured out of the rudder post when I turned it upside down and that ain't right! You'll also see in the picture that this rudder has been banging up against the hull. I'll make sure we put in proper spacers when we install the new rudder to fix this. Finally, there is a fiber tube in which the rudder post fits. When you look up from under the boat you can see a space between this fiber tube and the fiberglass hull. Don't know how far up this space goes but I'm thinking I should find a way to re-glass this space. Is it a lot of trouble to turn the boat upside down to get the glass to set right?

I had hoped to put in a new through-hull today for the head. I ground down the figerglass on the inside of the boat that was there to support the pipe stem to create a flat place for the nut that holds the through hull to the boat. The problem is that the existing hole is not perpendicular to the outside of the hull. So, when I try to put the brass through-hull fitting into the hole it fits but the flange leaves a large gap on the outside of the hull. This thing will not sit right unless it sits flat against the hull. Now what? Anybody got a hole straightener?

On another front here is the through-hull for the head. I've ground down the fiberglass that had been built up to hold the old pipe stem to create a flat area to bed the new through hull. The problem is that this hole is not perpendicular to the outside of the hull so there is no way to bed it on the outside...Hmmmm? Posted by Hello

Sue is reassembling the hardware onto the new spreaders we made over the winter. They look great! Posted by Hello

This is looking up at the empty rudder hole. You can see how the rudder has been rubbing on the underside of the boat. Also there is a gap between the fiber tube and the hull that I think should probably be glassed in. Posted by Hello

Here's a good picture of why I am buying a new rudder. When I tipped it upside down about a quart (1000 ml) of water poured out. Nice. Posted by Hello

OK! I caught the rudder when it fell out of the boat. No mitt! Posted by Hello