Saturday, July 12, 2014

Portlights are finally set in place

Way back, almost a year ago August I went about glassing in place the double thick backerboards for the later to be installed portlights from Newfound Metal.  I hadn't even purchased them yet.  They sent me a template drawing, which I used to lay out and accurately place the backer boards.

In January I recieved the portlights ... 10 of them ... six 7 x 15 inch and four 5 x 12 inch.  So, they just sat in the boxes until this week.

After watching their installation video several times and reading the installation instructions, I developed the best way to lay out and set mine in place.  Not having the metal template, which for a rental fee you can borrow from them, I developed my own way to use the beauty ring as a template by making points on bolts, drilling one index hole, then BANGING the other points to make drill marks.

After drilling small holes I set the ring on the cabin side and traced out the pattern.  Next, using a die grinder with a burr for the corners and 4-1/2 inch angle grinder with a diamond blade for the straight sections.

After I had cut a smooth surface on the fiberglass I used a router bit ... a very long router bit, with bearings at both ends of the cutting blades, to route out the wood from the backer boards.

Next, I fit in the Portlights.  Aren't they purrrrdy ???

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sanding her bottom ... ouchie ... no, the boat ! ! !

Earlier this week, since it's cool in mornings and evening I started sanding on the bottom of the boat.  I started with my 6" random orbit sander with 40 grit paper ... ya right ... like I have another 3 years to finish this project and 500 discs.  So I went to Harbor Freight, only because they sell cheap tools, and bought a 7" grinder.  If you're only going to use a tool for one job why pay out the nose for top of the line?  Have you ever sanded a with a 7" grinder before ??? me, neither.  It turns at 7800 rpm.  The disc flew off like a frisbee!  I called Oceanside Marine Center and discussed my dilema with their shop expert.  His simple reply, "dude, it's spinning way to fast.  To sand you need something that spins in the 600 rpm range."  Who would know?  It didn't say that on the box and I've never been to sanding school.  So, I returned it.  My neighbor had bought a 7" variable speed sander to work on surfboard.  Like me, completely wrong tool for the job.  I bought his 7" sander and he went an bought a 4" random orbit.  Two problems solved :-)

This is going to be really easy.  I should be done in a day or two :-)

My arms after 10 minutes :-(
There ... finally after nine days I have "naked boat".
After a few days break I'll start sanding out the gelcoat cracks and tiny pits.
May as well now that I have Popeye arms.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fwd Vent Boxes & Hatch

When I first built the vent boxes and set them on the cabin top it became quite clear that the fwd boxes and the hatch cover were going to occupy the same space.  Hmmm... can't have that.

So ... I decided to raise the top of the hatch about 4 inches.  The sides angle in so the added height would give me more space between the hatch lid and the vent box.  Also, in doing this I can build a new cover with straigher sides than the old one.

With the wood glassed in place from the inside and 2 layers of glass sealing it it's time to glass in the outside and make it look original.

There ... the vent boxes are tacked in place and the hatch extention is ready to grind smooth.
Now, wash the deck down so the glass dust doesn't start another fire ! ! !
Next week I'll finish sand and lay down a layer of InterProtect 2000 barrier coat.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ventilation Boxes

If you scroll down  many months ago to previous posts you can see when I made the ventilation boxes.  Last weekend I sanded off the paint and gelcoat in the area around where the boxes go.
Today I cut all the pieces of mat and cloth and got the aft two boxes glassed in place.  Tomorrow I'll glass on the middle two.  The fwd two will be more involved because they are very close the the fwd hatch and I'll need to raise the hatch edge so the lid doesn't hit the vent boxes.

1-1/2 oz mat / 10 oz cloth / 1-1/2 mat

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sailrite LSZ-1 Ultrafeed sewing machine for Charlotte

My project for April is to buy Charlotte of the S/V Rebel Heart a new Sailrite LSZ-1 Ultrafeed sewing machine so she can get back to what she loves doing.  That is sewing things for little kids.  Here is a link to her website:

Follow up - - We reached out goal and were able to send the fund to Charlotte so she could get her sewing machine.

Please Click Here to Donate

Monday, April 14, 2014

Working on Sails

The last several days, well, ever since I got the main sail for the boat I've been working on two smaller sails.  The main needs to be re-stitched so I'm practicing sewing on the older sails.  They both had heavy cable edges and I'm removing it and putting soft rope.  Then I'm re-inforcing the grommets where you fasten the sail.

Well, now that I have the sail finished I'm going to need a new sail bag to store it in.

This is me making the sail bag.  Once I start sewing more for the boat I'll build a big table for my machine.  For now this little table works just fine.

Not bad for my first sail bag, huh

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kemp Boom

04/04/2014 ... 8 months ago I choose today for lauch day ... clearly that's not happening, but it was a very special day for the boat.  I went to San Diego and picked the boom for the mast.  I spent the late afternoon fitting the gooseneck fitting.  I know, it's still all laying horizontal but at least it's together.  It's a Kemp Boom with a single line reefing system for 3 reefing points.
Thanks Rig Works of San Diego.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Engine Day

Thursday, March 03, 2014 ... the little Perkins, that I've had for over 5 years, rebuilt over a year ago, finally rests on the mounting blocks in it's new home aboard Chasing Summer.  What an event, a milestone, to get Lil Perk where she belongs.
A big thank you goes out to Choice Nursery for the crane.

All hooked up and ready to lift

Sure hope that strap I sewed doesn't break :-(

Ok ... easy does it  ... down ... down ... down ...

Keep it coming ... just a little bit more

There she is :-) ... let's get 'er unhooked

Isn't she purdy :-)

Saturday, March 1, 2014


A year ago I rebuilt my Perkins 4-107 engine complete with new sleeves and pistons.  She run like brand new.  Poor ole rusty Borg Warner transmission has been sitting beside it for yet another year.  It's time to get it also rebuilt and get the power plant on board the boat.  Early last week I called Stewart Marine in Seattle for rebuild parts.  Not having cracked the casing open yet I didn't know the condition of the reversing plates.  Would they have to be replaced, too, which is normal not due to using them but from not using them.  The teeth wear from not using them.  ...  Great news :-) when I opened the case, after at least 25 years of idleness, the inside looked as if were brand new.  All the clutch plates were in perfect condition.  A tiny hase of rust on the inside top of the case but other than that ....
After removing all the parts I've been cleaning up the outside of the case, which wasn't "like new" at all.  There was no paint left on it.  There was no scale but was covered with rust.  The lighter parts i could wire wheel at the polisher.  I got a container of CLR and let the parts soak for a spell, then I put them in a heavy duty degrease to clean them.  After washing and carefully drying ... I'm ready for the first coat of self-etching primer.  ...  It's been cool and raining so I brought the casing in the motorhome, stood it up in front of my little heater to completely dry out the metal and keep it warm.
Yesterday was paint day.  ...  Oh, what's it standing on?  I needed to paint both the top and bottom so I stood it on a length of pipe with a couple in the middle for support.  Hope it doesn't tip over.  Hey, my new welding table works pretty good.