Sunday, December 21, 2008


Das Boot Stripe

Yahr, matey! Let the wild rumpus continue. A racing bottom it's not, but a-float it will. I'm jittering with excitement... or is it the coffee and allergy meds? Gotta scoot.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sanding Again

Saturday morning after eight and a dense fog advisory until nine. I'm warm and comfy in the boat and thinking about my impending state. Yes, that's right, I'm about to moonsuit up and sand the bottom, the boot stripe, and the cabintop stripe. Yippee. Plan is for Chica and me to come back up over new year's weekend ostensibly to roll on four coats of barrier coat, one coat of bottom paint, and as many coats of boot stripe as we can. Of course, it is widely known that our timing coincides with the rat island oyster roast, so you can find us there, too. Chica doesn't know it yet, but we'll probably get to painting the name on the transom. Progress...

As Kevin famously notes, "I'd rather suck an egg out of a chicken's ass than moonsuit up and sand the bottom of a boat." I'll second that and note that I would rather have #14 tooth ground to a stump and have a crown put on than manage an IT project using SAP Project System and comply with CMMI requirements. This should go a long way toward an explanation of why I'll find myself enjoying bottom sanding.

It's still foggy and wet out there. I've run out of things I can stand to type on this here touchscreen. Sorry about the auto-de-formatting that gets applied to the text (fixed, no longer sorry). Off to gear up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Clarity and Light of Hindsight

OK, I'm not too good at this, but let's look backward at the whole window / pilot house panel thing for a moment. So far, the Starboard HDPE 1/4" panel idea is great. I really like what it does to the inside of the boat, to my concern about rot, and to my need to keep a clean ship. This is nice stuff.

First, words are somewhat less pleasant than pictures because they cause your mind to work harder to translate the symbols to concepts.

>> Here's the pix, if you want to relax for a moment.

Initially, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to stick the HDPE to the FRP cabin sides. My primary options tended to be really expensive, hard to get, bulk order only glues like 3M DP8010NS ($18.84 / ounce) and Reltek B45TH (which may just be rebranded 3M stuff). Secondary options were mechanical fastenings like unsightly, carefully measured screws and kayak footbrace mounting studs.

The parts I ended up with were:
  • (2) CPG Seaboard 1/4" x 54" x 96" Polar White UV from World Panel Products ($345). The Fabrication Guide goes into detail for your project.
  • (1) West System G/flex 655 2 QT kit from West Marine ($70) - Note: WM says "tube" but what you get are 2 quart paint cans. I had to scrounge up some syringes to extract and mix properly. I probably used 1-1/2 cups of mixed glue, total. Now I have a bunch for other projects. Also, I don't buy from WM unless necessary... which it was because of delivery times. G/flex instructions are here, and here, and here, and here.
  • Other bits and pieces.
The new windows that I got from Mark Plastics (951.735.7705) use clamp rings on the inside. These hold the Seaboard panels nicely for fitting and afterward during the curing period for the glue. Also, the old teak trim can be used to hold the panels to the FRP if I select and drill for screws of proper length. Finally, the brass Gulf insignia in port and starboard outsides of the pilot house are held on with screws that burrow into the HDPE a little, so they help hold it on.

Useful hint: denatured alcohol will remove "permanent" magic marker from HDPE

So, the whole installation went very well. It takes two people to do it comfortably and quickly. I performed the install in my head, writing down work instructions which I took along to the boat and immediately disregarded. However, having gone through the process in my head a few times to get it right, I was then able to improvise off of an established script. Chica-san and I were able to complete easily in 3 working days while being generally friendly with neighbors and going out to eat and such. For you in Alaska (you know who you are) who are launching into a similar project, I submit the gorey details:
  • remove brass "Gulf" insignia, port and starboard
  • Remove ply window hole covers
  • Clean residue from gelcoat
  • Dry fit new windows and adjust holes as necessary. Tape off with masking tape for silicone squeeze-out while new window is in hole.
  • Remove remaining ply from FRP inside & remove amine blush
Dry Fit Panels & Windows:
  • Starboard Side:
  • hold up & align
  • fit trim pieces to hold (pay attention to corner location to account for both panels - e.g. Stbd side to Port forward)
  • round all sharp edges on HDPE - sander / planer
  • drill / screw in Gulf Insignia with screws
  • J to hold aft window area
  • T to mark for trimming
  • Repeat for forward window area
  • Remove trim, Gulf Insignia, trim window holes out, reserve holes to use as hinged (?) window covers
  • Remount panel with trim pieces, using clamps in window holes
  • Drymount windows as workspace becomes available
  • Confirm that new screws are enough for new windows - purchase more if needed
  • **>> consider using old windows as panel clamps? would need to assure they are not glued to hole by squeeze-out. do initial squeeze-out with clamps, mask old windows? work this out.
  • Port Side: Repeat as above, applying lessons learned
  • Forward Port & Starboard: Repeat as above, applying lessons learned
  • Aft Port & Starboard: Complete.
Glue Panels
  • Dismantle and stage dry installations. In order, install Stbd side, Port side, Forward Stbd & Port, Aft Stbd & Port
  • Wipe glue areas on FRP with denatured alcohol & mask gelcoat and other appropriate squeeze-out areas
  • Mark glue areas on HDPE with permanent marker
  • Mask glue areas as appropriate to account for squeeze-out
  • Wipe glue areas with denatured alcohol & flame treat (flame touching, moving at about 1 foot per second - practice with known distance to get speed right). Have 30 minutes to get glue on before having to flame treat again. mark time, keep flame gear around.
  • Mix & apply glue
  • Mount panel to pilothouse cabin side, affix with clamps and trim pieces, Gulf Insignia (sides) and hinge screws (aft)
  • 10 hours before cure (at 70F, longer for colder which will be the case)
Install and bed windows
  • Window frames are PVC Vinyl - no lacquer thinner or MEK
  • clean window frame material with denatured alcohol or acetone
  • mask outside of flange to prevent squeeze-out sticking later
  • lightly sand gelcoat where silicone will adhere
  • clean gelcoat with acetone
  • starting at bottom middle, apply continuous ~1/4" caulk bead to flange only
  • place window in opening
  • screw gun on low speed, and screwing slowly to prevent melting plastic...
  • screw middle top and bottom screws
  • install rest of screws, alternating diagonally opposed from middle to outer sides (adjusts for any cabin side curve present)
  • use rounding edge on stir stick to clean up squeeze-out on each window
  • allow silicone to cure
  • remove masking tape
more fun with boats.

Monday, December 1, 2008

PH Panels

A quick shot of the panels. Still need to replace the cabin top liner
material and refinish the teak trim - light deks olje, probably.
Getting there.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Figured it out

Well, as usual, we perfected our window installation technique on the eighth of eight windows. However, all windows went in smoothly without any oops. Nice. Mark at Mark Plastics provided the windows from OEM patterns for the 1980 Gulf 29. He would not make forward opening windows, to his credit. They're great for getting a breeze while lying at anchor, but not so much for seeing out of or keeping water out reliably. Mark gave excellent installation advice and made himself available for questions if we had any. Being a couple of ornery, independent little cusses, we didn't.

Dry Fit

The new windows fit properly. Now what?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


So, Cirque du Soliel presented Corteo under their big top in Bicentennial Park on Biscayne Blvd. Chica-san and I were enticed to attend. Favorites were hula-girl, the flying rings gymnasts, and the all-at-once parallel bars troupe. Muy cool, kimo.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So this frickin genius phone fails to include my tediously hunted and pecked notes if I type them after the photo... and it breaks my lines arbitrarily.

Now the windows are so shiny I'm going to have to buy a new boat to go with them. Think chica will go for it?


New windows

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Didn't believe me...

did you? So, Mara (sp?) at Blue Hill Inn says it's a ramblin' rose and that those berry things are rose hips like what get ground up in your vitamins.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wooden Boat Launch

We found this bush at the top of the boat launch at Wooden Boat HQ in Brooklin, ME. Now we just have to figure out what it is.

Cadillac Summit

Jenny after conquering Cadillac Mountain south face, Cannon Creek, some 1.7 mile trail, and the Cadillac Mountain Summit trails. Tired chica.

Cadillac Mtn South Face

Tim with cairn in Acadia NP. The start of an excellent walk in the park.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Oh man. A Jupiter Hammerhead nearly nailed my chica with a baseball. Those are red impressions from one regulation sized foul ball. She looked way less happy in the first picture I took.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Luaun patterns for seaboard panels.. This stuff stinks.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Get Back to Work, Slackboy!

OK, what's the plan with the windows and pilothouse cabin walls? Here's the general outline:

Mark Plastics in Corona CA made the originals. They still have the patterns, can make identical replacements, and get them to me for about $2600. The window and screen frames are plastic and cannot be opened for repair when needed later. The panes are 1/4" tempered glass instead of acrylic. Gone are the days of the forward opening windows. I'll have to put a hatch in the cabin top for airflow at anchor. Dang. My other option is Bomon, who can do it for about $3100 with aluminum window and screen frames that disassemble for repair. Bomon's windows meet ABYC standards. Not sure if Mark Plastics windows do. All other marine window manufacturing companies I discovered appeared to not have 2 inch radius corner making capability. The originals are 1-7/8" radius corners. If I go with a significantly different radius, I get into a bunch of glass fabrication and gel-coat matching to build the corners of the cutouts back up (thanks to Aeolus Gulf 32 blog for posts). Also some potential scale and aesthetic differences. Big list of boat window fabricators in case you're in this game, too:

American Marine Products, Inc.
1790 SW 13th Court
Pompano Beach, FL 33069-4715
TEL: 954-782-1400
FAX: 954-782-1404

U.S.A. Marine Windows Mfg Inc.
5937 RavensWood Road Bay-H6
Dania Beach Florida, 33312

Ocean Dynamics USA
18377 N.E. 4th Court
Miami, Florida 33179
Tel: 305-770-1800
Fax: 305-770-0605

Bomon Marine
1855 boul.industriel
H7S-1P5 Canada
Phone 450-668-3113
Watts 800-300-3113
Fax 450-668-3456

Diamond Sea-Glaze Mfg. Ltd.
26995 Gloucester Way
Langley, B.C.
Canada V4W 3Y3
Phone: (604) 607-0091
Or: 1-800-770-0455
Fax: (604) 607-0092

Peninsula Glass, Motion Windows
6005 NE 121st Ave
Vancouver, WA 98682
360-892-8152 fax

Freeman Marine
28336 Hunter Creek Road, Gold Beach OR
1-541-247-2114 (fax)

Waterway Systems LLC
Chuck MacTavish
7010 28th St Ct E, Unit 5
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 752-3554 1-800-952-3886

B & J Aluminum Windows
Robert Broussard
PO Box 385
Loreauville, LA 70552
TEL: 337.229.4737
FAX: 800.621.1381

Cabin sides:
So, most pictures of boats I see with interior paneling show some areas of water intrusion and rot. The manufacturers generally slap the ply on the glass hull and run on to other tasks without taking the time (that they perceive as money) to prepare it for the marine environment. This guy goes into great detail on the subject. Anyway, I'm getting away from maintenance items wherever possible. I'm going to replace the teak ply with Seaboard, which is HDPE plastic, recycleable #2. It's food safe, inert in its product form, guaranteed not to delaminate, ever, as it's an extrusion, and I'll get white to brighten up the interior. Here's an example of interior white in the new Gulf 32 demo boat. I like. I'll order 2 sheets of 56" x 96" Seaboard at World Panel Products for about $345 and tote them home on top of my truck. My concerns with the Seaboard are:
  • Dimensional stability: Following the estimation formula in the fabrication guide, the side panels could be expected to contract and expand in length by about 0.432 inches. Not a lot, and I can make room for it, but what happens when I fasten the Seaboard to the FRP with the recommended epoxy glue and a few retaining screws? Does it crack when the outer surface tries to expand and the inner surface is stuck firmly to the FRP? Does the FRP expand with it? It probably does not matter, but it'll bug me as long as we have the boat
  • Transport: Can I get it to stay on the truck all the way home without damaging it? Probably. I'll put it on the roof rack, use the canoe gunwale (say "gun'l") stays to hold it in place, use wood clamps to hold it together, and use various bits of line to strap it to the roof rack. But I bet it's slippery stuff.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

OK back to work

gotta keep on chiselin' old teak ply off of the FRP. fun fun. Bob stopped by to offer me a fan. He didn't realize I was toiling in air conditioned luxury. While we were chatting, he said that I am
"tough." been thinking about that. I always thought I was a bit of a weenie. Perceptions...


So, this is not what I see as I'm puttering about. I'll post the photo of what I DO see when I get there... May be awhile...


My little buddies have moved back in. I've been slinging mud dobber nests full of their grubs and stunned spider dins.


Big a-badduh storm! Boat's a-shakin, lightning's a-zappin, i'm a-
drinking a beer.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Been Awhile

Thought I'd pop in here and type quickly. I kind of don't have much to say. I'm flopping and lolling in the summer doldrums with the boat work. Ripped out the windows and the delaminated quarter inch teak plywood from the cabin top in late May and early June. Turns out the windows are all plastic and 5200. I'm obsessing about whether or not to use 1/4 inch HDPE sheet (King Starboard or Seaboard) as the replacement for the teak. My sticking point is dimensional stability under thermal ranges to be expected on the boat. Kevin is close, if not finished, on the engine and rudder / steering install.

Mostly I've been doing other stuff (and avoiding doing other stuff). Chica-san and I went to the Lowe Museum in Miami yesterday, then poked around Coconut Grove for awhile. Had French food in a Frenchie restaurant. Interesting thin man in 30s or 40s at the next table with a bar code tatoo on his inner forearm, an older wife, and a7 year-old daughter eating huge amounts of food. Goofed off in Delray on Saturday. A guy and his boyfriend in line behind us at Ben & Jerry's got a chocolate covered banana. Not much to do in SoFla if you don't have your boat here, aren't a shopper, don't swing with golf, ain't ultra-rich, and don't go to church.

Gotta scoot. Chica sez creamy gorgonzola pasta's ready!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Morning

Woodpecker hammering, finches singing, hawk on patrol, second cup of coffee brewing with the hiss of propane, a refreshing breeze, sunbeams slipping through the eastern canopy. Oh, and a squadron of bassrockets shredding the serenity to mark the new day. Off to projects.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trying again

Grrrr.   So, this is the rest of my magical mystery post.  Not sure why it was ignored...  It's interesting to me that I can putter around in the boatyard all day and share some of my conciousness with any one who cares to know.  How long before I can just grant you access to my conciousness in real time?

Gibson's report:  Luke's boat has been hauled out.  Mark dropped by to say howdy.  Kevin stopped zipping around long enough to do some fishing at high tide in the canal.  Buck is flying the Argonauts' rainbow flag that Del dug up.  The toilet seat has been replaced (this is a big deal).  Somebody bought Spica and started a really bad paint job  on her - looks like they got in a fight with mops that happened to be soaked in Interlux Perfection Oyster white.  And finally, it is said that Frenchie on Dolfijn is married to a Bush speech writer.  egad.

If you can afford it...

Have someone else paint your boat. This was the resounding thought in my head as I was about 3/4 around the boat wet-sanding with 320 grit, a grunchy left shoulder, and not enough sleep in the past two weeks. I decided to bag any attempt at getting the final coat on this weekend. My head's not right for doing a good job. Instead, I gave the boat a good cleaning today after sanding, and will noodle around tomorrow with navigation lights or something equally exciting.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Like everything on the boat that I haven't touched yet, and some things that I have, the windows are quite crusty and in need of replacement. It's a little difficult for me to call these things "ports." Same genus, different species. Chica-san and I met friends from Michigan in St. Augustine before getting over to the boat to show it off and take window measurements. They travelled with us to check it out before heading on to Orlando for a little family mousery. Ruth pointed out that the boat needs a lot of work. This is true.

Saw Kevin and caught up with him on some items. The Packless Sealing System (PSS) was off the prop shaft, and the old bronze packing nut and gland were back on. I like the idea of this arrangement better as the PSS instructions indicated that it was pretty feeble and fey when accosted by things like a little bit of time, air that isn't 100% oxygen, and liquids that aren't 100% water. With the neoprene boot that could have been torn easily, it looked just too fragile to be installed on any self-respecting rat islander's boat. I liked its high-tech idea at first, but practicality usually wins out one way or another.
A few pix of the engine installation, some items need to be moved, fixed, resolved before completion - such as the raw water strainer. Not quite sure what the plan is for the rudder post yet, but curious to watch and see it get sorted out.

On the way out of town, we stopped at Niko's for lunch. Sat one booth over from two couples with one man holding court, spewing half-baked opinions like the steaming, oily rush of air from a rusty old casino boat's engine room. Somewhere between admiring a passing Honda Trail Ridge (sic) pickup truck while claiming that it wasn't any good and explaining that someone had set (sic) Beull Clinton down (the crook) and told him to shut up cuz he h'ain't seen him awn TV lately, Mr. Knowledge claimed that, in his book (which I'm sure is dark and near his heart), Jimmy Carter was un-American. Chica-san let out a sharp laugh and the fun began...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting Started

So, this is a Capital Yachts Gulf 29 pilothouse sailboat. I've got some background info on an old HTML website. Further activities and links to pix will show up here. My most recent session involved crossing paths with my buddy Keith from time-back-way-back for a little sanding and painting.
We thought we would get to play with kayaks, but didn't. Tom dropped by early on and tried to drag us over to St. Augustine to serve as railmeat in a little drifting contest. I was feeling the gravity, but Keith wisely pointed out, "Paint the boat." dang. Tom reported back that the engine quit as they were escaping the slip. These are rat islanders, so they pressed on under sail power alone. Then the rudder fell off. Yup, I'm hangin' with the right crowd. I'm right at home. Life is good. Keith took off on Saturday to get into some well-deserved paddling and fishing at Isle of Palms, SC.

activities - sanded patch/acne off, final coat of primer, sanded, first topcoat, sanded, second topcoat. starting to look like a boat.

[newport] Twicksey Wabbit!

Test 3

First Auto Info Tosser Test

Thar she blows. 2nd coat of interlux perfection, one to go.