Category Archives: Deck Renovation 2015/16

Out of the Shed!

After nearly 8 months in the shed, Cuchulainn has escaped!

We've left the Shed!

We’ve left the Shed!

The painting was finished a couple of weeks ago, although, I didn’t get the thinning of the final coat right so it doesn’t look nearly as good as I would like. It is much, much better that it was. The old cockpit:

The Old Cockpit Seating

The Old Cockpit Seating

It’s a bit better now!

The New Cockpit

The New Cockpit

Almost everything has been put back onto the deck; there’s a few pins for the canopy and cockpit enclosure to put on. The Boss came down a few times so that we could tighten up bolts that went through the deck, particularily, for the chainplates for the rigging.

On the Move in the Hoist

On the Move in the Hoist

To here:

Now Waiting for a mast and Launch

Now Waiting for a mast and Launch

The mast will be stepped on Monday around 12:00ish and we launch on Thu 26 May around 08:00. At last!

Stop Press, Sat 21 May: We have three leaks! I think I had left a hole for a eye bolt in the foredeck which is dripping quite badly; the windlass will need to be reseated as a cable is partially trapped and the aft bolt is weeping slightly.; finally, the new vent over the galley has a drip once every 15 mins or so. They will be cured on the 1st dry day – possibly Mon.

Painting Finished!

It’s taken a VERY long time but we’ve now finished the painting of the deck.

Between us, we’ve put 3 coats of Epifanes Epoxy paint, followed by 4 coats of Epifanes 2-pack Polyurethane paint. For the final coat of non-slip grit, we masked up the deck to keep the fittings clear of non-slip and we painted that today, Thu 28 Apr.

Coachroof painting finished with non-slip

Coachroof painting finished with non-slip

We had to remove the masking tape before the paint set, otherwise it would be so well stuck down that it would probably rip the paint away. That was easy for the coachroof as we painted that first and could remove the tape from the deck. The side decks were done last and the tape removed from a ladder!

Side Deck Painted

Side Deck Painted

Today we also finished “T-Cutting” the hull topsides, followed by a good polish. They look good but no different in a photo taken inside our shed. While I was polishing, several boats outside were doing the same but they had to stop in the very heavy rain/hail. The hull is ready for its antifoul and the Boss will be doing that on Sunday. She always comes down on Sunday becasue Emma Caf is open and she does cakes to die for!

I was hoping to remove the tarpaulins in the next day or so, but the swallows have come back from their winter holidays in Africa and have taken up residence. I was warned that they will decorate the boat with a very pretty line of $#1@. I had to turn up the radio to drown out their chatter. It was amusing to see them sheltering in the heavy rain in the top of the roof!

Next – Putting everything back!

Boring Filling and Fairing

I haven’t given up with the deck renovation, it’s just that it’s been all the same, fill – wait till it hardens –  fair off the lumps and bumps – back to fill, and so on. Not worth writing about.

Now, we’ve done with the fill & fair, we’ve started painting the whole deck with Epifanes Epoxy paint, two layers on so far.

Epoxy onto all the corners and edges

Epoxy onto all the corners and edges

Halfway with the 1st Coat of Epoxy

Halfway with the 1st Coat of Epoxy

1st Coat of Epoxy on Deck

1st Coat of Epoxy on Deck

Foredack with its 2nd coat of Epoxy

Foredack with its 2nd coat of Epoxy

One more coat of Epoxy to go, that’s Sunday’s job; with a few places needing some filler, that’s tomorrow’s job (Wed). This will be followed by 3 coats of Epifanes 2-pack polyeurethane paint and a final coat with non-slip grit onto the deck. The trouble is that we have to wait for dry weather (relative humidity less than 75%) which is not easy around here! Finally, put the boat back together again!

I’m Still “at it”!

This is a dull time of the year as it’s either too wet or too cold or both to do much on the boat. However, I have been doing stuff at home.

A continuing job is building the panels of synthetic treak for the cockpit.

I’m starting to rebuild the bulkhead under the galley sink, but that was originally installed before Sadlers put the sinks, so a single piece cannot fit, however, a two piece bulkhead does. The shelves are ready for varnishing; the bulkhead will have laminate on the outside to prevent any water splashed from the sink rotting the wood. Inside the locker, the other side will be painted.

The filling has been taking up to a week to cure so that it can be sanded back smooth. The alternative is using glasspaper which cloggs with partially cured epoxy. After a couple of months, it nearly ready for painting, but the weather has not been nearly warm or dry enough. Today might have been for a couple of hours, but the paint would take at least 3 days to cure and I’m hoping that the joiner will be fitting the new toerail very soon. I don’t want him treading all over the paint!

In a previous post, I mentioned the removal of the skin fittings for the sink drains in the galley and the heads. The new skin fittings are back into clean holes in the hull, today, sealed in with marine sealant and they have a large fibreglass washer for the securing nut to bond against. They will be tightened on my next visit to really make sure there are no leaks. Next job is to refit the drains, however, in the galley I’m yet to find a suitable ‘Y’ connection ‘cos there are 2 sinks to drain. If all else fails, I’ll use a ‘T’ union.

We like to drink from glass whenever possible, but we haven’t got proper storage for the glasses. On the starboard side, I’ve built a locker to take 4 wine glasses and 4 tumblers and next to it there will be 2 drawers, something this boat doesn’t have! The outside frame is done and ready to be fitted, shelves for the glasses cut and also ready for fitting. It did take several fittings! The drawers will take even longer! It is complicated as the space for the locker has no right-angles  and it’s not been easy to fit!

The teakwork is getting better, today I belt-sanded the toe-rail which is looking more like teak and not a grey mass; there’s a bit of hand-sanding left to do. Next job is to oil the teakwork. It will make a huge difference to the appearance.

Christmas Holiday

Yes, I’m taking a holiday from the boat and the sanding/fairing.

On Sunday, the deck and coachroof was rubbed down, cleaned/hoovered and the fairing continued. There was loadsa dust from the grinding I did to enlarge the holes from the old exhaust pipe, 2 cockpit drains and the old gas drain. On the inside of those holes, I used thickened epoxy resin and glassed over the holes prior to filling the outside with epoxy and glass fibre.

At home, I’ve finished the synthetic teak panel for the aft locker. It looks fine and is just about OK, if you don’t look too closely! However, I messed up the cutting for the next panel and had to start again by replacing two of the outer edges. It’s fine now, but I was not a happy bear!

Earlier on Thu, the Boss and I went shopping. Actually, it was me doing all the buying of bits for the boat, including a new wind display, seacocks and skin fittings, new bolts for the cleats, and so on…..

Well, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to my two readers!

Sanding and Fairing and Other Stuff

On a nice wet Monday, I went to the boat to start the 1st lot of fairing and the next lot of filling. However, after a small amount of sanding the 1st lot of fairing was smooth, however, I had hoped to fair the next lot of epoxy filler. I didn’t ‘cos it was still soft after 3 hours curing – too cold! Had to think of other things to do!

I’ve drilled the pilot holes for the moved cockpit drains. Drilling the two holes took 2 minutes, however, getting them in the right place took over ¾ hour to get the plumb lines in the right place!

Next was the removal of all the sink drains in the galley and heads. It was easy to cut the old tubes, but I needed to get the galley sink  shelves out to remove the seacocks. That required the removal of a small ply bulkhead which was so seriously delaminated that it had clearly been soaked in water since new. I will make a new bulkhead in 2 pieces for easier replacement. The 2 shelves under the sink came out easily but they need revarnishing and the laminate re-stuck. More winter jobs.

I had serious doubts about the quality of the seacocks so now that I have removed the final three, I can check them at home and replace bits as needed. They had different types of sealant, one appeared to have a still unset mastic with a cotton thread/material filler. Another had no sealant at all! The tubes were not the correct size either and a ‘Y’ piece was too large and the tubes had broken; no suprise that they leaked from vrious places! The problem with seacocks is sea-water interacting with the zinc in the bronze which, if leached away, will leave a very weak copper seacock which is very vulnerable to breaking. I will make some hard-wood backing pads for them as they only had large washers as plates. I won’t mention the colour inside the tubes! The seawater inlet for the galley will be re-installed but the seacock will be blanked off as we don’t use seawater for rinsing – useful to save fresh water when ocean sailing which we don’t now.

I’ve almost finished the synthetic teak panel for the aft locker lid – very good it looks too. Need to find some 40 grit glass paper to rub it down to give it its non-slip surface. Probably put up a photo next time.

 

 

A Milestone

The Boss came down to the boat on Tue and we have reached a (sort of) milestone. We have scraped the last bit of paint off the deck & coachroof. All that is needed before we start painting is a quick orbital-sand of all the flat surfaces, and probably twice the amount of time to rub down all the edges and corners. The Boss has done most of the bow and mid-ships. The weather is reasonable down here in the SW compared with elsewhere, but it will not be good enough to start painting (+15ºC and <75% humidity). There are plenty of holes, grournches (sic) (bits where I’ve messed up), gelcoat blemishes & cracks etc to be filled and smoothed.

The other cockpit lid is now smooth and flat which means we will be able to sit on them with being in a puddle. The “teak” panel for this lid is work-in-progress and should be finished this week. Unfortunately, the only place I can leave them flat is in the spare room, so if you come and stay, you will have a panel or more of PVC decking next to you.

The rudder was wobbling quite a bit at the lower bearing, so I removed and Robin from Boating World is getting an insert made for a tighter fit. I’ve also rubbed off all the antifouling from the skeg and rudder and exposed several weak spots, including a couple of places where water has got in and is now trying to escape. Several holes has given the water a way out. A month or so before launch, I’ll fill the holes with epoxy and put several layers of epoxy paint over the rudder and skeg. That should last my lifetime, I hope. The skeg on a Sadler 34 is not the best engineered, so I’m using a bit of stainless steel plate as a backing pad for all 9 bolts that hold the skeg onto the boat. It should make it stiffer and more secure.

The wood for the replacement toe rail is currently being machined and should be ready for fitting soon.

Working from Home

In the excitement of taking everything off the deck that could be removed, I’ve also removed both locker lids, both fore and saloon hatches (more on the hatches later), main hatch garage and the anchor locker lid. We had enough stuff in our garage, now there’s even more! During a retail therapy session in Plymouth (Yes, Plymouth!), I’ve acquire a belt sander and used this to remove the old paint and non-slip gelcoat from the anchor locker and hatch garage at home. Unfortunately, I’ve taken too much off in places. (I claim that the gelcoat was a bit thin in places and too thick in others!) It is also clear that there are lots of pinholes in the gelcoat so it will be essential to put extra layers of epoxy paint onto the garage. I’m also thinking of putting some extra fibreglass on the inside to stiffen it up. The next job at home is to start filling the holes and scratches and places where the gel is missing on the hatches. We have found both cockpit hatch lids are concave, one is about 8mm deep so if we put the synthetic teak on, there will be a pool of water in the middle! I’ve been advised that I can build up the middle with polyester resin (thickened) then fill and fair to make it flat with my new toy.

The belt sander was put to good use over this weekend and I’ve removed about 95% of all the old rotton paint from the coachroof, cockpit sole (floor) and side decks and very dusty it was too; the Henry vacumn cleaner was full after 20 mins, the bagless one was full after 2 mins, so I used the good dust masks instead and swept all the dust up. It is a case of 80-20; doing 80% of the work takes 20% of the effort and vice versa for the final 20%! As well as the law of diminishing returns! I’ll stop when I run out of ideas or get really bored with sanding.

The weather has really gone downhill now so I don’t suppose that we will have the right conditions until spring;  the paint needs 15ºC and 75% relative humidity, fat chance at the moment. There’s plenty to keep me quiet: teak panels to make, cockpit lids to level up, glasses lockers to make, drawer unit to design and install etc!

 

Now It’s Getting DUSTY!

Everything that can be removed from the decks and coachroof has been removed except for the stanchions and guardrails so that we are less likely to fall off the boat! We are two and a bit metres off the ground and some of it is concrete!

The weather has changed for the worse so that it gets quite dark inside our shed, so I’ve rigged up a light to help see; it’s made a huge difference. I’ve also got a flood light ready but have not used it yet. Watch this space.

The Shed now has PROPER lighting!

The Shed now has PROPER lighting!

All the gunk/stuff that held the ply in the cockpit has been removed:

Cockpit seat with the ply removed

Cockpit seat with the ply removed

To look like this:

Cockpit part way through the renovation

Cockpit part way through the renovation

It did look like this:

Cockpit before anything was started

Cockpit before anything was started

I’ve been using an orbital sander to get all the old muck and pint off; the paint had been applied to unsanded gelcoat, applied over blemishes, dirt and clearly had no care. Unfortunately, an orbital sander is not enough to strip off the old gelcoat non-slip surface, so I’m buying a belt sander this week.

Chainplates and Cockpit

The Boss and Skipper were on the boat this weekend facing our separate challenges of getting stuff off the deck. The Boss decided that swinging a hammer to strip off the “teak” ply off the cockpit seat was her thing, whilst the Skipper continued with the removal of the chainplates.

The Boss with Two Weapons!

The Boss with Two Weapons!

To start off, the Boss put the Skipper inside the aft locker and we managed to remove the final cleat. The next two-handed job was undoing the bolts holding the chainplates, one person in the saloon, the other in the locker or, on the port-side, the heads. Some of the nuts were buried inside the double skin and, we hope, still fixed in the resin when the boat was built.

Access to Underside of Chainplate via a Rough Old Hole

Access to Underside of Chainplate via a Rough Old Hole

We’re discovering that the boat-builders did not finish the detail very well. Each chainplate is fixed to the deck with 4 bolts and the aft pair have backing washers and nuts for every bolt. However, access to the forward chainplate nuts is by drilling out the holes in the bulkhead, (behind the discoloured gelcoat to the left of the metalwork) even then some of the bolts are just stuck into resin without a backing nut.

IMG_0770

Aft Chainplate, Cover cut away to access securing bolts

We now have another winter job which will be to drill out access to all 4 bolts and clean the space out to insert nuts for each bolt, then to clean up the rough holes that have been dug! Eventually, we got all 4 chainplates off and discovered that they had all leaked as is evident from the black staining under the plate.

Both Chainplates Removed

Both Chainplates Removed

We are well organised (I hope), we labelled everything that we have removed! The next day, the Skipper attacked the cockpit and removed the rest of the ply from the seats, however, I think that I have forgotten the thin piece behind the locker lid (just visible)!

Cockpit Seat Removal - Work in Porgress

Cockpit Seat Removal – Work in Porgress

The bent chisel, made from an old tyre lever, worked very well. The hammer may be old, but it is well balanced and did the job well! Next challenge is to remove all the old glue by scraping it off and finally cleaning with a solvent but I’m not sure what will work. Watch this space! We still have to remove one more deck fitting – the fresh water inlet, but we need a heat gun to soften the tube to remove it from the fitting. This required the removal of the chart table locker (again).