Sunday, September 23, 2012

NOT what you want to find in the middle of the job

The work on the Salon continues and we have removed the rest of all cabinetry.  2 opening ports have been removed as has one of the hatches in the roof that was leaking.

Removing the hatch took several hours to break the aluminum frame from the rise as well as breaking the riser loose from the actual deck.  Both had to be removed to inspect the core where the leak was.  We do have softened core in a small section along the opening, it is being removed and filled with a thickened epoxy.

The deck around the openings have all been cleaned and all silicone and adhesive removed.  Acetone worked well along with some 3M pads and razor blades for removing the material.

Image loading, if you are on a slow connection, please wait a momentAll of that was going according to plan, what was not going according to plan was noticing down below that water was slowly coming in along the forward port chainplate.  (The Chainplates are what attach to the hull and then the Standing Rigging, the wire that holds up the mast, is attached to).

After further inspection, I can see that at some point in time, this chain plate had some type of service done to it.  The wooden toe rail that the chainplate goes through, has been cut and then patched back in.  (Below in the image, the blue arrows point to the spot where the toe rail had been cut to gain access to the chainplate.  The red arrows point to the spot that the water is getting into.  I noticed when pouring just a couple of ounces of water on the deck in front of that patched part of the toe rail, some of it is running in.)   I could likely just run a bead of silicone along the joint between the toe rail and the deck, but I suspect that if this has been leaking for a while, I really want to see what is going on in there where that patch is.  This is one of the benefits of having the boat down to bear hull.  I would have never seen this otherwise and in the end, it is not a lot of water coming in, but a little bit every day would cause serious damage.  Now I know why I am having to replace the wooden countertop in the Salon, I suspected a leaking port, but I don't think that is the bigger problem here.
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The strange thing is that it was not raining, this leak became evident just from the dew that was on the deck and starting to pool along the edge of the patched part of the toe rail.  Needless to say, I will be removing the patch and inspecting this closer.  This is a delay I certainly did not anticipate.

I am starting to see why I have heard that when starting a boat project, estimate the time line and the cost accurately and realistically, then double the cost and triple the time and you will be about right for the job.  That has certainly proven to be the case in most of our ventures so far.  :)  Ahhh boat ownership.    I joke, but really wouldn't trade it for the world.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Salon Remodel begins

This is an old post from September of 2012, I just noticed that it remained in draft mode and was not published according to it's schedule

Now that we have wrapped up the Navigation Station, Galley and Walkthrough, we had friends in town and did some nice sailing, now it is back to the next bit of work on the boat.

So yesterday it started, cushions removed, everything removed from the storage below the settee, cupboards emptied and the demolition begins.

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Salon - Port Side - Before
In the "Before" picture you can see both Red and Blue arrows.  The blue arrows point to places where we have noticed water coming in when it rains hard.  The odd thing about a boat is where you see it dripping from is typically nowhere near where it is actually leaking.  In this case most of the dripping was coming out of the florescent light fixture mounted on the ceiling behind the settee.  
The leak actually appears to be coming from 2 places.  One is from a poorly bedded opening hatch about 6 feet from that location.  The other culprit appears to be the opening port just above the light itself.  

The red arrows point to all of the areas where the wood will need to be replaced.  This falls into 2 categories.  The peeling veneer on the back wall is rather easy, typically it is just a thin 1/8" thick piece of veneered plywood as a decorative piece.  The flat top of that counter behind the cushion is a little bit more complex and is 3/4 inch teak veneered plywood and helps to provide structure and strength to the boat by locking the galley and Vbert bulkheads together.  

That is the countertop that the cupboards are mounted to, it is also the top of the storage area behind the seat back and houses the air conditioning vents for the Salon area.  

Salon - Port Side - Wood removed
We removed the cupboards, removed the decorative veneer wall from behind it.  Removed the face of the storage area (Also the back of the salon seats) and then removed the horizontal piece that was rotting. 

As we typically do, we have taken these wooden pieces to our storage unit where we will sand the moulding and all of the good pieces of wood down to fresh wood with 220 grit sandpaper.  For the pieces that are rotted, we will use the old ones as patterns and make new ones.  

The big decision now is if we will put it back the way it was, or try to improve upon the storage that the boat has, and we will likely need when living aboard.  I think we will be doing the later and likely will make new cabinets that are deeper than the previous ones.  We will also work to create dividers and doors across the entire countertop so that we have storage all the way across.  By doing these 2 things, we should more than triple the amount of storage that was above the counter on the Port side of the boat.

The hole in the bottom of the seat is the access panel to the 16,500 BTU air conditioning unit that will be installed as soon as the leaking ports have been repaired.  

The realization hit both of us today, it is amazing that in just 2 day of working  (about 7 hours total) we have gutted this section of the boat again down to bare hull and fibreglass in areas.   It will take us 3 months to build all the new stuff and install it again.  And as we all know Murphy's law (I am convinced he was a sailor) kicked in and it started to rain today and will for the next 3 days when I really need to remove and rebed 2 opening ports and 2 opening hatches in the roof.

We did a small video showing what it looks like in more detail now that we have removed the old "stuff"

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sailing Galveston Bay in a Thunder Storm

This Labor Day weekend some of our friends came down to visit and we decided to celebrate the progress made on our refit work down below with a nice sail out on Galveston Bay.  We picked up some sandwiches from Subway and packed some drinks.  (The boat still doesn't have our galley stocked from all the work we were doing just before this trip)

We left the dock in Clear Lake TX and headed east out into Galveston Bay.  The wind was 12-18 knots or so and we had a really nice sail under full main and reefed head sail.  We were nicely making 5-7 knots or so and the sun was shining and it was great visiting and hanging with friends.  As we reached about 4 miles out into Galveston Bay and approached the Houston Shipping Channel, we could see the storm building pretty good to the west behind us.

Checking the radar showed that the storm approaching wasn't that bad, but there was another building that had stronger cells and lightning so we decided to turn back and head back toward it and toward our home port.

As we approached the start of the Channel Markers near Kemah, I saw a power boat trucking out toward the bay at a pretty good clip.  Deciding that I would prefer to ride it out just outside the channel where it was still deep enough was a pretty easy decision.  We just circled a quarter mile area or so watching for other boats that may be doing the same thing.  I did see another sail boat also hunkered down doing the same thing not too far away.

As the rain let up, and visibility started to improve we were able to easily see the channel and head on back.

In the end, we had a great sail.  Everyone got wet, but we were able to confirm that nobody melted.  The return to the slip and subsequent backing into our slip was near perfection if I do say so myself.

The best part of all of this is that one of our friends was taking video's on her iPhone to send to her daughter.  I used those clips to put together this quick summary of the day.

Now, for Deb and I, it is going to be back to tearing up the Salon as that is the next portion of the boat to be refit.