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Progress Report:  2005 Archives

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Reports from March, 2005
3/6/05  3/13/05  3/20/05  3/27/05

Log for the Week Ending March 6, 2005

First, I apologize for the poor quality of many of the photos in this week's descriptions and some of last week's.  My poor camera, already on its last legs, survived a fall from the boat deck to the concrete floor last week.  While it's amazing that it still works at all, it's definitely not happy, and a replacement is on its way.  Meantime, the photos are coming out rather dark and sometimes filled with lines or fuzziness.

Since I'd had such an unproductive week last, and no work on Saturday, I decided to do some work on Sunday.  After a few days off from working on the cabin trunk, I had had time to contemplate some new approaches to the construction that I hoped would have a better chance of success.  I jumped right into this task, and cut, fit, and installed one side permanently in place, and prepared the second side for installation on Monday.  Monday, I continued with more work on the cabin trunk and was pleased with the relative ease with which things fell into place, finally.

Click here to read about how I built the cabin trunk.

In preparation for final work on the coaming boards, I addressed the small matter of the rabbet in the port coaming board that I had cut earlier.  My new installation plan called for the coaming to be secured entirely inside the cockpit well, so no rabbet would be required.  Since the original rabbet was on the outside (well, the edge that pressed against the outer wall of the cockpit), and would be hidden in the final installation, I cut a strip of mahogany to fit the rabbet and epoxied it in place, just to fill the gap.  This would return the board to full strength.  I left the strip to cure, and then sanded everything smooth again.

Monday was soured by the lack of delivery of my engine.  All day long, I kept my cell phone nearby--something I never, ever do, as I loathe the things--in case the delivery driver needed guidance to get here or if there were any problems.  Phones and email remained mute, but by about 1400 I was really starting to wonder.  Finally, I placed a call to the business from which I had ordered the engine.  Of course, the delivery had been canceled, ostensibly because of a pending snowstorm.  Fair enough:  but first of all, no one called me to let me know (this was, to me, the primary failure of the company); secondly, the snowstorm, to anyone willing to take a pair of seconds to check, was arriving slower than anticipated, and didn't reach southern New England, where they were located, until evening.  Thirdly, they could have easily delivered the engine early and been back well before even the earlier predictions of the snow.  Finally, I had already waited patiently for three weeks, endured a change in the delivery schedule last Friday, and had, frankly, used up my nice-guy points.  I was a bit unhappy with them, but nonetheless we eventually settled on Wednesday for engine delivery here.  What else could I do but wait?

There was no shop work on Tuesday because of an ongoing snowstorm.  Unlike last week, I actually looked forward to getting back into the project on Wednesday.  My start in the shop on Wednesday was delayed by another surprise snowstorm overnight, which required plowing again in the morning.

When I finally arrived at the shop in the late morning, I removed the clamps from the coaming repair and those from the cabin trunk lamination, and continued work on the coamings.  The port side coaming was already cut more or less to the correct size and shape, though I had to deepen the relief cuts at each end, since the coaming was now to sit about 3" down beyond the deck edge, about twice the distance I had considered during the original installation attempts.

Click here for more about the initial coamings' installation.

Late Wednesday morning, my new Vetus diesel engine arrived, at long last, from the dealer in Massachusetts.  (...and there was much rejoicing...)  The engine came installed on a pallet surrounded by an enormous orange box, a box of such sturdy construction that I considered using it to build a strong boat.

For the time being, I left the engine safely crated and covered in its protective plastic, but looked forward to the opportunity to begin its installation in the near future.

Click here for more about the engine.

Thursday I was away from the shop all day with other commitments.  It seems the last few weeks have been full of delays, which are starting to bother me.

In any event, I returned to work Friday, armed with the screws I needed, and without difficulty secured both rough coaming pieces in place against the cockpit walls.  With the coamings secured in place, I carefully used my cardboard templates, which I originally made as a cabin/coaming mockup a few weeks ago, to mark the outline of the cuts needed to complete the cabin trunk and coamings.  After sweetening the lines with a wooden batten, I cut off the excess, a deceptively simple job that took more than two hours, all told.

Click here for more.

Before knocking off on Friday, I made two small glue-ups with some scrap mahogany, which I planned to use to create some trim pieces the next day.  I glued the pieces together with the standard mix of epoxy resin and cabosil, clamped them tightly, and left them to cure overnight.




Saturday morning, I spent about an hour and a half building two small, 6" bullnosed blocks to cover--and highlight--the joint between the coamings and cabin trunk.  Since there was no way to make this joint invisible, I chose to instead celebrate the seam with  a pleasingly curved block of mahogany.

Click here to see how I made these blocks.

I filled the rest of Saturday working on the interior, now that the basis of the cabin trunk was finally complete.  The final stages of interior construction included installing two small bulkheads (dividers, really) in the settee backs, and the beginnings of installing some more beadboard that would cover many of the cabin surfaces.

Click here to see the progress on the interior.

Log for the Week Ending March 13, 2005

Sunday, I worked for a few hours to finish a few minor jobs that would put me ahead of the game come Monday.  To begin, I added a final cleat to the settee back structure, at the forward end.  With that done, I moved on to the task that I really wanted to complete:  painting out the insides of the new lockers, which I wanted to do before installing the new beadboard backs.  Pulling out the gray Bilgekote once more, I applied a coat of paint to all the new surfaces, finally covering one of the last remaining vestiges of the raw fiberglass beneath.

Monday was a busy day.  I began by installing the beadboard settee backs, and with that out of the way moved onto cutting, fitting, and installing all the remaining beadboard in the  cabin areas:  on the lower portions of the settees and on the forward-facing side of the chainplate bulkhead.  These areas would all be visible in the final interior, and I planned a white-painted beaded surface with plenty of varnished mahogany trim.

Click here for more about the beadboard installation.

The beadboard jobs took a surprisingly long time and consumed most of the morning.  When the installation was complete, I moved on to thinking about my new engine foundations, which I wanted to get built and installed as soon as possible.  After some thought, I decided to build the foundations out of a core of Meranti plywood (of which I had abundant supply in the shop) rather than solid wood of one form or another.

To begin, however, I first had to prepare my engine base template and set it up in the boat so that I could determine the rough dimensions of the foundations needed.  Over the course of an afternoon, and the entire subsequent work day, I set up the template, measured for and built the engine foundations, and secured the new foundations in place.

Please click here for more about the engine foundations.

Wednesday ended up being a non-work day, as plowing kept me away from the shop longer than expected and I was simply too tired to work in the late afternoon.  Likewise, I had appointments that kept me away on Thursday and Friday, disappointing delays in my schedule but unavoidable.

The work has continued to be hampered (purely from an available time standpoint) by what has turned out to be one real Maine winter, with frequent and continuing large snowstorms.  Since January 6, we've had 13 plowable storms, many of which featured large accumulations that required multiple plows each.  Your weary snowplowing host has had enough, particularly in light of the way these storms are adversely affecting my building schedule.  Even after a large near-12" storm on Tuesday night, Saturday this week continued the trend, with another large storm that set up just right for dumping an estimated 18" on us, and prevented any work from occurring in the shop yet again.

If you're keeping count, that means that I only had 2-1/2 workdays in the shop this week...disappointing.

Tentatively--and I hardly dare say so--it looks as if the next several days might be calm and storm-free.  Perhaps I can get done in the shop next week what I had meant to do this week.

Log for the Week Ending March 20, 2005

Monday morning, I jumped right back into work on the engine foundations.  I began by quickly sanding last week's epoxy fillets around the bases, and then prepared to fiberglass the foundations permanently in place with several layers of heavy biaxial tape.

Click here for the details on fiberglassing the foundations.

After the 4-hour (elapsed) chore of preparing, cutting, and installing the fiberglass, I continued by taking care of a small, yet important, project:  filling the holes left by the screws that I used to temporarily secure the interior beadboard while the adhesive cured.  This was one of those irritating projects, but one that needed to get done so that I could move on to begin the priming and painting process.

Next, I continued by beginning work on the laminated cabin trunk overhead beams.  I needed 5 or 6 of these beams to frame and support the overhead and thus complete the cabin trunk construction.  Since I had delayed the ordering of my new mast so that I could get an accurate measurement from the new keel step to the mast partners (which would, of course, be defined by the actual coachroof position), it was time--past time, really--to get this project underway.

Long ago, I had prepared a basic pine template of the cabin trunk curvature as defined by the midships bulkhead.  With this in hand, I laid out a series of molds on a sheet of plastic-covered plywood that I awkwardly set up on two high sawhorses to allow it to fit in the space at the front of the shop, above the large box that still contained the engine.  To speed up the laminating process, I had hoped to build up to 4 curved molds, but after many tedious minutes creating two of the molds out of 2x4 scraps, I decided my time would be better spent elsewhere.  With only a maximum of 6 beams required, at least I had shortened the laminating process to only three days' time.

Click here for more on the cabin trunk beams.

Over the next three days--Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday-- I laminated the remaining beams till I had six total.  Each morning, I glued up two beams and left them to cure till the next day.  On Friday morning, the beams were complete, so I spent some time at the planer cleaning up the beams and achieving a consistent thickness through all six beams.  Now, they were ready for final fitting and installation, which I worked on Saturday.

Click here to see more about cutting and fitting the cabin trunk beams.

With the engine foundations all tabbed securely in place, it was finally time to paint out the remaining bilge areas with more gray Bilgekote. I took care of this first thing on Friday morning, then covered the open area with the engine hatches to keep dust out while I worked on other projects.

Also on Friday, I sanded all the primed beadboard to prepare it for subsequent coats of white paint, and also sanded the inside and outside of the cabin trunk to prepare for the initial coats of varnish.  By the end of the day Friday, I was ready to apply the white paint and varnish, a pleasing way to end the day.  I also added a coat of white paint to beadboard on the chainlocker bulkhead, which had been in primer for some months now awaiting its companions in the main cabin to be installed.

Click here for more on the beadboard and cabin.

It was a great pleasure to have a full week with no snowstorms, and no real interruptions to the construction progress, though I was out of the shop all day on Thursday.  I hoped that the trend would continue in the coming few weeks, as I anticipated significant progress and passing several more milestones during that time.  Stay tuned!

Log for the Week Ending March 27, 2005

Anxious to keep cabin trunk construction moving along, I began on Sunday morning by working on the new cabin trunk beams, which I had cut and fit roughly in place the day before (last week's update).  With that work out of the way, I prepared the beams for final installation by routing a chamfer detail on the lower edges, and then sanding the beams through 220 grit.  When the beams were all prepared, I installed them permanently in the slots in the cabin trunk.

Click here to read more about the cabin trunk beams' installation.

Monday morning, I headed off to pick up two extra sheets of beaded plywood, which I planned to use for the down-facing layer of the new coachroof.  With the two sheets in hand, I prepared the two pieces needed to cover the cabin trunk beams; one side at a time, I temporarily installed a sheet of plywood and marked the outline of the cabin trunk, then cut out the piece as needed.

Click here for more about the overhead/coachroof.

It seemed that the remainder of the week was lacking in major headlines, or significant projects I could point to, but it was a very busy week in the shop nonetheless.  With plans indelibly set in place that included spraying finish primer in the next week, both on the Daysailor and also on the Sanborn's Dasein next door, I used the week to take care of many smaller aspects of the project, including application of several coats of white paint on the various beadboard pieces in the cabin and cabin trunk overhead, varnish application on the cabin trunk, and several other small chores.  I also had several smaller, unrelated projects going on in the shop that I worked on, which took quite a bit of my time.

Later in the week, in preparation for final installation of the coachroof, I worked on a couple trim pieces, which I fashioned as sort of structural knees running between the inside edges of the cabin trunk and the overhead beam in way of the mast partners.  The main purpose of these two trim pieces was to cover the inside seam where the pieces forming the cabin trunk met, but in reality they would also help secure the whole structure together as well.  This photo shows the knees after shaping and application of one coat of varnish; I'll post more about them next week.

In preparation for priming, painting, and engine installation, I removed the cockpit coamings; the coamings also required finish work, sanding, and varnish, so it was time to remove them.  Rather than fight with the silly jack arrangement I had used during fitting, I purchased an inexpensive scissor jack and built a dedicated rig to use for the coamings, both for their removal now and for later installation.

When the coamings were off, I routed edge details on the top edges, cut the after ends to their final shape, and finish sanded both pieces to 220 grit.  Then, I began the long process of varnishing the coamings by applying the first of 10 coats of varnish needed.  With two sides to varnish, I was looking at close to a months' elapsed time (at a day per coat, per side) before the varnish would be done.

On Friday afternoon, with Nathan Sanborn's help, I lifted the new Vetus diesel up into the cockpit, and prepared for final installation on the new engine foundations.  Saturday morning, I prepared the foundations for the installation, by installing some threaded inserts in the foundations and then, latte in the day, lowering the engine onto the foundations and securing it loosely in place, awaiting final alignment and connections.

Click here for more about the engine installation.


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