Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Launch Day!

Ready to go.

So here we are finally, launch day! I worked form home that morning and Jim came over around 1pm. My son was along too. We got to the marina maybe a little after two but, they were not busy. We prepped the boat and we raised the mast without any issues. I wish I had video of that going up but alas, I do not. I will blame the boy on that. He had the camera and I was on the boat after all. But we do have a few pics and videos of rigging and launching.....

Attaching the shrouds.
Me mounting the boom.

Getting her to the lift.
We got her rigged up and Mike, the owner of Shorewood Yacht Club, hopped in their bobcat and moved her around on the trailer to line up with the lift. He strapped her in and got her in the water, easy peasy.


 We start getting stuff on the boat and I notice that the quick release connection on the fuel line leaks where it connects to the gas tank. Oh joy. So we futz about a bit and figure we can hold it tight and the motor seems to be running OK. Seems to be......
In the launch and me dealing with the fuel line issue.

So all of you who have been following along have an idea somewhat of what is about to follow. My son and I back Papillon out of the launch and head through a small channel. All we need to do is go out in to the lake a bit, around some shoals, and back in to the next bay where Jim will be in the dinghy with the mooring gear to hook us up and then we can row back to shore, get in my vehicle and go home.

Well the motor dies as son as we clear the channel. I pump the bulb, spew fuel in the cock pit, swear a lot, it's OK, the boy is 17 and he learned from one of the best, my dad. So anyway, she starts again finally so I head out in to the lake a bit as I do not want to stall and then drift to run aground.

We get out in the lake and sputter..... she quits again. Yes I know you are yelling at the screen by now "Dan raise the damn sails!!!". Well we did and the boat promptly develops a serious case of lee helm and wants to head downwind, back where we came from. So I get the motor going again. Had a couple of chats with Jim via cell phone, and finally get out to the point.... near the shoals. And the motor dies again and now there is no wind whatsoever. 

Hell yes..... this is awesome!!!

So I see a nice sized sailboat heading our way as I had once again gotten the motor to suck gas and not air and I was in reverse trying not to run aground on the shoal. He offers help and of course I accept. He throws me a line and tows me over to my mooring. We are chatting as he and his wife are towing me and says "You didn't expect today to go perfect did you?". I just had to laugh.... Oh the boat that towed me? Well it was someone from the boat club on the O'Day 28 Adagio. A boat I sailed a lot last year, even singled handed her for an entire weekend. No the irony of this event is not lost on me....

The next day I bought a hose barb with a threaded end and rectified the fuel line issue.

On the mooring..... whew.

Anyway, Papillon is launched and on her mooring. Have yet to really sail her as the weather and schedules have not been getting along. But Jim and I did sail her for about 20 minutes about a week ago......

Don't I look Captainly?

More to come on a couple of low buck projects but you can wait a bit for those I figure.

Are you kidding me!? Really???

Move forward 2 weeks to the 4th of July now. Gut is all healed up and I can have beer again. So the morning of the 4th my son and I rebed the deck hardware without any issues. Who knew that would happen. We get everything nicely tightened up and I am going to wait a few days to let the butyl settle and then a few more turns to finish it off.

The next week I call the marina that the boat club I was in is located and we schedule for 2pm on Thursday July 19th. On Tuesday July 17th I figure I better get the new WindX installed.... last minute deal. So I am up on my ladder with my drill in my hand and I start to drill a hole in the mast head.... Out come about 6 hornets, yes hornets and no I am not making this stuff up. I bail down the ladder, drill in hand, maybe even still running as I am not really caring if it is at this point. 

I get in to the garage and ZAP!! Right behind my left ear one of those f'g bastiges got me. As you can imagine, the tapestry of obscenities that I unleashed is still hanging over my garage..... It was almost artfull the way I pieced them all together.....

So the next day I got even... I wrapped the mast head in Saran Wrap and sprayed wasp and hornet killer into the mast via a small hole. I may have laughed maniacally like Boris as I saw they little bastards try to escape and be caught. Only to be smashed up on the aluminum of what they thought was to be their home. HA! I am the victor.....

I then proceeded to have a few beers with a couple of friends in the cockpit of the boat and stay up way too late but hey, I am launching the next day....

Not quite so fast......

Our little friend.
So now the mast is up, and down safely. Inside is looking good and the list is diminishing. So about a week after we get the mast down, I had left the cover of to see about my chainplate sealing and that was OK as we did get some rain. Well we got some more, and it was over an inch in an evening. I climbed up in the boat the next day and........ Son of a bitch...the bilge is literally full of water, the fabric on the interior of the hull is soaked... no leaks at the chainplates. A bright ray of sunshine there.... So we now have a delay in launching as the mast step leaks like crazy as do the toe rails and other deck hardware. Luckily I had already purchased a couple of rolls of Butyl from Compass Marine (Main Sail's gig) and so I just had to pull all the deck hardware, the toe rails, clean it all up with our friend Acetone, and rebed it...

Mast step bolts soaking in a bath of Acetone.

So my son helps me unbolt everything as you need one person to keep the bolt from spinning as the other loosens the nut. Didn't take very long to do that. The next weekend I spent an entire Saturday digging out the bungs for the screws for the toe rails, digging out whatever epoxy or sealant or whatever they put over the screws, removing the toerails, and cleaning the deck with, yep out friend Acetone. At least I was outside in nice weather.

So I clean all the hardware up, I redrill and repot all the holes for the toerails. Hey, I have this epoxy thing down now... I plan on rebedding the hardware, toerails can freaking wait, the morning of Father's Day weekend. Well I pull the cover off,have the man-child getting ready to come out and help, and I look to the west... Huh, looks like rain. I go inside and check the radar on the web.Sure enough, its going to rain in about 20 minutes. Well back on goes the cover just in time. It proceeded to pour all damn day. Well sometime this upcoming week then I am thinking.

Cleaning deck hardware.

I woke up around 3:30am that Monday morning in pretty good pain in my lower abdomen. Weeeeeee!!! Off to the doctor later that day and the CT Scan confirms that I am having a bout of Diverticulitis. I am able to go to work but as soon as I get home I am on the couch feeling like crap. Two awesome antibiotics as well. Had to cancel my son and I's trip to the IndyCar race in Iowa that following weekend too. 

There's two weeks more lost on the season.....

Mast Up!

During all this time I was working on Papillon, a neighbor from down the block had stopped by. Jim had noticed the boat in the driveway and decided to walk over and see what I was up to. Jim has about 20 years of sailing experience and he and his wife were starting to plan what the retirement boat would be. He volunteered to help me out with launching and getting the mast up and in general going out and sailing.

In the crutch.
Its up
So we went all over the web and cobbled together a mast raising system. We used the main halyard, a trailer winch attached to a piece of oak at the head of the trailer and with my guts all a twisty from nerves..... The thought of my mast crashing back down on the stern of my boat and roof of my garage was a bit much for me. 


Anyway, we started hooking up things and winching away. After a bit sure enough, the damn thing was up and we had it secured... Holy F.... well, you know. This was a huge milestone to me as it made me realize how close to launch I really was. What with the ankle fiasco and the Epoxy fiasco and all the work I had been doing. A couple days later when there was no breeze, we raised the sails to be sure all that was ready to go as well. Yep, so far so good. 

Damn, I need to call the marina and schedule a launching. 

Interior Work

Now it was time to get the interior back together. 

I bought some 1/2" sanded plywood to make the new pieces for the wet locker, which I doubt is going to get very wet, and the vanity for the head sink. I painted them the same color as the bulkheads and inside of the hull. I used the old pieces for templates the best I could though, I did have to extrapolate at times as some parts were just gone.

For the thru-hull, I cleaned the hull with Acetone, damn do you get to use a lot of that stuff working on a boat, and scraped the old sealant off. I applied a generous amount of Life-Caulk again and tightened it up. Went very well and I was done in no time.

Cleaned up.
Old thru-hull removed.

Ready to be tightened.


Drain installed.
I then re-assembled the vanity and hooked up the drain. I bought new hose and clamps for this as well as I did not trust what I had as it was probably factory original. 35 years old. 
Putting the wet locker together was not very much work either. I could use the old pieces pretty much as I said and I just cut new ones and installed them. I also purchased a mounting kit for the porta-potti and will be installing that later this week. Be nice to have that on the boat for extended stays and I have female friends that have already asked if there is one on the boat for their comfort.

Wet locker.
Vanity front installed.


After I got that stuff in, I set about re-installing the setee back rests. The mounts for them were of course "wet" so I cut new ones out of left over bulkhead material that had veneer on it. I also bought some brass bolts to replace the stainless steel ones as I felt they would look better against the dark finish of the veneer. I re-upholstered the setee backs with the same fabric, just did a better job of it as th4e PO's job was well, sloppy. In the picture you can see that awesome 1970's era ORANGE fabric that was original with the boat.... oh my.... 

Oh my is right!
Recovered and much better.

New back mount.

Eventually I got the doors mounted on the vanity, the privacy door on the head area mounted, the salon table, the shelf, and little weather station all installed and I am pretty happy with how it all turned out. I do still have to install the shelves and sliding doors for the cabinet over the vanity but, you don't need that to sail. I exercised Skipper's Prerogative on that.

Finished interior.
So, how about we get that mast up? 

Project #1, Part - 3

So now it is time to cut the new bulkheads out and get them installed.

Everything is out.
Cut bulkhead.
As I said in my last post, I was kind of smart in one regard, I kept the old stuff to make the new stuff with. Sometimes, I kinda get it right. After all poly and paint had set I laid the existing bulkhead on the new plywood, did the paint side, and traced out the outline of the bulkhead. I used my jigsaw to cut them out and then I routed the edge that goes in to the slot in the headliner. I had to dry fit, cut, dry fit, and cut a bit again a few times but I got them in and screwed in to place. 

Deck penetration.
Chainplate and cap.
Next I cleaned up the slots in the deck where the chainplates go through the deck and installed and sealed the chainplates. I used Life-Caulk generously to do this and then screwed the caps down. I then rebolted the chainplates in to the bulkheads. I did have to use the metal blade on my Dremel to slightly increase the size of the slot in the caps as they would not fit over the chainplates for some reason. 

I then fiber-glassed the bulkheads to the hull using West System Epoxy. Some of you folks from AS know how well my first two attempts at this went so no need to re-hash that….. *cough* One = One right?

Port bulkhead installed.

Starboard bulkhead installed.

Bolted in.

After the epoxy cured I painted the interior of the head area and set about rebuilding the vanity and wet locker. All in all this went pretty well, I learned a lot and there are things that I now know that if I did this again, I could probably do a much better and faster job of it. 

On to rebuilding the vanity and wet locker….. oh and putting in that thru-hull.

Here come the updates....

As you have probably read, yes I have launched. A lot of things happened between my Part 1 post and launching as you can imagine. I was busy getting things done and with work and life stuff, the blog fell by the wayside. I know all 5 of you have been patiently awaiting updates so here is the first of a few I intend to get done. Reason I have time today is that I took the afternoon off from work as the forecast looked pretty good, but the wind has yet to even think about showing up. So here is the start o/f the updates.....

Project #1, Part – 2

So I got all the demolition done inside the boat, everything taken out and pieces that could be kept for templates kept. The remainder of the demolition was interesting to say the least. How someone could look someone else in the eye and say there were no issues is beyond me. The lower part of the port bulkhead I dug out with my hand, literally. Look at the picture, it came out like dirt. Nice eh? Anyway, I got most of it out in one piece and got the starboard bulkhead out relatively easily. 

As I was taking the head sink vanity apart the sink drain’s plastic thru-hull promptly snapped off and that lead me to placing another small order with the fine folks at Defender Marine. Got a stainless one and some “Life-Caulk” polysulfide caulk for the installation. What’s another thing to fix right?

So after I got everything out of the boat I set up inside my garage to prep the plywood. I applied a few coats of Smith’s CPES, Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, to both sides of the plywood. I let each coat cure for about 48 hours before doing it again. I then laminated the mahogany veneer to one side and let that set up for a day. I did not veneer the entire sheet as I did not want to waste any of the veneer. I know have about 4 or 5 feet left in two pieces for other projects. After the veneer I painted the other side the color I bought for the interior of the head area. It was an exterior enamel, figured that should be good for the interior of a boat that lives on a fresh water lake. 

To finish the veneer I bought a nice walnut stain and brush on poly. I did three coats of each, sanding with 200 grit lightly between each coat and I am pretty pleased with the outcome. I also put a coat of CPES over it all just for extra measure. If I were to do this again, I would probably use West epoxy mixed with 207 hardener over the wood, then epoxied the veneer on, and then painted and stained with either epoxy with 207 over the stain or polyurethane after I got the color I wanted. Not sure if ether is better or not as there is minimal UV exposure in the boat.
I used a small electric heater to help with poly curing time as this was April and the tempos were a bit chilly at times. 

CPES Curing, how exciting....
Paint drying, more excitement.....

Veneer laminated.

Veneer Finished.

The biggest issue on this part of the project was doing about 30 minutes of work and then having to wait for things to cure or dry. Next step on this little project is cutting the new bulkheads and getting them installed.