Sunday, September 27, 2015

Painting, filling holes, laminating engine foundations

I began laminating my 1/2" Hydrotek for the engine foundations Friday before heading off to Ohio for the weekend. I cut the sheet into six 12"x48" strips and managed to get two glued up before it was time to get on the road.

This morning I added two more strips to the lamination, then quit before running out of epoxy (gallon #3). I clamped and secured the laminations for curing, using an assortment of items from the garage (yes, I think the leaf spring is a nice touch, too!).

Last week I'd installed the latches for the settee back hatches.

Today I removed them to give the settees a light sanding and the final coat of paint. I also lightly sanded the head compartment and hanging locker before giving those areas their final coat of paint as well.

I mixed up a batch of thickened epoxy and filled the two thru-hull holes in the head compartment. I'll reuse the larger one with a smaller seacock for the water intake, but the smaller hole will stay filled and fiberglassed. Overboard discharge is prohibited in the Great Lakes, so rather than fuss with an overboard discharge system that can be locked, etc, I opted to eliminate the discharge; she'll have a waste pump out and that's it.

Not a bunch of progress, but I'm inching forward. I'll pick up another gallon of epoxy tomorrow and finish the laminations for the engine foundations.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Yet more paint

Yesterday the head cabinet/bulkheads and settees received their first coat of paint. And tonight they received a second coat. I did run out of paint, however, before applying the second coat to the starboard settee bottom.

Nothing too exciting to report about the painting. It happened. It is nice to be one step closer to having her saloon looking like a saloon again, though.

I dragged the trailer to work this morning and headed to South Bend after school to pick up a sheet of 1/2" Hydrotek for the engine foundations. I'll cut and glue those up tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Paint and 'glass

While waiting for the plywood I need for the engine foundations, I decided to move forward with what I can. In little chunks of time over the last week, I painted the areas of shelving above/behind the settees, the head locker, hanging locker top, and the galley. All areas received two coats.

Hanging locker with only one coat of paint

Today I spent an hour or so fiberglassing the head locker face and the settee tops/backs - oh, and the second shelf that I ended up adding to the lower part of the hanging locker. The tabbing ties the structures together, strengthening and securing them.

In the areas of the settees, I added a top layer of cloth to provide a smoother finish than the biaxial under it and to protect the cushions from snags and scratches.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Round Two

I just wasn't satisfied with the first engine position mockup. Although the angle of the engine was well within tolerances, I wasn't getting enough room under the aft mounts to allow sufficient engine foundation and eventual thread purchase for the bolts. After making sure I was ready to start over, I did just that.

I increased the angle of the engine (and stern tube) by 1.5*, transferred my new angle to the sides of the engine box, and installed the cleats and cross pieces to support my engine template. Not surprisingly, the practice of the first attempt improved my second attempt. All of the angles and clearances seem better. I'm still 3.3* below my max, and the stern tube is exiting the deadwood at a right angle - or very nearly. Additionally, the engine isn't so far forward that it's going to encroach on the galley space.

I collected my rough measurements for the engine foundations; now I need to purchase the material to build them.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Engine bed prep

With an hour or so free this evening, I began feeling my way through the initial stages of the engine installation. I honestly have very little clue what I'm doing. Following encouragement and some expertise from a knowledgeable source, I proceeded with my plan to use a length of the stern tube material I'd purchased, capped with two wooden plugs, to begin determining the centerline of the prop shaft and engine. The picture below doesn't show the string rigged through the center of the plug, but it provides an idea of what I did.

The idea is to secure a string in the center of the wooden plug, run the string through the stern tube and out the center of a matching wooden plug on the forward end of the tube. The string is then run down the centerline of the boat, drawn taut, and secured. Having established the centerline, the tube and string are then adjusted vertically to achieve an angle that does not exceed the recommended angle listed for the engine, a Westerbeke 20B (which happens to be 14 degrees) - all the while adding shims and hot glue to hold the stern tube in place.

Once I'd experimented with a couple of angles and my engine mockup, I set the string to an angle of just under 10 degrees - 9.2, actually - that seemed to give the rear engine mounts a little more room at the narrow portion of the aft bilge. I transferred the pitch and level of the string to the engine box panels, then drew a line on each to indicate the attachment point for cleats that would support the engine mockup while I took measurements for the engine beds.

With the cleats mounted, I rested the template on two 1/2" pieces of plywood running laterally and eyeballed the arrangement. Alignment looks pretty good, but I'm concerned that the rear engine mounts are too close to the hull; I need enough material under them to thread a mounting bolt into. I could get more room under them by adjusting them up, but I centered all of the mounts so that I'd have adjustment room up and down. I don't want to lose that for fine tuning. The other option is to move the whole engine forward, but I don't want to do that either because the engine will already be pretty far forward in the compartment. Anyway, feeling a bit hurried (and uncertain), I decided it was time to quit and let things percolate. I'll take a fresh look at it later this week and see if I've arrived at a clearer idea of what I need to do.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Settee hatches and head

Not a whole lot to report, but there has been some progress. I finished cutting and installing cleats in the settee backs for the two access hatches. I made a simple cleat arrangement to hold the bottom of each hatch in place, and I'll add a latch of some sort at the top to keep the hatches from falling forward.

A simple cleat locks the bottom in place.

In the head compartment I installed the face for the two shelves, securing it to the cleats on either side with ss screws.

I'll fiberglass the top and bottom when I do another round of glassing.

I'm going to reuse the original settee cabinet fronts, so I fitted the fronts on both sides. The starboard side is entirely original - and a little beat up. I'll refinish it at some point, and I think I'll do something to cover the holes in the masonite fronts (they're kinda ugly).

The front for the port side was cut by a PO at some point, leaving two doors and part of another. I trimmed the remaining legs flush and fastened the front to the shelf.

I used a 3/4" piece of teak plywood cut to size to fill the area. I was thinking that I could stain the teak to match the old mahogany, but at this point I'm thinking I might paint it white and trim it in mahogany. That decision is far down the road, though.

I think that piece of ply might make a good location for a VHF radio or the electrical panel. At this point I'm not planning on installing another door there.

I had a few minutes today, so I gave my last round of tabbing a quick sanding and vacuumed the area.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Creeping forward - Another head door & settee back hatches

I devoted an hour after work to moving things forward. After finding another door to match the two already installed in the head cabinet, I decided to add it to allow access to the space under the bottom shelf. Even if that space isn't used for storage, the access hatch will facilitate installing the head pump-out and discharge lines.

I mentioned in my last post that I was on the fence about installing access hatches in the settee backs. Well, I decided it made sense to have access to the space - and better to do it now while the settee backs are mobile. I drew two 8"x15" access hatches on each settee back, and cut out the hatches on one before calling it quits for the day. (Alas, other duties call).

Monday, September 07, 2015

Another round of glassing and settee hatches

It feels very good to have the bulk of the interior furniture constructed and fiberglassed in place. Yes, there are still pieces to make - e.g., galley countertops, engine box and beds, etc - but most of the big items are in place.

I began early this morning by cutting 6" and 4" strips of biaxial cloth. I cut more than enough for the job and within 20 minutes had several rolls of tabbing ready for glassing. 

Up in the boat, I confirmed lengths and cut the tabbing to size for each location before wiping all of the areas to be glassed with acetone. Areas to be tabbed included shelves in the head and hanging locker, including the head base and the hanging locker base and top; the starboard settee shelf; port upper shelf and settee shelf; a little area of the longitudinal bulkhead at the forward end of the starboard settee; and the galley bulkhead and shelf.

It took me about an hour to an hour and a half to finish the tabbing, the majority of the time spent mixing batches of epoxy. I really should have brought the resin and harder inside last night to keep it cool. It's been so hot here that the resin and hardener were probably at least 75 degrees at mixing and it wanted to kick pretty quickly with each batch, so I immediately spread it over tabbing and kept the pace going.

Hanging locker top shelf

Port head locker with shelves and chainplate knee glassed to the hull

Port shelves tabbed

While the epoxy cured, I rolled on some white paint in the areas under and behind the settees, after which I'd finally had enough of the heat and fumes.

I worked next on the settee tops, marking the cut lines for the access hatches, then cutting each hatch with a borrowed Bosch jigsaw (again, sweet tool!). I used 1x2" pine to frame the bottom side of the hatch openings and screwed each cleat in place after bedding it in thickened epoxy. I drilled a 3/4" hole in the center of each hatch lid to facilitate opening and lightly sanded each hole to give them a smooth contour. Both settee bottoms received a coat of paint in preparation for installation.

Settee bottoms with hatch cleats epoxied and screwed in place
Hatch lids, cleats, and a fresh coat of paint beneath
Coming together.
With the hatches constructed and the settee bottoms and backs painted (at least on the backside), I reassembled the interior. I'm not sure yet what I plan to do with the settee backs. There is decent storage space behind each one, but I'm not sure if I want to install access hatches or not. I'll have to decide soon since glassing the settees is next on my list. I realize I can always cut the hatches in place, but it would be much easier to work on a flat surface.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Hanging locker, Galley and settee shelves

The goal for today was to get all of the "furniture" constructed and ready for glassing. I succeeded. Tomorrow should see all of the furniture tabbed to the hull and, if I'm lucky, a coat of paint under and behind the settees, etc.

Today, like every other day spent working on the boat, began with a trip up the ladder. Just for giggles I made a tick mark on the topsides each time I ascended the ladder. It wasn't long before my count looked like this:

Up in the boat, I began working on the hanging locker. I'd devised a plan and repurposed an old slatted door that I had stored up in the garage attic. Where this door was on the A30 originally, I have no clue, but it was just what I needed for the hanging locker. After taking a few measurements, I trimmed the door along its length to fit the new area. I picked up some new brass hinges and mortised the door and the jamb. The 50-year-old door fit like a champ.

The door done, it was time to install a top and shelf to close off the hanging locker. I installed cleats on the two bulkheads after confirming level and square in relationship with the door, cut the shelf out of 1/2" ply, and secured the shelf with SS screws.

I then worked on the bottom of the locker. After a few quick measurements, I cut the base for the locker out of 3/4" ply and secured it to the cleat/doorstop mounted to the aft bulkhead. The forward edge will be glassed in place from the inside. Again, things fit together very nicely, making this guy very happy.

Moving aft to the saloon, I confirmed some of my earlier measurements for the settee shelf, installed cleats, and made a pattern for the shelf. I transferred the pattern to a piece of 1/2" ply, installed a cleat along the inboard edge of the shelve, and screwed it in place. The cabinet face in the picture below is original to the boat but somewhat hacked up. I think I have a plan for it. We'll see how it comes together.

The galley bulkhead and shelf were all that remained of the "furniture." I secured the middle galley bulkhead with a cleat, then installed cleats in the larger area of the cabinet. After taking careful measurements, I plotted my shelf dimensions on 1/2" ply, cut it out, and dropped it in place.

Before quitting for the day, I removed the settee tops and backs, as well as the head cabinet face in preparation for tomorrow's round of fiberglassing, and made one last trip down the ladder.