Friday, July 15, 2011

Haul out for Termites and other necessities

…And so the work continues.  While preparing the hull for painting we detected a few small signs of termites, so I decided that treatment was in order before painting the hull.  I researched and learned that it was going to be more effective to have the boat tented and filled with gas, than try to treat the boat with spot application.  Having made this decision I learned that it was significantly cheaper to have the boat on the hard for this process, so I decided to bite the bullet and have the boat hauled.  Having made this decision, I needed to get the most for the hauling buck, so I arranged for an out-of-the-water survey at the same time.  I needed this anyway for Insurance pruposes.  All underwriters I contacted wanted fasteners pulled and photos of the bottom by a certified surveyor.  Additionally, it was time to replace zincs as well. 
            Up to this time the boat yard and marina where the restoration was being conducted hasn’t done much work on the boat.  I was going to need a new boot strip painted, and since the boat yard won’t let non-employees work on the boats while in their facility,  I asked them to touch up the bottom paint and paint my new boot stripe while the boat was out of the water. 
            I met the surveyor at the boat mid morning.  He had done the previous survey, and had actually owned this very boat himself some years before.  He said he was blow away by how good the boat looked and how tight the hull was.  He found nothing to be critical about, but did suggest we put another couple stuffing rings in the prop shaft log while the boat was out. 
            The termite company was a day late, claiming a misunderstanding but got the boat wrapped up and gassed by the end of the following day.  Being Thursday, and needing 48 hours, and the yard being closed on weekends meant the tent was now not coming off until Monday.
            I met with the Yard owner and he suggested that they prepare the old boot stripe for painting, but hold off until the hull was painted, saying he would give me a "Free" haul out to paint the strip when the rest of the hull is finished.


    The boat was back in the water by Thursday and the hull preparation continues.  West system was applied to the hull in prperation for the first coat of primer, but when I saw it for the first time over the weekend, it looked as though the hull was varnished....Wow was that pretty!  I was tempted, for a very fleating moment, to varnish the hull but quickly came to my senses.

Monday, July 11, 2011


            I had to slip away for a delivery of a 46’ Morgan Ketch from Los Angeles to Hawaii, shortly after the masts were pulled, but the refurbishing of the spars and the new rigging were in good hands during my absents.  We had decided to replace any standing rigging that warranted attention, meaning I had to replace all the standing rigging.  Seeing the process of hand weaving splices in the stainless shrouds and stays to create big loops used to go around rather than connect directly to the wood masts was a wonderful image of the art of yesteryear marine rigging.  After the loops were spliced the entire loop was then wrapped in heavy sail twine to prevent the wire from chaffing the wood. They were then held in place by wood “cleats” which were blocks with a groove at the top to keep the loops in place. At every place on the masts where a stay, shroud, or running rigging block needed to be secured to the mast, this was the process.  Additionally, the boat had empty loops at the top of each mast were previously there were spinnaker and Mizzen staysail halyard blocks attached.  My rigger had to order new wooden blocks before rigging the new halyards…if you thought buying a Harkin spinnaker block for a new racing sloop was expensive, go shopping for period wood block!!
            When I returned, both masts, looking like new with ten coasts of high gloss varnish, were again standing majestically in place.  Several new (scavenged from used boat yards, old bronze) turnbuckles were in place, and all new off-white three-strand running rigging was in place.  I realized right away that these old salts really had to know their stuff, all the lines, the sheets, halyards, out-haul, down-haul, topping lifts, preventers, etc. all looked the same; no color coded braid here.
            Also, while I was gone, the preparation of the hull for painting had started. All the existing multi-layers of old paint had to come off.  This was the part I wasn’t looking forward to.  Paint masks a lot of problems.  I already knew I had a few problem areas in the hull.  A soft spot on the starboard side amidships, and both stern quarters under the cap rail were suspect.  I’m glad to say however, that what I found when seeing the hull naked for the first time was better than I could hope for. Yes, those suspected areas were confirmed, and a section of those planks will have to be removed and replaced, but the rest of the hull proved to be both tight and solid.  The rot in the transom had made it’s way into a 2” thick mahogany board that we were able to dig a hole completely through to the stern lazarette. 
            I’ve been assured that the hull will be completely fixed, sealed with West System epoxy, primed and painted by the end of July…stay turned.