Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Before and After Gallery #1

As I sort through photos of the restoration I will post a few of these little galleries showing some of the more interesting Before and After shots. Here is the first!

Arrival at The Boat Yard

Departure. 3 years later.

The battery "situation." Before.

The battery solution after. Should be noted that I have since moved these batteries again.

The hoses and thru hulls for the holding tank. Before.

Holding tank plumbing. After.

Bow before

Bow after

Aft locker before

Aft locker converted to propane storage

Engine bed before

Engine bed after

Transom before

Transom after

Monday, October 22, 2012


In the water and ready to go
It has been three years since Peponi was hauled out, put on a truck, and blocked in the driveway at The Boat Yard. Now The Boat Yard is an empty driveway again and Peponi is a sailboat, in her slip at the Everett Marina, with an icebox full of beer and a locker full of foul weather gear.

I started getting impatient a few weeks ago when the good weather was threatening to disappear and we looked like we were close to being done.

But as close as we felt to being in the water, the list of remaining tasks was long.

First came the rig, where the previous owner's pattern of neglect really cost us a lot of time and money.

On the haulout we struggled to even get the mast off the boat because corrosion at the mast step had virtually welded things together. The spreaders were similarly fused together. Every piece of hardware was corroded to whatever it was attached to. This meant drilling, grinding, cutting, and replacing just about everything. Luckily, RigRite.com still has all of the original rig parts for the CD 27. The only drawback is that you have to deal with the customer "service" at RigRite.

Detail of new spreaders
New spreaders, spreader sockets, tangs, masthead truck, sheaves, and halyards added a few boat bucks to the ledger. We ran the halyards internally, so add exit plates and rope clutches. This doesn't include the pending deck hardware needed to run the halyards aft to the cockpit. Add turning blocks, deck organizers, more rope clutches, and winches. Dollar signs.

Aside from the topping lift (which was lost along the way) all of the standing rigging went right back in place. And unlike everything else on the boat, the wire and turnbuckles were in great shape when we bought the boat. I had already run the wires and installed the masthead before the boat was trucked to Sea Marine, but everything else still had to be done.

Elton Schweitzer at Sea Marine was excellent at getting us rigged and ready. A big piece of the work was simply cleaning up all of the fittings, which had years of corrosion to deal with. We wire brushed everything down to clean metal and greased it all up to avoid it seizing up on us again. Instead of screws on most of the fittings, we went with the more proper rivets.

Elton solved a few issues with the running rigging as well (namely setting up a workable outhaul arrangement and an adjustable topping lift) and we were ready to go. Hayden and I made the trek to the yard on what turned out to be one of the last beautiful fall days in Puget Sound, and we worked on getting the mast up.

In keeping with the East African theme of Peponi, the coin under the mast is 20 Kenya shillings, a coin my world traveling partner just happened to have in her purse. I usually only carry US currency.
Kenya shillings under the mast
The short rig of the CD27 let us set the mast with a manlift instead of a full size crane, which was nice on the wallet. How it worked out that the lift, at full extension, was perfectly positioned to drop the mast onto the step is nothing more than good luck.

Setting the mast

The rig went up without incident, aside from one scary moment when I almost stepped off the ladder while walking it up to the deck. Once my heart settled down, we set the mast and installed new pins all around.

Peponi with the rig in place

It was such a shock to see the boat with the rig up after sitting in the driveway for so long. At this point we really started to feel close. Let's go sailing!

In the yard with the rig up!

Another view of the rig

The remaining details to figure out were all related to the engine and drive train. With the engine in place, we still needed to figure out the exhaust set up, the fuel system, and raw water. The details here are too tedious to list, but it was a few days of getting the right fittings, hoses, and other parts to get it all together. We came across a LOT of issues with the specs on the Beta Marine drawings and the actual specs of the engine. I should have verified every measurement on the actual engine when planning and purchasing. I already had to convert from metric to SAE on everything, and even then, the stated metric dimensions were usually wrong. Beta says the raw water intake is 7/8" (which is a dimension almost never found anywhere, and which made finding hose and fittings a real treat. Turns out the raw water intake is 3/4". Similarly, the fuel fittings are different from the line drawings. Worse, the fuel pick up on the Moehler tank is a different size than the fuel return. Awesome. We switched out some fittings and changed the hose ($$$) and everything worked out great.

Detail of engine mount
The engine system is made up of:
  • Beta Marine 14 hp Diesel
  • 75 amp alternator
  • PSS Dripless Shaft Seal
  • Mohler 13 gallon plastic fuel tank
  • Racor 500 primary filter/water separator
  • Groco water strainer 
  • Vetus waterlock muffler

In the end, and after not just a little head scratching, sketching, and consulting other mechanics, we came up with an exhaust plan that used a low profile Vetus waterlock and bellowed exhaust hose in order to maneuver around the various corners and through the maze that is the aft end of the boat.

After so long with tools strewn all over the place and things dirty and ripped up, I was really looking forward to returning the interior of the boat to something more than just a workspace. Cleaning it up was the first step. Power tools, hand tools, paint, spare parts, dirt, dust...she was a mess. Just getting all of the material and tools offloaded was a huge step. We finished up some painting and varnishing before the boat was splashed. Then, on the day of the sea trial, the new upholstery was added.
Sunbrella fabric on the interior upholstery

The v-berth with the new one-piece mattress. I think the fabric is named after some sort of wheat.
The launch went without incident. No leaks. No surprises. No problems.

Sea Trial
Hayden and I met Elton for an afternoon sea trial the day after the launch. I won't even try to describe the feeling of being out on the water for the very first time on a boat we have been rebuilding for 3 years.
Elton enjoying a little shakedown cruise.

The scene of the launch. Point Hudson Marina, Port Townsend WA.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Power it, Rig it, Splash it

Peponi at the Final Stage
As I write this, Peponi is days away from being ready to launch. I know this because the invoice from the yard just came. Ouch. 

The engine is fully installed, the drivetrain is finalized, the wiring is done, and the rigging is being put together. We had her trucked to Port Townsend and the yard at Sea Marine, where after being passed off from mechanic to mechanic, we finally got some things rolling along. 

I love Port Townsend. Sure, it's a little too obviously "hip" and the artist/craftsman/hipster vibe is a little overwhelming most of the time, but there is something about the shipyard and maritime industries in this historic seaport that just feels right. Plus, on any given day you might see ships from The Deadliest Catch out for refit or even something like this...

Cinephiles Like Michael Bolton Might Recognize this Ship

That is Lady Washington, which has been used in a couple of the Pirates of the Caribbean films and, weirdly, on Star Trek. Seeing this tall ship out of the water and being worked on my a team of about 50-60 people was impressive. In two days they had her out, cleaned, repaired, painted, and splashed. If only we were so efficient.

Our other neighbors in Port Townsend aren't nautical celebrities. But I do love boatyards. There are two or three boats in the yard that I wouldn't kick out of the marina, if you know what I mean. Hidden in here somewhere are two really nice Etchells  30s. Sweet.

Some of the other neighbors

The bottom paint took a little abuse in the delivery

Final installation of the engine required some more modifications to the stringers I had built up to lift the engine into alignment. In order for the oil sump plumbing and the shifting to have enough clearance, the stringers had to be carved out, as can be seen in the next two photos.
Modifying the stringers for the final engine fit

Ready for the final installation.

I claim poverty on the prop choice. In order to match the engine output we needed a three-blade propeller. The dimensions of the aperture made a two blade unfeasible. Plus, a two blade prop with the full keel design would be a nightmare for maneuvering around marinas. But the three blade prop will create a lot of drag under sail. I'll save pennies for a feathering prop on the next haulout.

The old cutlass bearing was so comfortable in place that it had to be ground out. A new prop shaft was made for us at Tacoma Propeller. Once it arrived, the rest of the drivetrain could be finalized.

Here is where we almost hit a dead end. There is not enough clearance in the aperture to slide the prop onto the shaft. The guys in the yard and I stood and stared at it for a while. After several very expensive ideas were floated (pulling the engine again, removing the rudder...) Someone figured out that with the rudder hard to starboard, the prop could be feathered around it and into the space.

At least we don't have to worry about the shaft backing out of the boat if the set screws give way.

What's the greatest, most utilitarian invention in recent boating history? That's right, it's the PSS shaft seal from PYI Technologies. I installed one on our last boat and would never think of having a sailboat without one again. They are relatively cheap, very easy to install, and maintenance free. And on a boat like ours with almost no space to work with behind the engine, there is value in only having to squeeze into the lazarette once to install it.

Elton working on some final alignment details

Below you can see the PSS Shaft Seal installed with about 3/4" of clearance. The flexible coupling on the engine is also a nice addition. The black hose you see is for the heat exchanger connection to the hot water heater, which is yet to be finalized.

The Driveshaft and PSS Shaft Seal
As we creep toward finally having a functional boat, and I look forward to a "Before and After" post here on the blog, the best late summer in recent memory is trying to slip away from us. It's still warm and sunny here in the Northwest despite the calendar changing over to October. We have reserved our slip at the Everett Marina and are on the waiting list at a smaller marina closer to home.

We're ready for Peponi to be in the water! But in the meantime there's always the Typhoon sitting in the garage just waiting to be taken out.

Meanwhile, there's always this

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Trucks Come, Trucks Go

Countdown to Delivery
In my life as a writer I find myself working right up to deadline most of the time. I know it drives editors crazy, but for some reason I do seem to function better on short timelines.

Which is all good, because two weeks ago I scheduled the boat transport truck to come and pick up Peponi. And I still had a LOT of work left to do before that day. So I set to it. Three coats of new bottom paint, mast wiring, battery install, charger install, fresh water system final hook ups, water heater wiring, electrical panel final hook ups, some paint here and there, and cleaning my way off the boat.

I also made a new filler board for the v-berth, as our mattress was made to fill the whole space. I painted the cabin sole in the head, varnished some of the interior teak, and built a shelf for the new electronics to bolt to. More than one late night was spent in a slight panic as I imagined all of the things I hadn't yet done.

The truck was scheduled to come on a Saturday. Friday night at around midnight I took the last of my tools and materials off and closed the companionway. I took the extension cords down and rolled up some painting tarps. And I went to bed, where I slept not at all.

Here are some of the final projects in color photograph format.

Black bottom paint over the first coat of red. Hull is polished and toerail is varnished.
A look at the beige accent paint that is going on all of the nonskid. On the foredeck I will add grit to the paint.

New engine in flight.

New engine in place. I had to cut the companionway to 18" wide to fit it through the gap.
Fresh water system primed and working.
Peponi's electronic suite. This is on the starboard side, aft end of the settee.
New filler board for the v-berth.
Child labor on the night shift, wiring the mast.
Masthead showing the anchor light, wind vane, and Windex mount. New tangs for the  shrouds as well.
The companionway.
The companionway under red lights.
The Day of the Truck
Where was Gus Sebastian when I had the boat hauled to the house in the first place? This guy is awesome. He arrived at 8:00 a.m. just as planned and had no trouble backing down our narrow curvy driveway with his 45 foot trailer.

If you need a boat hauler in the Northwest, this is your guy.
Gus backing in to pick up the boat.

Gus rocked the set up and backed the trailer right on point with one shot. Perfectly centered. Then came time to lift the boat off the blocks, so he enlisted a helper with a lot of XBOX experience...

Taylor learning to lift the boat. "Don't drop it," says Gus. Nice.

Then, before we knew it, she was off to the actual boat yard...

I'll admit to being a little choked up when she pulled away.
Before the truck cleared the driveway, my dad was already tearing down the stairway he had built to access the boat while we worked on it. And then I set to pressure washing the evidence away. 

Peponi now sits at Sea Marine in Port Townsend. They will do the final hookup of the engine, splash the boat and put up the rig. While they are doing that, I'll sneak over after dark and finish some detail work on deck and down below.

And then it's time to sail her home to her slip in Everett. Can't wait.

So last week while doing my usual scan of Craigslist for deals on boating stuff, I came across an add for a Cape Dory Typhoon Weekender. Cheap. Figuring something was probably wrong with it, I went to take a look, and damnit, the thing was perfect. The end result is that two hours after Peponi left for the shipyards, this happened.

1973 Cape Dory Typhoon Weekender. The newest resident of the Boat yard.
I might have a Cape Dory problem.

But with results like this, how can I complain?