Saturday, August 18, 2012

So Close We Can Taste It. Wait, That Might be Epoxy I Taste.

Pick Up
The truck comes next week to pick up our boat and deliver her to the marina where final engine installation and rigging will take place.

Mind you, I'm nowhere near ready, but once that truck shows up, the work at The BoatYard is over no matter what, so...

Over the last week or so I have finalized the fresh water system, the AC system, and a few other details. Before she is ready for the experts to take over, I still have to:
  • Finish the bottom paint
  • Hoist the engine into place
  • Install the engine controls
  • Wire the mast
  • Install the masthead
  • Finalize the electronics install
The new interior cushions are waiting for us at the shipyard, as are all the new rigging parts. Once delivered, it will be about two weeks before we're in the water. Just in time for the end of summer!

No Longer Anonymous
Our little sloop is no longer nameless. She was nameless when we bought her (the previous owner vaguely remembered calling her "Boomer" or something). But no more. Honoring Hayden's love of East Africa and our connection to one of the greatest places on the planet, our sloop is now named "Peponi," which means "paradise" or "in the wind" depending on who you ask or how it is translated. Either way, perfect. Peponi is also the name of a beautiful hotel in Lamu, Kenya. Lamu is far and away my favorite place in the world. Somali pirates not withstanding.
Peponi means "Paradise" in Swahili. Sort of.
As much as I dreamed of having a gleaming, perfect boat ready to launch when the truck came, I simply had to prioritize things into two categories: Before Splash and After Splash. Quite simply it came down to what needed to be done before the boat could hit the water and be functional (basic systems, integrity of the hull, and bottom paint) and what we could do once she was in her slip at the marina (interior finishing, "luxury" systems, deck work, etc.) So we have several projects outstanding that simply won't get done before we are in the water. But we are very, very close to being ready to sail.

I took advantage of being out of the water and not paying rent to do a few days' worth of finish work on the hull. It came to us chalky, scratched, and basically nasty. I had to repaint the transom (not a perfect job but it definitely passes the 3 foot rule). For the rest of the hull I used a combination of rubbing compound, 1500 grit sandpaper, and wax to get her up to a decent shine. 30 years of neglect can really wreck gel coat. Short of repainting, I think we did the best we could.

Not a brand new boat, but not neglected either.
Much of the teak on deck will have to be done later, but I did take a day to completely sand the toe rails (which took forever to get down to bare wood) and refinish them with 4 coats of Cetol varnish.

Toe rail refinished (and new registration #s too!)
One rather comical result of the location of the boat in the driveway is that the port side gets far more attention than starboard. The port side faces the beach and the southern sun, and has a big concrete driveway to work from. The starboard side is right up against the edge of the driveway, and the mast is stored on sawhorses right there, making moving ladders around and whatnot quite a pain. Let's just say the port side looks a little better.

Other Stuff
Not as cool to look at, but more important things have also happened.

I bought a used iPod on EBay to leave plugged into our new Fusion stereo. I just loaded all of my music onto it and now we have a portable juke box. 32 GB worth. That ought to do. And when it gets old, we can just click over to XM satellite radio, which is rather worthless on land in the Puget Sound because of all the trees and whatnot, but on the water it is perfect.

The simple AC system (two outlets, a battery charger, a water heater) is wired.
AC wiring in progress. Probably not to code. But it works.
Wiring the boat has been the biggest learning experience of this project for me. I will do it very differently next time (heh heh) based on what I learned about circuitry and wiring. What I did is technically fine but could be more efficient and better planned. The wire runs are redundant in some places and I made full end runs for each appliance rather than making branch circuits. Again, it's fine (and will be easier to troubleshoot if a lamp goes out) but the wire runs are bulky and the panel is crowded). So far I love the location of the panels I built. I can reach both from the cockpit, they are easy to access, and they are out of the way.

Fun with Fiberglass
If there is a second place finisher in the "what I learned most about" contest, it is epoxy and fiberglass. Now I want to use that shit to fix everything. My last chance to really glass anything will be after the engine goes into place, because I'll have to cut out the companionway to get it to fit. The opening under the stairs is 15" across. The minimum dimension of our new Beta 14 is 18". Sigh.

The last thing I glassed in was a new platform for the starting battery and the muffler.
A Group 24 battery box and Vetus Muffler go here

The thing I may be happiest about is the new engine. A lightweight, quiet, shiny red Beta 14. Last weekend I installed the engine control panel in the cockpit. Of course, I had to tear the old one out, glass in the space, and recut it for the new panel. But it looks ok.

Top of the Mast
I'm sure in parts of the country where boats are hauled out for the winter it is far easier and more common to maintain the gear at the head of the mast, but when the stick stays in the boat year after year, the summit of the boat gets neglected like crazy. No one likes to be hoisted up there to change a lightbulb. I've been working on the masthead electronics and wiring while the mast is down. Here is where we stand now.
Anchor light, Windex, and wind instrument

Stay Tuned
Photos of the delivery and other final work to come. And then a series of Before/After shots of the entire project. After that it should just be photos of sunsets, cocktails, and the rail in the water as we sail around the Puget Sound.

1 comment:

  1. You've done a lot of great work on this boat! I think it's better than new, because so much of it is yours. How fortunate for you two that you don't have to be back in school until a reasonable time of year.