Sailing: The art of getting wet and becoming ill while slowly going nowhere at great expense.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Summer of Sailing

We have had a summer of sailing but no blog entries.  Having too much fun.   After getting the boat repaired and settled in and after a week long stay for sailing camp we looked for long weekends to maximize the time at the boat and minimize the impact of the long drive.  We had our first raft up in the beginning of the summer.  We are the short wooden stick on the far left in the picture.  We made it out for the 4th of July and made it 4 days.  We watched the fire works from the boat out on the river with friends.

The girls made it back out in early August for another week of sailing camp with the junior sailor gaining confidence and getting cocky up until the the head and boom made contact.  Opti's are great, safe  learning platforms.

Memorial day weekend found us back out for another overnight anchoring experience.  Lots of lessons learned.  Motor wouldn't start.  Left 2 hrs later than planed. Shredded the gennaker in a strong puff.   Did not make anchor by dark. Motor overheated. Anchored close to shore but still exposed if wind turned. Mosquitoes were stronger than the dying breeze. Ate a cold dinner huddled under mosquito netting. Went to bed in very hot conditions. Wind turned at night and cranked up to 15 kts.  Rough night on anchor.  Nobody slept.  Sailed off the anchor at 7:00 and arrived back at club by 1:00.  Great sailing down and back but a rough night. 52 nm sailed.  Upon arrival our Junior sailor wanted to go out on Opti.  There is hope.

We all gained a lot of experience and had some fun.  I culminated the summer with a couple of friends and a 2 day regatta in the cruising class.  The boat sailed very well and impressed everyone. The crew learned very quickly and we corrected over to win 4 out 5 races.  Not bad for a 44 year old girl with a 48 year old skipper who hasn't raced in 20 yrs.

This is what makes it all worth while.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sail Camp

Our new Sailer in Action

I launched the repaired boat twice this past week.  After rehanging rudder and shearing off the rudder post bolt in the process, I got everything ready for a launch on Monday morning.  The girls went to sailing camp and I launched the boat with the plan to motor back to the club.  The boat was in the water and the stern tube fix was holding tight.  but water was pouring in from somewhere.

I crawled back to the rudder tube and could see a trickle coming up from behind some tabbing on the tube mounting box.  Damn!  When the rudder was broken there was obviously other damage that I could not detect since it was out of the water.  Back in the slings and back on the trailer.  I spent the rest of the day grinding out the failed tabbing and re-fiber-glassing the box back in.  Very uncomfortable.

Tuesday saw a low water day due to a wind tide that had me doubting if I could make the trip out through the narrow/shallow creek.  I decided to stay on the trailer and add another layer of glass.  Wednesday had the boat in the water and motoring home.  I tied up in my slip before ten and finally was able to help with sail camp.  The rest of the week was great at camp and sailing and relaxing.  Our new sailor was earning her stripes and gaining confidence in sailing, helming and capsizing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rudder Done

The rudder has been all fixed, filled, faired and painted.  I over-drilled the head hole from the sloppy 1/4" to a new clean 5/16.  I will make a new SS pin out of a 5/15 bolt shank.  I will rehang everything on the weekend and be set for a Monday 8:00am launch.

A very large bottle opener.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rudder Fix

Knowing that the rudder hung true I continued with the repairs.  I wrapped the assembly in 16 oz cloth and resin.  Then I cut strips of 6 oz woven cloth to wrap around like bandages.  When that set up, I cleaned with acetone and sanded again.  I then covered it all with a large piece of 6 oz cloth to give me the best surface to start fairing with.

When cured I added the first round of fairing compound.  I will sand that down and do another round today before the paint I ordered hopefully arrives tomorrow.  A day of curing then a couple coasts of Micron CSC.  She will be as good as new and ready to hang on the weekend.

I also plan on re-drilling the head with a larger pin to tighten up the tiller


Stern Tube

I was back at the boat in the yard this weekend.  Boat Yards are strange places with interesting people.  It is easy to see how the vagabond lifestyle can take hold.  I was there to work and I put in some hours to get everything done in the the 36 hours I had there.

First I pulled the propeller with a gear puller.  Not the perfect tool but it did work with a little persuasion hammer.  This allowed me to get the bearing tube off.  Once I took out the two screws if came off in my hand.  Any bedding had dissolved and as it turns out the tube connecting it to the other end had also broke at the coupling.  However I did learn that the indentations in the hull at the stern bearing housing were by design and they allowed water to into four ports on either side to lubricate the bearing.  Some were blocked and I re-drilled them open.

Now to get the other end out.  I ordered an inspection hatch that is roughly 18"x18".  I cut out a large opening in the cockpit well and took the common precautions to protect the core, which was solid and dry.  I sealed the edge in epoxy and over drilled and filled the mounting holes with thickened epoxy, re-drilling when the epoxy had set.  Through this opening I could now gain access to the tube and stuffing box.

This housing was similarly mounted into the deadwood however, all the fasteners had turned to dust and I could move it around with my hand.  A little wiggling and I extracted the entire assembly from the hole in the deadwood because all of the bedding had failed.  The rest of the time was spent cleaning out the area and grinding off bad spots.

I re drilled mounting holes and then set both sides (inside and out) in a bed of 4200 with an extra bead where the pipe had become separated.  Assembled and left to set up I went on to other tasks.  Before i set the pieces I took a lot of measurements and drawings of this assembly.  I think when I pull the boat in a couple of years I want to replace the whole assembly with a new cutlass bearing and stuffing box on a fiberglass stern tube.  The re-bedded sections will suffice for a couple of years of light duty.

I hung the rudder to make sure the repair was true and the tiller was still centered.  I then spent time grinding and sanding the rudder before wrapping the entire assembly in 16oz fiberglass cloth and letting it set up.  The rest of the afternoon was spent fine tuning the holes in the bimini assembly while all the bedding compound and epoxy set up.  I occasionally turned the propeller shaft to make sure I did not glue it in place.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rudder Fix

So after the heart ache of knowing that all of this rudder business could have been avoided if I had been more aware of what was going on at the lift, I got down to repairing it.  First I removed the rudder assembly from the boat.  The heal came off with no issues but the head was on a tapered rudder post.  It took some PB Blaster and a lot of hammering to get it free.  I brought it home and started to strip off the fiberglass to expose the cast bronze head fitting.  It was through bolted in 3 places with the nuts recessed into the rear of the wood rudder.   The slot was then sealed up with a resin/wood filler mixture.  Once all the bolts were extracted I could pull off the cast piece.

I could sight down and tell it was both bent and twisted.  I took the bend out with a hydraulic press.  This brought the piece half way back into true.  The twist was proving too difficult to get out and I was worried about breaking the cast piece.  I settled on making sure the head was square and true to the rudder and letting the tail twist off the 1/16th of an inch.  I set the piece in thickened epoxy and bolted and clamped it.

I will sand and fill where needed and fill the nut voids with thickened epoxy.  I will take it back to the boat this weekend to re-insert and allow me to square up the tiller.  The head has almost certainly moved as well and will need to be re-centered.  Once that is all done I will seal the wood and cover in fiber glass, fairing to a level finish ready for paint.  All that can happen at home again during the next week before i re-install for good the following weekend.  2 years ago this job would have terrified me.  Now, a little knowledge and a lot of epoxy goes along way.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rudder Issue

Attached are photos of my now-in-need-of-repair rudder after a slip in the sling as the boat was being lifted out of the water for another issue.  I am including these photos here in hopes of finding an answer in how to repair the rudder mounted grudgen.  The lower part is fine as it is only a small post that pivots on the heel.  My question is how is this brass piece attached to the wood rudder which is covered by glass.  Before I start grinding I would like to know where, how much, etc.