Thursday, July 3, 2014

Been So Busy Doing Something Else

Been so busy doing something else… literally.  I started a new job in March.  
The good points:
1)      I have a job that pays the bills.
2)      It seems long term and secure.
3)      The people are great.
4)      I can see the building my office is in from the marina parking lot!

The not so good points:
1)  I can see the marina parking lot from the building my office is in.  It is quite a distraction to stay at     work.  Yes, sometimes I may think about something else…
2)  There is a HUGE learning curve and the projects seem (to me) to be very detailed and complex. My brain is tired at quitting time.
3)  The “J” “O” “B” is a lot of work and takes up all of my time.

My part of the marina is being rebuilt soon.  The management is making sure all the boats can be moved when the time comes so everybody has to pass a vessel inspection.  I also think they would like to get rid of the derelict vessels so they have less boat to find slips for.  Something Else has an appointment with the harbor master for a vessel inspection on July 22nd.  Must have operational engine, functioning electrical system, functioning navigation lights, operational bilge pumps, holding tank system for the head (toilet) and vessel must be “in an un-deteriorated condition”.  So I've had to do a little work on Something Else since it has been deteriorating since 1978.  I've got a lot done but I still have a lot to do in the next two weeks.  I don’t have time to paint the exterior or do the stations and life lines so I hope they don’t say the boat is in deteriorated condition.  This is what I have done from “The List”

  • Exhaust system went from “mock-up” to DONE
  • Fuel System went from parts to “almost done”.  Fuel on should be on and bled next week.
  • Throttle and transmission control installation is test fitted and I need to order a Teleflex cable.
  • Engine cooling is “almost done”.  
  • The engine sound deadening is mostly done.
  • I previously removed all the AC and DC wires out of the boat except in the mast.  They were rats nest of Mickey Mouse repairs.
  • AC Electrical is 90% done.  Need to wire the outlet circuit in the cabin and V-birth.  System includes the new Smart Plug for where the shore power plugs into the boat.  The old twist lock plug was a little melted like they are notorious to do.
  • House batteries are installed and wired
  • Battery charger is installed and in operation.
  • Installed an outlet for an automatic (electric) bilge pump for the cabin area.  I need to order the new pump.  I have an existing electric one in the aft compartment behind the engine bulkhead.  A manual one came with the boat.  It should be rebuilt with new rubber parts as they must be from 1978.
  • Stern light has been re-wired
  • The “bi-colored light” up front I ran into trouble running the wire inside the bow pulpit (the railing at the front of the boat).  I removed pulpit and reworked it a little so the wires now fit… But the string I used to feed the wires thru pulled back and is lost in the abyss.  I’ll figure a way to snake the wire thru the tubing some how.  I’m hoping compress air will do it.
  • The traveler has been rebuilt and modified to 4:1 purchase and re-installed.  New main sheet blocks are ready to install and reeve the line.
  • A water break has been added to the water inlet side of the head (toilet).  Many boats have sunk due to this line siphoning water and swamping the boat.
I hope to post some pics when I have a bit of time.  For all the folks in the US of A have a wonderful 4th of July! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thrift Shop Sweater 4 Something Else

Mary and I had productive day thrift shopping last weekend. I found three shirts (Columbia and Tommy Hilfiger brands), and a Henri Lloyd sailing vest. I also purchased a child’s argyle sweater. A child’s sweater you may ask?

For some reason my fender is leaving muck on the hull of Something Else. It is also making a lot of squeaking when the boat moves.

I pulled the sleeves inside the sweater and put it over the top of the fender.

Now I have a well dressed fender that will not muck up the hull or squeak… Isn’t that SOMETHING

1 weekend, $2.99 thrift shop sweater. Having a well dressed fender… Pricelsess

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Mystery of the Build Number

Mystery solved! Something else I no longer have to think about. What build number is Something Else? Was Something Else the first GK29 built? No, though Something Else was built during the first year of GK29 production. I don't know why I want to know this about Something Else. I guess it is just something else to know.

  According to the WOA's Westerly Wiki, 

"The Yard Number [aka build number] is the number on the plate in the hatchway and consists of a letter then 3 numbers i.e. A 123 The prefix letter originally indicated from which shed in Waterlooville the hull was made but soon came to represent the specific model being built. The digits represent the number of that specific hull. You'll also find the number in wax crayon on the underside of removable wood panels."

Many GK29 owners I talk with via the internet have a Westerly factory build plate attached to the frame for the sliding hatch. The build prefix for GK29s was "B".

Build plate for the 100th production Westerly GK29

Something Else did not have a build plate. It is long gone. Maybe lost after refinishing the wood or it just fell off. I tried to interpolate the build number using other owner’s hull Identification number and build numbers compared to my hull ID. It looked like maybe 110th boat. But that would only have been a guess. I knew they only built 182 or so GK29 and mine was one of them.

On the back of sliding doors for the cupboard and the ceiling panel for the navigation station I found B50. The 50th production Westerly GK29 build.

Westerly is no longer in business however Caroline, at Trafalgar Yacht Services in the UK, found the specification sheet for my boat B50 was made out to Westerly and it was to be launched as a demonstrator. She indicated that there was no mention of who eventually bought the boat or where it went. But maybe it went directly to San Diego California as Westerly demonstrator. That would be interesting story but the invoice only says Westerly demonstrator.  I guess how Something Else came to be in San Diego is still a mystery.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Three Years Too Late!

Alex, my buddy at work, is great at finding great stuff on Craigslist. Cars, tools, materials, you name it, Alex seems to find great deals on it. He checks out all of the different Craigslist cities and I am always amazed at what he finds. Yesterday he sent me a link to a Craigslist ad for a BMW marine diesel D12 for $500 in San Francisco area. The same as the original engine in Something Else. If Alex could have found this three years ago I would have bought it. I am 80 percent done with my Yanmar installation, there is NO way I’m going to go back to the old engine.

I sent the ad to Rich with V12 engineering. It looks like the engine is sold today. Rich gave me $325 for parts off my old engine.

Thanks Alex, and search on my friend... search on!

My old rusted out BMW D12 head.  My finger are going from the exhaust port into the water jacket.

How thick is your gelcoat?

I've been thinking about something else. How thick is your gelcoat? In fiberglass construction gelcoat is like a hard thick paint applied to the inside of the mold and then covered with fiberglass. When the part is removed from the mold the gelcoat is the smooth shiny s surface everybody sees. The fiberglass provides all the strength while the gelcoat provides the beauty. The gelcoat on boats is usually white however it doesn’t have to be. The gelcoat on a Chevy Corvette is the color the car. I’ve read the maximum thickness of gelcoat should be 35 mills, (1mm).

I have “core samples” that were left in the nav station drawer by the prior owner. I have one that looks like the cutout for the speed transducer. I would estimate the thickness of the fiberglass to be about 7mm while the gelcoat thickness is about 9mm. I have another sample from my transom and it looks like the fiberglass is 2mm and the gelcoat is 2 mm. Finally I have a sample from my deck and it looks like the fiberglass is maybe 0.5mm and the gelcoat is 3 mm.

Hull sample, white gelcoat on top fiberglass on bottom

Transom sample, white gelcoat on the bottom, fiberglass on top

Is this excess gelcoat? Was this a quality control problem? Does it matter; after all it is a 35 year old boat?   I ask because on old boats many people grind off the underwater portion of gelcoat and apply an epoxy barrier coat to prevent blisters. The gelcoat is ground off because epoxy does not stick well to it. When I did my bottom paint in 2010 Something Else had a few blisters. I ponder if I should just treat any new blisters locally or something else.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I've been Sick

I've been sick for the past week. When I started feeling better I watched an endless supply of YouTube videos while in bed.

This couple in Tulsa OK is building a 74ft steel sailboat from scratch. It’s way over 250 videos but It’s a hoot.

The reason why?

I'm hooked! Makes my little rebuild look like childs play!

Mary has got the cold now. I hope she can recover faster than me.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Canvas Work

I can sew… not real well but I can sew. I learned back in A&P School. Aircraft wings and fuselages used to be skinned with cotton. They haven’t been done that way for production aircraft in over 60 years but you had to know how to sew to obtain an A&P license. My Dad had an airplane with cloth covered wings. But that was back in the days when he was dating my Mom. In fact some of Dad’s buddies wrote “Just Married” in shoe polish on the bottom of the wings and he said he was never able to remove it. Not sure sewing is an A&P requirement today.

Armed with a dim memory of sewing and Don Casey's book, “Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual” (a guide to fix EVERYTHING on a sailboat); we bought a used industrial sewing machine thinking I would sew something for Something Else. A whole chapter in the book is dedicated to sewing everything that could need sew’n on a boat. Tips to cover things that are exposed to weather, bags for every use imaginable, (like a bag to hold all the covers when they are not in use) and handy accessories like an awning to keep the sun at bay. Mary bought me a few yards of 2nd quality Sunbrella on eBay to play with.

Companion way hatch cover

1st project I made winch covers with elastic inner cuff to keep the winch cover on.
2nd project I made a simple tiller cover that will need “refinements” to incorporate all the lessons I learned along the way.
My latest sewing project I made a companion way hatch cover that has a batten at the bottom that holds the lower cover in position.  The scratches in the picture are from dragging the material under the arm of the sewing machine.

I cussed a lot. I’d hate to have to make a living doing canvas work. It’s tough making things fit correctly. The machine is too fast (or I'm too slow), I’m afraid I’ll sew my fingers into the seams! I put a smaller pulley on the motor and is slowed it down a little, but it’s still too fast. A co-worker suggested putting an adjustable stop under the pedal. That way when you mash the pedal all the way down it can only go to the adjusted speed.

I’m not too bright (or a glutton for punishment) because I bought some upholstery material too. I am going to attempt to re-upholster the settee cushions. The backs should be easy because it’s all strait seams and stapled down on the back. But the bottom cushions are curved and sloped where it meets the hull and they have a zipper. Another topic for another time.