Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Refit Week 6

Hi everyone,
This week hull repairs have been almost completed, as has preparation of the deck for repainting.  The hull/keel join has been reinforced with several layers of heavy fibreglass.  The new fibreglass layers of the hull have been laid up.  Inspection of the stainless steel stemhead, inner forestay chainplate, tiller bracket and mast compression post base plate have shown they are in poor condition.  They are being replaced.

Laying up extra fibreglass around the keel root
Laying up the new outer hull layers
Ready for epoxy barrier coat
Work on preparing the deck for repainting is nearly complete.  One of the last jobs has been to fill the holes used by the old electric windlass.  It was found to be badly rusted during removal and we've decided to replace it with a manual windlass.  Having spent a large part of Sail Indonesia and Sail Malaysia hauling up the anchor entirely by hand it will be good to have a windlass of any kind, and we found the Muir VM500 very good on our (larger) previous boat.  The new stemhead will replace and integrate the anchor roller too.

Filling old anchor windlass holes
Early this week the rudder was inspected following the moisture tests which showed it needs attention.  The rudder has been dropped as far as the boat's height permits and the shaft was found to be in good condition but the bearings quite loose.  The rudder itself is full of water and this will be further investigated next week.  We may have an entirely new rudder constructed over the original stainless steel "skeleton".

Rudder needs attention
Work has been going on in the cabin too.  The rebuilt lower part of the main bulkhead now looks the part with its teak veneer in place.  Just varnishing to go.  The small locker which used to exist in the corner has been removed.  The new base plate below the compression post has been built already!

It's all happening!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Refit Week 5

Hi everyone,
This week the keel was refitted and a new waterline established.  Hull planing, hull repairs and deck equipment stripping continued.

New laser designated waterline
New fibreglass making good the grounding damage forward and aft of the keel is now complete.

Repairs around keel trailing edge
Repairs around keel leading edge
Hull planed up to new waterline
Aft view
The hull moisture is looking very good.  Only the rudder and skeg have a high moisture reading.  Laying up the "new hull" is expected to occur next week.  The rudder and skeg will be done later.

Hull moisture - dry!
Rudder moisture - wet!
Preparation for painting of the deck is going well.  Final fittings are being removed, with the stem head, anchor roller and windlass removed from the bow, and the vane gear mounts, chainplate and other fittings removed from the transom.  The deck is expected to be epoxy primed next week.

Refit Week 4

Hi everyone,
Work continued this week with planing of the hull continuing and repair work of the grounding damage making major progress.

Old repairs to the area forward of the keel were ground back and the underlying damage exposed.  The repairs were poorly done and were delaminating.  The area was cleaned up and new fibreglass laid up.
Hull damage forward of hull laid bare
Damage made good
Internally the keel support structure (aka the "egg crate") was strengthened with several layers of quad-axial 400 gram and chopped strand mat 400 gram (each 1mm per layer).  The area below the mast compression post was heavily reinforced with 5 layers of quad-axial 1000 gram (2.2mm per layer).

Full repaired egg-crate keel support structure
The keel was prepared for offering up next week, epoxy coating the top surface.

Keel ready to offer up
It's great to have exposed and fully repaired the original damage around the keel.  Provides confidence that this work will be a real and lasting fix to the problem!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Refit Week 3

Hi everyone,
This week Precision Shipwrights have been getting on with the work.  Their progress has accelerated without me under their feet!

Stripping old paint from the mast
Planing the hull to remove osmosis
Furniture adjacent to main bulkhead removed
Stripping the old cockpit teak
Most deck fittings removed
As the refit continues I'll be posting the latest pictures provided by Precision, hopefully weekly.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Refit Week 2

Hi everyone,
Week two of the refit saw the stripping of the mast, continuing planing of the hull, removal of the keel and relocation of the boat.  Twas a busy week, and my last in Boat Lagoon.  I'm now on my way home to Perth to find a job to help pay for it all!

I spent several mornings this week removing fittings from the mast.  This involved drilling out a large number of rivets, many of which haven't moved since 1986.  All the running rigging was removed, leaving only mouse lines inside the mast.  The navigation lights were removed and will be replaced with new units - the lenses of the old ones are in very poor condition.

One problem was found with the rig.  The lower shrouds have smaller clevis pins at the top than the eyes in the shroud end fittings and the tangs.  For the non-sailors out there, tangs are the metal plates on the mast to which the wires holding the mast up attach.  The problem was cunningly concealed by smaller washers welded to the tangs!  This will be fixed by making new tangs and using larger clevis pins.

Mast partially stripped, showing many holes to be filled
The hull planing to remove osmosis continued during the week, extending over the whole hull and appendages (rudder and keel).  The keel was fully encapsulated in a layer of fibreglass, which is thought to have been part of a repair of the old grounding damage.  We know the original design had no fibreglass on the keel or at the keel/hull join.

Keel support in place 
Prior to removing the keel the forward keel bolt needed to be exposed.  During one of the previous grounding repairs the "egg crate" in which the bolt resides was filled with epoxy resin!  The epoxy was removed this week.  This is the keel bolt which sits immediately under the mast compression post - one of the few "unfortunate" features of the design.

Forward keel bolt revealed
The boat was moved on Thursday.  It was lifted and moved to a position immediately outside Precision Shipwright's building, and then the keel removed.  The process went very smoothly.
Hoisting Away!
Off the keel
After we were finished with the travel-lift a huge mobile shed was manoeuvred into place over Zen Again.  Certainly makes the boat look tiny!

Under cover!
On Friday morning I spent several hours moving even more "stuff" off the boat and into Precision's store.  The boss Scott can't believe how much stuff has come out of our little boat.  On Friday afternoon Scott and I met to go through the plan for the next few months.  The principle tasks are:

  • Hull repair
  • Osmosis treatment
  • Topsides paint
  • Deck paint
  • Mast & boom paint
  • Stainless steel - a new pushpit (including goalpost/arch) and coachroof handrails
  • Cockpit teak replacement
  • Coachroof window replacement

That's quite a lot of work.  Each main task includes an array of side-tasks.  For example:

  • Osmosis treatment includes removal of an unused anode mounting point built into the hull
  • Topsides painting includes removal of a spare (and rusty) backstay chainplate
  • Deck painting includes removal of many unused deck fittings and cable feed-thrus
  • Mast & boom painting includes removal of an array of unused fittings including the radar antenna and spinnaker pole track, and replacing the 25 year old clew outhaul line
  • The new pushpit will mount 260W of new solar panels and provide solid lifelines around the cockpit
  • The new handrails will replace the extremely worn original teak handrails

The hull repair is the most important job of course.  Scott assures us that the hull/keel join will be stronger than ever, and there will be no leaks.  Come the day!

The deck paint task is probably the most "fiddly".  It requires the removal of all deck fittings, the planing of the deck, priming and painting (both slip and non-slip) and the rebedding of the deck fittings.  We have very few leaks but many of the fittings have been in place for decades so rebedding them is a nice extra benefit of repainting the deck.

Scott expects to continue planing the hull to remove a further 1-2mm of the hull.  The hull will then dry out for several months.  During that time the hull repair will be carried out, the new stainless steel work done, and the deck stripped of fittings.

Ready for Week 3
Trust all's well where you are!