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!

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