Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Deck Hardware Mounts Are Sexy

No, really. I am serious. If you've ever had to recore a soft spot in a deck or had to try to work around a winch handle that continually fouls itself on the bimini frame, or man handle genoa sheets that run along the deck in an undulating fashion you will agree with me. Custom deck hardware mounts are DEAD sexy.

I know a lot of people bag on newer production boats, but they do seem to come up with some ideas that make things easier. Things like deck hardware mounts that are molded in, keep the running rigging nice and tidy and with a clean run through the sheaves to the winches and fewer leaks. I love my old, sturdy Nassau but it had the old school method of mounting deck hardware. Namely, putting a teak base under the winches with screws that will inevitably leak and will require maintenance and varnish to keep looking spiffy. Molded in deck mounts are a big improvement. We like big improvements around here.
Planning the new layout
So Mark spent what seemed like forever carefully planning out the deck hardware. Checking the angle of the organizers,clutches and winches. After drawing it up in CAD, redrawing it, moving the winches, adjusting the angle of the clutches, redrawing it again he had The Plan.

With the plan in hand he carefully checked the layout with a mock up of all the deck hardware in scale. Once he was satisfied with the hardware he had chosen and the layout, he began working on the mounts.

Each mount was cut from fiberglass, carefully mounted and epoxied with West System. I got to sand and sand and resand. Every tiny air bubble on the outer side of the epoxy was filled and resanded and resanded again. I am getting pretty darned good with the Dremel though my taping skills leave something to be desired (In Captain Perfecto's OCD world, anyone else would appreciate my attention to detail even if I did choose to lay the tape horizontally as opposed to vertically. :P )

These things are taking a long long time to get perfect but the prospect of having all the running rigging actually RUN unimpeded is pretty exciting. It's exciting because it means that Ceol Mor will be a whole lot easier to handle while under sail. In my heart of hearts, I am a lazy sailor and will take a easy over an old school tug of war any day.
Oh yes, the hand rails are getting new mounts too!

It's time to sand the prime coat again as we work on our painting skills, then its time to paint with Awl Craft and then DEAD SEXY HARDWARE INSTALLATION BEGINS. New red hot deck organizers, new luscious oversized winches and some foxy sheaves.

I call this all DEAD SEXY because the reality is we are working our butts off in late July in the subtropics. We are sweaty, smelly and tired. Quite the opposite of anything remotely resembling sexy but soon, very soon we will be sailing once again and I want to remember how rotten it was sailing with the old deck layout and to remember to appreciate all the long weeks that went into making Ceol Mor the easy to sail boat that she soon will be. Sexy indeed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cha Cha Changes....

We have managed to move house. Somehow, despite our best attempts to have Mark avoid the flu Kitty and I had Mark succumbed and was down for 4 days. He was able to help direct the movers but as far as unpacking, arranging, purging etc it was pretty much Maura and I. You think you have gotten rid of enough stuff until you move into a much smaller house and then you realize you have yet more purging to do. We will get there. The good news is that by downsizing now, we have a head start as we will be downsizing even more when we move on the boat this fall.

We've been a bit distracted from the boat as we try to rearrange everything into some semblance of order at The Chandlery. Mark and I have spent the last two days (very very hot days) putting together a storage shed for those items that we just don't have room for and are not quite ready to get rid of just yet as we know we will have to return to land life in a few short years. Boat work is hot, but not half as hot as putting together a metal shed in late July in the subtropics. Once the sun heats the metal sheets up so much that they are to hot to hold, we knock off work until late afternoon when things start to become bearable again.

We have managed a bit of work on the deck hardware mounts. Its still a work in progress but Mark has allowed me to use the power tools. YIPPEE!! These suckers take far, far too much work but I know we will appreciate them later. Fiberglass and epoxy work for days and days. Ugh. For an item so mall in size they sure do eat up a lot of hours, but being able to have the organizers, sheaves and lines all in position with NO FOULING will be a beautiful thing. Minimizing water intrusion by avoiding just popping teak mounts on the deck will also be a beautiful thing. Now if we can just get our fiberglass painting skills up to par we will be able to just appreciate how clean it all looks and how smoothly all the running rigging um...runs.

So we are moving forward. Slowly but surely. If we can just get to a good resting point by late August, when it is just too unbearably hot to do anything we might actually make my goal which is Christmas in NOLA.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Insert Clever Title Here

It seems as if every time I start to think that we are ready to really get into a routine and tick items off our list the Universe likes to throw a curve ball. If I were trying to divine a reason, it would be that we have yet to learn the lesson that there really is no such thing as a plan and schedules are like unicorns. Mythical, elusive and something that people have heard of but no one has actually seen.

I had planned to return from a week in Dallas with Maura and my mom to get the house packed up and moved in a few short days. What I did not plan on was a rare summertime outbreak of Influenza Type A at the Dallas hotel that felled so many people the CDC had to be notified. Who gets the flu in July? I do. That's who.

I managed to escape getting sick in Dallas only to return home and to cook up an impressive case for myself and Kitty. Maura apparently has an amazing immune system and escaped infection. I have been laid low for a solid week. So much for getting anything other than sleeping done. Kitty had the good sense to wait for me to begin recovering before succumbing herself. Fortunately we have some flexibility in our moving date so my viral induced slug like momentum was accommodated.  Mark wisely has avoided contagion by staying on the boat moving the refit forward.

Mark has been painstakingly going over every inch of the deck, seeking out any and all soft spots and crafting a raised base for all the winches. Lifting the winches and mast collar off the deck by just a few millimeters might seem like a whole lot of work for such a small measurement but we are really hoping that this along with bedding the hardware properly with butyl tape will ensure that this time, the deck core stays dry. I am hopeful because I never want to have to go through this again. Like Ever.

Yucky. Seriously yucky.
This week, it was chase down a leak at the mast, recore a soft spot in the deck and tidy up the mast collar. You can see in the photo below that attention to this area has been needed for sometime.

Since I have been holed up all week fighting the flu, Mark thoughtfully did a bit of content creation documenting the before and after of the mast collar project. A big thanks to him for taking the time to grab some short video for me.

So the word of the day is "Spartite" and the theme for the month is "Schedules and other mythical beings" and we continue onward...