Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Punch List

Rose is temporarily docked at Clear Lake Yacht Center where Juan will paint a boot stripe and coat the bottom with anti-fouling paint. Yesterday we pulled the mast to re-cut the mast step 3/4 inch to starboard.  This should center the 6 inch diameter mast in the 8 inch diameter mast partners and solve the starboard list issue.

Before the mast goes back the Maretron WSO 100 wind speed/direction transducer has to be replaced.  Not sure why it failed but we don't have time to wait for the diagnosis from Maretron,  They are going to expedite delivery of a new one and discuss warranty/credit on the old one later.

The Koden radar antenna is not working either.  Tom the electrician thinks the problem is the control box that interfaces with the pc. Koden is going to look at it and advise.  This project is not in the critical path.  We can step the mast and set the antenna from a bosun's chair after Koden makes repairs.

The slip is pretty shallow at the forward end and I backed the boat in, so at low tide she grounded and pushed the rudder pintles out of the gudgeons.  My to do list included "install nylon keeper washers on top two pintles"  so the rudder would not come off.  I have been putting this project off because I don't know where they go.  I shall query the BCC forum tonight;  maybe someone has a photo.

The starboard boom gallows stanchion was not straight; it was leaning outboard.  The angle of the teak base was too shallow so had to pull it and install a new base and then trim a bit of the teak gallows length. Everything is lined up nice and square now so I can install life lines.....1/2 inch three strand on top and 3/8 on bottom.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Floating but not Done

Next week we will pull the mast in order to adjust the mast step.  We cut it too far to the port side.  Once properly positioned on centerline the starboard list should disappear.  

The battery box serves as the first step of the companionway ladder.  It will be easier to cut it down a bit than to build a shorter ladder.  The other items on the to do list are relatively minor but that to do list seems to be a living thing; I whittle it down from the bottom and it grows from the top .   

The load out and road trip from Marsh Boatyard to Hillman's Marine on Dickinson Bayou went off without a Hitch, (as in no problems)
Afloat after 4 years, no leaks and no list but that is without the mast 


Dickinson Bayou Launch


Stepped mast at Seabrook and she listed hard starboard.

The socket is cut 3/4 of an inch too far port 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spar Coating

My spars are Sitka Spruce. When I commissioned Bruce to build the spars I decided that the mast should be the same color as the Douglas Fir staving on the hull sides down below.  So he stained the mast, then applied two coats of epoxy ahead of the varnish. The stain was a bad mistake.

Bruce mis-read the spar plans and built the mast 13 inches short.....his mistake.  A clothes pin scarf lengthened the mast back to plan but the stain and varnish on the bottom of the new lower section did not match the original coating.  "That's OK, give's it character.....memorializes the journey", my wife said.

I installed the radar antenna mounts using 3M 5200 since it would never have to be removed.  Turned out I had installed it too high on the mast foul of the headstay and it did in fact have to be removed.  The mounts took the varnish and a layer of Spruce with mistake (it was my turn).  Then the steaming light had to be pulled so it could be seen under the radar antenna.  And again the repaired area didn't match....more character.
After sanding back to bare spruce

I  decided the splotchy mast was not going to get it, so we removed all the mast furniture and stripped the spars back to bare spruce. This time we skipped the stain and went with three coats of Awlgrip's "Awlspar" varnish followed by multiple coats of their "Awlbrite Clear", a polyurethane with UV inhibitors.  This system is advertised to be much more durable and longer lasting than the equivalent varnish over epoxy.  We shall see.

First coat of Awlbrite

Monday, October 22, 2012

Still Rigging Up

Posted a few recent photos to Picasa today.  As you can see we now have a dodger, belaying pins and settee cushions. The Radar antenna had to move down the mast to stay away from the jib halyard and headstay. It now lives just below the spreaders and above the home of the gaff saddle when the main is at full hoist. Speaking of gaffs I made a major one using 5200 to bed the radar mount. Now trying to hide the scars with plugs, West System Epoxy and a bit of stain.   

Current plan is to launch at Hillman's Marina on Dickinson Bayou and motor over to Clear Lake Yacht Center to marry the mast, add boot stripe,  bottom paint,  compound and wax the hull.  Sea trials around Thanksgiving and sailing before year end. 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The main fits good....thanks Heidi.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rigged Up (Sorta)

I'm glad I decided to rig up the spars before launching.  Turned out to be a few more issues (let's call them new challenges) than I thought there would be.  The headstay is too short.....the knuckle head in charge of measuring (that would be me) should be keel hauled.  The topping lifts are chafing against the lower shrouds and will have to be re-routed.  And the radio frequency interference from the Orca LED tri-color is killing the VHF and AIS reception.  Will address these and bend on the mains'l next week.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dry Stepping the Mast

When we take her to the river I want to step the mast, paint the boot stripe and leave, pronto.  Stay too long at Hillman's and the shrimpers will steal the hubcaps off her. To make sure that operation goes smoothly I have decided to step the mast and rig up right were we sit.  That means doing it twice but I think the dress rehearsal approach will pay dividends in the long run.  With this in mind we pulled Rose out of the shed yesterday.

The small round piece of stained glass I bought from the hobby lady in Spring Branch was supposed to fit inside the port light over the chart table. I was short one bug screen anyway so seemed a good idea. It did not fit (measure once and buy it twice), so we made it a part of the forward cabin door instead. The idea unabashedly stolen from fellow BCCer, Stewart.  Turned out to be a better use for this bauble of colored glass anyway.

The companionway doors turned out nice and the galley is shaping up.  I can't believe I lost one of the brass hinges for the refrigerator door.  As soon as I buy a new pair the lost one will turn up.  Engine room wiring needs serious organizational (and labeling) attention.



Friday, July 13, 2012

Argonaut Monitor

In a previous blog entry I described the dc drive onboard computer that runs the chart plotting and network software. At the chart table a Viewsonic monitor relies on shore power or, away from the dock, the inverter. The cockpit monitor is a dc 15 inch Argonaut Tflex G6 15XLR.  I used three heavy duty hatch hinges to mount the monitior in front of, but still slightly inside the companionway opening.  If the companionway doors have to be closed or the drop boards installed you don't have to move the monitor and if someone needs to go below, unpin the port side hinge and it swings open to starboard and out of  the way.   

The cigarette lighter dc power outlet  is on the underside of the starboard cabinet that hides the back of the compass.  This dc power outlet is connected to a dc dc power transformer to insure that the monitor always sees clean power.  Use this outlet to charge the cell phone and no more frying cell phone batteries. 


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Auto Pilot

The Simrad TP 32 Tiller Pilot is set up to drive the boat's  tiller directly from a socket mounted on the starboard stern deck or alternatively the small trim tab tiller mounted on top of the rudder as shown in the photos below.   The trim tab is part of the Freehand wind vane lower unit designed and built by Mike Anderson. The wind vane itself normally mounts to the backstay but my boat is gaff rigged with running backstays so I didn't buy the upper unit.  And besides, for the next year I will be gunkholing around here staying close to land so no urgent need for a wind vane.  But ultimately I am going to have to figure out a mounting solution for a Freehand vane. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Standing and Running Rigging

This entry is an update that replaces an older one on the subject of rigging.  Last year I blogged about the virtues of keeping a small amount of stretch in the standing rigging by incorporating stainless wire in the rig, specifically for the shrouds and forestay. At the end of the day I opted for the weight savings of an all Dyneema system.  The lighter Dyneema stays won't offset the weight gain I picked up from the bronze mast bands and the wooden mast but it certainly helps.  The mast with wiring and radar antenna weighed in at 270 lbs, the boom 70, the gaff with saddle 30 and the mast furniture including the Dyneema stays, 90. I think the total 480 lb rig weight is about 160 lbs over the standard aluminum mast and bermudean rig.  

The mast will be supported fore and aft by a headstay from the cranze iron at the end of the bowsprit, a forestay from the gammon iron ( same as the bermudean plan) and two running backstays.

Here is a photo of the two chain plates.Two pair of shrouds will stay the mast athwartship…… the uppers from a single chain plate 2 inches aft of the mast CL and a pair of lowers set on a double eyed chain plate 26 inches aft of the mast CL. The lower topping lift blocks will set on the second eye.

The head stay, fore stay, backstays and shrouds will be 9 mm Dyneema Dux from Colligo Marine.  Lashings for the deadeyes and line terminators will be 6 mm Dyneema. A Colligo luff line furler with stainless steel upper swivel will serve all of the free flying jibs'ls and set on a 2 to 1 halyard that falls to a Lewmar 30ST two speed self tailing winch mounted on the port side of the mast.

All the running rigging will be 7/16 inch single braid white with navy tracer Yale "PHD Racer". The "racer version" of this line is a spectra/polyester weave with virtually no stretch, ideal for my long multi-purchase halyards  This line is smooth running through blocks and winch grippy with  a soft hand making it well suited for the sheets as well.  The only downside is it does not come in all white and as one might expect, it is a bit pricey. 

A small bronze band with two lugs and  a grove cut to serve as a hound for a loop sits on the shoulder of the mast truck. The leader line is looped over this band and falls to the starboard stern quarter of the mast base.  The tops'l halyard block hangs from the aft lug and a gantline/ spinnaker block hangs from the other lug. 

The top half of the tops'l is hanked to the leader line with dyneema soft shakles.  The lower half of the tops'l is cut back to keep it away from the peak halyard blocks.  Rigged properly with a port and starboard downhaul the lower part of the tops'l can be triced over the peak halyard tackle and thus set fair on either tack.
The Dyneema headstay attaches to the mast below the truck with a loup over a hound.  The lower end is lashed to the cranse iron with 6 mm dyneema.

The split mast band below the hounds has lugs on the aft side and eye nuts port and starboard.  The jib halyard is set on a two part purchase with the upper block on the port aft eye nut and the dead end lashed to the mast band below this one, separating the two parts to keep them from twisting.  On the aft side the upper peak halyard block attaches to the 1/2 inch eye with a twisted shackle to orient the block correctly.  The port and starboard upper shrouds will pin to the 1/2 inch toggles.  

The next split mast band a few feet further down the mast has a lug  aft and eye nuts port and starboard. On the aft side the lower peak halyard block will pin to the mast band like the upper, on a twisted shackle so that the block will be properly oriented fore and aft and still be free to move horizontally as the gaff twists off.

The backstays will be 9 mm Dyneema with line terminators on toggles pined to the band bolts. The lower end of the backstays will attach to a 2:1 whip reeved through a single on top and a single with becket at the deck mounted chain plate. The fall will lead from the lower single direct to the windward jib sheet winch so the runners should not lack for power. The whip will double as one of the two dinghy hoists. 

The third split mast band has two lugs one forward and one aft. The aft lug eye is for the double throat halyard block.This upper throat halyard double block ( a single is shown in the photo) is oriented athwartship with the lead off the forward sheave falling to stbd/aft side of mast.   The lower throat halyard block is a single with a becket connected direct to the gaff saddle axle that runs athwartship.  

The forward lug has two eyes, one for the forestay and one for a single stays'l halyard block.  The forestay will have to be measured precisely so I can eliminate the turnbuckle at the gammon iron and therefore allow the stays'l to drop all the way to the deck when doused. There will only be a toggle and thimble at the main deck.  Forestay tension will come from the aft lowers and running backstays.     

The last split band is positioned just below the spreaders. Port and starboard toggles connect the aft lower shrouds to the Colligo line terminators and to deadeyes lashed to the chain plates.  

The port and starboard topping lifts are 7/16 inch Yale reeved from the boom to static single blocks(not in photo) lashed to the eye nuts on this band and then to a 3 part tackle consisting of a fiddle block and a single and becket and finally pined to the spare eye on the aft chain plate.   

That brings us back down to deck level.  The fixed gooseneck has an integral pin rail for belaying halyards. In addition the port and starboard bulwarks each have three belaying pins midship. 

All the halyards and downhauls will terminate at the base of the mast or the pin rails at the gunwales. Only the hauling ends of the backstay tackles will be in reach of the cockpit.

The main sheet will be Harken blocks rove to a four part purchase with a fiddle block on the boom bail, a single with Becket on the traveller car and a single with cam cleat fixed to the center of the taffrail in front of the track. The mainsail outhaul car will run on a Harken track bent to conform to the taffrail curve and capped on each end with a 4 to 1 purchase system to make easy work of hauling the car uphill . 

The bowsprit traveler will be on a two part purchase with a bronze cage block at the sprit end.  Shrouds will be fastened to chain plates with 5mm Dyneema lashings through Colligo line distributors and terminators.

The mains'l outhaul is on a 2: 1 purchase with a car on a track attached to the bottom of the boom.  This 2:1 purchase will be compounded to 8:1 with a 4:1 tackle positioned under the boom close to the mast.  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pretend Teak

We still have to add a bead of caulking around the cabin sole to clean up the edges but installation of the Nu Teak synthetic teak cockpit deck and cabin sole is all but done. By using Nu Teak instead of the real thing we were able to keep most all of the head room we gained by lowering the cabin sole. And in the cockpit, no more pulling the teak deck grate to take on water or diesel.