Oh yeah, back to boat work.
I thought that with the fancy boat shed I would be able to get a fair amount done in the dead of winter. Not so much. A week in the Dominican Republic doing our regular medical mission volunteer work only to come back to the Great Mid-Atlantic Blizzard and then quickly getting on a plane for another week and a half of sitting on a beach in Florida pretty much ruled that out.
February was just too stinking cold, windy and wet. All I did was check on the boat shed to make sure that it was still there and keeping Ronin dry. Which it was and did admirably.
I would occasionally fire up the heaters in my backyard shed and do some small woodwork and varnishing on the final odd pieces of the cabin sole. Tomorrow I will put a final satin finish coat on top of the last piece that goes on the v-berth step, wrap it in construction paper like the rest of the cabins sole, set aside and be done with that project task.
Last bit of cabin sole work:
Cabin soles ready to install in some future date...
The past two days have seen near record breaking warm temperatures here on the Chesapeake Bay so I, like many others in the boatyard, got back to work. The first day I did some administrative work, mostly thinking about what tasks to get started on this spring. I did a quick survey of the mast and took notes for when I get together with a local rigger.
Another item that needs to get started is installing a small capacity bilge pump. I’ve pretty much decided to go with one of the new Whale Supersub Smart low-profile bilge pump. It is not intended to move large amounts of water, rather, to just keep the bilge dry during normal conditions. I worked up a quick wooden mockup to ensure that it would fit in my small, narrow bilge. The good news is that it should fit nicely. I was concerned that it might not fit with the keel bolts.
Replace with the real deal.
I have not done any sanding or prep work in the cockpit for the upcoming deck painting because I knew that it would be a high traffic area. A lot of dirt and grit gets carried onto the boat so I wanted to wait until the last moment to start in on the task. I have spent quite a bit of time worrying about having a soft balsa core in the cockpit and that I would need to completely rebuild that area.
I spent some time sounding the entire cockpit sole in minute detail today. My ears a still ringing from that effort. But, the really good news is that there is no wet or rotten balsa. Both the sounding and a visual inspection from underneath verified that it is strong. That was a great relief and means that I can “save” at least a month’s worth of work that would have been required to replace the core and fiberglass.
I will need to seal the aft-most two openings that carried the throttle and shift cables when I install the new Edson Classic pedestal that is in the shed. Amazingly the core that was exposed around the holes drilled in the cockpit sole was dry and solid.
While I was at it I applied more AwlFair to the old cockpit/quarter-berth opening on both sides. Standard apply and sand off process. A previous owner had slapped a gob of filler of some sort on the aft bulkhead and it kept bugging me so I sanding it down and faired it too. I should be done with this job in the next few days.
And since I was on a roll, I started to think about doing something with the area underneath the port side of the cockpit driver’s seat. It may have been an option from the factory to put a hinged lid over some sort of storage like the propane locker on the starboard side but on my boat is was simply glued downed.
So, using tools that usually get me in trouble, I decided to investigate. Fifteen minutes later I had my answer.
I’m going to work up some sort of storage underneath this. Most likely a removable soft pocket of some sort. TBD.
Looks like an one-hole outhouse...
Oh, and I did some Frostbite racing in Annapolis last weekend and yesterday put on some shorts and went sailing with my good friend and home builder Vincent on his Corsair 24. Fun.