Painting, Hardware Removal, Hatch Painting, Other Items, Dingy Painting and Cover, Electric Outboard, Steadying Sail, Boom Replacement, Bimini Replacement, Vent Cover Attachments
Boat Deck Painting
We will pick up on this story where we are repairing rotten core, necessary before we actually get to put some paint down and make things pretty again.
Once upon a time there must have been antennas and wiring run though the deck near the aft port corner of the house. We opened these up and hoped that we could dry it out over a year’s period, but that didn’t happen so some quick reconstructive surgery was necessary.
That corner was really rotten.
We got real lucky when doing this as we didn’t realize the power cables for the stern light ran though this area. How we didn’t cut that wiring is still a mystery, but at they say, “better lucky than good”.
After final fairing
Deck Hardware Removal
Removal of all the deck hardware should have been a simple task except when you had to cut the acorn nuts as they were corroded beyond belief.
The teak hatch slide material was not worth saving and will be replaced with no maintenance Starboard.
View of the boat deck after stripping most of the hardware.
We took lots of notes and took pictures of our notes so we could lay out the non skid properly when painting.
Let the painting begin (after sanding the entire boat deck)
Pilot house white primer
Pilot house smooth coat
Pilot House masking for the non-skid
Pilot House finished
Because the boat deck proper is so big, we were priming and painting on different areas at different times. Once the epoxy primer was put down, the top coat had to be done with in one week otherwise the primer had to be sanded and re-primed
Masked for non-skid
Still to be done is the installation of the PVC trim that goes around the raw edge of the boat deck. We purchased it over a year ago but it hasn’t gotten installed because we were waiting for a real hot day after the paint had fully cured so as to make the job easier. PVC is a lot easier to manipulate when it is warm. As is expected, the weather turned cooler before we got to it. I guess this means that it will always look one year newer. In retrospect, we should have used a router to re-fair the edge that this covers before we painted. Then we wouldn’t need to deal with this as most people don’t even realize the trim is missing when looking at the boat.
We finally got around to installing the trim. The only issue is that looking at the boat without the trim, you don’t notice it is missing and looking at the boat with the trim, you don’t notice it is there. About the only thing I noticed is that our wallet is about $350 lighter and we are out 15 man hours.
There is a method to gluing this on. We used our favorite PL (Loctite) polyurethane window and door sealant which cleans up with mineral spirits. Applying the glue to both the under and outer edge before putting a 90 degree bend into the trim (to open it up) as we were applying it seemed to be the hot ticket. Clean up took as much time as the application. We did this with the boat in the water by standing on the rail for the most part. The amazing thing is we didn’t lose any tools over the side nor did we go swimming.
Primed, smooth coated and masked for non-skid. The smart money uses disposable condiment containers for the priming and smooth coat painting. This allows you to apply a small amount of paint directly to the surface for rolling and tipping. The biggest advantage to applying paint directly to the surface from the bottles is being able to work in somewhat windy conditions. Dipping a roller into a tray and then onto the work surface will find paint being blown a few feet from where you are working if there is any wind at all.
The step at the top of the stairs either should be left bare (for traction), or varnished with non-skid strips. Ours was varnished at one time and looking pretty bad. It turns out that whoever installed it wanted to use up some left over silicon sealant; the wood certainly didn’t need any screws to remain attached to the deck.
This was replaced with Starboard, along with the trim around the hatch slide.
Pieces in place
We couldn’t put the dinghy on the boat deck looking like it did. It had its topsides and bottom painted at some point in its life and needed some work.
Off with the (hard) bottom paint. Since whoever did the painting knew that bottom paint covers a lot of sins, there wasn’t much effort made to making sure the primer was smooth before smearing on the bottom paint. This made sanding it off somewhat problematic as one had to be careful not to sand through the primer coat.
The centerboard assembly came out of the boat with relative ease. Originally the boat was a maroon color as evidenced by the gel coat color. The last painter didn’t remove this when they painted.
We shot the boat with the same color as we used on the spars and flybridge (and pretty much the same color as the decks), and after the paint cured we used Rejex rather than a traditional wax product. We must be getting the hang of this painting thing again as the dingy came out virtually perfect. Of course we might have gotten lucky with just the right combination of humidity and temperature when we did the job.
Ready to go back on the boat deck:
The dinghy is now back on the boat deck where it belongs after an almost two year absence. We also made a new cover out of Sunbrella, this after saying we would never make a dingy cover ourselves again. We must have learned something last time when we made one for the dingy on our former trawler as it wasn’t quite as painful this time around. It still cost about $100 in material and about 8 hours labor. We made a cover for the davit as we rebuilt/repainted the electric winch and replaced the wire with Spectra line; we need to keep the UV rays from the sun from destroying the line.
We also came up with a somewhat elegant hold down method for the dingy that is simple, strong and is quick to both engage and disengage. These are recycled lifeline gate hooks.
Some method needed to be devised to keep the forward hold down from sliding forward on the gunwale so some pieces of Lexan came to the rescue.
There is a piece of 5/16 shock cord running around the entire perimeter keeping the cover tight under the rail, but additional shock cord was attached to the hold downs for added insurance.
We recently purchased a Torqeedo electric outboard for the dingy. The choice was either a traditional gas powered outboard such as a Yamaha 2.5, an outboard converted to run on propane (LEHR), which appears to be a modified Yamaha or electric. After much thought we decided to give the electric a try for a number of reasons. We don’t really want gasoline on the boat if we can help it so this ruled out the gas outboard. We carry lots of propane on the boat but they are still noisy and would need to be stored on the boat deck. This would require lowering and raising it with the winch due to its weight every time we wanted to use it which is not a very attractive option. The electric is easily managed with the heaviest part weighing in at 20 lbs. We can also easily store it under the veranda sole in any orientation and doesn’t require oil changes etc. Electrics are also quiet. The biggest disadvantage is obviously range and cost, the electric being almost double the cost of the gas outboard.
With range being an issue we thought long and hard about how we will realistically use this motor. We are not speed demons so a fast rowing/sailing pace is fast enough for us. You can only drive a 10’ dingy so fast through the water in displacement mode. The tiller has a built in GPS and monitors the battery giving you information on how far you can travel given the current load on the system. The picture below indicates that we had a range of 10.7 miles at a speed of 3.5 mph (the 5.4 is in kmh; somebody didn’t set both units to US) in dead flat water. Wide open we have a range of 3 miles at 4.6 mph. We don’t foresee motoring longer distances than this in a given day. If there is wind I suppose we could always sail.
We could have bought the next size up for an additional $250, one that had a 520 Wh battery vs the 320 Wh batter in the Travel 503. Our reasoning is that two smaller batteries makes more sense than one large one as there is redundancy in spite of the fact that the batteries are about $500 each. If one fails you still have another and two batteries will charge to full capacity faster than one large one as the batteries will only accept four amps during the charging process. Time will tell how wise or foolish this decision was.
Occasionally we field questions about launching and retrieving the dinghy.
The dinghy is stored with the rig, rudder, tiller and oars in the boat. A three point wire attachment is used to lift the boat overboard. We are going to change the forward bridle so as to have a “split” in it to allow us to step and rig the spar on the boat deck so that when we put it overboard it is completely rigged. There is more room for this activity on the boat deck then trying to pass the rig down to the veranda and assembling it there.
“Away all boats”
Our Pilgrim came to us with a steadying sail, a steadying sail that obviously was designed for a different boat. Our boom is a very light (thin walled) aluminum tube yet the sail has slug slides sewn into the foot. It is also a few feet short on the foot of the sail, with lots of “draft” built in. Since the sail is not going to produce any drive, why anybody would make a sail with lots of shape built in is beyond me. You want it to keep the boat from rolling so aluminum plate would be ideal except for the fact you can’t furl aluminum.
Original Steadying Sail
The Pilgrim has a tendency to “hunt” at anchor, even with the use of an anchor snubber.
As always, we think we have a better idea. The general concept is to have a triple clewed steadying sail. When anchored, the sail will be sheeted hard on the centerline (center clew) and there will be two wings, one on each side that sheet outboard at a predefined distance using struts connected to the boom. The wings are about 45 degrees from the centerline. The images below are of a prototype of what will be the final design. When used while motoring, the struts will be removed allowing the clews to all line up on the centerline.
The idea is there is more drag induced by this arrangement further aft which should keep her tail from wagging so much. As the boat swings, one wing (and the forward portion of the main sail) will see more air, with one wing being blanketed and seeing less air causing the boat to start to swing back toward center.
Two old International 21 jibs sacrificed their clews to test out this concept. It seemed a shame to cut them up but they haven’t been used in over 20 years and wouldn’t be in the foreseeable future. They didn’t die in vain, the prototype tested successfully so we will go ahead and make the “real” sail.
We had the aluminum boom from the I21 and decided to replace the thin wall tube that was trying to pass itself off as our current boom. A little bit of work should have us a new one in no time; simply fabricate a new goose neck fitting, cut off the boom to shorten it up so it doesn’t run into the backstay, move the end cap in and hit it with some paint.
Unfortunately it is never as simple as you plan it. Fabrication of the gooseneck fitting from stainless actually took some thought. Who would have imagined that I had a piece of stainless pipe exactly the right size (well, after machined a few thousands from the inside diameter)? The pipe was left over from a gallows frame I made for our double ended sailboat back in 1979. Some people never throw anything away. Cut some additional stainless pieces and it’s off to our favorite stainless fabricator for some welding.
We cut about a foot off the end of the boom and went to re-fit the existing end cap and found that the boom had about ¼” of taper in the last few feet. Great, it doesn’t fit any more so it’s time to make a new fitting.
A bit of CAD modeling work, some tool path creation and about 4 minutes of CNC time produces a new end cap that fits.
It will look ok once it gets painted with the normal epoxy primer and three part paint.
There; that is better.
We will get on the creation of the “final” steadying sail shortly. The new sail will have the clew peaked up considerably to allow you to walk around without hitting your head on the end of it. This will also have the added benefit of getting the wings higher up into the airflow as the flybridge currently blankets the sail with the boom horizontal.
We made the new sail early this summer having been convinced by the prototype (above) that this would be a good idea. The only thing about making it is that it is like having to build three tiny sails before sewing them together. There is a head, tack and clew on each one as well as the associated edges that need finished.
We actually have a more elegant sheeting arrangement for the wings than is shown below.
The question is, “Do the wings help”? I don’t think there is anything that can keep a Pilgrim from wagging its tail short of a stern anchor, but yes; it does seem to decrease the amplitude of the swing.
While we were at it we also made a new sail cover that fits.
The bimini that came with the boat had to be threaded on to the support tubes requiring full disassembly to take it on or off. It also had some fit issues from our point of view. We removed and modified the ill-fitting one but knew it needed to be replaced. We tackled that during the summer of 2013 also.
Using the old one as a pattern we constructed the new one, this time installing four zippers so that we can simply unzip the bimini from the framework to remove it. No more wrestling with the tubing (which is quite heavy and ungainly) if we need to get the bimini off the boat. We also reversed how the bimini folded up which now allows us to simply pivot it forward so that it is horizontal and overhangs the front of the flybridge when it becomes necessary to get our air draft below 15’.
We have powered vents in both the galley and head. The sun has taken its toll on the galley vent in the sense that the stainless cover no longer was attached to the vent. Screws that went into the plastic portion no longer held as the plastic had deteriorated to such a point that these attachment points had simply broken off. E-mails to the company asking about purchasing a replacement part went unanswered so before we lost the cover we figured we better attach it directly to the deck. Since we don’t just drill holes in the deck without over drilling and back filling the region with epoxy a simple exercise in driving four screws starts to become more of a project. At least now the cover isn’t going anywhere. I expect the fan to die next and a total replacement won’t be a drop in fit requiring more modifications to our relatively newly painted deck.