Live Free 2 Sail Fast

Boat Projects with No End?

I’ve commented before that my normal posting days are M/W/F/S/S, so if I miss a post it’s likely that we’re out sailing, I’m swamped with a project or I’ve just been lazy and didn’t get to it.  Time seemed to fold between this week and last week.  Before I realized it the seam of time had thrust May upon us and I had more projects unfinished than ever before.  I knew I could knock out some small projects last week, but several turned into monsters and have stretched into this week.  

Last week I experimented with a 3-part clear epoxy based covering for varnish or Cetol, with impressive results.  The Awlbrite Clear Gloss system comes with 3-components mixed together, easily applied with a brush.  The system says to use multiple coats and IS more expensive than a normal clear coat but is said to last longer.  I was initially told it would hold up to 7-years in direct sun, but then the guys at the store said 3-years in direct sun.  Since the area’s I’ve applied it to are not in direct sun, I only used two coats (but will use at least three coats for areas in direct sun).  The results were great.  The stuff dried fast and hard- but we kept kids and dog off of it for at least 24 hours….a huge accomplishment on my boat.  Here’s a couple of quick pics-

Transom Platform (under dinghy and solar panels) with the system already applied.
Cockpit floor, inside the doghouse.
Another view of the cockpit floor.

Last week I also started messing around with trim on the cabin windows of the boat, especially with the weather getting better.  Here’s how it looked as I started:

Contemplating how much work I had in front of me!
Work in progress with scraper and heat gun, Day 1
Scraping and cleaning done, have to still sand before even thinking about varnish or Cetol.

I have (10) cabin windows to get done as well as multiple other smaller pieces of teak on deck before I even think about the mighty toe rail.  Might I mention that we went from a boat with almost no teak to this boat…with a freaking LOT of teak.  This isn’t a complaint….just an observation.

I skip around on projects when the weather doesn’t play right, when I run out of supplies or when I get bored with one and move to another.  So last week I also started working on the promised curtains for the boat.  This involves cutting fabric, doing the edge work, taking down the old metal blinds and putting up new curtain rods.  This is before I ever get out the Sailrite.  But I did actually get to the sewing machine, get all the curtain rods mounted and made enough curtains for four windows before running out of supplies.  I’m now waiting on the supplies and the boat looks pretty funny with three covered windows out of six in the main Solon.  Here’s what the curtains in my room look like now (I’ll do a full story with before and after pics when the project is finished):

Curtains in my room, keep in mind I did not pick out the fabric.

And as a parting shot to make you smile and tell ALL your friends to follow LF2SF:

The morning after the second coat of Epoxy Clearcoat in the cockpit, Quincy CANNOT figure out why she can’t get back in her doghouse.

PS: Weds coming, are you signing up?

Saturday Sailboat Musings

I’m up early Saturday morning as usual because Quincy the Dog needed to go out, and when a Great Dane won’t let you sleep, there’s no ways of it you can avoid taking her for her walk. I used to just be able to open a glass door from my room at home and kick her out into the backyard, but here I’ve got to walk her and will continue to do so until November. When November comes, we’ll have to start taking her to shore 2-3 times a day for her walk and runs whenever we’re sitting in a harbor. It was a long week but I’m not sure why. I was in my 3rd class in a series at TRLMI, called Marine Electrical Systems. The course runs from 6pm to 9pm and after a day of work, it often turned into long days. I’m glad I took it, but there was alot of theory and equations. My days are filled with working on the boat and doing boat related projects, which I love to do + picking up and dropping off kids and dog. This week I was able to tour and photograph a 41′ Formosa Yankee Clipper built in 1980 in Taiwan. She was very similar to the boat I grew up on and brought back lots of memories. She’s on Sailboat Listings and will soon be available through a broker, but I’ll bring that to you in a separate story Mon or Weds. I also needed to get the Check Stays down from Tulum’s masts (so I could get them to the rigger for updating), so I rigged up my pulley’s and went up the mast for some adventure. Tulum’s Main Mast is 65′, so the second spreader is well off the ground:

Tulum’s Main with the check stay already taken off. It goes to the 2nd spreader on this main mast and to the top of the mizzen mast.

Here’s the connection at the second spreader that you have to manipulate to get the wire Check Stays off:

Shackles that have to be undone mechanically and by hand, with seizing wire that must be cut beforehand.
Tulum 5, from the second spreader.
And two Check Stays, off the mast and into the Riggers.

Next time up the mast, I’ll bring my track lube and my anti-corrosion spray for the metal parts, plus I’ll start the laborious task of getting mast steps back onto the mast. The frustrating part about this for me is that there’s tons of open mast step holes all over the mast (that’s how I’m getting water in the boat from the rain) and I finally found the mast step that matches those holes exactly. However, that specific mast step is priced at $20.65 per step, as opposed to the steps I can afford at $8.56 at the same store. Both steps are aluminum, but the more expensive one is also larger, meaning it would take fewer steps to get them up the mast. Very frustrating for me. So I let out a big sigh and bought a rivet gun. I’m gonna tackle that project myself and rivet the new steps on with holes I drill as much as I have to-

Ok, we’re changing up the website, we’ve turned on Patreon and I’ve started messing with my new video camera to try to start getting the editing and filming started. We’re gonna streamline our look a bit and try to professionalize the site a bit more. If you’re reading, keep it up. If you’re visiting, cool, thanks.

Touring a Cheoy Lee “Pedric” 36

Part of the fun of a boatyard is getting to see lots of different boats, really up close and personally.  So when my friend (and broker) called and asked if I wanted to come check out a composting head on a really unique boat, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  I had seen composting heads before and am already sold on them, but the boat is a diamond in the rough and a unique piece of classic plastic.  The Cheoy Lee “Pedric” 36 was built in 1985 (perhaps only in 1985) in Taiwan, carries lots of water and fuel for her size and this particular boat comes with multiple surprise additions.  As soon as I went onboard, I could see she was a diamond in the rough, being brought back to life by my friend and broker, who’s determined to give the next owner the best boat possible.  With a composting head, barbecue, dinghy, outboard motor and watermaker; this boat will make a single sailor or cruising couple really happy when she finds her forever owner. (more…)

Prepping for Haul-Out, Thoughts On My Own Projects

http://livefree2sailfast.com/2019/03/02/haul-out-and-yard-work-on-the-horizon-for-tulum-v

After I published the project list (above) I had discussed with the boatyard, I started thinking through everything I would work on while Tulum was out of the water.  This is in addition to getting the kids fed and to/from school every day (Quincy will be in the kennel and Michelle is on business in Japan for two weeks).  As I went down the list, it became longer and longer and there’s no way I’ll finish while she’s out of the water.  So I just decided to think through it during this post, knowing what tools and supplies are on the boat – while having to think through what I need to get out of the dockbox.  Here goes:

  • Using the templates I have, cut and install the new sound/heat barriers in the bilge spaces under the galley floors.
  • Install new heat/sound barrier in the engine room.
  • Take off heat shield material on engine exhaust piping and install new heat shield and heat shield tape.
  • Find out where the lower coolant drain is- drain and change engine coolant.
  • Find out where the engine thermostat is- change it (make sure you buy extra thermostats).
  • Drain and Change Engine Oil.
  • Figure out how to get into the space and change the impeller (take existing impeller kit and buy two more prior to changing it).
  • Change the primary Fuel Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re right next to a large Marine store- get extra canisters.
  • Change the primary Oil Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re next to a large Marine Store- get extra canisters.
  • Pick up Main Sheet (getting a new one made) and reattach to the main.  Take off the mizzen Main Sheet and have a new one made.
  • Install new speakers in the cockpit, stern boxes and main salon.  Run the wires and install Amp and Stereo Face.

Should be an interesting haul-out, as most of the week looks like we’re going to get rain.  This means I can’t do the deck sealing and I can’t start the varnish nightmare, so I’ll focus on the projects above.  Should keep me busy.  It I get through even half the list, I’ll be impressed.

 

Deep Bilge Work To Welcome the New Year

Today’s Weds, so I’m working to get back into my M/W/F posting routine, but launched into working in the deep recesses of my deepest bilges today.  I’m hopeful that none of the muck gets caught in the keyboard.  If ya don’t know or understand..older heavier boats built in Taiwan in the 70’s tend to have really deep full bilges.  Engines tend to sit in those spaces.  My deep bilge is the hardest I’ve ever seen to get into and clean out.  It sits nearly 5 feet below my engine and the shaft that rotates our prop is also under the engine, further complicating working on the bilge.  Yep….there’s a few smart folks out there scratching their heads because most engine shafts normally come out of the engine directly to the propeller to power it,  but ours had to be complicated and is attached to a “velvet drive”.  Simply means things are backwards and the shaft comes out of the engine to the “V” drive then goes back under the engine to the propeller.  Yep, it’s as complicated as it sounds.  Now,,,,bilge- A bilge is defined as: The bilge /bɪl/ is the lowest compartment on a ship or seaplane, below the waterline, where the two sides meet at the keel. (wikipedia).  Our bilge has two large pumps that pump water out of the boat and various other hoses to things that were a mystery.  Mystery no longer.  The problem with our bilge also is that the extra special “V Drive” means we can’t really get into the bilge but other stuff can fall in and disappear forever.  Our large bilge pumps are supposed to have automatic float switches on them that start pumping water automatically, but ours have been broken.  Today we went through every single hose going into or out of the bilge, much to my surprise there was lots more than I thought.  We found out that our full tub drains directly into the bilge (important to know) and that we have another pump for the bilge that could be used in combination with the forward saltwater wash down pump to de-water in an emergency.  We also found out that we needed to fix and update every hose, several were burned through by touching the shaft and simply done.  All of this work is accomplished by someone on their stomach on top of the engine or looking through a 1 foot by 1 foot hatch from the galley.  Not terribly efficient or effective setup, but I love to work through problems so this is a great experience and I get to learn more about the boat.  Here’s what this process looks like from above:

The bilge ends about 5 feet below Francisco, he’s on top of the engine.

I’m also babysitting (parenting) the kids while working on the deep bilges because they don’t go back to school for several more days.  So I’m knocking out this post on my lunch break (kids eat all the time and MUST be fed) and hopefully by the end of the day I’ll have working bilge pumps with working float switches and new hoses too?  We’ll see.  If not, it’s my priority project tomorrow and the curtains get to wait.

Happy New Year and a quick hello to all the new folks who are following our little blog. Baja Ha-Ha leaves in October….are you in ?

Amelia Rose Goes to Sea

It’s taken me over a month now to be able to put into words the emotions of watching our former sailboat leave for Baja Ha-Ha 2018.   Having your current and former sailboat able to be in one picture is cool enough,  but watching your former sailboat glide from her slip one last time proved to me how enraptured I can be with sailboats and the emotions they spark, even when I don’t own them. (more…)

Digitized Aleutian 51 Ketch Plans and Drawings

In the post below is my photo essay containing the hand-drawn plans for the Aleutian 51 Ketch.  Mr. Stan Huntingford was the designer and if you look closely at one of the sheets, you’ll see it’s actually dated, October 20th 1975.  I was around in the world- were you?  In October of 1975, we were most likely preparing to sail down Baja California on the original Tulum II with my parents.  Through new information from one of the editors for Cruising Outpost Magazine; there were only 9 Aleutians built in Taiwan in the late 70’s and there may have been several more built in Canada  sometime during this period too.  I’ve tracked several Aleutians via this blog/website:  ours is here in Southern California prepping for Baja Ha-Ha 2019,  another Aleutian is very much alive and sailing in the Caribbean, one Aleutian was sailed from the US to Australia and is detailed in several of author Jackie Parry’s books,  another is somewhere in Ventura or Oxnard (California) while another was sold somewhere in Spain several years ago.  If you have any information on other Aleutians, I’d love to hear from you.  Enjoy the plans, I’m glad we can continue the legacy of the lady we live and sail on:  (more…)

Digitized Aleutian 51 Ketch Plans and Drawings

I’ve been working on the best way to put out the complete hand drawn plans and drawings of the Stan Huntingford designed Aleutian 51 sailboat so that if people need to see them, there’s always access.  Although only 9 actual original Aleutian 51’s were built in Taiwan to Stan Huntingford’s specs, I wonder how many more were built in Canada- with or without his approval.  I’ve heard there are two more “Canadian” Aleutian’s out there.  If we had these plans and didn’t find a way to get them out, I might be a dismal failure.  So in the summer of 18 (before I retired) a friend professionally photographed the plans for me and digitized them.  I’ve spent some time last week touching them up and making them more readable.  I’ll get them on this website and blog tomorrow as a photo essay.  If you need more info on Aleutian 51 Ketch’s, we’re trying to become a resource for you.

Republished- Digital Hunter Sailboat Owners Manual

I’m republishing the Digital Hunter 460 Owners Manual I managed to get from Marlow-Hunter.   After I found this electronic copy and worked through publishing the link in 2016,  never in my imagination did I think we’d still be writing and publishing this tiny blog…with a second larger sailboat.  I’m also republishing this digital owners manual because I found the entire set of designer drawings for my 1977 Aleutian Ketch and convinced a friend to help me photograph and digitize the entire set of plans.  I just put them on my computer, edited them to make them more readable and will POST them as a photo essay early next week.  It’s my intent to collect as much information about the (11) different Aleutians that were built and have that info on this website- these digitized plans are a big start to that project.  We think we’ve found approx (6) of the Aleutians; and we’ve had actual email or blog contact with (3) of the owners or former owners of those boats.  Have you ever checked out Cruisers AA by Jackie Parry or any of her other books?  She and her husband owned an Aleutian for several years.  I digress.  The link to the plans is in the post, you have to access it digitally.

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Rescuing Poe Dameron

Warning:  Toilet Picture ahead, if you’re disgusted by a toilet, don’t click the link!  (more…)