Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Little Here and a Little There

Time is flying by and I feel as though I've been busy. But progress seems to have slowed a bit.

The centerline repainting project is progressing slowly and has expanded to include the transom (and possibly, the sheer planks). The weather has been reliably unpredictable, so progress has come in fits and starts. There are no photos of paint drying...

The plain mast traveler I ordered in late February arrived from Australia in late March. Vendor's photo:
It was tucked away awaiting installation. But in early May I had the inspiration to ask my leather-crafting BIL if he could wrap the traveller in leather for me. A couple weeks later I picked up the finished item. It cost me two 6-packs of beer (BIL refused cash payment) and may be my best money spent on beer in recent memory.

Always looking for additional projects (it's a form of procrastination), I built new trailer bunks (inch-and-an-eighth thick, and slightly narrower) to replace the older inch-and-a-half ones. The new bunks are "springier" than the old ones, which is what I wanted. We'll see how they work once Gardens goes back on her trailer.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Elmer at Work

Elmer was put to work yesterday taking Gardens off the trailer and placing her on boat stands. Elmer performed quite well and tolerated my rather poor efforts to balance Gardens in the lifting straps. Of course, once I remembered what that blue tape on the floor meant (Elmer's position over Gardens), and adjusted Elmer, Gardens balanced well and came off the trailer nicely. The point of this exercise is to give me room under Gardens to repaint her centerline. I have no intention of doing any interior work while she rests on the stands.

On the trailer.

Boat Stands:

Positioning the boat stands properly under Gardens took a bit of back-and-forth-and up-and-down work. Finally, Gardens sat on the stands. A brace across Elmer's legs support struts that are intended to prevent Gardens from tipping (belts and suspenders). Props at the bow (more belts and suspenders) also act to prevent tipping. I kept slight tension on the lifting straps to, hopefully, minimize catastrophic failure (last bit of belt and suspenders).



Warmer weather (70s) in the forecast should give me a window to inspect, prep, and paint the centerline. The trailer bunks will be adjusted slightly while the trailer is empty.

Monday, May 11, 2020

An Experiment...

Videos? YouTube? Me? Really?

Well, yes - as an experiment. Two short (but similar) clips taken last summer near Port Dolomite (the industrial complex off the starboard bow) on McKay Bay at the north end of Lake Huron.



I need to experiment more (treated myself to an entry level action camera for Christmas) and practice editing. Taking the video is easier than editing clips into a finished product. Hopefully, I can create more content. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Bit of This and a Bit of That

Plenty of time on our hands these days. And yet, time has slowed in a way I haven't experienced very often. I usually jump into a project or task full of enthusiasm and optimism - which lasts until the next project pops up and work on that first job gets pushed to the back of the workbench. Oh, I get back to each project but "old" projects lose their luster with each new idea that comes along.

So, I've been plodding through "works in progress" and bit by bit, and I find time seems to have slowed to give me more time each day for projects. I'm making progress.

The hinged-tiller project has taken its sweet time heading to a conclusion, but the Hinged Tiller, Mark IV, is very nearly a reality. First a plywood hinge, then a hardwood hinge, and finally an aluminum channel hinge (plus a rebuilt handle and stub) have taken me through an evolution to a workable hinged tiller.
The name boards are done and, for the time being, installed.
A new wiring arrangement for the trolling motor came about rather quickly (compared to my normal process). A new socket/plug combination replaced the alligator clips from last year.

An electric bilge pump will be set up as a portable unit with its own battery so it can be moved about and used where needed. Last summer I had to pump out the (very full) bilge spaces on either side of the centerboard case twice following consecutive nights of heavy rain. Not sure on the details for this arrangement but I'll work it out before leaving Gardens out in the open to collect rain water.

The white fir tree we took down this past winter has been milled into a good bit of lumber. It won't be useable for a year or more so I've got plenty of time to figure out what to do with it. And, of course, I didn't mill the lumber myself. A local sawyer brought his Wood Mizer and tractor to our place and did a fine job creating a pile of 570 bf of lumber.
Apparently winter isn't quite done with us just yet! The forecast for the next two days calls for temperatures in the upper 20s to upper 30s, frost warnings, and a mix of rain and snow. Painting will have to wait a bit longer.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Yes, A New Project...

Two days ago I complained a bit about having a long list of half-completed projects despite having plenty of time to work on boat projects.

So, what did I do?

That's right, I started another project! I decided to sand the yard back to bare wood and re-varnish it. Why? Well, I've never been happy with the looks, which resulted from not getting enough epoxy into the f/g sleeve I put on the yard.

That speckled look annoyed me but it wouldn't sand out (well, it did today), additional coats of epoxy didn't change the look, and neither did multiple coats of varnish. The look is cosmetic but still I found it annoying.

Prepped for the shop or to go shopping? Well, today it was for the shop.

Using a Shinto Rasp/File/Saw and 80 and 100 grit disks on a pair of ROS, I was able to remove the varnish, epoxy, and F/G. I'll finish the sanding tomorrow with 120 grit and begin to varnish. It will take a while to apply enough coats of varnish but that is okay as the weather, good enough to varnish, isn't good enough to go sailing. I'll re-install the leather (and move it up the yard to where it will actually do some good)before the yard will be ready to go.

In other news, we (Jan actually) made progress on the name boards today! Photo-op on Gardens tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Time and Projects

We all have plenty of time on our hands right now...

I have many projects to be completed...

New Rigging: New halyards, sheets, snotters, etc., have been measured, cut, and whipped, and continuous loops for the yard and boom have been spliced - but cannot be installed until Gardens comes out of the barn and the masts can be stepped.


Dock-side Boarding Assist: Everything is set to go but, for some reason, the pads/bases haven't been installed.


Capsize Re-boarding System: Bronze fittings (from Port Townsend Foundry) have installed. Webbing purchased but not measured, cut to size, and sewn. Soft shackles to attach the webbing have been spliced and ready to be installed.


Painting Centerline: Gardens needs her centerline repainted. Boat stands have been built and are ready for warmer weather (so the trailer can be pulled out). Gardens will be lifted off the trailer, the trailer pulled out, boat stands placed under the hull, and the hull stabilized fore and aft with props.


Hinged Tiller: The two pieces for the hinged tiller have been prepped but the wooden hinge (essentially a U-shaped channel made of wood) failed. A length of aluminum rectangular tubing is on its way from the supplier, so further work on this project is on hold.


Name Boards: The boards have been cut, fit, drilled, and painted, but the lettering has not been painted yet. To be honest, the sheer strake needs at least one (maybe two) coat of fresh paint before the name boards are installed.


Other projects thought-about-but-still-pending include a topping lift, lazy-jacks, mast lifting device to help un-step the mast, electric bilge pump, cockpit tent/shelter, camping needs (galley box, sleeping arrangements, etc.).

So, lots of time, lots of projects in the works... I need to make some progress!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Shackles, Loops and Stands

My intended use for soft shackles on Gardens: Anchoring webbing reboarding system to the boat (fittings are through-fastened bronze eyes from Port Townsend Foundry, and, yes, they may be a bit oversized...)(webbing to be added):

There will be next-to-no load on the shackles until the reboarding system is deployed and used, so I wonder if there is any risk of the soft shackle working itself open. I plan to find out.

My intended use for a continuous loop: The attachment point for the halyard on the yard.

There was no slipping of the attachment point when I hung the yard (no sail or boom attached) by this loop. The added weight could make a difference but I'll find out before our first sail this year.

I need to do some touch-up painting of the centerline this spring. This is not possible with Gardens on her trailer, so I am preparing boat stands so I can access the centerline. Here is the forward stand (still needs cleats on top of the pad to create a channel to capture the centerline skeg):
The rear stand is nearly completed (but not enough for photos this afternoon).