The final task to complete the project was to install the new hinged mast step. With all preparatory work already completed, now this was a simple chore of applying sealant and securing the base with four long bolts, large washers, and nuts. Once the base plate was secured, I cleaned up the excess sealant, removed excess bolt length from inside, and attached the hinged top plate with its two pins.
To finish off the interior, where I’d cut a large hole in the liner to gain access to the underside of the deck, I installed the teak trim piece I’d made earlier. Along the aft edge, where there were some small gaps, I installed a cosmetic bead of sealant to finish off the appearance.
With work complete, I cleaned up the decks, removing the protective coverings and completing the project.
Later, I moved Adeline back outside, parking her next to her sistership.
Total time billed on this job today: 2 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 30°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, increasing clouds, windy, 41°
The second coat of nonskid paint went on quickly and well, and later in the day had cured sufficiently to allow me to remove the masking tape from all areas, essentially completing the repair work on the coachroof. All that remained to complete the project was to finish the installation of the mast hinge/step, which would have to wait till next time.
Total time billed on this job today: 1 hour
0600 Weather Observation: 20°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, increasing clouds, showers likely late afternoon, 51°
Over the weekend, I removed the masking from around the glossy-painted areas.
With the fresh paint cured sufficiently, I got to work on some of the final details of the project, starting with the new hinged mast step base. I’d already marked and partially drilled the mounting holes, so now I drilled through the deck at each location, using a long bit to get all the way through the thick mast beam and eventually the interior liner to mark the outline of the new hardware. To my annoyance–because I should have better anticipated it–I found that the after two mounting holes landed too far aft, just beyond the aft edge of the mast beam structure. These holes had been pre-drilled in the hardware and it wasn’t their fault that they didn’t align perfectly with this beam structure, but now I needed to drill a new set of holes through the deck plate and the deck itself a bit forward of the originals to ensure all four bolts passed through the reinforced part of the deck.
With the new holes drilled, I cut away a squarish portion of the liner from below, exposing the underside of the deck beam structure. There was a heavy notched layer of the putty used in the original construction to secure the liner to the underside of the deck, and I removed enough of this at each fastener location to accept the nuts and washers later. I’d planned to go ahead and complete the final installation of the mast plate, but now I had to fill the unwanted original bolt holes with epoxy and let that cure before I could finalize the installation. Those holes would be hidden by the deck plate once installed.
Next, I prepared a hole through the deck forward of the mast platform, through which I planned to run the mast wiring. I drilled a hole large enough to accept the VHF cable and 3-part wiring cable. The deck in this area was solid fiberglass, including a portion of the mast beam structure. I exited the hole through the liner in the forward cabin, where the wires had run through previously. On deck, I installed the base portion of a waterproof cable clam, one large enough that I could create two holes through the rubber insert for the cables in question. I secured the base plate with butyl sealant rather than the supplied gasket, as the after part of the housing just met the angled fillet at the forward end of the mast platform, and I felt it needed a better sealant to make up the slight height irregularity.
Since the original mast wires had been badly corroded where they passed through the deck, I cut back the original cable spliced in a length of new 3-conductor round cable, which I passed through the deck and gland fitting before making up the ends with insulated spade connectors; I also installed a new coax connector to the end of the VHF cable. The hatch cleared the cable gland when opened; I’d had a moment’s consternation earlier in the installation process when I feared there might have been an interference issue, but it was for naught.
To complete the new wiring, which now had different ends than the original, I installed the appropriate mating ends on the wiring coming from the base of the mast. While the new tri-conductor wire I used inside the boat matched the colors of the original, I noted that the wires exiting the mast were slightly different; though I didn’t confirm it, I suspected that white (boat) matched red (mast); the black and green conductors were consistent between the two wiring sets.
Next, I turned to the day’s main focus: finishing the cosmetic work on the coachroof. I masked around all the existing nonskid areas, hatch, and mast platform, following the original lines where applicable, and further masked off the handrails and other teak trim to protect it during painting.
With masking, cleaning, and all other preparations complete, I applied the first of two coats of beige nonskid paint to the entire coachroof.
Total time billed on this job today: 6.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 35°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, high clouds coming in, 50°
First thing, I sanded the fresh primer with 220 grit paper. Once the area was smooth and clean, I was pleased to find that few pinholes or other areas requiring more attention remained, better than I’d expected, and I was able to use one round of quick-dry fine filler to take care of the areas so required. This helped to advance the project more quickly than I’d anticipated.
Most of the repair would eventually receive nonskid paint, but for the hatch coaming and the mast platform, I planned gloss white paint. Preparing to spray the topcoats on these small areas, I masked off as needed around the hatch and mast platform, with paper surrounding to catch overspray, then, over the course of a few hours, applied three coats of gloss white LPU with a small sprayer. This paint could cure over the weekend, and I’d be able to start the nonskid next time.
Total time billed on this job today: 3 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 20°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sun with increasing clouds, 48°
While waiting for the deck repair to dry after water-washing the fresh epoxy, I took the opportunity to lay out and mark the fastener hole locations for the new mast hinge bottom plate. Extrapolating measurements from the original template as needed, I determined the plate needed to be 3-1/2″ aft of the hatch, which was easier to measure than the 5-3/4″ from the hatch to the forward bolt location as per the template. After adjustments and centering and double-checking, I made some reference marks on the deck, then partially drilled the four bolt holes, drilling deep enough to maintain the holes, but stopping far from going all the way through for now.
Sticking with the mast for the moment, I test-fit the new pin to secure the mast step to the spar.
Next, I completed the final rounds of sanding on the coachroof, by machine and hand as needed, finishing off the shaping work and smoothing the last coat of fairing filler before sanding the entire area through 120 grit, the last needed before primer. While I was at it, I also sanded and prepared the nonskid paint on the rest of the coachroof, since I’d be repainting the whole area. When the work was complete, I removed all the existing masking tape, including around the forward hatch since the existing masking had become rather ratty after the rounds of repair work.
There were some pinholes and such areas that I knew required more attention, but I preferred to leave that work till after a round of sealing primer, as it’s a fool’s errand to try and track down pinholes and minor imperfections beforehand. To that end, I masked off the repair as needed for primer, including the raised coaming for the forward hatch, which would require repainting as part of the process. Since I chose to spray the primer–it was frankly easier and far quicker, as I could get down multiple coats in just a few hours’ elapsed time–I masked off adjacent areas against overspray.
Over the course of the remainder of the day, waiting an hour or so between coats, I ultimately applied four coats of epoxy-based primer to the new work and hatch coaming, using a small disposable sprayer for the job. I focused on getting good coverage on all areas, but particularly on the hatch coaming and mast platform, since this primer needed to form the basis for the gloss finish paint in these areas. The larger field areas would require some additional pinhole filling and repriming later before the nonskid paint, but these epoxy primer coats were crucial not only to seal the fresh epoxy work, but also to highlight pinholes and lows, as well as “raise the grain” and allow fine sanding of any of the exposed fiberglass from the repair.
Total time billed on this job today: 4 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 25°, mostly cloudy. Forecast for the day: Partly sunny, 46°
After another round of sanding, taking great care at the edges of the cabin trunk, the deck repair was approaching its final shape and finish, but there was still some fine-tuning required, between one known low spot to port and various minor troweling voids left from the edge work earlier.
After cleanup, remasking, and final prep, I applied additional fairing compound where needed, focusing on just a few areas where the additional work was required.
There was a bit of work I could do to advance the new mast hinge project, starting with drilling the mast base and the mast plug to accept a pin that would secure them together and prevent slippage while the mast was raised or lowered. We decided on a pin rather than screws or a bolt for its simplicity and effectiveness at doing the required job, as well as ease of installation and alignment. I didn’t have a pin on hand, but ordered the one I needed. Because of the existing boom vang bail on the base of the mast, which was right in the center of the spar, I had to drill the holes for the pin a bit forward of center.
With the mast base and plug drilled, I could install the plug on top of the new hinge. Since the flat mast platform on deck had not required any epoxy this go-round, I could dry-fit the hinge plate and check the basic alignment for the plug using my little template I’d made earlier. (I forgot to take pictures of this part of the process.) With masking tape atop the plate, I roughly aligned the hinge and mast plug as needed to ensure proper final positioning later, and made reference marks on the tape. Then, at the comfort of the bench, I fine-tuned the alignment of the mast plug and secured it to the top plate of the hinge with the two bolts supplied with the hinge; these bolts used hex spacers beneath the plate not only to secure the mast plug, but also to act as supports between the top and bottom plates, so the compressive force of the spar wasn’t bearing only on the top plate (though frankly the top plate seemed sturdy enough to support the spar in this case).
Once the deck work was complete, I’d permanently install the hinge plate to the deck in the appropriate position.
Meanwhile, I prepared a bit further for the ultimate installation. The new hinge plate required four bolts to secure it to the deck, and I planned to cut away part of the liner from beneath in order to gain access for nuts and washers, rather than try to work through small holes drilled in the liner the way it had been done originally. To cover the as-yet-uncut opening (I planned to wait to make the cut till I’d located and marked for the hinge plate bolts) once complete, and also because the liner in this area was badly cracked from the previous deck issues above, I decided to make a piece of teak trim that would cover the entire area in the passageway between the bulkheads, hiding not only the new opening, but the rest of the damaged liner in the area. I milled some leftover teak to the required dimensions and sanded it smooth and clean; there was no finish on any of the interior teak, so I planned to leave the new trim bare as well.
Total time billed on this job today: 3 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 35°, cloudy. Forecast for the day: Mostly cloudy, chance of a shower, 49°
After the usual round of sanding, this time with finer paper, the contours of the deck repair began to approach the final shape required, at least in an overall sense.
The work at the extreme edges of the repair where it met the coachroof had been inadvertently sanded a bit flat through the process, so for the third round of filler, I worked to build this edge up a bit so I could recreate the smooth curve at the transition between cabin side and coach roof. As before, I demarked the point-of-no-return edge with masking tape during sanding and fairing, then removed the tape while the epoxy was still wet to leave a clean line. For this round of fairing, not only did I focus on the outer extremes, but also worked as needed to fill and fair areas in the field where there were still minor low spots, as well as fine-tune the edges round the hatch and mast platform.
In other news, the owner had requested that I install a mast hinge that he could use to make raising and lowering the spar easier, and I’d ordered the appropriate hardware, which was now on hand. It was a nice-looking fabrication, hinged at either end with a removable pin, and looked well up to the task.
Total time billed on this job today: 2 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 44°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, 55°
I began the day with a round of sanding over the entire repair area, removing excess epoxy and fairing the surfaces together as necessary. I hand-sanded the edges at the tape line to maintain the definitive and sacrosanct edges there. Afterwards, I removed the tape and plastic sheeting from the edges; I no longer needed the plastic, and I’d retape the edges several times over the next few days throughout the fairing and sanding process, part of the requirement to maintain a clear boundary at the edges of the cabin trunk.
After cleaning up, and remasking the critical edges at the sides of the cabin trunk, I applied a second round of epoxy fairing compound. I concentrated on the perimeter of the repair, where most of the work was needed, but these edges were also the most critical in determining and maintaining the final shape of the repair. In this case, particularly at the edges where the coachroof met the cabin trunk, I had little extra room to properly fair the repair in with the existing decks, since I couldn’t bring the new work any further out than the edges of the pre-existing nonskid, so by working the edges first, I could reestablish these critical boundaries and use them later to ensure the field areas were faired as necessary.
Once complete, I removed the masking tape at the edges, removing excess epoxy left during the troweling and leaving a clean epoxy line just inside the ultimate boundary required.
Total time billed on this job today: 2 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 45°, clouds and showers. Forecast for the day: Showers and rain, heavy at times, becoming windy, 55°
After surviving the substantial amounts of heavy, wet snow and wind overnight without issue, I lost power at the shop in the morning just before I was about to get to work on the deck, so I couldn’t get started when I’d planned. I was prepared possibly for a long outage, but fortunately we got power back in the afternoon, and, wanting to keep the deck project moving, I decided to head to the shop and do the work I’d intended to do in the morning, starting with water-washing and lightly sanding the new deck laminate as needed to smooth the outer edges and lightly scuff the rest. This brought the outer edge of the new laminate down nearly flush with the adjacent deck areas.
After cleaning up, I applied the first round of epoxy fairing compound to the new laminate. This served mainly to fill the weave of the cloth, and to begin cleaning up the transition at the edges of the repair, as well as fill any minor low areas. For now, since the day was late, time was short, and I mainly wanted to get the fairing compound in place, I left the masking tape around the edges, though this would soon start to get in the way of the fairing work with the adjacent decks, so I’d remove it next time when I returned to sand the new fairing compound.
Total time billed on this job today: 1 hour
0600 Weather Observation: 35°, snow, 10″ heavy, wet snow down overnight, and still snowing. Forecast for the day: Snow ending, then snow squalls and windy, 44°
I began with some sanding work to prepare the new core and environs for the next work. Because of the way the top section of the mast beam was shaped, the core ended up just a bit high near the centerline and aft of the hatch, so I had to remove a little bit of the core’s height to bring it flush as needed. Otherwise, the sanding was routine, just removing excess epoxy squeezeout from the areas as needed, and sanding the remaining portion of the old mast platform flush with the new section, removing the gelcoat in the process.
After cleanup, I made a pattern of the deck for the top skin laminate.
I’d left two small areas uncored: forward of the mast platform, where I wanted solid fiberglass; and at the forward end of the starboard side, where the shape was odd and the depth quickly tapered, so during core patterning I’d decided to avoid core in that area and fill it with fiberglass instead. Now, I cut small pieces of fiberglass to fit within these areas, and installed the solid glass in epoxy resin. After allowing the new work to gel slightly, I finished off these areas–and filled a few other small areas requiring attention–with thickened epoxy to bring them flush with their surrounds.
While that initial work began to cure, I cut two layers of new fiberglass for the top laminate.
Just before lunch break, I used more thickened epoxy to build fillets along the sides of the new mast platform, creating angles that matched and faired into the existing shape of the small after section. Not only did this start to recreate the shape required, but also prepared the raised mast platform for the top laminate, which would go right over the whole assembly. While I was at it, I wet out the whole area and top of the core with more epoxy to prepare for the new laminate.
I gave this new epoxy work just enough time to begin to gel while I took lunch break, so the fillets weren’t too soft but were far from cured, then went ahead and installed the two layers of fiberglass in epoxy resin over the whole area, bringing me to the end of the day’s work.
Total time billed on this job today: 4.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 35°, cloudy. Forecast for the day: Rain and snow, possibly accumulating a few inches overnight, 44°