February 1, 2016
Continuing the varnish work on the loose hatches, I sanded, cleaned, and applied the third coat of gloss finish to all pieces.
The cabin sole was looking good, and I declared it complete, so I went ahead and removed the masking tape.
Earlier, I’d built a simple teak cover for a square hole in the cabin sole beneath the table. Now was my first opportunity to test-fit the piece (shown here in newly-sanded varnish prep form). If fit as expected, so I continued the varnish work on the new piece.
Next, I worked on the genoa track extensions. There was just under 5′ of space available between the mid-rail chocks and the existing tracks, and I left a little room for the end stops, eventually choosing to cut the new 72″ track sections to just over 59″ long for each side.
Taking care to align the new track end with the old, I dry-fit the new tracks on the toerail leading forward. Despite extra care at the beginning end, I found that as the track bent into position, the end became slightly misaligned when all was said and done. This was exacerbated by the fact that the ends of the original track sections were not necessarily pointing in the ideal direction to mate with a new section, but with a little fine-tuning of the seam between the two it was no problem to slide the lead car across the joint. For each fastener location, I drilled and tapped the fiberglass deck and hull flange for machine screw threads, with a slightly larger pilot hole through the teak toerail. Before installation, I masked off the newly-varnished surfaces on either side to protect the finish.
I removed the track and cleaned up the spoils, then installed sealant and secured the track in place, cleaning up excess sealant once the track was tightly secured. I found that the position of the toerail so far outboard meant that the fasteners did not leave room for nuts and washers in most cases, with the screw threads often partially spun into the edge of the hull laminate. There was nothing I could do about this, and while I’d intended (and certainly hoped) to install washers and nuts, it was not to be. Fortunately the machine screws were threaded through a thick inward hull flange as well as the solid deck edge, and with their close fastener spacing and numerous screws I was confident the threads would hold nicely.
I repeated the dry-fit and installation process on the port side.
With the track extensions complete, I moved on to some smaller jobs to round out the day, beginning with what I thought would be a real quickie: replace a non-functional hook latch “securing” the gimbaled stove with a proper slide bolt that would actually prevent the stove from swinging. The existing hook didn’t hold the stove in a proper fixed, horizontal, position, and also allowed a couple inches’ movement. This photo, taken at an earlier time in the project, shows the original latch.
This seemingly simple project self-extended through various means, from requiring several tools that weren’t handy on board (each discovered singly and at the most inconvenient moment possible), and eventually requiring removal of the bottom section of the stove to remove–and then install new–nuts and washers on the fasteners, since the micro-thin sheet metal was unworthy of holding screws on its own. Of course removal turned into an event of its own, as the whole hinge mechanism sort of self-destructed into several component pieces that required laborious reassembly. In the end, I managed to get it all together, and the new slide bolt fulfilled all requirements nicely.
Finally, I began the process of unfastening and removing the old windlass power cables, which I’d be replacing with new. I went through parts of the boat, clipping old wire ties and generally freeing the old cables, and before the end of the day freed the forwardmost ends from the chainlocker and into the forward cabin. I’d continue the process next time.
Total time billed on this job today: 8.25 hours
0600 Weather Report:
35°, partly cloudy. Forecast for the day: clouds and sun, maybe a shower, highs in the mid 50s