February 1, 2021
After spending a good bit of the morning on another project, which had required my attention unexpectedly, I started back on Lyra by taking advantage of the “clean” conditions to remove the chainplates, which were in the way of the interior painting and were only dry-fitted and vaguely bedded at deck level anyway (going back years to the previous iteration of the project that led to this project). These appeared to be the original bronze chainplates. For now, I set them aside, though they’d require assessment later.
Over the weekend, the owner and I had come to a plan and decision about how to proceed about the cockpit in particular; the cockpit was in poor condition, with widespread and wholesale paint failure, numerous repairs required (icebox hatch, engine gauge holes, and more), and in addition the original Triton cockpit sole construction was weak and flimsy underfoot, which condition had only been exacerbated over the years. So after discussion, we decided to refinish the entire cockpit area now, as well as reinforce the cockpit sole with add-on coring and topskin, which would greatly improve cockpit use going forward.
To this end, I began by removing a round plastic deck plate at the forward end of the cockpit; we planned to install a larger, stronger, aluminum hatch here later. I also removed a completely ineffective (as well as rotted) wooden brace that someone had bolted to the bottom of the cockpit in an attempt to stiffen things.
To augment the electric motor planned for the boat, the owner had purchased a small portable generator with the idea of storing it beneath the poop deck when not in use. To assess this possibility, as well as other options, I made some basic measurements to determine the fit and feasibility. Space in the lazarette was limited, but it looked to me like the generator could fit within, and beneath a modest hatch, especially if the storage was slightly angled to use the deepest part of the locker forward of the backstay knee (which, along with the angle of the transom, conspired to greatly limit depth in the aft end of the compartment). The depth wasn’t there at the aft end, unless the locker was built to extend well above deck, but with a slight angled approach I thought it looked possible here.
Another storage option could be the two cockpit lockers. The openings here were just a bit small, but with minor modification might be made to work. The generator required roughly 11″ width by 22″ width (and about 22″ height), and while the forward end of the locker opening was plenty wide, 22″ aft it was about 1/2″ too narrow–but this could be opened up by cutting some of the overhanging lips built into the gutter system. So I felt either cockpit locker could be a viable alternative as well.
With my clean work done for now, I turned to the day’s ration of sanding, starting with the transducer housing, which I lightly sanded to clean up and prepare for another round of fairing that brought the protrusion to nearly its final contours.
With the leftover filler, I filled the old through hull hole in the engine room, which I’d prepared from outside previously. I’d masked over the hole from inside while up in the cockpit earlier. A bit later, after lunch break, I installed two layers of fiberglass over the hole, and two layers over the adjacent (and previously filled by others) small through hole just behind.
Now I used a grinder to remove all the paint and gelcoat from the cockpit sole, down to bare laminate, as well as a couple inches up the sides all around–this to prepare for installing new core over top, and then a new top skin that tied into the well all around. While the nonskid paint tended to flake off in large sheets (having never bonded well with whatever was beneath it), the gray primer beneath, as well as the original gelcoat, required substantial sanding to remove. With immediate plans to make a cutout for a larger access hatch at the forward end, I left an appropriate area unsanded rather than waste time removing the paint from there.
During what remained of the afternoon, I got started on the paint removal and surface prep in the rest of the cockpit, getting most of the starboard seating area and inside coaming sanded before the end of the day. Here, I worked my way down through the paint layers with coarse paper, leaving dribs and drabs of the old coating as I reached the original gelcoat; then, with finer paper, I finished up the general paint removal. I planned to continue in a similar vein next time.
Total time billed on this job today: 4.25 hours
0600 Weather Observation: -3°, mostly clear. Forecast for the day: Increasing clouds, 29°. Snow beginning overnight.