Monday, April 30, 2018

Skipper's Award

30 Apr 18:

Now hear this. Now hear this.

Property of Skipper. Keep Away. Her award for meritorious service as the Small Boat Restoration Functional Test Pilot. She is qualified on Pelican 10, KM SUP, Barnett Butterfly, Alcort Standard Sailfish, Alcort Super Sailfish, AMF Minifish, Alcort Super Sailfish MKII, Alcort/AMF/Loveless DeGarmo/Vanguard Sunfish, wooden Sunfish, Penobscot 14, Drascombe Dabber, Sorg 15, O'Day Daysailer, Grumman 17, Penobscot 17, Capri 18, Drascombe Lugger, Leathers 21 and Catalina 22. And she is writing up the Test Card the Alcort Catfish now.

Ref: Some of us might remember the movie Mr Roberts, with James Cagney as the crazy Captain of the USS Reluctant.

03 Sep 18:

Skipper qualified on the Alcort Catfish now!

1979 Drascombe Dabber VICTORY 30 Apr 18 Gunwale Varnish

30 Apr 18:

Cleaned up the rough surface of the gunwale with 120 grit on a random orbital sander a few weeks back. Lesson learned, wear a dust mask, gloves, long sleeve shirt, hat, long pants and decon as soon as possible, I got contaminated with some moldy teak! I thought, oh the breeze is blowing the dust away, I have the shop vac hookped up to the sander and it is a quick job....didn't matter.

Luckily the job went quick, and we applied 2 coats of TotalBoat Gleam Marine Spar Varnish Satin. I wasn't sure how it would look, but after a few brush strokes it looked fantastic, we are very pleased with how it turned out.

We also finished attaching the transom cap with some #8x3/4 silicone bronze wood screws.

All of the sudden VICTORY seems ready for final rigging and sea trials!


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sunfish Sailboat Sail Rigging

28 Apr 18:

We like to rig our Sunfish sail so the boom is comfortably clear of the deck, we call this the recreational rig.

The gooseneck is placed about 22 inches back, between the first and second sail grommets back from the tack.

The halyard is tied about 60 inches from the top of the gaff, 5 grommets down from the head grommet. This puts the halyard close to the aft end of the cockpit when the gaff is lying down.

Our friend Dozer likes the rig on his 1982 Sunfish VIPER.

Get more great tips on the history and How To of the Sunfish and Sailfish from The Sunfish Owner's Manual, we put it together and published it December 2013.

Catch the wind!!

1982 AMF Sunfish PHOENIX 28 Apr 18 Sea Trials

28 Apr 18:

1982 AMF Sunfish PHOENIX out for sea trials after repairs to leaks in the daggerboard trunk, bailer hole seam, chine and coaming. She sailed great and Skipper did a few donuts. No leaks!


Alcort Catfish SMEDLEY 28 Apr 18 Hull Cleaning

25 Apr 18:

SMEDLEY's hull had a lot of mildew and rust staining, we got a lot of the dirt and mildew off with TILEX. For the rust stains we used Iron Out, just spray it on and let it sit a few minutes. The rust was pretty dark but the second goat got most of it gone. Iron Out works great, but read the instructions and be careful not to be where the wind might blow it back into your eyes. There also may be some residue left over that gets kicked up during sanding, so wear an appropriate mask and eye protection.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Boat Covers

25 Apr 18:

We like to cover our boats when they are outside, it protects them from dust, tree sap, bird poop, pine tree needles and many other things. It also keeps critters from nesting in the boats, chewing on the sails or storing nuts in various places like a new Sunfish sail, not that that ever happened to us.... So when it is time to go sailing we can go sailing, not spend time getting the boat clean enough to use or wonder how much an new sail is going to cost.

On our Sunfish we experimented with a few different types of covers from SLO Sail and Canvas;, a Hull cover, a Spars On Deck cover and a Mast Up cover. We also experimented with a few of the different fabrics and the one we like is Sunbrella, it is not totally waterproof but it allows the boat and gear to breathe. The waterproof cover developed mildew, fast. We bought some with straps, some without. At the end of our test period, what we like the most is the Spars On deck Cover with straps, we can leave the spars on top of the boat during the sailing season. The Mast Up cover might work for some, but we like to roll our boats under a shed and the mast was too tall, you also have to untie the halyard, either on the gaff or take down the mast, which defeats the purpose. Both the Spars On Deck and Mast Up cover have pockets on the stern for the spars to fit in.

Hull cover.

Spars On Deck cover, in this picture just the mast is stored underneath, it fits nice and snug when sail and spars are on deck. It is cut a little fuller towards the bow.

Mast Up cover. Can also be used with the mast down, but there may be small leaks around the mast collar. This cover would be great if you have a week at the beach and want to leave your Sunfish down on the shore for a few days.

We incorporated several of the ideas that we liked and made a cover for our Penboscot 14. We use the sprit underneath the cover as a ridgepole and it has held up great under heavy rain and our gusty bayfront winds.

Penobscot 14 cover

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Alcort Sailfish SMEDLEY 24 Apr 18 Broken Bits

24 Apr 18:

SMEDLEY has a few broken bits that need to be cleaned up before sea trials. The gooseneck on the boom has a broken tang where the tack of the sail attaches.

The pivoting centerboards are missing the little spherical bushings that hold them in place and allow them to pivot.

One rudder cheek is missing the tiller support tab.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Carpenter's Trestle

18 Apr 18:

I started fiddling with building a carpenter's trestle. I had seen a nice looking bench at the John Gardner workshop in Mystic Seaport and came across the term "trestle" while looking for information on tools in the 1918 book Farm Mechanics. Sounded like just the thing I need to steady pieces while I worked on them. We had some hunks of cedar, beams from our covered porch in Texas, that were being used as benches and plant stands, so I decided to use those. They'll get to be benches or plant stand when not being trestles, but now have new legs. Here is my adaptation so far.

Here is a similar bench in the John Gardner Boat Shop at Mystic, versatile, used to support boats during storage or maintenance. Upright or flipped.

I cut an angled notch for the 2x6 so it sits flush at the top, trimmed the 2x6 flush. The leg sits at a nice angle so I'll cut three more.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

I used a reciprocating saw first to cut the notch, then found I could cut them faster with a hand saw. A variation of this that I came up with later was to cut the notches all the way to the end of the seat with 10 degree bevel set on a circular saw, a time saver.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

Chiseled the bevel.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

Cut a brace for the legs.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

Turned out nice.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

We can also use it as a plant stand and regular bench.

From SBR 3: Jan 2014-

One tip was to cut a V shaped notch into one end of the seat, about 2 inches wide across the top of the V. The notch can be used to help hold a board, wedge the end of the board into the ground and steady it with one hand and the V. Later benches have the legs and cross brace set in about an inch. this allows clamps to be used on the end. Don't set them in too far, or the bench could become unstable.

Here's a variation of the bench we made with some 2x8 lumber that washed up on our beach. 2x6s work great as well.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Carriage House 13 Apr 18

13 Apr 18:

Update, the carriage house currently hosts WINNIE, ZIP, VICTORY and ZSA ZSA. Wisteria are blooming and grapes are coming in.

Carriage House Log.

Alcort Catfish SMEDLEY 13 Apr 18 Hull Repair

13 Apr 18:

Family came to visit so of course they wanted to help flip SMEDLEY. Our plan is to start and hull repairs and get more of the rigging sorted out. We also need small repairs on one rudder and the mast, and gather a few blocks.

The hull has fiberglass damage from trailer rollers and a few other rash spots.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

1979 Drascombe Dabber VICTORY 05 Apr 18 Third Coat Pettit Easypoxy and Oar Repair

05 Apr 18:

Lightly sanded some runs and sags with 220 grit discs on a random orbital sander then rolled and tipped the third coat of Pettit Easypoxy Blue Ice. Used Mighty Mini rollers and roller kit from Jamestown Distributors, tipped with a Blue Hawk 2 inch sash brush. Thinned the paint with about 5% Pettit Brushing Thinner, outside air temp 70F.

We had scarfed a new handle cut from cypress onto one of the oars and needed to shape it. I sanded it at first with 40 grit on a belt sander, but that was taking a while and making a lot of dust, so I switched to a Stanley spokeshave and that rapidly took off the excess. I cut the shoulder for the grip with a shinto rasp and shaped it with a tile diamond file. Then I finished sanding the grip to shape with 60 grit discs on a DeWALT random orbital sander.

Once the grip was shaped I sanded both oars with 60 grit on a random orbital sander. There was a lot of excess epoxy and plastic wrap residue on the blades, left over from when we had glued the blades back together last year. It took a lot of sanding but I got everything smooth and ready for paint.