If yer gonna be dumb…

Pearson Ariel Hull to Deck Joint

…Then you gotta be tough. So I told my wife after splashing epoxy hardener in my eye. 15 minutes and several gallons of water later all was well and I vowed to always wear eye protection. There are some things I just need to learn the hard way.

Ryan was not amused. By the necessity of wearing my beloved Mountain Dew hat.

While I was finishing grinding off the last of the topside paint, Ryan went to work filling the screw holes from the old toe-rail with thickened epoxy. The toe-rail is usually a wood or aluminum strip that covers the hull-to-deck joint. I ripped ours off some time ago, this is what it looked like:

Pearson Ariel Hull to Deck Joint

Pearson Ariel Hull to Deck Joint

The hull-to-deck joint is generally a source of leaks on older boats, and it appears our boat was no different. After grinding down to the glass around the perimeter of the hull-to-deck joint, a fillet of caulk was visible in places where the joint was open. One school of thought is that the flexibility of caulk is good in a joint where there is some movement. I don’t go to that school, so after grinding to expose undamaged glass, and cutting out the old caulk with a razor knife, I filled the gaps with thickened epoxy. Next up will be several layers of fiberglass tape across the joint.

Pearson Ariel Hull to Deck Joint

My thought is that all that epoxy and glass should stiffen the joint up considerably, and if a leak does develop, it won’t be buried under a crappy piece of aluminum with 100 screw holes to direct water into the boat.

In other news, I finally got around to dropping off the rudder-stock at the machinist, looking forward to getting into the rudder build. Anyways, here’s what she looks like in white:

Never Change a Winner

A good friend of mine says “Never change a winner, always change a loser.” He probably isn’t talking about grinding pads, but around here sanding devices are a subject of much consternation. At any rate, after much trial and error I settled on the right tool and attachment for stripping the topside paint and promptly burned through the entire stock of these guys from Lowes.

Inevitably, they won’t be getting any more in. I tried a coarser finishing pad, I tried a fine grit sand paper on a disc sander, everything chewed through the paint just fine but ended up eating gelcoat and ‘glass as well. Helloooo torture board.

The aforementioned plank of pain

The point of the story is I’ve finally just accepted that these things are in the Goldilocks zone of grinding, and must be acquired at any cost. I’ve just about used up the first batch of epoxy resin, fiberglass cloth, and core material as well. Lesson learned.  Never change a winner.




Annapolis, Yorktown, and Louis C.K.

On our way back from a having a grand-old time at our friend’s wedding we stopped in Annapolis for dinner. Couldn’t help but snap a few of these badass old sandbaggers in the harbor.

Apparently these were among the first class of sailboats dedicated to racing in the United States. They evolved from oyster boats in New York Harbor and along the Jersey coast. No limit to sail area!

That right there is an 18 ft bowsprit. Bowsprit envy anyone?

Here’s me in Yorktown in front of the Lynx, looking like Louis CK, with no hands.


The World’s Oyster

You may be under the impression from this blog, given the startlingly fast pace at which work is progressing over here, that all we do is work, work, work. What do we do for fun around here in the thriving metropolis of the Middle Peninsula of Virginia? I’m glad you asked. It just so happens that right across Locklies Creek from The Marina is a little oyster bar called Merroir. (Like Terroir, but with mermaids) It’s about a 2 minute paddle across or a 10 minute drive around the back of the creek. It’s a pretty sweet place to unwind after a hard days work.

Any trip to Merroir comes replete with a cautionary tale:

It’s a bit hard to make out in the photo, but that’s the mast of a sunken sailboat sticking out of the water off the end of the dock. Not sure what the story is, but the wreck has been there for at least 2 years. “Red right returning, red right returning, red right returning…”