Birthday Magic

When I told Ryan that I wanted to subject our friends to experimental boat projects in observance of my birthday, she was disappointed, but not surprised. I’d been saving this particular project for the presence of many hands, and Ryan’s promise of a (wonderful) picnic was enough to lure our unsuspecting victims…

Everyone’s all smiles until the noxious chemicals come out

The task at hand(s) was the construction of a new plug for the outboard motor well in the lazarette. For those of you not fluent in boat-ese, that’s the hole in the back of the boat where the outboard will go. Here’s a pic from another fellow with a Pearson Ariel.

So what we were putting together is the plug which fills that hole when the outboard is not in service. One of the previous owners had fiberglassed the original plug in place when they had converted the boat to an inboard diesel…instead of tearing all that up the plan is to cut out the bottom, clean up the edges, and leave the majority of the old plug in place. Does that make any sense? Anyways, before cutting holes in the boat I decided to use the current well as a form, fill it with marine expanding foam, which will then be epoxied and used as the new plug. With the crew beaten into submission, we arrived at a plan. Jared would pour the foam into a bucket, I would mix with a drill powered paddle for 35 sec, Jared would then pour the foam into the well (you have 45 sec before it starts expanding), I would position the lid of the soon-to-be plug, me and Jared jump on top of the lid to prevent foam from spraying everywhere, and Ryan and Kim would sweep in to further secure with clamps. I gave this about a 50 percent chance of working.

Jared took this while he and I were standing on the plug and Ryan and Kim were clamping. That’s what’s happening in this picture.

So we went and enjoyed an excellent dinner courtesy of Ryan while the foam set up, came back and tried to pull the plug out.

We readjusted.

I tried looking at it from a different angle. (didn’t help)

Eventually, after significant quantities of elbow grease, the thingy popped out.

“I can’t believe this shit worked”

Pretty nifty.

Postcards of the Hanging

The rudder hanging that is.

All kinds of malarkey afoot over yonder at the Bonnie Boat these days, been busy enough between working on the boat and IRL work that bloggarting has fallen to the wayside… Getting the rudder attached was definitely the single most stressful task so far. In order to ensure the rudder remains watertight and rot-proof,I painted  the joint where the upper half of the rudder post meets the rudder with thickened epoxy. This means we had to get the rudder into position, drive home the bolts attaching the rudder to the post, and tighten everything up within the working time of the epoxy, about 25 minutes. Of course the last bolt didn’t quite want to go, I don’t quite remember the sequence of everything from the haze of stress and chemical fumes, but significant amounts of brute force were applied and everything did finally go where it was supposed to. All that’s left is to fill in the holes and glass around the stock and the rudder will be FINISHED.

I think I’m trying to give a thumbs up

It ain’t perfect- there’s a few little things that will probably bug me for a bit, but it is robust and I’m reasonably confident it will steer the boat.

A neat addition that one of the previous owners made was a bushing/bearing that fits down into the rudder-post-shaft that is then covered with a metal collar…you can’t see the bushing in these pictures, but it prevents water from shooting up the rudder post shaft and into the cockpit if there’s a bit of a chop running.

Let’s see what else…found some flares buried in a locker in the boat

Pretty cool. They’re all expired so I guess I’ll take the kayak into the middle of the Rapp and test them out, that’s a good idea right?

Mostly I’ve been working on getting the deck prepped for painting, everything has been cleaned, sanded, painted with epoxy, and had fairing compound applied.

Everything needs to get cleaned and sanded one more time, then we’ll be ready to paint!

Many books on seamanship stress the need for orderliness aboard ship. A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Many skilled craftsman feel a tidy shop is the calling card of a professional. I do not fall into these categories. In college, my roommate and I won a campus-wide contest for the dirtiest room.

I should probably be embarrassed by this

I like to have all of my tools instantly accessible, by having them strewn about in haphazard fashion.

This is the living room during the rudder build. Hopefully the landlords don’t read my blog.

Supposedly Einstein said that if a messy desk is the sign of a messy mind, then what is an empty desk indicative of? Who am I to argue with Einstein? At any rate, I allowed the boat to get completely out of control, and Ryan was having none of it, so she came out and helped me clean and organize. It’s much, much better.

With everything cleaned and organized, the interior feels much closer to being complete. We’re hitting the Annapolis boat show next weekend in search of a composting toilet, halyards and running rigging, and a few other sundries. Progress!