(And a little of 2002)

I will use this page to cover some of the general maintenance and small projects I do on the boat that are too small to justify their own pages on the site.   Most of these items are either small upgrades or routine maintenance.   Where a project requires more description and detail, you'll find a link leading to that project page.

To read the log sequentially, click here to go to the bottom.



Maintenance/Projects Underway
12/31/04 Please click here to continue to the 2004 maintenance log.
12/29/03 varnish122903.jpg (42450 bytes)I had hoped to get more done during Christmas week, but it just didn't happen.  I managed to get some varnish on a few parts of the boat during the week, but holiday commitments ate up much of the time.  Needless to say, I was anxious to get back to work and wrap up the myriad projects I had going.

I spent the day removing masking tape from the varnish work, as I was done with that--for now, at least.  Time to move on to bigger and better things.  I began reinstalling the deck hardware that I had removed for the deck projects earlier, beginning with the new instrument panel surround in the cockpit.  As of this writing, I have all the stanchion bases reinstalled, the chain hawsepipes forward, and some other pieces.  I still need to reinstall the mooring bit, anchor platform, and bow pulpit, which I plan to do immediately.  All hardware is bedded in 3M 101 polysulfide.  Tomorrow or later, depending on the cure time, I'll go back and cut away the excess squeezeout and remove the masking tape from around the hardware that I installed to protect the decks and hardware from the sealant.

I purchased a new aluminum cockpit access hatch and intended to enlarge the cutout in the sole to accommodate it, but I dropped my saw to the concrete floor, ruining it.  I ordered a new one, but there will be a slight delay before I can get back to work.  I decided to order the saw and wait for it rather than head out to pick one up, since my time is better spent working on the boat--and there's plenty to do.

I expect to make much progress this week, so check back.

12/17/03 With the new nonskid on the deck complete, all major structural repairs over with,  and at a time of year when time may be as hard to come by as any (holiday season, of course), I proceeded to begin applying a number of coats of varnish to the toerail and new rubrail, as well as some other areas, including the cockpit coamings, companionway, handrails, and sea hood.

In addition, I prepared to get a coat or two of paint on the v-berth plywood, which is usually hidden during the season by the cushions.  Originally, I had applied several coats of gray bilgekote to this area, but it became somewhat scarred and dirty during the completion of the original restoration project.  Adding new coats at that time was one of those things that went by the wayside, as such things are wont to do, but with a full winter inside I found I was able to address numerous projects that had been put off and neglected during past winters.

I also began seriously considering the installation of some forward chainplate knees, which I had been wanting to add for some time (and often wished I had just added from the onset--20/20 hindsight).  In addition, I started to look at finally replacing the plastic cockpit sole hatch, now that I had removed it for the deck painting project.

I'm having trouble believing how much work has been required on the boat this season.  OK, perhaps it's not required, per se, but with a conducive work environment it sure is easy to keep finding upgrade projects that help tie up the loose ends from earlier years.  I manage to feel under pressure to complete the jobs in short order, as I hoped to begin work on my other project, the Triton Daysailor, in earnest after the new year.  By forming these admittedly artificial deadlines, I manage to keep pushing and keep the various projects moving along, which I find is critical to the ultimate and timely success of any given project.

With the decks all painted, I can now turn my attention to reinstalling the deck hardware that I removed, including the bow pulpit and anchor platform.  You all know how I go about this sort of installation, so I beg forgiveness if I don't actually write a detailed account of this routine procedure.  We'll see how it goes, I guess.

The new engine instrument surround is complete, for all intents and purposes, and I'll install it when I get into the deck hardware installation, so that once I have a tube of 101 started I can seal the surround in place.  I'll post more details on the completed surround when appropriate.  See the new surround here.

The work continues, in a general frenzy of activity.  More to come soon.

10/29/03 I continued work on the foredeck and mast step repairs, after completing the toerail repair last week.  I removed the mast beam.

IM009429.JPG (146755 bytes)I managed to break the glass in one of the head ports while removing the mast beam, so I removed the hinged portion of the port and disassembled it to remove the glazing.  I had to drill out the screws holding the glass in place, since long-term soaking with PB Blaster failed to loosen their grip.  I'll take the broken glass to a glass shop to replace it in kind with tempered glass.

I performed some lubrication and maintenance on the forward hatch, which had become extremely stiff.  PB Blaster on the hinges and loosening (with great effort) the hinge bolts seemed to take care of it for now.

I removed the cockpit coamings for storage and eventual refinishing.  I also removed some pieces of deck hardware in preparation for painting the nonskid.

I began research into what I would need for new cockpit scuppers.  Details on that are coming soon, once the other major projects are out of the way.

10/18/03 With the boat comfortably located inside the new boat shop, I began several projects that I had been planning ahead for all summer.

Firstly, I took care of winterizing the engine and changing the oil.  Winterizing might not be strictly necessary inside the heated shop, but I felt it was a prudent thing to do anyway; plus, the antifreeze acts as a corrosion preventative during the long layup.

Since the boat was inside a building, running the engine for winterizing took a bit of forethought and some ingenuity in order to see to it that the exhaust and water discharge would be taken care of.  Click here to read more detail about what I did.

I also drained the water system and dried out the bilge.  I didn't bother winterizing the water system this year, since I felt comfortable that I had most of the water purged anyway, and the boat is never expected to be subjected to anything close to freezing temperatures.

Two more significant projects that I began this week include starting the repairs to the damaged starboard toerail, which was impacted during a collision earlier in the season.  The first step in the repair was to cut back the rail to solid material.  Read more about this project by following this link.

The toerail project and a need to repair some of the core on the foredeck (unrelated to the toerail incident) necessitated the removal of the bow pulpit.  I also removed all the lifelines and stanchions for their annual inspection, and to make various jobs on the boat easier.  Read more about foredeck repairs here.

Over the course of the season, I had become concerned about the mast beam and mast step.  It seemed to me that the turnbuckles were definitely tightened more than they had been three years ago.  Plus, I knew I had had a small leak through the wire chase near the mast (which I rebedded earlier in the season), but didn't know how much, if any, damage might have been done.  With the boat at home, I removed the wire chase and the mast step for inspection and, as it turns out, the beginning of a mast step reinforcement project.  The mast beam looks the same as it ever did, so I don't think I'll have to do any major work on that front.  Click here to read more about this project.

10/8/03 Haulout for the season!  Although I was, as always, sad to see the season come to an end, it was time.  There reaches a point each year where it becomes a relief to get the boat home and move on to other pursuits.  Read a brief account of the mast unstepping and haulout here.

During a spirited sail, I noticed that the tiller was coming apart beneath my hands.  Screws holding the tiller extension housing, which is a metal piece drilled into the depths of the tiller, had created a longitudinal split that opened alarmingly when I pulled on the extension.  Read more about the damage and a quick repair here.

6/16/03 I revamped the outhaul system so that I could adjust it from the cockpit.  Read more about it here.

OK, so the previous two entries weren't really maintenance. 

This week, following launch, I took care of some minor early-season maintenance items, such as testing the propane system for leaks (both by the usual pressure drop test and with soapy water on all the connections)--all was OK.  I also finished up the mast wiring hookups, and finished squaring away things on deck and below.

We have a new outboard motor for the dinghy.  Read more about it here.

5/14/03 sail1-51403.JPG (146279 bytes)The inaugural sail of the year, kind of spur of the moment.  

Read a sailing log here.

5/12/03 Launch 036.jpg (132604 bytes)Launching day!  

Read all about the launch and mast stepping here.


An hour or two on a day here and a day there saw the completion of most of the preparation for launch on the 12th.  I rigged up the spreaders and resorted the halyards and stays on the mast to make sure everything was where it belonged, and reinstalled spreader boots and tape as needed.  I applied some silicone spray to the bronze mast track to help the main go up and down easily; I'll spray some on the mainsail slides too.

I ran the engine one more time--all is well--and, after removing the temporary bucket cooling hose, reinstalled the "real" intake hose so that the engine is ready to go.  I gave the decks their "first coat" scrub down and will do a final wash this afternoon to remove debris.

portscuppertree.JPG (146528 bytes) discovered that the sidedeck scupper hose connection, where the lower end attaches to the dumb--and constantly aggravating--fiberglass scupper tree beneath the cockpit, had broken free.  The hose attaches to a short length of fiberglass tube that, at the original time of construction, was inserted into the main scupper and glassed in place.  For one reason or another, that bond failed, so I gooped the end up well with thickened epoxy and stuck it back in.  Please forgive the blurry nature of the photo; it was taken by holding the camera at arm's length deep in the cockpit locker, allowing a view that otherwise never could have been seen my human eyes.  In the photo, you can see the empty hole in the scupper tree (midframe) and, below it and to the left, is the hose and fiberglass tube.

Had I known just how irritating these scupper tubes and related connections were going to be when I was first working in that area during the restoration, I would have ripped everything out and started fresh.  Live and learn--and new scuppers are high on the work list for the coming winter.  Meantime, I'll continue inspecting the connections frequently, and keeping at least the port seacock closed.  (The port side has, so far anyway, been the only side to cause any problem.)

After her final washdown and check-over later today, she'll be all set for launching.  She gets picked up by 0700 tomorrow morning.  Forecast:  showers, with highs "near 50".  In other words--it'll be in the 40s.  Burrr...

5/6/03 Over the weekend, I accomplished many things on board.  Most importantly, I suppose, I got all the necessary gear loaded, including cushions, supplies, etc.  Basically, I got the boat ready to go, 100%.  I installed the lifelines and stanchions, dealt with several small jobs on my list, and whatever else seemed necessary.

I finally got around to installing my new (used) Lewmar #8 main halyard winch.  I reused the original aluminum platform that the old winch (now gracing my desk as a paperweight) was attached to.  Read more about this project here.

danforthcompass.jpg (152476 bytes)I installed a little compass in the vee berth so that I can easily tell what direction we're heading when I wake up, while at anchor, in the middle of the night.  It's just a simple Danforth compass, mounted on the centerline.


sandedandready.jpg (171481 bytes)With the stuff loaded, I masked off and sanded the remaining brightwork on deck:  handrails, sea hood, companionway trim, forward hatch trim, anchor platform, and taffrail.  It was too windy, and too late in the day Saturday, to varnish, so I got it all prepared for Sunday.

Sunday morning, I applied the first of two maintenance coats on these trim pieces, and managed to get a final coat on Monday morning.  I removed the masking tape late that afternoon.

The only work remaining before launch is to give the decks and hull a thorough cleaning, finish rigging the mast (install the spreaders), and lower and secure the mast to the pulpits for transport.

5/2/03 The beginning of the week was varnish-friendly, at least for my purposes.  On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the sun shone and it was dry--good for building up three coats of varnish on the toerails.  Phew.  After the third coat on Wednesday, I decided it was good enough for now--with rainy weather predicted the rest of the week and only one further week before launch, I thought that the last coat I got on would suffice.  One thing I've learned is to know when to quit when ahead!  Besides, I plan to strip the rails to bare wood after this season, so why build up more varnish than necessary?

The varnished rails look pretty good, considering.  There are some color variations in the tops between where I scraped and where the existing varnish remained, but those will even out over time.  Next, I have to concentrate on some maintenance coats on the remaining exterior varnish--taffrail, companionway trim, seahood, anchor platform, and forward hatch trim.  That's next, as soon as the weather allows.


After a cloudy start, the day turned out nicely.  I got a lot done:  installed all the halyards and rigging, and loaded a ton of gear back on board that I had removed during the fall.  I also vacuumed the whole interior of the boat to rid it of excess dust and stuff from the winter.

I discovered that some critter had gotten in and chewed the corner of our little Bocce rug that I had rolled up and stored in the vee berth.  Fortunately, the damage isn't too bad.  No other signs of life inside, though...

staging42703.JPG (184281 bytes)With a beautiful late afternoon and a good forecast for at least a couple days, I decided to get a jump on the toerail varnish project.  I set up The World's Ricketiest Staging around the boat, managing to get planks along both sides at once.  I applied silver long-mask tape to both sides of the toerail, both on the hull and on the deck, and then, armed with my fancy new scraper from the Wooden Boat Store, and various grades of sandpaper, I set to work.  

The splurge scraper

The varnish is, unfortunately, in sad shape.  Over the winter, moisture got into the varnish, and lifted it in several areas.  Ideally, the rails would both be stripped back to bare wood, and the varnish process begun anew.  This is impossible given the short time till launch (2 weeks) and the difficulties involved in getting varnish on the rail with the boat in its present location.  Therefore, I decided to scrape off the loose stuff where needed, sand smooth, and recoat with as many coats as possible.  I hope that maybe (keep your fingers crossed) I might have a barn for the boats by next winter, so I could take that opportunity to strip the varnish right back to bare wood and start over.

On the left is one of the worst areas of water-damaged varnish, before doing any work.  On the right is the same area after scraping and sanding with 80 grit and 120 grit.
badvarnish.JPG (160093 bytes)          afterscrapesand.JPG (147935 bytes)

I got the port side spot-scraped and sanded, and part of the starboard side.  Tomorrow, I'll finish the starboard side and sand both rails smooth with 120 and 220; then, I'll get a coat of varnish on.  I hope to get a minimum of 2 coats on this week, and possibly more.  Weather permitting.

4/25/03 Finally--a nice day.  I took advantage of it to knock off several projects I'd been wanting to get to.

First order of business:  Tim's Folly.  From time to time, it's been brought to my attention that I could be a little bit stubborn.  Needless to say, I find these accusations baseless and uncalled for :<), but  perhaps there's more truth to it than I care to admit.

That's right, folks--today, once again, I refused to let go and give up my bright, clear-lacquered port frames.  As was the case last spring, I discovered that some of the lacquer had flaked off the ports during the winter, and for a while this spring I wavered on whether or not I would go to  the trouble to clean them up and relacquer them again this year.  Of course, my love of the bright look won out, so today was as good a time as any to knock this project off my list.

Somehow it seemed to be easier and go faster than last year.  As before, I taped off the inside and outside of each port frame and then installed newspaper to protect against overspray, before scraping off any loose lacquer and sanding the ports with 120 grit paper.  Then, I sprayed on a number of coats of clear lacquer.  The end result is antique-bronze ports, protected against tarnishing by the lacquer for another season.  Note that I am only continuing to maintain the lacquer on the ports, and am letting all other bronze on board (cleats, chocks, winch bases, etc) go natural.

portsmaskedoff.JPG (184489 bytes) finishedports.JPG (191086 bytes)

halyardwinch.JPG (163467 bytes)I also removed the existing aluminum winch base and lousy old Southcoast #1 halyard winch from the mast in preparation for installing my two Lewmar 8s (Ebay).   Two years ago, I had installed this original winch base and winch with two stainless steel bolts through the mast, replacing the original aluminum ones that could not be saved.

winchplatformbolts.JPG (199453 bytes)Well, I don't know what happened, but I started to loosen the nuts, and they quickly became bound--cross threaded, or something.  How and why this happened I have no idea, but the long and the short of it was that I couldn't get the nuts off.  I had to drag out my Sawz-all to cut the bolts off so I could remove the thing.  Nothing is easy!  Later, I'll install the new winches.

I prepared the engine for its first run by installing the batteries on the boat (with a fresh charge), and bleeding the fuel system (necessary since I replaced the fuel filters earlier in the month).   I reassembled the raw water pump (I had removed the pump and impeller in the fall) and installed it in place.  Then, I set up my bucket of fresh water and hose, and cranked the engine over.  It started right up and quickly settled into a smooth roar.  I ran it for a few minutes, then shut it down to check the oil--I had to add a little since I had changed the oil filter earlier, but the design of the filter does not allow filling the filter with oil before installing it.  Then, I restarted the engine and ran it for 5 or 10 minutes.  All was well.

enginetestrun.JPG (166344 bytes)     coolingwater.JPG (169152 bytes)

I tested my new galley sink sump by pouring the remains of my bucket of cooling water into the sink.  It worked great!

Finally, I rinsed the boat off with fresh water, removing the winter's grime and all the little leaves and tree bud stuff that was all over the place.  A clean boat is a happy boat--and, most importantly, makes for a happier owner!


Installed the new jumper struts and stays.  Read more about this project here.

Installed the new spreader bases on the mast.  Read more about this project here.

Installed my new Davis Megalight masthead (anchor) light.   Read more about this project here.

Moved the jackstands and painted the patches beneath.  The bottom is now ready for launch.  There is plenty of other stuff I want to get done, but nothing that has to be done before launch, except for reinstalling all the standing and running rigging on the mast (all of which was removed for storage).


glissando41303.JPG (165728 bytes)Painted the bottom.  I used Micron Extra (green), which contains a biocide designed to reduce slime buildup.  Slime is the main fouling problem we experience here, so I figured I'd give it a try.  Painting the entire bottom with one coat used about 3/4 gallon of paint.  It always feels good to get the bottom painted--it just looks better!  I always like to get the bottom paint done early, just in case the weather turns sour for weeks at a time near launch time.  This way, it's off my mind.  I still have to do the patches under the jackstands, but that can wait a little while.


glissando41003.JPG (176110 bytes)After two really lousy weeks of cold, raw, gray weather--which also brought some snow our way--we finally broke out into decent sunshine today.  What a pleasure.  Eschewing things I really should have been doing, I escaped to the back yard and pulled the cover and frame off.  By doing so, I have probably sentenced us to continuing cold and snowstorms well into June, but I couldn't stand it any more.  With plenty on my schedule in the coming weeks (relatively speaking), I didn't want to miss out on a nice hour or two on a given day to get some projects done that the cover would have prevented--mast work, varnish, that kind of thing.

The bright toerails are sort of a mess--some moisture got in here and there and has lifted the varnish partially.  Yuck.  Some significant work will be required to get things back the way they should be for this season.  The lacquer on the bronze ports is in better shape than last year, but still needs some work.  There's just over a month till launching.

Reinstalled the freshly-varnished coamings--no sealant this time, except for blobs of polysulfide on the screwholes where the coaming blocks are secured through the cabin trunk.



Over the last week or so, I took care of several smaller jobs on board, including replacing both primary fuel filter elements.  Given the number of hours the engine has been run since installation (not particularly high), I'm sure the filter replacement wasn't truly necessary.  Both filter elements of course contained some material, but were essentially good.  Still, replacing the elements is much easier under the low-pressure and calm conditions found when the boat is in the backyard, rather than rolling around in a seaway.  I feel that as a preventative maintenance item, replacement every other year is well worth it.  I used an R15P 30-micron filter as the first element in the series, and an R15S 2-micron filter for the second, the same setup that existed previously.  I have a couple of the 2 microns in stock, but I ordered a number of the 30-micron filters to keep as spares; I have trouble finding them locally, and never wish to be without some new ones on board.  (Mr. Obsessive Spare Parts Man here...)

oilfilter1.JPG (177431 bytes)I also changed the oil filter, a chore I put off last fall when I changed the oil with the boat in the water.  Because of the tight access in way of the oil filter (another brilliant engineering marvel of space efficiency by the folks at Yanmar), I had had a very difficult time changing the filter for the first time last summer--at that time, I had to eventually remove the entire alternator just to get a good enough grip on the filter with a filter wrench.  This time, I was thrilled and pleased to find that, with the filter NOT overtightened the way it had come from the factory (thanks, guys), I could remove the old element without having to dismantle half the engine--so it was actually a pretty simple, straightforward procedure.  I still don't understand why these filters are installed sideways, though--which virtually guarantees that oil will spill out when you remove it.  (I know--more of that efficiency of space thing.  But come on, the filter is, like, 3" long.  How much space would it really take to install it with the opening facing UP?)

oilfilter4.JPG (157910 bytes)Anyway, whining over, I got all the major filters changed out without incident.  Later, I'll change the engine-mounted secondary filter element.


With a partial bucket of clean diesel fuel at my disposal (from draining the filter bowls), I decided now was the perfect time to disassemble, clean, and lube two Lewmar #8 single speed winches that I purchased early this past winter on Ebay.  (The winches are for the halyards on the mast.)  Both winches (one bronze, one the standard chrome-plate over bronze) were in good shape, but the chrome one, in particular, was extremely stiff in operation; regular maintenance was called for.

winchspooge.JPG (155889 bytes)The plain bronze winch was clean and dry inside, with little excess buildup of old grease.  However, the chromed winch was a disaster of goop, oozing grease, and the resulting gunk, all over the bearings, pawls, springs, and all surfaces.  Yuck!

soakingwinchparts.JPG (165640 bytes)I poured some of the diesel fuel into an old baking pan, and soaked all the various winch parts in the fuel to remove the grease and accumulated buildup.  The diesel fuel worked wonders loosening the old material, but it still took quite a bit of soaking and then cleaning with a diesel-soaked rag (and even a screwdriver to scrape some of the gunk off the ratchets and other winch parts) to get them perfectly clean.  I also cleaned all the grease off the winch spindles and bodies, and cleaned the exterior parts of the winch with more diesel fuel as well.  I repeated this procedure with both winches.

winchesexploded.JPG (154328 bytes)With all the parts cleaned and inspected, I purchased some winch lube grease and light oil, and lubricated the various parts as appropriate--grease on the bearings and spindle, light oil on the pawls and springs.  A light coating is all that is necessary; the ratchets and springs should never be laden with heavy grease, as this stuff can adversely affect the winch operation.  With the two halyard winches greased up, all that remains is to install them on the mast, which I will do once the cover gets removed in a week or two (if the weather warms up again...grr.)  I also need to lube the two primary cockpit winches.

After two seasons of closed seacocks, useless hoses, and splintered, dry fiberglass tubes, I addressed a "final" solution to the port cockpit scupper.  It looks like the time will come, this coming fall and winter, to replace both scuppers and drain arrangements with something better.  However, my new solution will, for this season at least, be a much stronger, safer option.  Read more about this project here.


oldscupperhose-o.jpg (70347 bytes)Did a few odds and ends on the boat, most notably getting back to work on that annoying port cockpit scupper hose.  I removed the cheap-o old hose (shown in the photo, left) that I put on as a temporary measure last year, and put in some heavy reinforced hose that I salvaged from the old galley sink drain.  However, the problem now is that the old fiberglass "Y" arrangement beneath the scupper is badly deteriorated, with the very dry fiberglass literally flaking apart.  This has left the connection for a scupper hose untenable, and something new is needed.  At this stage, I don't want to get into a complete scupper replacement, but I think I will add brand-new scuppers for both sides of the cockpit to my work list for the end of this season.  I'm sick of dealing with and worrying about this old, poorly-made , resin-starved junk (the old scupper drain Y connections, that is), and I think the time has come for a refit.  It's probably more than I want to mess with now, so I'll have to come up with a sound solution for this season.  Perhaps I'll relocate the seacocks in conjunction.  In any event, that job will probably wait till this fall or coming winter (and by then, maybe the boat will be in a heated barn?).

glissando-32303-o.jpg (112919 bytes)The snow is retreating.  To help speed things along, I shoveled some of the snow piles next to the boat away, hoping to make it easier to get around the boat on the ground if I decide to get going on some exterior work.

3/22/03 Completed the sump pump installation in the galley.  Read more about this project here.

Worked on several other small projects on board, knocking various things off my work list.
Click here to see the updated list.


3/21/03 thwideview.JPG (174629 bytes)Installed a new through hull fitting and hose for the galley sink sump.  Read more about this project here.

With spring finally seeming to be arriving, however, slowly, I removed two small auxiliary tarps from the bow and stern to provide better airflow and light into the cover.

Finished varnishing the coamings, and varnished the tiller and flagpole as well.


Varnishing continues.  The small pieces are done, and I have two coats on one side of the coamings. 

Two of the terminal ends I need for the new jumper stays are on backorder, but I received the upper (fork) terminals and the wire, so I decided to install those now.  Read more about this project here.

With a hand swage tool, I began the construction of a boom support cable that will eventually run to the backstay and hook to the boom when not in use.  Read more about this project here.

Out on the boat, finally, it was warm enough to do some small projects.  I replaced the gooseneck lamp over the galley sink; the old one stopped working during last summer, and I couldn't make it work no matter what I tried.  So I bought a new one, and finally wired it in and installed it in place.

I also dismantled the galley sink drain in preparation for installing a sump chamber.  Because the sink is so close to the waterline, it didn't drain properly at all, and if the seacock was open when under sail, the sink could flood badly.  With these two annoying problems in mind, I decided a sump was necessary.  Read more about this project here.

glissando31803-o.jpg (117477 bytes)Spring is springing!  After a very long stretch of cold weather, with virtually no breaks since Christmas, things are looking up.  The sun is warm, and the arctic air has retreated, hopefully for good.  The snow is melting and turning the ground to mush.  With spring fever in the air, I scheduled the launch and mast step for Monday, May 12.


Finished lubricating the standing rigging turnbuckles and inspecting all the standing rigging.  I'm glad I did this now, because I discovered that my jumper stays had indeed been damaged when the jumpers were ruined last August--the damage was hidden behind the tape that had been over the stays where they passed over the struts, and I didn't remove the tape till today.  There were nicks and abrasions on the wire, nearly deep enough to go through a strand, so the wires are trashed.  There's plenty of time to make new ones, though.  For this project, I decided to order Sta-Loks and wire and do the job myself.  I ordered two fork terminals, two turnbuckle studs (I'll reuse the nearly new turnbuckles and lower studs) and 41' of 1/8" stainless steel 1x19 wire.

Later, when the materials arrive, I'll post some more information on building the stays.

omctripleguard.JPG (175254 bytes)I use a blue waterproof multi-purpose waterproof grease on the turnbuckle thread, as well as on many other onboard projects.  The stuff I use is leftover from years ago, when I got it from an old OMC (outboards) dealer.  I have a huge 8 oz. tube of the grease, and  since a little goes a long way, I may never need more.  It's excellent stuff, though, and I'm posting the information here so that anyone interested can try and find a substitute that's currently available.

I finally began varnishing the drop boards, lazarette hatch, tiller, flagpole, and coamings in earnest--in the house, since the heater in my shop is on the fritz and it's still frigging cold here.  I'll do two coats on the smaller pieces, and probably 3-4 on each side of the coamings.


Finished sanding the removable brightwork, including the companionway drop boards, and removing the old silicone from the back side of the coamings.  I sanded the coamings with 120 first, then moved on to 220, since they required a bit more old varnish to be taken down.  I'm starting to get antsy for the season, but it's still really cold here and very much stuck in the depths of winter.  We haven't had much for new snow since the beginning of January,  but all the old stuff is still on the ground, since it's been very cold ever since.  When it warms up a bit and I can more easily keep the shop heated to varnish temperature, I'll begin varnishing.  I don't see any reason to burn extra kerosene for the heat in the shop at this point, since I still have plenty of time remaining to finish the varnishing.

I even placed an order for most of the list of small items I need to complete the springtime projects.  Since I had a gift card from Christmas, the order was painless!  I wish they were all this way.  In about 4 months I'll be sailing.

insocket2.JPG (172040 bytes)I worked on the new spreader bases and standing rigging in the shop.  The spreader bases required some sanding and filing in order to make the raw castings fit the spreader tubes. 

See more detailed information here.

I began a standing rigging and  lubricated the two upper shrouds' turnbuckles with waterproof grease.  Over the course of a few shop days, I'll get through the remaining wires--two lowers, the jumper wires, and the backstay.


Went aboard for a quick check, and to pick up a couple things.  I really miss the boat and get nostalgic every time I stand in the cabin.  Even though it was cold, I was ready to stay awhile.  Launching is 5 months away.

I pulled the coamings, tiller, lazarette hatch and flagpole out of storage and began sanding them down in preparation for up to a few coats of varnish.  The coamings will get several coats at a minimum; the other stuff requires only one or two coats.  I didn't get too far with the sanding, truth be told, but at least now I had to look at the pieces every time I went into the garage.


glissando10503.JPG (164944 bytes)We've had two large snowstorms in just over a week's time, dumping nearly three feet of snow on us.  No problem for the tarp, though--most of the snow just slides right off.  In the second storm, the snow stuck to the tarp a bit more, so I used my roof rake to start some small avalanches and get all the snow off.   I'm sure it would have slid off eventually, but I felt like I needed to do something boat-related--it's good for the soul.  I went up on the boat yesterday to check things out and retrieve a spare pair of sunglasses, since I broke mine.  I didn't stay onboard for long, but it felt nice to be on the boat at least for a while.   I hope to start work on a few small projects soon, but there really is no pressing need to do anything--the boat could go back in the water as is with no trouble.


glissando112702.JPG (173405 bytes)Added another small tarp to fill in the hole at the bow of the boat.  The regular tarp was too open, and I wasn't happy with how much snow got inside during a previous snowstorm.  The new tarp just slips beneath the gray one, and is tied in a couple places--very inelegant, but it gets the job done.  There's still plenty of area for air to flow through, but the opening is now much smaller and will prevent most snow from getting in.


sterncover.JPG (162179 bytes)Added a small tarp at stern to cover the gap in the tarp, just to keep the worst of the snow and rain out and off the stern deck.  I just sort of folded a smallish tarp over itself and secured it with a few lines and some of those tarp-lock fasteners that you can install anywhere on the tarp.  I ran three lines down to more tent stakes in the ground below.  I also added several more lines led to tent stakes (I got a good deal on a military surplus lot of tent stakes on Ebay) on each side of the platformcover.JPG (185400 bytes)boat, and finished up wrapping the bow platform in a tarp to protect the varnish and anchor rollers.  Finally, I finished securing the tarp at the bow, which I had left folded back before because I didn't have enough tent stakes.  Yesterday, I went aboard to just reminisce a bit...it was the first time I had been aboard in over two weeks--a personal record, I think.  With these small additions, the boat is now ready for a forecast winter storm this weekend.

10/25/02 covered102502.JPG (178141 bytes)Covered the boat because I was sick of leaves falling all over the decks, and because we have lousy weather coming for the weekend.  Covering was easy this year--I had everything done in about an hour.  Details on the cover and frame that I wrote  last year are here. 


Removed batteries for the winter.  I'll give them a full charge before storage, then charge them once a month or so.

Decided bow Awlgrip repair is good enough.  I will have some buffing and blending in the spring, but for now it's done.  Read more detail on this project here.

10/24/02 Applied a few coats of Awlgrip Flag Blue to bow area.  This is becoming a real pain.  Read more detail on this project here.

VICTORY! in the coaming-removal war.  I used a  guitar string (it's wire, of course) to saw through the sealant.  Because the guitar string is stronger than regular wire, it didn't tend to break as easily, and I finally got the thing off--but not without quite a bit more work.  I am eternally grateful to Rick (email) who suggested this idea, and to Nathan, who provided me with his used guitar strings.

Once I had the starboard coaming off, I tackled the port coaming, which came off much more easily.  I don't think it was stuck quite as badly to begin with.  Phew.  Now I can really get these revarnished nicely.  I put 10 coats on originally, and it lasted two years.  Now that I've taken the coamings off, I will plan on doing so every winter in the future--no more sealant!  (Especially silicone.)

10/22/02 Sanded yesterday's Awlgrip lightly and prepared for what I hope will be the final coats!   Read more detail on this project here.
10/21/02 Sanded Awl-Quik primer and prepared area for color coats.  Applied Awlgrip Flag Blue.  Read more detail on this project here.
10/20/02 Applied several coats of Awl-Quik primer to the sanded areas on the bow.  Read more detail on this project here.

Tried (again) unsuccessfully to remove coamings for refinishing over the winter.  When I installed them, I applied a dab of silicone behind each screw location, just to seal the holes a bit beneath the coaming.  I did not seal the whole thing, but even so the silicone is adhere in tenaciously and I'm not sure I'll be able to remove the coamings or not.  I obviously don't want to damage the coamings or the surrounding area, so prying them off is just about impossible.  I tried running a slim wire through the very narrow space between the coaming and the fiberglass, but the wire would break when I tried to "saw" it through the silicone.  There's no room for a knife, or a saw.  I had some limited luck with a thin metal ruler, but it was hard on the surrounding areas and the ruler is not meant for this work.   Plus, the gap gets tighter aft of the winch pads, and the ruler ceased working the way it had a bit forward.  Rather than continue and probably do some real damage, I stopped.  I want these coamings off!!!

Silicone is pure evil.  I hate it and don't know why I ever, ever used it, ever.  Why???  This junk doesn't tend to adhere when you want it to, and fails consistently when you do use it.  But God forbid you actually want to remove something stuck on with it--then it holds like there's no tomorrow.  Aauugh!

10/19/02 Reassembled propeller shaft, coupling, flexible coupling, and propeller after cleaning and painting the various parts while they were out of the boat.  As I reassembled the pieces, I applied blue waterproof grease to the mating surfaces of the shaft and coupling, on the threads of the coupling setscrews, on the studs and nuts of the flex coupling, the threads of the packing nuts, and the shaft taper and propeller nut threads.  The waterproof grease will help keep corrosion from forming, and should make later removal much easier--especially when removing the coupling and/or propeller from the shaft.  All the pieces went together without any problem and the job was complete within 30 minutes, start to finish.  See some pictures of the reassembled coupling here.

I also sanded the final coat of filler on the bow repair.  Read more detail on this project here.

10/18/02 Sanded first coat of epoxy on starboard bow and applied second, and hopefully, final coat of filler.  I used Interlux Epoxy Surfacing Compound, # 417/418.  This is a smoother finishing putty that is a good choice for final filling.  Read more detail on this project here.
10/17/02 Sanded the scarred starboard bow in preparation for filling gouges with epoxy.  After sanding and cleaning, I filled the depressions with thickened epoxy and left it to cure.  Read more detail on this project here.

Rinsed leaves and debris from yesterday's nor'easter off the decks, cleared scuppers.  Removed everything from the two cockpit lockers and washed the lockers out thoroughly with soap and fresh water, and washed bilge in shaft alley and the main bilge.

I also completed the removal of the propeller shaft and coupling.  The coupling fought me right to the end.  Even though it slid continually forward as I tightened the four bolts and gradually pulled it off the shaft, it was tenacious to the end and resisted attempts to use some rubber-mallet persuasion to speed up the process.  I had to use several different sized sockets as spacers, and three or four different bolt lengths when all was said and done.  I dropped a 1/2" deepwell socket into the bilge beneath the engine and Vetus Waterlock and it simply vaporized--I couldn't find it, my grabby tool (no jokes, please) came up empty, and even blasting water from my hose through the area didn't turn it up. Sigh.  Had half the tools on the boat out in the cockpit to account for the three different diameter nuts and hex heads on the various lengths of bolts I had on hand.

To make this project easier in the future, a length of threaded rod would make sense.  One end could extend into the narrow area between the coupling and the transmission housing, and be secured with double nuts to lock them in place.  Then, the outer nut could simply be tightened as much as needed to gradually pull the couplings off.  One of the difficulties inherent using the regular-bolt method is that, as you tighten the bolts down, you inevitably run out of room as the threads extend into the space next to the transmission.  Then, you have to remove the bolts entirely, choose a different socket length and/or different bolt length, and start all over.  This is irritating and frustrating.

I removed the coupling for maintenance purposes only.  Not wanting to ever be in a position where the bolts, coupling or propeller were frozen inexorably in place, I decided from the onset that every other year I would break everything free.  This seemed like a good plan till I was hanging upside down fighting the coupling.  

With all the various pieces out of the boat, I could inspect everything for condition.  The Cutless bearing  is in excellent condition and looks brand new; the shaft was nicely and evenly polished where it passed through the bearing.  There is unfortunately some slight scoring on the shaft at the stuffing box; I know that the stuffing box was too tight for a time last year, and figure this is when the damage occurred.  Fortunately, it's not bad enough to worry about now--it won't keep the packing from sealing, or weaken the shaft.  The packing is still in good condition and will not be replaced at this time.

I spent some time cleaning up the shaft so the coupling and propeller would slide on easily.  I also cleaned up the rusty coupling (mild steel) and polishing the inside and keyway.  With everything cleaned up, I spray painted the coupling and the flex coupling with multiple layers of red engine paint.  Hopefully, this will keep things nicer, longer.

10/15/02 Began removal of shaft coupling.  Four nuts securing coupling to rubber flex coupling, and four more securing flex coupling to transmission flange, came off easily with no trouble.  Prepared to remove coupling by inserting deep socket wrench as a spacer between the shaft coupling and transmission, and used four long bolts to begin pulling coupling off shaft.  Of course there's no such thing as the exact-right-length bolt--the first ones I tried were about a millimeter too short, so I had to use extra-long bolts with spacers at the outer end to prevent them from hitting the transmission housing.   Got the coupling part way off, got sick of lying with my head hanging upside down in the bilge, and thought it would be better to quit for the day.  Resoaked the coupling with PB Blaster for good measure.
10/14/02 Applied final coat of Awlgrip to new Boottop; removed tape later in the day.  Read more detail on this project here.  

Applied PB Blaster spray penetrating oil to shaft coupling and associated bolts in preparation for removal.

Week Starting 10/6/02 Removed propeller in preparation for pulling shaft (for inspection and to keep the coupling, etc. free and easy to remove in the future).  I used my prop puller for the first time; it worked pretty well, but the threaded bolt bottomed out too early, so I loosened it again and inserted two wooden shims (about 1/4" - 5/16" thick) between the forward portion of the puller and the prop.  With this added thickness, I could tighten the puller bolt enough to pop the prop free.

Worked to raise waterline and strike new level boottop.  Read more detail on this project here.

Winterized engine, septic, and potable water systems.

Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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