2008 Maintenance Log

2/9/08 | 4/14/08 | 4/19/08 | 4/27/08 | 5/26/08 | 5/28/08


With a snowy winter and lots of work-related projects in the shop, I haven't been working on Glissando, though she's not forgotten.  However, I have taken steps to complete some of the work on the brief work list that I posted last fall.  Here is the updated list as it stands today:

1.  New anchor rode (to replace the one broken by Wanaka during the cruise this year).   Thoughts: Click here
2.  Replace masthead light
3.  Lengthen the backstay (New Backstay on Hand:  Click here for details)
4.  Buy new chart #13305 (New Chart on Order)
5.  Replace, or otherwise troubleshoot, radar cable
6.  Finally replace jibsheets with a single length to eliminate annoying knots at cringle
7.  Varnish, of course
8.  I'd love to repaint the hull--probably not this winter, but it's in the back of my mind.
9.  The nonskid needs to be redone
10.  A variety of sewing/canvas repair tasks required
11.  Replace lifelines (New Lifelines on Hand:  Click here for details)


For the new anchor rode, I'm considering using Yale Cordage's product called Brait.  I see a lot of benefits and few or no drawbacks when compared with normal three-strand nylon rode, the old standby.

Here's Yale's white paper on Brait:  Anchoring Technology

As of this writing, I haven't yet made any decisions nor purchases.


A week or so ago, I broke down what remained of the snow pile in front of the boat with my tractor bucket so that it'd melt more quickly.  Then, over the weekend I moved a boat out of the shop, which opened up one of the shop bays, at least for the time being.  So I grabbed the opportunity to move Glissando inside for a couple weeks so that I could get going on varnish and other spring maintenance.

The mast, stored on top of the boat, just fit inside the building; I had to undo and move the headfoil, which stuck out past the base of the mast, but otherwise had no trouble.



I spent the entire day working on the brightwork and ports.  My goal for the day was to get all the prepwork out of the way.  Last year about this time, I stripped and refinished the toerails, and the toerails were still in decent shape, though with a few spots containing water damage and lifted varnish.  This was easy to scrape away, and otherwise the toerails required only a sanding with 220 grit paper.

Some of the varnish on deck had been neglected for too long.  Last spring, I just didn't have time to address things like the handrails, forward hatch frame, and anchor platform, and all seasons long these neglected, cracked, paragons of peeling varnish bothered me.  So this year, I promised myself that these areas would get the attention they needed.  In addition, it'd been a couple years since I'd varnished the companionway trim (which remained in good condition nonetheless since it was beneath the dodger during the season) and the engine instrument panel surround.  In other words, all the brightwork required attention.

I scraped and sanded away the old varnish as needed, working my way through the sanding grits to 220 in all areas.  The job made a huge mess, of course, so afterwards I vacuumed up before continuing.


My normal springtime folly--the refinishing of the bronze ports--required less work than sometimes, as last year's finish hadn't substantially peeled away, and the bronze was still bright in most areas.  Still, I had to sand all the ports to clean them up, particularly the two forward-facing ports, which I'd not gotten around to last year (these were green with verdigris).  But this year all the maintenance would get attended to:  no more slacking off.  My poor boat deserved better.  Since the boat was indoors, I didn't have to immediately worry about applying the clear lacquer to the ports, so for now I left the ports alone so I could refocus on the varnish.

Reluctantly, I decided that the plywood top of the sea hood, which had suffered badly over the years and had not held varnish well, needed to become a painted surface, rather than bright.  The material had weathered where the varnish failed during the Great Year of Neglect in 2006 (the year I didn't launch while I built my house), and last year's attempt to salvage the finish had only burned through the thin mahogany veneer on the plywood.  I considered installing thin solid wood strips over the top of the sea hood to cover the plywood, but I thought that the increase in height--however minor (say, 1/4")--would adversely affect the dodger's attachment points, so instead I just thought I'd paint it with the same beige nonskid I used elsewhere.  So for now, I just taped off the top of the sea hood so I could varnish the solid wood sides.

With all the prepwork complete, and the boat cleaned up as much as possible for now (the boat was still filthy after the winter, but at least all the dirt, dust, and other debris was gone), I masked off  all the brightwork, then applied a sealer coat of varnish to the bare wood, and a first coat to many of the other areas, excepting (for now) the toerail, as it was late in the day and I knew the toerail would only require a couple maintenance coats, which I'd begin tomorrow.




Over the past week, I applied 6 coats of varnish to all the bare wood that I stripped, and 1-2 maintenance coats as needed to the other wood on the boat.  This wrapped up the varnish work that I felt I needed to accomplish now, though I still had a few removable bits--like the coamings, tiller, and boathook--on which to apply seasonal maintenance coats, which was underway as of this writing.

I also repainted the mast step, and painted 2 coats of nonskid paint on the top of the sea hood, now that I'd determined the bright finish there could not be salvaged.

Here's an update to the project list that I first posted last fall:

1.  New anchor rode:  Purchased and on hand (250' 1/2" Yale Brait)

2.  Replace masthead light:  Light OK, new bulbs obtained and on hand

3.  Lengthen the backstay (New Backstay on Hand)

4.  Buy new chart #13305 (New Chart on Hand)

5.  Replace, or otherwise troubleshoot, radar cable (Pending)

6.  Finally replace jibsheets with a single length to eliminate annoying knots at cringle:  New 89' length of 7/16" sheet on hand and ready to go

7.  Varnish:  Varnish work complete for now


8.  I'd love to repaint the hull:  Not now.  Potential winter 2008 refit planned.

9.  The nonskid needs to be redone:  Not now.  Potential winter 2008 refit planned.

10.  A variety of sewing/canvas repair tasks required (Pending)

11.  Replace lifelines:  New Lifelines on Hand and installed

I also completed the work on the port frames.  I masked off and papered as needed, and then sprayed several coats of exterior clear satin finish lacquer on the bronze ports.  I used the same kind I used last year, as it held up better than any of my other attempts.

With the day's--and the week's--work done, and with winter's grime in addition to leftover mess from the recent work, I did a quick scrub down to clean things up.  Much better.  The boat was now ready to go back outside anytime, which would probably happen within the week depending on other scheduled projects due at the shop.




Over the past few weeks, I continued working on the boat sporadically as needed.  I needed the indoor space for other projects at the shop, so a week or so after completing the varnish and other tasks I moved the boat outdoors once more.

I didn't have a lot to do, but some of the normal maintenance tasks I took care of recently included:

  • Painting the bottom
  • Re-rigging and prepping the mast
  • Test running the engine
  • Replaced and tightened alternator belt
  • Replaced raw water impeller
  • Loaded cushions and other gear on the boat
  • Marked my new anchor rode (using the same system I used on the old rode)

With that, she was ready for launching, scheduled for Wednesday, May 28.  See you then.

This photo dates to about May 10, 2008.


Launch day!

I was a bit nervous about launching this year since it was the first time I'd be doing it all myself with the new trailer. The day before, I loaded the boat on the trailer and got everything ready to go, since we (Heidi and I) planned to leave at 0500 in the morning in order to take advantage of the high tide in Rockland, about 45-50 minutes away.

The morning of, we arrived at the Rockland public ramp just before 6 on a beautiful--though windy (NW) morning.  Since this was an offshore breeze, the waters at the ramp were calm, as expected, and fortunately everything went well with the launching and the trailer. Once the boat was floating and I'd done my habitual leak checks, I parked the rig in the parking area and we prepared to bring the boat over to Journey's End to step the mast, ostensibly for a 0930 appointment, though since we'd be there very early I hoped to get the mast up even sooner.

Around 0830, we got the mast stepped.  It went fairly well, though a couple members of the crew were pretty green young kids.  I ended up holding the butt of the mast in place in the step while the others struggled with some of the rigging attachments, particularly the headstay, since the boat (and mast) rocked frequently in the wakes.  This distracted my attention, and it wasn't until after the rigging was attached that I looked up and realized that the crane had crunched my jumper struts--or the port side one, anyway.

This was a mistake that could have been avoided, and even though Royal River, my yard from Yarmouth, had always hooked the crane up on the forward side of the mast--like Journey's End did this time--I knew that it was better if they hooked up on the aft side, to prevent clearance issues with the jumpers.  Still, as much as I care about my boat and am involved in all processes, when I hire a subcontractor to do something, I tend to remain fairly hands-off and let them do the job well--or not well--on their own.  I'm not one of those people to interject suggestions or comments continually, and tend to let others make their own mistakes, for better or worse--it's that whole personal responsibility thing that drives my life's value system.  When I hire someone, I just expect acceptable performance, and when they screw it up, it's their problem.  Sometimes you just can't tell other professionals how they should go about their work, so I let them go their own way--and suffer their own consequences later.

Right or wrong, this is how I approach this stuff.  In this case, I wish I'd thought more about it and said something, but since no one there seemed that concerned, despite the obvious and (always) annoying jumper struts in the way, I let it go, figuring they knew what they were doing.

In the event, I have to say that the yard handled the issue pretty well after the fact, and within short order they had damaged strut and were getting to work on building and painting a new one--I can't fault how they handled the problem once it had occurred, which gained them points.  By 1130, the strut had been replaced, with no lasting effects.  While I waited for them to build the new strut, I worked on other rigging tasks--putting on the boom and boom vang, installing the roller furling drum and dodger, and that sort of thing.

Once the strut was back in business, we left the dock at the marina and headed vaguely out.  We had hoped to get the boat up to her permanent mooring at Buck's Harbor, but despite the beauty of the day, the wind was just all wrong--20-30 knots, and far more northerly than we wanted for the planned course (i.e it would have been far too close to the nose).  Plus, the boat wasn't ready to sail; ultimately, it took me another couple hours at the rental mooring to get the sails and rigging set up properly.  So we planned to take the boat up within the next day or two, as weather allowed.

It really was a gorgeous day, all in all, and it was fun being on the boat.  I always feel better when she's all set up and cleaned up after the winter, so this was a good day to get her there.


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Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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