Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chainplates-Part 2 (finally!)

So after about a month and a half of waiting and fretting, we finally got our chainplates! Yay, they fit, it's a miracle.  The machine shop in NY did an excellent job and they ended up being cheaper than the place down here in St. Augustine (including shipping), which was a real bonus.  To anyone who is reading this and ever need to get anything custom made in metal, ship it up to Dutchess Metal Supply  ( in Poughkeepsie, NY.  They are really accurate, great with communication, and competitively price.  I know I sound like a spokesperson for them, I'm just so damn grateful that they fit. While I'm giving shout outs, I'd also like to commend our polisher who also did an outstanding job.  We had asked for a mirror finish, and he spent hours getting them just that way.  They came out better than we had expected, and his price was more than reasonable.  The place is called Beaches Brass Polishing, located in Jacksonville.

They fit!

So Shiny!

We also got our staysail stay back from JSI, that also came out as perfect as we had hoped, and we're going to finally fit it tomorrow onto our spanking new chainplates.  From there, we're going to move on to the lower shrouds and chainplates and send them in.  Frank is thinking of making a fake chainplate so that we can take off 2 chainplates at a time.   One side will be mocked up with the fake chainplate (made out of bar stock) and a lower shroud, and the other side will be a halyard jury rigged in place of the other lower shroud and tying that up to a scrupper.  7 more chainplates to go...bright side being that at least the ball is finally rolling on this project.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th

We spent today watching fireworks from Martin's Hunter 41.  Let me first start by  explaining with a little back story of who Martin is.  Martin is someone we had crewed with on a Swan 48 last year, coming back from Bermuda to NY.  It was a very eventful 5 days as we had experienced everything from a gale in 40 kts, to flat calm, to watching Martin seriously injure himself while grabbing something from a snack cabinet during rough weather, breaking his collarbone.  Long story short, we hadn't seen him or contacted him since sometime last fall...he lives and works in Altanta, GA so it is quite odd and serendipitous that we bump into him here in St. Augustine. Coincidentally, our trip from Bermuda was exactly this time last year, falling in the first week of July, and Frank, of course, bumps into him at the West Marine here in town.  Once again, Poseidon has quite a sense of humor, twisting fate so that us sailors were reunited at the same exact time this year.  Anyhow, Martin just bought a sail share in Camanchee Cove (a 10 minute drive from us) and was shopping around for harnesses for his guests when he bumped into Frank.  Frank had recognized him from behind and the sound of his voice, and shared a good laugh about the strange coincidence.   Today, he invited us to join him on his boat to watch the fireworks display.  It was lovely and we couldn't have asked for a better 4th of July.    

Martin on the left

Favorite photo...
Port and Starboard fireworks :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011


We pulled up the Plasteak that was on our decks this week. It was a job that we were both looking forward to and dreading as the glue on the Plasteak was seriously failing, and we wanted to know what was going on with the decks underneath.  To our surprise, we discovered that we don't have core in our decks.  Yeah, I repeat, no core.  Frank had spent the week drilling out the failed epoxied screw holes (left over from the original teak decking) and re-epoxying them with West System 105 mixed with some 404 filler.   In the process of drilling, he discovered that we have core only in a small section of our bow and on our cabin tops.

A drilled piece of our deck, notice it's solid fiberglass...

No core!

Had to redrill hundreds of holes and refill with West Systems epoxy
This was great news as we were anticipating having to address wet core issues, and having to possibly cut up our decks and replace rotten core.  So now, we no longer have to worry about that.  Though we may still need to cut up some of the core on our cabin tops, at least, we don't have to slice up our decks.  

Bye bye Plasteak.  Good Riddance.
With that being said, let's not forget the Rule of Three's here.  With every morsel of good news, the rule of three's counters it with a mouthful of bad news.  The fiberglass on our decks is wet, not wet core, but saturated fiberglass.  This, we suspect, is due to the original teak holding moisture against the deck for 25 years, and then the Plasteak holding more moisture for 5 more years.  While this is not a structural issue, it is still rather inconvenient as it will prevent us from painting and sealing the decks until it's been dried.  We also think that that was why the Plasteak had failed, because the previous owner had put the stuff on before allowing the decks to dry out, thus preventing the glue from adhering.  So now, we're thinking we may have to strip the gel coat, sew a boat cover, and let it sit for a few months (covering it on rainy days) so that it can thoroughly dry out for the barrier coat.  After that goes on, we're going to fair it, seal it with a primer, paint it, and non skid it.  All with some extra fun sanding in between each coat and process.  Can't wait for this as it's really going to change the look of the boat.

Looks so different already