Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the modest Alberg inventory.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Christmas time, yet maintenance goes on.  Although I'd rather be sailing, I have a number of "fixes" to put on the Dory. 

A recent post shows the reapplication of varnish and work on the rub/toe rail.  Routine.  Also need to get a hardware fix for the genoa tracks.  Somehow the metal on metal, despite winch grease, is alarmingly difficult to manage underway.  The cars ought to move quickly and without much effort.  So that's on the work agenda.  But for now I've turned to the warm temps and clear skies to apply new deck paint.

Here is baby blue paint I'm replacing with Epiphanes light grey.  Light blue simply doesn't fit my sense of color scheme, so I decided to change to a light grey-

This photo does not reveal the tree debris which falls incessantly on the deck.  So every work-session begins with cleaning.  The pines and oaks give something every 90 days or so, whether it is leaves, or buds, leaves, small wings of pine seeds, pine needles, pollen, on and on it goes.  The discoloration in this cockpit is due partly to use, and partly to some scrubbing and scraping.  I figured to tighten up this design a bit, tape the perimeter, and may extend the coloration underneath the rudder cap.

The taping is critical to provide crisp lines.   


 Once taped, I used a small paint roller to apply the paint ( with its beads ) evenly.  This process was simple.  Here I'm showing myself painted into a corner but the process is evident.  This is a thick paint with sandpaper like abrasives to keep one from slipping when the cockpit gets wet.  So it's important to get the application even.  After so many years it's easy to see how from one owner to another, applications have varied. 

The most difficulty I had was keeping debris from dropping on the fresh grey.  Next photo reveals the completed paint now drying.  The recent varnish on the teak pops out with the grey contrast:

So, after participating in a yacht club work party all morning, I returned after lunch to pull the tape and see how the deck paint looked now:

I deliberately did the cockpit first so that I could get an idea of how the paint applies and what precautions I should take when doing the fore and aft decks next.  Once viewing the cockpit I will probably follow with most of the contour lines already in place on the next sections.  There is a bit of build-up on those locations so it's not worth the difficulty of trying to go against their years old pattern. 

In her prime, before I found her, she shows excellent upkeep, brilliant bright work and clean baby blue deck paint.  So as this photo reveals, The next areas to redo will be fore and aft decks. 

I'm using Epiphanes Varnish for my teak and deck paint.  I really don't have expertise in all the varieties of paints and varnishes.  However, after visiting the Newport Boat Shoe in September, and talking with the representatives from Epiphanes, I decided to stick with this one vendor for my needs.  If you want to check out their products you can hit this link for more.  Their customer service is very friendly and helpful.

As Christmas passes and the New Year rolls in, I anticipate more bright and sunny days and cold temps.  Time for some mechanical upgrading and tweaking before winter sailing in February!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On the hard, so it's time for some maintenance.  The bright sun of late Autumn and cool temps make for an easy working environment.  There are a lot of sailors who have smaller vessels and end up working out of the back of their car or truck.  With weather like this, I worked quickly to get varnish on her teak!

While winter in the northern hemisphere is harsh, further south, where BaggyWrinkles lives, the weather is almost delightful in the winter.  This provides time to get a few coats of varnish on her teak, plug some holes, and catch up on some maintenance.

I'm using Epiphanes matte finish varnish.  This Danish matte finish is perfect for the dory because it permits the wood color to stand out without the shiny affect you might expect on a newer vessel.  Sure, shiny is nice, yet the matte finish enables this older vessel to look her age without having to appear spotless in every respect, and she's got plenty of age spots!

One particularly sensitive area was on the starboard toe/rub rail.  Having not had the time last year to fix it before the sailing season, I had buttressed the rail with epoxy to stem any water seeping into the hull.  Here is one of the areas needing repair:
Same area on the outside where the toe rail
did not quite meet properly.
An expeditious repair from last year to stem leaking.

After removing the Genoa track and car, I have applied several coats of Epiphanes to the entire rail including special attention to this wounded area.  The previous owner had done a good job of repairing a 4 foot section which looked to have been broken somehow.  Any holes or seams not patched here will invite water below decks.  This is a critical point on the dory. 

Once the machinery was removed I was able to take some time and sand this area a bit more during a few sunny and warmish days.

I will add the updated photo of this rail after today, so come back to see how it turns out!  So, after a bit of shaping and sanding this is the rub rail rebuilt with epoxy.  Next step will be to fill the top part of the rail with some substance which can leech down into the first 2 screw holes from the genoa track.  The exterior now is somewhat more flush.  My intent was to not be too invasive.  The balance between cosmetic and practical is where I have settled.  Without ripping off the entire rail, stem to stern, this provides a working result:

In addition, I coated every piece of teak on the vessel twice to provide that little bit of annual protection and "keep up" with the elements' deterioration of the finish.  As long as I keep plodding along, I can avoid having all grey teak and using that expression, "it ages nicely," which it does not.  In my opinion.  If it is grey, it has not had its required maintenance.

These foam applicators work just fine.  A retouching is all that's needed on exposed parts.

This pic shows some aging, but the varnish protects the wood from further deterioration.

Once a couple of coats of varnish over two days are complete I remove the protective tape.  This is good to catch unwanted drops of varnish that sneak off the rub rail onto the hull.
This close-up of the tiller shows the lightly sanded previous varnish and the newly added varnish.

So the dory got a bit of a makeover and dried out under a late Autumn sun.  Temps were about 58 to 62 degrees with a light breeze.  While not enough water to launch, she's gotten a bit of protection on her teak.  Next on the agenda, some work on the mainsheet cam cleat and a couple of new portholes from Bristol Bronze!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So back to the water...wind and water, two essential ingredients for good sailing. 

And presently, the electric company who governs the ecosystem and the level of that system for my sailing waters has determined that it needs to permit the lake a bit of a breather.  Silt build-up around the lake perimeter has stifled the oxygen levels and made life perilous for certain fish species.  To help the fish and assist homeowners with a bit of clean up and dock repair around the lake, an 8 foot drawdown has finally been reached and will remain for about one month.

I figure that provides me about two months of time to effect some  repairs on the Dory before she can be safely splashed around 1 February. 

Of course the weather is changing, getting a bit more feisty as winter creeps up on this southern lake.  Good thing is the water isn't too cold, at least yet.  I discovered the water temperature twice in two weeks by accidently falling into the lake when I least expected.  The American Boating Course always reminds its students that personal floatation devices (PFDs) are meant to help save your life in the event you fall into the water in an unexpected situation. 

I had one of those unexpected situations during my recent volunteer opportunities to assist the race committee.  Operating single-handedly all day in delightfully sunny weather, I had anchored and reset the course tetrahedral markers and was given the "all clear" to wrap up and close down the course.  While pulling the marker buoy into the skiff, we began to jostle a bit and before I could blink twice, was overboard in a lake I am keen to admit has snakes in it and in which I never wish to find myself swimming or, as in this case, overboard without a specific reason.

The tetrahedral basking on my skiff waiting to surprise me and push me overboard!
Reflecting back, it was the cold water which got my attention first after falling in.  My second thought was that the tetrahedral had an attitude.  My third thought was that I was now all wet.  Now onto getting back aboard...and the engine was idling and drifting a bit in reverse so holding onto the skiff was rather important.  My fourth thought was how savvy I was to be wearing my PFD, just as I had been taught.  However I had to also admit I was rather stupid to be working solo now but that motivated me to haul myself over the gunwhale.  Wait a minute, one leg in the boat, but I'm wrapped around the bimini support.  Fifth thought, this is going to hurt.  Well, it wasn't graceful, but I made it into the boat and realized that I'd lost my nice sailing cap in the affair but fortunately my military glasses remained on my face and despite my lack of grace and bruised pride, I was ready to muscle that tetrahedral and show it who was boss now.  I pulled the air plug on it.

And my second adventure into the water came as I had returned to the Dory the morning after the "Race" in which I'd been summarily tortured by lack of winds.  Figuring I was a smart guy, I'd pull the Dory out the next day as cold temps and high winds and decreasing water levels made for a good time to do some work on the hard for a while.  PFD on, while negotiating the Dory with the compliant winds, and just passing the dock, the micro calculation of time, distance, movement and step did not meet the window for success.  And step led to splash, again, and I was bobbing in the cool water holding the line for the Dory realizing that now, timing, was again, everything. 

It's important to keep all the right stuff in the right places and to know one's limitations.  Yet also, to already know what to do in case things don't go the way one expects them to go.  PFD's are cool.

Friday, December 6, 2013

BaggyWrinkles is taking to the hard.  As the lake drawdown has finally reached its lowest point, launching her will not be possible.  And frankly, with the reduction of nearly seven feet of water depth, this  man-made lake of some 77 square miles and 500 miles of shoreline, has many shallow areas that are better avoided during this time.  Well, at least for sailors. 

The chart below is from the South Carolina Electric and Gas Company which administers the lake power and levels.  As I stated earlier, there are reasons for drawing the lake down and the results are dramatic.  The drawdown stabilized at about 350 feet:

And so this is what it looks like when the plug is pulled on the lake!  Power company says that by 1 January they will begin refilling our pond.  Yay