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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Thursday, April 30, 2015

It might not be a big deal to some, but to me, choosing the color on this hull is a big decision.  

After all, you might argue, it really doesn't get seen very much.   And this is true, it's a bottom paint.  I'm not going to touch the freeboard area.  I'm satisfied enough with the paint on it for the time being.  Perhaps later I'll do that and perhaps not.  Why mess with something that is working just fine.  But the hull underneath the boat is worth doing now because it is in transition.

So, what color?  Any suggestions?  If I leave the freeboard white, then there is a grey boot stripe, what should the bottom be?  Glad to take recommendations.  Keep in mind that the boot stripe is already selected, grey, so the color of the bottom may be dark and could also be darkish tan?  Tan might contrast well with the teak on the deck and rub-rails. 

While you're thinking, consider the palette of the mono-urethane colors from Epifanes at this link: .  The colors are listed by type of paint, thus, mono-urethane colors are my choices.  I used Epifanes matte finish for my teak refinishing two years back, and I've been quite happy with its durability and look.  I also like the personal service of the company.  Nobody is too small to get great customer service.  Take a look:

I'm going to ask you to comment but also ask someone who is an artist and also owns a Cape Dory sailboat, albeit larger than mine.  She is an artist and entrepreneur and her products are quite interesting, Belinda del Pesco: .  With nearly 3 million hits, she is quite an accomplished individual.  Maybe she'll have an idea for me too! 

So, a little like Winnie the Pooh, I'm scratching my head about this contrasting paint dilemma hoping that as I proceed, things may get clearer to me.  What to do? 

Feel free to write and tell me your color selections!

Monday, April 27, 2015

How'd he do that? 

This idea was not mine, but a fellow club member who had "engineered" the idea of tree supports for his 30 footer.  I was impressed and thought it would certainly work for the cape dory.

1.  Find a couple of sturdy nearby trees for the task and tie off some leftover halyards which don't stretch under pressure.

2.  In my case, since the dory is smaller than my friend's yacht, run the line to your winch, wrap well, and crank a bit to increase tension, then tie-off on a secure cleat.  This is your main support so do it right, taut but not overly tight.  The boat is balancing and you're pulling on both sides of the boat to keep it balanced.

3.  And just in case, I added some mental assurance in always working with one bunk up while sanding and applying pressure to the hull from the opposite side.  During painting I will push both down and emplace two wooden supports (where ladder is in the photo) on either side under the rub-rail to keep her from favoring a lean in either direction.  I'm probably more nervous than I am smart, but these halyards probably can handle the dory just fine!

Doesn't look like much drama from this perspective does it?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Well, after a week of monsoon rain, the southern US finally began to dry out.  This rain also interfered with my bottom paint removal and got me off-schedule, as much off-schedule a retiree can be I guess...

With brilliant sun and cool morning temperatures, I made my pilgrimage to the Yacht Club where Baggy Wrinkles sat silently under her fabulous cover, waiting for her hull to be sanded clean.

It's not an easy process without a boat lift and a dedicated work space.  Feeling a bit like an indigenous and resourceful islander, I had to make-do with the situation, tying off to nearby trees in order to lower the bunks and finish off the task.  With no small amount of trepidation I paused for some "thinking time" as I sat looking at this new "wing on wing" design to hold the dory in place.  "I'm no engineer, I'm a humanities guy," I mused to myself, munching a Cliff Bar.  I'm trying to keep the calories low too, like all of us.

So, then I tried once again to push the port bunks down.  They resisted a bit, resistance I perceived as weight on the mid section of the bunks?  Could it be?  Would Baggy Wrinkles teeter and fall on the trailer with galvanized spears of metal angling upward to tear open her 40 year old fiberglass?  Whew, I hoped I had thought this through...

To my surprise and delight, some cajoling managed to budge the supports loose and the port bunk dropped to the ground, leaving me the best part of about a foot of space in which to remove the remaining ablative paint.

Really, the task is hard enough without having to worry about the dory flopping over on the trailer!  An aluminum ladder supports her at the rub-rail however more symbolic than necessary.  I felt better with it myself!

Once done,  I realized it had been a good 4 hours of work just for these two bunk areas.  In total, I'm not calculating hours, but days.

Along with this stage, I'm in conversation with Epiphanes about the best possible type and color of bottom paint.  More to come...


Saturday, April 11, 2015

The arduous task has begun.

This past week has been multiple days of sanding the hull on Baggy Wrinkles.  Fortunately, the hull has revealed only two coats of paint--I think rather unusual for a vessel that is over 40 years old.  On my fellow Ty blogger's page, Kraken, his hull task was very much more arduous than mine.  And I'd figured I would encounter the same layer after layer of paint but discovered a straight-forward job.  The only tough part has been physically hanging-in there for the duration!

So I devoted myself to the task of etching away every day at the hull, relentlessly, in order to make my progress over whatever amount of time necessary to do the job.  I set my expectations low.  After all, I've done quite a bit of fiberglass work making surfboards and in car repair, and this is a version of that same genre, to be philosophical about it.

The hard thing is being patient with the sander.  After hand washing and scrubbing the ablative paint with the green scratchy pad, I used my Dewalt square hand sander and 60 grit to slowly etch away at the rest of the ablative.  I also attached my wet/dry vacuum so that the dust would be captured in the vac rather than in my lungs.

After this week of sanding, she is looking like she might be ready for a barrier coat soon:
And as I have noted, the barrier coat was applied by a paintbrush, thus making its removal an uncertain task.  Not that it must be removed mind you, but that once the red ablative is off, attention to smoothing the surface is critical for the application of the next paint.

This view from the bow, provides a good look at the natural lines of the Typhoon hull, swooping down to the lead keel.  One can also see the need for a proper alignment of the boot stripe which will come later, after the hull paint is applied.  The previous version washed off in the power-wash years ago.  The new boot stripe I have determined will be wider.  

For the time being however, I am not thinking about painting, only sanding.  There is more to be done yet:

The view from the stern.  Yup, there's just a bit more to be done yet.  Plus, there is some rudder work to be done to help sustain the original design.  Although the rudder feels fine in movement and its integrity, a bit of fiberglass will encourage it for another generation.

The bit of separation here extends half way on the rudder.  Original fabrication designed the rudder to be held by fiberglass strips.  Somewhere they have been filed away, perhaps by sandpaper or by use.  No matter, a thin, yet strong, fiber can be glassed into position now insuring this original craftsmanship will proceed for many years to come.
So the hull story continues...

So, now some tedious hull work.  Having moved the dory to our club's work yard for a few weeks of work to remove the ablative hull paint and replace it with a harder vinyl paint which should also enable the dory to slip through the water with a little bit more ease.

I'd already power washed the hull when I took ownership of the boat, scraping all sorts of salt water vegetation and creatures from the hull.  I chronicled that episode early-on in this story.  Now, I am taking the ablative paint off.  Ablative paints resist attachment by growth, algae and barnacles.  I don't need an ablative paint since I'm a "dry sailor," using a trailer to store my little yacht.  It suits me for the present.  Plus, the lake water is not aggressive like the salt water.  So, a slicker, harder surface, is the goal.

The ablative removes in a frothy swirl of thick finger paint that is impossible to avoid.  I wore some old clothes I knew I would be able to ditch into the wash afterwards.  You can see the photos here which reveal the effects of the hose, and then the green scrub pad and a sanding block. 

Beautiful bronze scupper drain
The water does little than moisten the surface.  A power wash might do a bit more.  My plan is to start with the most obvious remedy, a scrub pad, to remove the powdered surface paint.  I'll start with this port side and work my way to starboard.   By this method, I will be able to begin sanding the port side while wet sanding the starboard side.  

I noticed in the barrier coat that some previous individual had used a regular paint brush to apply the barrier coat.  You can see in the second photo of the thru-hull scupper drain, the criss-cross of lines in the barrier.  I'm sure this will make my sanding effort a requirement rather than an easy buff for the hull.  It must have been done with the attitude that the Cape Dory is not a fast boat anyway, so what does it matter?  But I think attention to detail in finishing should be a standard for this little yacht.  I'll try to remedy the criss-cross if I can with 60 and 80 grit sandpaper.

The laborious beginning was the scrubbing and scraping.  The ablative is willing to let go but some remains adhered to the barrier coat which will later face my orbital sander.  The ablative turns into a thickening mush after scraping and makes constant flushing with water essential.  This certainly beats using the sander first which would stir up a cloud of red dust.  This way I can remove the bulk of the loose paint and concentrate on the residual paint later, smoothing the criss-cross brush strokes if at all possible.

Once the work is complete, the hull reveals a patchwork of red and grey areas without much powder at all.  Having gotten myself thoroughly coated with red ablative paint, I had to hose myself off after the work session. 

Next application for the port side will be an orbital sander with a vacuum attached so that the dust doesn't become a respiratory issue.
Here she sits after about 3 hours of work.  I'm not sure I'd have had the energy to do this just after purchasing the dory.  But it is a good feeling to discover what's underneath the paint.  Plus, once I've gone over the entire hull, I'll have a better appreciation of what it takes to do the hull.  And I won't want to do it soon thereafter!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday Post

Temps are rising has changed.  More folks are entering the boat yard at the club and shaking covers, kicking trailer tires, and getting acclimated to a sailing season ahead.  

Lake water will soon follow as our high temperatures hit the high 70s in the South.  Our club has begun its series of races for the dingy fleet of Scows and Scotts and its traditional cruising fleet.  Everyone is excited to get back on the water. 
Struck a line just under the rub-rail and place new lettering, a bit smaller in size than the first ones.  Got my bright orange Registration sticker.  Ok legal now.  Again.  By the way, the chain in the photo is run across the bow plate and hooks onto the trailer hook holding the dory to the bow roller while on the trailer.  There is not bow hook on these boats.  I remove the chain for sailing of course.
Well, having been on the water all winter, I don't look forward to the noise of the speed-boats and a few of the annoying cigarette boats whose owners know only one speed.  Winter has been a great time of sailing for Baggy Wrinkles.  As our Spring now warms up, it is time to focus on a bit of hull work.

As some of my fair-weather mariners return to their boat duties, I'll take advantage of good temps to de-mast and get to work on Baggy Wrinkles hull in order to put on a vinyl bottom paint and then a proper boot stripe.  

South Carolina has an incredible pollen bloom this time of year during which everything turns celery green.  I am so glad I've got Baggy Wrinkles covered.  For my Dory friends up in the cold north, the problem is snow all winter.  For us down here it is a good 4 weeks of pine pollen and all other trees.  

This baby is covered!  No pollen inside on the deck at all!  I wonder if my neighbor will want a cover next?

But as you can see above, the Dory is covered.  Next project will be the hull, sanding and applying a vinyl paint.  I'll begin the sanding project after this Easter weekend or so....will have to check with the Weather Channel to make sure the pollen subsides!