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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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Another Blistering Hot Week

It's not easy to work in direct sunlight in this southern climate this year.  Temperatures have been pushing the 100s for weeks now and only in the past week have we begun to see some climate shifts as clouds have begun to provide some respite to those of us who are laboring away at a renovation on a classic yacht.

I sat in the local tire shop waiting on my truck tire rotation and fiddled with my sketchpad/notebook in which I keep my daily activities during this renovation period.  There are so many items calling for attention I began to "mind map" the situation aboard the Berg while waiting for my tires to be rotated.  They've been great tires, already 40k miles and only half the tread is used, I think they'll take me quite a bit further.  The commute to the yacht club alone will rack up some mileage as there's no easy way to get there but going backwards to go forwards.  So I mused and scratched at my design, noting everything that seemed to be calling for my attention...
It's a method.  Conceptualize the project's various urgencies, then prioritize according to splash date.  Some things must be done, others can wait.  Yet with the heat, some things must be delayed, like varnishing in the hot sun is not advisable, and working the deck under direct sunlight in this increased summer heat can be exhausting.  Nonetheless, there is a project, many items raise their hands for assistance, but only certain ones warant a fix right now. 

Meanwhile, beyond the items I listed, I dreaded the blistering heat that was awaiting me this past week.  Sort of playing catch and mouse with the sun and trees in the work yard, I would work until I was thoroughly drenched from sweat, drink water to hydrate often, and yet pushed on racking up an average of about 8 hours a day on the project.  I include my commute in that figure, one hour to and one hour from.  Plus, I include my resupply visits at West Marine, which usually occur after a days work, in order to prep me for the next day.  

I think I've begun to get a pace now after 3 weeks.  I dodge the sunlight as best I can and carry a cooler filled with drinks to hydrate.  But the process is also quite mentally demanding, to focus on priorities and not give in to pet-peaves aboard.  I let stuff lie about like the life-lines and stanchions which I dumped in the salon and left there or the sails in the v-berth area, or the head area which I've not touched.  It is a priority driven approach but I really would like to clean things up a bit.  

And I await my appointment with the diesel mechanic, assured that I would be included at about this time, I think I'll do something to clean up the hodgepod of assorted scrap and tools which lie about in the galley.  I would not want the mechanic to think I'm a careless vagabond with whom one could overlook small but important items to fix on the diesel.  And I did see a couple of rusted bolts I would like to pull out and replace!
This is where it began to collect and spread across the salon, with bits and bolts, tools and tubes, this and that, all awaiting some sort of triage and re-engagement to the bulkhead. 
So, at the end of week 3, I've managed to reset a leaky life-line stanchion, dry out a leaky area portside in the salon and clean and re-attach both cabinet hinges and screws, and coat with their first drink of teak oil.  I also grabbed the sole in the v-berth and in between other things, revarnished it to see the difference I'll have once done with all of the teak sole.  
Makes a difference to keep up with things doesn't it?

I've re-put hatch trim pieces, coated with 7 coats of Epifanes varnish, now a matte finish, and have finished also the coamings which will be attached to the cockpit area on a cool day.  I've also fabricated replacement pieces for the port quarter area and painted with some white Brightsides in the area to brighten the cabinet interior and the bulkhead/instrument area.  Awating me is to sand, prep and paint the salon in Brightsides white to liven up the joint.  In addition I've procured some acrylic 3/8ths tinted plexiglass in order to reput the crazed portlights aboard (however, I know this can wait and be done in the slip, so have pushed back on installation).  I've repaired the stern taff-rail corner, and scraped and sanded the entire cap rail on the vessel and begun just yesterday with the initial burst of thinned Epifanes gloss which serves to seal the teak. 

One of the consuming and urgent tasks was to scrape the cap rail, sand and prep for its varnish sequence.  Using the heat-gun was great but afterwards sanding with 80 grit was necessary to pull the surface back to receive its treatment.  The first photo here is a close up of what the entire cap rail looked like before work and the second, a close up of it ready to receive its successive coats of varnish:
Yes, it was greyed in many areas, varnish had been carelessly applied without protecting the hull with various places chipped and broken.  A thankless and tedious task in the heat to revive but I knew it had to be done.

This looks clean as a whisper now that the ages of peeling varnish has been removed.  Notice the varnish still somewhat caked onto the genoa track.  It was inside the track and I had to use a narrow flathead screwdriver to reach inside and force it off the aluminum track.
Along with that scraping I had the messy task of extracting spongy silicone which had been shoved in-between the cap-rail and the hull to perhaps attempt to prevent water from entering the joint between deck and hull.  I don't think that is a great idea due to the fact that silicone products also can retain moisture.  A sailboat's hull and deck joint is a fortified junction and unlikely to be so easily compromised.  Besides, there is a bilge pump right?  The stringy silicone has left its presence under and around the cap rail, something nearly impossible to remove but by specific removal one by one.  It will take some time.  

This joint was seeking attention so I pulled the culprit out of its hiding place and will re-put with epoxy.

Awaiting the shade of the afternoon, I taped off the cap-rail and began with a 50 percent thinned gloss Epifanes mixture to seal the cap.  I used a sponge brush and lightly coated all around the vessel killing my knees in the process.  Once done I knew that this would be a week long process, every day, retreating, gradually building the varnish base before the last two coats of matte are applied.

These foamies are just fine for these stages of varnish.  Will use my special Badger Hair brush when we get to the matte finish coats, a week from now.
After a first sealing application of Epifanes gloss thinned 50%.  Upon this will be put increased thicknesses of the gloss until we reach about 6 coats and then will change to the Epifanes Matte finish which permits wood grain to be visible but reduces the impact of imperfections in finish look.  Not being a professional or having the skills or the environment to do this in a top-notch fashion, this is as good as it gets!

 It also begins a 7 day process of application, not an easy task either as it has to be one of careful coatings, no drips, no slop.  And I've cleaned the genoa track of globs of old varnish which blocked the cars from moving, and reput the hatch cover, stripped and oiled the handrails on the cabin above and its associated railing on the inside of the salon below.  No need for varnish on either, just oil, teak oil for the exterior and some old Danish oil for the interior wood which is not teak.

Late afternoon in the shade finally, the gloss seals the teak.  A nice start to its rehab.