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, March 10, 2018

Work Schedules, Snakes and Boards

I have worked quite hard to establish a fulfilling routine as a retired guy.  A routine which involves more than texting from my phone, sitting expressionless in front of the flat screen, or going to movies everyday.  I'm back at work; I'm the employee and the boss!  Le Skeep!

Can't say that everyone would enjoy my routine, but it seems to suit me.  Plus, I don't have to worry about having a boss that asks me for "products" like powerpoint slides or inspection results, or training statistics, etc. etc. ad infinitum.  But I do have a quite demanding schedule to maintain as I continue to check off items on my to-do list on the Alberg 30.

You see, I'm not doing boat maintenance on a crisis basis, I'm trying to borrow some of my military discipline and training to actually attend to things on a schedule, inspect, verify, prepare to fix things, and also do as much sailing on Nautica as possible.  Some of my readers will understand this while others of you might think I'm out of my mind.  Yes, to the latter, I'll admit to some derangement if you will too!

Anyway, I have to commute to work too.  It takes me an hour to get to work even if it is only 30 miles by the crow's flight.  But there's no easy way to get there.  It's either go the back roads, which are not so well taken care of, or it's take the freeway, which is often filled with anxious, texting drivers, who are eating food and having conversations while they careen in and out of lanes with utterly no regard to others.   Either way I go takes an hour.  It's sometimes painful but I make the best of it.  Waze helps keep my mind on traffic while I often sort out my repair and maintenance agenda.  I use that time productively.  That's work isn't it?

On my way to the slip I often meet "Louise," a brown water snake who loves to snooze on the warm dock.  She used to scare the bejesus out of me until I realized I was scaring the scales off of her when I showed up stomping along with all my gear.  Now I try to be very quiet so as to not awaken her as she is warming up.  I even rubbed her tail on this encounter.  Her eyes are completely closed in this photo.

 As I've worked along, I've also developed a working Excel spreadsheet of my fixes with price estimates (I've already shown this on this blog) and this helps me get a concrete idea of my progress.  Plus, it's a good way to keep track of when an item was installed or fixed.  Like the PSS stainless steel propeller shaft...what in the world is that?  Check the spreadsheet.  It's not good enough to ask a skipper when the diesel was last serviced, you'll get a wandering answer accompanied by huffs and puffs to betray that you'd ought not question a person of such stature.  Nope, it's easier to check the spreadsheet.  It's in the book, as they say...

Lately, I've been targeting my hatch boards.  I've been using my temporary hatch boards made of smoked acrylic and have been quite pleased with them except that they're not secure (in a thieving sense) and they're not quite high enough to block some rain from jumping onto the steps inside.  So, more wood, more work, seeking to produce a gawrunteed (said with emphasis) solution to keep inquiring visitors and wasps out of below decks.  The acrylic boards make the hatchway appear black in this photo:




I decided to be consistent with the cockpit design of wood tones and have used the same boards as I used for the lazarettes.  The lazarettes, by the way have been noticeably sturdy and trouble-free since their fitment, doing a great job of looking good, being sturdy and dry in the face of adverse elements.  It remains to be seen if they will stand up to the harsh demands of a furiously hot summer--that is to come.  I'd put money it though.


I suppose on these older boats it is a matter of trade-offs for those of us who are not artisans of the caliber who have the skills and resources to produce period replicas of our boat design.  For me, I figured a near fix is a good fix and these lazarettes are a suitable trade-off for me.  I think the UV gloss resin (I used this on many surfboards I built back years ago) should hold up.  I can always sand and recoat if necessary.

 So the hatch is not a perfectly designed opening either.  It is canted a bit this way and that and the fitment need not be furniture quality operation and finish. It needs to be useful. After all, how many times do we sit around and say,  "Oh my, what beautiful hatch boards you have!"

I've got an outdoor bag coming by slow camel from West Marine for the sheets piled around the winch.  Need to protect these as much as possible.
So after initial cutting the fitment of the hatchboards and was quite good, at least for my echelon of word-working skills.  It's not easy to chamfer edges in my garage with a handheld power saw, but I managed to do so without seriously wounding myself.  I again used the gloss resin in several coats to provide a thick protective barrier for the boards. This was not for the hurry-up sailor.  This takes time to apply and to dry, to sand between some coats, and so on and so on.  A good project to have on the side while working another.

This wood is available at Lowe's in my area, and makes for a nice appearance and a rather flat board for a hatch.

They're only hatch-boards and their purpose is to fend off the elements and deter the bad guys from easy theft.  I will retain my flimsier acrylic boards as they are a great temporary defense against the elements especially when you want air draft but visibility.  While finishing with the boards with a smooth thin coat of Epiphanes UV resistant varnish I awaited a small but critical item in the mail, this latch-pull, a non key lock design.  Once I determine my inside has lots of high dollar stuff, I'll swap this one out for a key lock.

The problem of critters and insects and rain are the biggest annoyance at this point.  So this will slow down intruders of the human kind and deter the mud-dobbers that like to put their sleeping beauties in the most hard to get to places inside.  They manage to find the slightest opportunity to ingress the boat.  I must look to cover my cowl vents on deck to deter them as well--thinking hair nets from the Dollar Store!

The design worked nearly although my brain failed me on the final install of the latch-pull.  I knew the macrame pull was not centered and dutifully accepted it as centered when I put the board down for drilling out the 2 inch hole for the pull.  Brilliant.  Once again, it would be nice to have 2 or 3 brains when sorting things out as this sort of quality control is not my forte.  Oh well, they're only hatch boards right?

Yes, it is not in the middle.  Of course not.  It has become a conversation piece.  Perhaps one day with little to do I will grab another one of these rather inexpensive boards and refabricate that top board and put the pull in the center of the board; where it belongs!


What remains is to clean up the fascia of the top hatch and install something appropriate there in either wood or perhaps plastic, to inhibit rain seepage and provide a bit of a finger ledge for pulling the top-to for closing.  

Next, I turn around and face another victim of time and my ownership, the mainsheet track, cars, and blocks....  The cockpit is full of items to repair and this track replacement will give the old gal a new perspective on sheet control!