Wednesday, 13 May 2015

It's THAT day!!!

     "Oh, I've been missing you, and the way you make me feel inside...."
                                                                 -Gregory Abbott

    Finally, SWMBO and I can stop looking homeless.

    Winter here in Southern Ontario is a time of slumber for our vessels, stored on the hard, and, for sailors, a season of  dirt-stranded planning , forethought, and inevitable procrastination...

....  which means all the jobs that SHOULD have gotten done during the depths of winter get compressed into a frenzied fortnight of forced labour leading up to splash day....

... which means every spare minute is spent in the Bridge Yachts boatyard, punching through all the planned punchlist projects that were  pushed off by the punishing winter...

.... which means that one is always travelling with a vehicle packed full of tools, work clothes, paint, epoxy, generator, ladders, wood...

... leading uninitiated onlookers to wonder if we are indeed living in our Ford.

  As usual, we fell prey to mission creep.

We knew we wanted to remove the carbuncle, a dead depth through-hull transducer installed ahead of the keel:

   Which we did.  Beveled, backed, filled, and faired...

  While slathering on eleventy-seven coats of Interprotect 2000, we realized that this would be a good time to repaint the blue boot stripe, which clashed with the bottom paint, and if we're going to do that, we might as well removed the worn cove stripe...

... which we did, and then realized that, without a cove stripe, NextBoat's already generous freeboard looks beyond generous- it looked like Liberal spending in the 905 prior to an election.

...So clearly a new cove stripe was in order in addition to the boot stripe:

Since we're changing colours, red bottom paint is out, black bottom paint is in...

  with the stripes and the bottom looking good, it behooves us to clean and wax and buff the hull and make it all shiny.  Which we did.  Leaving us to finish installing the head, hoses, pumps, tank, new hose clamps on cooling hoses, and a list of more unsexy nobody-will-ever-see it stuff the night before we splash.

   We got it done, and NextBoat is now hullwet.

   NextBoat is also no longer NextBoat.


  Now.  Please meet Karma:

The weather was nothing but cooperative in the weeks leading up to launch.  The last two weeks have been dry, sunny  and warm, culminating with HOT weather during the last few days before Karma  was launched...

....which ended the moment she began her transit from the yard to the Dock.

     (Frank and Lorraine were on hand to watch and take pictures)

By the time Karma  and I passed under the lift bridge, the clouds had rolled in, and long sleeves had been donned.  We figured we'd get the boom hung and sails bent on at the Dock, rather than waiting another half hour for the next bridge opening.
   (Okay, she ain't pretty, but she's purposeful)
  It was a prudent move.
    By the time we had cleared the river mouth and made the turn to port to the marina cut, the temperature had dropped and the wind had picked up.

     After tying her up safe in our slip, we realized rigging could wait.

  Within minutes the winds picked up, the temp plummeted and we were deluged.

   It hasn't warmed up since.

   No matter. We're back in the water, where we belong.

   We're home.

Thanks for taking the time to read the D6C.  If you liked what you read, please Talk the Dock! Spread the word.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Head Games

     " 'til I can't take it anymore, no more...."

   *This post contains harsh realities of  boat life.  Reader discretion is advised.*

    Have I mentioned how much winter sucks?

    If so, too bad.  I'm gonna reiterate:

    Winter sucks.

   This winter was like a bad party guest- it came late, stuck around, and wasn't much fun.

   How hard was this winter?

  Lemme tell you a story:

  Back in November of 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm on Lake Superior.  The  last ship to have visual and radio contact with the freighter was another freighter, the Arthur M. Anderson, which survived the same storm unscathed.  

  That's one tough boat.

   February 2015, the Arthur M. Anderson, the Chuck Norris of lakeboats, is stuck, trapped by Lake Erie ice just off Conneaut, Ohio.

                                                                                                     -image courtesy of

  The ice of February did what the gales of November couldn't:  Forced the Arthur M. Anderson to accept Coast Guard assistance.

                                                                                                            - image courtesy of

  Yeah, THAT hard.

   The only, very limited, upside to this winter was the extended period of solidly sub-freezing temperature.

   Emphasis on the word "solid'.

   Perfect for one particular boat job.

   One Sunday afternoon, Elly the Crazy Boatdawg™  and I dealt with our cabin fever by making a run to the boatyard, and while one of us ran around the boatyard...

The other one of us able to climb a ladder did so, and then dug a path through the cockpit and uncovered the companionway...

  To clamber below and begin to deal with one part of the boat that SWMBO and I both agreed needed improvement with a quickness...

...The head.


     The head was NextBoat's one minor, mild disappointment. The height was uncomfortable and  it was poorly located in the space leaving a user feeling, er...


     That was fixable, but the bigger practical issues weren't- the integrated holding tank didn't hold much, and, not to put too fine a point on it, when aforementioned holding tank was close to full, (often, because of it's limited size), the holding tank tended to be less-than-diligent about the "holding" part when the boat heeled past 15 degrees.

     Yeah, the head leaked when the boat heeled.  


    So, with everydamnthing between here and the state of Georgia frozen solid, the time was right to remove the offending fixture, and plot and plan its replacement.  Yeah, in theory,  the head should be empty, but Murphy's Law of Marine Plumbing Disruption states that no head is completely empty.  the only safe head is a frozen solid head, I figure.  


10 minutes of quick hose hacking and yanking, and a heave over the side....

   During, removed from, and stowed beneath, NextBoat.... 

      I acquired a larger holding tank from Jack's Used Boat Part Emporium and cleaned up the head reclaimed from DonorBoat, and a few days ago  SWMBO and I loaded in the new/old head, and eyeballed the layout:


  Yeah, we think this will work.

  The old vinyl flooring and carpet has to come out, a new floor has to go in, a seacock needs to be installed, the holding tank needs to be fitted...

   But the worst is done.

- Thanks for stopping by, and please remember to "Talk the Dock!"

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Low-Buck Arts & Crafts at Stately Jones Manor

      "In the meadow, we can build a snowman..."
                                              -Felix Bernard

    ......  or not.

      As I write this, the temperature outside has nosedived to around -23 celsius.

      I am not nearly masochistic enough to calculate the windchill.

      If one is a skier, skater, ice fisherman, snowmobiler, snowboarder or snowshoer, one might enjoy freely frolicking in this frozen frontier.
      I, however, am none of the above.

      I am a sailor.

     And I am NOT going outside into this fucking frozen freakshow unless I absolutely have to.

      Luckily, I have a punchlist of off-season boat work to keep me occupied  until the lake ceases to be a solid mass entirely, and utterly, incapable of floating a boat.

     Doing something with our wobbly and plain saloon table was near the top of the "Boat projects that can be accomplished from the comfort of SJM" list.

     I've got some ideas for this project, boldly going where I had never gone before, but first: a warm-up project, an  aft cabin amuse-bouche if you will:

     Fixing the TV wall.

      The previous owners installed a small flat screen TV- its removal prior to sale has left an ugly blight in an otherwise very pleasant  aft cabin.

     SWMBO and I ruminated over this disfigurement throughout the season, and finally came up with an idea:

     A piece of scrap luan, some wood glue, and a cheap spreader to quickly, evenly and economically spread the adhesive....

      Then, trim a chart to size...

      Apply the chart to the very sticky board....

   Slather more glue on top, recalling skills vaguely remembered from elementary school art class decoupage projects.  While waiting for all that glue to dry, construct a frame from scrap mahogany trim...

Assemble  and varnish......

 ...and install (right side up) when the weather warms up.

  Right, so, feeling cocky, I got back to that saloon table....

     My initial thought was that we needed a larger table that would tie into the stripper pole, er, compression post. Upon further measuring and headscratching I realized that bigger is not better in this case.  Enlarging the table would make our current expansive and inviting recroom feel like  a cramped and cluttered cell, with a table that would be difficult to move around  and would prevent the locker door under the stove from opening fully.

So, the table can get no bigger.
It does, however need to be more stable, so I lengthened the collar underneath, that fits over the post.  Now, no wobble.

But, there is a crapload of winter left, and it is a rather plain table, so I might as well try to figure out marquetry.

     Marquetry, as defined by the OED: "Inlaid work made from small pieces of coloured wood or other materials, used for the decoration of furniture."

     So, a supply run to Lee Valley Tools  was in order.  I needed glue, veneer.... that was pretty much it.

     I still managed to spend damn near $200.

     It's that kind of store.

     I bought a "box of veneer" which was exactly as described- a pizza box full of very thin sheets of a variety of different woods:

Like, 80-100 square feet of the stuff.

The table in question is about 3 square feet.

I quickly cobbled together a low-buck veneer cutting jig- a piece of scrap ply for a bed, some aluminum angle and scraps of luan trimmed to create 90 degree, 45 degree and 22.5 degree guides to simplify the math...


 ... and discovered the tricks to cutting very thin, very brittle pieces of wood...  after destroying a bunch of very thin, very brittle pieces of wood.

Luckily, I had a lot of it.

After marking the center on the table, and the half way polints on all four sides, I laid out a simple geometric design, and proceeded to cut and tape and glue and clamp and swear my way to an end result;


       It still needs some sanding and a few more coats of varnish, but I'm not completely embarassed by the end result.

    And I still have a crapload of veneer left over.

   And a crapload of winter.

   I rummaged through the scrap pile and did some sketching and came up with a plan for a simple cockpit table.  A little ply, some reclaimed teak trim from DonorBoat, and the basics are done:



   the rough work is done, now it's just a matter of mortising and installing the hinges, final sanding, and finishing.  I'm saving that until next weekend.

   It looks like there's still lots of winter left.

Thanks for checking in, and don't forget to "Talk the Dock!"