Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Narrow Escape" on Jan. 27, 2008

It has been eight months since the first sail after the refinish project concluded and this is what the boat looks like today. A week of rains have washed it nicely, with no leaks inside. The Brightside polyurethane paint retains its gloss, but a coat of polish will add to the luster when I have time. I continue to receive compliments from passers-by.

Let me explain a few details. The windows are original and they are glass, not plastic. The aluminum frames are in good shape. An interior frame, which is screwed into an inside lip of the exterior frame, secures the windows to the cabin. They are sealed with a ribbon of butyl caulk that comes pre-formed and rolled into a coil with a layer of paper preventing the caulk from sticking to itself. Removal and reinstallation was relatively easy.

None of the port lights open. When I bought the boat, the window in the head compartment had a sliding glass pane, which leaked. For a long time I sealed it shut with silicone sealant. But eventually I went to a Kelly's used marine supply store in San Pedro and bought a single pane replacement unit in good condition for $15. Problem solved.

Also notice the aluminum angle pieces fastened to the front corners of the forward hatch at the top of the photo. Before I did that, the genoa sheets frequently caught beneath a corner when tacking.

In the upper photos, you'll notice that the three main cabin windows appear to be frosted. That is my ultra-simple privacy curtain system. It is merely translucent window film that I bought at the hardware store.

I cut it to fit and secure it by wiping the glass with soapy water and pressing the glossy side of the film against the glass. They come off in an instant when I'm going out for a sail, by hooking a fingernail under the film and peeling it off. I stack the six films atop each other and roll them up and slip them into a wide-mouth cylindrical plastic container.

After I refinished the deck, it was time to replace the original mainsheet traveler, which was awkward to use. It was simply a strip of stainless steel track fastened down over a narrower strip of teak batten. A bronze car, with no bearings, slid along the track. There was a stop clamp with knurled screw on each side of the track to position the car by sliding the car and the clamps to the desired position and screwing down the clamps.

I removed that contraption and filled all the mounting holes for the refinish. I replaced it with a custom-made low-profile traveler from Garhauer. The car slides on ball bearings and three-to-one lines control the position from each end. It is a perfect solution.

The low-profile track extrusion was bent at the factory to conform to the after-deck radius and is thru-bolted with counter-sunk machine screws. I was determined to replace the old track with a modern system that would still allow me to sit atop the lazarette, leaning against the pushpit rail, which is my favorite command position when motoring. I use a folding "Go-Anywhere-Chair" from West Marine to sit on, pull the tiller back until it faces backward and rests on the aft cockpit wood trim. All I have to do is remember the move it opposite the normal direction to steer. Believe me, it's the most comfortable spot on deck, and the best visibility, too.


Anonymous said...

I love your blog.

We have the same boat and are getting ready to do a make over. I hadn't thought about removing the toe rails and the teak strip across the top of the companionway. Your boat looks very clean and sharp with those items removed.

Keep the posts coming!

Dick O'Reilly said...

I'd love to be able to post photos and details about your boat. I have received information on a couple of others, which I'm about to post.

You can go to the About Me section, open up the details link and click on my email address there.