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Project Log:  Sunday, November 1, 2009
Home Page > The Project > Project Logs > 11/1/09

I continued where I left off yesterday.  Armed with a hammer and trashed boatwork chisel, I pried the remaining plywood out of the tabbing slots in the areas I left yesterday, and then sanded these areas to remove cut tabbing edges, remove paint, and smooth the surface.  I heavily ground the thick tabbing that had secured the main chainplates, but did not attempt to remove it all.  This tabbing's only saving grace was its thickness; it represented some of the worst fiberglass work I'd had the displeasure to see while dismantling various boats.  Obviously, it worked for many years, and the tabbing was well-adhered to the hull, but it was not good work.



    

Next, I attacked the remaining areas beneath the sidedecks and foredeck.  Access was difficult, and in these areas the resinous adhesive used to secure the liner had actually contacted the liner, which squashed it wide and flat and over broader areas than on the main cabin overhead.  As a result, I made no attempts to sand too much of it off--that would have been a fool's exercise.  Instead, I concentrated on scuffing the entire surface, removing any high spots, and doing what I could to smooth out other areas.  Additionally, I removed hanging threads of fiberglass that had been left over from the liner's removal.

There was still one section of liner stuck to the deck in the chainlocker, which I hadn't pulled down originally because several fittings were bolted through it, but I continued to ignore it for now, as I just didn't feel like pulling it down now.

Afterwards, I cleaned up the inside of the boat again; somehow, it seemed that there was almost as much dust from today as from yesterday, though the area ground today was much less.  I pushed most of the dust through the old through hull hole in the head and down to the shop floor for later collection.  I also cleaned up the shop a bit; my plastic sheeting barrier really had done very little to contain the dust, perhaps because I'd been using a box fan in the forward hatch to pull the dust out of the boat as I worked.  In any event, the shop was a mess, but it was a nice day out and I was able to drop the plastic and open the big door to air things out while I cleaned.

    



    

I should mention that for the grinding and other work, I wore a full face supplied air respirator and ear protection.  The supplied air mask had served me well and significantly during sanding and painting projects for 5 years, but was showing its age; additionally, I'd lost one of the plugs over the inlet openings during the first day of interior demolition, and while I'd managed to put together a replacement from another mask I had on hand, my mask was obsolete and I couldn't find a legitimate replacement plug.  For this and many other reasons, I ordered a new full face respirator and supplied air conversion kit, as it was clearly time.  I couldn't imagine doing this work without this excellent respirator, and I looked forward to using the newer, safer one when it arrived.

There was plenty of grinding ahead--in the aft quarters of the boat, where the fire damage was worst--but I left that for now, partly because I'd had enough grinding, partly because I'd used up my continually-refreshing supply of grinding discs, and partly because the bilge was a mess and I wanted to clean that up.

The main bilge sump had a garboard drain installed, but it was mounted about 2" above the absolute bottom of the bilge, so there was still water down there.  Additionally, the area was full of styrofoam bits from the icebox, bits of tabbing and burned fiberglass, and other detritus from the previous days' demolition efforts.

Similarly, the smaller sump located by the centerboard pin, and surrounding areas, were also filled with junk, styrofoam, and some water.  It was time to get the stuff out so that I knew what I was dealing with.

Shop vacuums work best on the shop floor, where one can avoid the need to lug the awkward thing up and down a ladder--particularly if using it to suck water out of the bilge.  Also, these tools prefer not to suction water up much of a head, so it helps if the container is lower than the area being drained.  To this end, I was prepared to enlarge one of the existing through hull holes to allow passage of the vacuum hose, but found that the hose was a perfect fit through one of the openings (the old depth transducer), so I didn't have to enlarge the hole.

I picked out the heaviest pieces by hand, and used the vacuum for the rest, stopping frequently to unclog the hose from its plug of styrofoam mash mixed with water and fiberglass sludge.  Water kept seeping into the small sump by the centerboard pin, probably from the hidden forward sections of the bilge, so eventually I left that alone to let the water collect.

         


To help current and future drainage from the main sump, I drilled a 1/2" hole through the corner of the keel, just below the existing garboard drain and at an upward angle so it'd end up right at the bottom of the bilge.  This additional drain hole, which I'd patch later, would allow the bilge to completely drain, and enable future washdowns without the need for pumping or vacuuming the bilge out.  Eventually, the bilge was clean (relatively) and dry, which was nice.  Later, I'd cut away more of the cabin sole to access the bilge better for sanding and cleaning, and to remove an existing built-in tank.

After cleaning up yet again, I wrapped up the day's work by building a construction companionway ladder from 2x4 lumber.  I designed the ladder so that it would wrap over the companionway sill, which held it in place securely but also made it easy to remove, as I'd need to frequently remove it for access to areas beyond throughout the project.  This was much better than the temporary stepladder I'd been using for the past few weeks, and would remain in place for the duration of the project, until such time as I built the "real" companionway ladder.

I also cut three scraps of plywood to cover the bilge openings in the cabin sole.  I'd thrown away the original hatches 5 years ago, but was tired of worrying about the openings, or using ill-fitting scraps to cover.



    

Total Time Today:  5.5 hours

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