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Project Log:  Saturday, October 24, 2009
Home Page > The Project > Project Logs > 10/24/09

With the prospect of lots of grinding in the weeks head, coupled with a shop door that would need to stay closed as fall progressed and winter took hold, I spent 45 minutes rigging up some plastic sheeting to separate the boat from the remainder of the shop bay.  The problem on this side of the shop was that I had to use it for storage of certain items, and it also contained a staircase, oil tank, and other obstructions.  Because of numerous things in the way, I preferred to try and contain the sanding dust as much as possible to ease cleanup, particularly when I knew that there was so much bulk grinding ahead.

To that end, I managed to get a line over the center section of the garage door's torsion bar assembly, and rigged a second line through the back wall of the shop near the top.  Then, I laid out plastic sheeting, tied knots in the top corners around the lines, and hoisted it into place.  This would help minimize dust transfer, though of course it wouldn't eliminate it entirely.


Next, I removed all the through hulls, at least those in the forward two-thirds of the boat (there were several in the lazarette/counter that I'd get to later, when I started work in those areas). In particular, I wanted to remove the  head discharge and intakes, which had large seacocks that were now awkwardly protruding into the bare interior.  These old-style Wilcox-Crittenden valves were still in good condition and operated smoothly, and I hoped to save them.

I didn't plan to reuse any through hull fittings, so rather than fool around and waste time with traditional means of removal, fighting stubborn sealant, threads, and so forth, I have found over the years that it pays to simply grind off the mushroom heads of the fittings, which allows the remainder of the fitting to be easily pulled out from inside the boat.  Armed with a grinder and metal grinding wheel, I removed the five bronze through hulls (head intake and discharge; engine intake; two cockpit scuppers) in about 10 minutes' time, and then easily pulled the remaining fittings and the two valves out from inside the boat.  I also removed two plastic transducer fittings--a depth fitting and a knotmeter fitting.

The hull was approximately 1/2" thick as seen through the various through hull openings.

My friend John, apparently anxious once more to burn off more steam from his office-based work by destroying my boat, arrived again in late morning, and presently I set him to work in the forward part of the boat, cutting tabbing in order to remove the remaining bits of structure there:  two shelves, shelf supports/stringers, ceiling screw strips, and the chainlocker bulkhead.  Meanwhile I did some grinding in the main cabin and cut additional tabbing in that area to remove ceiling screw strips and other remaining bits of tabbing, in between helping to muscle the very sturdily-installed shelves and such out of the forward cabin.



After a break to let the dust clear, we went back at it to remove the main chainplate knees.  These minimal plywood knees were tabbed to the hull in an atrociously ugly manner, including fiberglass applied over the stainless steel chainplates and bolts themselves.  The tabbing cut easily, and I finished up the cuts with a reciprocating saw and carbide blade to cut through the remaining plywood of the knees.  The plywood on both sides was damp, but still sound.

Later, I planned to extricate the stainless chainplates for inspection to see how they did after 45 years encapsulated in fiberglass, but for now I just set the assemblies aside.



We briefly discussed the cabin sole, but I decided to leave it in place, at least for the moment.  Obviously the finished surface of the sole would be rebuilt and reconfigured in the future, but if the substrate was sound, there might be no need to remove it at all; more importantly, however, I wanted to retain the flat surface for as long as possible to make working in the interior easier and more convenient.

Next on the demolition list was the old molded seahood, and particularly the odd, flimsy, add-on fiberglass piece beneath it.  The fire had damaged both pieces, particularly the lower cover piece, and I decided it should all go away; additionally, I wasn't sure how I'd go about building and installing a companionway hatch with the lack of access afforded by the permanent sea hood, and didn't wish to be bound artificially by existing installations as I reconceived the boat.  So John went to work with the grinder and removed both pieces; I finished up the cut with the reciprocating saw.


At this point, the major demolition was complete.  Ahead lay the removal of remaining deck hardware and toerail (now with easy access to all fasteners from below), and then the significant chore of grinding clean the entire interior and overhead.  We went to a late lunch, and I left the boat a mess since I knew I'd be doing more work on the 'morrow.

Total Time Today:  8.5 man-hours (5 hours Tim; 3.5 hours John)

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