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Project Log:  Sunday, October 25, 2009
Home Page > The Project > Project Logs > 10/25/09

Much of the deck hardware had been removed long ago by the previous owner, but several stanchion bases remained, along with a few padeyes, bow cleat, and the occasional thing here or there.  This all had to come off.  Rather than waste time unbolting each piece, with such good access afforded by the interior strip-out, I chose to cut the nuts off from below.

Using an angle grinder equipped with stainless steel cutoff wheel, I buzzed the nuts off all the hardware in the forward two-thirds of the boat (everything forward of the cockpit), as well as the bolts securing the toerail, which I also needed to remove.  There were a lot of bolts along the hull-deck joint, as the joint was secured through the overlapping flanges with bolts every 12" or so on center, in addition to the bolts securing the toerail through the joint.  In a few places, therefore, it was unclear which bolts were which, and I got confused and cut off the wrong nuts--the ones on the bolts intended to secure the hull-deck joint rather than the toerail.  This wasn't a worry, but I had to check myself several times during the process.

It took about an hour to cut all the studs, and consumed 4 cutoff wheels.  I didn't crawl back into the black hole beneath the cockpit at this point, so the aft sections of toerail remained bolted in place for the moment.

Since I was already dirty and dusty from crawling about the interior, I decided to do some grinding.  The disgusting overhead was really bothering me, so I spent the next 1.75 hours grinding the overhead in the main cabin and adjacent areas of the inside of the cabin trunk, as far forward as the doghouse bump.  Even though all this would eventually be covered, I had to smooth the thick beads of resinous adhesive enough to accept new installations in the future, not to mention sufficiently to allow me to stomach the appearance for the foreseeable future.

The process went well enough, and the material sanded without difficulty--simply time-consuming because of the thickness and quantity of the beads (most of which had never contacted the liner, interestingly enough).  I started using a 7" grinder equipped with a 36 grit Powerflex flap disc, switched to my 4-1/2" grinder after a short time when I decided the smaller tool worked just as quickly (maybe more so) for this particular task, but was far easier (and lighter) to handle; I saved the big grinder and its larger pads for the future interior hull sanding.

In any event, I felt much better with roughly half of the overhead sanded, clean, and ready for new work when the time came.  The end result was smooth enough for the intended purpose and requirement, and looked much better.


After a break to take care of some other things on what was a fine fall day outside, I returned to the boat to remove the deck hardware and toerail.  The various hardware came up without difficulty, and I removed the cut bolts and stored the hardware in a container for later assessment.  There were still a few bits to remove:  one stanchion base (I'd have to go into the cockpit locker to cut those bolts), and several bronze deck plates (on the poop deck and Dorade boxes near the mast).  Additionally, I planned to remove the mast step and the  bronze stem casting.

The toerail came up without much of a fuss.  On this boat, the previous owner had modified the toerail with several cutouts, ostensibly for deck drainage, so the short sections came up independently and easily.  At the extreme forward end, it'd been too difficult to cut the nuts from inside, so I used a reciprocating saw to cut through the rail and the remaining few bolts from the foredeck.  (I had no intention of saving or reusing the existing toerail.)  As I went, I scraped up the sealant from beneath the toerail.

Of course, now that I'd begun the removal, I couldn't stop, so I had to continue with the after sections--where I had yet to cut the bolts.  Not wanting to crawl below, and having had an easy time cutting the forward part of the rail (and its fasteners) from the foredeck, I decided to use the reciprocating saw to cut the rail and fasteners around the stern quarters of the boat.  This ended up taking significantly more effort than I'd hoped, as well as many more saw blades than I expected.  For some reason, the fasteners here were extremely resistant to cutting, and the saw blades immersed in the wood quickly overheated and dulled.

Eventually, I got it done, though not with the ease with which I'd expected.  Additionally, I found that the port after sections were secured with extremely tenacious sealant, which didn't prevent the wood's removal, but did end up being a lot more time-consuming to scrape off, unlike the sealant that had been beneath the forward sections.

Despite all this, the afternoon hardware/toerail session and cleanup only required two and a half hours.  I felt much better afterwards:  a stripped deck is always indicative of solid progress somehow, an important part of the deconstruction process that necessarily precedes any rebuilding.



Total Time Today:  5.25 hours

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