Wet sanding

by Chuck March 31, 2011

One of the problems with storing Odyssey outside and uncovered during the winter is that the deck gets covered in dirt and green gooky stuff – and when it rains that gunk flows down the side of the boat. I’m not sure why, but the stuff running down the sides of the boat leaves streaks, streaks that don’t wash off in the spring.

Today I went out to start cleaning the hull. I made up a bucket of my favorite washing soap (Purple Power) and got out a scrub brush. I started at the stern on the port side and worked my way forward and around, scrubbing the bulwark and rubrail with the brush to remove the caked on gunk, and then working my way down the side to the waterline (I don’t go below the waterline, Odyssey still has a layer of ablative anti-fouling paint that I don’t want to scrub away). The gunk came off, but no matter how hard I scrubbed I couldn’t get those streaks to come away.

Most years it isn’t a big deal, Odyssey isn’t the prettiest sailboat out there, and a few streaks on her side don’t make her any less fun to sail. But today the streaks were bothering me – they were darker than usual, or there were more of them. Not sure, but it bothered me anyway.

Up in the den I have a copy of Don Casey’s Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair, and the chapter “Restoring the Gloss” answered my questions. Compounding the boat, or, more aggressively, sanding the gel coat. Out in the barn I found a package of 320-grit wet sand sandpaper. A plan was born.

Right in the middle of the worst streaks on the port side I started wet sanding the hull. A couple of minutes later I found, much to the dismay of my elbow, back and shoulder, that it worked. The streaks were gone, the gel coat was shiny, and I had the rest of the boat to finish.

Dana came out to talk to me while I worked, so I wasn’t completely absorbed in the sanding, but she went back inside as the rain started to come down harder. For a time I didn’t need to run water on the hull as I sanded, the rain provided all the flow I needed to keep sanding.

After an hour or so of work I was able to step back and admire hull that looked remarkably good. Not perfect by any measure, but a whole heck of a lot better.

Unfortunately, now that I’ve sanded the hull I need to get some wax on it to protect if from additional staining. And with the weather forecast to keep raining for days, I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance.




by Chuck April 10, 2010

Somehow I managed to lose the sail track stop for the main mast’s sail track last year. I’m not sure when it happened, but I do know that when Dana and I took the boat out by ourselves last summer the stop was no longer on the boat.

I’m actually surprised that it took so long for the old stop to disappear. It just rides in the sail track all the time, eventually it was going to fall out either when I was towing the boat or when I was putting the mast up and down.

Heck, I might have put it in my pocket when I was unbending the sail after going sailing and forgot where I put it when I was done.

Anyway, I managed to find the stop on the West Marine Web site. The stop is $9.00, and shipping is $9.00. Not so eager to make the purchase, frankly. The West Marine Web site has a neat feature, however, that shows you if your local store has the part in stock. If it doesn’t, you can have the part ordered to the local store for pickup and not have to pay shipping.

Turned out that our local West Marine had the stop in stock, however, so I was able to pick one up after a short drive to Everett. Joey and Duchess rode along – Joe is getting to be kind of fun to have around. He’s almost as big as I am (he’s bigger than Dana) and he has the same sense of humor as the rest of us.

Anyway, the new sail slug is sitting on top of my sailing gloves so hopefully I’ll remember to pick it up the next time I get a chance to head out.



Finishing finishing

by Chuck February 18, 2009

Put the second coat of teak oil on tonight.

Most of the wood looked good, but there were a couple of spots on one hand rail and one hatch slide where the teak had absorbed all the oil and left the surface looking like I hadn't put anything on. Not surprised, after 30 years I suppose the wood was pretty thirsty.

I waited 20 minutes again then rubbed the oil off. The wood is pretty dark now, so I think it's about done. Now I just need to re-attach them.



Out for supplies

by Chuck February 13, 2009

I've been needing to make a trip to West Marine for supplies. Today I got to make it.

And I got to ride my motorcycle for the first time this year. As usual I was loathe to start riding, but Dana insisted and as usual she was right. I had a beautiful ride, and I'm looking forward to my next opportunity.

Anyway, I get to West Marine. It must have been a slow day because as soon as I walked through the door an employee was right there asking if he could help. As a matter of fact, I replied, he could.

He listed three options for re-finishing my teak: Oil, Cetol, and varnish. Oil is the easiest, he said, but varnish done right makes the teak look like fine furniture. The rest of the conversation went like this:

"I'm not sure I need to use varnish. My sailboat is like a Catalina 22..."

"Use teak oil."

No hesitation. Pretty much means that's what I need to use. So I picked up a bottle of teak oil and a sponge brush to put it on with.

While I was there I also picked up a '09 tide book, a West Marine catalog (Yay! Toys!) and a new wind fly. I broke the old one working on something or other this winter. It was a little spendy, but I figured I should pick it up while I was there and West Marine had one in stock.

Next -- putting the oil on the old teak and admiring my handiwork.



Clearing the decks

by Chuck November 15, 2008

Time to get started on this project. The new back door of the barn is down, the new lights in the barn are on, and the football game is on the radio (the Seahawks are getting beat by Arizona). It's time to get to work.

The first thing I want to do is get the mast off the deck so that I can raise the poptop and generally work on deck without worrying about slipping on the stays. So out come the cotter pins holding the stays and Dana and I lift the mast off the boat and slide it under the boat onto the trailer for storage. It's a bit of a bother slipping it in and getting it to lay so that the spreaders aren't tripping hazards, but under the boat is the only place I can keep the mast inside the barn where it won't be even more in the way.

Once the mast was off the boat I dug out the poptop supports and raised the roof on the boat. It's pretty gunky under the edges, but with the top up I have almost standing head room. The only place I bump my head is on the support loops -- that means I'm bound to give myself a good crack at least once during this project.

That's all I got done today, I spent a good long time just looking around deciding on what I want to get done. But I'll leave that list to another post.



Winch removal

by Chuck October 14, 2008

Today I took my tools to the boat and tore into the old winch in a difficult yet ultimately successful effort to remove it.

I removed the fuse and switch block from the aft bulkhead so I could remove the bulkhead. Once the bulkhead was down I had a clear view of the winch and the two honking big bolts that hold it in place.

I'd purchased a large screwdriver a couple of weeks ago just for this purpose. Between the screwdriver and a socket wrench with a wobbly I backed the nuts off the bolts, the factory bolts were aircraft nuts so they gripped tightly the entire way.

After the winch was free I needed to get the cable off the drum, and that meant finding a way to turn the drum. And since the drum freezing up and not turning was why I was in here removing the winch in the first place I needed to put a little thought into the process.

Eventually I took the whole face of the winch apart and took the gears out of the winch. When the last one came free the drum started moving and I was able to remove the cable with only a small fight from the nut and bolt holding the cable to the drum.

Next up, putting the new winch back into the boat.

For your viewing pleasure here's the old winch and the new winch side-by-side:

Odyssey's old and new winch.



What? A clean boat?

by Chuck July 3, 2007

It has been a majorly weird year this year. Since last August we've been working on getting our new house built. That's a whole other kettle of fish that someday I might write about but not now while it's still raw.

In any case, it's highly unlikely that I'm going to get to go sailing this year. Between the new house, being behind on the farm work because of the new house, needing to get the landscaping in around the new house, and not having any money because I need to pay off the new house -- I don't have a lot of time left for the finer things in life.

However, there are some things that I refuse to do, and one of them is to leave my boat sitting out there under two years of grunge. (The most important, of course, is to never get in a land war with China.)

I managed to carve out some time today to get out and wash on Odyssey. It's not much, but at least the front half of the boat looks better.



Clogged, again

by Chuck March 1, 2006

Darned if the leaves didn't clog up the drain in Odyssey's cockpit again. Only about 2 inches of water this time. Gave the drain a poke with a stick to clear it out.



Rain rain, go away

by Chuck January 11, 2006

Tonight I stopped by Odyssey, just to say "hello."

It's been raining for days here in Pugetopolis -- we're closing in on a record for consecutive days of rain. Somehow a maple leaf managed to fall over the cockpit drain and seal it. Meanwhile, the rain kept falling.

By the time I looked the water was only an inch from overflowing the seat hatches and starting to fill the cabin. I calculated that there was about 850 pounds of water in the cockpit.

I poked a stick through the drain to get the flow going. It was quite the fountain flowing out the drain for about three minutes.

All better now.



Prep time

by Chuck April 23, 2005

The weather here in Pugetopolis has been remarkable warm this spring. So warm, in fact, that Dana suggested we go sailing on Sunday. Unfotunately, she made the suggestion Friday night, and we had plans for most of the day on Saturday.

So Saturday morning I pulled the tarp off to take a look at the damage the winter had done. No trees in the rubrail this time, and no bird's nests in the mast, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The cockpit was full of leaves and the anti-skid on the deck was full of dirt, but nothing that time and a scrub brush wouldn't put right.

Unfortunately, when I pulled the mast earlier in the year, I'd pulled the clevis pins from two of the turnbuckles, and now I couldn't find them. I'd put them somewhere safe, but so safe I didn't know where they were anymore. Well, I needed to make a trip to the boat store for spark plugs and a new water pump impeller anyway...

Saturday afternoon I got to start scrubbing. As usual, I started at the bow and worked my way aft, even though the last time I scrubbed the boat I told myself I'd work the other way. But it just takes time, and elbow grease, and soap and water to get the dirt off, and by late afternoon I had the outside of the boat relatively clean.

It wasn't until Saturday evening that I could get inside Odyssey and clean up the cabin. Joe came along to help, I put him in charge of bailing out the bilge with the wet/dry vac. By the time it got dark Saturday night we'd cleaned up the interior and were ready to start loading Sunday morning.



Log in