Today was a good boat day. Of course all boat days are good but this one was different. It was a bonus boat day. Since we are temporarily closed Donald and I decided that we will be putting in more time working on it because, well, we are going to need it. With the new restrictions on how close people can work together we are beginning to realize that this will take a little longer than we originally planned.
Where we would normally be working together we now have to work on different areas of the boat.
I am focusing on the headliner in the v-berth and Donald is working on the helm and dash area. Today I installed a sheet of plywood on the port side of the v-berth as backer for the upholstered panel that will finish it off.
The first thing I did was make a cardboard template of this section of the hull so that I could correctly position the cutouts for the windows.
Since we will be installing a bulkhead to cover the wires I didn’t have to bring it to the ceiling. One of the advantages of using cardboard is I can press against the windows and it would make an indentation.
Back in the shop I cut these out and traced everything on to the plywood.
I didn’t have to be too precise with this step because there is still another layer of 1/4″ moisture resistant MDF going over it. This will be what I will be gluing the upholstery to just like I did with the headliner. With that we will have to be a lot more accurate fitting it. Even then I will have a bit of tolerance available because I will be getting custom window trims made up in mirrored stainless to finish off the openings. These will have a 1″ trim on them to cover the openings for the windows. More on this in about a month or so.
I will leave this until the weekend and then I will do the starboard side.
Donald finished off covering the helm with plywood today. This was another one of those projects that seemed like it was pretty simple but of course it wasn’t. I’m sure that Sea Ray did a great job on the helm… for 1987… but it needed quite a bit of work to even everything out. Of course he did his usual great job. He had the added task of undoing my mistakes.
The steering wheel is only on there temporarily.
He then went on to tackle the area behind the helm and in front of the windshields. I want to call this the dash but don’t know if that is correct. The original design had this area recessed so that it was almost like a tray. We didn’t like that so today Donald started to strap it so that we could eventually finish it off with fabric covered panels. We got the idea from the boat show in January so are hoping that it works out. Once we get the windshield back in place I will be able to get that done.
Here he is screwing down the plywood strips which he will eventually shim up in the middle.
We know what we want it to look like but we are definitely making this up as we go along.
Our friendly metal fabricator guy (the other Donny) dropped off the centre rail for the stairs today for us to mock up the location of the steps. Hoping to get that done on Saturday.
He also dropped off a steel angle support for the top bunk bed. It has a 75″ span and we want this to be solid.
I had been watching quite a few videos on repairing gel-coat and wanted to start getting to some of the issues on the bow before we took the winter cover off. There are 3 spots where one of the previous owners decided to “fix” a few cracks. It was actually noted on the survey as being very poor repairs.
With each of the repairs it looks like they added resin and then covered it with the wrong colour gel-coat.
This first one was the smallest.
I didn’t want to do too much sanding so I first took a scotchbrite pad and scrubbed it with acetone. I managed to get off all of the gel-coat so that it was down to this.
The next step was to use a Dremel tool with a fine bit to dig out the small cracks.
Looking at this photo now I realize I missed a few cracks. I broke my really nice Costco reading glasses earlier and everything was blurry. Luckily I have several more at home.
The other spot was just in front of the windshield. Same issue.
I sanded the spot down so that the gel-coat was flat.
And more blurry Dremel tool work. Not bad actually.
The next one was a little more involved. I thought it was going to be the same as the others but after sanding it and using the Dremel tool I found that the substrate was soft.
I had to sand out the area around the cracks until I got to solid substrate.
This will have to built up with fiberglass before I can finish it.
Since 2 of these problem areas are on the non skid surface I have to add another step to the process. I will have to make a negative mould of the surface so that I can blend it in when I apply the gel-coat. We will show this in a few weeks.
We were able to pick up the finished windshield frames from the finishing company this week. Even though these frames are 33 years old they look pretty good.
All the hard work that Tom and Chris put into these frames definitely paid off.
Now we have to prepare the surface the windshields sit on. I sanded the ledge down to flatten out the gel-coat and found a lot of cracks and pitting.
Since most of this area is covered with the windshield frame and won’t be exposed to the rain I figured that it will be safe to cover it with Marine-tex putty. The surface was stable and nothing was flaking away. I of course forgot to take a photo after I finished. This will cure for a couple of days and before I sand it. I have gel-coat on order and I am hoping that it will be here in about 2 weeks. Once I get it I will finish this so we can get the windshield installed, the glass put in and then can take the winter cover off. Hopefully!
We also received the Dinghy Davit this week. It was a little scary opening the crate and realizing that we will have to install this on our own. Luckily the instructions look to be pretty straight forward. This will definitely take an entire day to install but it can’t be done until we get our swim platform. It is being manufactured in Quebec and, at the moment, the entire province is shut down.
Here is a link to the Dinghy Davit’s website.
They have videos on their site…this thing is very cool. We are really looking forward to using it. We got the Beach Club option with the hammock. I am pretty sure that this was how I was able to convince my wife to OK the purchase.
Thursday Dan the electrician man will be back. It looks like it will be a sunny day so Donald and I will be working on exterior so that Dan can have the interior all to himself. Need to make sure that we have the proper physical distancing going on.
I thought I would include this photo. We haven’t seen this price in 20 years.
This would be $2.56 per gallon. I’m pretty sure it won’t stay this low for long.
Until next time….