Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Forty Through Forty-Three

Day Forty was Mother's Day and my Mom came to the shipyard to visit. That was the only way she was going to see her favorite daughter* and her favorite son-in-law* (and my Dad, too!) Mom brought cookies and also ran a bunch of errands for us through-out the day so we could keep working...including lunch. My brother even stopped by for a visit.

* Yes, I am her only daughter and Brian is her only son-in law!

Sunday and Monday were spent caulking and puttying the bottom as well as painting the topsides again, cutting the water line, and painting the bottom. I put the finishing touches on the jib boom (cutting the heel and shaping the tip) and Capt. Doug set it in place with the shipyard crane. It slipped into place perfectly!

We exhausted the local supply of brown seam cement and sent Capt. Bill (of M/V Rendezvous) to get more in Searsport. We used over 14 quarts!

We used 10 gallons of bottom paint.

Tuesday was spent hooking up all the head rigging, painting the keel, applying another coat around the waterline, replacing zincs, cleaning the bilge, removing the staging, and cleaning up in an effort to launch on the high tide at 2:00.

We launched, tied up at our summer berth, and went for lunch together....Chinese buffet. We were all starving...especially me because I had to fast the night before for a blood draw at the local hospital Tuesday morning!

We spent the afternoon sorting tools, cleaning paint brushes, bagging up the sawdust from the jib boom project, and doing an overall regroup. We celebrated with margaritas and Pepsi at a downtown restaurant. Another haul-out completed!

From the left, here's my Dad, John, Brian, Jackie, and Mark
celebrating just before launching the newly-painted Evans for the '09 season.
Those that worked hard to meet our Tuesday at 2:00 deadline but didn't make
the photo include Bob, Bill, and my Mom. Oh, and yours truly!

That's right. That's our new jib boom!

The crew spent day forty-three of spring outfitting attending a Small Passenger Vessel Emergency Preparedness Workshop. With over 50 participants, they learned about fires and fire fighting, life jackets, distress signals, man overboard procedures, bilge pumps, liferaft deployment and other safety procedures. We plan to have fun this summer while also being safe.

Whooo. Haul-out is a big hurdle to be over but we still have a lot of work to do to be ready for sailing on the 31st. Lots of painting and attention to systems lie ahead. Oh, and I guess we should think about rigging and bending sails!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Thirty-Nine

My dad was here to help as was Bob Bickford.

Dad and Mark horsed all the seams...every inch of every one!...below the water line.

Everyone else sanded, puttied, and painted.

The transom is sanded and primed and the topsides have a coat of Platinum. We were finishing the painting as the fog was rolling in. We could hear the Owls Head Light fog horn so we're hoping that our glossy finish coat didn't flatten out.

We had pizza for lunch.

Capt. Doug ran the shipyard crane and in just over an hour we had the old jib boom off and had test-fit the new one. The new one fits perfectly! But it's not in place yet as I still have to cut the heel and shape the tip.

The old jib boom being removed.
The old jib boom (and a little bit of the new one to the left).

A close-up of the worst part (and reason for the replacement).

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Thirty-Eight

Now I know why I didn't sleep well. My subconscious mind must have anticipated that I would drive to the shipyard today and be told that today was the day we were hauling out although all week we had been planning for Saturday or, more likely, Sunday. At least we had to rush to block the cradle to haul on the same tide as the launch of the schooner that just finished up. At least that comes on the back of building a jib boom in three days and having to change focus with no time to do so. Ideally, I like to have a little time to think about supplies and planning our haul-out. To say nothing about all the calls we've been making to arrange our extra help on Sunday. Ah...that just meant more calls to explain that today is the day instead and, of course, many aren't available on short notice. So the four of us blocked the cradle and pulled on lines and got the boat in the railway cradle as the tide was ebbing. Our mess mate/deckhand arrived just as we were out of the water and started one of the hardest days of work we'll have. Good timing!

Brian, John, Jackie, and Mark set up the staging while I power-washed the bottom of the boat to remove all the grass and slime that accumulates over a year's time. Lots of paint chips fly off too. They finished a little before I did and started working on the port topsides. Power-washing took me three hours!
This is what I looked like about half an hour into the process. About ten minutes after I started, I wondered why I bothered to put the jacket on. I was soaking wet...everywhere! When I was done, I went into the shipyard bathroom and stood in the shower...with my clothes on. I figured I wasn't going to get any wetter than I already was. Brian grabbed a sweatshirt for me from the Ship's Store and I worked the rest of the day in my wet pants, socks, and shoes. Hey, it gave me motivation to keep going and get the job done!

After power-washing, I started grinding the port topsides. I started in the stern and moved forward. I started at 6:06 pm and finished at 7:06 pm....easily a record. I was crankin'. The crew followed behind me with orbital sanders to smooth things out. While they finished up with that, I set up some paint, rollers, and brushes. We had the port side primed as the sun set and the full moon rose over Rockland Harbor on an absolutely beautiful spring evening.
One hour to strip her down!

And primed by moon light!

I decided what I was planning for dinner...IBUPROFEN...and lots of it!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Spring Outfiiting - Day Thirty-Seven

Today started with the making of the Evans Spar Gauge (ESG). This tool was necessary to take the boom from four sides to eight. I call it the ESG because the guides on the end and the markers in the center are all Evans pencils! The way the tool works is...you place the guides on either side of the piece and set the markers on the top face and, making sure to keep the guides exactly on the sides, draw the guide along the length of the piece. The pencils on the top face mark the lines for our next cuts.

Which Brian does here with a circular saw.

Then we used the monster plane to shape the sides a little more.

And we ended up with our octagon.

Then, using the smaller power plane, I planed the points off each of the corners to go from 8 sides to 16......

....and another pass on each of those corners to go from 16 sides to 32!

After some final shaping with the small plane, the sanding began as well as the chiseling of the shoulder for the forward-most iron.

I wasn't the only one that made a tool today. Check out that awesome spar sander...hand crafted by Brian! He took a piece of foam and cut an 4" radius so the sandpaper on the inside fit around our (roughly) 8" boom. We're also using sandpaper on a long board in a spiral motion around the boom to knock of any high spots. We have started with 60-grit and have lots of sanding to do.

Jackie spent the day varnishing...the yawl boat and a ladder. And John spent the day painting and varnishing deck boxes, hatches, and such in the varnish room. Next, they get involved in sanding the new jib boom!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Thirty-Six

We arrived at the shipyard and removed the tarp from the jib boom project just in time for the rain to start. We had a decision to make...hope for the rain to stop or move the jib boom project inside. So...inside we went...with a 24' piece of heavy red oak! Unfortunately, I was too busy to take photos of the process but, with the help of the entire crew plus a couple extra people, we were able to make it into the dock building and started actually shaping again a couple hours later.

We're in. The dock building, that is. This is also where we had our wedding reception!

We measured and measured for the rest of the morning and finally came up with our parabolic curve for the last two sides of our piece. Brian went to lunch while I stayed behind to make the circular saw cuts to the line as I had a dentist appointment at 1:30. I finished all the cuts in time to run to the truck and get to my appointment. I grabbed a slice of pizza at a convenience store and inhaled it on the way back to the shipyard and found Brian just finishing up with the removing and planing of the pieces I had cut.

Next we rolled the piece 180 degrees and it was Brian's turn to make the cuts along that edge while I followed behind with the ax, chipping them off.

Brian captured an action shot. I loved how high the chips were flying. Great frustration release! And I had Capt. Doug Lee singing to me..."She's a lumberjack and she's okay. She sleeps all night and she works all day." That's some seriously satisfying work!

That's Capt. Doug's 6 3/4" Makita power planer. It can remove 1/16" in one pass! It's not only shaving a lot of wood off this project, it's shaving off a lot of time! Note the ear and eye protection.


Our work space and all the sawdust and chips we've created.

The end of the day.

Next we shape the piece from four sides to eight!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wordless Wednesday



Spring Outfiiting - Day Thirty-Five

Cinco de Mayo! The crew had the day off in anticipation of rain and having to work this weekend. We expect to be hauled out on Friday or Saturday so there will be no time off then. Brian and I put in a 12 hour day in preparation for the haul out. We're planning to install our new jib boom while we are hauled out as the shipyard crane will be able to lift it in place. The problem is....as of this morning the jib boom was hidden somewhere inside a 10" x 10" block of red oak that is 24' long. Our job was to start the process of finding our jib boom in that piece of wood! We were able to work on it until 2:16 when the rain really started and prevented us from using the power planers. We covered our project with a tarp and proceeded with other projects. Brian stuffed brochures and delivered them to our distribution center and I painted for four hours. That, of course, was after two hours of office work in the morning. Our bodies and minds are tired and we're stressed about a lot of things, personal and business, but we're on an auto-pilot of sorts and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. May is going to fly by!

Here's a look at one side of the jib boom and the taper that we've laid out. You can see that we've already shaped the bottom edge and we've rolled the piece to remove the wood from the top down to the black line. We finished those two sides in six hours and that pile of sawdust and chips under where we're working is getting bigger and bigger. The next step will be to taper the other two sides and then work to make the square piece an octagon and then round.

Here Brian prepares to make cuts along the top with a circular saw. He made a cut every couple inches or so (to just above our black line) and I came along behind him and removed the chunks with an ax. I was getting cold and had added a layer before I started that process. It didn't take long before I had worked up a sweat and had to take that layer off!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Spring Outfiiting - Day Thirty-Four

We were blessed with another dry day today. And it was warm too. I think that's Jackie's footprint in the dust.

John...lying down on the job AGAIN! We stripped and sanded the final section of the starboard topsides in the morning. John primed them in the afternoon.

Anna was lying down on the job too. But we're thrilled to see the timber heads being replaced!

Jackie primed the waist that we sanded earlier. The main cabin was primed today too.

Brian and I set up the jib boom project. That's a 24' piece of red oak that will be our new jib boom by the end of the week (we hope!). Set up took a while as all but the support pieces had to be moved with a fork truck...we're talking some heavy pieces! We took measurements from the old jib boom and laid them out on the square piece of wood. We don't want to replicate exactly what we have now so the design process is still in the works. We're making it one foot longer and trying to keep the inboard end as thick as possible. Our challenges include making everything fit (whisker stays, jib stay, and bow chains, etc.) especially where the jib boom fits into the iron bands that hold it in place.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Thirty-Two and Day Thirty-Three

Saturday! The day started with rain once again. I took Izze outside at 5:30 and figured we were in for rain all day. But by 8:30 it was warm and sunny!

The crew had the day off but we discovered all the owners worked at the shipyard today. Sometimes it's just nice to plug away without distraction.

Brian hand sanded Daniel's primer coat and applied the first coat of paint and I varnished and varnished and varnished. Final coats on lots of things. Yeah!

Sunday! I rushed about to prepare for the drive to Conway New Hampshire to play in a steel drum festival with the band that I'm in; Steelin' Thunder. I got a few business things done before I left but most of the day was driving. Crew was off.
Here's one of the bands that played (at the Ham Arena). It's a youth band from Blue Hill called Planet Pan. A still photo doesn't capture their energy and skill. They were awesome!

Spring Outfitting - Day Thirty-One

Jackie varnishing ladders.


The day started with rain so Brian and I went to the shipyard to determine what we would try to get done. I spent the morning in the office trying to catch up on the emails, mail, phone messages, and such that had piled up over the gorgeous stretch of painting weather we had. Brian, John, Jackie, and Alan spent the morning sanding all the small pieces in the dock building and the varnish room that were still in need of paint or varnish. This included our row boats, Rebecca and Daniel.

We enjoyed crew lunch together...something we try to do on rainy days. And, despite everyone wishing we could take a nap, we got right back to the painting and varnishing afterward. Brian primed Daniel while I painted Rebecca. He was pleased with my public announcement that, although my coat wasn't horrible, I liked his coat better. John and Jackie put the final coat on all of the windows. John varnished the hatch frame for the galley skylight and Jackie varnished two companionway ladders.

Another good day with continued progress...and everyone is improving all the time with their painting and varnishing skills. It's great to see everything coming together.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Thirty

Sand and paint, sand and paint. Today was no different. We sanded and painted. A lot.
Here's Jackie vacuum sanding the buffalo rail.

And Brian sanding the hull that I just stripped with a grinder.

The starboard rail was primed gray and the
buffalo rail and cat head was primed white.

The inside of the log rail was painted red and the break-in-the-deck
was taped off and painted white (with a non-skid additive on the top).
When that blue tape is removed there with be two crisp, straight lines.

The port head was painted.
(Again, imagine a crisp, straight line when that blue tape is removed.)

The starboard side is now two-thirds done (with the grinding, sanding, and priming). Here's what it looked like at around 6:30 as I was wrapping things up for the day.

John picked and scraped a lot of paint for the forward rail prep. Jackie and John hand sanded the inside of the log rail. Bob filled a small rot spot on the main cabin after finishing the sole pieces in the galley. We interviewed another Rendezvous applicant. And Viking Lumber delivered our oak for the new jib boom and the new timber heads and waist planks.


I was delighted to come home to a happy puppy and flats full of thriving plants. The beans, zucchini, squash, peas, beets, and herbs that I planted are all ready to go in the ground but I don't dare do it just yet. I didn't start the tomatoes and strawberries from seed but they are looking like they are ready too. They get to go outside on warm days but I bring them in each night. I'm not convinced that there still won't be nights that are too cold for them. Am I an overprotective plant mom?