Sunday, February 22, 2009

Battens and Insulation

I spent this weekend finishing the prep work so battens could be glued to the hull. I used exterior grade heavy duty construction glue. I used this in the Westerly with good results. I think this is what the old battens were held up with too (as well as some staple that had rusted out). Since there is a wood core in the bow area deck, I used a temporary screw to hold the batten in place while the screw set up. On the cabin top sides there is no core so clamps or very small screws were used.

The battens are 1/4 inch plywood ripped down to 2 inches wide. I used the table saw to make kerfs or relief cuts to help them bend. I ended up using a small back saw to make more cuts as needed, which ended up being quite a few. But, the battens laid down well and after the glue set up overnight I was able to remove the screws.

Next I made patterns and cut 1/4 inch cork to fill in the areas between the battens. On the deck area where there is a core this is not needed, but on the cabin sides it will add a layer of insulation for year round cruising. It will also make a more solid under surface for the finished wood.

The cork was bought for the Westerly on ebay. It is 4x300 feet and only cost a couple hundred dollars. A pretty good deal. I used 3M super 77 because it will be covered by finish wood so I don't have to worry about it falling off. For the areas where the cork will be exposed, like in lockers, I'll use the Super 90, it has a little more hold.

Monday, February 16, 2009

tired arms and all

Today was spent with most of the morning holding a grinder above my head. By the time this boat is done I'm going to be ripped! In the main cabin the battens were stapled into the deck. They held for a long time so that method works if you have a core to staple into. That's not the case in the hull sides. Here there is nothing to staple into and it's not as thick as the deck. So.. heavy duty construction glue was used and damn it was a pain to get off. The wood would split before the glue let it go. This is good news, one because this is the method I used in the Westerly, and because I might use it again. Expoy can take so long to set, you have to mix it, and it's not cheap. Glue on the other hand, is cheap and there is no mixing. I had to remove the old battens because they were at odd angles, OK if you're going to use headliner vinyl, but not for the wood finish I want. I'll need better prep so off it came. 1st with a pry bar and hammer, followed by the grinder and flap disc. The disc works wonders, it melted through the glue and wood. But you better pay attention. You'll burn through to sunlight if you're not careful, a light touch is all it takes.

Tyvex suit, goggles, respirator, gloves and a shop vac and even still the place is a mess! There is glue dust covering everything. The short story is after many hours of grinding off the old glue the forward birth is ready for battens. Since the deck is cored, battens are there only to allow the fixing of the finished wood, not for the insulation. Thus, I'll plan to use 1/4 battens. I can fill the area between battens with the cork I have on hand. The new battens will be set with the heavy duty construction adhesive. These battens will sit at better angles for the finished wood.

This week is a work week. I plan to rip down a couple 4x8 1/4 sheets of ply. I'll use these for the new battens. This coming weekend I'll plan on gluing in the battens up forward. If thins work out, I'll do the overhead main cabin too. I'll set the battens in glue, but I plan to use some staples to hold them in place. This will nix the need for braces to push up while the glue sets.

This is the long, slow work, but it's crucial for the finish I want. If I wanted a functional overhead the was "stock" I'd save some time in this stage, but the vinyl liner would be difficult so I guess it all works out in the end, but in my ending I'll have a really nice finish.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Yesterday I spent a few hours cleaning up the boat. It was a rough ride and not much stayed put. Pretty much everything found it's way onto the floor. I'll just let the pictures tell the story.

Today I spent much of the morning cleaning the vee birth and chain locker. The old shelving was removed, they were in fair condition, but sanding and painting will be much easier with them removed. Along the way I discovered that there is a liner along the lower portion of the vee birth hull sides. This means I don't need to line that with cork or wood slats which is less work, but leaves me with a plastic look. I'm going to go ahead and line the upper sides above the liner with slats. there will be a new shelve here too, so between those it should have a nice finished wood look.I was able to find a picture that shows what I'm striving for.

I also discovered the fuel tank is full. Some time was spent trying to get the tank freed up and get the hoses disconnected so it can be removed and emptied at the haz-mat place down the street.

The forward birth is pretty much ready for paint. I need to read a little more, but the topside paint I'm planning on using can work well for the interior. I'll test the roll and tip method inside to get the hang of it. When the weather warms I'll be all set to make the outside look great.

I'm planning on using wood for some of the surfaces in the forward birth. I still need to pick a wood to use through out the boat, I'll use wood for the ceiling portions of the birth, both around the forward hatch and the foot well area. There are some battens that were stapled to the hull for the old headliner. I think this method works well. I'm going to entertain this method again. I could staple the battens and then screw the finished wood to these battens and cover the screws with finish trim.

The alternative is glue the battens as I did last time. Stapling is much faster, if I'm worried about them holding I can add some epoxy to the mix, but the staples will nix the need for clamps and bracing while the glue sets. The end result needs to be pretty, but also needs to be easily removed to add hardware. There will be channels along the shelves for electrical wires.

On the way out I was also able to make a little progress on the hatch for the Westerly, adding another layer of epoxy. One more round of fairing and it should be ready for paint.
Again the same topside paint will be used here. I also scrubbed the sole briefly.
I think it'll clean up real nice.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The move

I'll update this tomorrow, but Winterhawk is home at the South Park Boatyard. Moving boats is exhausting!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Sailing can involve a lot of waiting. That’s nothing new. I’ve spent plenty of time waiting for the wind to pick up, waiting for the bridges to open or the Locks to raise. But this is a new waiting.

I had planned to start on Winterhawks exterior right away, finishing the necessary sanding, applying a barrier coat, primer and paint to the hull and top sides. I had planned to have this all done and have Winterhawk floating dockside in 2 months. But.. further reading on paints shows that I need it to be 50 degrees to paint. I could get the barrier coat on while it’s in the 40’s but not below. Seeing as we’ve woke to snow and freezing rain the last few days I’ve modified my plans. It might mean Winterhawk stays on land for an extra month, but oh well, I can wait.

I picked up an oil-filled radiator last night. I’m going to start on the interior this weekend and this puppy will ensure a warm boat so paints and epoxies dry, no waiting here!

I’ll plan on looking into nooks and crannies and getting a better feel for the boat. I’m also going to start sanding the interior hull in the forward birth. I’m going to work on insulating and lining the hull forward as well as the cabin top. Once this “room” is done I’ll have a clean area I can tape off for sleeping. There is a pretty good chance I’ll be spending some nights on the boat and this will be much nicer than sleeping with a respirator.

As I did with the Westerly, I’ll be lining the hull with ¼ to 3/8 cork glued directly to the hull. This adds a layer of insulation and eliminates the condensation problems I originally had on the Westerly. I’ll be covering the cork with wood slats running fore-aft. There are vertical battens on much of the hull already. I might need to epoxy in a few more, we’ll see. I’m thinking of using a dark wood again, most likely mahogany, but I’m still open to a lighter wood.

My plan is to work my way aft, following the forward birth, I’ll tackle the head and hanging locker. I’d like to use a composting toilet like the air head, but I’ll just make sure the current set up is working well 1st and then add the airhead to the someday list.

With a good plan, I figure I can have the interior ready to go in 6 weeks, including a new 12 and 110 volt electrical system. Things are so much easier the second time around. While I’m waiting for the weather to warm I can learn about the Atomic 4 and polish the deck hardware in my nice warm cabin.

I've been trying out hull colors. I think black wins.

Two more days!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The mast is up, er' on.

This weekend Alia, John and Thomas came up to Sequim to help me ready the boat for transport.

Gordan had taken down the shed and uncovered the boat. We rounded up all the hardware that came off the boat from their various hiding places and stowed it inside Winterhawk. Alia and John Taped off the ports and hatches to keep the rain out. The major task for the day was to get the mast off the saw horses on onto the boat.

The week before I had lifted one end of the mast. To my surprise, it was far more flexible and lighter than I had expected. But I quickly learned there is a big difference between lifting 1/2 the mast and all 48 feet of it.

After some debate we decided the best route was to move one end at a time. We sent Thomas up the ladder with the forward end of the mast, while John pulled from the top side with a stout line. The rest of us guided the butt end. Once the forward end was resting on the bow pulpit and a saw horse, we brought the aft end up a ladder, again with the lift/ pull technique. All in all it worked well, but my neck is still stiff. I owe you all another round!
Now the mast is on, Winterhawk is ready to make the trip down to Seattle where the real work can begin.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Introducing winterhawk

This site will document the restoration of my newest sailboat, Winterhawk, a mid 70's Yankee MKIII 30 foot sloop.

I had been reading about Yankees for a while when I discovered a friend already had one. Bob has a MKII that literally sailed circles around my current boat, a 23 foot Westerly Pageant. From that point I knew this was going to be my next boat.

I had looked at a couple Yankees and a Tartan 30 too, but I didn't think I was ready to buy just yet. But then an email came in from a Yankee owner a couple of hours away. Winterhawk was laid up in his back yard and was no longer welcome. I promptly made plans to come take a look that coming weekend. Barring a giant hole in the boat, I was buying it. Alia and I drove up to Sequim that Saturday.

Having one bare hull restoration under my belt, I was prepared for the worst. I was quite surprised to find Winterhawk in better shape that I had hoped for. The exterior had been sanded down to the gel coat and the lead keel was exposed. The decks were stripped of all the hardware. The boat was a blank canvas and much of the back breaking work had already been done. The interior was in pretty good condition. The teak and holly sole would only need minor work to make it shine, the inside is outfitted with a fair amount of teak that will require some elbow grease to bring it back to life. The interior is pretty spartan, but that makes it easier to insulate and install new 12 & 110 power systems.

There was a Atomic 4 gas inboard with many new parts that is said to be a good runner. As a back up, there is another A4 that looks to be complete.

The owner Gordon took me on a tour of the garage and the shed pointing out the various stuff that comes with the boat. A new prop shaft, a folding prop, cushions, winches, window frames, insulation and a ton of teak and stainless odds and ends.

The deal was too good to be true. I made a deal with Gordon and left town feeling very excited.

The next week was spent finalizing plans for a spot in the South Park boat yard, and arranging for transport. Much time was spent reading online and at the library about the various options for bottom paint and debating the choices in colors, as well as buying some new tools for the daunting tasks ahead. Good Old Boat just happened to have a couple articles on bottom prep. They gave some good info on sanders and grinders. Thanks to Craigslist, I got both. Now I just need to find a ladder.

The starboard sette and hanging locker.

The quarter birth and companionway steps.

The good 'ol Atomic 4.

The galley and companionway.