Thursday, June 16, 2016

2015 - A Tale of Decks and Bowsprits

February 2015
In 2014 I repaired the forward face of TAO's coach house, which also serves as the forward structure for the main mast step partner.  As a result of that project, I did some initial investigation into the condition of my plywood decks.  The short story, the only thing holding the plywood decks together from the forepeak back to the fore chains was the two layers of fiberglass sheathing.  I also had some delamination and rot issues in the bowsprit.  Since I needed to remove the bowsprit anyway to work on the foredeck decking.....It was time to tackle both projects, starting with removing the bowsprit.

Here are a couple of shots of the bowsprit during removal.

 Rot in the bowsprit tip.

 Delamination of the bowsprit where it fit into the sampson post.
All loaded up for the trip home.

April 2015
Work begins on replacing the decking on the foredeck.

 Foredeck with bowsprit removed.  I have to work around the mooring lines that hold the bow of the boat to the dock, and temporary lines holding the forestay to keep the mast from falling backwards.
 Stripping back the fiberglass sheathing that covers the deck so that I can find the seams and make templates for new plywood decking pieces.
 The plywood in the forepeak was the consistency of wet mush.

 Foredeck area showing the framing after removing the rotten deck.  The chainlocker is visible below.
Garbage bags of wet decking material that was ripped out....or rather scooped out.  It didn't hold together very well.

 Tyvek templates were created before ripping out the old deck in order to cut new pieces to shape.

 For the curious, I'm using MDO plywood as my new decking material.  It has a resin impregnated paper coating on both faces.  It is the same material used to make outdoor signage and it is also used to make cement forms.  I've had some of this stuff sitting in my back yard for several years exposed to the elements and it is still solid.  It's not cheap, but cheaper than marine grade plywood.  Besides, the decking is not a primary structure in this case.

 New deck pieces ready to be dry fitted.

Dry fitting begins....

May 2015
 After the initial dry fitting.  I pulled out some of the underlaying framing for repair of some soft spots and repairing and refinishing the sampson post.

While in there, I painted the chain locker and sent the chain off to be re-galvanized.  Then I fabricated a piece of framing that was too far gone to be salvaged, and re-installed the repaired pieces.

June 2015
Then I installed the new decking in the foredeck area and sealed it up.

Fairing and fiberglassing in the deck.

And painting in anticipation of installing the new bowsprit that was being fabricated while all this was going on.

But more about that in the next post....

Friday, June 10, 2016

Re-fit begins - Cabin Front

Discovering some delamination in the front corners of the coach roof near the mast step, I opened it up a bit to discover the plywood structure had suffered water intrusion from the brow moulding fastners.  The plywood was completely delaminated in the corners.  I also discovered that the coach roof framing was not fastened to the other framing members.  The structure relied on the plywood fastenings to create the structural web.  So I added some stainless steel fabricated knees to support the mast step partners while I replaced the plywood face.

 Here's a closer look at the starboard corner of the coach house with knee installed.

And here the port corner, which was a bit worse.

And now with the frame corners supported and the front of the mast step supported with a brace, the front face of the coach house was removed.  You can also see there was rot extending into the coach roof on the port corner.  The top of the support post is exposed in the photo below.

The new replacement face being dry fitted.
The new face secured in place.  New side face scarfed in for the first foot on the port side and a new plywood piece scarfed in to repair the coach roof corner.  All the corners were framed out in Cedar and rounded over.

And a view of the starboard side.....and a pup getting in on the photo.

Looking good after fairing, sanding, and fiberglassing the repaired area.

Here is the end result after priming.

Project started June 2014, completed Aug. 2014

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Big Move - Prep

Friday, Aug. 2nd - 5th - The big move prep

Friday - Lawrence helped me unbend, fold and bag the sails.  Afterwhich, we unshipped the mizzen boom.  When Gary and his crew from McDonald's Hudson Bay Resort were ready, we moved TAO over to the float in front of the crane.  With Gary on the crane, and the rest of us turning wrenches, we had the masts unstepped and staged for unrigging in a little over an hour.  Gary was a real master, maneuvering the masts between the crane, equipment and other boats in the yard in order to set them down in the staging area.
While all of this was going on, it was raining - a lot!  The first day of rain in over a month and down came 2 inches on the day I've scheduled to unstep the masts.  I had to change into dry clothes three times to prevent going hypothermic.  Who would of thought it would rain in August?

Saturday - Unrigging day.  All the shrouds, spreaders, and instruments were stripped from the masts and labled for re-assembly in Washington.   Afterwards, the masts were wrapped with industrial strength saran wrap used to pack parts pallets.  Once the masts were ready, attention turned to getting TAO ready to ship.  The bow anchor and 200 feet of chain were removed.  I also packed up the spares and extra paint.  The last project for the day was to remove the bow pulpit.  This proved to be a bugger.  I got the retaining bolts out but was unable to budge the pulpit loose from the deck fittings.  I didn't have the right equipment available.  But for the most part, we were ready for the big move on Tuesday.  We decided to head home on Sunday and return on Monday to finish up.

Monday -  The trip back to Bayview, ID was an adventure.  On highway 90 just shy of George, Wa, we had a blowout.  The right rear tire of my truck looked like it went through a cheese grater.  No problem, just change to the spare and we'd be off.  Not!  Accessing the spare under the truck bed, I discovered the tow hitch mount was interfering with the bolt that holds up the spare mount.  Six bolts and dropping the tow hitch, finally I could get to the spare.  While changing out the flat tire, a WSDOT assistance truck pulled up and together we finished the job and got back on the road.  Just outside of Spokane, we had another blowout.  This time it was the right front tire.  That was enough.  Time to find the nearest Les Schwab.  Two hours and 4 new tires later, problem solved.

In Bayview on Monday afternoon, I went to work on the bow pulpit.  I sprayed the deck fittings with PB Blaster, and then proceeded with other projects to let it do it's magic.  A few hours later, I came back and tried to remove the bow pulpit with some well-placed smacks from my dead blow hammer.  No joy.  That gave me an idea.  I had the bottle jack from my truck handy due to the earlier tire changing maneuvers.  So I scrounged up some blocking lumber from the yard and used the bottle jack to lift the bow pulpit off the deck fittings.  The jack worked like a champ.

After the bow pulpit was removed, I removed the lifelines, stanchions and cleaned up any remaining deck hardware.  We spent Monday night on the boat in anticipation of the haulout on Tuesday morning.  Just a wakeup away from getting Ta' Ata Ori on her way to her new home.  I can hardly sleep, while I mentally consider if everything is ready.  Tomorrow - The Big Move!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Change of Command

Thursday, August 1st 2013 - I met with Lawrence, the current owner of SV 'Ta Ata Ori' aboard TAO in Bayview Idaho.  I presented Lawrence with "the big check", and after some pleasantries and logistics discussions, we were on our way to the nearby town of  Athol to find a notary to finalize the transfer paperwork.  Arriving at the Athol Community Center, we were informed that the notary had taken the day off, but there was a public notary at the bakery across the street.  So off Lawrence and I go to the bakery and indeed they were able to notarize the USCG transfer agreement and the Bill of Sale.  Alas, the bakery did not have any rum cake, so back to Ta Ata Ori we went.  Lawrence had a bottle of Pyrat Rum in the galley, and poured each of us a shot.  With a toast to the new skipper, a slug of rum and a handshake, the change of command was complete.  I had just become the new owner of the quintessential Mariner 40.  Hull # 56.  The queen of Lake Pend O'Reille, veteran of two Pacific cruises, 'Ta Ata Ori' or TAO for short.
My first order of business as the new skipper - Get TAO ready for "The Big Move".  In five days, TAO would be lifted out of Lake Pend O'Reille, Idaho, placed on a truck, and moved to the Salish Sea - aka The Puget Sound, WA.