The weather is actually starting to cool down a bit. It’s still pretty warm during the day if there’s no cloud cover but it just doesn’t feel as uncomfortable somehow. Maybe the humidity is lower. The nights are definitely cooler making sleeping much nicer.
Yesterday, or maybe the day before, we actually got some things done on Siempre Sabado that made us feel like we are now finishing stuff instead of just adding more items to the to-do list. Up until now, we have had 6 open holes in the bottom of the boat. Five were for the thru-hulls that we intended to replace and the 6th was the hole in the stern where the stern log lives. As if that weren’t enough, I went ahead and put 2 more holes in the bottom. I removed the old, no longer used depth sounder transducer and speed log paddle wheel. They weren’t leaking or anything but they took up room in the storage compartment in the head as well as posing a potential risk if anything should one day cause them to break loose. Better to just get rid of them and plug the holes.
We managed to fill 5 of the open holes in one fell swoop when we installed our new thru-hulls and seacocks. So nice to finally get rid of the old Groco rubber-plug seacocks and replace them with shiny new Groco ball valves.
Still need to install the thru-bolts but I’m at the mercy of the “Mexican supply system” as I wait for the bronze bolts and nuts to arrive.
Getting these holes filled up was a major psychological hurdle. It means we’re actually starting to put the boat back together instead of just taking things apart.
And speaking of taking things apart, I’m not sure what exactly inspired me to remove the old sounder transducer and speed log paddle wheel. I think what happened was that I was thinking about eliminating one of the thru-hulls and so, was reading up on how to fill the hole when I read something about a boat sinking when an old transducer fell off or something. Anyway, I thought it sounded like a great idea to eliminate the unnecessary openings in the hull. Of course, removing the transducers resulted in two new holes that had previously been filled with equipment. However, undaunted, I read and re-read all the various instructions for filling holes in fiberglass boats and soon I was ready to give it a go. The procedure basically has you sand down both sides around the hole so you have a depression to fill in. Then, using layer after layer of fiberglass cloth and mat, bonded together with epoxy, you end up making what amounts to a very flat fiberglass rivet. And this I did.
The patch still needs to be faired but basically it looks to me like it’ll hold. It’s as solid and thick as the rest of the hull. I’ve been getting a lot of fiberglass and epoxy education during this haulout.
Meanwhile, Lulu’s taking care of doing the pretty stuff. She finished applying 6 coats of Cetol Natural Teak finsh to the tiller, the windvane oar, the pinrails and (not shown) the belaying pins.
When she finished that, she took over pretty-fying the ol’ Westerbeke.
The engine is ready to be put back in the boat as soon as we finish up a couple of housekeeping items in the engine room. That’ll be another major real and psychological step towards getting back in the water.
Meanwhile, on the rudder gudgeons and cutless bearing front, I received the Veskonite that I needed for both jobs. However, they had sent me 4 pieces with inside slots. The slotted pieces are used only for the cutless bearing. The rudder bearings should be solid. Besides, as Luis Hernandez pointed out to me, the slots would make the remaining material after machining way too thin. So, I had him go ahead and install the cutless bearing in the stern tube while I ordered some smooth bore Veskonite. It worked out well because a fellow on a boat near us, Mike on s/v Sail On was going to Tucson and offered to bring the stuff back if I shipped it to his address. He returned to San Carlos yesterday and I picked up my new chunk of Veskonite.
This 13″ piece will have to be cut into three 4″ pieces and then the 2″ OD will have to be machined down to 1.375″ and the 0.875″ ID will have to be bored out to 1.000″. But, of course, this is no problem for a machinist and Luis is a great machinist. I delivered the chunk today and he said it should be done in a couple of days. That means we could have the rudder back on by the weekend! YAY!
So that’s pretty much what we’ve been up to. Lulu is currently removing the old caulk from the outboard side of the caprail in anticipation of recaulking. And I’m facing the job of plumbing in the new Lavac toilet. I think I’ve procrastinated and worried the job long enough. It’s time to start wrenching. Standby for heavy whining.