Eye of the Tiger

Good evening, and here is more main cabin detailing for your viewing pleasure.

We set those painted sole panels in place to see if the whole look ties together.

Hinges and latches go on tomorrow.

The dining table is now in place. It has a Forespar spring-loaded riser to move in between dining height and dropped down for the bunk conversion.


The last “flooring bit” is making a panel for the equipment room (the pass-through under the cockpit) sole. We’ve run out of the fancy foam core sheets, so this was a good project for bundling together scrap pieces. You’ll see various brands of 1/2″ thick divinycell and similar products under the glass layers here –

The cardboard nearby was the pattern made by piecing it right in place (bring masking tape and scissors to the job) – gotta do that for these odd shape pieces. Anyway, the foam core scraps are fine in this zero-sheer-stress application.

OK, pop quiz: put google away and answer this – which Rocky movie enjoys the theme song Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (dressed in unfortunately tight jeans)…

We’ve been saving some of that tiger-stripe mahogany for the nav station chart table top. It needed to be laminated to the original core.


Looks like a mess with the epoxy oozing up between the joints and the three planks having random thickness variations. But the big rotary sander and 40 grit, used carefully, trues it up.

We used two slices from the original plank and butterflied them to match up the grain. Neighbor michael’s big table saw helped clean up the plank edges before glueing. Then we milled another mahogany type for the fiddle edges. The two diagonal corners were bonded first with excess sticking out both sides. After they hardened up we cut the miter corner flush with the open front and sides of the piece. And the next night the other three pieces were bonded, again with excess tails.


The best part is after it’s all sanded, clean and kind of dull looking, we hit it with the epoxy and the grain and color explode out of the raw wood. Pop got to see the action today.



With that set to cure, I climbed the stairs to the boat and looked down on the work table. Bam – staring right back is the eye in the tiger stripes.
And now you’ve got that song stuck in your head…


(Rocky III, the one where he’s fat and lazy)

From my sole

Not a spiritual moment, but rather a bit of staring down at one’s feet… We’ve been working on the bottom portions of cabin finishing, the soles (floors) and lower hull sides. It needed a darker color down where shoe scuffs will accumulate. The masking process for all this paint work is significant.

We learned the hard way we should have used “gorilla tape” brand for masking. The Scotch blue EdgeLock allowed some white to leak thru/under to the finished wood so now there are hours of sand-and-touchups to do. But overall things are looking good.



In that floor shot you see three of the eight total sole panels removed. The wood framing is clear coated to look nice when we lift up the boards for storage. The fixed part of the sole is the slate grey that extends up the hull sides a bit. So that leaves the panels themselves…
First the exposed glass fabric was filled then they were primed and the latch locations chosen. To set the latches flush they need some rebating with the router. We used a hole saw on the drill press to make a 1/8″ pilot track for routing.




The hole saw left some small chips that will need a tiny bit of filling, but that’s better than freehand messes with the router.
Here the sole panels get the same paint as the hull interior.

And a few YouTube videos later, Martha Stewart’s team had us trained on faux bois painting. Got the tools through Amazon for a few bucks.

Then mixed one part of the same grey paint, one part glaze and two parts water. Brush it on, wait a few minutes then carefully but creatively flick those scrapers around.


$2.1mil colors

During a lunch break from rolling out the first coat of finish paint, some web surfing turned up the newly launched Neel 65 tri. It’s width is our 39′ length and you can order it in the seven staterooms configuration.

But what struck me is they’ve copied our color scheme; white cabin top and deck, silver topsides, white bottom paint, and white rig & sails. I wonder if they paid a color consultant in that $2.1mil price tag?

Our topsides paint is Interlux Perfection 2-part polyurethane in “platinum”. Here’s the first coat on the beams yesterday.

Today will be a 400grit wet sand then the second coat. And non-skid tomorrow.

While exterior paint dries we go back inside to mess with the cabins. The galley is coming together nicely. The stainless steel is working out well.


The forward wardrobe/dressing area gives a feel for how the wood trim looks against the paint. Long gone is the original thought of clear-coating the cedar-strips hull for a full wooden boat look, but adding back touches of hardwoods is only adding about 20lbs total to the boat and makes it feel much better than just paint and plastics.

BTW, that hole above the clothes shelf is where one of the 1″ beam bolts comes thru. You can check the beam bolting integrity at sea while you sort thru your socks.

BEAM me up, Scotty!

The four big beams (that stretch between the three hulls) were set aside a year ago, knowing there was still some surface finishing to do. This week we pulled them out from under the boat and got to work.

They’re big, over 8′ long, and weigh much more than one average person can lift. Each one got a cheap moving dolly so I can push them around the shop. This is the level of finish fairing we went for. Particularly the undersides – a decent job but not going nuts on an area that people won’t be looking at regularly.

To help move them in to place for painting, and to load them for transport, we bought a $49 Harbor Freight chain hoist – wish this came a long time ago.

The fairing process isn’t pretty, but after two coats of primer they suddenly come to life as finished boat parts.

Building these from scratch was a huge undertaking, and this is one relieved smile.

You can also see the shop is really crammed. A brainstorm hit – could we finish the beams and store them on our little utility trailer? So Charlie came over today and we put together a frame of 10′ bunks. The beams should fit across the trailer, all four loaded from front to back, and then we can roll out to the driveway or storage yard.

The topsides paint is ordered and the next photo update should have fully complete beams for you.

As fabrication winds down and painting ramps up, we need to clean up. The pickup was 3/4 full from clearing Jeanne’s dad’s property, so the shop was target two. Letting go can be tough – see the original hull cutout for the main companionway; it’s the cedar strips piece Jeanne is reaching towards. Lots of “old” pieces of the boat are off to the recyclers :)
(And Jim might recognize Origami’s old blown out jib on the dump floor)


While exterior fairing and paint rounds dry, interior trim-out continues. So far we’re using epoxy to bring out the wood’s colors and provide a permanent seal. It doesn’t leave a great finish, so now we’re experimenting with finish coats of polyurethane.

Hopefully this stuff will sand nicely between coats and buff out beautifully. Stay tuned.

No more calico

We looked up the other day, wiping the eyes from a big cloud of dust, ears ringing from the sanding machines… And realized the interior fairing was DONE! Put down the sandpaper, clean out the boat and go get some primer. Here’s where things stood Friday evening to start Memorial Day weekend.



Kind of like an abused calico cat, but very smooth.

After lots of reading and listening to recent experiences of boat owners using high quality acrylic latex house paints inside their boats, we decided this is our route too. Much safer for the applicator, easy cleanup, unlimited color choices and ability to match later, and about 20% of the cost of marine topsides paints. Thank you Keith for recommending this stuff – it was great throughout Sunday and Monday marathon sessions. Used 2.5 gallons for two coats applied by roller.

The result is startling (good) – boat feels bigger inside and so much happier. Wood accents are already visually “popping” and will get better over next week or so.




Jeanne and I returned late this eve from working on her Dad’s San Jose house, feeling worn out. But right inside the door, ready to lift the spirits is a thousand feet of the highest-tech line ready to match up with the mast and new sails! Great work organizing, cutting and splicing by Skateaway Designs. We’re almost done pulling all the cordage together. This task was a heck of a list (partially on that left hand panel).


If you’re wondering why people are using dyneema for shrouds and forestays – this box at 55lbs has all three 50’+ cables and over 800′ of halyards in it. The stainless steel shrouds for our 35′ mast F27 weighed more than all this stuff, and this mast is 15′ longer. Tremendous weight advantage, plus it’s much stronger than the steel.

Next up is glue bonding all those 100+ pieces of fancy trim wood you saw on the back table a few weeks ago. Let’s hope we can read our legend notes on what goes where!…

Wobbly arms

Wobbly arms and burning shoulders is what you get trying to make a smooth, fair surface overhead in your boat. Griffin and Colin are safe now as the aft cabin top got finished today! No more wheedling from dad to get you sanding in there :)

Here’s the main cabin with just a bit more edge work to do this weekend and we should be ready for interior priming early next week.

With this much practice, one gets fairly proficient at making the corner fillets.

The tricks turned out to be (1) 1:10 ratio of cabosil to glass balloons in the epoxy mix, (2) keep the mix runny, just falling off the spatula and laying it in the corner starting from the bottom, and (3) using a mortar board to really press out the air bubbles of the mixed putty before applying to the target area. Most of these don’t need any sanding at all.


The sheet metal shop neighbor cut stainless steel panels for the galley backsplash and countertop. The vertical piece was bonded in place yesterday and the counter skin was glued down to its glass and foam base here. The sink is under mount, so the epoxy putty was tinted grey on the inner edges that will be showing.

There’s more edge sanding to do. The stainless steel is hiding beneath a grey plastic cover for now, so you don’t get to see it until the interior is all painted soon.

Above the stove and counter will be a four foot long by seven inch wide bar; a plank of mahogany has been saved for many years to make special accents in the boat – this bar will be a centerpiece if all goes well. We finally got access to the right saw and big planer, resulting in some fantastic wood grain pieces for laminating to foam cores. Here’s a peek at what’s coming.



Messing about

Remember Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence? All day long before they escaped to the river rafting. Today’s version was fairing putty for the aft cabin. To one bucket, add: 4 pumps of epoxy resin, 1 pump of hardener, a half scoop of Cabosil and a scoop and a half or so of phenolic micro balloons. Stir and add balloons til just past runny. Smear on walls, bunks, cabinets, overhead, etc. Repeat process when bucket is empty. Over and over :)

Peeking in the porthole later, it looks kinda like whitewashing the walls. However this leads to sanding tomorrow! And probably a second, finer coat of fairing compound. All in the name of GETTING TO PAINT – the new big goal.

After the cabins get primer paint, we’ll bond in all the wood trim pieces. The foam panel to wood seams will get touched up, then the finished wood gets masked off for the final paint. So all that wood trim is getting epoxied now.

Every piece has a number written on the back for placement, as they’ve all been cut to size. Lots of little busy work and not much to show you here on the website for a bit.

The bike trip last week was great inspiration for this fall. Rolling down the pacific coast highway, thinking about sailing the new boat on a parallel path soon!


Big rain eliminated the 5Th day leg to Santa Barbara, but we enjoyed 300 miles anyway. And we learned that strenuous biking burns about 5,000 calories over a 75 mile day. So we of course chose to eat like kings. Bill attacks tri tip and linguisa in Santa Maria…

Thanks for the good company, my friend! And to Mark, Dave and Steve. And especially Fred for driving the suitcase car :)