Boatyard punchlist

Ravenswing came to the Spaulding Boatworks yard for minor repairs to the deck and port float hull from the mast fall. We had a small list of “well, while we’re here…” things to do. 

First up was maintenance and installation adjustments for the engine. In retrospect we should have bought an extra-long (30”) shaft, to get the propeller lower in the water and avoid some of the cavitation we’re experiencing in waves. With some surgery we could lower the motor 2.5” in its mount box. 


Then we bought longer control cables to facilitate routing them up higher out of the way in the equipment room. Also changed the lower unit oil for the first time; it was in good shape after the break in period. 
The big task turned out to be a redo of the escape hatch. It had been installed with the hinges on the forward edge, but when it opened, the swing was deep through the water. Also, the hull recess didn’t properly match the metal hatch frame, and I had offset the hinges a bit to compensate. Which of course had led to some water getting past the seal at high speeds. So what we thought was to be a couple hours maybe for hinge adjust and reset turned into a job across four days. The hull flange had to be chopped 3/4” along the top and then that offcut bonded down on the bottom edge. Then the hull had to be rebated around the hinges for the new (proper) swing pattern. We think the hatch will just clear the water now when opening. 

Those pics show you the new black Petit Trinidad bottom paint. Gone is the snazzy white look,  but this proper bottom black looks pretty serious. And we paid the yard pros to do a real boot stripe this time. (Straight, unlike our amateur wavy job last year).

We’re tackling our daggerboard vibration / howl issues in two ways. First is stopping the slop when the board is down. The trunk is 88milimeters wide inside, except for the top and bottom three inches that had extra glass wrapped over from the deck (and hull bottom) into the trunk. The hull builder did that for strength, but not to the plans, and it made the opening only 81.5mm. I made the daggerboard head (via shims) just a hair under 81mm to fit the opening, allowing 6.5mm slop once the Board was down. So to compensate we ripped long 3mm clear fir shims to bond on each side inside the trunk. They got epoxied coated and painted on the workbench, then epoxy-putty bonded in. That was tricky; buttering the 5’ long pieces and carefully sliding them up into the trunk, not letting the putty hit until the placement was right. Four went on each side. Bottom paint still needs to be applied to these inside the case, up to the waterline. 

Part two will be some reshaping of the board, to be tackled when we take it back home after weighing the boat. 

Final finish paint to the deck repairs went on Saturday so we could launch today.  But a 9am call from the manager informed us that paint didn’t get warm enough and had glazed over dull. So they’re redoing it, hopefully for a Wednesday launch. Also meaning we still don’t have the boat’s weight for the mast builder. 

On Friday afternoon I helped the project manager attend to the 54-yr old hydraulic scale. Turned out to be a simple low-on-fluid problem. As the sun was setting we hatched our plan to check the calibration. Here was our victim. 

The data plate shows its curb weight at …6,970lbs. Crazy to think that little forklift weighs close to our 40’ x 28’ boat. Anyway, up it went

And the scale shows …

… a very accurate match to the tagged weight. Certainly good enough for our mast-build needs, and we’ll put this scale in the crane rigging on Wednesday. 

As much as we need fall rain, we’ve had enough to totally screw up this haul out trip so just another 36 hours sans rain would be great. 

Anybody wanting to go for a motorboat ride Wednesday, Sausalito to Richmond, get in touch.  

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From the bottom up

We launched Ravenswing last year from a trailer. Everyone has had the visual perspective from the water level, or up from a high pier. Today we got to see the boat flying overhead. And it was nerve-wracking!  Thanks to Drew, Dean, Joe and RickH for humor that helped relieve the tension.

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Those shots show the white Petit Vivid bottom paint after 15 months in the water. To be fair, we hadn’t scrubbed since the mast came down in August. But that paint is NOT for stay-in-the-water boats, in my opinion. This week we’re going with Petit’s Trinidad with Ingersol anti-foulant. It’s on a high percentage of boats around here. And we’re going with black, so the boat will look a bit different.

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The boat stayed suspended in the slings during the crew’s lunch hour, and then a proper power wash to get rid of the growth.

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That’s Bryce in the plaid shirt. He ran the huge old electric crane, and expertly taped off a new boot-stripe / bottom paint line for the crew to start on tomorrow. Basically, when we painted for the first time last year the brushes “listed aft” a bit. The bow is fine, but the stern is about 3″ too low (at least it was just-barely above the standing waterline).

What didn’t happen was getting a weight. The plan was to use Myron Spaulding’s 1963 hydraulic load cell, in between the crane hook at the slings. IMG_5095

Unfortunately it hadn’t been used in at least five years and was low on fluid. And the load cell must be laid on its side to fill, which wasn’t going to work with a four ton boat hanging from it. So we’re scrambling to find a modern load cell to rent/borrow before launching next week.

We walked through the dismasting repairs with Bryce and work will start tomorrow. While the boat is out, I’ll focus on daggerboard further fairing and trunk shimming, re-orienting and fixing the hinge on the escape hatch so it swings up instead of aft, doing some motor maintenance, minor stress-crack fixes to overly thick fairing areas, and if there’s time, get some graphics onto the float hulls.

New to the website here is a collection of videos. The page will always be up in the top navigation bar, and hopefully this link will work so you can see Ravenswing in mid-air today:

https://cartersboat.com/ravenswing-videos/

 

Working the punch list

So it wasn’t great planning, but the boat builder took off for the mountains a week before launching, leaving his dear wife and friend to tackle 100’s of fit&finish details. THANK YOU, ladies :)  Griffin and Greg supported the racers of the Lost & Found Gravel Grinder, including driving the 100 mile sweep land cruiser to pick up stragglers, fix bikes, etc. Great event from an outstanding organization – Sierra Buttes Trails Stewardship.

Last week’s boat work highlights:

The pulpit got it’s feet cut from a multi-layer laminate of 1708DB cloth, then bonded on to the tubes:

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The bolt holes in the hull were finished, so we can launch without the pulpit and take time to finish and paint it later, then it will simply bolt on at the marina. Done for now!

Leslie got to build her first vacuum bag composite parts. We tackled the companionway hatch boards.

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that’s medium density (5lb) foam, with high density foam inserts for the lock areas (yellow foam). Inside face of these boards is some extra heavyweight carbon uni plus a glass surface layers. Outside is kevlar cloth with a glass wear cloth outermost.

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These probably won’t get done this week either, so we’ll whack something temporary out of plywood, and get back to these post-launch (see the pattern here?)

The mast base came back from welding working out exactly as planned. I was worried about aligning the holes for the big pins to hold the halyard turning sheaves, because of that 7 degree rise we talked about earlier. But once back on the bench it was obvious that the holes were in 90 degree alignment. So a few hours of careful drilling various needs and Griffin’s excellent wire brushing, and this was handed in for anodizing. The daggerboard is done too, so this will all get trial fit Wednesday.

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Ever since Jim Antrim designed the rudder’s self-steering trim tab, we’ve avoided the problem of how to affix the tab to it’s steerer tube. No metal-to-composites solution seemed to make sense. One day recently Charlie and Geoff visited, and we brainstormed up a fiberglass pin solution. So the other day, facing one of those, “well, just gotta go for it” moments I started drilling holes in a rudder that would cost at least three grand to get replaced by a pro.

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There you see the tab separate from the rudder body. One carbon tube was built in to both the tab and the rudder (above). Now a second tube slides in but has to get affixed to the tab and stay loose-fit in the rudder body to rotate. The red rod is fiberglass that we cut to make 3 cross-pins thru both tubes in the tab area.

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these plugs got little carbon ‘butterfly strips’ glued over the top to keep them from sliding out, then they were faired in. (note to self – next post record the exact placement inches, and remember the tiny divots that mark the pin centers in case they ever have to come out).

Griffin shared the load on doing the bottom paint. I was so “over it” from all the fairing and primer work, so it was great to have a partner to crawl under the boat and paint about 2″ from one’s face. It all looks good, so of course now I want to make a bit more time to burnish it in to a fast racing bottom this week!

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(there just might be a bit more orange showing up soon…)

This road has been long enough for each of the Carters to pass four birthdays during the build. No more teenagers to launch this boat!

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Three more days in the shop to finish up steering, motor controls, daggerboard install, and paint for rudder, stern tower, beams undersides and companionway details. All that and a lot of little finish things (like 1/2 the plumbing!) make it a crazy home stretch. Charlie has the game plan for logistics in Napa, so now we hit the gas for a Saturday boat assembly.

PS – no shop time was sacrificed in the making of this post (typed as a passenger riding back from Sierras :)

T – minus three weeks!

Ok friends, start your countdown timers ’cause we’re setting the launch date for the June 11/12 weekend. Many self imposed deadlines have come and gone over the past four years, but today we can actually see the finish line. While y’all are grilling, drinking, riding, sailing, etc for Memorial Day weekend, we’ll be hitting this punch list hard.

20160518-224539.jpg That’s the list on the shop white board, and of course there’s another dozen or so items in the margins of the little orange notebook the builder carries around :) (eg fix the flat tire on the trailer holding the beams out in the driveway)

All deck hardware is just about buttoned up now. About an hour more of securing a few more bolts to go. Ventilation should be good inside, with three deck hatches, the two companionways, a dorade up front, two opening ports in the main cabin, two in the bow, and three in the aft cabin.

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The all-stainless steel purchasing for sailing hardware has Jeanne appreciating the “boat bling” look. All this stuff cost about like buying decent gold and diamonds, but hopefully the enjoyment per hour is well spent on the sea side of the equation.

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Last year we wrote about concerns of the captive-pin mast base, especially after seeing the same design as our mast’s step having cracked on the Contour34 tri. Recall the Keith at Skateaway set us up with a receiver cup at the bottom of the mast. Yesterday we finally tackled designing and building a replacement mast step. Farrier’s F39 plan isn’t quite right because he has the halyards on either side of the receiver ball, while we built our mast for them to exit just aft of the ball. So we used Farrier’s load solving but did some shape changing. Things were a bit tricky because the deck slopes about seven degrees off level and we want the ball to sit close to level with the water. Here’s the one we’re replacing. Missing in the photo is a high density plastic insert carved with a cylinder to accept the round steel pin from the mast. Note the old piece is stainless steel.

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So first on paper, then mocked up in wood. The plywood chunk at the left represents the deck slope.

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Next was sharp blades on the chop saw and table saw to cut shapes and make the 7 degree bevels needed. Ouch, $125 for about 2-1/2 sq feet of 1/2″ and 3/8″ 6061 aluminum.

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Took about three hours last night to cut and sand/grind everything in prep for the welder this evening.

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The welding shop was happy to get things properly prepped, with 1:1 scale drawing and a wood go-by mockup. We had left the proper 1/4″ fillet weld spaces at the seams – overall not bad for first time amateurs. Then the casually noted, yea we can do this in two hours; that’ll be $280, sir. After that it’s a stop at the anodizer, and this will be a $500+ part even though we designed it and cut it all out. Geez.

The bow area got its last big job, the forestay installation. Thanks again to Colligo for custom cutting this in titanium. Kind of a pity it’s hidden down in the hole. Keith will note the nice big ring nut to anchor the jib tack adjuster :)

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The bottom paint isn’t on yet because the thru hulls aren’t installed because one had to be special ordered from Forespar, etc (see how this works?), and we don’t want to mix up bottom paint until the daggerboard is also prepped. Last winter recall the America’s Cup foils building vet Cozmo pointed out the flaws in my dagger leading edge (“you know that sag will be slow, Carter” has been haunting for months ). He instructed on setting up a straight edge and re-fairing. Here goes: first see the problem gap.

20160518-232213.jpg next we filled that void.

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And got the leading edge of the board back to a straight line up and down.

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A quick phone call with the foil master tonight confirmed the next step is to make a careful wooden shaping jig cut from a proper foil leading edge shape (have that shape in the Farrier full size plans). He said we only need to worry about getting the right leading edge rounding, and a properly symmetric first three or so inches shape flowing back. So the jig can be short-legged, not pulled all the way down these very large daggerboard sides. A few more hours this week to go.

All the hardware backing plates are pretty woods inside – more photos next time- but anything outside is plastics. This 3/4″ high density stock from Tap machines very easily to make spacers under the rope clutches.

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This is the stuff we’re doing each evening now as the push to finish the list heats up. Very excited for Saturday when Jeanne and Leslie measure all the seating areas and map out the cushion foam we’ve been squirreling away for a couple years :). Curtains begin this week too. Yea!

Golden Gate Bridge

Last week we showed off the white and grey paint job. But it needs a little splash of color, too. The paint purchase included a quart of nice royal blue, but it looked like Tommy Lasorda’s big belly in a Dodgers warmup jacket. My mother and her father would be ashamed. So we tried three time mixing bits of red into the can of yellow paint on hand, but the pukey gold results were frustrating. Then with the last of the red paint can, we dropped in bits of yellow in search of orange. Suddenly the boat’s accent color jumped out – Golden Gate orange :)

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There are many ‘odds and ends’ smaller paint tasks being checked off. Here we’re sprucing up the wine cellar for Jimbo:

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And the boom is finished:

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We put together the bow sprit parts supplied by Keith at Skateaway Design. This is a slick system; it uses the pole only as a positioning device, not load bearing. All the forces are passed through to the bow, the bobstay and the whisker stays. The reacher roller furler hooks on to the stainless steel ‘J’, and the spinnaker tack enters the pole from the slot in the cone fitting, and exits the center of the end cap. (Note to self, the bobstay measure is 103″ pin to pin)

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This sprit does not retract upwards; it turns to the side by ‘unleashing’ one of the whisker stays. The bow end rotates on the white delrin roller:

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Question here for Keith…
Are you thinking that a halyard shackled to the outboard end is always the upward support means? Perhaps a phone call when you’re back home?

Windows and plumbing up next.

Like a ’55 Bel Air

Cream on top, pastel colors on the bottom… Looking good for cruising.

Little grommet neighbors have been hanging around the shop neighborhood lately so they got the fun of pulling tape

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Then it was time to stand back and breathe a sigh of relief:

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And this is where we think the waterline wraps around the tail end (stern end rests up above the water):

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It’s a nice ten-foot paint job, especially for a first time amateur. But since the cockpit needs to be a one-footer, we’re wet sanding today and carefully applying one more coat with newfound roll&tip skills. Cross those fingers! (Yes, all this is counter to news a few months back about having a pro spray guy come in, but that’s what money and logistics’ll get you).

We decided to paint all the metal (aluminum) strut/support parts for the floats, but wanted to anodize the bow sprit. Finally made it to that shop yesterday – nope, our 72″ pole is too long for the tank (yes Bill, by 4 inches!). It’s at least 100 miles to the next anodizer shop so that’s not happening. What do you think, just paint it like the other stuff, or go find the local powder coating place? I don’t know how powder coating stands up to the sea. Hmmmm

Getting the hang of it

Note to self (and other builders): it takes one quart of mixed two-part Interlux paint to cover one coat of everything exterior above the nets.

We thought the purchasing department might have gone a bit overboard on paint buying, but the last Off White quart was cracked open late today to start the rudder and radar / vane tower. With the hard top and hatchboards still to go, (plus a few cockpit area spots needing a third coat) hopefully we have just enough!

Prepping for, and rolling out, this hard candy shell style marine paint has been quite a learning curve, including trial and error of supplies. One has to go bold, even when running up the hill to Home Depot to buy more foam roller covers. Yea, get four of those 5-packs, we’re going to burn through them! Mostly science, but part art in getting the thinner amount right, how much pressure on the roller, etc. I’ve actually not been “tipping” off after the roller; getting good results with small rollers, going back over the work after about a minute and having the roller pop the first pass’ bubbles. Anyway, here are a few glamour shots at the end of a long work weekend.

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And for those of you who’ve been in the shop and seen these parts strewn about in their ugly/raw forms, happily note they’re shiny and about ready for prime time.

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And here on the port side anchor locker door you see the hawse-hole where the windlass mounts and drops the chain below the deck.

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Well, Bob it probably won’t be 72 degrees in the shop during the evenings this week, but if it’s in the 60s we’ll get cracking on the topsides (that today seem a helluvalot bigger than blank BurmaShave billboards to paint…