Sunday, March 27, 2016

Too Busy to Blog

It's crazy how fast this past week has gone. It seems like yesterday I picked up George and Jinder from Jolly Harbour Marina and yet today we rented a car and drove Jinder from Falmouth out to the airport for his trip home.

We've walked several beaches, had several drinks... we've bobbed in the spectacularly beautiful Antiguan waters and, most importantly, tackled and solved all of the problems in the world. We are excellent problem solvers.

George has been keeping an account of our days on his blog so for the day-to-day... read his. I'm too lazy.
Jolly Harbour out to Blue Pearl in the anchorage

First Sundowner

New tee-shirt


Another beautiful sunset from Hermitage Bay

The lovely Blue Pearl

Beach drinks in Deep Bay

Deep Bay beach walk

Wow - he is close!

We spent a lot of time working and playing together years ago.. but not so much in recent years. So it was very nice to have this time together.

George and I will fill up our water and do a couple of minor boat chores. Maybe a bus ride into St. Johns on Tuesday. We'll see! Then the ladies arrive on Wednesday to join in the fun. Yay!!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Haven't Got a Clew

No, seriously... I haven't got a clew on my jib. I was at the end of a beautiful sail from North Sound to Five Islands Bay when the jib started to go crazy. I wasn't clear what was going on but it was time to drop everything and get ready to anchor.

Got any glue?

After anchoring, the jib sheet was dangling so I coiled it up and spotted the clew. As Seaside Sid says, "Break out another thousand - or 3!"

The jib was the only sail we hadn't replaced over the years so I guess this is a good thing. Blue Pearl has new chain plates and a new jib coming up.

To paraphrase Captain Ron, "We must be at the end of the season. We had just enough money to do the season - AND WE'RE OUT OF MONEY!!!"

Heavy winds for the next while so I'll sail with reefed main and staysail while George and Jinder visit.

And we will enjoy the beauty of Antigua!

Good times with good friends!

Friday, March 18, 2016

On the Hook

After 2 weeks tied up to the dock, ripping Blue Pearl apart to install new chain plates, it is nice to be at anchor in Davis Bay.

I have a busy day planned. Going to read my book, do the daily sudoku, have a swim and take a nap. Repeat as necessary.

North Sound Marina a mile or two away

Jumby Bay Resort

Fancy shmancy rental units

Tug-barge back and forth with construction materials.
George and Jinder are coming down on Monday. Jinder will spend a week with us before heading back to work. Then Deb and Pam come down for another week or 10 days - before we head back to North Sound to haul. Fun, fun, fun!

So thank goodness I'll have Pam to help me put the boat to bed for the summer!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

New Chainplates for Blue Pearl

Since Pam went home to visit family and friends, I've been slowly taking things apart.  I'm a ditherer, though and it was going very slowly.  I stare at things for hours on end, trying to figure out the best way to proceed.  Then I have a beer which really slows me down.

It's kind of like last summer when we put in a new patio sliding glass door.  We would have had an open-air family room for weeks, except my good friend, Burnsie, took over.  He was a construction guy for years and then taught it at school for years.  So, in a day the door was done. And, he works for beer!

Cushions gone, back off

Slider cupboard screws to the walls and from underneath the shelf. Weird that IP covers many screws with bungs... but not all.  Doesn't seem to follow any particular pattern.

Same on the other side

Remove trim to allow shelf to move

Shelf screws into rails at either end and along the back

Where's all this crap going to go?

Onto a pallet - Odie will take it into the warehouse for storage

So it was great to get into NorthSound Marina and meet Hamilton Simon, a local marine woodworker.  He was recommended to me by the yard and so I was pretty confident that he would be good.

Most of these workers down here have got nicknames so I asked Hamilton what I should call him.  He said, "Hamilton."

He was on the boat for 2 hours and removed all the remaining cabinetry on the port side.

Fiberglass hull is exposed

Can get at the chainplates from here and in the locker in the master cabin

Drawing courtesy of IP

Fiberglass strands in forward cabin locker

Hope to capture most of the fiberglass dust from grinding
The chain plates have arrived in Antigua and so once they have been ransomed from Customs I'll have them for installation.

I'm not going to bore you with post after post about this process... but I am going to continue to update this particular post as a way of chronicling this adventure.  I have really appreciated seeing what other people went through so maybe someone will find this helpful down the road.

Cheers for now!

Update - Friday, March 4, 2016
Its five o'clock somewhere... actually here in Antigua it is 5 o'clock on Friday March 4 and my broken chain plates are gone and the new ones are installed!  I'm enjoying a Gin and Tonic - like Pam says, "You need to be able to taste the gin!"

The chain plates arrived from Upland California here to Antigua in 2 days.  Fedex cost was about $300 but it was great to have them in a timely fashion.

Leon arrived at the boat around 3:30 and worked to 6:30 ripping out the offending metal.  It is so cool to see a tradesman work with confidence and authority.  I mentioned earlier... I'd be staring at the problem, paralyzed by indecision but Leon just rises to the occasion.  Half the time his tools don't work - a tropical problem I encounter all the time - but he just changes tools and works at it a different way.

At 6:30 we attempted to fit the new chain plates but realized that we were going to have to cut away more furniture so we called it a day.

A package from Fedex - whatever can it be?

Ooooohhhhh, shiny!

Leon the Magician/Terminator

Able to rip away the old strands after cutting and chiseling at the top

Old fiberglass strands peeled away

They didn't have any fiberglass strands at Budget Marine and, inconveniently, Island Packet Yachts just shut their doors (restructuring?) so I couldn't get the ones they normally send out as part of their repair package. So unweave some woven mat!

Woven mat

Turns into unidirectional strand - used every cleat in sight to hold 20 strand bundles
We dry-fit the new chain plate - had to cut the odd notch and widen in places to get it in.  I should have taken photos of the top-side process.  The old stainless is 304 - strong as hell but vulnerable to corrosion.  The new stuff is 316.  Not as strong but much more rust resistant. So, the new chain plates are bigger, and so the holes through the boat have to be enlarged.  Used my Dremel Fine Saw to cut away and a tiny hand saw to get into corners. One of those Dremel side cutters - a high speed drill bit sort of thing that cuts laterally would have really come in handy.

We put a bunch of Silpruf - a silicone product that sticks to stainless and wood on the top of the angle iron and then pulled the chain plate up using the shrouds.  Filled all the edges with Silpruf and then fastened the new covers so that the Silpruf gushed out.

After clean-up it looks fantastic.

Dry-fit the new chain plate - took a little wood bashing to get it in.
Use the shrouds to pull it up into place.
After lunch, Leon came back and started glassing in the "suspenders."  The architect of this boat called his chain plate method "Belt and Suspenders."  The belt is the piece of angle iron that resists up against the hull deck connection and the suspenders are the fiberglass strands that are epoxied onto the side of the hull.  I might have that backwards.  Who cares!

We put 4-20 strand "suspenders" over each of the nubs that stick through the deck.  Not sure how many IP used but it looks to be even more than was there before. (Hey, I just said 4-20.  The kids at school would all be chuckling conspiratorially!)

Leon wetting a 20 strand "suspender" to loop over the metal and adhere to the fiberglass hull


Added mat on top for extra strength - wasn't called for but can't hurt.


And the last one
BTW, IP says to cover the metal with mat and introduce weep holes for water egress.  Why would you want to do that?  We are leaving the metal exposed.  If it gets wet, it will dry.

So, in fact... Blue Pearl has new port side chain plates!  Pam should come back down tomorrow so we can go sailing.  But I don't think that's going to happen so tomorrow we will put the cabinetry back together and wreck the other side.


Update - Monday, March 7, 2016
It's 6 PM and I can taste the gin!

I expected Hamilton, the Carpenter on Saturday but he didn't show up.  Not surprising down south.

I was able to get most of the restoration done with the exception of a few things I need to run by Hamilton. Need a few custom cuts and strips to hide the evidence!

New trick! I'm finding that if I put my tools away where they belong after I use them it is easier to find them when I need them. I'll keep doing it for a while to see if it continues to work. Must tell Pam!

Master cabin hanging locker back together

Main cabin hanging locker tidy-up

AC and wiring done

Attached ventilation hoses and got the shelf on

Furniture back in place... need to work on trim
Hamilton arrived just after noon and worked until 4:30.  In that time we finished 95% of the port side and demolished enough of  the starboard side so that Leon can come tomorrow to remove/install the starboard chain plates.
OK, now for starboard side... this scares me!

This took a little bit of destructive energy!

Shorter strands
Strands going fore and aft. Cut away the bulkhead?
Up in the master cabin, the exposed area for the uni-direction strands is shorter (top to bottom.) The strands end where the interior liner meets the outside hull.

Also, the center chain plate is right at the bulkhead. I've seen some folks cut away at the bulkhead so they can flow the glass strands to aft at an angle - like the others. But it just doesn't make sense to me to tamper with a bulkhead. They form a huge structural bond for the boat and I'm leery of mucking around there.  We'll just bring the strands straight down.

After all, Bob Johnson, the architect of this puppy mentioned either the "belt" or "suspenders" would be enough by themselves. The two together make for added insurance. I'll talk to my people (Leon the Magician) and we'll "git er dun!"

"This is going better than I expected," he said - knocking on wood. Nice to work with skilled trades people.

Cheers, Glen

Update - Thursday, March 10, 2016
So Leon was able to get to me for a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoon so we could rip out the starboard chain plate. It looks fine but who knows? It could be full of corrosion, too and just waiting to rip apart. I had some errands to run on Wednesday and Leon has another job over in English Harbour so it was just as well. I thought I was going to get Leon for today but this morning he came by to say he needed to spend the morning finishing up his English Harbour job.

So I puttered around - constant cleaning getting rid of dirt and fiberglass dust, putting things away or at least moving them so we can get at these suspect areas. I was going to do some shopping - I need beer - but I decided instead to have a look at getting the starboard side installed.

I borrowed a dremel tool from Axel (Azaya) and was able to clean out and enlarge the holes for the new chain plates. Then I came below and wrestled it into position, loaded the angle up with Silpruf and cinched it into place with the shrouds.

Sandal to kneel on, dremel to enlarge hole, back stay chain plate to measure fit

OK, ready for a chain plate

Ready to go
Angle steel loaded with Silpruf

Close up

Pulled up from above with the shroud.
Whoops - that didn't work for the upper. The lowers are good and the upper on the other side is good.

Will have to get a custom plate made... Hello Garhauer?
Leon came by around 2:30 and was full of praise of my brilliant work. "Tradesman Quality" my friend Mike, the shop teacher used to say to his kids when they did good work! Yay me!!!

Leon and I spent a couple of hours glassing the whole thing in. Then, since it turns out Leon is from Guyana, we had a glass of Guyanian rum with a beer chaser.

Draping glass strands around the chain plate stub.

And a little extra support with some glass mat
And again up forward in the Master cabin.

Bundles of 20 strands. My job!!!
So tomorrow we will do the two aft ones. Hamilton is coming on Saturday to help me put all the woodwork back in place and... Bob's your uncle. He really is, you know. Family and friends love my old Uncle Bob!

Uncle Bob

Talk to you later!

Last update, Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Done! Boat is all back together.

Friday didn't go all that well. Huge disappointment when it started to rain - like a Noah's arc deluge that we hadn't anticipated. So the very last chain plate fiberglass got wet and we had to tear it all out. Arrrrrrhhhhhh. So I sulked for the whole weekend and did little chores, putting things back together.

Monday didn't start out all that well either. I had given up hope that I was going to see Leon so I was pretty pleased and surprised to see his big grin at 4:30. He popped into the water heater locker and in just over an hour he was done! Very cool. I had a nice bottle of El Dorado 12 year old rum for him - Guyanian rum for the Guyanian.

At least catch some of the dust.

Good thing he's not claustrophobic!

Tuesday I was able to reinstall the SSB tuner and the water heater, Silpruf the last chain plate and generally clean up. God it feels good. Today I got all the cushions and crap back on the boat from storage in the big shed here at North Sound.


My laundry is in at Parham so I'll get it tomorrow and head out... somewhere... don't know where! Folks are coming but that's the focus of a new post.


Carpentry expertise - $200
Fiberglass expertise - $1230
Supplies from Budget Marine (fiberglass and all that kind of stuff) - $1200
Chain plates from Garhauer - $1400
Shipping - $300
Probably some moorage, don't know yet - $300
Sweat equity from me - ?

Total out of pocket for new chain plates - about $4730