2012 Projects

Does wrapping up my career at Temple University, finishing off two major consulting gigs, packing up and selling my house count in the list of completed projects for 2012. How else to explain my seemingly slow start to the 2012 season of costly repairs in exotic locations, otherwise known as cruising? How about the hand holding that is done as one's child goes through the college admissions process?
2012 didn't start off too well. In fall 2011 I had jammed the sail head car of the in-mast furling system at the top of the mast. This spring the yard took out the mast in order to fix the problem. When they got the mast out they found that it was cracked along its seam in the bottom seven feet. Kudos to Travelers Insurance for agreeing to pay the claim, less my deductible and a wee bit for depreciation, on this. The new mast will be a conventional flaking sail rig. I really was not at all happy with the in-mast furling system. The sail had no power and it was a bear to get the sail in and out, mostly due to the very early vintage of the system. For a mast photo essay go to the installation page.  Some of the tasks associated with the mast installation were left to me.  Mostly these tasks involved opening up the cabin headliner in order to get access to the nuts on various bolts holding hardware to the cabin roof.  The of course it all had to be put back together again.   These tasks are documented below.
On the to-do list is the replacement of the inspection port gaskets on the water tanks. Pretty nasty looking gasket. The successor company to AFP doesn't make gaskets for these tanks used by Caliber.
When I commissioned the water system this spring I went to the forward head and turned on the faucet at the sink. Yikes, who is spraying water on my legs? The bowl on the forward sink drain had just fallen off. There was a little thumb screw on the bowl that had just rusted away. The photo below is the aft head drain. The previous owner threw a little 5200 on it to reduce the leak rate.After much searching high and low, wailing and gnashing of teeth, I finally found the replacement trap at an RV web site that is a distributor for Camco (the folks that sell/distribute potable antifreeze. The sink strainers that I took out, not shown, were pieces of plastic crap. I replaced them with stainless bar sink strainers that I found at Home Depot.
There had been leaks in the small hatches in the aft head and over the galley. These would leak only after raining steadily for several days so checking them out was low on the list of tasks.I started with the hatch over the galley. To my horror I found that the plywood backer to the headliner had rotted where the water had been collecting, apparently for years. Again, the previous owner(s) or their boatyard had found a purely cosmetic solution to a problem: They smeared sealant between the interior trim and the metal hatch frame. This had the effect of keeping the water out of the cabin, but also directing it out onto the headliner. In the following frames are some photos of what I found when I took out the trim around the other hatches.The photo at left is a close-up of the hatch over the galley. It is not the worst of the litter.The photo at right and below is the large hatch in the master berth.The plywood is replete with fungus!
In the photo at left you can see the rot and also part of the cause. The opening was cut so large that the frame screws in this one barely caught the fiberglass, with the result that there wasn't much of the hatch frame lip that could sit on the deck. What you can't see in the pictures is that the corners were cut way too deep and did not match the curvature of the hatch frames. In a couple of places it was only the 3M 5200 between the cabin interior and the great blue sky. This is really poor quality workmanship and disappoints me given the great reputation that Caliber has enjoyed over the years.
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So, you ask, how do I keep the water out with no hatches in place? Lucky for me the weather was really good the first two days that I spent removing the hatches. With the threat of rain I covered the openings with tarps for a night Now the boat is snug with shrink wrap tape over the openings. You can also see that the mast collar is sealed, with black Gorilla Tape.Tony van der Waal, the local fiberglass man (who rebuilt my holding tank last year) supplied me with the tape to keep things dry until he can fix the corners and other palces where the openings are just too darn big
hatch_01.JPG (109149 bytes) This final pair of hatch photos shows the next to last step and the finished job.  In the end it doesn't look like much, but the four hatches were a lot of work getting it all done. hatch02.JPG (120503 bytes)
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The sequence of photos above shows another 2012 project that turned out to be more than I expected. When it rained hard for a few hours a week or so ago I noticed a single drip of water from the port over the stove.  The season I bought the boat I noticed that the cabin face at that port was puckered and I gave it a poke.  Of course the result was to nearly put my finger through the facing.  Having observed a drip I decided it was time to move the port up to the top of the list. The cabin facing was formica faced plywood.  Apparently this leak had been present for many years, judging by the rot in the plywood. Since I didn't want to buy 4x8 sheets of plywood and formica to make a piece that would measure 14" wide by 10" high, I bought a small piece of white masonite to fill the space in the middle photo.  The nearly finished job is the photo on the left.
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P1001404.jpg (262136 bytes) These are some views of the shelf and microwave box over the galley sink. The original intent was to do it in teak. The price of teak varies greatly from year to year, and this year it is rather high. Doing the cabinetry in oak is about 1/5th the cost of teak.   After some effort to find a stain that will give it a color close to the interior teak I have decided that I will just varnish it.  Once varnished it will be more amber in color and will have a nice contrast to the darker teak.  The finished product is shown at the left.
bookshelf.jpg (61990 bytes) The new bookshelf at left is in my cabin.  The books in the shelf have been living in valuable cabinet space that can be put to better uses.  The new chart rack is in the main salon.  The charts have been living under the settee cushions.  At the rsik of sounding like the princess that could feel the pea under 40 mattresses, having the charts under the settee cushions was neither comfortable nor good for the charts and cushions.  chart rack.jpg (49756 bytes)
mast01.jpg (2615451 bytes)   After the old mast came out I spent a lot of time looking through the hole in the cabin sole at the new step placed over the original step holes.  Even allowing for the distortions for perspective and camera angle you see in the photo at right that the step is too far to one side. In the photo at the left you can see the fruit of several hours of labor that went into convincing the rigger that the original mast step was in the wrong place. In a first pass I connected the old holes from two previous masts like a piece of graph paper.  This alone was enough to convince me that the old step was wrong.  Next I found the center of the well in which the mast would be stepped.   That is the black dot.  As a next step I got out my levels and plumb bob.   With these I transferred the athwartship center of the mast collar down to the keel then I transferred the center line of the J-bolt holes down to the step.  The result is the crossed red lines and the red dot to mark where I thought the step should be placed.  Mike Sipala, the rigger, and I then did a few other athwartship measurements to confirm my red dot.  To anticipate the story a little, with the mast stepped in its proper location the list to port is now largely gone and the boat sails the same speed on both tacks.  sole-Hole01.jpg (1980988 bytes)
sole-hole02.jpg (1875130 bytes) sole-hole03.jpg (2076046 bytes) sole holly.JPG (93769 bytes)
sole trim.JPG (103341 bytes) When the old mast was taken out of the boat it pulled apart the teak and holly veneer of the cabin sole.  You can see what I found in the picture two rows above on the far right. In that picture the missing bit of veneer seems small; in truth the veneer faced plywood had been pulled loose from the underlayment. In the above row at the far left the photo shows how I cut back the veneer ply to where I could piece in some new stock. The middle photo shows the new stock cut to shape.  The far right photo in the above row shows its appearance after stain and varnish.  The photo at the immediate left shows the trim I made to cover the mast hole in the cabin sole so it looks more finished.  In the photo the two pieces don't seem to match in color.  This is an illusion created by the lighting and the iPhone flash.
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In the above sequence of pictures one starts with the vanity as originally constructed.  Since i don't wear make-up and the stool - vanity combo were too small for me to sit and work on my computer I decided I could live without the vanity.   After teking out the stool I left the brackets so the next owner can restore the vanity if they choose. The third picture in the row has the new face in place.  The blue tape tells me how to get it in since the opening is not quite square.  The finished product is shown at the right. vanity-done.JPG (116850 bytes)
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In the row of pictures above, from left to right, you can see the one of the fancy new line organizers that replaced those that were installed when the boat was built. As Milton Friedman was known to have said, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." For me the cost was surgery on the headliner of the cabin. New trim pieces will hide the inartful surgery.
line_org01.JPG (126418 bytes) line_org02.JPG (84691 bytes) In the two photos to the left you can see the completion of hiding the surgery done to the headliner in the installation of the new, black line organizers on deck.The headliner surgery and one of the organizers is shown above.  Until I was lying on the floor taking the picture I had never ntoiced that the longitudinal trim stringer is not on the same line in both the main saloon and my cabin.
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The new mast also necessitated some surgery on the coach roof and headliner. Since the new mast was not the same size and shape as the old one it was necessary to install a new mast collar. To get the old collar out we had to do surgery on the surrounding headliner. The new mast collar required cutting  a bigger hole through the cabin top and also meant making a new backer board between the coach roof and the headliner. Of course, since getting hands inside the headliner meant stretching the fabric some, so when it was restapled to the new and differently shaped hole there was some puckering. To give the whole thing a more finished look it was necessary to make some trim pieces. The trim pieces are shown  in the above row at the far right in my 'paint shed,' which is actually a covered dinghy rack. The trim that now hides where the entry of the mast through the cabin ceiling is at the right. cabin top trim.JPG (84150 bytes)
knot01.JPG (112382 bytes) knot02.JPG (107429 bytes) It is important to know when your rudder is at dead ahead.  Many people,me included, just put a piece of tape on their wheel for this purpose.  With the passage of time, heat and sun the glue on the tape deteriorates to a sticky, slimy mess.  The tape comes off, the glue residue gets on your hands. A mess.  On my previous sailboats I was a member of the messy glue club, but I always coveted the fancy knot that some people used to mark the dead ahead spot on their wheel.  Today (9/9/2012) during cocktail hour I got out my book "Morrow's knots" and put a Turk's Head on my wheel. The fruit of my labor is shown at the left. It might get dirty, it might come undone, but it won't turn into the usual gooey mess of tape. BTW, does this count as a project for 2012 since it took mere minutes to complete?
Old Microwave Opening Go back and look at the shelf project. That's a good lad. Notice that at the end of the sequence there is a microwave oven in the box on the shelf. The microwave came out of the opening at the far upper left of this row. At the immediate left is the same opening with new trim waiting to be stained. The finished product is at the lower left.  As a an added bonus I also did the retaining fiddle for the shelf that houses my system documentation (the notebooks) and some cruising guides; lower right.
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In connection with the new mast I made the decision to have an inner forestay so that I can fly a storm sail instead of just trying to roll up the genoa into the size of hanky, making it essentially useless. In my vintage and size of Caliber the inner forestay was an option, but it was not chosen by the initial owner of Andante. To do the inner forestay a new chainplate, the beauty at the left, will be installed in the foredeck at the far left.

In the row below the new chainplate has been installed.  The superb finish quality of the new chainplate led me to remark that I should install it as a hood ornament on my new Rolls Royce, if only I had one.  You can see yourself in the highly polished surface; more corrosion resistant.  There isn't a flaw to be seen. In the row below you can see the underside of the deck where the chainplate has been installed; attached to the underside of the deck by its 'wings' and also attached to the longitudinal dvider in the anchor locker.  This is much better construction than is to be found on the factory installed chainplate.  BTW, if you are a Caliber owner contemplating this then be prepared to spend 1.7 boat bucks,


solent1.JPG (66164 bytes) solent2.JPG (83365 bytes) solent3.JPG (132834 bytes)
Canvas_Vicky.JPG (138449 bytes) Canvas_Steve.JPG (98435 bytes) The new bimini and dodger have been built by Canvas by Victoria.  Vicky is a virtuoso of canvas work.She and her husband (who sometimes assists her) are shown at left.   Within a day of the new canvas being on the boat several people stopped by to say "Wow, who did that for you?"