Monday, December 1, 2014

Been Plenty Busy

   Just haven't felt like writing about it, or taking pictures and posting. I've been in a nasty funk lately, as our canvas guy has delayed our departure by weeks. I've turned a new attitude and am taking every day as a blessing. There are many worse places we could be than Vero Beach City Marina mooring field.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Living Off The Hook

Not to long ago on the Pearson 424 forum that I hang out at, someone asked if there was any information or drawings, or possible "who" fabricated the anchor platform that was offered to Pearson owners when having a new boat built.

Nobody had any concrete answers, so I offered to the gentlemen inquiring that I would give him an accurate detailed drawing that he could have the exact piece reproduced from any competent fabricating shop.

All I had to do was go forward with measuring tape, paper and and pencil. I noted in my drawings (I shared with the forum) that I would add a third or fourth point to stiffen the platform as it seemed to me it having a weak spot with potential heavy loads from getting a stuck anchor off the bottom. Not to mention that mine was bent at least 5 degrees....I never noticed it till I starting measuring for the drawings.

I had some ideas and traded some unwanted stuff at Sailors Exchange in St Augustine, FL for some various bits and pieces of stainless steel hardware that I could fabricate into something to help beef up the platform. A 1/2" U-Bolt was my starting point. The actual finished bracing point saw a few different ways before I settled on a robust 3/8" plate that supports the brace for the anchor platform and offers me a point near the waterline to lead a snubber line for anchoring. After coming up with a definitive plan, I removed the platform and brought it to a local shop to have straightened and weld up my various pieces.

I backed it all up with 12" x 5" shaped block epoxied into the forward stem. Not sure if I would tow my boat at sea in an emergency from this point, but for sure at anchor it will be fine.

I'm thinking this will take a load off my concerns of have an oversize anchor bury itself a little deep and need some persuasion to pop it free.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bomar Cast Alluminum Hatch Rebuild

   After seeing the replacement cost of these old style offshore hatches we actually went and bought three , one step down, Bomar replacements for just over a $1000. After getting the new ones back to the boat we took a closer look at them side by side with the old ones. Wow! We brought the new ones back for a full refund. Let's keep the old ones and rebuild!

   Once started,  the old lens's came right out. A couple of these were leaking and it seemed to me that the lens were at one time cut to big and not given enough room to expand and contract. Should be (I think) about an 1/8" per foot of lens, 2' hatch=1/4". Google it, find out for yourself.

    The dogs came out just as easy with an 1/8" punch and small hammer.

    Very simple construction, a shaft, a dog, couple of pins and a tightening nut.

   Old dry gasket material just as easily came right out.

   Lots of wire scraper, wire brush and sandpaper cleaning  of all surfaces inside and out, it's kinda therapeutic for me, I just love making things better!

   Sorting through all the dog downs, deciding what is worth keeping and or repairing and how many "new" complete kits to buy.
   I filed and tuned up most all the dogs, had to make a few new shafts with material I had at hand ...
   ... to give me one hatch with 4 new bronze and brass studs, one hatch with original aluminum studs that were in good condition and one hatch with all new kits at $35 a kit. That's the one in the galley, used the most.

   Using an old lens re-cut for more clearance, with a router I traced the new stock for a proper fit.

   Zinc Chromate for the bare aluminum and a couple of coats of paint, let dry for a few days and...

    ... mask everything then...clean, clean and be careful of even your fingerprints as handling the new lens ...
   ... lay on the goop for a waterproof shiny new hatch.
I didn't get any pictures of laying in the new gasket. it went simple enough after a thorough cleaning and then clamping the hatches in place for a couple of days.

   A total of about $100 per hatch, what's not to love about that?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Making Space

   Ever since moving aboard PAINKILLER we've been seeking out additional storage that can be utilized without too much difficulty. Not that we're collecting more and more stuff to fill up these places but to actually have more room to                                    stockpile needed supplies while traveling.

   We're actually planning one more trip to the storage unit with a huge hunk of stuff not really needed, too many fenders, an extra holding tank, jugs and quite a large pile of left over stuff from the previous owner that we thought, maybe we'll want it later. Nah! we'll be fine without it.
Having a shower in itself is a huge storage area of things that can be easily removed for shower use, but this space that was buried behind the outboard wall is too good to waste. It really is huge as it follows the hull all the way down.

A jig saw easily cut through the fiberglass after drawing from the template then a simple gasketed deck hatch gave us another huge dry storage area. A simple job yielding many cubic feet of storage. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Change of Direction Left

  Oh I know, it's been a very long time since I felt I had something new to add to this blog. We took a left turn somewhere back after we finished the stairway to the masthead and put up a two piece shade awning to dampen the summer Florida sun on the boat. We consider it a mock up of a proper awning that will keep the rain and sun off the decks when we venture forth later in the season.

   The left turn ... we bought a house here in Vero Beach. Not to move into mind you, but to be a help to our cruising kitty. We have a single guy and his two Golden Retrievers driving out from California this coming week to take residence and supply us (rental management co.) with a monthly cruising kitty supplement.

  It needed some sprucing up, about 3-1/2 hard weeks labor inside and outside.

  Everything inside scrubbed clean, painted, and needed up-grades to bathrooms and appliances. Everything outside, trimmed, ripped, cut and hauled away to the dump and finishing with a new sod lawn in the back.

   Now let's get back to the boat!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stairway To The Masthead

A not so long time ago we came across a low lying railroad bridge.
We hit it with the top of our mast.

With damage to the anemometer transducer we felt it was in our best interest to invest some $$ to make it easier to get my old gut up the mast without having Vicky being shaking in her boots while tending me up the mast, relying on her sole ability to keep me from plummeting to the deck. 

So we bought some steps.

Of course the old machinist in me felt they were not up to my standards of being de-burred/no sharp edges, so I grabbed a mill file and hit them proper where it counted, just in case I ventured up there barefoot. I will! 

After checking with many others who had and used and installed mast steps, that 18" would be fine. I bought enough steps for that distance but at the last minute (thanks Tor) I went with 16" which lets me very comfortably climb and always have at least three limbs secure on the mast. At 5' 8" and shrinking fast this distance is PERFECT for me.

Here's how I installed them while hanging from a chair....

First, using a self centering bit (designed for centering hinge screws quickly in door installations) I would start a first hole. Great device with a spring loaded collar that centers the drill in a countersunk hole.

I'd then drill out the started hole with the proper drill dia. for a 1/4- 20 tapped hole. Tap the hole  and then attach the mast step base to the mast with one screw. I was using some old diesel fuel as tapping fluid. A little dip of the tap in an old prescription pill container filled with diesel oil did the job of keeping the tap lubricated while easy to get to from a bucket while hanging there.
I'd then fasten the base onto the mast with one screw tight and take the self centering drill to start the other three holes while it was securely in place. 

Then drill the three remaining holes out to the proper dia. for the tap, remove the base and carefully tap all the remaining holes. Then I'd take a countersink and clean the sharp edges off the tapped holes.

A generous douche of Lanocote in the threaded holes...

Another generous coating on the countersunk holes and on each screw threads as final assembly.

A very easy climb...
At the time of this post I have not finished, I had to order more steps. I plan to have a finished height two steps on either side of the mast high enough that I can look "down" onto the masthead for repairs.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

There Goes An Hour And I'm Not Happy.

   Tried messing around with changing things up here at Page Two. I'm mostly disappointed, but I will no doubt leave it for a while. This silly shit takes so much time, I lose interest before I get what I think I really want!

I have been doing things....
(installing mast steps)

Can you find the pencil?

And Vicky too...
(sewing a sun cover for the boat)

Can you find the back scratcher?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Time Out!

    I know it's been a long while since an update, but I can't help that, I've had nothing that feels worthy to write about. We've settled into a space that keeps us close at hand to any eventuality and time to finish sorting out our wants verses our needs for this boat. There will be content coming...


Friday, June 6, 2014


   After settling in here to do some minor repairs that required having parts mailed in, we got into a routine of late morning dingy ride in for shower and computer time in the lounge. Then back out to the boat for lunch or borrow some bikes and go out for a quicky lunch. All the time between? Reading frenzy! Both of us. I finished a 420 page book about the OSS during WWII yesterday at 5:00PM. I started it at noon the day before. In the last week I have started and finished 5 books, I'm not keeping count on Vicky but she too is having a reading frenzy. We sometimes pop up from our books and look at each other and laugh, feel a little funny just reading away, but we know when the frenzy is over we'll just as likely get into a working frenzy, I have the mast steps to put on. No frantic in our lives at this time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Flag

  It really does amaze me sometimes how great it feels to set a brand new flag. Even with all the shit that gets thrown out into the media, the arguments from this side, that side, the truly depressed, they that totally don't give a shit, them that have nothing but love, and those that have nothing but hate......this is America! I was brought up believing we were special.....ehhh....maybe not as special as THEY wanted me to believe, but still special enough that I can be proud to fly our flag.
  Many times in my past travels as a younger man, I've been embarrassed by loud, overbearing, demanding American tourists abroad. It's almost sick, how rude some of them were. We are NOT.....all that!!! We may have been brought up believing we are the true masters of the world....bullshit....GROW UP!  The world is moving in fast forward.
  Ahh it's almost 8:08, sunset here in Stuart Florida. I'll go and pull the brand new flag my brother sent me and roll it up for the first time. I'll feel good doing it and I'll make sure it rolls up evenly before I set it down for the night. In the morning at 8:00 AM (maybe) I'll unroll it and proudly display it off the stern of my boat......(just took it down) I can be reminded that I do live in a great country and I am thankful for what I have been able to accomplish as a man within it's borders. I am proud and my country's  flag means something to me. Buy yours here...

Looking for a deal...Water front house and boat...

...or maybe you could swing a deal on this, for a commercial endeavor.

Wish I got this on video....once that one cow hit the water, they all came running down like it was some sort of "break out".