Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Pegasus Update

The wheel turns slowly.  Some readers may recall that when former Moth Boat World Champion Bill Schill passed away, I was given the remains of Pegasus, his World Championship winning boat.  Pegasus was and still is in dilapidated condition.  Recently, fellow Moth Boater, Bill B. told me it was time to restore the boat before she was a total loss.  We moved the hull to Bill's work shed earlier this month and have started work.  We've deconstructed the hull to the saveable parts (basically the keel, centerboard trunk and a few other bits of the boat's original fabric) and are now going the other way with the restoration.  Those interested can follow along on Bill's blog.  We hope to have the hull rebuilt by spring.

Pegasus plus 3mm ply, loaded on the trailer for the brief ride from my house to Bill's shed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Reparing Renegade's mast: shrink wrapped glass sleeve.

I didn't take photos during the glass sleeve and shrink wrap steps because I didn't want epoxy all over my cell phone, but basically the supplier, Soller Composites, has an excellent web site including a video of the sleeve/shrink tubing process:

It all seemed straight forward and I liked the idea that the shrink tubing would give a bit of uniform pressure to the sleeve while the resin kicked off. Sort of like vacuum bagging without the tedium of monitoring of the vacuum system for leaks.   I was also hoping that the addition of shrink tubing would translate into minimum sanding.  One thing that was an immediate plus was that after applying the shrink tubing over the epoxied area, it was sealed off and I could move the spar inside the garage while the resin kicked without fear of epoxy dribbling on something stored under the long, ungainly mast in my cramped, cluttered garage.

I allowed the resin to cure for several days, due to the cool temps in the garage.  When I was initially working with the sleeve material and tubing I learned a couple of things right off the bat.  First, one needs to cut the sleeve material a bit longer than the length required in order to allow for the size of the "tube" one is attempting to cover.  The larger the tube the longer the excess needs to be--as the sleeve expands, it grows shorter.  This probably should have been intuitive but I'm a bit hard headed and not what one would call the intuitive type. 

The next thing I learned is that the glass sleeve material is difficult to cut cleanly even with sharp scissors.  The photo above shows my result after the resin kicked and after I had removed the shrink tubing. The ends of the sleeve show the fraying of the fiberglass sleeve left by my scissors.  In retrospect I think a rotary cutter with a fresh, sharp wheel, and with the sleeve on a cutting board might produce a cleaner result.  I have some sleeve material left over so I can experiment with that aspect.  Live and learn.   Due to the size of this wing mast (~3.0 inches) I used packing  tape rather than a zip tie to secure the glass sleeve while wetting out the glass and  pulling up the shrink tubing.  That seemed to work ok.
A close up of the repaired area.  One can see the original split in the wood in the upper right hand side of the mast.

This photo shows the repair after a light sanding to remove the mare's tails. During the shrinking process I managed to burn through the shrink tubing with my old heat gun (set on the lower of its two settings).  In hindsight, my wife's hair dryer, with lower heat output, might have been better at this task.

A close up of the repair showing some unevenness in the resin coating.  It may, in part, be due to me working on a 45 degree F day rather than a 70 degree F day.  I did add more shrink tube to the burn through areas of shrink tube but I think the localized heat from my gun caused the resin to kick faster in those areas and hence the blotches and voids seen here.
Turning the mast over, one can see the luff groove slot which needs to be reopened.

Here is the slot after a judicious pass with the plunge blade of my multi-tool followed by running sand paper through the groove.  The repair will required a second coat of  resin and a final sanding, but all in all I think the repair will salvage the mast, and as is the case in all new things, I now have a lot to think about before my next attempt at sleeving/shrink wrapping spars or tubes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

I tawt I taw a Ventnor Moth.

One of the things I didn't mention in my earlier posts about this year's National Regatta is that Erky's widow, Alma, had decided to offer his vintage division Ventnor Moth Boat for sale.

John Z. decided to step up to the plate and is now the new owner of Tweety.
The boat is in overall good condition and came complete with two sails, spars and blades.

But like all boats approaching 70 years of age, this one has her share of things to correct.

But there's nothing here that John can't fix.
Although Tweety's original IMCA sail number is unknown, she does have a Ventnor Boat Works production number stamped into the expected place--the forward centerboard trunk log.
She'll rest in John's shed until he has time to move her into his workshop.  Once fettled, she'll be a welcome addition back in the vintage division racing fleet.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Repairing Renegade's mast. First steps.

Some readers may recall that during my summer vacation I picked up an old Harry Cates-built Cates design Moth Boat.  If not a refresh can be seen here.  Work on this boat has been slow due to either 90+ degree heat or torrential rains.  Now that fall has arrived the temps and the rain are starting to become a bit more tolerable and so I've pulled out Renegade's mast for a spot of repair.

The mast has several problems but the biggie is this split in the luff groove starting at the point where the sail feeds into the groove.  It involves about 18 inches or so of the mast.

Dry run with clamps.

Packing tape to catch resin squeeze out.  Note the good sized gap remaining even with clamp pressure.

Rag on a string to wipe excess resin out of the groove.

I used colloidal silica filler for maximum strength.

The clamps stayed on over night.  I plan to reinforce this repair, taking a tip from a fellow blogger over at the Lingering Lunacy blog, with some fiberglass sleeve. Far less messy than trying to wrap the repaired area with glass tape.  More on that once the sleeve material arrives.

A secondary issue with this mast is that years ago the varnish was removed and the bare wood left unsealed.   The wood is covered with small dots which I assume are mold colonies.  The entire length of the mast is involved.

I decided to test my theory with some household bleach.  This is a "before" shot.

This is the "after" shot.  Hopefully, the damage is limited to the  surface layer of the wood.  We'll see if a good sanding will get me down to sound wood. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Resurrection of Swiss Miss Part Three: Finishing touches

Picking up from the last post, with the deconstruction finished, Joe started going the other way.  Here we see the deck stringers  which tie the aft cockpit bulkhead to the reshaped transom.  Note the judicious use of carbon (perhaps over foam core?) as an attempt to add stiffness to the floor of the hull and reduce the tendency of this old solid glass lay-up to "oil can". 

Joe typically embeds lok-nuts for the transom hardware, chain plates etc. in thickened resin to make them captive.  This makes hardware removal for painting and maintenance much easier and also reduces the number of inspection ports required for access to hard to reach nuts.

Another view of the aft end of the hull.

Forward most bulkhead. 

Shear clamps.

Joe took advantage of a dry spell of weather to paint the exterior of the hull.  My old Shelley, Say When can be seen in the background.  She's now owned by a junior sailor.

A far cry from when I brought her home.

Paint dried.  Returning to the interior furniture.  A new dagger board trunk.

This photo shows some of the timber support jig that Joe used to keep the hull in alignment.

Another view of the jig, from the bow.

The curves in the cut down and lightened bulkheads define the shape of the side tanks.

A bit of carbon to reinforce the struts coming diagonally from the king post.  Note the small ply gussets used to strengthen the center beam for the fore deck.

These curves define the shape of the well deck.

Additional framing for the side/seat tanks.

Joe first made poster board patterns for the decks and side tanks before cutting ply.

The finished boat at the CMBA Nationals in early October.  More about this regatta  can be seen here  and here and here .

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The resurrection of Swiss Miss: Part Two

After Joe got the boat home he quickly decided that the cracked decks and side panels which were providing sanctuary for water logged flotation foam needed go in order to save the hull.

Port side decks were the first to go.

Joe basically gutted the hull.

When first laying up the hull in the 1960s the workers at Fletcher Marine Products painted the  words "smile" and "wipe out" inside the hull.  These little secrets have been waiting over fifty years to be discovered.  What's hiding deep within your boat?!

"Wipe Out"  No doubt a reference to the tippy nature of this narrow water line design.

Once the decks and support structure had been removed, Joe squared the floppy glass hull with timber to keep her from twisting during the installation of bulkheads.

The first two bulkheads taped into place.  The clamps seen here hold a bit of timber while resin kicks. The timber strip will define the new top shape of the transom and give aft deck stringers something to land on.

Keepin' her on the straight as well as the narrow.  As can be seen the original dagger board trunk was also removed.  Joe closed the hole where the original trunk was located and move both it and the mast position to the same locations as on a stock Mistral.

The old glass decks and side tanks ready for the dustmen.  Note the bathroom scales on the left side of the photo.  Joe kept track of how much the hull weighed as he added structure back to the boat.  More of Joe's magic to come in a day or so.
Oh, and remember the comment I made about the excessive roached, low aspect "transitional" sail on the previous post?  I just rediscovered a photo of those two sails, one of which is a "normal" low aspect sail, that I placed on top of the big roach sail.  Vive la différence!