Friday, May 30, 2014

Sew Sew Sew Your Boat


Sew Sew Sew Your Boat….. oops, I guess those aren’t the right words to the song. But they sure suggest the theme of this new boat. When we brought Plan B home we made a list of what needed to be done. We NEEDED cockpit cushions. They are way too expensive to buy, so we ordered foam and material and I put them together for a fraction of the cost of buying new. The cabin cushions were OK, but would be much more comfortable with different material - so we ordered micro-suede material and I reused the foam. The jib is a hank-on and needs a foredeck bag - so I used some of the leftover material from a previous bimini project and created a beautiful blue foredeck bag. Since we are staying in a slip and don’t have curtains - I’ll need to sew some of them. Then there are winch covers, make a hole in the new bimini for the rear stay and a bag for the solar charger and…….. good thing the weather has been lousy until just recently. I have been inside with my nose to the sewing machine for the past week! Sew Sew ........



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

First Sail On O'Day 25


Saturday afternoon we towed the O'Day to Lake Mendota for the first time. We took our time rigging to check over each fitting and retaining clip. We installed several new circle clips and cotter pins where they were weak or missing. The mast raising went pretty well with the simple gin pole system that came with the boat. We had to back the 4Runner down the ramp until the back tires were about 12" deep in the water before the boat floated free.

The outboard, an old Mariner 15 HP 2-stroke, fired up on the first pull and ran ok for about 30 seconds. Well that was a confidence building start. It restarted after a couple pulls and we motored out onto the lake. Brenda had her big, "I'm on the water again." grin beaming. The outboard spit, sputtered and coughed for a few minutes before dying again. Mmmm, we are losing confidence in this motor really quickly. After finding a poor connection at the gas tank we are spitting, sputtering and coughing along again. Let's raise these sails before the outboard quits again.

It feels great to have the sails up in the breeze on a nearly deserted lake. We sail around a bit to get a feel for our latest sailboat and just enjoy being on the water again after a long winter. Since it is late afternoon we decide to sail toward the channel leading to the slip we rented for the summer. The channel leading to our slip by Mariner's Inn is shallow and quite long. We were not very confident that the ol' Mariner would run long enough to get us all the way in. It is not a good sign when we are discussing who we could call to tow us in when the outboard dies.

Surprisingly enough the outboard wheezed and complained all the way into our slip. "Add outboard tune-up to the to-do list dear."



Friday, May 16, 2014

The new tiller

The new tiller is ready to be mounted and here she is next to "The Stick".

Mike made and installed a simple bookshelf unit for the bulkhead. You just never have enough spots to stow items likes books, manuals, net books, etc.. This should work nicely.
Brenda is sewing like crazy on the interior cushions in hopes of launching the boat this weekend. Brenda will write up the cushion project, but here is a preview of one cushion she has completed.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

"The Stick"

We had to laugh when we pulled back the nice blue tiller cover on our new to us O'Day 25. We anticipated seeing a beautiful, curvy, laminated piece of nautical woodwork as the cover was pulled off. Instead we found "The Stick". Somewhere during Plan B's past the original tiller must have been lost or broken and replaced by one ugly straight piece of wood that might have begun its life as a gardening tool. Even in the family of gardening tool handles this thing was an ugly duckling. Thin, short, painted brown and well, ugly.

Mike enjoys building stuff and had made a laminated tiller for a previous sailboat. So, time to buy some thin wood stock and make up a tiller that won't be nicknamed "The Stick". He glued several pieces of oak and mahogany together with West System epoxy and then set them in a jig. After securing them with multiple clamps he left them to dry. Here is what the assembly looked like in the jig. The plastic bag is there to keep the epoxy from gluing the tiller to the jig.

Mike shaped the new tiller using a belt sander and a router. After a few coats of Spar varnish it is nearly ready to be installed. The mounting holes were drilled oversize and then completely filled with West System epoxy. This way when the final smaller holes are drilled there won't be any exposed wood which results in a much stronger attachment that will resist rot.

We'll post pictures of our slightly better looking tiller as soon as it is dry. Anybody want to buy a stick?


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Previous Owners

Sometimes you have to wonder what a previous owner was thinking. I am prepping the O'Day 25 and so far I am happy with the overall condition she is in. The bottom painting went well, Brenda is making good progress on the new cockpit cushions and the material is here to recover the interior cushions.

Today I got started on the wiring which I knew needed some cleaning up and some new circuits added. I installed a new 4 circuit panel with breakers to power the 12 volt outlets, stereo, bilge pump and new anchor light. The first three circuits went in very nicely, but I ran into a PO (previous owner) roadblock on the fourth circuit. There wasn't any wiring installed for an anchor light when we bought the boat. I knew this, but it is normally an easy job to run cable through the mast and install an LED all-around light at the masthead.

I ran the cabling from my new circuit panel through the boat and up to the mast tabernacle. Next I simply needed to pop off the masthead fitting and the mast bottom plate to run a cable for the light inside the mast. The first sign that I had a problem was when the peanut styrofoam started blowing out of the now uncapped mast. They flew all over the yard in the breeze. Once about a foot of the mast emptied out I could see that a PO had FILLED the entire mast with expanding foam. I understand some people like this method of keeping the wires from slapping the insides of the mast and making a racket, but there are better ways to do the job. If you just use an occasional wire tie with the tail left on it secures the cables very nicely. The foam does a great job as well, but there is no way to run new wires or replace any defective ones once that foam sets ups.

Hopefully that will be the only major obstacle I'll run into as I prep the boat. Brenda and I really would like to get out sailing pretty soon.