Sunday, April 22, 2012

Portuguese bridge door and cap

I've completed some more finish work, mainly the Portuguese  bridge passage door and the wooden cap for the Portuguese bridge.

The Portuguese bridge door provides easy access to the fore deck while securing the bridge from any rough weather and  helping keep our feet dry. Because this door could see some green water, I thought it important to have a jamb the door will be in full contact with once it's closed. Making the jamb out of wood seemed to be the easiest way to go for me.  I wanted the door to be able to handle any green water it might see without getting twisted, torn off, or damaged. I tend to make things up as I go along, and with no real plan, I'm happy with how the door  turned out. I turned the door handle out of some 3/4" stainless round stock, and used a round over bit in the lathe to finish the ends. I also turned a stud with threads on the end to hold the handle in place, and make a pivot to engage the handle. Basically, the handle will dog down against the jamb, pulling the door tight and holding things fast. A nylock nut and washer holds the handle to the stud. To  make the keeper, I mortised out the wooden door jamb, then fabricated a stainless steel keeper for the handle to dog against. I gave the keeper a slight taper to help lock the handle in place. The more you engage the handle, the tighter it dogs the door down. As things wear and tolerance's get looser, I have plenty of areas to adjust ( without much difficulty) to keep the door locking tightly. When we're on passage, the door will be dogged shut. When we're lounging on the fore deck, or working up there, the door will be opened and resting against the Portuguese bridge. I need to find a rubber bumper to hold the door off of the PB, and also to prevent paint from chipping if the door gets slammed open.

The other item I finished was adding a wooden cap to the Portuguese bridge. A lot of you are probably thinking that I'm an idiot for adding some bright work, and I hear you, so let me spout off my justification. I like the look of bright work, and I don't mind the maintenance as long as it's easy. The height of the wood cap and the fact that there are no rails or fixtures to work around will make this an easy area to maintain. Scuffing this cap with some 300 grit and apply some varnish, will be fast and easy with NO BENDING OVER on captain Conall's part. I'm liking this part, and if I was on face book, I'd give her a thumbs up. Because the Portuguese bridge area is going to be a pretty social spot, I wanted the wood cap to make things more comfortable, and give all a comfy  place to lean on and rest a beer. The wood cap feels and looks nice, and hopefully will eliminate bangs to any revelers funny bones.

I had to use the last of my wide boards to form the cap. I used the band saw and a belt sander to form the curves. I then used a 3/8" round over bit in my router to ease the edge of the cap. I ran out of wide boards so I ended up edge gluing some stock together to finish the job. I used a combination of traditional scarf joints reinforced with biscuits, and floating tenons to reinforce all the joints. Just before where the wheel house meets the salon, the Portuguese bridge terminates with a sever angle down to the deck. This leaves about thirty inches between the Portuguese bridge and the wall of the salon.  I treated this area of the cap by laying the cap over  the top of the cap headed down to the deck. I could have used a miter joint in this area, but I was afraid the joint would open up, and I like the way the eased edge of the top cap feels and looks. This is also the area where the spring line will be secured, and also where the shore power cords will pass through. There will be a two bar stainless steel rail bolted to the down cap and welded to the salon in this area, but that can't happen until the salon is in place.

  I bolted the cap down to the PB using 1/4" x 1 1/4" stainless screws and nylock nuts. I counter sunk and bunged the screw bore so no fasteners can be seen from the top of the cap. I had a few bad spots in the wood ( primarily a few dead branch knots) that I treated the same way I do all bad knots on my wood work. My preferred method of dealing with dead branch knots is to rout the bad wood away, and install a Dutchman patch. I use an inlay tool in my router to make these patches. The Dutchman patch is a legitimate repair used for century's, and give the work that "homegrown', folk art character that I like. The cap will get four coats of urethane, then I will caulk the underside joint where the wood meets the metal. Once the caulk is laid down, this job will be off of the list.

There is really not much left to do to the fore deck and Portuguese bridge until the boat gets TO THE LAUNCH SITE , so I'm going to scratch this area off of the list I keep meaning to write. I'm kind of glad I'm finished working up here,  as I'm getting tired of ducking under the barn truss's . I'll vacuum and clean this area this week when I finish, and hang some tarps over it to keep the dust off and forget about it until she's out of the barn.   

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Foredeck finish work

Now that I have finish paint on the fore deck, I had a few bits I could wrap up and get them off of ye ole list.

The first item to wrap up was the door on the pulpit. This is one of those items I have to give an old WTF was I thinking when I designed this. The door part is OK as this will make a nice place to store anchor lines, dock lines and even a shore power cord. The WTF thing comes for why I put all those bolt holes in the door. All I needed was one bolt that I could use a large wing type bolt to hold the door fast. I'm thinking I was planning on storing air in this locker, and maybe I was afraid the air thieves were going to stop by and get some of the old O2 I was keeping safely behind door number one. ??? I also had someone ask about the notch in the side of the pulpit for my air hose connection and my wash down hose connection. Here's a better picture of the notch I created in the side of the pulpit. I need to find nice looking flush, black plastic caps I can silicone in to fill all those bolt holes. The pulpit is framed out of 1 1/2" stainless pipe, and stainless plate was used for sheathing. Everything on the pulpit is stainless steel, so when I don't have to worry about rust from chipping paint while we handle the anchoring gear. I notched the bottom of the frame so I could easily hose out under the pulpit and make it easy to maintain. I had originally set this up for a chain windlass and I was afraid that water could get down into the pulpit via the chain hawser. The handle for the door is 1" stainless bar that I bent, and also doubles the step to get up on the pulpit. The door is hinged with fixed pins that I fabricated on the lathe so the door opens 180 degrees. I might need to add some gasket material to the door in case it vibrates or rattles... we'll see about that. I wrapped the handrail around the pulpit to help keep anyone on board when the need arises to to climb out on the pulpit and deal with something.

The other item I was able to finish was installing the guest cabin hatch. Early in the build, I had planned on making my own hatch. After I had the wood work finished in the guest cabin, I decided to use a commercially made hatch. Instead of re doing the hatch coaming, I modified it a bit and bought a Lewmar Ocean Hatch. I like the hatch, and it seems to be well made and robust enough for what I intend to do. There's really not much I don't like about the hatch. It dogs down tight and compresses the gasket, it has adjustable tension on the hinges to hold it open in any position one would want, it's lockable, and it opens from the outside as long as it is not locked. I'm glad I did not try to fabricate this hatch.

The third item I have completed are the vents for the guest cabin. These vents are what I would call a dorade style vent. Because of the Portuguese bridge, and the high bulwarks, it made no sense to have the vents on the deck. To get the vents up where the air is going to be moving, I welded six inch pipes to allow the vents to be higher. The dorade end of this contraption is some boxes I fabricated out of stainless, and that I can bolt to the pipe/bracket/pad I welded to the deck and Portuguese bridge. The basic layout of this box is that the air enters the vent, and goes travels down the six inch pipe into the cabin. I welded a bulkhead in the frame to stop water from getting down the six inch pipe. I also held the pipe proud high of the frame as another damn to discourage water from getting in the boat. If things get real ugly, the cowl vents can be quickly unscrewed from the box and water tight deck plates then screw in. On the bottom of the box, below the cowl vent intake, I drilled a one inch hole in the bottom of the bracket. This hole is to allow water to drain out. To stop wasps from nesting in the box, I glued a piece of screen over the hole using some clear silicone caulk. Another reason I held the pipe proud high of the bracket, was so that I could use some hose clamps to secure more screen over the pipes to keep the bugs out of the cabin. I want to make sure that I can keep air flowing in and out of the boat while we are away from it while keeping it secure and weather tight. It also goes without saying that the more passive ventilation there is on board, will make the boat a happy place to be. When we're under way, the Lewmar hatch will be closed and the Dorade vents will be supplying air to the guest cabin. I'm not a 100% happy with the way I came up with ventilating the boat in this particular area, and I wish the designer would have offered a design for this. I think it's good that the cowls are up high where the air can actually get to them, but I'm not 100% keen on how I did it. I think in terms of being hatefull to look at , the pipes are not too hatefull, but it could have been better. I was going to make the intakes integral with the Portuguese bridge, but this conflicted with the interior layout of the guest cabin. An integral intake would have also been difficult to fabricate, and would have been more difficult to paint. The Dorade boxes are held in place with four bolts, and are very easy to remove for future maintenance. The dorade boxes are also maid of stainless steel. All in all, I think the pipes work good, but I'm just "OK" with how they look. One thing I can say is this design is extremely robust, and in a worse case scenario, I have another place to tie the boat off from. I'm thinking after I launch, the pipes might be a good location to weld a bit too, and hang dock lines off of. I had a fan blowing on me while I was working on the installing the cowl vents. Once I was finished, I left the fan blowing, and went in to the cabin to see how much air was making it in. I was pleasantly surprised by how much flow was entering the cabin. It looks like the design will work. I think I'm going to re paint the cowls, and make the inside the same green as the hull. I took a picture of the cowls looking at them from the wheel house so you could see a little more clear how I wanted them above the structures to get air flowing.

I'm going to keep working aft, and knocking off these easy to complete finishing jobs. This work probably goes five times as quick while the boat is in the barn and all the comfort tools are handy. All this work needs to be done anyway to have her weather tight for THE TRIP TO THE LAUNCH SITE. Next item to finish is the Portuguese bridge wooden cap, hang the Portuguese bridge door, and install the waster fill ports, and the gray water pump out port.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Portuguese bridge is painted

I took half a day off yesterday and finished the painting the Portuguese bridge. Before I put all the paint gear away, I think I'll paint the aft deck bulwark and the two door jambs in that area. This way, all the off white painting will be finished until I have her at the launch site and install the wheel house and salon. I'll be able to get a good leg up on some detail work while she's in the barn and all the good tools are close at hand.

I had blasted and primed the Portuguese bridge, then faired grinder marks, the deck:PB joint, and seam sealed the frame to sheathing joint. Once I was happy with how the fairing looked, I spot primed those areas with two coats of primer to seal the porous fairing compound, which will help the top coat look more even. If I didn't seal the fairing compound, it would suck up the top coat paint, and make a pretty decent looking job look like crap.

Because of other things I had going on, I had to wait more than 72 hours to top coat the PB. If you wait longer than 72 hours, a chemical bond between the top coat and the primer will not happen, so you have to scuff the primer to get the top coat to bond to it. I use the red 3M scuff pads for this job, and they are made for just this application. I have a hook and loop dual action air sander, and I cut the scuff pads into a six inch diameter circles, they will now hook on to the sander and make quick work of a tedious job. Once the scuffing is completed, I blow the work off with my air compressor then tape and paper the area I don't want paint. I bought a tape/paper applicator at Lowes the other week, and I have to say that while the tool was fairly inexpensive, it did a nice job. It did such a nice job and made taping so much quicker, I have to recommend it as a tool one might want to consider purchasing for any paint work. That $17.00 tool paid for itself in no time on what I had just done.

The scribe line marking the wheel house layout was starting to get a little faint, so I decide to paint the wheelhouse deck using the wheel house scribe line as my layout. You can now see how the wheel house will fit in the scheme of things. The wheel house floor is going to be cork, so I'll use some less expensive metal primer and paint, and apply that will a roller. I'll glue down 1/4" plywood as a substrate, and apply the cork to that. Spraying the cheaper paints is not such a good idea as the paint tends to stay wet while it's floating around the shop. Whatever it lands on it sticks to it. Because of the quick evaporating reducers I'm using with the high dollar paint, the over spray acts like heavy dust when it lands in the barn. I still protect my new shiny paint from over spray, and if I do get some on a good finish, a little rubbing compound will take it quickly off. Not so with paint such as Rustoleum.

Now that this painting is finished, I'm going to spend the rest of April getting some detail work completed. I have a some sand blasting guys stopping over so I can get an idea of what the cost of blasting below the water line will be. The sooner I get the bottom blasted the sooner I can barrier finish painting the hull. Getting the boat on a dolly is a big deal for me and I want it done well in advance of moving her to the launch site. You'll probably start to notice a consistent theme in my future posts, and that theme is going to be " getting her to the launch site".

One thing I'm starting to realize is that this is a big boat. On deck she's 44', and over all she is 48'. The living spaces and machinery spaces seem to go on forever, and the wheel house is huge. Once the wheel house and salon are in place, the displacement will begin to be felt. With the hydraulic bow thruster, I feel she'll be able to be single handed, but I do feel she's close to needing an admiral.

So, here's to getting her to the launch site and seeing more shiny paint.