Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Of Course It's Raining

I know it is the holiday season.  In previous years I've done Christmas posts, but this year the holidays are pretty much postponed until we can get the project done and get headed south.  If you had told me I'd still be here I would have thought you were crazy...but here we are.

Work has continued.  We got the sail viewing window installed a couple days ago.  It should have been an easy task and only taken a couple hours, but it ended up taking us over a day.  Why?  Because I miscalculated the amount of sealant required.  When I did the salon windows, it took 6 tubes for each window.  This window is much smaller and the gaps are not as wide, so I figured one tube should be more than enough.  I was wrong.  We ended up being about a foot short of making the final bead around the glass and had to locate a second tube "locally" so we could finish.  The only tube of white 795 we could find was located in Norfolk.  With traffic and road construction it took most of a day just to retrieve the $8 tube of sealant.

The window was installed in a very similar manner to the process used for the salon windows.  Instead of using black sealant, we used white as it will be facing the sun all the time and I figured white was better than black.  Blackout (or in this case whiteout) was made by thinning some sealant with mineral spirits. Just like the salon windows, I used some weatherstripping to maintain the gap between the window and the frame.  In this case, the foam was only 3/16 of an inch thick and was white. The foam was placed around the inner edge in the mount and then a large bead of sealant was applied to the frame adjacent to the foam.  The window was then placed in position and another bead was applied around the edge and tooled with a plastic spreader.  Instead of using screws, washers, and spacer blocks to keep the window in position, we simply set a couple sandbags on it to hold it there.  Now it needs to sit for a few days while the stuff cures.

Window installed and held in place with sandbags

We are continuing to dry out the deck around our little D-ring issue.  We've rigged a hair dryer (we found at the local thrift store) so it blows air directly into the access hole under the deck.  On the outside, I rigged our Buckethead shop vac so it would suck air out through the holes in the deck.  I figured this would both help clean out any remaining bits of balsa that I couldn't get out with the safety wire as well as get a good amount of warm and dry air in the cavity to dry things out.

Applying warm air under the deck
And the vacuum pulling air through the fitting mount

Yesterday the welder brought over the supports for the top.  I was a bit surprised since I was expecting him to bring parts tacked together to test the fit, but they were complete.  Using only a couple of crude wood templates to measure the angles, he was able to construct the supports, and they fit well.  Only one very minor tweak was needed on one of them.  And the best part was that he was very reasonably priced. He usually does work for the local fishing boats and calls his work utility grade so the supports aren't the polished finish, instead they are more of a brushed nickel look.  I think this is good though, as it should help cut down glare a bit.  I think he did a little extra to make them look good, and they turned out really nice.

The front supports have arrived

If you are looking for a good and reasonably priced "utility grade" (he doesn't do polish work, but I would think you can get his work polished if you want) welder in the Gloucester VA area, drop me a line and I'll hook you up with Bob.

Naturally (as you might have guessed by the post title), it has been raining pretty much ever since the supports were dropped off.  I don't want to drill holes in my cored deck or cored top with all the water flying around, so it has put another crimp in our schedule.  Today, in the rain, I rigged a tarp to cover the front of the top and the surrounding work area, so with any luck we can get things moving tomorrow.  Meanwhile we spent a little time at the marina Christmas party and went out to lunch with some friends at the marina.  The remainder of the holiday celebration will take place once we are somewhere where shorts are appropriate attire.


  1. Supports look good, clean full welds with very little rippling, a sign the welder knew what he was doing. Glad you caught the D ring issue early, drying out takes some time and sounds a bit noisy with both vacuum and hair dryer going. Window looks great. Hope the new year finds you further south
    Doug in VT

    1. Yeah, the welder was a real find despite the claim of "utility grade" work. The noise drying out the deck is trying...probably more so for my neighbors, but I only run the vacuum during the day to be polite. Overall, we are pretty happy with the top...if not for how long it has taken to make it. ;-) Definitely heading south soon.