Monday, May 27, 2013

Spray is Splashed

We launched Spray, our 23' Precision sailboat Wednesday evening with the help of our gunnie neighbors, Bubba and Tank (names have been changed to protect the guilty). As it rained last Sunday (week before the Memorial Day weekend) we were unable work on the two big projects. Several hours of dry weather as well as a minimum temperature were required before and after each.

So Monday evening we headed out and Mr WK sealed the teak. As we'd done all the prep work last year it only required to be lightly acetoned to remove surface dirt and then applied. While that was going on, no shaking or moving of the boat as that stuff stains the gelcoat should it drip and not get wiped up while still wet.

On Tuesday, we prepped the part of the bottom of the boat we were going to paint — just from the waterline down to the trailer bunks on the sides but in the bow and stern areas forward and aft of the keel, from the waterline to waterline. It's a job painting the keel and around the keel area — squirming your way around and through the trailer. And as it doesn't get much light down there, not much algae growth.

We were back out late Wednesday afternoon with the outboard (which Mr WK had run up Tuesday afternoon), the sails, fenders, dock line, and other various rigging items. We'd made arragnements with our neightobrs that we'd be out at the boat by 4pm and we had the truck bed in the driveway packed solid by 3:30.

Bubba happened to get off from work early, dove by, saw the packed truck and pulled into our driveway. After running a quick errand, he was ready. So we packed the cooler, gunned up and headed to the lake.

Mr WK and Bubba dealt with the outboard and battery, I loaded things into the cabin and tidied it up a bit and set out what they would need to rig the boom, bend on the mainsail and rig all the sailhandling gear. Tank showed up a bit later and he and I ran the lines for the rudder.

Finally, everything was ready. Safety lines were attached from the bow to trailer and another to hold the rudder blade up for the 1/8 mile trip from the storage yard to the water. The guys hooked the trailer to Tank's truck and I headed up to unlock the yard gates.


Down the hill we to the boat ramp we go!

 I followed them down the hill ....

 and around the corner to the boat ramps.


Spray was backed down the ramp just shy of the water. 

All the safety lines were removed and I climbed on via the swim ladder. The boat was backed deep enough for the outboard to be started and Mr WK clambered aboard. He stated her up, I signaled for them to put the trailer in a little deeper and finally we were free from the trailer and floating!

Tank & Bubba parked the trailer and secured their vehicles and headed back down to the dock for the 2013 Inaugural Sail. The wind was fairly calm when we launched and it came up a bit. It was from the NE, which meant that we could set the spinnaker right off. Bubba and Tank had never been on Spray when we'd set the chute!

We put the mainsail up and then proceeded to rig for a spinnaker set. A bit of a bobble as the sail was being hoisted ... the sheet got twisted around the edge of the sail but it was quickly fixed and up she went.

As wool ties holding the sail closed popped and the the red, white and blue sail filled, Tank said, "'MERICA!"

Yes, it IS difficult to get a photo of the whole sail when the photographer is on the boat.
These two photos were actually taken in Aug 2010 but you get the idea.

We sailed across the lake and even managed to jybe it (eventually) so we could turn and keep sailing. We doused the spinnaker and sailed back across to the marina with the main and working jib. When we got close, we dropped the sails, started the outboard and headed for our slip. 

We spent some time tying her up (always takes a long time the first time) and then headed out for a celebration dinner!

Since then we've been out twice more, but haven't set the spinnaker again!

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Genesis of Shannara: Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks

Parting Shot:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Takin' a Break

from workin' on Spray today. 
Yesterday's (Saturday's) forecast had rain and storms this morning ending between 8 and 9 which was correct and round two beginning late this afternoon. But now round two has been pushed back until sometime this evening. Anyway, there's not much on the boat we can do that doesn't require lat least 12 or so hours of dry weather and starting with dry surfaces, which were not until late morning. And there's a tornado watch, to boot.

Meanwhile, the current sock. Due to my rather inexpensive camera the colors in this yarn only seem to show true in photographs in bright, direct sunlight.

The yarn is Paton's Kroy Sock FX in the 'camo colors' colorway. More of a desert 'camo' with gray, tans and a hint of dusty sage green. I'm liking the subtle stripes. All that would be irrelevant if Mr WK didn't like the color, which he does. 

And I had him try it on and it fits around his calf nicely. I've about an inch and half more to knit before I can start on the heel.

The pattern I'm using is called Broken Rib. I did 20 rounds of a 2x2 standard ribbing on the cuff and then went to the 2x2 broken rib pattern. You can see where the sock flares out a bit once I start on the leg.

blogging to: the sound of one of the many You Tube videos on how to load with a progressive press. Mr WK likes to watch these for some reason. We have a Dillon 550B which we've been reloading with for almost five years and load several pistol and necked rifle cartridges.

reading: Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon (part of the Hythrun Chronicles series)

Parting Shot: 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

First Big Thing — DONE!

Well, we had three BIG things that we wanted to get done before we launched Spray this season.
  • rent a generator & polish the sides
  • refresh from the waterline down the first foot or of the bottom paint and the rudder
  • reseal the teak
We got the first one done handily earlier today. I think I let the polish haze too long on the sides because the buffing bonnet didn't seem to do much. So for the side of the boat I did last, I buffed off the hazed polish by hand. I also did it that way in the larger flat areas of the cockpit.

Using a 10" orbital buffer is exhausting and not being in the best shape it doesn't help. My forearms don't feel like they're vibrating any more but they still feel a bit jangly. Well, at at rate, that's done for this year! As we do it very year, there wasn't a huge visual difference between a polished part and a not polished part. I could feel a bit of a difference but not much.

We would go back out Sunday for either or both of the final steps but it's supposed to storm for most of the day. And both of those need to be applied to dry surfaces. The bottom paint has preference because it has to cure 24 hours before launch and if pushed, we can seal the teak when Spray's in the water.

A few days previous Mr WK used a big push broom with stiff bristles (which we use for scrubbing the non-skid deck when Spray's in the water) to brush off all the dried algae on the bottom. When we're ready to paint (Monday or Tuesday evening) one of us will acetone the bottom ahead of the one that's painting so any contaminants, like oils from our fingers, dust, any flakes of algae that didn't brush off, etc. will be removed. It'll help the bottom paint adhere better. 

Which is amusing because the bottom paint we use is an ablative paint. As the boat moves through the water (or the water moves past the boat) a microscopic layer of paint comes off and with it any algae slime that grew on it. DIE ALGAE SCUM!

One of the good things about
an ablative paint is that with a 27 year old boat you don't have 27+ layers of paint on the bottom that you would eventually want to sand off. A very messy and time-consuming project.

Way back (20+ years ago) the paint used to have tin in it. Tin was very effective in discouraging marine life such as algae not to grow on surfaces painted with a paint containing tin. But apparently, someone algae-hugger foresaw that our illustrious President would want to use algae as a fuel source so it was outlawed. Now they put copper in it but it's nowhere near as effective.

If your boat is just sitting in the slip in a lake or other non-moving body of water for a week or so in the middle of the summer, there will be a visible layer slime the first foot of below the waterline — maybe 1/16" thick. With tin in the paint, it took several weeks to get it that thick. And probably before that there was something even better than tin in it but they got rid of that, too.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon (part of the Hythrun Chronicles series)

Parting Shot: 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


It was a lot cooler so more polishing on Spray this evening. All of the areas on the deck and most of the areas in and around the cockpit that an orbital polisher can't do are done. That includes the stern .... which if it didn't have the outboard motor mount, 2 fittings that hold the rudder, an opening for the fuel line to the outboard, 2 cockpit drains, the bilge pump drain and the swim ladder would be easy to do with the polisher.

Mr WK worked on the front hatch this evening. He installed the new non-squashed-flat o-rings. It feels like that when you close the the hatch levers they close on something now. He ran a nice bead of black Boat Life caulk around the outside edge of the hatch then smoothed it with a finger. A little uneven but we can clean that up later. 

So next trip out — we'll take the v-berth cushions back out. Just to be safe, I'll probably lay a tarp over them for the first rainstorm but I don't think the hatch will leak anymore. Now the only possible leaks are the chainplates on either side. They've been re-caulked but that was several years ago and caulking doesn't last forever.

Mr WK even managed to repair the cracked plastic trim ring around the inside of the hatch. Several years ago we got rid of the vertical blinds we'd had for the patio door. We saved a few of the plastic blinds and they've come in handy over the years for various repairs. He used a piece to reinforce both sides of the sanded and glued together crack

He also worked a bit more on cleaning the carpet area on the ceiling stained from previous leaks.

The underside of the two cockpit hatches have had mold on them so today I remembered to bring out the Clorox. I saturated folded up paper towels and wiped down the underside of each hatch. What a difference!

Each time we're out, we're a bit closer to launch.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading:  Evil for Evil by James R Benn (A Billy Boyle WWII mystery)

Parting Shot:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More Boat Stuff

Now that spring summer has decided to make an appearance, we've slowed down a bit on the boat prep. It was around 90°yesterday, mid 90's today and the forecast for Wednesday is almost 90 with lots of wind all 3 days. It's supposed to be only in the high 70's / low 80's for several days after that but with decent chances of rain. 

We think some of the leak on the front hatch are o-rings in the levers / dogs that secure the hatch. Mr WK just happens to have some that will work. The leak is very slight. During a gully-washer last week, we removed the front v-berth cushion and laid a tarp down. The next day, the tarp was just barely damp right under the hatch. Not even a tiny puddle.

We also suspect that the gasket holding the Plexiglas in the hatch is also failing. It's 28 years old. Go figure. We can see where it's pulled away from the edges just a bit so we're going to remedy that with a bit of neatly (hah!) applied black Boat Life caulk all around.

We plan to hit the local chandlery Wednesday for the caulk, a quart of bottom paint and another large bottle of polish. 

We're hoping to launch sometime next week!

blogging to: Memories 89 1

 reading: Evil for Evil by James R Benn (A Billy Boyle WWII mystery)

Parting Shot: 

Monday, May 13, 2013

All Gone

Mr WK & I  spent Sunday afternoon at the range. We split our time between the high-power rifle range and one of the free-form pistol bays. I'd lugged my .308 out yesterday. I hadn't shot it in several months and yep, it still works!

Several years ago a friend had given us a couple a hundred military surplus .308 cartridges. A couple of summers ago our gunnie neighbors sat with us on our patio and helped us take them apart so we could recover the brass and projectiles. Some of the brass was Berdan primed but most was not. (Yea!) Then we carefully deprimed them all. Didn't have a single one go off!

Well, OK. Some went off .... on purpose. We scotch taped BB's to the primers on a few of the pieces of primed brass and tried throwing them on the patio to make the primers go off. It's not as easy as it sounds.

The projectiles were 147gn fmj. We loaded some with 44gn of Hodgen Varget and others later with the same amount of IMR 4895. Since we didn't particularly want to load 147gn  rounds for this rifle so we weren't too concerned with coming up with a highly accurate load so we didn't to a lot of testing. These loads were good enough to hit the gongs at our range at 200 and 300 yards and that was OK. I used up the last 9 rounds loaded with these bullets yesterday. 

But I still have the brass, ready to prep for the next loads. It was interesting to us that the brass from this mil surplus ammo was thicker-walled than 'regular' brass.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Evil for Evil by James R Benn (a Billy Boy WWII mystery) 

Parting Shot:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mirror Mirror On My Feet

You know it's been awhile since you've blogged when Blogger has changed things around so much that it takes you a bit to figure out what to click to actually start a post.

Well, I'm almost finished with another pair of socks — this time for me. I call these my
Mirror Mirror Socks. The yarn is Schoeller Esslinger Fortissima Cotton which is no longer in production. That's a shame because this yarn is soft. Some cotton yarns knit up stiff but this stays soft and pliable. I'd purchased the yarn back in Sept 2004. I'd only been knitting a year at that point! 

I did the stripes myself. The cuffs are 2x2 ribbing and the legs and feet are 1x1 ribbing. For the stripes I did 5 rounds of the main color and 3 rounds of the contrasting color. When I got done turning the heel and picking up the gusset stitches, it was easier to swap the main and contrasting colors. Hence the foot and legs are also mirror images, stripe-wise. Heck, maybe I should have called them Mirror-Mirror Mirror-Mirror socks! I used my standard cotton yarn needles  — 2.5mm Clover bamboo dpns.

This pair took a little over a month to knit. 

 I'd knit this similar pair back in May 2006. But they shrunk more than I expected and I gave them away. I knit the new ones a bit bigger so when they do shrink, they'll fit great! You can see I rocked the mirror image thing even back then. And even though it's been 7 years since I knit those stripes, it would have felt like I was knitting the same pattern. But I still LIKE that .... so I may do it again .... in other colors.

My next project will be another pair of socks for Mr WK using Patons Kroy Sock FX. The colorway name is called Camo Colors. It's in shades of blues / grays / and tans.

It doesn't say 'Camo' to me, but whatever. It's a color he'll wear in public so who cares what it's called.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Christine Falls by Benjamin Black

Parting Shot: