Monday, May 23, 2011

Little Chebeague Revisited

Hello intrepid readers!

Last year Al from Brooklyn and I made a camping trip out to Little Chebeague Island in Maine.  Al in Brooklyn constructed his own Goat Island Skiff, and he drove up to do a little camping.  As the intrepid reader will remember, it was blowing great balls on the way out, and it took us all day to sail back.  On Little Chebeague I realized that my precious camera had been soaked through and through-- ruined by the salt water.  Fortunately, we met two MIT (maybe Harvard? whatever-- one of those awesome schools in BOS) students doing an economic study of the MITA, and they graciously took some pictures for us.  I received them today.  Here are two:

Goat and campsite
Intrepid heroes-- author (left) and Al from Brooklyn (right)
This was a great trip.  We compared the differences between Bourbon and Rum on a nautical adventure, and explored the cosmos from our beach looking up into a starry sky.  The Bourbon/Rum debate needs more analysis, and the cosmos are awesome.  What more should I say?  Additionally sailing is quite cool, we decided.

Sailing season is almost here, intrepid readers, so bottoms and up and get your boats ready!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Payson Joint repair

Ok, intrepid reader!  Sailing season is soon upon us!  Before you know it I will be sailing around in my Goat Island Skiff and rocking house, and maybe you will feel that kick in your pants to get outside and do some adventuring of your own!

As presented in my earlier post, I have some repairs that require my attention.  One of them is cosmetic by nature, and that's the pesky buckled buttstrap joints on my sides.  This buckledness was born from my inadequate gluing job many moons ago in my garage when my Goat was but an infant in many different pieces.  That being said, I am attempting to make correct this blemish.  I have posted this picture before, but here it is again:

Note joint
Boo buckled buttstrap joint.

I have been advised by Mik Storer (Goat Island Skiff designer you should know that by now) that the best way to tackle this issue is through the use of a "Payson Joint" which basically entails fairing the buckled portion, digging a trench to lay down some fiberglass tape and epoxy, and then sanding smooth and repainting.  A Payson Joint is a way to join two pieces of plywood together, and usually the trench and fiberglass tape are used on both sides of the joint.  It is a flexible, strong, and cosmetically innocuous way to join two pieces of ply together, since the tape lies in the trench that was hollowed out and doesn't bump up and out and sticks out.  It is strong, like bull, joint repair technique.

My repair only needed it done on one side, since I have a buttstrap on the inside of the joint.
First, I needed to sand away the paint from the bumped areas:

Starboard, note ghetto torture sanding board!

You'll notice that on the port side I already have done some work, this was last spring before I painted.  I noticed the buckling before I applied the paint and I just ground it flat with my ROS and painted it.  It was suitable, but not ideal by any means.  The starboard side didn't show up until halfway through the season.

After the ridge was faired smooth it was time to "dig the trench" that would accept the fiberglass tape.  Here is the Starboard side trenched out.  The trench should not be more than a veneer, but after the fairing the first veneer was almost gone anyway, so it didn't take much to get down to the next layer.  The glue between veneers offered a good guideline too, visually offering the trench as opposed to feeling it out with my fingers.

Starboard trenched

 After the trenches were dug it was time to apply the fiberglass tape and thickened epoxy.  These would fill the trench and make everything smooth and fair.

Port side with fiberglass tape in trench
After this whole shebang cured, I have it a light sand to see if I had any hollows or ridges.


Obviously, I needed to do some filling, so QUICK FAIR TO THE RESCUE!

After the Quick Fair set, I sanded it down until I got back to the epoxy.  Everything seemed smooth as a baby's bottom, so tonight I applied the first coat of primer.

This is the real test, the paint, because one's fingers can only feel so much, but glossy paint will show every flaw in your boat for the world to see!  Ugh.

My port side came out as good as it was going to come out.  I am pleased with the results.  My starboard side, ever my nemesis, came out almost just right, except on the bottom of the tape on the aft side.  There's a little ridge there than didn't get filled.  I mean, I have to be looking to see it.  My lovely wife basically told me to forget it.  My enabler told me to fix it.


Also Starboard
Now please take note that this imperfection is actually almost impossible to see in any real world scenario.  I have to shine the flashlight "just so" to see it plainly.  On the water or on the trailer, no one will ever pick this up, I actually have to move about a bit in the garage to see it under normal light.

But I know it's there.  It's going to bug me, I did all this work, I'm going to have to fix it.  It's only one coat of primer that is meant to be sanded off anyway.  UGH.  So close.

My only fear is that I screw it up worse!

Oh, I also put in a plug in my daggerboard:

Check out the leaves that finally coming out! WOOT!