Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stepping the mast

I had a few minutes the other day, so I decided to step the mast and see if there were any missing important bits.  This actually went quite well for my first time.  I tied a line from the forestay pin through the guide pulley on the bow and ran it back to the cockpit.  From there I could walk the mast up into the cabin part of the boat while keeping tension on the line and while stepping on the centerboard trunk, I finished the job off with a nice easy tug on the line.  I walked forward and removed the line and secured the forestay.  I am thinking this job will be a bit easier with the use of a jin-pole, I will have to make one up and see how that works.

It looks like several of the stainless pins and clips have been lost over the years and have been replaced with standard nuts and bolts, which of course are now all rusty.  I think I will need about 6 of these to make it right.  I see in the rigging instructions for the boat it talks about spreaders.  I see a couple of brackets on the side of the mast, but no spreaders to be found.  Now as I look at Sandpiper 565’s, I see some with spreaders, and some without.  The ones with spreaders show the shrouds going from the chain-plates to the mast without any angle change at the spreaders (straight shrouds!) If this is the case, there is no need for the spreaders, but I may be missing something.  I will need to do a bit of research.  Other than that, the standing rigging seems to be all there.  That’s exciting.  Now, on to the next project.

I stopped by my local big box wood store today and bought a piece of mahogany to remake the gangway cover edge guides, One is missing, and the other is sketchy at best, we will call it a pattern.  This will need to be replaced in order to make the boat dry.  This is kind of a high priority right now.

Summary: 1/2 hour worked, 14  hours total, $276.50 invested.

1st. clean up day!

The next morning, I headed out to start some of the cleaning.  I started by throwing everything out of the boat that wasn’t bolted down.  Next, the shop vac and I began the tedious process of removing the water that was still in there.  It took many, many shop vacs full of water to get her dry, but things were looking up.  That was until I popped open the blue thunder bucket head!  OMG, what a mess.  Shop vac, bleach, shop vac, bleach, shop vac, ……..  you get the idea.  However, she is nice and clean and will never be used again!  I have concluded a thunder bucket with a pump out tube is just a bad idea.  I am having visions of me standing on the deck in my driveway, after a nice day of sailing with a shop-vac!  I don't think that is in the cards.  Different times I guess.

The next step was to scrub the deck, it went pretty well, but some of the stains from the moss remained.  That was the point that made me decide on the pressure washer.  Well, that made pretty short work of cleaning the top side gel coat.  In fact, except for a couple of rust stains she looks great, dead flat and never to shine again, but nice and clean.  Now, I grew up working in my Dads body shop, and I can tell you that I have never seen a surface that was any more perfectly prepped for paint.  Nice and smooth and pre-etched.   Its just begging me to spray her.  That would allow me to patch up the many screw holes she has acquired over the years that used to hold things of great importance that have since gone missing.  I scrubbed up the sides with Oxyclean and bleach mixed with a bit of very hot water and it cleaned the crap off very nicely.  Someone along the way has painted the sides (yellow part) However, that still looks pretty good,  am not quite sure what to do with that yet.


I pressure washed all the teak, some will be saved, some will need to be replaced.  No surprises there.  What did surprise me was the solidity of the hull.  She is in great shape.  I cant find any blisters in the gell coat, and what is there seems really good.  With one exception; the cockpit floor.  This is amazing considering that when I tip the boat and trailer up so it rests on the stern, I could see a very vivid water line that went from in front of the centerboard trunk and made its way aft to the very top of the transom!  OMG this boat has spent a long time completely filled with water.  

Now, if I took out more than 150 gallons, I am not exaggerating a bit to say there must have been a thousand gallons in there.  1000 gallons at 8# per gallon works out to 4 tons of additional weight on the trailer.  It’s a wonder the whole thing isn’t just a pile of junk.  Whoever designed and built this boat was one hell of a designer, she is a robust girl to be sure.  The hand laid glass inside the storage compartments looks nice and pink, just like it did when it was new.  Under the rear hatch, she looks great.  As I said, the only part that will need work will be the cockpit floor. 
8 hours of clean-up work that day.  It was an amazing days progress.  I think I have a very solid candidate for restoration.  Its starting to get exciting now.

Day two: 8 hours work, 14 hours total.  $259 invested.

Pick up day

Well, the purchase date was Friday, My father-in-law and I headed out to pick her up the next day.  Rain was in the forecast, so we were in a bit of a rush.  After cleaning out all of the things that would blow out as we trailered her, we drained out about a hundred gallons of water.  I pulled the wheels off and headed to the tire store. $140 later with two new tires, we were back at the boat.  I removed the hubs and greased the bearings.  They looked pretty good, however, the inner seals were both shot, so those will need to be replaced sometime soon.  The outer wheel nut covers were both missing, and now I can see why; the flange that holds the covers has pretty much been broke, knocked, or otherwise been busted off the hubs.  I am not quite sure what to do with these yet, I will have to play that by ear.

A bit more prep tying things down and we were on the road headed for home.  The trip was pretty uneventful, all went smoothly and she towed quite well, considering she still had almost a hundred gallons of water still in her that we could not easily get out.

Once home, We finaggled the trailer around to find her a nice resting place outside, but close to the shop for the next phase of her restoration.  All this was going perfectly until I swung the car a bit wide and tapped a nice big tree with the side mirror of my car and ended up giving the local dealership a $60 bill for the parts to fix that. I guess if that’s the only thing that went wrong, I was pretty lucky.  It is expensive to be stupid!
The rains came and we blocked up the trailer and threw a cover over her quick, and called it a day.

Day One: 6 hours work, 6 hours total. $259 invested.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I finally did it!

Well, I finally did it! I bought a sailboat.  And, man is this going to be a project!  She is tired and about as dirty as they come.  She was sitting on flat tires and apparently she holds water pretty well.  Its an older (1970 something) Sandpiper 565,  A 18 foot day sailer.  These boats were made in Canada.  The hull appears to be quite solid.  The biggest issue with this boat is that the sails are missing.  The story is that they were stolen.  The interior cushions are all there and they are in good condition, the only part of the boat that is.  I think almost all of the standing rigging is there and looks to be in pretty good shape.  The running rigging will all need to be replaced.
The keel is a crank up lead filled fiberglass centerboard, It seems to crank up and down nicely.  The interior fiberglass is in great shape. These few shots are of my first looks at her!  It takes a real visionary, or a lunatic to see value in this baby.

The ad on Craigs-list said Sandpiper sailboat Needs lots of TLC, $175.  I watched this boat on Craigs-list for over a month, I couldn't bring myself to go take a look, she looked just a bit too far gone.  I don't know what made me change my mind, but I decided to research the Sandpiper history.  It seemed like a nice solid boat, hand laid glass, well built, and the group said it makes a great first sailboat;  Hmm, maybe I had better go have a look.  Well, after a  half hour of poking around and thumping on the hull, doing a basic inventory of things I would need to buy, like sails and new tires for the trailer and about 50 gallons of gas for the pressure washer, LOL, the only real problem I could uncover was the soft cockpit floor.  Let the negotiations begin; believe me, the owner was pretty motivated to have her out of his yard, Actually, I could hear his wife saying "make it go away", or something like that.  We finally settled on $120.  Actually, I only had $119 in my wallet, so thats where we ended up.  I am now the owner of a pretty gungy 1975 Sandpiper sailboat.