Thursday, December 29, 2016

Working on Two Boats Again

When we sold our CSY earlier this year, with a sigh of relief. We said "never again will we own two boats." Well... we don't own two boats again, but it feels like we do.

Our friend Jerry on s/v Challenger passed away unexpectedly in late August. He had left his boat at the Oceanview Marina in someone else's care in 2015, with a big worklist. For whatever reason, the worklist never got done, and the caretaker left the marina to go cruising in early 2016, leaving Jerry's boat unattended.

When we knew we were going back to Oceanview, we contacted Jerry's friend Kennedy and asked him if he could find out what was going on with Jerry's Estate and if we could be of help with regards to his boat. So a few emails and telephone calls later, we are now representing the Estate in trying to sell Jerry's Whitby 42.

Whitby 42 For Sale

Jerry's family is dealing with so much other stuff that they want to sell Challenger quickly, and aren't interested in taking the time or fronting the money to fix her up. So we did some pretty good research on prices for Whitby 42's for sale in various locations and various conditions ($60K-$120K) and have priced Challenger at $49K USD. She is definitely a bargain at that price--a good "classic plastic" boat equipped for a round-the-world cruise--but she needs a little TLC. We figured Challenger needs pretty much the same worklist that we did on Soggy Paws to sell her--mainly paint and varnish and a little woodwork. The rig is in good condition, the sails are good, the engine sounds good, and all the instruments work. She had a good dinghy and two outboards. With solar, a KISS wind generator, a big alternator, a Honda 2000 generator and a large battery bank, she's set for power. And with an autopilot and a wind vane, and new roller furling gear, she's set up for easy single-handing. Anyone out there looking for a good well-equipped cruising boat at a great price?? More details here.

But we've had to put off our own boat work in the last 2 weeks to jump into the "Challenger" project... Lots of cleaning and sorting and figuring things out (without the owner there to tell you how the xyz system works, for example). Plus, of course, taking pictures, making the website, and posting on "For Sale" sites.

So we have both been a busy little beavers. Dave, trying to keep the workers going on the projects already in progress on Soggy Paws, while making progress on Challenger. And me, sourcing material/parts for both boats, handling finances, maintaining websites, and tracking costs.

Here are a few things Dave's been doing or overseeing

1. Yanmar Saildrive Refurb

One of Our Saildrives

Dave and his helper Alex removed the leaking port saildrive and found saltwater in the bell housing, and some corrosion. Plus the exterior of the saildrive leg was pitting due to galvanic action. So Dave decided to take it all apart, clean and grease the mechanical parts, and completely strip, repair, and recoat the leg, before he puts it all back together. After looking at the seal that was leaking, he decided to do the starboard saildrive as well. Both seals seemed to be aged, inflexible, and prone to cracking. I was put on the task of sourcing new seals, and whatever other Yanmar parts Dave found he needed. (Azumi Corporation, Subic Bay, Philippines)
The Top End of the SD20 Removed from Engine

Evidence of Water Ingress

The Seal and the Pitting on the Saildrive

Meanwhile, Alex was given the task of completely stripping both saildrive legs down to bare metal, and then beginning the process of buiding them back up properly. They started with an Aluminum Primer, and then an anti-corrosion primer, then non-sag epoxy filler to fill any holes, then an epoxy primer, and then 2-part polyurethane paint. Now they look like outboard motor legs. But we're not finished... Dave managed to buy some aluminum antifouling from another cruiser (Marlin Velox Plus), so we'll add another coat of primer for that, and then the proper aluminium anti-fouling. (Last time we used copper-based bottom paint, that's why we had the pitting on the leg).

When we took our trip to Subic and Manila in early December, we visited the Yanmar representative for the the Philippines, Azumi Corporation, and bought $1500 worth of seals and motor mounts. The parts needed to be shipped in from Singapore. We just got the parts in our hands a few days ago. So hopefully we will get our engines back together again in the next week or so.

Engine Parts in the Bathtub!


2. Drawers and Shelving

Dave had the carpenters put in two new drawers at the nav station, and 3 new drawers in the galley. This will help with stowing the small stuff that's been hanging about with no place to go.

Carpenters Working on New Drawers at the Nav Station

And a Couple of New Drawers in the Galley Too

He's also putting a shelf along the forward edge of each of the 2 forward bunks...mainly so he has a place to store his books.

3. New Refrigerator

After the huge upright refrigerator we had on the CSY, we were just not happy with the tiny dorm-style refrigerator in the galley. We ended up having to put half our refrigerator stuff in the freezer, with mixed success. This makes the freezer more inefficient, because we are in and out of it all day, and it harder to find anything with all that stuff in there. And the refer has such poor insulation that it runs all the time and barely keeps up in the tropics.

So Dave's solution is to convert the bunk aft of the galley in the port hull into a "pantry". Our cat is not as wide in the hulls as most 44 footers, so we had a limited space to work in. Dave designed the box--an outer box of plywood, sealed with epoxy and painted white, and an inner box of 1/2" Expanded PVC. Expanded PVC, unlike "starboard" is rigid, lightweight, and can be painted and glued. Between the two boxes will be 4" of "blueboard" insulation (for an "R" value of over 20).

The box only goes half the length of the former bunk. In the aft end, after cutting an access door from the head, he had the carpenters build a whole set of shelving for food storage. It will be MUCH MUCH better, and more space-efficient than the tubs I was using before. I can't wait for the whole project to be finished. Most of the carpentry is done, we're waiting on the painter to finish painting all the shelving.

Dave Checking Dimensions on Interior Box

Checking the Fit of the Interior Box and Exterior Box

Interior Box with Shelving and Evap Plate in Place

Crafting the Front Face and Doors

To make it all a little more complicated, the whole thing has be built in the workshed, and then disassembled and re-assembled on board, because it's too big to fit through the doors.

After we had ordered hinges and a heavy locking handle for the single fridge door, we had a design change and decided to make it a 2-door arrangement. So we are waiting on another set of hinges and another handle.

I've been the one sourcing all this stuff--searching on the internet for Philippine sources for stuff you can walk into Home Depot and buy in the U.S. We searched hard in Davao to try to find someone selling expanded PVC. The stuff is used by sign-makers. We found a couple of people selling some, but none in 1/2" thicknesses. We got the name and number of Cady Marketing in Manila from the "Cruiser's Resources" book in the marina lounge. We called them and asked if they could ship a couple of 4x8 sheets to Davao. We made a cash deposit to their bank account, and they cut 2 4x8 sheets in half and shipped the bundle to us via 2Go, the local version of UPS.

Next was trying to find proper insulation material for the refrigerator. Dave said "Find me some blueboard". He had already been around to all the hardware stores in Davao and knew it wasn't available locally. I searched and searched online for sources elsewhere in the Philippines. I finally found a place called Concrete Solutions in Manila that uses a variation of the "blueboard" that we used for refer insulation on the last boat, for building insulation. These come in 2" thick sheets 2' x 4' in dimension, and have a tongue and groove edge on them for butting two sheets together. When we were in Manila, we found Concrete Solutions and verified that their product would work for us. Then we ordered a couple of bundles of these sheets, again making a cash deposit into their bank account and asking them to ship to Davao.

Fridge door hinges, and handles came from o-reps.net in the U.S. And I ordered a bunch of rubber gaskets material for around the doors from eBay. We had them shipped to Dave's son Chris, and he dropped them off at LBX for an air freight shipment. It arrived in about 10 days.

4. Fiberglass repair

We had a small encounter with a rock island in Palau, and we gouged a big piece of fiberglass in two places on the starboard bow rubrail. We've got the marina's best fiberglasser/painter working on fixing that boo-boo.

Iquoy, The Fiberglass Guy, Grinding Out the Damage

One of the Two Patches (Not Finished)


5. Painting up the bottom paint

We have finally decided it would be stupid not to paint another 2 inches up on our bottom paint, while we have the opportunity. So we've had Alex remove the stick-on white bootstripe around the waterline. We still need to prep and paint this area, and put one more coat of bottom paint on.

6. Painting the deck non-skid areas

Dave's preferred deck shoes are a pair of slick-bottomed flip-flops. And he never goes out and sits on deck. So he wants some fairly grippy non-skid. Someone in the marina has found a local product that they claim to be identical to the popular "Kiwi Grip" product. It is a fairly gooey product that you roll on with a special roller that makes the surface lumpy. No need for sand or walnuts and all that stuff. They say the special roller is available locally, but we have borrowed one from a friend who put on Kiwi Grip last year. We have seen one boat's application of the local product and it looks good. The only problem is that the white is too white, and the lightest non-white color is too dark for deck paint (gets too hot in the tropical sun). So we're planning on mixing! We'll let you know how it turns out.

7. Canvas work

We have a long list of canvas projects lined up for me. But I'm having trouble getting started on them, with so much "part sourcing" and other work on the computer. Very soon I need to get off this damned computer and get to work!! Of course, the canvas work can be done anywhere, we don't have to be in a marina. But it makes sense to work on it while Dave is otherwise occupied with his projects.

Tired yet?? We sure are!!

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