Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A New Helm Seat....

Today I finished putting down the fairing epoxy. When that was complete I started what may be the first "improvement" project. The helm seat on this boat is too short for someone to actually sit at when at the helm. The previous owner added a bucket seat on a short pedestal. We found on the way home from South Carolina last summer it was not suitable for our needs, so we decided the take off the seat that was there and "raise" the existing helm pedestal. In the space that we created we have now installed the plumbing for a fresh water shower on the aft deck. I think that it will look great when it is all finished. After I took these pictures, I fiberglassed this area where you see the wood. Tomorrow I will put in some filler epoxy and get it ready to paint... It got really hot today, and when I started to get a little dizzy, I figured it was time to quit.



Tomorrow I promised to help Shelley clean an office, and she has promised to help me at the boat.  I think that is a pretty good deal...  Shelley hasn't had much time to work on the boat as she is working almost full time at the LCBO (government liquor store).  We are really appreciating the extra money this is contributing to these projects that just keep costing more and more money...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Getting a Little Closer to Paint....

Today I finished grinding off the high spots of epoxy!  Yea!!!! 2 grinders and 28 grinding disks later, the boat deck is getting a coating of fairing epoxy.  After this cures for a day or two I can sand with 80 grit paper and get started with primer...  I have just the sides and the cockpit to finish spreading fairing epoxy...  that should get done tomorrow.

After I got home today, I cleaned up and went to Home Depot to acquire some PEX plumbing material.  I have decided that while not approved by the sailing racing standards, this PEX plumbing system will work great as I re-run all the water pipes in the boat in a few months.  I bought some pipe today though because I am re-designing the helm bench by raising it up about 6 inches.  In the raised area I am installing a fresh water cockpit shower, that will be great for showering on deck.  That unit will also house an outdoor switch to turn on some LED flood lights that will light up the transom area when we board the boat at night and/or go night diving... Now is the time to try to think of all the things we want to have while everything is still in pieces.

This last picture is just to show how handsome I look when grinding... not the ear protection is my iPod... oh well whatever works, I say...  Lastly, I have been wondering why after nearly 6 months no one has made any comment on the blog...  Then I was changing a setting when I noticed that I had "comments" set up in such a way that no one could leave a comment without first agreeing to give up their first born....  This has now been fixed.  I hope it works... Cheers...

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Busy Day...

Yesterday I woke up 6:45am to find it pouring rain outside, so I laid back down to snooze for a few more minutes and woke up at 10am.  It was still raining so I decided this was going to be a day to get a few things done around the house.  As far as the boat goes, I went to my marine supplier and picked up some marine primer (1 gallon) and some marine bilge paint (1 quart), and got out my checkbook and wrote a check for almost $200.00.  I love this boat, I love this boat, I love this boat....

When I got home from my errands a neighbour knocked on the door and handed me a package with the stainless steel fittings that I ordered in early June...  between the postal strike and the delivery person delivering the package to the wrong address, it took more than a month for the stuff to arrive... That said we now have some great folding padeyes to use on the foredeck to secure the dinghy when we are on long ocean passages.

Today, the weather forecast was looking better so I went to the boat early and started to get the lazarette ready to be painted.  I began by shovelling out the ton of junk and rotten wood that had accumulated.  As I was blindly throwing the junk out the lazarette and overboard, I almost hit Shelley's dad who came by to help for a few hours.  More about his help in a minute.

As I was cleaning up the lazarette there were a few drips of epoxy that had fallen on the walls so I took the grinder to grind them off only to find it barely able to rotate...  Not really surprising, as 2 days ago when I last worked on the boat I was grinding for at least 5 hours... I added a few drops of WD-40 in hopes that things would improve, but that good idea only lasted about 30 seconds and it ceazed up again...  With a dead grinder and about 1/3 of the boat still to prep for primer, I decided not to waste any time trying to repair it, as I realized that I purchased it more than 5 years ago from a surplus store for $29.00.... I'm thinkin' it doesn't owe me anything...  So off to Canadian Tire only to find one just like the old one for, can you believe it; $29.00...  As I went from the boat to Canadian Tire the heavens opened and it rained almost until I made it back to the farm.

Just as I pulled in, it stopped raining so I continued my work on the lazarette.  This is when Ed came by... fortunately I missed him with my projectiles and he began to work, grinding the cockpit area as I continued to work in the lazarette.  We worked about 4 hours and Ed did an amazing job getting the cockpit area ready for me to get some epoxy layed down.  Buy this afternoon the sun had returned and we were both hot and filthy, but happy with what we got done today...

Our day ended by enjoying a really cold beer in the shade under the boat...  I hope he comes back another time, he worked hard and did a great job.

I have to admit that I am beginning to get a little discouraged overall with this work taking as long as it is and it sometimes feels like we will never get this boat finished... that said, I think that in another few days we may get to the place where we can get some primer down.... We'll see...

(Sorry there is no pictures today, I forgot to take any...lol.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today I Got Some Work Done On The Front and Back...

I ordered some 1/8" aluminium for the bow area of the deck around the anchor windlass. Part of the reason there was so much rot in that area was that every time the anchor hit the deck, it cracked the fiberglass.... To remedy that I have epoxied a big hunk of aluminium into that area.


As I waited for each side to cure a little I tackled the job of getting the dinghy davit brackets off the transom.... That was a tough job but they are now gone.... I am glad I did this as I found that the aluminium that was used to secure the bracket had reacted with the stainless steel bolts that help it on and had rotted half way through... I am replacing the backing plate with 3/8" aluminum and putting some epoxy on it to stop any more disintegration from dis-similar metals...
Another great weather day to get quite a bit accomplished...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pluggin' Along... (pun) Filling In All the Holes...

Today I spent the day filling the 1000's of holes with epoxy.  We drilled these holes a few weeks ago and now the core has dried out.  A few days ago I filled each hole with a little CPES (a product that penetrates the wood and stops it from rotting any more) and it has cured enough for me to now fill in the holes...  A long tedious job that took just a little more than 5 hours. 




When I finished it was a little hot. Check out the thermometer in the trailer where I mix the epoxy.... The next time I work on the boat I can begin to fair out the epoxy on the deck and start getting things smoothed out to start sanding and painting... Now I may look a little goofy but at least I keep the sun off me and my hair doesn't end up full of epoxy...


In 5 hours I finished this water jug.... I didn't have to pee once! (yesterday I over did it and think I ended up with a little heat stroke.)


Here is the aluminum that I will be installing at the bow around the anchor...  This way we hope that there will be no more cracks in the fiberglass and no more water getting into the core...




Saturday, July 16, 2011

Eastern Seaboard Holiday...

A few days ago we left to have a little family vacation, but in agreeing to the vacation I had an ulterior motive, which was to check out the abundance of marine supply places in and around Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  What a wonderfully interesting place...  We stopped at Defender Industries where we met some really helpful people.  While there we picked up some odds and ends but we also connected with an "outfitting" department who will set up a discount if you are purchasing enough product.  The discount varies and is based on the margin that they are making... Every little bit helps...  We then went to a place called Jamestown Distributors but had a terrible experience!  We spend almost an hour with a nice young man who was VERY helpful.  But when it came time to close an order worth more than $1200, they found no way to budge on their prices even though I had placed an order a few months ago that included a 5% discount on my next order!  In the end we walked out and I wrote to the president of the company who thus far has ignored my concerns so we placed the order with another company called Bargain Boat Parts.com, who, it urns out, were less expensive and had no problem agreeing to a deal... needless to say, I was really disappointed with Jamestown Distributors, but found another company willing to help out... it just goes to show, persistence pays off...



The really cool part of the trip though has been finding 3 consignment places who are FILLED with wonderful used boat parts at VERY reasonable prices!  The names of these places are: Mystic Marine Consignment, Wickford Marine Consignment and Newport Marine and Consignment. (you can find these places on the net) WOW, what great, friendly people who who clearly want to help you out.  They were able to find many of the things I wanted (needed) at prices that blow regular retailers out of the water!  While I realize some things need to be bought new, MANY things are just as good used! And that saved us a TON of MONEY!  Not to mention just exploring their stores was really fun!

We hope to return home next Wednesday so I can really get to work on the boat for the next few weeks while I am still on vacation.  I will be at the boat every day, so if any of you find yourselves with nothing to do and want to help out, give me a call, there is lots to do...  More later as I am now on "Vacation" with Kelly and Shelley in Boston exploring a part of the USA with an incredible history.  Yesterday we explored the USS Constitution, WOW what a boat! Too bad they wouldn't let me take any parts...  Cheers!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Little Progress This Week...

This week has seen a bunch of things happen... First, I located a supplier for a replacement membrane for the water maker.  The cost was much less than I anticipated it might be, $175... not bad.  I have ordered it and it will be shipped to our US mailing address and we can pick it up on our way home from Massachusetts and Rhode Island next week.
 
I was also able to remove the high pressure compressor for the watermaker from the engine this week and located the seal kits we will need to re-build this pump... Now here is a typical scenario that I keep running into as our project rolls along.  I got a couple of quotes for the seal kits The one from Canada came in at $375.  The one from the USA came in at $161 FOR THE VERY SAME THING!!  Needless to say,  I will be also picking up the seal kits when I pick up the membrane...


Some of you may know that Shelley, Kelly and I are heading off to the eastern seaboard on Tuesday.  On our way through Buffalo we will drop off our wind generator to be fixed.


From there we have a number of stops planned at various marine supply places and we hope to spend some time doing some touristy things around the Boston area...  Shelley has a binder of "things to do" already together so I am sure we will keep busy and have some fun...  The emphasis on boat shopping is somewhat less as important as it once was because as I mentioned on our last blog entry, we now have a local guy who is able to supply much of what we need in terms of marine products at prices that come in line with so many of the US suppliers.

As for actual work on the boat this week, I have got a bunch more epoxy down and have taken the side band radio in to be looked at.  We found a great group of ham radio operators this week who seem to really helpful getting us connected with places and people who can get our on-board communications up and running.








I started to grind out what I thought was a small area of rot on the helm seat, only to find the whole thing was rotten, so I have re-cored the whole thing...  We will check in when we are on our holiday adventure next week...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Making Progress...

Alot has happened since our last post...  We have added a new tarp because the single tarp we were using leaked and I ended up flooding out an area in a rainstorm that I had opened up to dry out... What a mess!  We now have a second tarp over the boat....

We have now removed ALL of the hatches and windows from the boat and have taken them to KW Glass in Waterloo where they will be re-glazed and cleaned up.  Thank you to Rob and his crew for doing this!

Speaking of crews, today Bill and Glen came to the boat and worked all morning drilling out the deck...  Whooo-hooo! it is now done... special thanks to Bob who delivered a dozen really sharp drill bits which made the job go really quickly...


Now we wait... hopefully in the next few weeks the deck will dry out and I will be able to treat the rotten wood with CPES, a product that will make all things well.  After that cures, I will fill in all the holes we made with epoxy and end up with a NEW deck!  We will finish the deck with paint and a new product out of New Zealand called of all things, Kiwi-Grip... Not cheap, but provides a great looking, low maintenance, non-slip surface on our deck...

The last job today was to make a template of the bow-deck area so I can get a sheet of aluminum cut to protect the deck around the anchor area.

Last bit of good news - We have found a local marine supplier who has promised to sell us the marine parts we need a prices that don't leave us feeling like we have been taken advantage of...  That will be a great relief if everything works out...  Also, we found a company near Buffalo NY who is going to fix our broken wind generator...  There are so many things we are finding problems with... Oh well, at least we are finding people who can help us get things fixed up....

More soon...