Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Flipped It

So a few weeks ago, somehow, I managed to get the big old lug off of the trailer and rolled over bottom side up. I had to get the trailer high enough at the front so I could roll the boat off of the back. That wasn't easy, but it worked. When I post the pictures, you'll just laugh. I then tied a line off to one of the last remaining cleats on the port side and pulled it over from the starboard side. My wife helped in holding the line while I slowly lowered it down and onto a bench. It was ugly, but it worked.

The bottom was not nearly as green as I thought it was going to be, luckily, but there were so many blisters in the gel coat. When I hit it with the power-washer, it pretty much all came apart. My backyard looked like New York Times Square on New Year's Eve. There were paint chips flying everywhere, I was completely covered in no time. Most of the flakes revealed the black underlayment, and some showed the fiberglass hull itself. This is a problem. I also cleaned up the area around the hole on the center-line up forward. There's a pretty big crack there, but it won't be hard to patch though.

So the problem here is now a matter of cost. How do I repair all of the gel coat that's flaked off? (which is pretty much everything below the waterline) After searching online I found that this is a common problem with older fiberglass boats. To do this repair professionally, which would mean new gel coat, is really out of the question. Gel Coat runs at about $130/gallon and is really only sold in small quantities to perform repair work. West System's website has a whitepaper discussing the repair of blistering gel coat using their fiberglass resin products. I suppose I could then paint over that. That method should save me about $80/gallon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hull Number

So when I crawled inside the cabin to do the power washing, I found the original manufacturer's identification plate way underneath. It read Grumman Boats, Hull# H-104. Apparently Grumman bought out Pearson Boats back in the early 1960's at some point. Anyway, it's always a cool thing to know which model number you have when you're doing a restoration. It's an interesting thing to share with other people you find who are doing or have done restorations. Kind of like the whole Where's George thing.

Entering Phase II

Although there are a few things to wrap up in Phase I like removing the last couple pieces of deck hardware, I took out the power washer last Saturday and went to town on the boat hull. Wow, what a vast difference it makes. All of the grime and crud has been removed from the topside as well as from the inside cabin. So much of the old pain flaked off too it was crazy. I had to stop every now and then to remove all of the water from inside using a wet/dry shopvac. (I really need a bilge pump.) In stripping out the interior, I found a patch on the centerline of the hull, just forward of the main mast mount that wasn’t applied very well. Much of the fiberglass sheeting just ripped right off in my hands and I could see from underneath the boat that the hole started to slowly leak again. I’ll have to make sure that’s nice and dry when I go to do that repair. In all though, a productive day.

I have two stubborn cleats left to remove on the deck and on the stern I need to remove the inside wood backing on the rudder mount and two bolts on the motor mount. After that and the removal of the last of the Styrofoam, Phase I will be complete. I’m still getting quotes for the supplies I’ll need in Phase III, but that will continue until the purchase date.

Next up – need to flip the boat over and clean off the bottom of the hull. It’s very green with moss or algae and I can see where the paint has bubbled up in a lot of areas. Will need to grind all of that down smooth.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nearing End of Phase I

What is Phase I you ask? Well Phase I of the restoration is the Breakdown Phase where we gut the boat and take it down to the bare hull in preparation for cleaning and painting. So far I've got just about all of the hardware removed except for a few cleats on the stern.

The main mast support came apart pretty easily and I can see that it will need a lot of building up with epoxy resin and fiberglass to make it strong again. Thankfully there is a vertical mast support down below inside the cabin which adds a lot of strength too. I just have to build up the fiberglass around it, much of it has been chipped away by rotting wood and rusty hardware.

More pictures to come as soon as this phase is completed. Hope fully that will be within the next week. Meanwhile I'm getting quotes for all of the items we'll need to buy to get her ready for sea again.

Phase II of the project will be the Cleanout Phase where I'll take the power washer to the hull and try to strip all of the flaking pain off of the inside and get all of the nasty dirt and grime off the topside. I'll then hit is with a hard scrub using a good cleaning solvent, followed by one last flush to get her ready for the buildup phase.

Phase III will be the Buildup phase where I'll start by getting the hull back to good form using some epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth. I'll have to then sand it smooth and use some marine poly paint. Not sure about below the waterline, I may be able to get away with a good sanding job, depending on how she looks under there. Will know for sure once I tip her over in Phase II. Also in this phase will be the reconstruction of all of the wood items on the boat - tiller, rudder, centerboard, mainmast support, transom mount, rudder mount, etc. By the end of this phase, she'll be ready for rigging.

Phase IV is the Finish work phase - rig her up, make her all pretty again and ready for sea.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Before Pictures

Here's what she looked like when I got her....

Finally, I own a Boat!

So last week I took the family out to Annapolis because a friend of mine invited us to go and meet them at a nautical flea market held once a year. Sounded good, so we went. I had no intention of buying anythin accept maybe some trinkets for decoration around the house. Anyway after walking around there for a while I noticed a beautiful handcrafted wooden sailboat, a small little day sailer sold as a kit for about $2500. Beautiful. Behind it, was this sad and sorry little 16' dirty fiberglass hull that just looked really sad. I walked around to take a closer look and man was it dirty. all kids of trash inside, every piece of wood rotten, no sail. All this for a grand total of $499, including trailer. How could I resist?

I talked to the gentleman at this booth and found it was a 1962 Pearson Hawk 16' daysailer that had been sadly neglected for the past couple of years. After a little convincing for myself and for my wife, we agreed to buy it. What the heck, right? It'll be a fun project.

Next day my friend Mac and I drove back with a truck to tow it back to Manassas. We got it back just fine and I could not wait to get started on cleaning it up.