Some Forward Progress

This has been an unusually frustrating spring refit. It seem like I have been taking two steps back for every step forward. But little by little it seems that I am starting to make some headway.

Light Air Drifter
I am working to set up a drifter on a free furler just in front of the headstay and behind the bow chock. The general idea was a furler that can snap shackle to a padey with furling line blocks on the bow cleat and shroud base. From the very start this this has been painful a project. First I couldn't find a way to mount a structural padeye. Then I couldn't find a way to mount the Harken free furler such that the lead would clear the anchor locker. In the end the Harken furler went back to MauriPro (great service by the way) and I am waiting on a replacement Schaefer 550 furler. I still don't know if I will get this to work but at least I have a few new "good" ideas.

Toe Rail Break
The shift in my spring refit frustration was definitely a result of fixing the break in the port toe rail splice that occurred last summer.

As I mentioned previously, I tried and failed repairing this split with West Systems 105 epoxy. I prepped the split as much as I dared and injected thickened epoxy into the joint. Clamped it up for two days and it stayed together for about a minute. Having quickly surpassed my limited, okay nonexistent, skills I consulted a professional and asked Stephen Brouwer of Hunter Bay Woodworking to come over and take a look. He suggested I take another shot with West Systems G/flex epoxy. He has had some success with this product on teak and he had some material that I could barrow. If this failed it was probably fill and fair time.

I did a much more aggressive prep job this time. I worked a piece of 220 grit sand paper into the crack cleaning and sanding both edges. Then I solvent washed the joint and let it dry. Then I injected the G/flex, clamped up the joint and waited through two rainy spring days.

When the clamp came off I got this.

Okay, not the prettiest joint in the world but it was holding. So I sanded it and prepped it for the varnishing that was in its near future.

And after one coat it ain't looking to shabby.

Time will tell if this repair will hold up but I am cautiously optimistic.

Wood Movement
Wood movement on the parts of Bolero constructed of wood, and there are a lot, has been a continuing problem. Currently the forward bulkhead, the sliding companionway hatch, the aft deck hatch and the cabin floor access board have warped or twisted enough to affect their function. Most are just a little annoying but the sliding companionway hatch had become almost unusable as it was binding on the aluminum rails.

While Stephen Brouwer was over advising me on the toe rail break repair we spoke at length about these issues but unfortunately their really isn't a cure or a fix. The long term plan is to remake the hatches allowing for better movement of the wood.

For the short term I need to find a way to get them functional for this season. And as I mentioned it is really only the sliding companionway hatch that is truly problematic. All of these parts are back in my small shop getting ready for varnish. Since I know that the problem was less when the wood dries out during the summer I decided to see if lowering the moisture content and raising the heat in my shop would help. Can't really hurt but it isn't a solution either.

Electrical System and Instrumentation
I decided last season that I wanted to add some additional instrumentation to Bolero. After some research I discovered that I could add a NMEA depth transducer that would send depth readings directly to my Garmin 276C gps. But that transducer needed a power supply. So I decided that it was time to add an electrical system to Bolero.

The first problem was were to put a panel. Space is always tight and finding an adequate space that is also usable adds to the dilemma. Somehow I came up with the idea to use the chainplate box that Tim had built to cover up the chainplate knees.

In a way this idea seemed a bit crazy with my first thought being that moisture could be a big issue. So I took the cover off the starboard chainplate box and found it to be dry and very well sealed. I will definitely keep my eye on this to make sure nothing changes.

Here is the current state of my electric panel construction. The solar panel charge controller and the switch panel have been mounted and I am waiting for one more part before I mount the voltage and amperage gauges and their control switches.

And here is a view of the backside showing the battery mounting location.

I plan to have mount points for two of my small batteries so I can add extra capacity as needed.

Obviously from the size of my battery I am not running very much load. Currently all I will be running is power to the gps and to the depth sender unit. Although future plans may include a set of LED navigation lights and interior lights.

In addition to depth I also wanted to add a wind strength indicator. And what I really, really wanted was a wireless Tacktick system. But its cost just wasn't it the cards for this season. So with a bit of research I discovered the Inspeed Vortex Anemometer. It is a simple winds speed only anemometer that uses a bike computer for its display.

So know our mast head looks like this.


Cabin Cushions
Having done such a great job on the exterior canvas, Laura thought she would build the cabin cushions as well. Problem was that her other passions weren't cooperating. So I decided to send the local canvas shop an email asking for a quote. A few emails later and a trip to Friday Harbor and next thing we knew Derek from San Juan Canvas was over measure Bolero for cushions.

We will now have new cabin cushions prior to launch day. And I (Laura was out of town ) choose to add a touch of color to Bolero's interior.

And last, but certainly not least, we come to varnishing. Having removed all the parts I could remove, to varnish separately in the shop, I needed to decided what got varnished this year. So I started taping. In the end I decided to varnish all of the exterior varnish except the cockpit seats as they are fully covered when not in use and they still look good. In addition I didn't refresh the interior varnish, which we really haven't used much.

Currently I am done with the first of two refresher coats.