Big summer project

Last month we pulled the mast off the boat. We did this for a number of reasons. One of those reasons according to random passerby/dock neighbor is we; and I quote “Hate sailing”. Thanks person I hardly know for rubbing that little turd in my face. :)

The other reasons for pulling the mast was to replace a lot of old and aging equipment and hardware.

Specifics? You want them? You got them:

Replaced the old spreader lights with nice super bright LEDs from Dr. LED. More specifically, these: Kevin Spreader lights

Replaced the old VHF antenna with a new Shakespeare Low-Profile AIS Whip Antenna

It claims to be AIS enhanced…..not sure if that matters, but I guess it cannot hurt.

We are also replacing all the Halyards and standing rigging.

But the main, number one reason we pulled the mast was to replace our aging radar and navigation system. Up until now we had a Furuno radar and the Nav system was one of my old laptops connected to a hand held Garmin eTrex GPS.

We will still have a laptop as a back up, and paper charts as well. But, our main Nav solution is a Simrad NSE8

And this is the super sexy radar:
Pretty sure the 3G is just some marketing bullshit, but it is instant on. Low power usage, and the broadband radar is super freakin detailed. I might actually use my radar now for something other than sizzling my nuts with radiation….i’m pretty sure that’s how radar works….sorta.

We also put a Maretron WSO100 for wind and temp mounted on top of the mast:
Best part about this wind indicator is NO moving parts. So the birds will have to actually put in some effort into trashing it.

We have not have a reliable working wind indicator or knot meter on Palarran for 2 or 3 years now. I am stoked.

I’m also rebuilding/modifing my tri-light/anchor light. And installing a mount so I can install a wifi antenna on the spreaders. But those two will be separate post.

That is not all we are doing. We also redid how our windlass was (incorrectly) mounted. And pulling the compression post so we can tear out an old leaking fresh water tank. That little side project resulted in us finding out the compression post may be compromised and need to be replaced.

In short, the entire post could be boiled down to: $$$KAFUCKINGCHING$$$ and a kick to the bank account.

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This could come in handy.

We spend a fair amount of time as live aboards trying to prevent unwanted things from growing on our boat. Things like mold, moss, barnacles, what the fuck ever that hairy thing is that shows up in the scuppers after we have friends over for a bbq/drinks in the cockpit….the list goes on.

As I understand it, dirt dwellers will, from time to time water their lawns in order to encourage their lawns to grow. Even when I lived on land, I did not understand this concept. Actually, I did. I just hated mowing the lawn. So I would purposely NOT water my lawn in the hopes that it would not grow. Which, among other habits, did not make me the most popular house in any neighborhood I lived in.

Following this Link will take you to something that was designed by and for dirt dwellers and thier desire for green, healthy lawns.

If your are anything like us (meaning):
a.) You live on a boat
b.) You don’t fill your tanks on a regular basis. But, wait until the tanks are completely dry at 9pm at night, half way through doing the dishes before filling them
c.) Hate waiting till the tanks are full and over flowing before running up on deck in your boxers and sock feet to pull the hose from the fill tube.

My idea is to figure out how long it takes to fill my tanks, then hook this little unit up to my hose, and set the timer to that. No I can fill my water tanks AND take a nap, check the crab pots, or find a pair of industrial strength rubber gloves and remove that hairy thing from the scuppers.

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Dodger is done!

If you’ll remember, or want scroll down the page, back in September I had removed the old rotten canvas dodger. Left the tube frame in place and beefed it up with additional supports and built a new hard top using 1/2inch Starboard. This stuff KING StarBoard 24 x 54 x 1/2 WHITE/WHITE is white, but I used tan, because it match my boat better.

The next step was to hire someone with the necessary skills to make us a new bottom half of the dodger from sunbrella and vinyl. After a lot of calling around and getting some ridiculously high quotes from people who either did not want to really do the work. Or thought way too much of their skills. We finally found someone that we could work with.

The folks we got to do the canvas work for us on the dodger is:
Jones Company Design, LLC.
Lorraine & Ken Jones

They did an AWESOME job on the dodger. They did exactly what we wanted. Even when working from awesome instructions/request from me, like…”uh…I don’t know. What ever you think looks good”. The whole thing turned out way better than I could have hoped for.

Don’t believe me? Take a look for your self:
From the front:

From the back:

Ignore the ugly ass sail cover. We are getting new sails this fall and the sail cover will be replace then.

And to answer a question from a friend. The canvas is attached to the hardtop portion by a track I had screwed and 4200’d into place. The track material is called Flex-a-rail. And is very easy to work with. Heat it up with a heatgun and mold/bend it to the curves you want and your good to go. I put a screw every 3 inches and used 4200 for added holding and to keep water from getting under the track and causing issues down the line.

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Hard dodger build/install

I don’t know how some of you people do it. And by “it”, I mean how you manage to get shit done on your boat and take pictures of the process along the way. When I start working on something, I do think to myself, “I should take pictures of each step or each major step as I do this. Then I’ll post in on the web and make the world a better place”

I never do.

What I normally end up doing is taking a beginning photo….then approximately 7/8ths of the way though the project, I take a couple more photos with nothing in between. My current project is a perfect example of this.

Right now I am working on replacing our old worn out canvas dodger with a shiny new hard dodger. Well, top half will be hard. Our current dodger is your average one inch steel tube frame with canvas and vinyl stretched over it. The problem with it is that it is well over 10 years old and absolutely falling apart at the seems. Which is to be expected of 10 year old canvas.

The other problem is, we want to mount two additional solar panels on top of the dodger and that is not really doable on sun rotted canvas. So, we decided to build a hard dodger. At first we thought of building it out of fiberglass. Which turns out to be a bit more work than either one of us really wanted to do.

The other option I came up with was to make it like you would when making a skateboard; using 3 or 4, 4×8 sheets of 1/8th inch birch board and laminating it together with tightbond 3 water proof glue, then cutting it to shape. That was the way I was planning on doing it, until Tawn stumbled across a webpage of a guy that did something very similar using a plastic product called Starboard.

Starboard turned out to be the way we were gonna go. So bought some poster board and taped it together to make one big sheet and laid that over the top of the existing stainless tubing, which is to remain in place and serve as the base/frame for the new hard dodger. I cut the poster board into the shape I wanted to use as a template. I then went to Tap Plastics down on Lake Union and got a 4×8 sheet of 1/2 inch think tan colored Starboard.

Using the poster board template; I simply cut the Starboard to the outlined shape I wanted using a jig saw. The Starboard material can be worked just like wood. I routed the edges to get a nice smooth round edge and did a little light sanding.

To mount the Starboard to the frame, I am using 1inch stainless steel “U” clamps and counter sinking the screws from the top.

The dodger frame is curved, so I lined up and fastened the starboard to the flat portion on top and center of the frame as seen in the picture above.

Using a set of ratcheting tie-down straps from my jeep; a couple heat guns and a infrared heat lamp I was able to get the perfect bend in Starboard. I’m actually very surprised it turned out as well as it has.

And another view

I will be finishing up installing the mounting hardware this weekend. And we are having someone come out to measure and give us a quote on how much it will be to make the bottom window out of canvas and vinyl.

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