Friday, March 1, 2013

Post 8 - An Overview of Progress During the Last Year

It's been almost a year since I have posted last.  Current status is as follows:

The Keels have been completely refurbished:
Cracks in my Vivacity Sailboat Keel
Pouring the Lead Ballast
First of the Ballast, removed from forms
Bottom Layer of Ballast for each of the Keels

Interior Shot of Keel Top, after all lead
has been placed and mortar poured 
  • There were numerous small cracks on the exterior of the keels.  I widened most of these (so they were a "V" shaped groove), and then I filled them with epoxy resin thickened with structural fillers.  
  • After patching, I coated the exterior keel section with several layers of interlux interprotect (a barrier coating), and then three layers of anti-fouling paint.
  • I dug out most of the steel punchings from the interior of the keels.  A small amount remained in the bottom that I just couldn't get out. I was having such a tough time of it that I was afraid I was doing more damage than good by getting that last little bit.  I painted a couple coatings of un-thickened epoxy on the remainder at the bottom, in order to hopefully seal them from any water.  
  • I then melted scrap lead and poured it into wood forms that matched the interior dimensions of the bottom of the keel ( this represented about 250 lbs of the 760 lbs of ballast that I was to add.  I set these into a bedding of mortar in the keels.  I then added the rest of the scrap lead and mortar to the inside of the keels.  My rough calculations show that I am about 25 pounds too light, but since the weight is now situated much lower in the keels than originally, I'm not too worried.  I poured the final bit of mortar into the keels about two weeks ago.  I will probably wait about another month for it to dry out more before I cap the interior top of the keels with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Post 7 - Removing the Ballast or, A Tale of Two Keels

This blog entry deals with opening up the keels from the top and removing the contents:
I have read of Keel problems from other Vivacity owners. Once I started looking closely at my Vivacity, I had concerns about a crack I saw down by the bilge. I decided it would be best to just rip all the interior out and start anew, since I wanted to modify the front V-birth, anyway. That way, I will also be able to carefully inspect the entire interior of the hull. 

This picture on the left shows the crack in the hull that I was concerned with.  When I bought the boat, it was sitting on it's trailer, uncovered, and there was water sitting in the bottom. The crack was submerged.  With cold Utah winters, I was worried about the freeze- thaw effect of water sitting in this crack.
The picture to the right shows what I saw when I began to excavate this crack. One of the reasons that I am including these "before" pictures is so others can see and compare to their own boats, in case they are worried about the same situation.

The  next three pictures  show the "cap piece" that was covering the ballast. The cap piece is comprised of some sort of concrete. I used my hammer-drill to punch through this layer in the middle, and then I was able to pry it up fairly easily with a crowbar. This cap piece was about 3 1/2" thick and the ballast, which consisted of steel punchings, was located directly below it.

  I was expecting the steel ballast to be held together with some sort of resin, but that did not seem to be the case,  Some of it had fused together a bit, and some of it was stuck to the sides of the keel, but it was quite loose.  As you can see from one of the pictures below, once I had dug down about 5 or 6 inches into the keel ballast, I hit standing water. I also ended up hitting water at the same level in the starboard keel, which surprised me since there were no cracks evident anywhere near the top cap of this other keel. I was expecting it to be in better shape. Another thing that really surprised me is that the water sat in there for so long without finding a way to leak out of the keels.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Post 6 - Removing Non-Skid

The Paint is coming off nicely.  The carbide scraper works well on the hull and the Porter Cable Random Orbit Sander works wonders on the topside paint.

My next battle: removal of the non-skid.

Overall, the non-skid was still attached extremely well, but it had come loose or cracked in a few places.  Most of the non-skid had been painted over twice, but wherever it was exposed, it had turned a yellowish color. It had to go.  To remove it, I went with a suggestion from a friend on the Plastic Classics Forum; I bought a 4 1/2" grinder and used 40 grit flap-disks to grind the bulk of the non-skid material off. On the picture above, you can see how far I went with the grinder on the left side, and then you can see the finished result on the right side after I had sanded it off fairly smooth.

Unlike the Porter Cable Sander, my Milwaukee Grinder has no dust collection system.  The grinder paired with the flap-disks throws an amazing amount of material into the air.  My garage is covered with light-blue dust.  Still, progress is progress...

After getting the bulk of the Non-skid off with the grinder, I switched to the Random Orbital Sander in order to smooth the very uneven surface left from the grinding.  The non-skid clogs-up the sandpaper much quicker than the paint does.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Post 5 - Stripping Paint

I have been stripping paint for a while now, and I am learning what works best;

I started with a carbide scraper, and it worked well on the Hull, but not nearly as good on the deck and upper surfaces.

Next, I purchased a gallon of Franmar Soy Strip. It cost roughly $80.00 per gallon.  I decided to test it by putting it on a small area first, and letting it sit for an hour and a half.  I spread it over the paint and made sure it was at least 1/8" thick.  I could see the paint start to lift off even before the time was up.  I used my carbide scraper to remove the loose paint, once it was time.   The top two layers of paint came right off, but the bottom layer of paint didn't budge.

The next day, I decided to try it on a larger area, and leave it on for twice as long. I applied it to the cockpit area of the boat, and then I covered it all with waxed paper in order to keep it from drying out too soon.  After three hours I peeled the waxed paper back, and I could tell that the Soy Strip had penetrated much deeper this time. As I scraped the first spot, the scraper went all the way through the paint and even took off a bit of the gel-coat.  I looked closer and I could see that there were small areas where the soy strip was pitting the gel coat. I hurried and wiped off all the soy strip and loose paint, and then cleaned the whole area with water and vinegar.   In this second picture, you can see some of the pitting caused by the Soy Strip.   I probably won't be using it again on this boat...

For my next round, I purchased a Porter Cable model 7335 Random Orbital Sander, and a pack of 20 (40grit) disks of sandpaper.  This should have been my first move; these things work great. Dust is kept at a minimum, since it comes with a vacuum hose that I can attach to my shop vac. It removes paint quickly, and it's a pleasure to use.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Post 4 - Removing the Rubrail

This last weekend, I finished removing the old rubrail on the sailboat. As you can see from this first picture, the rubrail is screwed from the outside through the hull of the boat. The screw is attached through the joint between the two halves of the boat, and then the nut on the inside of the boat is covered in fiberglass tape.

In this first picture , you can see the seam between the white bottom hull piece and the blue top deck piece, which overlaps it. These two pieces are screwed together from the outside.
After the two pieces were screwed together, the rubrail was screwed through both pieces from the outside. This effectively covers the seam on the outside of the boat. After the rubrail was screwed on, the inside seam and all the exposed screws and nuts were then taped over with fiberglass. This makes removing the rubrail a little more difficult.

In the second picture, you can see the inside taped seam, and the bulges in the seam where all the scews and nuts have been taped over. The darker holes you can see are where I have already chiseled through the fiberglass and removed the rubrail screws. The remaining bumps are the screws that attach the deck to the hull.
Even after I chiseled the fiberglass out of the way on the inside, the screws were usually too corroded to turn without stripping-out. As a result, I ended up chiseling the rubrail out of the way of the screwhead, as seen in the third picture.

I then cut off the outside screwheads with a
cutoff disk attached to my dremel tool. After the screwheads were cut off, I was able to remove the rubrail .With the rubrail removed, and the tape removed from the inside, I was then able to drive the screws out with a punch from the outside of the boat. I will be filling all these holes in with epoxy, and then I will drill new holes for the new rubrail after I have painted the outside of the boat.
In other news, I purchased a gallon of Franmar Soy Strip to aid with the paint removal. I tested it on a section of the deck by applying it about 1/8" thick and then covering it with waxed paper. After two hours, I removed the waxed paper and I was able to easily scrape the top layer of paint off. There are two layers of paint that I want to remove, so next time I will try leaving the solution on for a longer period of time before I try scraping.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Post 3 - In the Garage and Scraping Paint

The boat now sits comfortably in the garage. Much of the past few weeks was spent simply organizing the garage, so I would actually have room to work. After multiple trips to the dump and storage, the work has resumed.

Much of the boat hardware has been removed. Paint has been scraped off about half of the starboard hull. Not much at all has been scraped off the topside. For now, I am using a 2" carbide scraper. No chemicals as of yet. I will soon be ordering some, though.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Post 2 - Hurry up and Wait

Much of the last few days has been spent learning about the boat I have purchased, and learning in general about the restoration process of old fiberglass boats.Today I ordered a book entitled "This Old Boat", which is revered as a bible of sorts for people wishing to restore these type of boats.
Previous to my purchase of this boat, my study focused primarily on stitch-and-glue, and building wooden boats from the ground up. My original intention was to build a boat from scratch.
I have started sanding the interior. I figured that the interior of the boat would be a bit more forgiving; I will read-up some more before I tackle the exterior. I have also decided to move the boat into the garage. I cut some wooden skids out of 4x6 lumber and slid them under the keels. Tomorrow I will try and pull the boat off the trailer on these skids and move it into the garage. I didn't like the way the keels
were sitting on those narrow pieces of steel on the trailer. Also, It will be nice to have the boat in a more controlled environment, where I can even work at night, if I wish.