Friday, 7 March 2014

New Teak Panels ~

I discussed in my previous post the installation of the big (sexy) windows and some structural framing that was needed to help support them.

Another reason for this framing was to support the new teak plywood siding that I was building to refinish the interior.

This interior project coincided with the big window install project primarily because the panels that cover the interior sections of cabin top needed to be built before the big windows were installed. It was much easier to get the window holes in the right place by tracing the opening from the outside while the teak panel was in place. It started by building the framing and then making a pattern for the teak panel.  Cutting the panel and then fitting it in place before tracing the hole for the window. Finally the windows were installed and the panels could be screwed into place.

Here are some photos of how it all came together....

This is the stamp on back of the teak plywood I received from World Panel .  I would highly recommend these guys if you're in need of any wood  finishing products. They were extremely helpful in finding what I needed for my project.

Since the port lights were already installed an extra piece was required to make the pattern for these areas. This is the template of the port light shape I made to attach with the teak panel pattern. This extra step added quite a bit of difficulty to this project. Getting the panel cut to fit over these port lights took lots of time, accuracy, and a steady saw hand. 

Here you can see a couple of patterns about to be traced onto the teak plywood. The patterns are flipped over and traced upside down on the back side of the plywood. This assures no markings will be visible on the panel face.  I did the bulk of the cutting here on Dennis's table saw. Without Captain Dennis and Mayhew's Marine workshop this project would have been nearly impossible. Thanks again Capt' D!

Here you can see the patterns taped up to the cabin top and one of the new teak panels fitted in place around the bronze port light. The black plastic was taped up during the inner frame building process to help  the epoxy clean up step. A roll of heavy duty trash bags goes a long way when prepping for some messy work.

There was also lots of cutting that happened inside the boat. Here I am with a jigsaw cutting out the holes for the port lights and windows. When cutting through finish plywood it is important to use good, sharp, scrolling blades. This will ensure that your finish layer of ply does not get chipped or broken. Also it is good to cut with a higher blade speed and move the saw at a slower pace when cutting through the wood panel.

These are the panels with window holes traced on the back side. This would have been impossible with the windows in place therefore making it very difficult getting the holes in just the right spot.

 Starboard side panels before cutting window holes. You can see the forward panel already cut to fit around the port light.

Starboard side after cutting out window hole and mounting panel to framing. 

This is the aft cabin with new teak panels in place and window hole cut out. Should add a nice brightness to this little cozy space. This is prior to installing the big (sexy) window.

This is the galley area.  I think the window framing turned out pretty decent. They still need to be finished off with a coat of paint.  At this point in the project I'm indulging in a nice beverage to celebrate my progress with the interior build.  Next step is to start laying on the varnish...

This is the first area where this project began a couple months prior to this photo.  My decision to go with the teak plywood was simple. I love the look of finished wood, especially on the interior. I knew it would take some extra effort to go this route instead of using a cloth material and I'm happy with the way its turning out.

Looking forward to our whole interior coated in varnish and all aglow... truly making this an amazingly beautiful and comfortable place to live.   I'll certainly be happy to hang my hat in here ~

Monday, 3 February 2014

Sexy Windows ~

Having recently discussed the cabin top paint project in my last post, I felt it fitting to share a little more on the lovely design aspect of the cabin top. This particular segment is on the big windows that are so recognizably Downeaster. Lets call them the "sexy" windows...

For this project I simply, removed the big windows, cleaned them with buffing compound, cleaned off old caulking, painted the cabin top, built an inner window framing, and re-installed the windows.  Easy as 1. 2. 3... right ?

Heres how it all came together, or should I say,  came apart.

Port side forward cabin window.

Port side forward cabin window removed to show inner window sill.

Another view of port side looking aft.

And now a view from inside.   Here you can see just how thin the inner window sill is. About 1/4 inch.  I have seen other Downeasters that do not have this recessed lip or window sill to receive the window. In that instance the window seems to be caulked directly to the outside cabin top.

One of the main features of "sexy" windows is their lack of fasteners. They are simply held in place by a super thick bead of caulking.  If fasteners are used during installation, they are simply removed and the holes are filled with caulking.  This is the method I used to install my windows. However, one thing still plagued at the planning for this project...  my concern with the thin fiberglass window sill being to thin.

This begins the inner cabin top framing project.

Another aspect of this inner framework was to have a place to mount the new interior siding. The previous interior was constructed of a few thin strips of wood and some foam glued to the cabin ceiling walls, followed by some vinyl material stapled to that.  It looked fine, but had stains and rust spots where fittings had leaked through the deck. All interior headliner and ceiling liner were removed to properly seal up leaks in the deck.

 Here you can see the foam and wood which was glued and taped in place. The vinyl is the material hanging down with the stained up corner.  Someone had spent alot of time or money having this headliner built, but forgot to seal up the deck leaks first... sadly, I had to rip it all out!

Here is a view of the cabin top ceilings before removing the headliner. It really did look decent and I was pretty gutted to have to remove it all. I saved all materials of this headliner and siding not knowing if I would use it again or not.

After extensive research I decided to abandon the old stuff and replace it with new teak plywood. I love the warm look and feel of wood inside the boat and have decided to use it as much as possible to restore the interior.  I found a wonderful distributer of these fine materials locater in south florida called  World Panel . They were very helpful in selecting the product I needed and after shelling out a few $$$ I had a stack of beautiful teak ply sitting at my door. I will resume this topic in another post on the new teal interior.

I began the cabin top inner framing project in the galley and worked my way around the inside of the boat.

 Galley interior with wood framing pieces cut and ready to be epoxied in place.

This interior framing will actually serve two purposes. 1 being an interior structure to mount the teak siding onto. 2 an interior strengthening structure to give the cabin top more rigidity and solid feeling.

Here is the v-berth area before framing is installed.

Here are a couple shots of the framing epoxied in place.

I had to use a thinner strip of wood for the areas around the bronze portlights since they are nearly flush mounted to the cabin top ceilings. 

This is an image of the bronze portlight and the template I made to cut the holes for the teak siding.  More on this later.

This is the area near the galley and the big window holes. 

 Here you can see the inner framing or window sill framing.

This step of framing was necessary to allow a smooth transition from window to teak siding. Also giving the window frame more strength.

The big windows being prepped with masking tape and dry  fit in place.

Port side view of the cabin top and windows being masked.

Dow Corning 795 Silicone Building Sealant commonly used to install big panes of glass in buildings.
The screws were used to hold the windows in place while the caulking cured. The small black rubber rings were used as spacers to hold the windows off the surface about a 1/4" to allow for a thick bead of sealant.

Massive amounts of sealant laid into the window recess to build up the 1/4" bead.

I used a suction cup window holder to position the windows in place while putting in the screws.

After fitting the windows with screws the sealant was squeegeed smooth to fill all voids.

Lindita sitting dockside looking good with her big "Sexy" windows!

 All sealed up and ready for the next rain shower ~

Monday, 3 June 2013

Cabin Top Paint ~

I'm in the middle of painting the boat right now.  

Well, not actually at this moment.  What I mean is that nearly half the boat has been painted so far.  

The previous owner had the hull sides and bottom of the boat painted back in January of 2011. So the only area really needing paint is the topsides. The cabin top, cap rails and gunwales, cockpit lazarettes and nonskid decks are the areas I'm focused on now. 

Where o where to start...?

This is a shot of my broker and friend Randy Hinely on the helm as we sail across the Gulf of Mexico on delivery home to Niceville.
You can see the areas of concern in the cabin top bulkhead.  The duct tape is covering an old portlight that had been removed.  Also the engine gauges were mounted in this same bulkhead area.  It reminded me of a oversized cars dashboard... not very nautical.

Plans to change these things began immediately underway. 

 Another shot of us sailing back across the Gulf of Mexico.
Here you can see the ugly yellow plastic covering the portlight holes. It was very brittle and would crack if touched.

A shot of the starboard side deck. The weathered teak is asking for some attention as well.

After throughly cleaning and inspecting the topsides, I decided to remove the teak eyebrow trim that wraps around the cabin top. It was badly cracked in spots and needed to be stripped.

After removing the eyebrow trim rail I exposed many screw holes which needed filling and faring.

Trim screw holes counterbored and ready for epoxy filling.

At this point it was apparent that the teak hand rails would need to be removed as well.  Unfortunately they were leaking into the cabin top a little, and need to be re-bedded after painting.

  The deck looks super clean with everything removed.  Now time to remove those big windows.

Quite a mess we've got here. The windows were leaking pretty bad. You can see the amount of crud that collected inside the window frame.

Another main area of concern was the cabin top bulkheads in the cockpit. I still had those old holes from the gauges and the old portlight. 

My idea was to fill the holes with wood and fiberglass them over. 

This is a view from inside the cabin looking aft at the bulkhead. You can see the wood plugs glassed in place.  I spent much more time glassing the exterior surface of this bulkhead to get it smooth and fare. Somehow I dont seem to have many pictures of that step.

This is where the eyebrow trim rail ended near the cockpit.  The big main cabin windows are held in with blue masking tape.

Next I removed the main hatch covering the companion way.

Its built of teak and very strong, however it had leaks coming through the seams.

Companion way hatch completely removed and ready to repair.
All of this area will need to be painted with the cabin top.

There was an enormous amount of prep work that went into painting just the cabin top section of this boat. Many hours spent filling and faring, sanding and sanding. then filling and faring some more, sanding, sanding, etc, etc....

I did the majority of this section by myself.  I could have spent another season trying to get everything prepped out perfectly, luckily I have Dennis Mayhew to remind me of one important thing... Its a boat, not a church. Just paint it.

Thanks Dennis for helping me keep things fairly simple.

 Primer ~ Port side

Primer ~ Starboard side

Primer ~ Starboard side looking aft

Paint~ Starboard side

Looking good during the Single handers race ~ October 2012 ~ BBSC 

New cabin top paint shining in the sunset ~

Once again, its feels good to look back at another project completed. I'm always amazed at how great this boat looks after finishing projects like this. She is a great boat with classic lines, and steps like this really help to show that about her. 

I've toyed with the idea of leaving off the handrails to keep that clean look on deck, however she wont be a dock queen forever. 

"You're gonna need those handrails one day when those Abaco seas come crashing on deck!" ~ Dennis Mayhew