Saturday, November 19, 2011

Leveling The Hull

     With as much work that I had given to the restoration of the Sea Sprite 23, Froonie, and for as much time that I had spent working on that restoration, finally splashing her in August of 2011, the three months that had passed without working on a boat was enough to cause that 'stir' in me to get started on the Westsail 32.  This Westsail 32, to be named, is hull #667, and was prepared at the Costa Mesa, CA factory in 1977 as a sail-away kit.  This sail-away kit was complete with a factory installed deck, all standing and running rigging, a volvo MD-17C installed, primary and v-berth bulkhead and engine bulkhead, and a suite of sails.  The original owner sailed her to Washington state, hauled her for placement in a barn, where she sat for a number of years.  The second owner had her moved to South Carolina, where, again, she sat for a few years before I purchased her.  I am the third owner of this hull.  This is my "10-year project", and will evolve slowly with a ton of research, with use of proper materials and installation methods,  and no doubt much learning along the way.

    The first order of business for #667 was to level her hull: stern to stem, as well as athwartship.  All subsequent construction - building out the interior - requires a level starting point, otherwise rolling seas may not be the only thing pinging the senses.  I used a 20-ton house jack, placed on the forefoot of the keel and made incremental adjustments to bring the bow up to a point where the hull was finally resting level from bow to stern - waterline level.

With the hull level from bow to stern, as referenced by the primary bulkhead, I was ready to turn my attention to the leveling of the hull from port to starboard.

For the athwartship leveling, I used the jack-stands to slowly bring her to level - making countless trips into and out of the boat to check the level.  Again, I used a level placed on the primary bulkhead to take the level measurement.

     I was without a few tools during the leveling, so next trip I will check and double-check to make sure all is level and satisfactory prior to continuing general construction work - replacing bulkheads, cabin sole, etc.