Sunday, September 30, 2012

     On Sunday, September 30th, I turned my attention back to the deck.  The initial work I had done removing the flaking gelcoat begged for completion - filling and fairing.  With just this in mind today, I stepped aboard the Westsail with intentions (and tools) to work on fairing the decks in preparation for primer.

     I focused my time on the foredeck and starboard side deck.  I had "tested" a portion of the forward starboard side deck a couple months back - visible in the lower portion of the picture below - and the results were very good.  I was a bit aggressive in the amount of fairing material I used on the test area, requiring a bit more sanding.  I would go into today's fairing work keeping the rule in mind of applying thinner skim coats, and applying subsequent coats if the surrounding surfaces remained proud of the targeted work surface.

     The work progressed relatively well:  wash deck surfaces with water, sand the areas in which the gelcoat had been removed or where the nonskid surface had been removed, vacuum the surface and wash with solvent in preparation for epoxy resin.  Once I had the surface properly prepped, I went ahead and mixed up a batch of the epoxy fairing material.  I am using West System epoxy and fillers for the fairing work. I first painted on a "neat" coat of resin to saturate the work surface and ensure a good mechanical bond.  I then mixed a combination of 406 colloidal silica and 407 low-density filler until I achieved a low viscosity blend.  Using a small squeegee, I applied the filler material over the various areas that required it.  Picture below is of the starboard side of the foredeck.

     Pictured below is the port side of the foredeck.

     Looking aft along the starboard side deck.

     Looking forward along the starboard side deck.

     Aft portion of the starboard side deck, and deck scupper.

Time today: 4.5 hours

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Final Removal of the Overhead

     With but four hours working time on Labor Day, I managed to complete roughly 60% removal of the overhead in the main cabin salon and v-berth.  On Saturday, September 8th, I completed the removal of the overhead tongue-and-groove boards.  I had originally thought that the wood species was ash; however, upon closer inspection, I realized these boards were white oak. Sorry to see all of this white oak end up in a pile...with a good varnish, the oak would have created a sense of warmth.  Water damage (leaking staysail track) and sketchy overhead light wiring made the decision to remove the overhead an easy one.  Well, good things to come.

     Several boards ran the length of the overhead, and for a few of the boards, where the primary bulkheads sandwiched them to the fiberglass surface of the cabin overhead, I cut on either side and left the "spacer" material to help support the overhead itself.  I used a Bosch oscillating tool for this job.  Originally, the Westsail factory chose not to tab the tops of the primary bulkheads to the fiberglass surface of the overhead.  Later in the completion of the interior, the bulkheads were to be bolted to a mast-support beam.  Today's builds generally have the bulkheads tabbed to the hull and overhead, as will be the case with this Westsail 32 - the mast-support beam will also be bolted to the primary bulkheads.  These bulkheads will be replaced with BS1088 Lloyd's certified meranti 18mm ply.

     After 5 hours of work, the overhead removal was complete.  You can see the screw pattern on the some quick math on roughly 1 to 1 minute - 30 seconds per screw removal time, and you can imagine how monotonous this milestone was.  The picture shows but half the overhead surface area. Good times!  The removal technique was to drill out the bung with a 3/8" bit, clean out the remaining remnants, clear the phillips screw head of debris, and then back the screw out...repeat.

     A sad ending for some lovely white oak...firewood?

    Probably 85% of the total number of screws securing the overhead boards.  Next on the to-do list is sanding the interior surfaces: overhead, under the sidedecks, hull; removal and replacement of the bulkheads; laying the floor...the list goes on.