Top Level

Home
Destinations
Cruising Info
Underwater
Yacht Ocelot
Ocelot's Crew
Site Map

Ocelot Pages

Up
Rebuild Decks
Transoms
Cockpit Area
Below Waterline
Bimini
Spars
Deck Hardware
Exterior Lockers
Salon
Galley
Cabins
Heads
Interior Floors
Electrical
Maintenance
Weekly Logs 2012
Weekly Logs 2013

Thai Refit

Next
Previous

60 Christmas
59 Fair Sugar-Scoops
58 Finish Galley Wood
57 Deck Filler
56 Fire Golf!
55 Hull Joint
54 Sink Cabinet
53 New Eyebrows
52 Foredeck Work
51 New Hatches
50 Test Bimini
49 Fwd Cabin Hatches
48 Hatch Frames
47 Glass Scoops
46 Inject Bimini
45 Cockpit & Bimini
44 Scoop Steps
43 Bimini Mold
42 Level Ocelot
41 Mast Conduits
40 Replace Helm
32 Fly to USA
31 Raise Transoms
30 Foam Foredeck
29 Rebuild Engines
28 Grind Spars
27 Foredeck Repairs
26 Transom Walls
25 Foam Helm
24 Shape Transoms
23 Start Transoms
22 New Bows
21 Cockpit Surgery
20 Dismantle Cockpit
19 Fair Topsides
18 Remove Forebeam
17 Dismantle Engines
16 More Deck Work
15 Start Deck Repairs
14 Rip Apart Galley
13 Remove Decks
Xmas Break
4 Strip Ocelot
3 First Extension
2 Remove Teak Deck
1 Haul Out

4 Strip Ocelot

Summary:  We bought Golf a cute shop-vac so he can vacuum up all the dust from all the grinding.  Stripped all the winches and spin-locks off the top of the salon and targa bar.  Removed more fittings and mast steps from the mast and boom.  Removed the engine controls, all of the outside instruments, and the engine instruments.  We suspended our roller head‑stay as well as our cap‑shrouds from the tent frame, to get them off the sand.  Decided that the transom extension was fatally flawed and had it cut off.  Started peeling back some of the deck, where it had delaminated from the balsa coring.  This eventually led to the entire deck and coring being removed, which was not in the original plan.  Golf claimed that his sister was in a motorcycle accident with a truck and eventually died, with Golf inheriting her 2 younger children, but we found out later that this story was a complete fabrication to get more money out of us, preying on our western sympathies.  Golf also got his truck back from the shop, with its brand new several thousand watt sound system.  This is apparently where much of our seed money went.

Ocelot's Salon, looking very stripped out
Ocelot's Salon, looking very stripped out

Monday, November 14:
Seemed to be a rather slow day for some reason.  Two guys continued to grind away at the old gelcoat on deck, removing the old anti‑skid.  Our older guy who's been stripping the varnish inside didn't seem to do much.  Meng, our woodworker ground off the antifouling paint from the back of our starboard sugar‑scoop in preparation for the starboard extension.

Our first look in the mast (from bottom)
Our first look in the mast (from bottom)

The grinding puts dust everywhere, and since they sometimes get down to fiberglass, the dust can itch if it gets on you.  So we prefer to be off Ocelot when they're grinding.  But when they take their lunch-break, we do what we can inside.  Today it was removing the last of the interior wall coverings (a sort of Nagahide with a foam backing, stapled over thin plywood and held in place with heavy‑duty Velcro).  All that was left was 6 pieces covering the wall at the back of the Salon, so they came out pretty quickly.

We took the radar-platform off the mast and after considerable effort were able to get the base of the mast off as well.  This exposed the 5(!) wiring conduits inside the mast, each presumably going to a different elevation.  We hope to pull all new wires through the mast when we return to Ocelot in January 2012.

Being Monday, Steve & Gayla from Ariel came down from Yacht Haven to have dinner with us at the Anchor Inn, our favorite restaurant here.  Then we retired to our apartment to help them with the website they're putting together to sell their cruising boat Ariel.  Anyone want a nice 60' cruising home?

Sue removing winches from the cabin-top
Sue removing winches from the cabin-top

Tuesday, November 15:
Yikes!  We're feeling a bit pinched for time, as we fly back to the US this Saturday to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with our family.  There are still several jobs we feel that WE have to do so the Thai workers can get on with their jobs.  Things like removing winches and stripping bits off the mast.  The Thais could certainly do these jobs, but they might break something and we'd probably never find the bits when we need to put stuff back together later.

So today we stripped the 4 winches off the top of the cabin, as well as 2 sets of Spin‑Locks.   These are handle-controlled locks to hold ropes in position while other ropes are being controlled with a winch - a way to share expensive winches so each rope doesn't need its own winch.  Ocelot has 9 ropes coming back to the cockpit: 4 jib sheets, 2 jib‑traveler control ropes, the main sheet, the boom-vang, and the control rope for the roller-headsail.  But we control everything with only 4 winches (they cost $2‑3,000 each).

Removing mast-steps with our impact screwdriver
Removing mast-steps with our impact screwdriver

We stripped more mast‑steps, pad‑eyes, etc off the mast in preparation for the workers to strip off the paint.  Most of the (stainless steel) screws were stuck in the (aluminum) mast, but our impact‑screwdriver got them loose.  We also pulled all the ropes out of the mast, running thin nylon cords in their place so we can pull the ropes back again later.  We still have several lights to remove (we'll replace all the wires in the mast) and more mast‑steps.  We've removed the cap‑shrouds and the head‑stay, but the 10 diamond stays will wait until just before they want to paint the mast, as we don't have a good place to store them and we don't want them kinked (the diamonds are solid stainless‑steel rods, not stranded wire).

Tying on nylon cord so we can pull out the Main Halyard
Tying on nylon cord so we can pull out the Main Halyard

Last night we gave Golf a present - an industrial vacuum cleaner, what we call a "shop‑vac".  It looks a bit like a small R2D2 with an orange head.  Today we started vacuuming up some of the piles of dust that the grinders have been generating from grinding off the gelcoat and the mastic under the teak decks.  Aesthetically satisfying but poor Ocelot is still extremely messy and the grinding continues, making life on board too unpleasant for us to work (we removed the winches while they were on their lunch‑break).

Golf claimed that his older sister (he says he's the youngest of 4 kids) was in a motorcycle accident last night and she's still in a coma.  She's 49 with 4 kids and lives 4 hours away.  We told Golf to take off, that family is too important.  However, we later found out that this was a complete lie, fabricated to generate sympathy (and more money) for himself.  This is apparently a relatively common practice in Thailand, especially with the prositutes.

There are so many motor‑scooters on the roads here that it's amazing that there aren't more accidents, as they tend to follow rather loose conventions, rather than actual traffic laws.  Sneaking along the verge to get to the front of a traffic light is completely accepted practice, and many will jump the light if there's no traffic.  We've seen families of 5 on a single scooter (more if it's got a side‑car) and usually only the driver is wearing a helmet.  Scary.

Removing the helm instruments and controls
Removing the helm instruments and controls

Wednesday, November 16:
Talked to Golf this morning and asked him if the grinders couldn't do something else for a while (like scrape the antifouling paint off the bottom) so we can work on Ocelot ourselves.  The grinding can continue after we leave.  Golf agreed so after lunch there was no more grinding and we could get some work done.  Jon started by attacking the helm instruments.  First he had to borrow a wheel‑puller so we could get the steering wheel off.  Then we dismounted the engine control panels and slid them inside with all their wires still attached.  The panels had to be tied up so they don't get in the way of the sliding companionway door, but they should be OK now.

Ju sewing our heavy trampoline material for us
Ju sewing our heavy trampoline material for us

The engine controls (throttles and gearshifts) came next.  The cables going to the engines are 22' (7m) long, but there's not quite enough length left over to pull the throttles completely out of their hole to work on them.  This means we were working through a fiddly little hole to remove the clips and etc that hold the cables.  Only one clip fell into the (unreachable) "black pit of oblivion" but we got lucky as it bounced over to one of the few places where we could reach it.

The instruments (wind, depth, autopilot, etc) came last but they're not designed for easy access.  Putting them in is difficult enough, but taking them out is a real pain, especially if the nuts have corroded a bit (they're brass, so they corrode too easily).  But having all the headliners off the inside made it much easier, as we could reach through in new and different ways.  It's all fun and games...

We also drilled out the rivets that held on the last 8 mast steps.  We're still not sure what fasteners we want to use when we put the steps back.  The aluminum rivets holding on these last 8 (plastic) steps were fine, but we're not real happy with the steps themselves, as they feel a bit weaker than our other steps (folding aluminum or fixed stainless steel).  Originally we used monel rivets ($1 each) as they were supposed to limit corrosion between the stainless steel steps and the aluminum mast.  But now we notice that the paint is bubbling around all of those expensive monel rivets.  Plastic bolts (and spacers between the steps and the mast) might be best for corrosion, but the tropical sun is brutal to that sort of hardware.  The folding aluminum steps just used stainless steel bolts with an anticorrosive gel (Tef‑Gel) on the threads, and those show no signs of corrosion so perhaps that's the best way to go.

Buffing mold release wax into our anti-skid mold
Buffing mold release wax into our non-slip mold

Sue spent much of the afternoon cutting and sewing new covers for our aft storage areas, behind the cockpit.  Our original plastic covers are getting old, so we're using the trampolines we tore earlier this year as fabric for those covers.  They'll be much stronger than they were.  A friend on another catamaran has an industrial strength sewing machine and sewed through our tough material for us.

Golf bought a sheet of non‑skid material in Phuket town.  Instead of using it directly, he wants to use it as a mold, so he can make more of it himself.  So today his guys glued it to a sheet of plywood and then buffed in a wax release agent.  It will be interesting to see if Golf can get good parts off this sheet, as it wasn't designed to be a mold.

Golf clamed that his sister is still in a coma.  We later found out that this whole story is a complete fabrication (which, we suppose, is good for his sister).

Wet balsa under a delaminated bit of deck above Chris' bed
Wet balsa under a delaminated bit of deck above Chris' bed

Thursday, November 17:
We accomplished a fair amount today: We moved our cap‑shrouds up and suspended them from the tent frame.  This should keep them protected while we're away.  We still have to do something similar with the head‑stay and its roller gear, but they aren't so flexible so we'll need more help.  The mast itself will have to sit on big 55 gallon (200L) drums until we return.

We stripped all the extra fittings off our targa‑bar, including: all the dinghy hoisting paraphernalia (ropes and blocks, winch, turning‑block, cleats, etc), the mainsheet traveler positioning ropes with their jam‑cleats and turning‑blocks, the life‑line cables, and other bits and bobs.  We're not moving the solar panels for now.  Golf has assured us that he can work around them for the time being.  If necessary, their front mounting bar can be unbolted from the targa‑bar and the whole panel assembly tipped up a few inches to get access to that area.

We removed 2 pad‑eyes from the deck, which involved removing some of the few remaining interior ceiling panels in the aft bathrooms.  Since we never use these pad‑eyes, we may not replace them.  We also removed the (seldom used) winch that moves the main‑sheet traveler back and forth (Ocelot's main‑sheet traveler is mounted on top of the targa‑bar, so rather inaccessible when we're sailing, but the traveler is usually free enough that we can just pull the ropes by hand).

While we were doing all that, Golf's workers were making a mold from the $60 sheet of anti‑skid he'd bought.  They mounted the sheet to a table and then spent a long time buffing wax into it, so the mold will release correctly (difficult with such a textured surface).  Then they started spraying a slightly rubbery molding surface onto the anti‑skid.  Unfortunately, they mixed a bit of acetone into these first layers instead of the correct thinners, which caused the surface to start bubbling after a few hours.  So it all had to be taken off and the surface re‑prepped.

More bits of Ocelot go to the workshop
More bits of Ocelot go to the workshop

We haven't taken anything to the workshop for several days and it's been piling up, so today we took a big load.  Even so, the interior walls didn't fit in Golf's truck, so they'll have to be taken tomorrow.

We also had a talk to Golf about what can be done while we're away.  The sugar‑scoop extensions and the new solid bimini are both projects that we'd like to be here for, and we won't have time to completely prepare the mast to be repainted, but that still leaves lots of jobs that can happen while we're away:

  1. Prepare the topsides (hulls) for painting (this is a huge job, as the hulls have to be faired and "long‑boarded" - sanded with a long board to make them evenly rounded)
  2. Repair the deck where it's no longer adhering to the inner coring.  This involves grinding off the rest of the gelcoat that was under the teak, then tapping on the deck and listening for the dull sound that means the upper layer of fiberglass is no longer stuck down to the inner balsa core.  We've already found several small patches but only two that are more than a few inches across.  These obviously have to be repaired before the new deck can be laid down.
  3. Lay an additional layer of fiberglass on the decks, and then fair it smooth with with some epoxy paste
  4. Repair all the small dings and cracks in the deck, cabin‑top, and targa‑bar
  5. Spray new gelcoat on the decks and grind / sand / polish it smooth (Gelcoat is much cheaper than good polyurethane paints, gelcoat involves much more finish-work)
  6. Make and lay the new gelcoat anti‑skid on the decks
  7. Make and install the new "eyebrows" over our forward salon windows
  8. Strip the interior varnish and revarnish the entire interior
  9. Most of the interior woodworking projects but not the 2 jobs in the galley
  10. Remove all the antifouling paint off the bottom, treat some minor blisters at the waterline, and coat the entire bottom in epoxy to protect it from future water issues
  11. Remove the paint from the boom, repair a broken weld, sand, and repaint the boom
  12. Remove most of the paint from the mast
  13. Clean the engine rooms
  14. Reinforce the cockpit deck‑hatches so they don't bend so much
  15. Replace the teak in the cockpit (but don't do the final sanding yet)
Jon & Swiss Rolf discuss masts & fittings.
Jon & Swiss Rolf discuss masts & fittings.

In truth, we'll be happy if half of these jobs get done in the 7 weeks that we'll be away.  Everyone tells us that nothing will happen while we're not there (based on their experience).  But Golf has promised that he'll send us photos of the progress, as well as sending us progress reports.  [ed: Like many things that Golf said, this later proved to be a complete lie.  Little work was accomplished on Ocelot while we were gone, and none of it positive.]  He knows that all this is going onto the internet, so if he performs well, he gets some excellent advertising.  Still, he writes his emails in Thai, and then runs them through a translator before he sends them to us.  This results in some ... very strange emails, as translator technology obviously still has significant room for improvement.

Golf scheduled a meeting with us and all his workers for late this afternoon.  We assumed that he wanted to talk about the work on Ocelot, but no, that wasn't what he had in mind at all.  He was gone for about 45 minutes before the meeting, and when he arrived he was in his new ... pickup truck ("ute" to you Aussies, "bakkie" to you S'Africans).  It's been down at the shop for several weeks getting a new sound system installed.  Several thousand watts of sound system, complete with LEDs all around and a whole new battery and charging system to keep it all running.  Each door has about 6 speakers, there are several more in the space behind the front seats (along with 3 massive amplifiers) and 2/3 of the bed is taken up with the sub‑woofers.  Standing in the open doorway, you can feel the air going in and out from the speakers.  This is obviously an expensive system, paid for out of the seed money we gave to Golf for Ocelot...

Golf's new ride. Feel the beat!! Feel the heat!
Golf's new ride. Feel the beat!! Feel the heat!

Friday, 18 November:
Not much happened on Ocelot today as most of Golf's workers were working on other boats, but they did get the sugar‑scoop extension cut off our transom.  None of us were happy with how this first attempt turned out.  It wasn't snug up against the hull at the bottom, and this made it much longer than it needed to be.  Also, there was a wrinkle where the plywood forms were joined that would require a lot of work to remove.  So we'll use what we learned on this first attempt and we'll remake it when we return.

Sue had her final Thai language lesson, then continued organizing and packing our apartment for our eminent departure tomorrow (YIKES!).  Jon took some more fittings off the mast, but that job is far from complete.  We think Golf sees the mast as one of the final projects, so it doesn't matter much if we don't get it stripped down until we get back.

Jon was rather proud of himself.  Usually we have to give all our requests through Golf, as none of his workers speak more than a few words of English.  But Golf wasn't around when Jon wanted to hoist our head‑stay and roller gear up under our tent and lash it to the frame.  So he used a bunch of pantomime to ask a couple of workers to help move it next to Ocelot (it's 60' or 20m long, and has to be kept straight).  Then we moved a couple of tall ladders and set them up at the ends of the tent.  We tied ropes on and rounded up a couple more workers and then lifted the whole thing up and tied it to the frames of the tent, all with no swearing or even a heart-stopping moment. 

We held a bit of a party for our workers today - beer, sodas, chips, and fried chicken, all to the accompaniment of Golf's massive car sound system.  We usually do these parties on Saturday, but tomorrow we'll be too busy going insane, getting ready to fly off to the frigid US.

Thai Refit: Next | Up | Previous | 60 Christmas | 59 Fair Sugar-Scoops | 58 Finish Galley Wood | 57 Deck Filler | 56 Fire Golf! | 55 Hull Joint | 54 Sink Cabinet | 53 New Eyebrows | 52 Foredeck Work | 51 New Hatches | 50 Test Bimini | 49 Fwd Cabin Hatches | 48 Hatch Frames | 47 Glass Scoops | 46 Inject Bimini | 45 Cockpit & Bimini | 44 Scoop Steps | 43 Bimini Mold | 42 Level Ocelot | 41 Mast Conduits | 40 Replace Helm | 32 Fly to USA | 31 Raise Transoms | 30 Foam Foredeck | 29 Rebuild Engines | 28 Grind Spars | 27 Foredeck Repairs | 26 Transom Walls | 25 Foam Helm | 24 Shape Transoms | 23 Start Transoms | 22 New Bows | 21 Cockpit Surgery | 20 Dismantle Cockpit | 19 Fair Topsides | 18 Remove Forebeam | 17 Dismantle Engines | 16 More Deck Work | 15 Start Deck Repairs | 14 Rip Apart Galley | 13 Remove Decks | Xmas Break | 4 Strip Ocelot | 3 First Extension | 2 Remove Teak Deck | 1 Haul Out

Ocelot Pages: Rebuild Decks | Transoms | Cockpit Area | Below Waterline | Bimini | Spars | Deck Hardware | Exterior Lockers | Salon | Galley | Cabins | Heads | Interior Floors | Electrical | Maintenance | Weekly Logs 2012 | Weekly Logs 2013

Top Level: Home | Destinations | Cruising Info | Underwater | Boat Guests | Ocelot | Sue | Jon | Amanda | Chris | Site Map | Make a Comment


The Triton - Nautical News for Captains and Crews
If our information is useful,
you can help by making a donation

Copyright  2000‑2017  Contact: Jon and Sue Hacking -- HackingFamily.com, svOcelot.comAll rights reserved.