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

52 Foredeck Work

Tapping threads in 3/8" (9mm) SS behind 1" (42mm) of glass
Tapping threads in 3/8" (9mm) SS behind 1" (42mm) of glass

Summary:  This week Baw and Houa were supposed to finish all of the foredeck work by Friday if they were to collect their $330 bonus.  This included leveling and glassing the tops of both bows, installing the shelf in the port fo'c's'l, repairing the shelf in the starboard fo'c's'l, building both hatches and the supports for those hatches in front of the salon ports, gelcoating the area around the salon ports, and installing and glassing in the steps just above the salon ports.  They made a good try but couldn't finish the gelcoat or the steps, so after a long meeting on Saturday evening we ended up giving them half the bonus we'd talked about.  Jon finished drilling and tapping the holes for the starboard pad‑eye for the prod early (to clear the way for the fo'c's'l work) then moved on to preparing the bimini for gelcoat by sanding the entire outer surface.  He also laid out and drilled the mounting holes in the back of the bimini and bought the hinges and finger‑pulls for the hatches.  Amanda polished up much of the starboard side of the mast (the side currently facing up) and the women sanded a section to prepare it for the Nyalic.  Rachel and Sue cleaned up most of Ocelot's woodwork (doors, etc) at our storage unit, and Sue cleaned up many of the deck hatches to prepare them to get new acrylic and new gaskets.

Houa putting epoxy mud on the underside of the fo'c's'l shelf
Houa putting epoxy mud on the underside of the fo'c's'l shelf

Monday, October 29:
Welcome to the 52nd week of our Thai Refit.  We haven't actually worked on Ocelot all that time as we were back in the US for 4 months, but we hauled Ocelot out of the water last October 27th, a full year ago.  Today was a slow day as Baw never showed up.  Golf said he might be away dealing with his kids starting school, but it IS Monday.

Jon's first job was finishing the starboard pad‑eye for the prod.  Having done portside last week, starboard went much faster.  Sue and Amanda spotted the drill to make sure it was perpendicular to the hull.  Last time Jon ruined the tips of 2 drills and broke 2 others, but this time he had a good bit for stainless steel and it was still fine after drilling all 4 holes.  Tapping the stainless steel plate was brutal on the hands but only took about 15 minutes per hole.

Houa spent the day working on his shelf in the port fo'c's'l.  First he cleaned up the cured epoxy mud that he'd stuck the shelf down with.  Then he cut some glass and mixed up some more mud.  This all went onto the underside of the shelf, to make a sure the bond is good down there.  We're hoping that tomorrow he'll make a nice filet of mud on the top where it touches the hull, and then glass that in.

Jon on our cute little scooter, looking for stainless bits
Jon on our cute little scooter, looking for stainless bits

The next big job on Ocelot is to get the new bimini gelcoated and hoisted up top to have its two forward legs built.  But it needs a thorough sanding first so that the gelcoat adheres.  Amanda is willing to work on this project, but unfortunately there was no "dancing" (orbital) sander available.  Golf promised to bring the smaller one to the yard tomorrow for us to use.

Unable to sand the bimini, Amanda worked on polishing the mast, a job which she does willingly, but which takes its toll.  It's hot and dusty, and strains the ears, eyes, and forearms.  Luckily she brought her phone and ear plugs so she could play music and drown out the high buzz of the grinder on the aluminum.

Sue did battle with silicone and gasket cement on the aluminum deck hatches once again.  The hatches were not very pretty when they were taken off the deck, and it's satisfying to clean them up.  They aren't picture perfect though, as the anodizing is scuffed and worn in places, but they are, after all, 17 years old.  We gave Golf money for the new acrylic for them, and Houa says he will work overtime to cut the new acrylic "windows" for the 12‑15 that we'll be replacing.

After lunch Jon decided to get the hinges and finger‑pulls for the new hatches.  The best place to get good stainless steel fittings is up by Boat Lagoon, about a 30 minute drive away.  But even there, the hinge‑pins all seemed to be slightly magnetic, so probably 304 stainless instead of 316.  We'll have to see how well they last.

Tuesday, October 30:
A more reasonable day - at least we had both Baw and Houa working on the foredeck.

Baw worked on the foredeck hatches.  Some of the glass strips he'd put down last Saturday weren't as strong as we'd like as they were  just butted up against the sides.  So Jon drew some pictures and brought Houa over for the discussion, and finally got his idea across.

Pictures often work better than words
Pictures often work better than words
Adding reinforcing glass under hatch gutters
Adding reinforcing glass under hatch gutters

Jon and Amanda also talked about how the hatch hinges and the finger‑pull should be mounted on the new hatches.  We decided that the hinges are small enough that they don't need to be sunk into the foam but can be mounted right on the fiberglass.  But the inside lip of the hatch will have to be ground down so it can clear the gutter when the hatch opens.  Jon spent a bit of time grinding that edge of one of the hatches, but didn't finish as he didn't want to impact Baw and Houa's work.

Houa spent the day in the port fo'c's'l again, prepping and then mudding and glassing the shelf in place, working on the top edges today.  But late in the day we found him adding a full sheet of biaxial glass to the top of the shelf.  A bit of overkill in our opinion, as the shelf was strong enough as it was, but it was too late to do anything about it.

Working out hardware locations on the fwd hatches
Working out hardware locations on the fwd hatches
Glassing a filleted seam in the fo'c's'l
Glassing a filleted seam in the fo'c's'l

Under Ocelot, Amanda attacked the glossy epoxy surface of the bimini with the big orbital sander, and using  the vacuum to clean up the dust.  Late in the day she noticed that the sander was cutting in and out, and suddenly she saw a flash of fire.  Oops!   Short!  Jon had to dig out his soldering gun and accoutrements to repair the broken wires.

Jon's job of the day (other than the sander repair) was to mark out and then drill the bolt holes at the back of the bimini.  We've decided to go with bolts every 4" (10cm) which may be overkill, but at least we won't have to worry about the bimini letting go.  In the afternoon he spent more quality time polishing scratches out of the mast.

Drilling bimini mounting holes
Drilling bimini mounting holes
Sanding the bimini for gelcoating
Sanding the bimini for gelcoating
Repairing the sander's power cord
Repairing the sander's power cord

Sue went on a missing tools quest over in the storage room, but came back empty handed.  We have one more place to look for our missing palm sander and Dremmel before we declare them Lost in Action.   Sue worked a bit more on the hatches, and was pleased to see that the Thai penetrating oil that she found really does seem to loosen corroded hatch handles.

Wednesday, October 31:
A lovely day!  Some clouds to moderate the sun but no rain until nightfall.  Golf is now working on 5 boats, one of them up at Boat Lagoon, so he's a bit distracted.  But the good news is that he's got some positive cash‑flow.

The race is approaching the final leg - can Baw and Houa finish ALL the foredeck work by 2 November so they can claim their 10,000 Baht ($330) bonus?  This is almost a 50% bonus for them, so you'd think they'd be highly motivated, but there still seems like lots of work to do.

Although we wanted to mount the hinges and finger‑pulls into the new hatches, we decided that this would be getting in their way, so Team Hacking worked on polishing the mast (Jon and then Amanda) and sanding the bimini (Jon) and cleaning up hatches (Sue) so Baw and Houa could get on with their work.

Plugged in, tuned out, polishing
Plugged in, tuned out, polishing
Sanding the bimini so the gelcoat will stick securely
Sanding the bimini so the gelcoat will stick securely

Houa started by cleaning up (sanding) the fiberglass around our forward salon ports.  Since we want to keep fiberglass grindings out of Ocelot as much as possible, he setup the extractor fan and an elaborate plastic hood to get rid of all the dust, all of which had to be moved to the starboard side of the salon to sand around the starboard port.  Before he finished, Houa checked the port hatches to make sure they fit nicely.

Sanding in front of the salon ports
Sanding in front of the salon ports
Checking the fit of the port hatch
Checking the fit of the port hatch

Then Baw mixed up some gelcoat filler and smeared that around the ports and under where the step will go above those ports.  The idea is that it will be difficult to put gelcoat under the steps, so better to put it down before the steps go on.  The steps are mostly made, but will get their final top‑coats of fiberglass as they're being glassed onto the cabin‑top.  Presumably this will happen tomorrow.  But before that happens, the gelcoat needs to be polished, and that takes time and hard work.

Baw applying gelcoat filler on starboard
Baw applying gelcoat filler on starboard
Baw gelcoating portside
Baw gelcoating portside

Testing the fit of the port step above the hatch and porthole
Testing the fit of the port step above the hatch and porthole

Houa also worked in the fo'c's'ls.  In portside, he cleaned up the fiberglass he'd laid down yesterday, and made sure that the 2 access panels fit snuggly in their recesses.  Then he moved over to the starboard fo'c's'l to work on the area he'd chopped out to allow us to work on the pad‑eye supports (which went just below the shelf that runs the length of the fo'c's'ls).  He'd noticed when he cut the piece out that there was some delamination between the plywood shelf and its glass covering, but we'd all decided that the glass could just be epoxied back down.  Houa was still working up there when we went home at 5pm, so we're not sure how far he progressed.

Thursday, November 1:
A lovely sunny work day.  We got some (welcome) clouds late in the afternoon but the rain held off until 5pm, when we were tired and ready to head home anyway.

Houa's creative fix for the fwd tip of the stbd fo'c's'l
Houa's creative fix for the fwd tip of the stbd fo'c's'l

We're facing a dilemma - Baw and Houa have worked pretty hard (well, harder than normal) to try to finish all the foredeck work before their Friday deadline for a $330 bonus, but they're not going to make it.  The gelcoat work can't be finished in time.  We want to use these sorts of bonus plans in the future, so how do we let them know that the world doesn't pay off on just a good try?  Actually, they each lost some work days through their own decisions - nobody worked any Sundays, Houa got so drunk one weekend that he needed 2 nights in the hospital and his stomach pumped, and Baw took all of Monday off so he could take his daughter to the first day of school.  Any thoughts appreciated...

But the guys did make progress today.  Houa did a lot of work in the starboard fo'c's'l - actually, somewhat more than he really needed to.  He make a cute little foam piece to go in the very front of the fo'c's'l shelf, to replace the plywood that was removed so we could work on the pad‑eye.  Then he glassed up his foam and epoxied it in place.  While he was in there he also found and fixed a few minor issues, minor delaminations and such that were not part of our agreement.

Sanding the top of the bimini - hard work
Sanding the top of the bimini - hard work

Baw was working on the gelcoat that he laid down yesterday, sanding it smooth and then covering it with another layer.  He also put some more fiberglass on the 2 steps that go above our forward ports.  Apparently, the plan for those steps is to have 2 layers of glass on the underside and 3 layers on top.

Jon was sanding the bimini.  Baw needed the orbital sander for his work and we've been unable to find our own sander in all our many boxes of boat gear, but our neighbor generously offered his sander for Jon to use.  Then Jon hand sanded the fiddly bits that the orbital couldn't reach, finishing the entire top side of the bimini.  Sue, Amanda and Jon then carried the bimini out, flipped it over, and set it back up under Ocelot, ready for the underside to be sanded tomorrow.

After sanding, a 2nd layer of gelcoat is applied over the filler
After sanding, a 2nd layer of gelcoat is applied over the filler

Amanda was polishing the mast, and has now finished a large section between the first and second spreaders, so we're thinking of taking that section all the way, cleaning it with a green scrubbie and texturing it with some fine sandpaper before cleaning it thoroughly and applying some Nyalic.  This would let us see any problems or changes we need to make to our procedures.

Sue, of course, was behind the camera (which is why she's seldom in any pictures) and cleaning up hatches when she can.  Some of the locking knobs for the small hatches have frozen in place, so she's been trying to free them up.

Friday, November 2:
We got another worker today - Amanda's friend Rachel (an Aussie yachtie, and circumnavigator) who's been visiting and staying with Amanda.  Rachel's spent enough time on Ocelot over the years that we think of her as a daughter, but she's been studying for yet another Masters degree so hasn't been able to help us much.

Gelcoating the undersides of the steps above the port-lights
Gelcoating the undersides of the steps above the port-lights

Rachel has a wonderful "clean gene" which is totally missing from the Hacking genome.  So we put her onto cleaning up the woodwork (doors and floors) that are in the new storage space, but covered in dust, cobwebs and gecko droppings.  She and Sue spent the morning at the storage room, trundling things out to the beautiful tree with a concrete platform beneath it, where they rubbed and scrubbed the woodwork.  It's all part of getting organized and getting things ready for varnishing, or ready to put back on Ocelot some day in the future.

On the boat, Houa did more glassing in the starboard forecastle, and we're hoping that area is about finished.  Baw was the gelcoat man today.  He sanded back the first layer of white gelcoat on the port side foredeck, then applied a second layer of gelcoat filler.  The new foam steps that will go over the port‑lights also got a nice layer of white gelcoat on the side that will be the bottom.  It all has to be done ahead of time, as it will become inaccessible once the steps are glassed in place.

Amanda & her buddy Rachel - Two beauties sanding the mast
Amanda & her buddy Rachel - Two beauties sanding the mast

Today was a deadline for the guys to get a bonus if the foredeck work was all finished.  They understand they didn't make it.  Unfortunately, Golf wasn't around for much of the day, so we never had a chance to discuss "what next."  We may offer a partial bonus if they get the foredeck sorted out in the estimated 3 days Houa said they still need, but they don't seem disappointed that they missed their deadline.

Jon did penance on the bimini again, working on sanding the bottom side.  This is hard, hot, dusty, itchy work.  Thank goodness he can work in the shade under Ocelot.

Baw sanding his gelcoat-filler smooth
Baw sanding his gelcoat-filler smooth

On the mast, Amanda finished the polishing of the middle section between the first and second spreaders.  Then she and Rachel experimented with 4 different grades of sandpaper: 280, 320, 400 and 600, plus seeing what the effect of a Scotch Brite pad was.  Conclusion: the 280 and 320 left too many scratch marks, the Scotch pad was too much work, and the 600 took too long to create a smooth effect.  The 400 was perfect, leaving very fine etchings (all vertical!) while taking out the last of the dimpled imperfections.  The vertical etchings leave a more pleasing effect than a brightly polished mast.

So Rachel, Amanda and Sue spent the afternoon hand wet‑sanding the middle mast section with 400 grit paper, while keeping the mast wet and rinsed with the hose.  Even in the afternoon sun it was not a bad place to work, with cool water spraying on each other, and the mast getting all uniformly colored and silky smooth.  There's just a bit more of that section to finish sanding, then we'll douse it in biodegradable detergent, do a thorough rinse, wipe it down with methylated spirits, let it dry and apply the clear Nyalic.  Stay tuned!  We're excited to be getting this close!

Jon, bum's up, sanding the underside of the bimini smooth
Jon, bum's up, sanding the underside of the bimini smooth

Saturday, November 3:
A long day, but the weather has been cooperating nicely, even to some clouds in the afternoon to cool things down.

Jon spent most of the day with his butt in the air, bent over a powerful sander and vibrating his arms off.  But he managed to finish sanding all of the bimini, so now it should be ready for gelcoating.  We think that Golf is planning to bypass any gelcoat‑filler, and just spray on the gelcoat.  After all, it's sanded pretty smooth.  Still, it will need 2‑3 layers, with lots of sanding in between and a final polishing afterwards.

Baw finished sanding back his second layer of gelcoat‑filler under our forward ports.  Then he setup the little compressor and sprayed a layer of gelcoat onto both areas.  This will need to get polished before the 2 steps get glassed on.

... and spraying on a final layer of pure gelcoat
... and spraying on a final layer of pure gelcoat

Sue had a good day.  After battling to get the silicone out of all the nooks and crannies of the old hatches, she went to one of our local hardware stores and found some "silicone‑stripper!"  We didn't even know such stuff existed, but it makes pretty short work of the silicone on the hatches, enabling her to do a much better job than she'd been able to before.

Rachel spent the morning cleaning some of Ocelot's woodwork in our storage unit.  She's pretty much finished that job so we'll have to find some other way to keep her off the streets and out of trouble...

Amanda working up near the top of the mast (& under shade)
Amanda working up near the top of the mast (& under shade)

Amanda continued polishing the mast, making some good progress.  It shouldn't be too many more days before we'll be able to flip the mast over and start working on the other side.

We had an interesting conversation with the workers this evening.  As usual for a Saturday, we brought out some beer and chips to share with Baw and Houa once the work was over and the tools all put away (Golf doesn't drink, and he'd left earlier in the afternoon).  They were looking a bit down and we eventually found that Golf hadn't paid them their full wages (Saturday is payday).  This is a violation of our agreement with Golf so we phoned him and told him to come back to the boatyard.  Baw was so upset that he was threatening to leave us and go look for work up at Boat Lagoon.  Jon gave each of them $30 (about a day's wage) if they'd stay.  We also asked to the boatyard manager, Cris, to come to the meeting as he's a disinterested party who speaks both Thai and English.

Houa checking the deck to make sure it's flat
Houa checking the deck to make sure it's flat

As often happens in these situations, things weren't quite as we'd initially thought.  Golf hadn't paid them their entire wages, but they'd both asked for and received advances earlier in the week, so Golf wasn't that far in arrears.  Golf agreed to pay them the balance of their wages tomorrow (Sunday) since they'd all be working at the boatyard.  Also, Cris agreed to give Baw some after‑hours work so he can make a bit more money.  We still don't understand why Golf hadn't paid them earlier, as the boatyard (Cris) has paid Golf 50% of 2 painting contracts that Golf's workers are working on now, so he should have ample funds.

But we also found that Baw and Houa were disappointed not to have received their bonus.  They thought they'd finished all the work, despite Baw still needing 2 days to finish the gelcoat work and then glassing down the shelves above our forward ports.  Since nothing was written down, we eventually settled on them getting 50% of the bonus (about $160).  We're OK with this if it keeps them happy, as they did work hard, and Houa actually did some repairs to the starboard fo'c's'l that weren't in the original agreement.  But we had Cris explain to them that in future, we don't intend to pay for a "good effort" or "almost in time."  The ball is either in the goal or not, and they only get the bonus if they finish ALL the work by the time stipulated.  But we'll also write down all of the jobs that are part of the agreement, and we'll solicit their input on how long the jobs should take.  This is classic management - let the workers set the schedule because then they'll work harder to keep to it (and they're usually somewhat optimistic about their own abilities).  We Shall See...

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.