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Weekly Logs 2012
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Thai Refit

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Previous

122 Launch!
121 Final Frenzy
120 Mast & Boom
119 Polish & Wax
118 Mount Cleats
117 Furnish Cockpit
116 Bimini Legs
115 Stern Jewelry
114 Start Headliners
113 Cockpit Hatches
112 Decks Washed
111 Tomcat Painted
110 Gelcoat Salon
109 Diamonds On
108 Foredeck
107 Anchor Platform
106 Prepare Mast
105 Mount Forebeam
104 Worker Walkout
103 Bimini Up!
102 Spray Bimini
101 Spray Forebeam
100 Sanding Deck
99 Spray Port Deck
98 Spray Stbd Deck
97 Cabin-top Gelcoat
96 Start Deck Gelcoat
95 More Varnishing
94 More Varnishing
93 Varnishing
92 Finish Nonskid
91 Epoxy Hulls
90 Broken Finger
89 Teak & Varnish
88 Varnishing Started
87 Start Cockpit Teak
86 Bow & Stern Molds
85 Laying Nonskid
84 Polishing Cockpit
83 Laying Nonskid
82 Cockpit Gelcoat
81 Finish Templates
80 Spraying Gelcoat
79 Rudder Tubes
78 Cut Teak Blocks
77 Start Templates
76 Teak Chain Lattice
75 Shower Controls
74 Chip Cabin Top
73 Cockpit Drains
72 Polish Bridgedeck
71 Port Aft Cabin
70 Spray Bridgedeck
69 Spray Portside
68 Rudder Bearings
67 Spray Starboard
66 Fair Starboard
65 Bad Epoxy Filler
64 Spray Foredeck
63 Spray Deck Gutters
62 Prep for Gelcoat
61 Spray Targa-Bar

84 Polishing Cockpit

Summary:  A bit of a washout week, as it rained almost every day, several workers stayed home on Monday and Tuesday, and Sue's cracked rib kept her out of action for the first half of the week.
  • Much of the cockpit was polished up to 1,500 grit
  • Most of the nonskid panels had the glue picked out of the edges and were then covered in thick vinyl
  • Many of the remaining (few) templates were made and given to Mike
  • Welds on the rudders were ground down in preparation for reshaping the rudders
  • The temporary solar panel supports were removed so the shoulders of the targa‑bar could be polished
  • New trampoline holders were made and given to Mike to be powder‑coated
  • A new plan for the interior trim for the forward hatches was made and the first one assembled
  • A recessed hole was routed out of the deck for the anchor‑winch chain‑stripper
  • A new piece of teak plywood was made for the front of the salon
  • Hatch hardware was cleaned and a list of needed new hardware was sent to Mike and Goiot
  • More sheets of nonskid were made and several panels cut and delivered to Ocelot

Lek covering an area we'd hoped to put nonskid on today
Lek covering an area we'd hoped to put nonskid on today

Monday, June 10:
Bit of a washout of a day - it rained all day and most of our workers never even showed up.

We'd spent our weekend having a wonderful time up in Ao Po, an hour north, helping a friend celebrate her birthday.  Sue's cracked rib is OK if she doesn't have to bend much, and even driving a scooter is OK, but she's still not up to working on Ocelot.  She spent the day in the air conditioned apartment, researching parts we need to order (and having fun with some genealogy as well)

Jon got to the yard a bit late and was surprised to find that only Lek and Pla were working - Houa, Baw, and Ben were all absent.  It's a bit frustrating that our workers don't even bother to let us know they won't be coming in, but it seems to be the norm here, as are after‑payday, over indulging parties.

Wet templates were sorted & moved under Ocelot to dry
Wet templates were sorted & moved under Ocelot to dry

We had planned to glue down more nonskid panels today, but even under our tent things were damp and weren't going to dry out.  Mike called and we agreed that today wasn't a good day for that sort of work.  Problem is, the weather forecasts are saying that we're going to have rain for most of the week!

Lek and Pla removed the water jugs from the 2 nonskid panels that we'd laid down on Saturday.  They look pretty good, despite one of them having slid around quite a bit before we could get it stabilized.  Jon was amused that the guys even sorted the battens again by size, so they're ready to be used again.  Jon had sorted the battens on Saturday, but didn't really expect the guys to see the value and time saved in doing so.

Lek and Pla continued to pick the glue out of the edge of the nonskid, where it had snuck under the outer layer of masking tape.  It comes off fairly easily with a sharp knife, but it's painstaking, fiddly work.  They finished the last 3 panels on portside and also several up by the mast.  When they finish, they re‑mask the edge of the panel with tape, and then tape down a heavy vinyl on top of the nonskid, and a third layer of tape protecting the outer edge of the nonskid.  In theory, only the last layer of tape should need to be removed when we do our final gelcoat spray around the edges of the nonskid.

Poor Mahayana's beat up underside - scared but still floating
Poor Mahayana's beat up underside - scared but still floating

Jon spent part of the day cutting out the thick vinyl to protect the nonskid, using the original templates he'd made with Amanda as guides (the vinyl needs to be a bit smaller than the template).  But the templates had been left on top of the bimini, which is not entirely protected from the rain.  So he sorted all the templates we have (several dozen) and stacked them under Ocelot to dry out.

An aluminum catamaran we know was hauled out today.  It had dragged anchor in the wind over the weekend and spent several agonizing hours pounding on a reef, breaking both rudders and both sail‑drive seals, which flooded both engine rooms.  The port hull was pretty beat‑up, scratched and dented, but it wasn't punctured.  A fiberglass boat would have been damaged much more.  But aluminum boats don't have the built‑in flotation that most sandwich construction boats like Ocelot have.  It's one of the many design trade‑offs - do you want a boat that can spend hours pounding on a reef, or one that can't sink?

Baw & Houa preparing the nonskid for the port engine hatch
Baw & Houa preparing the nonskid for the port engine hatch

Tuesday, June 11:
Another slow day at the boatyard.  Jon arrived a bit late to find Baw sitting in Lotus position on a table with nobody else around.  Indeed, the whole yard was quiet.  Apparently Pla had arrived earlier and then left, presumably because of the early morning torrential rain.  Houa eventually showed up with a big jug of Acetone and a bill from the hospital (2 nights in the hospital with considerable care and medications came to about $35).  Houa has a huge scar on his belly and apparently has some internal organ issues, possibly with his liver, as the doctors told him to lay off the whiskey.

Houa cutting a hole in the chain-locker hatch for the handle
Houa cutting a hole in the chain-locker hatch for the handle

The day started out ominously with lots of rain, but by 9am it had cleared up and we had a nice, cool day.  It would have been nice to have more workers than just Baw and Houa.

Baw started out by polishing the big bed on the port side of the cockpit, starting with 600 grit and eventually working up to 1,500 before covering it with thick vinyl to protect his hard work.  Jon kept him company by measuring out and building the template for the nonskid that goes under the galley window (and remembering the fun times he had doing this with Amanda when she was here).

Houa started out by routing out holes for the new handles for our chain‑locker hatches.  The old handles depended on having teak on top of the hatches, so we had to buy new handles.  Once the handles could be mounted, Jon drew out where the nonskid needs to go and built the template for Mike.  Jon got lucky - the hatches are similar enough that the one template will work for both chain‑locker hatches.

The chain-stripper (center) needs to be sunk into the deck
The chain-stripper (center) needs to be sunk into the deck

Jon also located where the chain‑stripper for the anchor windlass needs to go.  This custom welded stainless steel plate goes under the anchor windlass, and used to be sunk into our teak deck.  After locating where it needs to go, Houa routed out the deck so it can still fit under the anchor windlass.  Most of what was in the deck was epoxy filler that Jon and Amanda had injected in there some weeks ago, but Houa also broke into some areas of balsa.  These were dug out and will be filled with epoxy filler before the chain‑stripper is mounted.

Before the day ended, we decided to prepare the nonskid for the port engine hatch.  Jon located it correctly for Baw to mask around it with tape so Houa could glue down the locator blocks, allowing us to quickly slide it back into position.  The hatch still needs to be sanded and the nonskid needs some more preparation as well, but it shouldn't take long to prepare if we need more nonskid to glue down.

Removing PVC davits so Baw can polish the targa-bar shoulder
Removing PVC davits so Baw can polish the targa-bar shoulder

On a totally unrelated note, Houa found that there's a 4' (1.3m) black snake (monocled cobra?) caught in a discarded fishing net just over the wall from his workshop.  It won't survive without help, but nobody wants to go cut the net away from its neck.  We've emailed a local snake expert to see if they'll help, but there's no humane society or anything similar here in Phuket.  Sue is planning to be at the yard tomorrow, and hopes to photograph the snake while still alive.  The snake expert wrote back to say we could call the police who know who to call to remove snakes, but all they do is kill them, venomous or not.

Wednesday, June 12:
A quietly productive day, with all hands aboard, and Sue back for most of the day for the first time since her accident!

Baw smearing more gelcoat on the targa-bar shoulder
Baw smearing more gelcoat on the targa-bar shoulder

Tired of battling cabin fever, Sue rented her own scooter for the week so that she could come and go as needed from the yard.  Her main task today, her first day back in a week, was to take lots of pictures, pet the cat, and organize some of the small but vital projects.  To that end, she spent a few hours cleaning the bolts that will be used to affix the trampoline‑holding sail track to the forebeam.   We think the guys were glad to have Madam Sue back again.  Lots of goodwill at the yard.

Today we decided to polish the "shoulders" of the targa‑bar, where the horizontal davit supports go.  This area will be impossible to polish when the davits are assembled and mounted.  We have PVC pipe there now, helping to hold up the solar panels, temporarily replacing the aluminum davit supports while they're getting powder‑coated.  So we supported the solar panels with some ropes to a tent frame and Jon removed the portside PVC pipe.  It was a bit disconcerting to see the panels bob and sway in rhythm with the tent motion in today's heavy winds!  But when Baw started sanding the area, we realized that it needed more gelcoat, so Baw had so smear some on and then go back to polishing the cockpit while it hardened up.

Lek, Baw, Pla, & Ben polishing the cockpit gelcoat
Lek, Baw, Pla, & Ben polishing the cockpit gelcoat

But we also checked out the newly powder‑coated horizontal davit supports - and were dismayed to find that they're not the right color!  They were done in pure white, not Ocelot (ivory) white.  Dang!  More delays while Mike picks them up tomorrow to go back to the powder coaters.

Our Team of 4 were hard at it all day in the cockpit with ever finer grits of sandpaper.  They were still on 240 for the big starboard bench, but up to 800 elsewhere.  We are beginning to see shine in the cockpit.  Exiting!

Houa worked his carpentry magic on a long strip of marine plywood which he had to scarf together.  It will replace a soft and water‑damaged pieced from the port side of the salon.  Tomorrow should see it covered in a nice teak veneer.  Then we'll epoxy coat the back for protection.

Houa fitting his new interior trim piece to the new hatch
Houa fitting his new interior trim piece to the new hatch

Baw and Houa also put their heads together to see about making the new fiberglass interior trim for the new bigger hatches work.  Seems like the pieces that Houa built last week can be made to fit snugly over the hatch rim, but we will have to trim back the actual hatch opening to get everything to fit.  Too bad we weren't thinking ahead this much way back in October when we cut the new hatch holes.

Jon also worked on the aluminum trampoline‑holding sail track.  He had to measure and cut new sections that will be mounted on the forebeam.  A bit fiddly as the old holes are too corroded to use again, and for some reason the old track (we lost the pieces that were there) from elsewhere on the tramps had holes with slightly different spacing.  These 2 new pieces and the two long ones we have already will be sent off to be powder‑coated in silver as a means of protecting them.

Houa shaping the interior trim for the new forward hatches
Houa shaping the interior trim for the new forward hatches

On a happy note (to snake lovers) the big black snake just over the wall from Houa's workshop was released by the folks who live in the house there, and allowed to go its merry way.  Unfortunately, we never got a good look at the head and "shoulder" for a positive ID.  It was quite possibly a Monocled Cobra (aggressive and lethal) given its uniformly black back.  Anyway, it's nice to know it has survived.  We wish it well, far away, off in some Phuket forest!

Thursday, June 13:
Awesomely rainy day, with strong cooling breezes.  Problem is, we don't like to do resin work, epoxy or polyester, on these wet days as it can affect the cure.

Sue scootered herself off to the Phuket International Hospital for a 1 week follow‑up x‑ray.  Conclusion: rib #11 still fractured, no changes, no dramas.  Two or 3 more weeks of healing.  Ouch.  On the way back, splashing past Rolly Tasker (a huge sail‑loft) she stopped in for a break from the rain and to check out the Sunbrella fabrics.  They have all the colors and styles, at expected prices.  What was not expected was the price of plastic mesh that we use for covering our closed cell foam in the cockpit.  That fabric is twice the cost of Sunbrella!  Rip off!  We may just wait on those coverings!

At the yard, Houa worked on the fussy fiberglass interior hatch trim that he struggled with a couple weeks ago.  The new plan incorporates more careful fitting to the hatch.  Unfortunately, we'll probably need to grind back and re‑fiberglass the mounting rim for those 2 hatches, work we were hoping to avoid.  He'll get there....

  Pieces Sheets
Templates Needed: (14) (4)
Bimini 4 3
Swim platform 8 1
Next to engine hatch 2 ---
     
Nonskid Panels Needed (21) (7)
Bows 2 \
    2
/
Big "L" on port bow 1
Under side windows 2
Across back of cabin-top 5 4
Chain locker hatches 2 \
    1
/
Louvers 8
Under galley window 1
     
Ready To Stick Down: (16)  
New tank hatch 1  
Forward outer cabin-top 2  
Rims of cockpit 3  
Aft cockpit seats 2  
Engine room hatches 2  
Sugar-scoop steps 6  

Baw, Pla and Lek continued wet sanding the cockpit all day.  They are up to 400 grit on the big starboard bench, and over 1000 on the vertical helm station.  We are beginning to see shiny white where we've never seen it before!

Baw finished polishing the gelcoat that he applied yesterday, under where the port horizontal davit support goes, so Jon replaced the PVC pipe there that is acting as a temporary solar‑panel support.  Then Jon removed the starboard side PVC pipe so Baw can finish the gelcoat on that side.

Sue and Jon did a final check on the salon hatches to see what hardware they need, and to check out the state of their acrylic windows.  Not great, but certainly serviceable.  Whether we replace them remains to be seen.  Time and money, what else?  The culmination of all this hatch work is that we have now given Mike a request for quotes on numerous Goiot hatch bits, which he may get direct from the Goiot factory in Europe.  Not holding our breath for reasonable prices, but a few hinges and handles will be cheaper than buying new hatches!

The cockpit is getting cleaner and whiter every day
The cockpit is getting cleaner and whiter every day

Jon worked on shaping the crooked nonskid panels that will go on the aft cockpit seats (Mike cut them a bit squiff).  He marked out where the lines need to go, ground off what we don't want, sanded the edges as flat as he could, and then rounded off the corners.  They're a bit smaller than they were, but those seats are usually covered by cushions anyway, so nobody will notice if the nonskid is a bit small.  Those 2 panels are now ready to be taped and receive final preparations.

Jon also took an inventory of what remains to be done on the nonskid (see table at right).  In theory we still need to make the templates for the bimini, but those will be essentially 3 full panels so we'll just cut them as big as we can without bothering to make templates.  That only leaves a pair of small templates for patches just next to the engine hatches.  These areas have never had nonskid before, but we step there a lot going to and from the sugar‑scoops.  We also need to make templates for the swim‑platforms, which total 8 pieces of nonskid (mostly for the little square bits inside the swim‑ladders).  We hope to be able to cut all 8 for both swim‑platforms out of a single sheet of nonskid.

Additionally, Mike still needs to cut out 21 more pieces of nonskid, for which he already has templates (Mike made some of these today, but we haven't received them yet).  We think he should be able to cut them out of 7‑8 full sheets, so he needs to make 11‑12 more full sheets.  It takes Mike most of a morning to make a sheet, and he can really only make 1/day.  Cutting out the panels takes more time, and Mike likes to do the job right (thank goodness).  But we're not his only customer, so he's got other draws on his time.  Finally, we have 16 pieces that are now (mostly) ready to stick down, which should take us about 2 days (if the rain ever stops).

Will the rain ever stop?  Mike says it rained for 9 days straight last June.  Of course, last year at this time we were back in Seattle, watching Amanda graduate from university (cum laude!) so we don't remember.  Welcome to the rainy season!

Forward hatch wrapped with masking & 3 layers of biaxial glass
Forward hatch wrapped with masking & 3 layers of biaxial glass

Friday, June 14:
Only 4 rain showers today, or was it 5?  But a bit of sunshine in between and work continued on Ocelot.

Houa probably made the most creative progress of all.  In the morning he finished gluing the teak veneer onto the marine plywood strip that borders the salon.  After that he and Jon consulted on the interior trim for the 2 new Lewmar hatches that are to go in the 2 forward cabins.  To be sure we get a fiberglass trim that fits like a glove to the hatch, Houa put release tape around the actual hatch and epoxied fiberglass around the hatch itself.  This rectangular "ring" will be epoxied to the big flaring flange already made, and we should have a lovely, well‑fitted hatch trim.  Do we dare believe the two hatches are the same?

The Cockpit Wet‑Sanding Team were at it again.  Pla used 800 grit to begin to put the shine on our companionway steps and entryway.  Lek worked above him, with 1200 grit on the vertical forward wall of the cockpit and the starboard bench.  Baw interrupted his wet sanding to prepare the very top outside of the starboard end of the targa bar.  He sanded, cleaned and then smeared on gelcoat so that will be ready to polish tomorrow, similar to what he did on the port shoulder of the targa‑bar.  Mike has promised the (correctly powder‑coated) horizontal davit bars to be returned Saturday or Monday, so we want to be ready.

Jon turning high-grade stainless steel into low-grade dust
Jon turning high-grade stainless steel into low-grade dust

Jon spent the day turning high‑grade stainless steel into low‑grade dust.  In this case, it was with our stainless steel rudders.  They're far from an optimal shape so we want to cover the blades with fiberglass and underwater filler, re‑shape the blades, and then cover them with more fiberglass.  To start this operation, Jon ground back the bumped‑up welds on both sides of one rudder and got started on the second one.  We also need to develop a way to hold the rudders securely so we can work on them.

Sue was in and out of the yard several times (between rain showers) running errands on her rental scooter.  In checking the bits and bobs for the hatches, she realized that we might not have enough gasket material.  We have a big roll (43' or about 13 meters) of big gasket bought in 2002 in St. Maarten, but it really only fits the fo'c's'le hatches.  It "fits" the smaller hatches, but is too rigid and would need to be cut down on the edges, so we're trying to get the "real McCoy" from Goiot in France (via Mike) even though the hatches are no longer made.  We hope to get a quote back soon.

Houa checking the fit of the piece he made yesterday
Houa checking the fit of the piece he made yesterday

Bow's brother Ben seems to have left the team, although we have not been officially told.  Apparently, as happens to many 17 year olds with their first job, Ben used his money to get drunk and prowl the town to all hours.  Baw was picking him up (from his mother's house) every morning, but Ben kept making him late, so Baw told him he's not working here anymore.  Good for Baw - that can't have been easy.

Saturday, June 15:
A lovely landmark end of the week, with some good work getting done, and promise of more to come.  And it was even cool and overcast all day with only one big shower at 4pm.

Houa made great progress on the interior hatch trim for the new Lewmar hatches.  The fiberglass rim he made right on the hatch itself came off, not easily, but with some good coaxing by Houa and Jon.  It is, of course a perfect fit for the hatch, and will be the final trim that nestles between the hatch and the deck.  Houa sanded it smooth, cut the spiky fiberglass edge off, and used epoxy and silica mud to attach it to the large flanged piece already made.  Given that we will be lying in our bunk looking up at this creation every day, we certainly hope it will be nice looking!

Lek & Baw admiring the reflective shine - lots of elbow grease
Lek & Baw admiring the reflective shine - lots of elbow grease

Speaking of nice looking, the big excitement at the end of the day came from Baw who invited Madame Sue onto the boat.  "Come, Madam!  Finished, Madam!"  Wow.  At first glance it looked like everything was clean and wet, but in fact it was dry and shiny!  The starboard bench seat in the cockpit, and all the area around the helm station and the companionway are gleaming like glass.  The bench seat itself has been sanded to 2000 grit sandpaper.  They will wait and do the machine and wax polish just before we launch.  Surprisingly, it's not very slippery, which is good, as we decided not to put nonskid on that big surface (it has cushions on it 99% of the time).  For now, it will get covered with vinyl for protection.  What's left to do in the cockpit gelcoat now is the aft seat, and the targa bar itself.

After the top and bottom have been epoxied together
After the top and bottom have been epoxied together

Baw has asked if he can bring his sister to work for us, and we will be happy to have her.  Sue especially likes working with Thai women, as there are some things she feels funny asking the men to do, like cleaning up dust and grime.  But Baw knows his sister well, and will know what she is good or not good at doing, so we shall see.

Jon spent some more quality time with the stainless steel rudders again, and got all the welds and bumps on the second rudder ground off and then sanded smooth.  Now we need some dry days so we can apply some epoxy.

Mike came by in the afternoon with the pieces of fiberglass cloth that Jon will put on the rudders once he has applied the epoxy and phenolic filler, and a first thin layer of cloth.  Mike also brought another 9 pieces of nonskid for us to prepare to stick down.  He's now putting peel‑ply, a nylon cloth that resin doesn't stick to, on the backs of the panels when he makes themy.  This protects the panels and keeps the bottoms clean (the peel‑play is removed just before the panel is glued down) so makes last minute preparation much faster.  If the weather permits, we want to stick down nonskid the first three days of next week.

Sue got more scooter practice today as she went to the yard, then left for a few hours to make her usual bank run on Saturday, then returned in time for payroll.  She stayed in the comfort of the apartment to work on website stuff, and her on‑going spreadsheet that is an analysis of each major project of this refit, the man‑days and cost.  Yes, it will all be presented to our readers some day!

Thai Refit: Next | Up | Previous | 122 Launch! | 121 Final Frenzy | 120 Mast & Boom | 119 Polish & Wax | 118 Mount Cleats | 117 Furnish Cockpit | 116 Bimini Legs | 115 Stern Jewelry | 114 Start Headliners | 113 Cockpit Hatches | 112 Decks Washed | 111 Tomcat Painted | 110 Gelcoat Salon | 109 Diamonds On | 108 Foredeck | 107 Anchor Platform | 106 Prepare Mast | 105 Mount Forebeam | 104 Worker Walkout | 103 Bimini Up! | 102 Spray Bimini | 101 Spray Forebeam | 100 Sanding Deck | 99 Spray Port Deck | 98 Spray Stbd Deck | 97 Cabin-top Gelcoat | 96 Start Deck Gelcoat | 95 More Varnishing | 94 More Varnishing | 93 Varnishing | 92 Finish Nonskid | 91 Epoxy Hulls | 90 Broken Finger | 89 Teak & Varnish | 88 Varnishing Started | 87 Start Cockpit Teak | 86 Bow & Stern Molds | 85 Laying Nonskid | 84 Polishing Cockpit | 83 Laying Nonskid | 82 Cockpit Gelcoat | 81 Finish Templates | 80 Spraying Gelcoat | 79 Rudder Tubes | 78 Cut Teak Blocks | 77 Start Templates | 76 Teak Chain Lattice | 75 Shower Controls | 74 Chip Cabin Top | 73 Cockpit Drains | 72 Polish Bridgedeck | 71 Port Aft Cabin | 70 Spray Bridgedeck | 69 Spray Portside | 68 Rudder Bearings | 67 Spray Starboard | 66 Fair Starboard | 65 Bad Epoxy Filler | 64 Spray Foredeck | 63 Spray Deck Gutters | 62 Prep for Gelcoat | 61 Spray Targa-Bar

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

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