Trail of Tears

On March 2, 2003, Shabby was launched with little fanfare (and dangling new rigging) in Tarpon Springs, FL. Good news was she didn't sink, bad news was I now needed to actually finish stuff...

On March 2, 2003, Shabby was launched with little fanfare (and dangling new rigging) in Tarpon Springs, FL. Good news was she didn’t sink, bad news was I now needed to actually finish stuff. How we got there was, well, read on…

Early on, I kept a semi literate journal in order to keep things straight and document heroes and villains. At some point I realized it was just evidence of my insanity. It’s mostly boring but serves three purposes – the first is how much time project boats can take, second that nothing ever goes as planned, and finally, transcribing it saves me from dragging the notebook around for another 20 years. The things goes on and on over a couple of years, filled with mysterious blurbs and time gaps that, almost 20 years later, I scratch my head over but at the time made total sense. I’ll be adding to it as my patience and time allows. Any retrospective comments shown in bold.

1/7/99: Norseman Spars for a new mast quote. Referred me to JSI. Spoke with Jerry Powers who said he’d do a quote.

Bud’s quote: $4295 – Mast and boom, pre-wired (made by the same people that do Pacific Seacraft spars. 50% up front) // $48 – Turnbuckles // $725 – Rigging // $310 – 9 Norseman fittings

1/12/99: Jerry at JSI quote – $4834 – Mast // $1165 – Boom // $1825 – Rigging

1/28/99: Check with Bud for fuel tank and accessories

1/30/99: Drove to Accomac to prep engine area. Bed is delaminated at forward bulkhead. Forgot cloth. Took some pix. Galley has Whale foot pump. Got a $70 speeding ticket.

2/5/99: PSS folks (Dan) says 1″ x 1.5″ will fit.

3/5/99: Aires from Allen in Key West. $500 plus shipping. Good guy.

4/2/99: Estimate of mast from Bud: Lafiell mast, boom, spreaders, hardware, wiring, anchor light, painted = $4235. Add for tabernacle base = $200. AquaSignal 40 tricolor = $115. Metz VHF antennae = $35. Firdell Blipper and mounts = $190. Two ABI mast steps at top = $30. Rigging w/marine eye = $799. Two insulators on backstay = $240. Norseman eye ends = $48. Running rigging = $175. Shipping extra.

3/16/99: JSI Outfitters for equipment quote (Dave Johnson). Never called me back. West Marine has to be > $5K to get discount. Boat/US (Maurice says fax list). [Note, Gentle Reader: The equipment spreadsheet ran about ten pages and included everything from screws to electronics. Total was probably over $15K]

4/6/99: Called LaFiell direct for mast quote (Chris). Mast, boom, extra shit mounted free if provided = $4590.

4/12/99: Brownell transport – $775 – May 10th.

4/21/99: Cancelled move due to knee surgery. Annapolis Marine for filter (#222-07)  installation on SEA SSB from Les. Referred me to Dan Dickerson at West Marine. Defender Series 40 QuikFit = $114, masthead/spreader = $39.95.

4/27/99: Icom 700 w/AT-120 tuner = $700 Chas Schalscha off eBay

4/28/99: Boat delivered to Fort Belvoir Army Marina by Price Trucking Aberdeen MD (Ken/Ron 410.272.3010). Ordered ABI (1) bronze long scupper, (2) bronze cockpit drains, (4) steps for mast.

5/7/99: Defender – lights ordered and drop shipped to LeFiell. Received ABI stuff.

5/10/99: Shipped ABI [formerly bronze gods, now defunct] crap to LeFiell for mounting. Email to Bud on fuel stuff. ??

5/13/99: Hall Spars – can’t fit vang. Got schematic from Chris at LeFiell.

5/14/99: LeFiell (Chris) told him I was shipping vang from Garhauer (28″ – 33″ model)

5/17/99: JSI doesn’t carry Garhauer so I’ll have to go to them direct. Susan at Garhauer – RV20 = $239. Talked to Kevin at LaFiell to work with Garhauer on fitting vang. He recommends welding v. screwing. Told him to do the right thing.

5/21/99: Bud called from Nevada. Says fuel tank is done and ready to ship. Needs commercial address – can’t ship to residential.

5/24/99: Emailed Bud. Ship to Mike at Parrish Creek Marina.

5/26/99: Faxed parts list to Sarah at West Marine at Tracey’s Landing.

5/28/99: Sarah at West Marine (Tracey’s Landing), which still has that “new store smell”. I can save on some, but not all. WM running an internal sales contest, winner goes to Hawaii, so she’s eager to price my list.

5/28/99: Faxed list to Maurice at B/US. Needs a week to price items.

6/3/99: Susan (Garhaeur) – LeFiell never called. Called Chris says he’ll call her and hasn’t gotten Blipper yet. Left VM with Bud about order. Out of town until tomorrow.

6/5/99: Bud called. Fuel tank not shipped yet, paperwork’s at the other warehouse. Updated shipping address since Mike at Parrish Creek will be out and not available to receive it.

6/7/99: Bud – some confusion over shipping info. Resent 5/24 email with info. New lifeline stanchions from Tops-In-Quality [marine stainless steel, now defunct] are $60 ea, $80 with gate. Groco hull valves are for PV model. 2-4 month wait for new plugs. Defender has no record of Blipper order. Reordered #376614-L1ZA12.

6/8/99: Maurice still not done and needs another week. Tops-In-Quality faxing stanchion options to EPA office.

6/9/99: Items for Chris at LaFiell – still waiting on written quote. Says he’s working on it. Reminded him no order until I have it on hand.

6/10/99: Chris – Discussed mast issues. Decided to go with external halyards. Steps to start 5′ below masthead and go up 18″ staggered. Told him I’d mark up mast plan and resend. He’s also going to put on spinnaker bail at no cost. Gave him rigging specs. // SSB – use high voltage antennae lead Ancor GTO. 50′ of copper tape, get Marine SSB Simplified by Gordon West.

6/11/99: Source transmission for possible 4108 installation. Hurth 150? Called Transmission Marine in Ft LaDeeDa (800)462-8848. Maybe get the Volvo from the last owner’s new boat? Dick at Vosbury Marine – White Hall Boatyard (800.427.3451 or 410.757.3844) exit 31 off 50 before bridge. Knows Volvos and MD3-B. Rough parts estimate Brackets = $40ea, Rubber = $30ea x 6, Cups = $16.50ea x 6, Front Plate = $37ea x 2, Rear Plate = $25 x 2. // Maurice at B/US – left msg. WTF?? // Chris called with better rigging estimate // Tanton (Canada) – list + 10%. Faxed list. (Source Sailing World/Cruising World BBS)

6/12/99: Hull valve Easter egg hunt – Engine exhaust (1.5″ x 1), Cockpit drains (1.5″ x 2), Mystery (bilge?) (.75″ x 1), V berth head inlet (.75″ x 1), Head disch (1.75″ x 1) // Old engine Yanmar 20.

6/15/99: Maurice not in. Surprise. Gee, hope he wasn’t in a horrible car accident… // Ordered 4 x 1.75″, 2 x .75″ cones.

6/16/99: Maurice not in. Spoke with lady who pulled me up in computer. Pricing done, faxing to house.

6/21/99: Tanton – Best DataMarine price est. Asked for specific cost, including shipping. // Used ABI distributor pricing to order eight 8″ bronze ports. Only $54 shipping from CA, good deal since each weighs 18 pounds each.

6/22/99: Tanton – problem. His quote only included one transducer. Asked him to redo est. // Got sprit and boomkin from Bud. Finally.

6/23/99: Signet (Rich) has what appears to be same stanchions as TIQ. 24″H x 1″OD x 3/8″ holes w/ bulb at top. $33ea. (310)320-4329 // Fucking Defender still hasn’t shipped Blipper. Blames Simpson/Lawrence. Cancelled order (CBD623991)

6/24/99: Called Chris at LF and told him Blipper hasn’t been sent but ordering from another vendor. B/US (Linda) matching Defender. Called S/L to verify the backorder claim – 20 minutes later called me to inform me Blipper was on it’s way to Chris. Order #81148308 // Bud – Platform bolts to side of sprit, ordered construction manual, will be able to install Volvo when he’s in the area.

6/26/99: Removed rest of billion deck plugs from foredeck. Teak looks ok but everything will need rebedding. Sounded deck – no problems, thank god.

6/27/99: Fax from DataMarine – ADX-204 Depth & Speedo fairing block, ASTX-208TH xducer for speed and temp.

6/29/99: $980 to Bud for sprit and boomkin.

7/1/99: DDM-600, 50′ of copper tape, 1yd of Vectra cloth, 1yd of Olifin from Defender

7/3/99: Foredeck teak removal and 2×4 sampson posts removal. 5 hours. Foredeck is shit due to water ingress. Gonna have to start waking the neighborhood with the chain saw, but it’s nothing that time and money can’t fix.

7/4/99: Worked more deck. Fuckin 99 degrees out!!

7/8/99: – 1219C008 – SS propane locker $100 // ABI shipped ports // Called Defender. Where’s my stuff?? Says all shipped 7/6 except DataMarine, on backorder. Heard that before!

7/9/99: Called Defender and cancelled DataMarine b/o. B/US Special Order folks can’t get Nexus instruments. Sea Tiger windlass = $1665 // Ronco Plastics (714)259-1385 – B203 tanks are Westsail factory spec for H2O. $250 – 25%, plus shipping (COD).

7/12/99: WM (Tracey’s Landing) ordered vapor tight straightthru for propane, hose (541078 @ $13.58 x 2), tube (183600 @ $8.99 x 2), Ritchie BN202 bulkhead compass, Attwood shower drain (410177 @ $7.99 x 1), Utra bilge switch (273047 @ $124.99).

7/13/99: WM(TL) – Galley sink (13″ x 17″ x 9.5″  – 248021 – $119.99), 3.5″ drain (248062 @$11.99), drain adaptor (316606 @ $3.99)

7/16/99: Oceana Annapolis [defunct] for insulated lugs (14 x 10, 100ea and 12 x 10, 25ea) // Picked up WM(TL) order.

7/17/99: Began cutting and grinding foredeck rot. Temp over 100 degrees. Delightful day


Foredeck repair. Cut/ground out rot, then laid in epoxied white oak from below.

Foredeck repair. Cut/ground out rot, then laid in epoxied white oak from below.

7/19/99: Sailorman (Penn O’Dell) re: used Sea Tiger 555. Talk about fucked up…

7/20/99: Dave at Sailorman – called him in response to weird vm. Tried to sell me new Muir Hercules – lots of pressure!! // Linda (B/US Special Orders) – needs specifics of Defender DataMarine cost to do price match.

7/24/99: 3 hours on foredeck & chiseling off nonskid. // New rudder cheeks from Colonial Hardwood – wanted teak but nothing wide enough [Fantastic folks! I lived there, my credit card lived there, I sold them a car. Really.]

7/26/99: 8 freaking hours on foredeck. Laid white oak 2” x 6” under deck using triaxial cloth and 205, which kicked PDQ. Used 206 on the last one.

7/26/99: Peggy Hall for holding tank info ( [Once the nationally acknowledged “Head Queen,” now retired]

7/28/99: West (TL) – no discount for Heart stuff. S/L 555 = $1442.67 ($1539 catalog)($1259.95 Defender) // Lighthouse Marine (USVI) has used S/L 555 for $650, will take $600. // Chris – Left msg

7/29/99: Chris – left message. Doesn’t he ever work?? // Bill on 4108 avail – call him Next Tues. just had a rebuilt “creampuff” go out at $2800. (410.255.4345) expecting one soon. // DataMarine Dart ordered from Defender $670.29 (#388865)

8/2/99: Chris apparently does come in every now and then. Called to let me know Blipper showed up. Doesn’t have vang yet – no contact from Susan at Garhaeur. Told him I’d call her as should he since he’s not spending much time building my mast. //Susan – day off. Accent man couldn’t find invoice. Suggested I try again tomorrow.

8/3/99: Susan voided order after not hearing from Chris (6/4). Reminded her I was the buyer, not LaFiell. Ordered another one. // Back to Chris who now gets following through after I asked for his boss’ name and phone number. Calling Susan after we hang up.

8/5/99: Ronco (Ron)(714) 259-0759 – 50% off list. Finally, someone that has their shit together!!  Faxing diagram of where to put openings // Bill Covey (4108). Left msg. // B/US Heart 25 12v-15 $899 49# shipping wt.

8/6/99: Chris – not in. left msg

8/8/99: Six hours on foredeck and filling misplaced hawse hole // Msg from Chris – he’s spoken with Susan at Garhaeur and was sending measurements. Expects to start building mast this week, ship in 30 days. // Ronco o ok’d drawing. $125ea after 50% off. To be done and shipped by Thursday, 1 week in transit. Too efficient for their own good.

8/9/99: Lighthouse – status, folks?

8/11/99: Chris called to see if mast is tabernacled. Left message telling him yes, just like it says on the fucking schematic that should be in my fucking folder regarding my fucking order. Hope he gets0 it on speakerphone. // Greg (T-I-Q) – ordered one stanchion base model 130-W to check fit.

8/12/99: Defender – called at 9:55am to find out why my DataMarine order is so screwed up. Got “we’re closed. Our normal working hours are from 8am…” which I’m sure is before 9:55am. Called via toll number Cheryl. On hold… still on hold… still on hold… Defender blamed DataMarine for screwup. // Called DataMarine (Pocasset) – record shows Defender didn’t place the whole order. DM shipped as ordered, then a couple days later Defender called and completed the order. Paperwork avail if I want it with all info  // Called Cheryl and relayed DM’s version. She assured me DM was wrong until I fibbed and told her I had the paperwork between them and DM. She blinked first – transducer being shipped overnight to me at no cost. Assholes…

8/13/99: Deck grind and fill. Fairing slathered on worse than Tammy Faye Baker. 5” 80 grit lasting about three inches before clogged. I want to shoot the builder. After I torture him. 6 hours.

8/15/99: G & F up front. Using roving, triax, 6oz, 410 in hawse hole. Pulled some port side teak  decking, bung by bung, screw by screw, curse by curse

8/17/99 Ronco – order sent 8/16. Tracking 1Z908443034 0434556 and 0973367 // Jamestown for misc crap (acid brushes, rollers, picks) // sarah (mgr at WM TL) – told her about problem with miss virginia’s customer service skills, that it wasn’t the first time. Ordered Freedom 15, Dickinson Newport Heater, hose

8/18/99: Another message for Covey // Sarah WMTL – too late to get hot water option on Newport? Can do but will have to match Defender because lower price was with no coil and with makes it a special order.

8/18/99: Covey called. 4108 not yet in // Defender (Quinelle) called about transducer. Just shipped even though they’ve had it for 7 days and it went out ground delivery instead of overnight (see 8/12)

8/20/99: Received stanchion base from T-I-Q. $33 plus $8 FOR SHIPPING?? ONE BASE? YOU KIDDING ME??

8/21/99: Sanded some, debunged some

8/22/99: See above. I’m good at mindless toil. Reeeeeal good.

8/23/99: Construction manuals says deck drain should go under hawse – there is a god, as it’s clear under deck. // Water tanks arrived. Two weeks from ordering – tanks modified to spec, shipped, arrived. Considered calling and blasting them for great service.

9/2/99: Volvo of Chesapeake (Regional mothership) sent P/N list

9/3/99: Dick Vosbury can get Volvo parts if i decide to drop in a Volvo. Told him I’d check to see what I had first.

9/5/99: Carved out bilge for water tanks. Holy fuckstix, what a nightmare. New DeWalt grinder died after solid three hours of service, which sent me to HD covered in fiberglass looking like Frosty the Snowman to replace. Fwd end of bilge about 0.5” to 1” proud. Uneven ballast or uneven deck? My bet is another builder error. Need to figure out a path forward – too hot, too humid, too cranky, too itchy, too pissed… CRAP! Who uses the bilge as a fresh water tank??


Who uses a bilge as a water tank? A bit of plexiglass formed the top side. Looks tasty!

Who uses a bilge as a water tank? A bit of plexiglass formed the top side. Looks tasty!

Grinder killer!

Grinder killer!

9/7/99: Left msg with Dick V to get everything. // Chris – Garhauer should have sent stuff by now but they sent it to me. told him I’d pull the brackets off vang and mail to him, but he’d better work out proper placement or he’ll be shipping me another new mast with zero mistakes. I think he’s getting the impression I think he’s not on my Christmas card list. // Dick called – looking for Volvo parts and might have an interest in helping install when things slow down in a month or so.

9/9/99: Ronco – can they “cut down” a water tank to compensate for the bilge/sole thing? Nope.

9/11/99: Removed stbd side deck teak. Had to break 3 long pieces due to stripped screws the lazy bastard builder left in when deck was installed. Decided: no teak forward of cockpit, freeing me up to vent on remaining pieces. // Couple more layers down over foredeck. When I get run down by that freighter the bow will just bump off it!

White oak slathered in resin mash being laid up from below.

White oak slathered in resin mash being laid up from below.


Foredeck is now almost solid fiberglass.

Foredeck is now almost solid fiberglass.

9/13/99: Hurricane Floyd fails to kill tarp!

9/14/99: Dick – parts in yet? // Sprit to Jensen machine shop for plate to mount 555 Sea Tiger. I should learn to weld…

9/18/99: Treadmaster Day – began to sand off old epoxy using 60 grit orbital. Twenty minutes and about a foot later, off to HD for a belt sander.

9/27/99: 4 hours enjoying topside work. Shoulda developed a heroin habit before this project.

9/28/99: Dick – out on service call.

10/1/99: LF. Chris quit. Probably felt overworked ignoring my calls. Kevin Jeffries agrees to honor Chris’ promises, which I had documented. Faxed.

10/3/99: Sand, fair, cure. Repeat.

10/4/99: LF – Rodney commits to honor Chris’ commitments. Should probably get cleaning service  to sign off, as well. Centennial anniversary of first contact. If they did Christopher Columbus’ rig Native Americans would still own this country.

10/8/99: Sanded topside. Really really hating epoxy sanding. Gonna need lot’s of fairing, but the extra glass won’t hurt // FINISHED FOREDECK!!

Shaboom stanchion base 01

Safety first! God…

10/7/99: Annapolis Boat Show. Met up with T-I-Q and wrote check for seven stanchion bases. Saved $3 per (big deal) and got free shipping (big deal based on last one shipped for $8) after pointing out something that weighs about a pound shouldn’t cost $8 to mail. Part 128W

10/10/99: After some lots of measuring and little thought, decided to drop the water tank under the settee. Easier than working the uneven bilge and/or sole. With luck, I won’t need a chainsaw. // Pulled hatch (leaks) and turtle (looks like a tiki bar roof gone bad). Probably going to have to build a new one.

 10/13/99: Bud says he’s still waiting on Groco plugs.

10/14/99: Dick. Left msg. Perhaps I could become diesel certified while I’m waiting for him to return my calls. // Bud – still waiting on block and plates for Aires. Says his welder is way behind.

10/20/99: ABI – need pipe to hose connections for decks. 1746BR  (1.5″ x 1.5″).

10/21/99: LaFiell, just because two weeks had passed without them blowing me off. Knew I should have taken to gold-plated finish option.

10/24/99: More teak up. Replaced cockpit drain hose (old one leaked into bilge, reminding me I needed to spend some quality time working that area. I don’t need to be reminded)

10/29/99: Sanded 7 hours on deck. Epoxy slow going.

10/30/99: Guess what? More topside sanding.

10/31/99: Haven’t done enough topside sanding, so I did some more. Also worked settee/tank project.

Zen project

Zen project

Once the old epoxy was off, the only thing to do was put more on. I could have gotten away with leveling the surface with fairing compound, but I had miles of cloth and only millimeters of sense.

Once the old epoxy was off, the only thing to do was put more on. More on – moron (get it?). I could have gotten away with leveling the surface with fairing compound, but I had miles of cloth and only millimeters of sense.

11/1/99: Lefiell. Left msg.

11/3/99: See above.

11/5/99: Topside fun. Downside – I’ll never finish. Upside – It’s not 100 degrees.

11/6/99: Water tank thrills. Fitting base. Major field day, proving even I have a limit.

11/7/99: Water tanks cradle under settee complete. Installed 4″ inspection port. This may not have been my best idea but it’s easier than the alternative.

11/8/99: LeFiell – Kevin noted he’d not returned my calls, but I put him at ease telling him Chris acclimated me to their crappy customer service. Put on hold. Rodney picked up with news the mast would be shipped this month. I pointed out I still hadn’t signed contract or get shipping info. He’ll get back to me. Calls back, leaves msg. I return call to vm, leave msg. Rene calls with shipping info – $300. Gave them marina zip to do calculations. Promised extra wrapping.

11/9/99: Rene adjusts shipping to $400.

11/10/99: Water tank might be done.

11/12/99: Rene – says $400 is as good as it’s going to get due to companies doubling up on trailers or something like that. Pointed out mast wasn’t even done so what’s that got to do with anything. Said there weren’t enough steps to do the whole mast and I told them that was never my intention, and if they looked at the schematic they’d see that. Oh. Asked again for the contract, reminded him again of Chris’ $4200 quote. Mast slated to be done in a week.

11/13/99: More water tank work. Hold down straps in, foam padding below. // What’s with the bilge? More water but no obvious leaks. Dropped a heat lamp in to dry it once and for all.

11/14/99: Bilge – water isn’t coming from above – it’s seeping up from ballast. Apparently while sitting in last owner’s yard water collected and seeped into ballast. Fuck me. Drilled test holes up keel from outside – seeping out about 2″ up from keel. Drilled more drain holes and will let it seep out through winter and revisit.

11/16/99: Rene – total due on mast $1523.87, includes shipping. Asked Rodney to adjust contract to reflect free extra work. Discussed Blipper location. Wrapping tomorrow.

11/18/99: Check to LF. Shipping tomorrow!! Look for three pieces, Should arrive 12/2, but told them to time shipment for weekday delivery so I could use marina staff to help unload. No problem.

11/19/99: Drilled hole lower that first. Minor seepage. // Popped out thru-hulls. Need to fill sink drain hole since I plan to tap that into cockpit drain line. One less flooding source. //Worked water tank. Christ, how long can this take?? // Made general mess. Finally something I’m good at. //Worked galley/sink area, mostly destroying stuff. Lots of rotten wood due to water.

Maybe I just throw some carpeting over it-

Maybe I just throw some carpeting over it-

11/20/99: Fit H2O tank (port). Not bad, although it eats up storage space. Hmmm… //Galley/sink counter – new framing, plywood counter. // Sprit mahogany from Colonial Hardwoods $200.

11/22/99: Worked water tank, but not too hard. // Some galley work, but not too hard. // Cleaned. Definitely not too hard.

11/23/99: Dick – in Aruba til after Thanksgiving. [Having given up on other engine options, I elected to buy the “old” Volvo from the “new” boat the old owner had offered up, as he had a Perkins he was going to install. Called the folks that sold him the boat and got a rundown on it, and it appears they carefully fed and pampered it.]

11.23.99: Groco, Inc. for plugs. SV756 = $56, SV1506 = $104. Pointed out the whole valve, including new plugs, costs less. Corporate response – “So?” // Bud has plugs, block for boomkin. Says he’s still waiting for Aires plate (see 10/14). Says engine bed won’t need mods for Volvo but 0.5″ aluminum plate will need to be fitted. Finally sending rudder washers. Grrr…

11/26/99: A few hours framing water tank. Installed plywood top.

11/29/99: Called DataMarine to determine distance between DDM600 display and compass. They had no tech data to offer, and suggested I just hook it up and see. I should take them sailing and have them offer opinions on whether I can safely cut in front of ships.

11/30/99: Despite asking LF to have mast delivered during normal working hours, Yellow Trucking arrived at marina at 4pm day before expected arrival. Driver hot to drop and roll. Left the office and raced to marina, where he and I were the only souls to unload, unpack and park on supports. Noted the instructions from LF said deliver mid-day, so I gave him the choice of coming back tomorrow or helping. Mr. Snotty finally took door #2.

12/7/99: Backrest for port settee cut. Measured for heater reflector back piece. Overall 71.5″ x 12.5″.

12/10/99: Backrest done.

12/12/99: Prepping bilge for water tank. Made forward stopping block. Realized I needed to run SSB copper ground ribbon first (duh). Began cleaning up bilge to take ribbon/resin/cloth.

12/18/99: Ground engine room to take copper ribbon where tuner will be located. Snow City! Taping using 6oz cloth to tack, triax to protect.

12/20/99: +3hrs on ground tape. Have to cut through bulkheads to run the tape. Gotta be a better way [There would be years later – KISS!]

12/27/99: Christmas over and you’d think the elves would have shown up out of boredom. Instead, finished starboard side, began glassing port. 100ft2 goes in slow when you’re not having fun. Considering suspending for winter due to inclement marina staff attitude – three people working at a marina in mid-winter can’t keep soap or paper towels stocked in bathroom even when asked directly. // Measured for port settee trim.

1/10/00: Al Hatch stopped by southbound. Mentioned the deck seemed custom due to extra headroom. Suggested a deep well for bilge pump.

1/15/00: Rick has pulpit for sale (same as mine). Bud is making him a longer one. Longer? Yup $425. Hmmm…

1/16/00: Pulled/carved/dug cabinet doors off for refinishing.

1/18/00: Bud – send me a longer pulpit like Rick’s. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Some discussion about mounting hole which was weird since he sent me the sprit, so maybe check his drawings. Told him I’d check.

1/19/00: Major confusion with Bud re: mounting hole locations, but we’re only 0.5″ off. Says he’ll notify his welder before he takes off for a couple of weeks this Saturday. He’ll ship with Rick Kennerly’s order in March.

1/20/00: Instead of ankle surgery, it’s $450 to Bud ($425 + $25 shipping) // Alpenglow light brochure request.

2.15.00: Fax from Vosbury.

2/17/00: Dick – left msg.

2/22/00: Dick in but with customer.

2/24/00: Dick – left msg.

2/29/00: Dick – left msg.

3/1/00: Victory! Dick to meet me at boat Saturday 10am to look over engine install project. Asked him to mentally figure filters, fittings, etc.

3/2/99: ABI order – (1) Rope/chain deck pipe (1033SS) // (2) 8″ Boat cleat (1375BR) // (4) 10″ Boat cleat 1377BR

3/4/00: Met with Dick at boat. Lots of measurements re: fitting engine best approach is to make new engine brackets.

3/10/00: Pulled prop. What a pain! Bought pricey bearing puller, popped prop, returned puller.

3/14/00: Left msg with Dick re: bracket status

3/17/00: Left msg with Dick re: bracket status. He’s my new “Chris at LaFiell,” I’m thinking,

3/18/00: More crap back on the boat from surgery/winter layoff. Some sanding in engine area in prep for install. Old name board out (finally). Tested West Marine paint remover. Ok, I guess. Pulled stern tube.

3/25 – 26/00: Sanded and prepped engine room. Loads of fun. Laid down layer of triax on engine pan and installed aft “dam” using foam/cloth.

4/1/00: Email from Bud- pulpit shipped to Rick’s.

4/2/00: General goofing off. Worked but got little done.

4/8-9/00: Worked new sea berth. Guessing at final knee shaping. May have to cut more for fat sleeper.

4/10/00: Stopped by Simpson/Lawrence in Bradenton during business trip to check on parts for 555. Just my luck – they’re moving to CT and most of the inventory has been shipped north. Got one shaft key – wrong size, as it turns out. // Needs: 45# CQR, 100′ 5/16 BBB chain, 200′ 5/8 rode.

4/29/00: Entertained myself cutting and grinding stbd side deck to fit deck drain. Actually, started out paint stripping but one thing led to another. Serious ADHD day.

5/4/00: Drove to Defender in CT while in RI. Same old shitty New Rochelle attitude. Bought Standard Eclipse VHF and Metz wire // 45 degree elbows for heater // damper for heater // deck cap for heater // cabin enamel (Interlux) // 1 gallone 233N // 3qts primer // 3qts Interthane Plus.

5/9/00 Jamestown Distributors – (6) 0.5″ x 3″ SS hex bolts, (6) 0.5″ washers, (6) nuts (all for windlass), 5/16″ x 3″ bronze carriage bolts for new hatch.

5/13/00: Worked deck drain glassing, interior (bulkheads, sea berth), fit up documentation board.

5/18/00: Worked heater bulkhead, priming with Kilz. Painted under sea berth using Rustoleum flat white – not a good texture so I’ll cover with gloss. Ground out around old instrument holes in cabin top. Companionway bolt holes, aft bulkhead for bilge pump. Tarp wars continue.

5/20/00: Worked settee. Raised knees to make more room after all. Laminated bunk, which was cut and installed yesterday. More layup around companionway.

5/24/00: Dickinson re: heater installation. Says 3″ flue pipes will fit together, but one needs to be squeezed to make it happen, Website install page showing 5″ pipe is wrong. Good, since returning shit to Defender is like eating razor blades. No need for insulation backing due to head cut out.

5/26/00: Topside sanding again. Must be a new power tool in my future – belt sander eats too much, orbital not enough. Splice two extension cords together due to excessive “borrowing” by yard mates. Cut companionway bulkhead for 8″ deadlight, compass and DataMarine display.

deck reglass

5/30/00: Painted bilge and engine room using Petit epoxy paint. Note to self: Read instructions – stuff has to sit for an hour after mixing. Too thin to cover in one coat.

6/2/00: West Marine: 3″ deck iron w/ ring (359836), 3″ stove pipe (2)(1167877), oil placard (bronze)(137887), waste placard (bronze)(137879), ACR reflective tape for mast (137653), mushroom head (2)(114450), macerator (145503), jacklines (500407), 20H (XCH)(196134).

6/2/00: Finished bilge.

6/3/00: Worked deck. Puling skylight bases.

6/30/00: Sanded

7/4/00: Sanded.

7/8/00: Sanded

7/9/00: Sanded. Began de-tarping.

7/10/00: Galley measurements.

7/11/00: Cleaned, then cleaned some more. Coat of Rustoleum white gloss on port settee.

7/14/00: Sanded deck.

7/15/00: Sanded some more because I’m so good at it and need to stay proficient. Found some rotten core under port cockpit seat.

7/16/00: Sweet Jesus! 99.999% of 40 grit sanding done! I’m afraid to look back to see when this started…

7/18/00: Alpenglow – received another brochure. Maybe once I stop buying sandpaper I can afford them. Checked in with Vosbury (left msg).

7/21/00: Filled and faired topside /deck joint. Minor imperfections that are triggering OCD response. Like I have time to mess with this… // 1st coat of Interlux cabin paint on heater bulkhead (off white  – eggshell) // painted port settee (gloss white).

7/22/00: 2nd coat bulkhead paint, bilge grey epoxy, set stbd port drain. Drilled out teak deck screw holes with 1″ spade bit, resin filled them.

[From Earl Hinz:  Minimum length of proof chain: (Anchor weight) ÷ (Chain weight) x 1 (steel) or 1.6 (aluminum)]

[Rigging: Main sheet = 7/16″, Jib = 3/8″, Main halyard = 3/8″, Jib halyard = 3/8″, Spinnaker halyard = 3/8″ ]

7/27/00: Fairing curves, salon bulkheads for priming

7/28/00: Deckwork.

7/30/00: Finished cabin top. Perfect timing, as it rained like hell after and the tarps have had it. // Framed for heater reflector // Set port deck drain. Overall, it’s like I’m making progress!

8/3/00: Dick – actually got through, but he’s not in.

8/4/00: Dick – left msg. // Jamestown: 1 box Acid brushes for resin work, foam brushes, countersink set, 200 3/8″ teak bungs, 200 1/2″ teak bungs

8/5/00: Sanded down every resin filled screw hole on deck. Gave deck once over with sander to prep for another layer of glass, but held off on actually putting down the cloth – it’s rained 9 days straight.

After taking up the teak decks, each screw hole was filled with resin and sanded. Very zen job!

After taking up the teak decks, each screw hole was filled with resin and sanded. Very zen job!

8/6/00: Began stbd drain hawse fill. Retarped boat. First coat of interior bulkhead paint in salon. Finalized heater reflector template (Dixie Sheetmetal – Falls Church: $370 for brass, $170 for brushed SS, but needs better template).

8/8/00: Dropped template off at Dixie. Spent a wonderful 30 minutes with Andy as he tried to engineer a lay-down-trace-here project to 0.00000000001 template accuracy. I suggested he have a few cocktails first then just trace and cut. Said I’d call Kevin later to discuss the need for NASA accuracy vs. need to just get it done. // Salon bulkheads second coat. // Kevin at Dixie called. He’s confused over the template, which is essentially a rectangle with a smaller rectangle cut into it, and everyone should just stop overthinking it since I’m not.

8/11/00: Installed HW heater. Another layer of cloth on stbd deck using 6oz.

8/12/00: Port side deck layer laid. Resin playing nice due to weird cool August weather.

8/17/00: Picked up reflector from Dixie. Final price was $90, not the $170 quoted. Thinking I could have gotten brass for a few dollars more, but bit my tongue.

8/18/00: H2O tank plumbing. Sanded deck smooth.

8/19-20/00: Sanded deck

8/21/00: Ordered 555 rebuild parts from B/US // Called Dick, left msg. // Sanded.

8/22/00: Called S/L re: 555 rebuild project. One would think with a million of them out there they’d know stuff, but does’nt appear to be the case. Use trailer grease.

8/23/00: Worked new hatch. Oddly, everything fits.

8/25/00: Sanded

8/26/00: Sanded

8/27/00: Began glue up of hatch

8/31/00: Fuck the office. Began fine sanding on deck // Galley sink cut-out // hatch

9/1/00: Began rewiring project. // ABI order – Hatch handles (2092BR $5.75 x 2), hinges for skylights (1996BR $15 x 2)

9/4/00: Painted engine room. Raining, of course.

9/5/00: Called Interlux to get info on painting over epoxy, since the instructions only talk about over poly and vinyl). Guy sounded confused and suggested it was a brush problem, which means I have two problems now – painting over epoxy and tech dept that doesn’t have answers.

9/10/00: Primed deck using Interthane. Brutal! Used small 3″ foam rollers from HD. Had to mix the crap out of it to clear lumps. Thinned per directions due to 90 degree air temp. New look!

9/15/00: Sanded deck primer w/ 120 grit. Most done before rain.

9/18/00: Sourcing foam or balsa to fill amateur cockpit “lockers” the builder made.

The cockpit lockers were made of plywood boxes, unpainted, which allowed water to rot the wood, which allowed water inside the boat, violating on of the three rules of boating: Keep water out of the boat!

The cockpit lockers were made of plywood boxes, unpainted, which allowed water to rot the wood, which allowed water inside the boat, violating on of the three rules of boating: Keep water out of the boat!

Called Baltek in NJ (201.767.1400) for info on Contour/Core (see Defender p. 56). Russell suggested 1/2″ Decolite panel backed by plywood. Called Oceana in Annapolis. Melissa said 48″ x 58″ x 1/2″ sheet of rigid foam is $115.23, wich beats Baltek Decolite which was $339. Asked if I could order through West or B/US, but she told me not to worry about not being wholesale, just come in.

9/21/00: Oceana to pick up foam and some balsa.

9/22/00: Second deck primer coat. Convinced guy at HD to drop it in his electric shaker to de-lump it.

9/24/00: Final deck sanding using 180 grit. Seemed to go easier than the first coat but it could be I was delusional.

9/26/00: Faced with either rolling and tipping finish coats, picked up a HVLP sprayer from HD. Called Mike at Interlux Tech Support for info. Nothing in data on it, but suggested 8-10psi at pot, 50-60CFM at tip. Said I could use acetone to wipe down.

9/27/00: Painted 1 quart’s worth of disaster. Gallon can of 233 thinner had a bit of rust around opening and some got it the mix without notice. Too late to do much about it, but it’s only the first coat that’ll get sanded down anyway. Messed with thinner/paint ratios. Wondering about the value of spraying, since the deck isn’t exactly mirror smooth to begin with…

9/29/00: 320’d deck. Not as glossy as expected. Too much thinner? Not enough? Aliens?

9/30/00: Goofed off. Reinforced hatch openings. Found water in bilge. ?? Stared at mess for awhile. Gave up.

10/3/00: Water in bilge is from shitty old plastic ports that are dribbling during rain but dried by the time I show up. Measured hatch area to see if I can somehow build a propane tank box into the turtle. Hmmm…

Why yes I could!

Why yes I could!

10/5/00: Sanded galley. General topside work.

10/7/00: Kilz’d galley – 2 coats.

10/8/00: One coat of Interlux Enamel 221 White (Eggshell) at galley.

[Gap for more ankle surgery. Sanded and primed cast to stay in the game.]

1/11/01: Dick showed up for engine installation without brackets. Thanks for nothing.

2/5/01: Made a small muffler platform using foam and cloth. Remembered to leave space to reach the PSS for burping.

At this point, I pretty much gave up on the journal in favor of just winging projects. The engine was finally installed, galley rebuilt enough to finish, and the deck painted. I moved to Florida and finished up some more, including mounting the sprit-

Due to sheer laziness, I had a welder mount a platform system for the wood.

Due to sheer laziness, I had a welder mount a platform system for the wood.

I liked the sturdy look of my globetrotting friends Mike & Susan Beilan’s Westsail 43 bowsprit on Infini, so rather than do the usual wood sprit platform most 32’s have, mine got a bit more steel added on to Bud’s stock unit. The thing weighed a ton after the additional work, which required me to get creative when I had to wrestle the thing up on to the deck single-handed and hold it in place while I mounted it…

When you're working alone, you have to be creative when it comes to "four handed" jobs. The ladder is keeping the loose sprit in place while I mount it. Not shown is how I got it up there, which involved another ladder and a pick up truck. Rube Goldberg would have been proud!

When you’re working alone, you have to be creative when it comes to “four handed” jobs. The ladder is keeping the loose sprit in place while I mount it. Not shown is how I got it up there, which involved another ladder and a pick up truck. Rube Goldberg would have been proud!


















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