Back to the water

I was out at the club this weekend doing a one day seminar on Race Committee duties.  The seminar was put on by the US Sailing Association and was very informative.

Before the seminar started I stopped by the water and enjoyed the peaceful scene below.  I was happy to see that the ice had thawed and that it was going to be a beautiful day.  It was good to be near the water again.

Peaceful picture of Sailboats floating

Pirates cove in the morning

Obsessing about the keel and getting nowhere

I’m frustrated.  Way back when I bought this keel, I didn’t know squat about what I was doing.  Now I’m facing issues with it, and don’t have a solution to either.

  1. The hole for the pivot has to be drilled out for the bushing, and filled in where the cast iron is worn away.
  2. The metal around the rear eye bolt is worn away and needs to be built out.

You’ve seen the pictures already so I won’t bore you with the same thing again.

I can’t find anyone with cast iron experience to do the repairs, and I have read enough to make me not want to do a hack job and attempt it myself.  I could try to fill it with epoxy and hardener, but there is a lot of stress on these points and I don’t think that will hold.  That leaves me with no options for fixing this keel.

I’m considering going back to craigslist and see if I can find a keel in better shape.  No way I can afford a new one.  I’m stuck.  This sucks.

On a happier note, I spent yesterday visiting a live aboard friend in a marina.  We prowled around the boat yard looking at all the boats “on the hard”.  Found a couple of Catalina 22’s and checked out their keels.

This keel was in bad shape, but the eye bolt looks good.  No telling how bad the corrosion is though.

Rear eye bolt in good condition

Rear eye bolt in good condition

These looked pretty odd.  Not sure how they got here.

wonder how this happened?

wonder how this happened?

Saddest of all, there is some serious neglect going on. This is just one example. The hatchway boards are in the cockpit and the interior is open to the weather.  Sad.

neglect can kill a boat

not going sailing anytime soon

Work on the Rehabitat – Well Sediment Filter

You may be asking yourself, “Self, why does it take CapnRehab so long to do basic boatwork?”  Well, you’re probably not, but it’s something I ask myself pretty often.  The answer is pretty simple.  It’s a mix between “I’d rather watch that next episode of the ‘The Walking Dead’ “, I have to work, I’d rather read a book, I’d rather sleep, It’s too darn cold, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah.

Mrs. CapnRehab also has this nasty habit of saying something like “I’d like to get ____ done this weekend”.   It took me a while to figure out, that what she is really saying is that she’d like ME to get ____ done this weekend.  I may be slow, but I’m not stup….,  well let’s just leave it at “yeah, I may be slow”.

One other reason for boat project delay is there are a lot of projects pending on the Rehabitat.  As you may remember, there was the “Project that must not be named” last year.  That took up the whole year and did serious damage to my desire to do any other home projects.  Since then, I’ve been knocking them off here and there, but definitely not at a consistent pace.

As you may remember, at one point I posted that I was going to put in a new whole house sediment filter.  (Oh wow, I just checked and that was 2 years ago! – see excuses above)

The rehabitat is on a well, and the pump brings up little bits of rocks and other gunk that if not caught wind up in those little screens that sink, shower, and appliances have in them.

Here is the old scary sediment filter.  That black cylinder below the blue part is supposed to be white!  No way was I going to hook that back up.

Filter closeup

Filter closeup

After the issues I had putting in a shower faucet in January, I decided to do this one in CPVC.  WAY easier to work with.  Here are the plans I drew out.

sediment filter plan

sediment filter plan

Under construction.  Notice the nice clean workbench.  It has been so long since I had a setup for my tools.  Makes finding them very easy.  Notice that bench?  I built sometime around 1994.  I’ve hauled it across Maryland, down to Florida, back to Maryland and across Maryland again.  Still sturdy after more than 20 years!

sediment filter under construction

sediment filter under construction

And here is the final installation.  The existing pipes left me with not much space.  Sorry the picture is a bit blurry.  I really had to finagle the metal mount.  Tip: If you get a whole house water filter, don’t buy one without the wall mount.

Note: Yes, the filter is black here.  That is not gunk.  It’s a new filter.

sediment filter installed

sediment filter installed

After only a few struggles to stop an annoying leak or two, it was in operation.  Look at the junk it’s saving us from!

filtered sediment

filtered sediment

Patiently waiting for spring, and other stuff

Yesterday I went up to the West River Sailing Club for a racing seminar and got my beer mug.  Some of the etching isn’t quite clear, but it says “West River Sailing Club, Capn Rehab 2014 Capital Donor” on it.  It’s part of an effort to raise funds for repairs etc. and give me 1$ draft beers for the rest of the season.  It’s a win-win situation!

CapnRehab mug

CapnRehab mug

I also took a look around the West River.

frozen sailboat

frozen sailboat

I braved the cold to walk out to the end of the pier near Pirates Cove.

Pirates Cove

Pirates Cove

Brrr.  I miss Florida.

The boats are missing the warmth too.

boat  racks

cold boat racks

OK, it’s March 1st, spring already, let’s get a move on!

Catalina 22 Keel repair – keel winch cable eye bolt – good enough?

After all the mess with getting the crud off the keel, I awoke one morning last week worrying that I had not bought the correct keel for this boat.  Supposedly, these keels were cast in the sand on a beach in Mexico, and pictures I’ve seen show a “Mexico” stamp on the upper end of the keel.

Mine doesn’t have the stamp.  I finally got around to it tonight to measure my keel against the boat, and it looks like a fit.  On the keel, from the pin hole to the eye bolt is about 52 1/2 inches.  I crawled under the boat and it’s about the same measurement there too.  Whew!

Another concern is that my eye bolt may be too coroded to rely on.  I don’t think so, but just to be sure I asked StingySailor to send me a picture of his.  He’s redoing his keel and pretty soon we’ll see an amazing writeup of the way to do it.  Until then, you’re stuck with me bumbling along and hoping I get it right.

Anyway, here is his eye bolt.

stingy sailor keel eye bolt

stingy sailor keel eye bolt

Here is another view

stingy sailor keel eye bolt after epoxy

stingy sailor keel eye bolt after epoxy

Now, here are some pictures of mine:

CapnRehab's keel eyebolt

CapnRehab’s keel eyebolt

Keel winch cable attachment point

Keel winch cable attachment point

Keel winch cable attachment point

Keel winch cable attachment point

There is no doubt that mine is not as built up as his.  However, I think it’s pretty solid.  I can grab it and yank it around and there is no give.  Unless I hear a major uproar, I’m going to go with it.  What are your thoughts?

Also, I still have the nagging issue of how to put the keel pin into the keel.  I got a bushing from catalina direct, but it doesn’t fit.  I’m going to have to drill out space for it, then braze in the bushing and the missing cast iron that has been worn away.  Here is a picture I posted previously.  Wish me luck.

pivot pin bushing

pivot pin bushing

Catalina 22 – Keel repair continues – needle scaling done

We had a 50 degree sunny Sunday this weekend, and that meant it was time to haul out the keel and start banging away on it.

The first side of the keel came clean pretty easily, but side two was a real pain.  The needle scaler seems no longer able to cut through very effectively, maybe this side simply had not deteriorated as much as the other.

Needle Scaler no go

Needle Scaler no go

While holding the scaler as it barely made an impact I had time to think about it.  It looked like quite an edge between the old material and the keel, so I thought maybe a chisel and sledge hammer (small 4 lb) might work.

Hammer & Chisel

Hammer & Chisel

This did pretty well, but only in some areas, and was quite tiring.  So I went back to using the needle scaler and thinking again.  Then I had a brilliant (to me) idea.  I remembered that somewhere in my tools there was an air chisel.  I’d never thought to use it before because I was told the needle scaler was the way to go.  So I dug around and found it, plugged it in and it was like a hot knife through butter!  Woo hoo!

air chisel

air chisel – the wonder tool

All told it took me about 7 hours.  Now I have  a keel ready for sandblasting, and I’ve found someone that will do it for $130 and hour.  I hope it doesn’t take long!

I thought I might glass in the weldments this weekend, but with a daytime high temp on Sunday of 17F it may be time to stay inside and read a book by the fire.

Stay warm!

Keel repair continues – Fun with a needle scaler

I’m annoyed.  I started this post once already, but it’s not in my drafts, so here goes again.

I’m a bit delayed in progress because I spent some time in plumber purgatory trying to get a shower working again.  Wound up replacing the faucet, and trying to learn how to solder.  I could do all right practicing on my workbench, but once I got to working in the wall it’s a different story.  I finally gave up and used SharkBite connectors and cpvc pipes.  That is definitely NOT the $tingy Sailor way to go, but by that time I didn’t care.  It’s way easier to swab some goop on a plastic pipe and shove them together!  Wonder of wonders, it didn’t leak either.

So, back to the keel.  I started working on it a few weeks ago using this:

Air Needle Scaler

Air Needle Scaler

I got it at harbor freight, and it seems to work OK, but maybe there is a part missing.  The two parts in the picture above are put together, and a giant spring inside keeps it squished together so the needles don’t fall out and it doesn’t fall apart.  But when I use the spring, the needles bind (and one actually broke).  When I don’t use it, the two halves come apart.  It seems like maybe it’s missing a solid metal disk to go between the needles and the spring.  So I have to use it without the spring and hold it together with my hands while I try to shove it against the keel- it’s a pain but it works.

I rolled it outside on a weekend day when it wasn’t freezing, snowing, raining, or blowing hard (for some reason, those kinds of days are rare around here in the winter) and set to work.  I took this just after I started:

Keel Scaling - Before

Keel Scaling – Before

The needle scaler is pneumatic and uses air a bit faster than my compressor can provide it, so I have to pause after a few minutes and let the pressure build back up.  But it did a pretty good job of knocking off the old fiberglass.

There was a lot of dust from the fiberglass and the rust being knocked off, so to be on the safe side I put on a breathing mask.  That mask sure works great!

I finished one side, and then started on the other.  The second side was much tougher.  I barely made any progress on side 2 before I had to stop.  Here is work in progress:

scaling in progress

scaling in progress

I spent about 4 hours total and got 1 side almost completely clear, except for where the wooden support covered a part of the keel.  Once I finish side 2, I’ll hoist it up and reset it and then finish up.

Here is the (nearly) completed side:

Keel after scaling

Keel after scaling

I expect to be able to get out there next weekend.  Although I do have to fix a car hatch that won’t open, replace oxygen sensors on two cars, replace some shocks on my jeep, install a well sediment filter, do my taxes, and ……

and buy some fiberglass and epoxy supplies to fix the keel weldments!

Oh!  By the way, if you’re planning on buying anything from West Marine, this weekend is a good time to do it.  Depending on how much you spend you can get 10, 20 or 50 bucks off.  Check it out at
http://www.westmarine.com/?cm_mmc=EM-_-Promo-_-150205-_-H_Logo