Done, Done, Done & Done

Project Central Here.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.  I sure did.  Had 2 kids home from college, and daughter and son-in-law visiting too.  For some reason, not everyone wanted to do boat projects.  Can’t figure that one out.  So I had to take time to “Visit”.    My cousin and her husband also stopped by on their way back from New Jersey.  They are such fun!  Come back soon!

I did manage to get some things done. First, as I mentioned in the last post – the tire is now on the craigslist lawnmower. (First Done)

Little Red the lawnmower

Little Red the lawnmower


Having completed its second epic mowing of the lawn (Second Done) , it has earned a name and henceforth shall be known as “Little Red”.







Next, following a timely project post from Brian at Dock Six Chronicles, (Thanks Brian) I built an out board motor stand. (Third Done) I’ll probably put a shelf on it at some point, but I want to use it a bit and find out what I want. I did go ahead and put wheels on it. Total cost $0 for scrap wood, $20 in wheels , and $15 for 3 boxes of different sized nails and screws. I still haven’t recovered completely from the move and can’t find all my shop stuff. One thing I still haven’t found are all of my hardware like nails, screws, etc.

Last, I took the outboard motor off the boat and put it on the stand. (Fourth Done)!

Ready to get to work on it!

outboard on stand

outboard on stand


Giligan’s Island

I don’t know how I think up this stuff.

I FINALLY got my Craigslist lawnmower (#1, not nos. 2 & 3) working again.  I’ve now mowed the yard 1 1/2 times with it.  As you may recall, after the first repair and mowing, the tire went flat.  Since then I’ve been struggling to get the tire to reform from the compressed factory shape to a normal tire shape that would allow me to set the bead and inflate it.  After lots of self doubt and ALMOST giving up and taking it to the repair shop, I got the bead to set yesterday and started mowing till I ran out of gas.  Then I flooded the engine trying to restart and had to call it quits because I ran out of daylight.  I SURE hope it starts today.

So, this morning after I woke up and was laying in bed not thinking of anything in particular I started thinking about the mower.  There seems to be some kind of line between doing things for yourself, and having a professional do it.  I used to live next to this guy named George.  He and his buddy Pete (that lived next to him) could do ANYTHING.  I once saw him bring home a volkswagon beetle, reduce it to its parts, extend the frame, and then put together an awesome dune buggy from it.  Welding, plumbing, fiberglass, wood – he was invincible.  One of these guys is very handy to know.

On the other end of the spectrum are people that can’t (and don’t want) to do anything.   The problem with this approach is if you pay for everything to be done, eventually you’ll have to limit what you do because you run out of money.  (unless you’re uber rich – which I’m not)

As I was failing with the tire mower, I was questioning myself.  I had never done something like this, and informative youtube videos only take you so far.  At one point, I thought I had damaged the rim of the tire.  I really thought I was going to have to take it to a shop or even buy a new tire ($50 for one tire!).  But I kept at it, and finally succeeded.  BUT, how do you know when to quit?  It would really help to know before you try something that it’s too big a project for you.  One of the things I worry about a lot when I dig into something new is will I break it and make the problem worse.

So THEN, I connected that train of thought with Giligan’s Island.  My sisters and I watched a lot of Giligan’s Island as kids.  Bear with me, these observations are not drawn on recent viewings. There are people like the millionaires that have everything done for them and use money instead.  Next is Ginger who uses her looks to get what she wants.  Then there is the skipper who is somewhat capable, but he tries things and they never really work.  Then Mary-Anne who is fairly practical in what will or won’t work, and not afraid to get her hands dirty.  The professor of course can build anything.  Then there is Giligan.  There he is right in the middle of things.  Most of the time he screws things up, but he means well.  He’s not afraid to try.  He always does his best.

I think there is a little of all these characters in us, waiting to get out.  That’s probably what made the show so popular.

However, I don’t think I get too many things on my looks alone.  So my inner Ginger doesn’t get much air time.

Electrification project progressing

I’m getting better. I remembered part way through this project to snap a photo, but since you can actually see the utility pole next to the shed, I missed the bad state it was in. Yesterday I cleared out a lot of vegetation around the pole in preparation for running electricity to the shed and barn. This place has really been neglected!

Utility Pole

Utility Pole

Getting closer – preparing a place to work

Prepping my work space

Prepping my work space

I’m on vacation the whole week!  Thanksgiving week and the family is all coming (Yay!).  Daughter and hubby are already here, my two boys arrive from college Thanksgiving day.
I spent yesterday working to set up a workspace.    I wish I would have thought to take a before picture, but here is a shot of the corn-crib almost clean.  It was a mess, and SOOO dusty!  AND full of stink bugs – did you know they really stink? – go figure.  It was so full I couldn’t even walk through this first room.  I removed 2 p/u truckloads of old corn cobs and junk.  Yucky job.  BUT, I get to cross off an item on the repair list.
Today I plan to go to the marina to visit the 23′ boat, and to clear brush around the new corn crib (Henceforth to be known as the “Shop”) in preparation for getting electricity run to it.  It used to have power, so there is a telephone pole at the corner of the building.
It is a pain how many jobs lie ahead before I can even begin doing actual rehab.

Book Review: “Fix it and Sail” by Brian Gilbert

The book describes Mr. Gilbert’s process of taking a MacGregor Venture 222 from a wreck to a nice sailboat.  It is well laid out with separate chapters on the major parts of repairing a boat.  (Getting started, woodworking, metalwork, canvas, rigging, motor, etc.)  I’m surprised there isn’t a full section on fiberglass, since it is a fiberglass boat – but he works that into the getting started section.  I particularly enjoyed the metalwork chapter where he talked about “Electrolytic Rust Removal”.  I can’t wait to try that out!

One thing I didn’t like is that he frequently describes how he did something the hard way, and then mentions what he thinks might be a better way to do it.  Granted, it’s better to know he didn’t like a process, and that he learned from it – but I would rather have a guide that says “this is the best way to get this job done”, and then show me how.   Another thing that bothers me a little bit is that he seems to have more tool experience than I do, and he does some things that would really give me pause or have me asking for help.  Some of it is a bit daunting.

The book is really a documentation of Mr Gilbert restoring one boat.   Although it does contain a lot of information, it is not meant to be a final reference for rebuilding a small fiberglass boat.  If you read it with that in mind, and you are encouraged to have a try at restoring your own boat, then I believe his goal of encouraging you down that path and sharing his lessons learned will be realized.

I give it a Netflix rating of 3 out of 5 stars.  I liked it!

Check it out at my Amazon Book Store.  (Yes Erick, I’m following  your lead)

O’Day 23 Clean out

I met my friend Wayne down at the marina this afternoon.  My main purpose in going to today was to inventory and see what I needed to go sailing.

Most of the ropes are stiff and dried out, but I think still useable.  They all probably need to be replaced.  We pulled up the main sail about half way, but it was very hard to pull up.  Since it was getting dark, I didn’t want to pull too hard and break something. There are these little tabs on the sail that fit into the mast.  They didnt’ seem to be sliding too well.  Is there some kind of spray I should use to help it slide up the mast?

self furling jib mechanism

self furling jib mechanism

We unfurled the jib, and it’s in tatters. I’ll have to replace it for sure. Good thing I have a spare sailboat and can use the jib from it.  We were there about two hours, and this is the only picture I thought to take.  Look at that cable with red coating on it ending in a very rusted piece of metal curved almost into a “C”.  What the heck is that?

Cleaned out the interior and brought home everything that wasn’t nailed down. Pulled out all the cushions, most are shot and were full of water. I think I’ll only be able to use them for patterns. Only one was missing – the full length bunk on the port side. I brought them all home to dry them out.

We also tried to raise the pop top, but it only went up a little ways.  There is a canvas boot around the mast, and it had been duck taped to the mast to keep water out.  I’ll have to replace that boot too.

Lots of mold inside, a good power washing and some bleach should take care of that.  All of the stowage covers are plywood, and they all seem wet, soggy and slightly rotten.  I’m thinking I’ll replace them with HDPE at some point.

There was a tiny lame paddle.  Not sure what good that would do if both the sails and the engine didn’t work?  Is a paddle even needed?

There is also a hole in the fiberglass in the gunwhale where a cleat ripped out.  I taped it over to keep the rain out, but it will need a fiberglass patch on it.  (Oh boy, my first fiberglass repair!)

Here is what I think I need to do to go day sailing.

  1. replace jib
  2. get gas in tank
  3. get required emergency items (flares, day signal, life jackets, throw ring)
  4. porta potty
  5. move tiller from O’Day 22 to this one
  6. go sailing!

Here are some projects that won’t prevent me from sailing, but ought to be done:

  1. Patch hole
  2. power wash inside, then bleach
  3. replace covers
  4. replace all lines
  5. replace gasket under pop top
  6. replace pop top boot around mast