Friday, June 8, 2012



It seems as though progress has been slow, but checking my photo files I realize this is not the case. Several  non-boat related projects have been completed, freeing me up to concentrate on the Ballad again.

The damage around the table supports in the cockpit floor greeted me every time I climbed into the boat, so it was time to attend to that job.

Leaking damaged area around table leg sleeve.
I cut out the damaged areas around both sockets and filled them with epoxy-soaked plugs, adding a layer of epoxy to fill them back to original floor level.

Epoxy/plywood plug.
A reinforcing piece was added below to strengthen the repair, and allow leg sockets to be added, if needed, in the future.

Epoxy/plywood reinforcement patch, curing with a little help from a heat lamp.

Next job on the list was to install the thru-hulls, using the backing plates I'd made earlier (see previous post). First came the pad installation. It's very important that these line up fair and square with the hardware being installed, so much care was taken.

Measuring amount to trim off thru-hull.

Trimming off the thru-hull.

Epoxy around thru-hull.

"Buttering" pad with thickened epoxy.

... and pressing down onto hull.

Finished product. (Note: Thru-hull has not been caulked into the sea-cock, just used to get pad alignment perfect. Both pieces are coated with release wax. The final install is done when epoxy has cured.)

Galley and engine sea cocks.
Before the pads had set up completely the thru hulls were wound out again and cleaned up. After the pads had set up, the seacocks were liberally coated with Sikaflex 291 Fast Cure and set on the pads. Then the thru-hull threads were coated with the same sealant and wound up into the sea cock. (Care was taken not to get any sealant up into the ball part of the valve.)

After tightening the thru hull, the sea cocks were also tightened down. Much excess 291 was squeezed out and cleaned up. Masking off the areas helped a lot, but it's still a messy job. No photos, as I had on sticky vinyl gloves  and wasn't about to grab my camera!

I'd let go of the idea of getting the mechanical systems up and running first, so moved over to working on the interior fitting out instead.

My choice of ceiling material is a good quality indoor/outdoor carpet. This worked well in my last two project boats so I decided to use it again. Available stock was a little dark in colour for my liking, but as very little will actually show in the main cabin I went with it anyway.
Starting carpet in the V-berth area.
V-berth sides done.
On my Vega I'd used a solvent-based glue. It took several months for the smell to completely leave, so this time I select a friendlier type of adhesive.
This is what I used, from Home Depot.
I tried spreading with a notched trowel with little success, and after trying several different methods a cheap 3" paint brush finally did the trick, spreading an even layer on the uneven fiberglass surface.
Brushed-on glue.
... and installed carpet.
With the carpet all glued in, the boat took on a whole new look. Things were finally rolling! Woodwork in the V-berth came next,
V-berth woodwork.
... then the main cabin bulkheads. The starboard side bulkhead was too big to fit through the hatch so was made in two pieces and joined in the boat. The two pieces are grooved 1/4" wide  x 1/2" deep and joined with a glued-in 1/4" x 1" plywood tongue. The edges of the two parts were sanded to make a very small V-groove along the joint.

Bulkhead being joined on temporary table across main cabin.
Main bulkheads in.
Next jobs are the mast beam and lintel between the main bulkheads, then work my way aft to install the remaining bulkheads.

The end of this month will mark a year of working on the restoration. I could have had it  finished by now, if that's all I'd focused on. But that would have turned the project into a chore rather than the pleasure it's been!
Next Post: One year in Restoration: The Boat Rescue.

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