After an exciting two month un-expected semester abroad in Bermuda I was sad to leave but very excited to get working on the boat again. I brought back with me a couple of souvenirs. First, a name plate that I had carved at my friend Felixs house. They gave me a piece of 250 year old Bermuda cedar that was part of a building located on Front street in Hamilton, the countries capitol, to carve it out of. I then painted the name of the boat, Why Knot, in gold. The second item is a carbon fiber cup that I made. This will be essential for the boat to break the 6.25kt barrier. This is kind of like the speed of light for Pearson 26s. All joking aside I thought it was a fun project. Pictured below is the name plate and carbon cup.
The first visit back to the boat was slightly disheartening. During my time away both my dad and my friend Connor checked in on the boat multiple times, including a couple weeks before I returned. Every time they went the tarp looked pretty good. When I got to the boat for the first time the whole thing was a mess. It was quite windy a couple days earlier and I think that storm ended the cover. Luckily not much water had made its way into the boat and all is well.
I then got restocked with supplies from TotalBoat and it was back to work. The first activity was painting all the brown fake vinyl wood white. For this I used TotalProtect, a two part epoxy paint that is very durable. I applied three coats, sanding in-between coats when they had dried for too long. Here you can see the before and after for painting. The white really pops and makes the small cabin feel a bit larger.
I also finished up sanding the old green deck paint. I sanded it with 80 grit sand paper to knock off the loose material and provide an even surface for the new nonskid paint to bond. Next step - fairing the cockpit sole and painting some sweet new paint on there
With the help of my mom we sanded the old waterline off in preparation for a new boot stripe.
Next, I applied a second coat of grey epoxy bilge paint to the sail locker and starboard cubbies. This will fully cover these areas, protecting them well from the sails and gear getting tossed in for years to come.
Many months later the desk, table, compression posts and hatch are all completed. The desk, table and hatch were all scraped down to bare wood. For the desk and hatch I scraped off the old varnish and sanded to 320. I then filled in the cracks in the hatch with many rounds of TotalBoat penetrating epoxy. Once that cured I applied two coats of Wood Sealer and four coats of Gleam 2.0 varnish, roughing it up in-between coats with Scotch-Brite and sanding with 320 grit before the final coat. The change is especially noticeable in the hatch. It looks almost new. For the desk I striped all the varnish, sanded to 320 and then stained it mahogany to match the rest of the interior. I then applied Wood Sealer and Gleam 2.0 varnish to complete it. Finally, for the compression posts I sanded the original varnish with 320 grit and applied a couple more refresher coats.
The final project that I began was the keel. The keel is iron and was quite rusty when I got the boat. Also, at the keel-hull joint there was some separation and the sealant was no longer doing its job. My plan for the keel was to go over it with a scraper and TotalStrip to knock the bottom paint off. This stuff basically turns bottom paint into water in 15 mins. Then, grind as much of the rust off the keel as possible with a wire brush on an angle grinder and remove the loose sealant. Once the old sealant is gone I will apply new SEAL, fair the keel with TotalFair, fair the keel-hull joint with TotalFair, and then barrier coat the keel with TotalProtect before applying bottom paint. This weekend I ground down the keel, applied SEAL to the starboard side and applied TotalFair to the keel. It was quite a laborious task but the keel looks much better already.
I just wanted to let everyone know why there have not been many posts recently. I left for what was going to be a short trip to Bermuda on March 13th, but amidst the Coronavirus pandemic I decided it would be best to wait out the storm here. Right after I made that decision the airport shut down. So, for a while longer I will remain in Bermuda. Stay tuned for photos of this adventure though! Also, I do have some photos with me of Why Knot from about a month ago that I will make a couple posts with. Stay tuned for those. Stay healthy and safe and I hope to be back at the boat working soon enough to get her in the water this summer!
First, this week I worked on painting the compartments under the benches on Why Knot. The old paint was flaking off and in bad condition. The first step was to use TotalBoat TotalStrip to help strip the paint. There where only a couple layers of paint so I applied the TotalStrip in a thick coat and let sit for about 15 minutes. This worked well, and it was easy enough to remove with a paint scraper. Then, I used TotalBoat Dewaxer and surface prep to prep the surface. The Dewaxer can also be used to clean paint off tools and equipment which comes in very useful. Once the Dewaxer had evaporated, I used TotalBoat grey TotalBilge paint to coat the compartment. This is a super durable, epoxy based paint that is water proof and ideal for this application. I will put a second coat on next time it is warm enough. I also cut some new seat covers to cover the openings. They will also get coated in TotalBilge to protect them from possible moisture.
Next, I prepped and painted the bilge. There was no paint on it so for prep I vacuumed out any debris and then washed it down with TotalBoat Dewaxer and surface prep. Once evaporated, I painted the area with TotalBoat grey TotalBilge paint using a foam roller and cutting in around the keel bolts with a brush. I will also put a second coat down here next time it is warm enough.
Finally, I spent some time sanding bottom paint. My plan of attack for the paint is as fallows. For the bottom, I am sanding down to where the keel begins and putting on a couple coats of antifouling paint. While I do this I am keeping an eye out of blisters. So far so good. For the keel, I am going to strip it completely down in order to apply a barrier coat. The plan for the hull is to remove the old paint and repaint it with TotalBoat WetEdge paint. Right now it has the always classy "rustoleum paint job", so I am excited to see how it looks with new paint. Finally, I am using TotalBoat TotalStrip to strip the old, green deck paint off and repaint it with TotalBoat TotalTread non-skid paint. This will be a vast improvement over the current deck paint.
The last few weeks I have been working on patching the main, made a cupholder and I have been chipping away at refinishing the wood and a few other projects that are close to complete ( I will let everyone know when they are done and make a post on them shortly hopefully). Today I was able to put a patch on the main where there where some holes. This was my first time patching a sail and it was quite fun to learn how to do. The folks at Sperry sails were very helpful in instructing me. In the gallery of images below you can see the progression of making the patch. It begins with marking out the area for the patch, tracing the dacron, cutting the patch, melting the edges, and then sewing the patch on.
I also made a cupholder for the boat. It will most likely be installed below the port cockpit speaker. It is made out of walnut with a resin river. The river is made using TotalBoat clear 2:1 resin with some Black Diamond pigments for color. I also incorporated some LED lighting into it for effect. I will be sure to post photos once it is installed.
Today I got set up for and began varnishing. I am lucky enough to have been loaned some space in a loft at school for this project. I set up two work areas to limit contamination from dust. One table is for prepping the wood in between coats and the other is for applying the varnish. For varnishing I am first building the layers using Total Boat gleam 2.0 gloss spar varnish. Then, for the last two or three coats I will use Total Boat gleam 2.0 satin spar varnish. The combination should result in a beautiful matte finish.
I also picked up my new standing rigging from R and W ropes this week. The new rigging looks fantastic and I could not be more pleased with their work.
This weekend was very productive. On Friday I had a spare hour and was able to replace the broken bilge pump.
On Saturday I dove into electrical. This is really new to me so it was a bit of trial and error. The first task was to wire up a second 12V DC panel because the original one is out of connections. To do this I ran an 8 awg cable directly from the positive battery terminal to the box. I then led another 8 awg cable from the battery to a negative bus. I then ran a 10 awg cable from the bus to the panel.
After getting the fuse board working I was very excited and just had to wire the sound system to it. I had chosen the exact same size and brand speakers that where originally in the boat to try to make for an easy install. This worked well. I simply removed the old speaker, attached the wires and then applied TotalBoat Seal to keep any water out before screwing them into the cabin. Once the speakers where installed it was a matter of tracking the wires back, threading them through a hole behind the sink and attaching them to the proper wires on the stereo. I then repeated these steps three more times for the other cockpit speaker and the two cabin speakers. The sound system sounds amazing and will be waterproof for a very long time thanks to the Seal.
On Sunday a Tabor alum named Aidan came by to help. With his help we where able to properly mount the fuse panel. It looked really good once it was mounted. Then, he helped me drop the 85lb rudder. To do this we tied a piece of rope through the head of the rudder post, knocked the bolt out, then I ran down below to lower it down. The reason for removing the rudder is two fold. First, I wanted to inspect the condition of the rudder post which is known to corrode and break. The rudder post was quite corroded but most of the pitting was not too deep and I feel comfortable keeping the rudder until at least next season. The other reason was to fix the play that was in the steering. The rudder could move about half an inch at the bottom due to a worn out bushing. Not ideal, especially when going over any sort of wave. In the photos below you can see how the original rudder bushing is very worn away. Aidan and I sanded the corrosion off the rudder post and installed a new bushing. To install the bushing I used TotalBoat Seal because of its adhesion and sealant properties. It is essential that water cannot get past this ring as it will further corrode the rudder. The seal will be perfect for this, along with securing the bushing in place well. This should help with the lateral play in the steering. Overall a really fun a productive weekend working on the boat. Stay tuned for next week!
The Pearson 26 now has a name! When I had the opportunity to do this project I thought to myself, "why not?" So, I have decided to name her "Why Knot". See, the name fits perfectly!
Now, for a progress report. I'll start with the leaky port-side window. The window was leaking a lot, causing water to rot the wood panel below it.
The first step in this process was to remove the window. Surprisingly, the window was not secured with much to the cabin. The frame was secured with screws that sandwiched the window against the fiberglass. Also, it was caulked into place, adhering it to the outside of the cabin. To remove the window I removed the frame and began cutting the caulk away with a utility knife. After removing the caulk I was able to simply pop it out of the cabin. Now, it was time to re-seal the window. The old gasket was brittle and useless. I used a great product from Total Boat called Seal. This product comes in a 10oz. cartridge and was very easy to apply. I used painters tape to tape off around the window in prepraation for some squeeze out of the Seal. When dry, Seal provides a highly elastic seal blocking out the water and stopping leaks. This is perfect for my leaky window. I was able able sand the remainder of the seal off. Now the newly sealed window is in place and ready for the summer!
On to my next project...refinishing the floorboards. The floorboards where in poor shape when I got the boat. The paint was chipping off them and the wood coating was in poor shape. Because the wood could possibly come in contact with bilge water I felt that it was essential to have the boards properly sealed. I began by sanding off all the old varnish and bilge paint. I then repainted the boards with Total Boat TotalBilge grey bilge paint. This paint is epoxy based and very durable, making it perfect for these floor boards that will be covering the bilge. I used the same paint on the sail locker for its mildew resistance. Once the boards where painted on the bottom, I prepped the top for clear epoxy. I used 220 grit sand paper to sand the wood and then used acetone to prep the wood. For epoxy I used Total Boat 2:1 clear penetrating epoxy cold weather formula. This epoxy is perfect for protecting the wood from the environment by sealing it. The boards looked better than new after the epoxy was applied and I can't wait to place them back on the boat in the spring.
Today we painted the sail locker using TotalBoat's TotalBilge grey epoxy bilge paint. I am so happy with how the first coat turned out! The paint rolled on effortlessly, even in a VERY tight space. The final result in the locker looks like a million bucks, now all that is left is to paint the locker cover and to cut around the wiring with a brush.
I began this weekend preparing the cockpit lockers for new gray Total Boat bilge paint. It was too cold out to paint, but it is never too cold to sand. I put some 50 grit sand paper onto the sander and taped the shopvac on as a dust collection system. This seems to work pretty well, as there was not much dust. I got most of the sanding done, about 2/3, and all that is left before painting is to hit a few more spots with the sander and tape off the area for paint. I am very excited to see how great this new paint will look. As you can see in the photos below, the paint in the locker is very old and flaky, not very pleasing to look at and it gets all over everything that is placed in the lockers. The new Total Boat bilge paint will be a great solution to this problem.
The next day I did not have so much time so I began building the frame for the tarp. The frame is built out of three 1/2" PVC ribs that are spliced together with connectors. The ribs where screwed straight into the life-line bases. Running in-between the ribs are two 1/2" diameter sections of PVC. Once the tarp is on the boat there will be two 4' LED light bars attached to the lateral pieces to supply light.
Finally, I found an old sail boat that was being thrown away. The boat was mahogany on oak. I went and took some of the mahogany off of it for projects. It was in rough shape, but with a little work with the table saw I was able to make nice small planks that will be used in future projects, such as a stair into the cabin.
Today was a day that I have been waiting a while for. After surviving many storms on the mooring, it is finally haul day. Step one was to put the Whaler in the water, as it would be our tow boat. The 5:30 am wakeup was much easier on paper.
After putting the boat in the water, we tied up to the Pearson 26 and began the 40 minute journey to the Fort Adams ramp
Once at the ramp the folks at Brownell Systems promptly arrived and hauled out the boat on their hydraulic trailer. Then, it was off to the boat yard 50 miles away in Mattapoisett Mass. where it was put on stands and blocks, ready for work to begin.
Hello! My Name is Stuart Wemple. Welcome to my blog about the refit of my Pearson 26, Why Knot.