2016 Cat Gathering

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No it's not a gathering of cats! It's a catboat race, or more accurately, a catboat parade. We signed up at Arey's Pond Boat Yard a couple of months ago, itching to have a date to test our sailing skills on the winter project Skerry, "Zeppelin". We've been fussing with her since her launch at the end of May, adjusting things like how to keep the yards close to the mast, (parrels for the yard, and a wrap of line for the boom), how to make the downhaul easier to adjust (a block and line, rather than just line to the cleat), how to keep the mast from squeaking (added a sock to her foot, before inserting the mast into the step). All these things have made her handier and more comfortable to sail.

So how did we do? We haven't seen the official results yet, but we figure we came in 3rd from last. Catboats are a lot faster than our skerry, even when close to the same length. We did pretty well, considering how light our boat is, and how inexperienced we are sailing her. We got a lot of nice comments from the fleet, for Norm's rowing out the channel, and the inherent beauty of the boat. Z came along as crew, and had a great time. He is becoming a very good sailor!

Our bowman! Z called out the other boats during the start. There were about 100 or more boats milling around the start line, to start in 3 classes. Not for the faint of heart!

Norm trimmed main, and took a turn at the tiller in this pic.

Zach and Tab, Alicia and Stos, and Marina, went out in a friend's powerboat to watch the parade of boats. Everyone had a grand ole time.


Averisera: A New White Bottom

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Ready for the water: 5 August 2016

Well, maybe we should start the diesel engine and find a mooring first.  Pettit Vivid White.

2016 Summer Garden

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Marina and I picked 20 lbs of tomatoes today, and made 6 quarts of tomato sauce. The tomato plants are putting out gorgeous roma tomatoes, which we like for sauce.

We also got quite a good supply of hot peppers! Hot pepper jelly is up next.

Averisera: The Bottom Paint Project.

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Prime coat prior to bottom paint.
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First coat of Jamestown Distributors TotalProtect Epoxy Primer.  We are very satisfied.  Check back in a few years for the final story, of course.  We rolled on two coats of primer and called it a day.  The temp was 75 F and the humidity very low.  Actually, it was a prefect day for the Skerry.

The primer dried quickly.  In fact it dried too quickly to paint within the "paint with bottom paint" window.  Tomorrow we will sand with 80 grit and roll on a coat of bottom paint.

A day ago, the bottom was all mottled with the layers of old finishes.  A finish of one color revealed a smooth bottom that is reasonalbly fair.  Later this day, we applied the second coat of primer.  The next day, Friday, we'll roll on the bottom paint.  Maybe, after it cures, I'll burnish it!

Averisera gets better looking every day.  Launch soon?

Averisera: Interior Refinishing

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The division of labor has Norm working outside and Elizabeth working inside.  So, equipped with a selection of sandpaper, her trusty DeWalt orbital, pots of varnish or paint plus related accessories... the interior spaces get more home-like every day.  Notably, the interior hull surfaces are painted almond white, large flat areas that are finished "bright" get satin varnish and the trim is finished with gloss varnish.  The natural wood looks old, almost antique in some parts.  It all looks better with a fresh coat of varnish.

Above:  In progress, the berth board and interior hull are both almond white.  The varnish is awaiting a clear day for coating.  The boat came to us with dark varnished berth boards looking worse for the wear.  The hull was a mix of gloss white and some sort of off-white wallpaper.

A few years ago, we removed the honkin' big speakers and that let in a lot of light to the foot of the quarter berth.  The five inch holes were covered with clear plexi.  This step has made the space less of a cavern.

Above:  A view of the forward cabin bulkhead, head area "hanging locker," and a glimpse into the forward cabin.  Elizabeth has applied gloss varnish to the trim piece and will use satin varnish on the bulkhead wood.  The overhead and tabbing are getting a new hull blanket before too long.  The mouse fur story is coming to an end.

We use interior finishes from MinWax and Rust Oleum.  We have used these products around the house and know their characteristics.  The Helsman-brand varnish from MinWax has UV protection and is easy to handle.  It is also about half the price of the marine store variety.  Same story with Rust Oleum paints.  They have good adhesion, are easy to use and don't cost much.  The down side is the limitation of colors.  Almond is OK and I don't know that we'd have really chosen a different one given more choices.

Averisera should be fun to sail, sail well, and comfy to live aboard.  Those are our goals with this project that started oh so long ago.

Averisera: Deck Paint Again

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Our first pass at rolling the paint on was a little inconsistent so we will roll on another coat of Pettit 3711 Platinum grey paint.

During the experimentation phase we learned that a 3/8 inch nap roller worked better than the 3/16 nap recommended by Pettit.  On a smooth surface that is the correct nap.  TreadMaster is anything but a smooth surface.  We did not try a coat of primer white when experimenting.  Now, we suspect a primer would have stabilized the absorbancy (if that's a word) of the decking material.


Too late.  We'll get another can of 3711 and roll on a second coat.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth is also sanding and varnishing below.  The wood is very variable in condition because somewhere in her past, Averisera was laid up ashore and flooded with rain and snow.  Her work is showing results and "decorate interior" is on the project list.

Also on the project list is sailing.  The light at the end of the tunnel is the end of the tunnel?

Averisera: Moving towards launch, deck paint!

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I have no idea how many hours are involved.  Someday, maybe, I'll try to guesstimate it.  Big things from today:  Elizabeth is almost finished with the renovations below.  On deck, we painted the TreadMaster decking.

In 2007, we bought the boat and she looked pretty darn nice.  The charcoal grey TreadMaster deck was a bit of an issue but we were not going to change it.  Oh my, it was hot on sunny days.  On occasion, a bucket of cold New England sea water would cool things quickly.

At boat shows, Norm talked with various paint salesmen who said there is no known way to paint TreadMaster.  So...  Norm painted a small section. After four years,  it looked as good as new. This year... as in TODAY... we painted the entire deck with Pettit Platinum 3711 single part paint.  TreadMaster is a bit like a sponge and really soaked up the finish.  It was hot and the finish was dry to the touch in an hour.  The boat looks super!

Above:  Before!  We lifted the mast supports and washed the deck aggressively with tri sodium phosphate and rinsed thoroughly.  Many deck fittings have been removed for the hull blanket project which follows in a few days.


Above:  Paint versus no paint.

Above:  Job done.  We will let the paint dry overnight and pull off the masking tape.  The Platinum does not look as blue in real life.  No matter, we like the new lighter color.

For two years the mast has been supported by a cradle we made.  It rested on the deck which we wanted to pain.  We ooched and wiggled the structure up to make the legs clear of the deck and painted under the legs without issue.

Only time will tell if the paint will hold out and we will remain satisfied with the job.  Heck, in five years, I'll be 71 and who at age 71 cares about style?  The boat will sail as well as she did after her launch in '84.  

Next big project?  Hull blanket.

Averisera: Sep 2014 to July 2016

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We hauled out in September of 2014 and started what we planned to make a winter's work of a few chores.  things we thought would just take a while.  Hmmm...  The renovation of Averisera proceeds.  

The bottom is scraped clean of old bottom paint and ready for barrier coat and bottom paint.  The mouse fur on the interior headliner is removed and the overhead ready for a new hull blanket.  Winches are off and cleaned and repaired as required.  The old instrument holes in the cockpit bulkhead are filled and fair, ready for paint.  The interior painted surfaces are refinished with an almond paint color.

It has been quite a process.  Remaining tasks:  Wash the deck in preparation for painting the deck light grey.  Tape off the areas we aren't painting on deck.  Sand and varnish the interior trim.  Install the new hull blanket.  Install the deck hardware.  Check the rig and launch.  Go sailing.

Above:  The port quarterberth has two coats of fresh paint.  We will install the newly painted berth boards and clean up the varnished surfaces.  

Above:  The berth boards are finally sanded, primed and painted  Looking much better.

Above:  The garage and truck (mobile shop) are doing super duty.  Someday we'll have a clean garage and a car back where it belongs.  But... for now.... it is all about boats.

The Garden

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Perennial flowers and various vegetables all going strong.  We are going to harvest a lot of tomatoes soon.  A special tip of the hat to my classmate from St Andrew's, Matt Tobin, of Tea Lane Nursery on Martha's Vineyard, who came buy one day with compost.  I had no idea a load of soil would make such a difference.  Thanks, Matt.



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Averisera has some old instrument holes left over from the days she had Occam instruments mounted on the bulkhead at the forward end of the cockpit.  They had been removed years ago and temporarily plugged.  This year we decided to do the job right.  Beveled the edges, made a "core" from okume plywood and laid up the cloth in vinylester resin.  Darn if it didn't work in large part because son Zachary gave us very helpful advice and some hard to find materials.  And, his mom, Elizabeth, is a clever worker in fibers and fabrics.  Now, she is a clever vinylester and fiberglass cloth worker.

At the start of the project, we had to bevel the edges on both side of the bulkhead and make a replacement core.  In the end, the surfaces will look as if no holes had ever been cut.  

To hole the okume "core" firmly in place, we fitted some wood and screws to hold the core  steady.
The holes are filled and glassed.  After the resin cures, Norm sanded them flush.

Norm, all suited up.

The process for the inside of the bulkhead was similar to the exterior.  In thins case, we over layed the repairs with a piece of cloth saturated with vinylester resin.  The interior will receive a new hull blanket in the coming days so the repair needs to be strong but cosmetically perfect.

The exterior of the repaired holes got a layer of Jamestown Distributor's TotalFair which is a good product, easy to use and strong.  Later the surfaces will be painter with Hatteras Off-White paint.  If the repair is conspicuous only because of the close enough paint job we are calling the repair a success.

The Fein Tool is a very fine tool for the work we just did grinding smooth and fairing the Occam Instrument holes.By the way, Occam Instruments are just fine.  The ones that came with the boat were old and failing.  Elizabeth and I are not racing at a very sophisticatred level where replacing Occams with Occams makes sense.

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