1981 C&C Landfall 38 "Stella Blue" -- 2005 work Log

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Back to Home ... s/v Stella Blue home... Maintenance Logs

1/3/2005 -- Major rain storms, but I did get the two forward stanchions mounted. The amidships gates will require drilling and caulking holes, so must wait for the weather to clear. That might be weeks, according to the satellites. Spent the time mounting more lights and pulling wire. Mounted a bright Xenon over the galley, and one on the starboard side over the bench. Measured for awning and bought materials.

1/10/2005 -- Raining non-stop forever. Southern CA is having a 10 year storm (16 inches in 2 weeks) and 101 is closed and people are buried under mudslides in the usual places where people get buried every 10 years.
My friends are ok.
It might be clear this weekend, so I can finish the stanchions.
Cut the counter under the companionway flush with a small skil saw and glued new teak trim in place, so that the companionway steps can be mounted directly under the companionway (that's always bugged me) and will reposition the steps next weekend. Naturally, it turned into a project, albeit a short one. I'd put this one off because I want to remake the steps with lifting lids that can hold tools, but what the heck I'll get around to that. The drawings have been hanging on my wall for two years now, and I'm just going to move the frickin steps and do the project later.

1/16/2005 -- Moved the steps. Some finish work on newly exposed teak is needed. Sewed the first two stages of the awning and took it to the boat to fit. I totally screwed up measuring, but I'll hack something together that looks like I meant to do it in the first place! Finished mounting the stanchions and gates, so I can finally start on lifelines. I think I'll have them made.

Ordered Radar.

1/21/2005 -- Moved the ground wires for bilge pumps to the shunt. (Been meaning to do that since I installed the shunt!) Added a SS Rail to the galley in preparation for the shelf I'll put over the galley counter. That's a low priority project, but it's good to take the first step. Worked on the awning, and measured for Life lines.

1/29/2005 -- Spent Saturday fitting and fussing with my new awning. I'm pleased.
Installed little seat backs for the cockpit seats.
Radar arrived!
Took the radar console to the boat to try and figure out how to make it fit. Moved the VHF over a couple of inches, and I think I can make the radar fit where I want it. Planning, planning, planning.

2/6/2005 -- Bought a RAM mount for the Radar console. Glued together a block of mahogany scraps to bolt the RAM mount on, and did a quick check at the boat to make sure I'm on track. Did some planning on the pole location. Made fiberglass shims for hardware (lights, flag pole) that will be mounted on the radar pole. Made a Seaboard platform to bolt to the SS plate on top of the tower to protect and strengthen the mount. Trial mounted the Radome, trial mounted the TV and backup VHF antenna. Still need to drill holes in the pipe for the wires. Assembled the back extension to the awning, ready to go down to the boat and measure for the next step. Made a little strap to slip around the back stay, so that I can get rid of the little cleat that the awning currently snaps onto.

2/13/2005 -- Installed the Radar Console, and the sides for the awning. It started to rain. Nice to be dry in the cockpit. The new lines for the asym showed up.

2/20/2005 -- Drilled and polished the holes to run wires through the antenna mounts on the pole. Planning. Caulked the radome onto the platform. Whipped asym lines. Bought Wichard shackle for the tack. Ran what I hope is the final DC line down the starboard side, and put the starboard DC outlets on a separate wire like I should have in the first place. (It was wrong to splice them into the lights, but three years ago I got lazy for a moment.) Started planning AC runs down the port side, and DC runs for refrigerator. Installed powered gain adjustment for the TV antenna, once I install the radar mast. Epoxied flat fiberglass plates under the location where I'm going to install padeyes for turning blocks for the asym. Made little rope hooks for the awning sides. Ordered the lifelines.

3/4/2005 - Radar Mast. Saturday drilled hole in deck, epoxied teak block to the hull, pulled wiring, prepared. Sunday worked on getting the actual mast through the deck and attached. Most of the day spend making sure it was lined up right. Some problems as I used an ABS pipe to line things up (the SS pole is *heavy*) and discovered that the ABC pipe was bowed, and so needed to do some significant adjustments to make things line up.

3/13/2005 - Raised the radar mast and put in most of the braces. I need to add two more braces under the deck next weekend, and I think I need to fabricate something to for a lateral brace up higher. This boat will heel 40 degrees, and I don't want to have the mast flexing around when beating into chop.

3/20/2005 - Added braces under the deck, made the pole secure. Ran all the wiring, and secured it. Wired everything up and played with my new radar. Cleaned the interior and put the tools away and did the dishes, then waited for sundown to admire the lights. Stern light and flood lights look nice. I need to make some physical adjustments and do the magnetometer voltage test on the radar next weekend.
Oh, also put the new lifelines on. I messed up one measurement, but it was too long, which will save me.

4/3/2005 -- Took some Stainless Steel Buffing Compound and did the pulpit and the remaining original stainless to make it shine like the new stuff. That made a big mess, as the compound is very waxy and the residue settled all over the boat and required a good scrub. It needed a good scrub anyway.

Changed the oil and transmission fluid, and removed the Racor to bring it home and give it a serious scrub. It was getting really dirty. I'm looking forward to replacing the fuel tank next winter.
I want to spend the summer sailing.

When scrubbing the boat, I pulled the cockpit teak grate and gave everything a serious scrub. My cockpit sole is in bad shape. I know the core is rotten at the stern. That's for next winter!

4/10/2005 -- Brightwork, and cleaning up to go sailing. Changed all engine fluids and all filters, including the one on the engine. Had to bleed it after that.

4/16/2005 -- Toe Rails all done. Sailed up to China Camp and hung out on the hook. That was nice. Got stuck in the mud on the way home, and definitely blew all the carbon out of the exhaust system!

5/1/2005 -- Scrubbed and Waxed the decks using Aurora products. I ran out of wax. The decks really sucked up the Sure-Step non-skid wax, and I used 6 cans and only did 3/4 of the boat. Bummer. We'll see how well it works this year before I consider finishing.

5/8/2005 -- Cleaned the topsides with Aurora Boat Clean and Aurora Boat Scrub. That stuff really works, and removed the oxidation on the hull without removing gel coat. Amazing. Then did one coat of Aurora Boat Shine. It looks great. I should do the recommended second coat, but it's raining today and my arms are really sore. The stuffing box is dripping pretty bad. Was going to wait until I repower and just replace the whole thing, but may have to try and crank down on it. I haven't needed to adjust it until now, and I know it wasn't adjusted during the years the boat sat derelict, so the nuts are very frozen. Loosening them without torquing the log will be a challenge.

6/5/2005 -- It's been a month. Sailing a lot. Nice Memorial Day weekend raftup at Angel Island.
Adjusted stuffing box, as it had worked loose (probably when I got stuck in the mud and had to power off back in April.) That was a chore, tight fit. Prepped the dorade boxes and began to paint them. Making little wood odds and ends in the shop, to be installed as time permits. Added a pole to the awning, and set up rigging so it works during the summer, leaving 6'4" headroom in the cockpit. Made a towing bridle for the dinghy, and straps to tie it down on deck.

7/1/2005 -- Been sailing. Pulled a DC run for the TV, and also wire for the port DC outlets (it was a bad idea to put them on the light circuit.) Also pulled two AC runs for the port side: One for shore power and another for the inverter. Pulled the deck tangs above the aft bulkheads to have them remade with larger deck plates.

7/6/2005 -- Finished the TV, and watched movies all weekend. Finished the new hard vang. Spliced little eyes into the dinghy transom for the lifting harness. Pulled the Deck Tangs in back, as I discovered *rot* in the port aft bulkhead. I'm going to have to do some repair there.

7/9/2005 -- Replaced the Deck Tangs in back, with required pulling out the storage shelf over the double quarterberth to determine the extent of the rot. Also mounted the SS plate by the mast, and worked on wiring. Mounted two toe-breaker padeyes up forward, to serve as fairleads for the spinnaker tack line, and also for tie down points.

7/16/2005 -- Mounted a SS plate in front of the windlass, to protect the gelcoat with the chain rode is dropping into the locker. Mounted the braces for the radar mast, as it really wobbled when close-hauled into 25+ knots. (We get that here rather often.) Cleaned up the boat to spend next weekend sailing.

7/23/2005 -- Sailing and hanging out on the hook. Set up the hammock on the foredeck and read a book.

7/30/2005 -- Cleaned a few things up. Rebuilt the pressure water pump (Jabsco PAR Diaphragm model 36950-1000) which failed when an internal valve wore out. I rebuilt it with parts from an old pump that someone gave me a few years back. The internal valves work fine and the pump is working, but now it leaks from the top diaphragm. I guess I should have replaced that. It's about time to dive into rebuilding the whole water system, since the hot water heater leaks and is due to be replaced (and moved) and the pipes/valves are still in place leading to the old v-berth water tank (that I pulled out years ago.)

I discovered diesel in the bilge, yikes. Gotta trace that down. Stuffing box is leaking again. With my V-Drive, as the shaft turns in forward it can loosen the nut if it's not tight enough, and I guess I didn't get it tight enough. It was fine, but both times it has come loose was when I was going full throttle in forward. The first time was when I got stuck in the mud last spring, and last weekend I had to really goose it to avoid the beer can racers who were racing or practicing right in front of my marina. There were 15 of them, and the estuary is pretty tight so there was no clear path to motor through and I had to do some wild throttle maneuvers to wend my way through the pack.

Also worked on the shelf over the galley counter. That's coming together nicely. Added Xenon light over galley shelf and under the TV cabinet. Sergio made a new SS rail for the awning, so now it's permanent, like a bimini.

8/6/2005 -- Worked on the galley shelf in the shop, made it to the boat Sunday. Repaired the rot in the aft bulkhead. Figured out how to connect the TV directly to the 12V system, and wired it in with a three-way switch so that I can select DC or Inverter. Power consumption dropped in half (3.3A) when it's running straight from DC. Cut a hole for the final AC outlet in the galley, need to make a teak plate to mount the outlet box stronger. Mounted another light -- lighting replacement is taking me years! Pulled the hideous vinyl cover off the hull in the double quarterberth. Actually, just put it in the trash as it had totally fallen off. Experimented a bit with solvents to remove the degraded foam backing.

8/14/2005 -- Finished repairing the rot and bolted down the port side aft deck tang, so the boat can be sailed again. Whew. Removed all the deteriorated foam rubber that was stuck to the hull in the port quarterberth. It was messy. I used mineral spirits and a wire brush, then wiped the area down with "Goof-Off" and rags, while wearing a respirator and having two fans running. It didn't remove all the old adhesive, but did get it down to the valleys in the fiberglass roving, and stable enough to where I think it'll be safe to paint over it. Epoxied thin strips of 1/4" marine ply to the hull, in preparation for lining the quarterberth with mahogany strips. Finished the port side AC run, which should be it for AC wiring, since I already pulled the wire for the new water heater and don't anticipate any other AC requirements. Hooray!

8/21/2005 -- Short weekend. I finished painting the quarterberth, so that I can leave it alone and live with it until I can get around to lining it with mahogany. Also painted the headliner in the head, which is actually a bit too thick and might need to be sanded and rolled. We'll see if it bothers me.

9/18/2005 -- Installed the shelf over the galley. It's been a long month, with lots of work (the kind that pays the bills) and company in town. Labor Day weekend was camping up at Loon Lake (took the dink.) Then sailing. Next weekend more family in town. I decided to hold off finishing the aft quarterberth until after this winter's repower project, so I'll call "phase 1" complete and put the mahogany slats up next year.

The repower plan is coming together. After next weekend's sailing with Margaret and Rich, I'll start disconnecting the engine. It must happen now, since the fuel tank leak is getting worse. Or, maybe it's not worse but I'm just sick and tired of f***ing with it. It weeps, and evaporation keeps up, but in reality the whole compartment is just sitting in a pool of diesel. Every time I sail, I must suck the fuel out of the area around the fuel tank or else when I heel over the diesel crap works up into the bilge. I've just hit the limit of my patience, and it's time. When I bought the boat, I knew I had to rebuild the rig completely and also deal with the problems under the cockpit. Rebuilding the rig sucked my energy dry for a while, and left me unwilling to deal with the engine compartment until I worked up to it.

I'm worked up to it. The next six months are going to be interesting.

10/2/2005 -- Preparing to pull the engine. Pumped all the fuel out of the tank and gave it away, making new friends around the marina. Removed all the fuel lines. Removed the bulkhead by the companionway and pulled the Raritan water heater. Removed the mixer elbow. Removed many raw water lines, still have some to go. Cleaned up some wiring.

Scared myself pretty well when I drained the coolant. I stuck a hose in a bucket, and was going to push the start button and stop button at the same time to pump all the coolant out of the engine. The engine started up! I forgot that I had snipped the wire to the engine kill solenoid. So the engine was running, with no coolant, no raw water, and no exhaust system -- just pumping black smoke into the cabin. I had no way to shut it off. Then I realized that the fuel system was also disconnected, so I opened the throttle (thank goodness I hadn't disconnected that yet) to let it run clean, and just let it go. It took about three minutes to die, and the engine never got too hot to touch so I'm safe. I'm sure glad I still had oil in it. I probably killed the raw water impeller, but that's no big deal. At least now there's no fuel in the engine lines.

One more weekend of preparation, and we'll be ready to pull.

10/22/2005 -- After Barry from Svendsen's came by to scope out the job, I had to pull the counter tops from directly under the companionway. That involved cutting one of them in half, because I didn't want to remove the bottom of the main DC panel area. The main DC ground bus is attached there.

10/26/2005 -- Pull the engine. It went well, but it rained.

10/29/2005 -- Scrubbed the outside of the boat and put the dodger back on, and set up the awning. With the engine out, I'm really high at the stern and the water at the front of the cockpit is an inch deep. I was planning on adding drains there anyway (as well as at the very back) so that might be the first thing I do.

Then I spent a few hours scrubbing the engine area with Simple Green and McGuire's Bilge Cleaner. It didn't work as well here as it did on the main cabin bilges, and I wonder if they have changed the formula. This bottle didn't say anything about Enzymes, and the last one did. Hmm. Well, it's clean enough to work in, and it's going to get dirty again. I figure I'll have to scrub it about five times before it'll be clean enough to paint.

Began to disassemble the steering, to pull the pedestal. One pedestal bolt won't come off. I'll try the Dremel tool to cut a deeper groove before I consider drilling it out. The guard rails came off pretty easily. The core under the forward rail isn't just rotten, it's rotted away. There's nothing inside the deck but wet mushy air. This is going to be interesting.

Cut holes and filled with epoxy for new cockpit drains in the forward corners.

11/6/2005 -- Finished removing pedestal. Had to drill out the bolts. All of the steering is out except the radial quadrant wheel. There's one bolt remaining that doesn't want to come out. I tried an impact wrench and lots of penetrating oil, but that didn't do any good. Next weekend I'll have to wash it down well and try a torch. It must come off, if for no other reason than I need to drop the rudder in a few years and it'll have to come off then, so I might as well make sure I can get it off. I hope I don't have to drill out the bolt, as it's a long bolt, and that would mean buying a new radial wheel. Hopefully a torch will work.

I cut a 10" square from the sole directly under the old pedestal. It's worse than I suspected. The rotten core extends forward 18 inches. It was balsa forward, and plywood towards the stern, with the transition directly under the pedestal. With the engine out, the bow is sitting very low, so I removed the sole top as far forward as necessary and cleaned out the rot. Then I removed the good balsa for one inch under the clean edge, and packed the edge with epoxy putty. This will prevent further water intrusion into the good core while I figure out the rest of the project.

11/13 - Finished removing the steering. Big deal, torch and stuff. Cleaned out rotten core in most of the sole. Got drunk.

11/20/2005 -- Pulled the Fuel Tank. Finished ripping out the rest of the cockpit sole. It was rotten to the edges. Filled sand bags for weight when I recore. Got drunk. New steering system is here.

11/27/2005 -- Recored the sole.

12/4/2005 -- Worked on parts. Ground down the base for the new pedestal and pre-drilled the mounting holes, and prepared it for a finish. Debating paint vs. gel coat. Made the backing plate to keep the steering idler wheels in the proper position. Made a Seaboard plate for the top of the pedestal, to mount the new compass. Measured for plywood blocks to epoxy onto the bottom of the sole for mounting wires. Cleaned idler wheel plate and thrust bearing. Didn't spend much time at the boat, as I need a break.

12/11/2005 -- Ground down the sole to prepare to glass the seams. Installed the first cockpit drain forward.

12/18/2005 -- Raining (lightly) but the awning kept the cockpit dry so I was able to epoxy Knytex tape over the sole and build it up into a slight dome shape. Now must finish the pedestal base, and then lay the finish panels over the whole thing. Pulled the muffler and all the extraneous hoses out of the engine area. Removed all old tie-wraps and screws, and filled with epoxy. Removed a great deal of what once was the bulkhead at the base of the old starboard quarterberth, and really opened up storage in the lazarette. Ready to grind and sand and clean, to epoxy repairs in place, create base for new fuel tank and so on. Then I can paint!

12/23/2005 -- Christmas to New Years. This year, it's just all dedicated to the boat.

Spent the evenings putting a finish on the new block under the pedestal. It's been difficult, as I'm painting it with Gelcoat and I've had a hard time getting it thin enough to look good.

A whole bunch of small parts are accumulating in the living room. It's getting difficult to walk around the house. Made little wood blocks to hold T Bolts for the access hatch under the helm seat. Took the cover for the access hatch and ground a groove in it with my Handy Dremel Tool, then scrubbed and painted.

Made little round blocks for mounting the engine room lights. Made long marine ply strips to reinforce under the sole, and to epoxy along the edges for wires and other things, so I don't have to drill up into the sole.

Fixed the rudder stop blocks. Took a sander and wire wheel to the entire engine compartment, and made a huge mess. Scrubbed everything again with three different kinds of cleaner/degreaser, and hosed the back of the boat down again. Drilled out the holes for the stern limber holes, and put heat lamps on them to dry out the wood really well.
Routed out the teak supports for the companionway steps, with little grooves in them so water can drain away from the toolbox compartments.

Flipped some of the instruments in the new engine panel upside down, so I can mount it upside down and see it better. (grin) I want the tach, oil and temp gauges on the bottom, so I can see them from the helm easily. I flipped the tach, but will flip it back and live with it upside down. Heck, the RPM range I'm interested in is at the top of the guage, and I want that on the very bottom so I can see it from the helm.

Installed wood blocks for engine room lights, and glassed in a couple of support braces. That was probably overkill, with the sole being rebuilt, but what the heck.

Pulled the old fuel tank back to the boat, so that I can use it to form the supports for the new fuel tank.
After a failed attempt with cheap body putty (too runny) I put some Play-Doh under the fiberglass battens for the new tank supports, and plopped the old tank down on it so it will press the battens into the proper position.