Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Dirty Truth Behind Boat Projects...

rev. 8-10-2011 that they take a lot more bits and pieces and tools that the typical DIY blogger lets on. A devious and intentional  trap for the unwary.

Kick-Up Plates for the PDQ 32

It's no secret to any PDQ 32 owner that when an engine isn't locked down--forgetfulness or mechanical glitches within the engine hold-down mechanism--the pull-up rope will get caught in the prop and wind the engine into the bridge deck. Do it far above idle--I did once in order to stop for a fool cutting across a confined channel--and the anti-cavitation plate can chop right through the glass. The boat had some big dents from this when I bought it and now, a small breach into the foam.

Reinforcement seems wise, and in a way it makes the repair simpler, since I don't need to fair the surface or match gelcoat. But I do need to make a pair of plates.

But that over simplifies the process. Even for this trivial project, I needed slew of tools and materials to make the plates and install them:
  • Tape measure
  • Sharpie
  • Circular saw
  • Preleminated 3/16-inch FRP (new free surplus from a wastewater plant)
  • Angle grinder w/75 grade disk
  • Orbital sander with 150 grade paper
  • Paint brush
  • Mineral spirits (for the brush)
  • Isopar C (to remove the wax)
  • Briteside paint
  • West Systems resin and 105 hardner
  • Cabosil M5 silica thickener (left over from a Contact Climbing Gear, a company I ran that sold, among other things, rock climbing chalk)
  • Masking tape
  • Cup and mixer for epoxy
  • Paper towels
These plates will be epoxied to the under side of the bridge deck in the impact zone. (note: on the very next trip we wound-up a line in the prop and knocked a dent into the 1/4-inch FRP plates! Clearly any cosmetic repair would have been destroyed.) (still good, 12-2015)

    Stove Knob for Seaward Princess

    I few days before I had to repair a knob on the stove; a large skillet wandered too far to the right and cooked the knobs, resulting in some superficial melting and shattering of the spline. Not good, as it could have resulted in leaving the gas on.
    • 3/8-inch PVC pipe
    • hacksaw (but I was lazy and used a porta-band, since it was plugged in on the bench).
    • Drill press
    • Press vise
    • Bench vise
    • Bench grinder
    • 3/8-inch bit
    • Calipers
    • drill gauge
    • Ruler
    • PVC glue
    The pipe forms a sleeve which is a tight press fit over the broken bits. Generally stronger than the original, this is a repair I have use in the house before.  I'll get some spare knobs, when I find a good phone number to the local rep! (note: neither local rep ever called back. The repair appears better than new. Fingers are crossed.) (still good, 12-2015)

      A few days before I made a new step for the boarding ladder, and the list was longer.

        Each of these jobs could be done with fewer tools, but my hat goes off to cruisers than can tackle even the simplest projects with a few hand tools, a rechargeable drill, and time.

        And there is more around the corner, more behind me, more in the car, and more on the boat, and the stack in the next room of supplies ready to go to Deale to repaint the bottom.

        I could have lied, of course, and explained that this is the work room we keep in a spare cabin.


        1. You are absolutely right about the DIY projects. I post a lot of those on our blog too. The average joe isn't usually equipped with a shop already loaded up with tools and various bits of materials like us hard-core McGeezers have accumulated over several years or decades. It must be a little frustrating to someone living in an apartment or condo to see me do some project that to me ( or you) would be a simple three minutes with a drill press and sanding drum or hole saw, for example. You can buy a drill press for $ 100, but most people won't have one. Or the sanding drum. Or the hole saw.

          Since we've pretty much settled on a PDQ as the brand we want to buy, you'll probably find me following you around hanging on your every word about PDQ experience. We'll be going for the 36 version.

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        3. I could feel guilty about the shear volume and cost of the tools and supplies, and the space they take. On the other hand, much was inherited, found, left over, for a commercial or personal project, and the rest has been diluted over a thousand projects. Overall, the economics and the therapy value are both very good.

          Mostly I'm happy when I can use something up and see it go out the door as something worthwhile. I try very hard not to just hoard. Anymore, if something comes in, something goes out.