Author: arthaberland

There’s a hole in the hull!

And for once, it’s a good thing! After losing most of the month of August and part of September with moving and setting up house, I finally got back to Flirt. Sadly it was a short day as I was all set up to do some major work of cutting open her hull to get at the keel bolts and what they are bolted through. My SeaSprite’s keel appears to be drooping some at the forward edge. I had this fear that like every other piece of wood in Flirt, I would find a slab of rotted wood embedded deep in the hole that the keel bolts go through. Today I went out with my trusty cordless drill, a spare battery, and a paddlebit to do a bit of exploratory surgery. What I found was a complete absence of rotted wood. In fact I found no wood at all. My 1963 SeaSprite’s hull is over an inch thick (closer to an inch and a half) where it meets the hunk of lead suspended from it. …

No such thing as a “free boat”

I do apologize for the lack of updates, land based things have crept in and taken over the past couple of week, bringing work to Flirt to an utter and complete halt. I have some Vacation time coming up soon, so hopefully I can do my “keel bolt party” then. Until that fateful time, I thought I would share a boat I found near me for “sale”. It’s a Catboat, which I have a fond affinity for. It is made of plywood and epoxy, which is not a bad thing. It is Free, which is always a plus. She is also pretty badly damaged with many nicks and bits of epoxy knocked off. She also has at least one hole in her bottom and her wooden mast is split down the middle. It’s probably a good thing she was not available when I bought Flirt. No name on this Catboat, but her registration numbers hail from Mississippi, so I am sure she has a few stories to tell… In the mean time, I will let …

a Few Tile effort

In getting ready to move (again) I found myself wandering Home Depot before picking up some of their cheap cardboard boxes. As the moving effort will require renovations to a few bedrooms and closets, I was walking through the flooring area when I spotted something on the shelf I could use on Flirt. In a previous post, I showed off my cheap Origo Alcohol stove. Well, with any stove, you need to put down metal beneath and around it to protect the wood (and epoxy) from the heat of cooking. While I had originally resigned myself to putting down some rather unimaginative sheet metal panels like this boat’s Galley.. I found these funky stick on stainless tiles from a company called “Aspect Metals” they come in Squares, rectangles, and hexagons. I picked up the 2×2 squares to do beneath and around my stove. I am undecided how I am going to arrange them, but it will certainly be better than any sheets of Stainless steel

Back to the Daily grind!

Actually, I am done with the daily grind. The whole of Flirt’s hull, from the waterline down, save for where the trailer pads are, is now ground down to raw glass. The cracked and crazed gelcoat is so much white dust floating on the wind (it made a terrible mess too) However, before I can start recoating her hull in epoxy and carbonfibre, I think I have a serious repair to make. Flirt always had a small “bump” just forward of her lead ballast. From the looks of things, it is pure fairing material and was used to smooth the transition from ‘glass hull to lead ballast. Now that I have everything ground down, I can see that the ballast is lower forwards and tight against the ‘glass aft. Considering that every piece of wood that was aboard my Sprite was rotted beyond repair, I have the horrible suspicion that the wood that the keel bolts go through is equally rotted and needs to be replaced. This is the only reason I can think of …

(not) Cooking with Gas

Except for size, a small boat is just as safe as a larger boat. In some instances, smaller boats can be even more safe than larger ones. In those instances, a smaller boat will get picked up and tossed by the ocean instead of pummeled by the breaking waves. This is not to say you will feel safer in a small boat, I imagine going through a major storm in something the size of Flirt would be similar to going for a ride in your clothes dryer at home (hopefully on cool tumble dry). Part of being safe aboard a boat is taking precautions. I am already rebuilding my Sprite to be stronger and more seaworthy, but my building in safety does not stop with mixing carbonfibre into her hull. Made in Sweden, Origo Alcohol stoves get a bad rep as being an expensive and slow way to cook. Yes, Alcohol does not have the energy potential that say butane or propane does, but it also lacks those gases propensity to explode in confined spaces. …

Cabinet positions

Work is going both slower and faster than I anticipated. Slower because things are taking a little more time between the need to get the woodworking just right, the heat, and the need to work so I can buy more stuff for Flirt. It is going faster than I realized because there is a distinct change in my Sprite’s cabin every time I do some work. After a week’s worth of measuring, cutting, shaping, and epoxying, I am down to an almost roughly finished piece of Flirt’s furniture. This is the part that will hold the Origo Alcohol stove I bought on ebay. (more info on this later) plus all the needed utensils and plates for preparing some limited meals while aboard. Once I get the stove into place on it’s gimbals, I can work on completely finishing it up. Until then, enjoy the pics. This was all built with 1/8 plywood and then liberally coated in glassfibre and epoxy. Soon It will be structural in helping to hold up the deck above it.

Furniture ho!

For the non-sailors out there who follow this blog. On a boat, the bunks, cabinets, lockers, and anything else inside the cabin that is not part of the hull itself is called “furniture”. Mostly likely on smaller boats like Flirt, it is built into the cabin and cannot be moved around without needing tools of destruction. Larger boats can have tables and chairs that can be moved about, on Something the size of a Sea Sprite 23, there is simply no room. Today I made a step forwards into my boat’s reconstruction/refit. I started to rebuild her furniture. For those that may not remember, every single piece of wood on Flirt was rotten due to age and dampness, this included her Furniture. While I do not plan on changing it’s basic design much, I am planning on making it a much nicer place to be. so, how she looked originally. Nice, functional, but nice. Nothing too special (later model SS23 cabin interior here) With Sink on the Starboard side, icebox to Port, quarter berths, and …

Roller Derby

It’s not that things have not been moving along with Flirt, it’s more along the lines that what I have been doing is not very glamorous. I can’t post up picture after picture of me applying Carbonfibre and then sanding down the edges.. because it all I have done for the past week or so. Once get another 5 yards in, I can complete the inside of the hull back to the mast. What does prompt this post was something I got in the mail today from Port Townsend Foundry. My custom bronze bow roller. It took a few months to cast and form everything, but it is truly a work of art in both design and function. Pete and Kathy are some of the nicest people to deal with and I look forwards to getting a couple of their opening Portholes later this year. Now all I need is to finish the foredeck so I can form up the toe rails and mount it up. Flirt is starting to come back together, and it …

Rain

I am not one to complain about the rain. It is one of those life giving forces that many places in the world either do not get enough of or get too much of. In latter, it can be a life extinguishing event, rather than a nurturing one. June this year has to be one of the wettest on record for Southern New Jersey. Not only has it put a dent in the tourism trade, but it has slowed work on Flirt to a crawl. It is just too hard to work on a boat when you are constantly getting wet. Even with tarps secured over the cabin and cockpit, her lack of hatches lets in just enough water to make working quite miserable. I also do not know how well epoxy hardens in such cool and damp conditions. So, I am just going to sit inside today, my day off from work, and contemplate working on my Sprite, I can’t do much else with a downpour going on just inches away.

Paint it black!

Actually, Carbon it black.. but the Stones Song would not have worked with that title. I know it has been a while since I updated, work has me on a Ten day on and Four day off schedule, and most of those ten days are early mornings.. so between that and the weather not much of any consequence has been happening. Not to say I have not been working on Flirt, just that there has been little to see along the way. today I got the forepeak bulkhead and the sides of the hull done in Carbon Fibre. It took longer to sand everything smooth and get it just right than it did to lay out the magical carbon cloth and wet it out with epoxy. It’s funny how that works.. all those hours and in prep to do something.. and then “poof” you did the something and it is done. Still need to do the underdeck and lay on some more epoxy to give it a good layer, but it is almost time to …