Monday, May 23, 2011

Restoring Favor: days 3-6

We have now finished laminating up the new gunwales and fairing them. It took a while longer than expected because we had to do quite a bit of adjustment to bring the hull closer to being symmetrical. Then it was time to smooth everything out, which meant several days of working with filler, grinding and sanding. We also bought a set of oars which, like most things we acquire, were a really good deal but need some work.

Here are the new gunwales and the oars. The port side one has already been scraped.

The oars came spray-painted olive drab, which would be fine for a combat dinghy or a duck boat but which is rather less than aesthetic in our opinion. So I made a cabinet scraper to take off the OD paint.
 Favor was lacking a bow eye, so we picked one up and I modified it to fit her bow.

That is where we are at the moment.  Next up is adding the seats and buoyancy chambers.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Restoring Favor: day: 3

On Saturday I started on the actual rebuilding of Favor.
I am using recycled tight-grained Douglas fir for the gunwales and breasthook. The gunwales are being built up out of three 3/8" x 2" strips that I am laminating with polyurethane. First I sawed the lumber to the correct thickness with my brother Jon's help using the bandsaw. It was a bit harder than we anticipated because the wood turned out to be full of pitch inside, which is great for boats but not so good for bandsaws. We had to clean out the entire inside of the saw when we had finished.
Next I made the new breasthook for the bow out of the same wood. It took quite a while to get it fitted to the bow as the surface of the fiberglass is no longer smooth. I used the bandsaw to rough it out, then my 2"x72" grinder and chisels to fit it.

 Once the breasthook was glued and screwed in place it was time to fit the gunwales.The sides of the boat were not symmetrical so I used the new gunwales to fair them back to where they should be. Unfortunately this required the strips to be as thick as possible which made for a bit of a fight to get them fit and bent without breaking them or the hull. Once they were clamped in place I went back and un-clamped a section at a time, applied the polyurethane glue, and re-clamped them.

Here she is at the end of the day.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Restoring Favor: days 1-2

 Today I finally got a break from work while I waited for some materials to be delivered, so we decided to start work on Favor.

Roo loves anything to do with Favor and really enjoys helping on the non-toxic parts.

Roo and Uncle Jon working on the bottom.
 First we scraped all the old paint off the bottom. Scraping was relatively dust-free, but even so, right after this picture was taken, Corrie took Roo away to avoid any chance of problems with paint toxins.

Scraping and sanding
 Here you can see the different steps. The far side hasn't been worked on (except by Roo), the aft section of the near side has been scraped, and the forward section has been scraped and sanded. Sanding was not a lot of fun and made a lot of nasty dust so we set up a fan to avoid breathing too much of it.
Half done with the bottom
At the end of the first day we had the whole bottom scraped and half of it sanded. I managed to hurt my shoulder somehow so we moved on to the inside the next morning.

I used a chisel to clean off all the paint and glue drips from the inside (it looked as if Favor had been used as a drop cloth at some point). You can see in the picture that the hull is not symmetrical and that the curves of the rails are not even. After some debate we decided to remove the rails and seat blocks and start over. Jon was kind enough to lend me his 3 degree cutting tool and I used that and a hammer and chisel to cut the them off.

It proved to have been the right choice. When the rails came off we found that they were cracked and broken in half a dozen places and were the main reason that the hull was misshapen. Once they were out I took an angle grinder with a sanding disc, smoothed out all the rough spots, and faired in all the old joints. At this point I discovered that part of the transom had been painted so I scraped it clean.

Here she is- all clean, smooth, and ready to be rebuilt and restored.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Love Me Tender

Though this whole boat-hunting process, our prayer has been that God would give us favor with the right people. We read somewhere that people buy and sell with money, but God's currency is favor. So each time we make a phone call to a seller, boatyard, or insurance company, or get in the car to look at a part, we pray for God's favor.

Since we purchased Grace we have been looking for a tender for her. We wanted a Fatty Knees/Trinka type of boat but were considering getting a Sabot because they are readily available. We had been haunting craigslist without much success. We did find one dinghy of the type that we wanted, but it was in really rough shape complete with thru-hulls, the kind that are made by rocks and don't have sea-cocks.

Then late Thursday night (or early Friday morning), we found an ad that looked promising. A short phone call and we were off to Paramount to have a look at her.
 The hull is lapstrake fiberglass like what we wanted and at 7'11 1/2" LOA she fits the bill exactly for a tender that can be sailed but that doesn't require registration in California.
 The bad news is that she has led a hard life and will need a fair amount of work. Her thwarts, dagger-board trunk, seats, and mast step had all been removed.  Someone decided she would look better with asymmetric gunwales and appears to have used a grinder to achieve their vision. We will be restoring her most of the way pretty soon and all the way as time and funds allow. Corrie informed me (and I agree) that she needs teak seats and rails as well as a new name. We had wanted to name our dinghy Dúlamán Maorach, Irish for "upstart seaweed", but somehow we thought that Favor would be a better name for Grace's tender, as God has definitely granted us favor through the whole process of Going Afloat.
Corrie and I really like Favor but Roo absolutely loves her.

As a short side note we finished repainting the stove for Grace and, Lord willing, will be finishing the last few repairs on it and converting it from CNG to LPG in the near future. Ohh yeah..... it looks great. We're still deciding whether or not to do gold pinstriping over the black paint. Stay tuned, all four Going Afloat readers!