SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ice, Snow, nor Cold of Temps Shall Thwart Boat Projects

Ice building up on Pilgrim's Deck
It took a couple quarts of hot water to free the companionway slider, but once the heater is on inside Pilgrim I can continue to make progress despite the recent snow apocalypse that has struck the southern US.

I've created a couple of photo albums to document my progress on two fronts -

  1. Relocating the Battery Storage - When we took possession of SV Pilgrim the battery situation was a mess.  Both the house bank and the starter battery were located in a locker under the quarterberth.  All three batteries were DOA and at sometime in the past battery acid had leaked into the locker.
    Our plan is move the house bank, consisting of four 6 volt AGM batteries to a locker under the settee seat just forward of the galley.  This will place the weight of the house bank lower and more centerline in the vessel.   This locker will also afford the space to increase the size of the house bank if necessary.
    We will repair the locker under the quarter berth and use it to house the starter battery 
  2. Quarterberth Rehabilitation - We hold to be true the belief that the ideal boat Sleeps 2, Eats 4, and Drinks 6.  Thus we are dedicating Pilgrims quarterberth to storage and eliminating all the creature comforts associated with a berth (e.g. cushions, headliner, shelving, opening port, etc.)  Pilgrim will retain berths for 5 - a vee berth forward, a sea berth along the starboard salon, and the settee converts to a double.   We are unsure of the final layout of the quarterberth so please follow along... 

Soon these two projects will involve fiberglassing and painting so I need the the temperatures warm up, but the snow continues to accumulate on deck.

Snow accumulation on Pilgrim's deck

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cleaning Up Damage Caused By Leaking Batteries

Now the projects begin…  My plan was to start by removing the plumbing and through hulls, but after 24 hours of charging the house bank of batteries measure 10.8 volts and the starter battery 12.8 volts. ON Pilgrim all the batteries were located under the starboard quarter berth.  I am unsure if this was the factory set up or a change made by previous owners.  The two house bank were strapped down in plastic boxes.  The starter battery was simply strapped to the locker floor.

Pilgrims'Quaterberth Battery Locker
Replacing Pilgrim’s batteries with the 1 year old AGM batteries aboard C’est la Vie is on the project list, but not where I intended to start.  Concern that the flooded batteries have frozen and leaked, elevates this project to the top of the priority list. 

Removing the batteries confirms my fears.  The shelving below and the wall adjacent to the batteries have suffered from exposure to battery acid.  Paint is peeling away.  The wood is soft and disintegrates under minimal force.  Fortunately fiberglass hulls do not suffer damage from battery acid.  I shudder imagining the damage a leaking battery would do to a wooden or metal vessel. 

All that remains of the plywood shelf is the fiberglass tabbing.  The damaged wood is in the battery box in upper left.
Anticipating battery acid, I don rubber gloves.   Soon it becomes obvious that the damage is from a past spill.  The acid is no longer present, but the damage remains.

Using a small grinder with a cut off wheel, I cut away the shelf tabbing from the hull  and follow up with a 30 grit disc to clear away the sharp edges.
The lower edge of the wall between the locker and the engine room also suffered damage.  I probe the extent of the damage by drilling 3/16 holes in the plywood wall.  Starting forward at hull level and working upward, I drill holes at 1” intervals  until striking solid wood.  I then drill holes laterally progressing towards the stern.  These test holes reveal the extent of the damage.  Cutting away the damaged area with a jigsaw and a hand saw, I use the outermost holes as a guide.  Once all the damaged material was gone.  I wash and rinsed the entire area twice - once with a baking soda and water solution followed by a TSP and water Solution. 

The hull inside the locker removal and washing.

The portion of the wall cut away after washing.
The next step will be to cut new plywood sections for the wall and the locker. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oh South Florida Winters How I Miss Thee

A very dirty SV Pilgrim hanging in the slings.

Thursday - Pilgrim is blocked in the yard.  The obvious starting point is to wash 800 miles of road grime and highway salt off the deck & hull.  Unfortunately temperature in Beaufort are predicted to remain below freezing for the next 36 hours.

Friday - Enthusiasm for initiating boat projects pushed me below decks.  With a portable electric heater in the salon, Pilgrim’s cabin quickly warmed.   I used the guise of cleaning to thoroughly examine the interior finish and systems.   Through December and much of January, while pining for Pilgrim’s arrival in NC, I spent hours combing through the Morgan 38Owners Board.  Now aboard Pilgrim, the abstract conversations on head plumbing, battery location, configuration of the anchor locker, fuel systems, etc.  all crystallized into actionable projects.  Where to begin?

Saturday –  Anticipating ice choked deck and cockpit drains I arrived at the yard armed with four quart bottles, a thermos, and one mason jar of hot water in nestled in a soft sided cooler.  By late morning snow melt from Pilgrim’s cockpit was pooling up atop the drains.  Time for action.  Like hands across the face of a clock I rotated from starboard deck drain to starboard cockpit drain to port cockpit drain, to port deck drain, and around again.  Each lap I poured on another shot of warm water onto and eventually into the drains.  The starboard side deck drain was the last to clear- likely due to shading. Donning foul weather bibs and jacket, I set about scrubbing from decks to waterline.  The bottom paint, destined to be removed, simple received a through rinse.

I knew winter in Beaufort, NC would be colder than Everglades City, FL, but I never anticipated multiple days of freezing temps.

Friday, January 24, 2014

SV Pilgrim is in Beaufort, NC!

After one failed shipping contract,  the holiday hiatus on wide load permits, and multiple winter storms, Pilgrim has finally landed in North Carolina.

Pilgrim on Beattie's Transport Trailer
Beattie’s Marine Transport based out of Ohio successfully made the delivery from Sandusky, OH to Beaufort, NC.  

Pilgrim arrived coated in road grime and salt.  Unfortunately another cold front is keeping our temperatures below freezing until Saturday so Pilgrim must wait for a hose down.

In the slings at Wilson & Burbridge Boat Yard
Other than the filth everything appears to have fared well during the 16+ hour road trip.  We have yet to unwrap the mast, but the Tyvek & ductape outer layer appears to have weathered the time and travels well. ( see our Prepping for the Road Post)

We did import some snow from Ohio and West Virginia.  Hope there is no tariffs on snow imports.

The cockpit upon arrival.
I did manage to scoop out the snow enough to access in the interior.  Not finding any damage from the road trip, I quickly become overwhelmed by the notion of where to start?   

Baby steps…  I set up a heater in the cabin and called it a day. Tomorrow, with Anne’s assistance, we will begin by removing the boom, bimini frame, and other hardware from the interior.  Then I can begin a thorough investigation of Pilgrim’s systems.

Baby steps…

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Still Waiting for Pilgrim to Arrive in Beaufort (a.k.a. Just for Fun Project)

Happy New Year to All.

SV Pilgrim Update:

SV Pilgrim still on her stands in Sandusky, OH
Pilgrim was scheduled to make her Ohio to North Carolina road trip in mid December.  Initially her travels were postponed due to winter storms in Ohio. Then the trucking company, who I prefer not to name, stated they did not have the drivers nor were they able to get wide load permits to transport her over the holidays.  When I contacted nameless transport on Monday the 30th, they were unwilling to provide us with a firm deadline for delivering Pilgrim and thus provided the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.

I contacted a couple boat transport companies based in the Lake Erie area (nameless transport is based in NC) thinking that they would better equipped for winter transports and better positioned to judge the weather in northern Ohio.  We have now hired a new trucking company based out of Cleveland, OH.  The new outfit promises to have Pilgrim in NC by mid January.  We will share their name and website once the boat arrives.  Don't want to jinx the trip or provide the company with undeserved promotions.

Just for Fun:
With time on my hands in the boat yard, I set about creating a oversized Jenga set.  Anne and I first encountered a super-sized Jenga set this summer at a bar in Put-In Bay, OH.

Jenga sets consist of 18 layers of 3 blocks = 54 pieces that form a square tower. I elected to use grade A 2"x 4" studs to create the set. Constructing a square tower 18 layers tall required six 8' two by fours.

basic Jenga tower
If your really interested, then here is the math...
Two by fours are nominally 3.5" to create a square layer each piece must 10.5" inches long (3.5" x 3 = 10.5").  54 pieces X 10.5" per piece = 564" total / 12" = 47.25' feet of lumber = 6 X 8' long two by fours.

Sanding is the most time consuming part of construction. (note C'est la Vie in background)
The creation process is simple - cut the lumber into 10.5" sections, router a 1/2 radius on the ends, and then sand with 120 grit paper.  It is important to thoroughly sand the pieces to ensure their faces are smooth.

Attempting to defeat Anne in Jenga - not an easy task.
We debuted the game at our friends' New Year's Day Party.
Hope to one day share the game with our favorite Jenga rivals Pat & Jerry Fingeroff.