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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Preparations for Removing Pilgrim’s Bottom Paint

In summer of 2014 we repaired a couple areas of delamination and numerous blisters below the waterline on Pilgrim's hull. The damage addressed was discovered via a thorough visual inspection by Anne & I. Our efforts from last summer are documented in earlier blog posts and in our Hull Damage & Blister Repairs Photo Album.

Based on our findings from the summer 2014 repairs, and the fact that approximately 1/3 of the hull’s bottom paint was removed during the repairs. We decided to go all the way and give Pilgrim a full bottom job. For readers unfamiliar with nautical lingo: No, a bottom job has nothing to do with a proctologist. A bottom job for fiberglass, sea going sailing vessel consists of…

  1. Removing all existing layers of anti-fouling (bottom) paint. 
  2. Repairing any hull damage, water intrusion, or blisters discovered on the exposed hull. 
  3. Applying a barrier coat. Barrier coat is a thick, multi-layer application of epoxy primer designed to prohibit water from reaching the fiberglass hull. 
  4. Applying new bottom paint. Bottom paint, also referred to as anti-fouling paint, inhibits the buildup of marine growth on the hull. 
Toward the conclusion of summer 2014 hull repairs the boat yard informed us that any further bottom paint removal would require tenting the hull. On January 18, 2015, while Pilgrim was lifted for the removal of her rudder; I placed a roll of 6 mil plastic under the blocks that support her keel. The plastic sheeting sat idle as we waited for winter to loosen her grasp on the southeast. Finally on March 6th, buoyed by warmer weather and inspired by forecast that promised little wind and no precipitation, I spread out the plastic beneath Pilgrim.

Rolling out 6 mil plastic sheeting under Pilgrim.

To reduce the weight of the tent walls and to save money I purchased 4 mil plastic sheeting for the side walls. The top edge of the side walls were spot taped to the hull using 3M 8979 Performance Plus duct tape. The 3M 8979 tape far exceeds the holding power of standard, masking style painters tape, but will pull cleanly away if removed within a few months. The tape is also UV stable.

Once an entire side wall was held in place with short sections of the duct tape, I sealed off the top edge with a full length run of 2” painter’s masking tape.

The lower edge of the tent wall was then stretched out to meet the outer edge of the 6 mil sheeting on the ground. I then placed a piece of lumber, typically a 8' long 2” X 4” atop the two layers of sheeting and rolled the entire assembly towards the hull. If additional weight was required to hold the wall away from the hull then I placed additional scrap lumber atop the roll.
Pilgrim with a plastic skirt.

To prevent pressure differentials, typically caused by breezes, from exerting too much force on the tent and to allow for some fresh air flow within the tent I installed vents. 
Standard household A/C filter employed as a vent in the tent wall.

The vents are standard household air-conditioning filters taped over holes in the tent side walls.    Three of vents were installed on various sides of the tent.
Two vents at the bow.

Starboard side, mid-ship I cut a hole, approximately 36” tall by 18” wide, for egress. 
Door cut in  tent along starboard, mid-ships.

The corners of the hole were re-enforced the duct tape. Then a flap was taped over the hole.
Corners of access opening re-enforced with duct tape and a flap taped over opening.

Working solo, tenting Pilgrim took about 8 hours spread over two days.  The time was fairly evenly split between rolling out the floor plastic under all the jack stands and constructing the side walls.  Choosing a day(s) with little wind saved a great deal of time and frustration.
Tent complete.  Ready to start the dirty job of bottom paint removal.

After lunch on day 2 it was time to suit up and begin the dirty work.

For more images and notes from this project check out our Bottom Job Photo Album.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ice Box Interior Panels

Ice box insulation completed on four out of five sides.

Final insulation tally…
  • Top: 4” of insulation.
  • Forward and mid-ship: 4.5” of insulation - 4 layers of 1” foam board and 2 layers of ¼” Reflectix.
  • Floor: 5.25” to 6.25” of insulation – Above the waterline the M382 hull is cored.  The hull thickness increases by nearly 1” where the coring is present.  Below the waterline the ice box is insulated by 6 layers or foam board and on layer of Reflectix.  Above the waterline the insulation is reduced by one layer of foam.  Hopefully the foam core material will offer some additional insulation.  Note:  3.25” of insulation exists atop the conduit under the ice box.
  • Aft wall: to be determined.  Once the interior work on the ice box is complete then the insulation in the aft wall will be installed.  It will receive a minimum of 4.5” of insulation.

Since the area of the fore and aft walls of the ice box have reduced in size, we are able to reuse the original material.  Despite more than doubling the insulation thickness, the interior width of the ice box increased by over an inch.  This slight of hand is due to the new insulation along the aft wall extending into the cockpit locker.  New FRP will be used for the floor and mid-ship vertical wall panels.
Test fitting the forward and mid-ship ice box panels.

The Alder-Barbour evaporator box will likely be mounted on the mid-ship, vertical wall.  To provide a more robust mounting surface we decided to laminate ¼” plywood on the back side of the FRP.
Sections of 1/4" plywood and FRP prepped for epoxy.
Cement blocks and a bit of heat to aid in the curing process.

The original fore and aft walls were littered with old screw holes the required filling.
Drilling out screw holes in original panels.  Note newly laminated mid-ship panel on left.
First the holes were drilled out.  Next the area around the holes was abraded to provide an appropriate surface for applying fairing. Prior to filling the holes the back side was sealed with duct tape.
Sealing the backside of all the holes with duct tape.

Using a syringe to avoid bubbles, the holes in the panels were filled with thickened epoxy.  Once the epoxy in the hole began to kick fairing filler was applied on the surface.
Top: 1/4" plywood backing on mid-ship panel coated with epoxy to seal the wood.
Bottom: Fairing added atop hole repairs in original fore and aft panels.

After 24 hours of curing, the repairs were sanded down using a orbital sander and 80 grit paper.
All holes in original panels filled and faired.  After installation is complete these panels will be repainted.

During this process, I also laminated ½” plywood to the backside of the aft panel.  The plywood stiffens 1/8" fiberglass panel.  I believe laminating the aft wall will make the final assembly easier.

More images and notes from this on-going project as available in the Ice Box Rebuild Photo Album

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Long Wait For FRP Is Over

The Long Wait For FRP Is Over

Our ice box rebuild has been stall while we searched for a 48” X 48” X 1/8” piece of Fiberglass Reinforced Panel (FRP).  The 1/8” thick FRP will be used for the inside walls of the new ice box.   Avoiding seams in the floor of the ice box required the material to be at least 48” X 24”. The material is available from McMaster-Carr, but shipping on a piece over 36” required motor freight delivery.  We deemed the shipping cost prohibitive ($60 dollars in shipping for $110 worth of material.) So began our search for an appropriate piece of material in the boat yard or someone placing a large order that we could piggy-back upon.

Finally after nearly a month of searching and inquiries, RW came through with piece he had buried away in a shipping container.
1/8" Fiberglass Reinforced Panel (FRP)
Thanks to RW the ice box rebuild is back on track.

We will be able to reuse the original fore and aft ice box walls.  The largest two pieces remaining are the curved floor and the vertical wall adjacent to the companionway. 

Using the floor sections of the 1” foam insulation as a template made laying out the piece an easy task.
Using the outermost layer of foam as a template for the floor.

The assorted lumber on top is merely dead weight to prevent the foam from taking flight on a windy afternoon.  This method worked well and I replicated the technique for the vertical side wall.
Floor Panel (Top) &  Side Wall Panel (Bottom)
Once the two pieces were marked out on the FRP, I used a jigsaw with a Bosch T341HM1 blade to cut out the sections. 

With the larger sections out of the way, I then focused on prioritizing the order in which the side walls need to be installed in the ice box.  I plan to use a ¾” wide strip of exposed wood just below the level of the counter top as an anchor point for the side walls.  The wood strip runs the entire perimeter of the ice box opening.  

From the FRP, I cut sections that will fit along the outside (port) and forward walls.  The faces of these pieces were abraded with a grinder. The abrasion will provide some tooth to which the epoxy can bond.  The two pieces were then epoxied to the 3/4" strip in the ice box.
Installing the first two pieces of the interior ice box walls.
Unable to find a good method of clamping the outside piece in place, I used a couple temporary #8 wood screws.  Once the epoxy is set these will be removed and the holes filled.  This piece will be visible in the completed ice box. 

The foreword piece was easy to clamp in position.  This 2” piece simply serves as an anchor to which the larger wall section will be attached.

Feels good to be making progress on the ice box once again.   Other images and notes from our ice box rebuild are available in our -  Ice Box Rebuild Photo Album.

Despite our silence over the past month we have not been idle.  We are making good progress on full bottom job for Pilgrim (stripping all bottom paint, repairing blisters, fairing the hull, and barrier coat.)  I’ll post more on that project in the near future.