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3 Month Overhaul Nearly Complete

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  • Mark
    Well, after 3 months of work, I finally have my boat ready to go into the water. There are a few minor things that remain (like hose clamps on the bilge
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 1, 2006
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      Well, after 3 months of work, I finally have my boat ready to go
      into the water. There are a few minor things that remain (like hose
      clamps on the bilge plumbing, letting the rudder dry and touch up
      painting), but I couldn't resist putting these photos up now.
      Weather permitting, I'll be sailing next Saturday.

      When I started this overhaul, I thought I could do it in two months
      of evenings and weekend. The project ran a month longer than
      expected.

      It is not my intent to brag, but to show case all I have learned
      from everyone who actively participates in this board. I sincerly
      thank everyone for their input and experience. I certainly would
      have had a MUCH harder time without all of your advice.

      The overhaul consisted of remove, overhaul and install keel,
      including new keel winch and manufacture of a new style keel winch
      support box. New keel cable stuffing tube. Major repair of
      transom, including repair of several holes, remounting of tiller
      brackets, installation of new motor mount and replacement of old
      fiberglass trim strip with new, structural, mahogany strip. Removed
      and re-bedded hull rails. New windows. New hatchboard and
      coaming. Installed new forward hatch, new access hatch,
      installation of solar powered vent. Manufactured and installed new
      deck support trusses for cockpit. Remounted mast step. Installed
      new compression post. Complete new electrical system. Replaced
      existing navigation lights, installed new masthead light. New
      interior lights. New bilge pump. All new wires and distribution
      panel. New, high-end compass. New hand held marine band radio.
      Hand held Garmin GPS. New paint job, interior and exterior. New
      bottom paint. Installation of lifelines with new stanchions and new
      cables. All new backing plates throughout entire boat, including
      many fittings that never had backing plates to begin with. Finally,
      new lines and fenders.

      I posted before and after photos on my web page. If you'd like to
      take a look, the web site is:

      http://groups.msn.com/RetiredGunner/rhumbandcoke.msnw?Page=1

      Hope everyone has a great 2006, and for all my Katrina ravaged
      friends, no more storms...

      Mark Vogelmeier
      Ocean Springs MS
    • Craig Canfield
      Hi Mark, Zowieee! That was a lot to get done in 3 months! I did most of the things you mentioned, but there are 2 more important things you might want to
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 1, 2006
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        Hi Mark,
        Zowieee!  That was a lot to get done in 3 months!  I did most of the things you mentioned, but there are 2 more important things you might want to think about.... 
        #1
        Climbing in and out of the cabin I kept bashing my knee on the keel winch, a truly dangerous piece of hardware. A simple solution is to get 2" thick closed cell Polyethylene Foam from McMaster-Carr / or other source, and create a box that fits snugly over the keel winch and the trunk of the keel. The foam cuts nicely on a table saw, glues together with a hot melt gun used very fast, and can be finished with a 3/4" radius bit in a router... A note of caution - On my boat I would lower the keel all the way down, and then raise it 1 or 2 clicks for support from the winch, and then because my winch had some sort of "clutch" I could adjust the handle vertical. By having the handle vertical, a vertical slot in the foam box will hide the handle. 
        #2
        How to get the boat in the water?  Yes I'm being serious. You may need an "extendable tongue" on your trailer. Here are 2 solutions....On my trailer I took a trailer coupling mounted on 2" SQ. steel tubing maybe 12 feet long and slid it into another SQ steel tube maybe 10 feet long which I welded on to my trailer as a tongue replacement. With a 1/2" hole going thru both tubes at both ends I can put 2 grade #5 bolts thru and trailer the boat in a normal fashion. At the launch remove the 2 bolts, slide the tube out until the holes meet, install a single bolt, and now the tongue is 10 feet longer so as to launch the boat in deeper water. I did use lots of synthetic grease to help prevent rust in between the tubes, but after 14 years I've been lucky the tubes haven't seized up with rust.
        The alternate method, used by manufacturers of sailboat trailers, is to take the 2" SQ steel tube with the coupling on it, and slide on a shorter 2 foot long SQ steel tube which is welded on the side of the trailer tongue (where the coupling normally would be located). Because the very long 2" SQ Tube could flop around in the shorter 2' long outer tube, a 2nd outer tube slid over the 2" Sq. tube is fastened at the rear of the trailer. The same method of using the bolts as mentioned earlier is used. Whats different is not needing all that grease. I do hope this helpful to you, and all the other members.
        On a personal note I'm surprized you didn't get harmed by Hurricane Katrina. I really feel bad for the folks down there who suffered from it. I wish I could have helped them somehow, but I am unable to.
        Craig C.
         
         
         


        Mark <hydrofoil_sailor@...> wrote:
        Well, after 3 months of work, I finally have my boat ready to go
        into the water.  There are a few minor things that remain (like hose
        clamps on the bilge plumbing, letting the rudder dry and touch up
        painting), but I couldn't resist putting these photos up now. 
        Weather permitting, I'll be sailing next Saturday.

        When I started this overhaul, I thought I could do it in two months
        of evenings and weekend.  The project ran a month longer than
        expected.

        It is not my intent to brag, but to show case all I have learned
        from everyone who actively participates in this board.  I sincerly
        thank everyone for their input and experience.  I certainly would
        have had a MUCH harder time without all of your advice.

        The overhaul consisted of remove, overhaul and install keel,
        including new keel winch and manufacture of a new style keel winch
        support box.  New keel cable stuffing tube.  Major repair of
        transom, including repair of several holes, remounting of tiller
        brackets, installation of new motor mount and replacement of old
        fiberglass trim strip with new, structural, mahogany strip.  Removed
        and re-bedded hull rails.  New windows.  New hatchboard and
        coaming.  Installed new forward hatch, new access hatch,
        installation of solar powered vent.  Manufactured and installed new
        deck support trusses for cockpit.  Remounted mast step.  Installed
        new compression post.  Complete new electrical system.  Replaced
        existing navigation lights, installed new masthead light.  New
        interior lights.  New bilge pump.  All new wires and distribution
        panel.  New, high-end compass.  New hand held marine band radio. 
        Hand held Garmin GPS.  New paint job, interior and exterior.  New
        bottom paint.  Installation of lifelines with new stanchions and new
        cables.  All new backing plates throughout entire boat, including
        many fittings that never had backing plates to begin with.  Finally,
        new lines and fenders.

        I posted before and after photos on my web page.  If you'd like to
        take a look, the web site is:

        http://groups.msn.com/RetiredGunner/rhumbandcoke.msnw?Page=1

        Hope everyone has a great 2006, and for all my Katrina ravaged
        friends, no more storms...

        Mark Vogelmeier
        Ocean Springs MS









        Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about. Just $16.99/mo. or less

      • Craig Canfield
        Hi Mark, You did an awesume job on the boat, and it looks really sharp with the new mahogany! I don t know how you could possibly improve it more than you
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 2, 2006
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          Hi Mark,
                  You did an awesume job on the boat, and it looks really sharp with the new mahogany!  I don't know how you could possibly improve it more than you have already.
                  I have 2 questions for you. I really like the compass and would like to know more about it (brand,model,cost,sold where?,etc..).  
                  In your pics I also noticed an adjustable back stay on your boat. I've seen this on other peoples pics, but I don't have one on my boat. Could you snap off a few pictures of that, and include some reference info about the hardware used? I would really appreciate that.
                                                                                     Thanks,
                                                                                     Craig     

          Mark <hydrofoil_sailor@...> wrote:
          Well, after 3 months of work, I finally have my boat ready to go
          into the water.  There are a few minor things that remain (like hose
          clamps on the bilge plumbing, letting the rudder dry and touch up
          painting), but I couldn't resist putting these photos up now. 
          Weather permitting, I'll be sailing next Saturday.

          When I started this overhaul, I thought I could do it in two months
          of evenings and weekend.  The project ran a month longer than
          expected.

          It is not my intent to brag, but to show case all I have learned
          from everyone who actively participates in this board.  I sincerly
          thank everyone for their input and experience.  I certainly would
          have had a MUCH harder time without all of your advice.

          The overhaul consisted of remove, overhaul and install keel,
          including new keel winch and manufacture of a new style keel winch
          support box.  New keel cable stuffing tube.  Major repair of
          transom, including repair of several holes, remounting of tiller
          brackets, installation of new motor mount and replacement of old
          fiberglass trim strip with new, structural, mahogany strip.  Removed
          and re-bedded hull rails.  New windows.  New hatchboard and
          coaming.  Installed new forward hatch, new access hatch,
          installation of solar powered vent.  Manufactured and installed new
          deck support trusses for cockpit.  Remounted mast step.  Installed
          new compression post.  Complete new electrical system.  Replaced
          existing navigation lights, installed new masthead light.  New
          interior lights.  New bilge pump.  All new wires and distribution
          panel.  New, high-end compass.  New hand held marine band radio. 
          Hand held Garmin GPS.  New paint job, interior and exterior.  New
          bottom paint.  Installation of lifelines with new stanchions and new
          cables.  All new backing plates throughout entire boat, including
          many fittings that never had backing plates to begin with.  Finally,
          new lines and fenders.

          I posted before and after photos on my web page.  If you'd like to
          take a look, the web site is:

          http://groups.msn.com/RetiredGunner/rhumbandcoke.msnw?Page=1

          Hope everyone has a great 2006, and for all my Katrina ravaged
          friends, no more storms...

          Mark Vogelmeier
          Ocean Springs MS









          Yahoo! for Good - Make a difference this year.

        • Mark
          Craig, I m old school. I like a good, reliable compass. Used em in the Navy for twenty years, and though I like GPS, a compass doesn t rely on batteries.
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 2, 2006
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            Craig,

            I'm old school. I like a good, reliable compass. Used 'em in the
            Navy for twenty years, and though I like GPS, a compass doesn't rely
            on batteries.

            Here's the link to the compass I installed:
            http://www.marisafe.com/store/viewItemSpecs.asp?
            ID=202010076&CID=20201010&FLT=202010078

            I bought it on eBay for around a hundred bucks.

            Give me a day or two, and I'll get the photos for the split backstay
            adjuster (which I like for several reasons).



            Mark



            --- In mirageownersclub@yahoogroups.com, Craig Canfield
            <flyingahull2003@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Mark,
            > You did an awesume job on the boat, and it looks really
            sharp with the new mahogany! I don't know how you could possibly
            improve it more than you have already.
            > I have 2 questions for you. I really like the compass
            and would like to know more about it (brand,model,cost,sold
            where?,etc..).
            > In your pics I also noticed an adjustable back stay on
            your boat. I've seen this on other peoples pics, but I don't have
            one on my boat. Could you snap off a few pictures of that, and
            include some reference info about the hardware used? I would really
            appreciate that.
            >
            Thanks,
            >
            Craig
            >
            > Mark <hydrofoil_sailor@y...> wrote:
            > Well, after 3 months of work, I finally have my boat ready to go
            > into the water. There are a few minor things that remain (like
            hose
            > clamps on the bilge plumbing, letting the rudder dry and touch up
            > painting), but I couldn't resist putting these photos up now.
            > Weather permitting, I'll be sailing next Saturday.
            >
            > When I started this overhaul, I thought I could do it in two
            months
            > of evenings and weekend. The project ran a month longer than
            > expected.
            >
            > It is not my intent to brag, but to show case all I have learned
            > from everyone who actively participates in this board. I sincerly
            > thank everyone for their input and experience. I certainly would
            > have had a MUCH harder time without all of your advice.
            >
            > The overhaul consisted of remove, overhaul and install keel,
            > including new keel winch and manufacture of a new style keel winch
            > support box. New keel cable stuffing tube. Major repair of
            > transom, including repair of several holes, remounting of tiller
            > brackets, installation of new motor mount and replacement of old
            > fiberglass trim strip with new, structural, mahogany strip.
            Removed
            > and re-bedded hull rails. New windows. New hatchboard and
            > coaming. Installed new forward hatch, new access hatch,
            > installation of solar powered vent. Manufactured and installed
            new
            > deck support trusses for cockpit. Remounted mast step. Installed
            > new compression post. Complete new electrical system. Replaced
            > existing navigation lights, installed new masthead light. New
            > interior lights. New bilge pump. All new wires and distribution
            > panel. New, high-end compass. New hand held marine band radio.
            > Hand held Garmin GPS. New paint job, interior and exterior. New
            > bottom paint. Installation of lifelines with new stanchions and
            new
            > cables. All new backing plates throughout entire boat, including
            > many fittings that never had backing plates to begin with.
            Finally,
            > new lines and fenders.
            >
            > I posted before and after photos on my web page. If you'd like to
            > take a look, the web site is:
            >
            > http://groups.msn.com/RetiredGunner/rhumbandcoke.msnw?Page=1
            >
            > Hope everyone has a great 2006, and for all my Katrina ravaged
            > friends, no more storms...
            >
            > Mark Vogelmeier
            > Ocean Springs MS
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
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          • rogeliocalvo
            Mark: The Mirage looks Fantastico better than original. Great work and craftmanship. Do you have more detailed pictures of keel and trunk. curious to know
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 6, 2006
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              Mark:

              The Mirage looks "Fantastico" better than original. Great work and
              craftmanship. Do you have more detailed pictures of keel and trunk.

              curious to know what you did about play in keel (banging noise when
              hitting wake)

              Let us know how it goes on your test sail after all the work.


              Thanks,

              Rogelio

              SaiLaVie
            • Dave Carmichael
              Yep. It looks great. Congratulations.
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 6, 2006
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                Yep. It looks great. Congratulations.


                rogeliocalvo wrote:

                > Mark:
                >
                > The Mirage looks "Fantastico" better than original. Great work and
                > craftmanship. Do you have more detailed pictures of keel and trunk.
                >
                > curious to know what you did about play in keel (banging noise when
                > hitting wake)
                >
                > Let us know how it goes on your test sail after all the work.
                >
                >
                > Thanks,
                >
                > Rogelio
                >
                > SaiLaVie
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > SPONSORED LINKS
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              • Mark Vogelmeier
                I don t have any better pics of the keel or trunk. I simply repaired what was there, and replaced the pivot shaft with a 7/8 stainless steel rod. I made a
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 7, 2006
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                  I don't have any better pics of the keel or trunk.  I simply repaired what was there, and replaced the pivot shaft with a 7/8 stainless steel rod.  I made a new stuffing tube from PVC and filled it with 5200 (being sure to run the cable through first, tensioning the cable to keep it centered).  I made the winch box from mahogany using standard furniture techniques. 
                   
                  I used an old 50 gallon plastic water barrel for shim materials.  I cut the plastic barrel into 6X6 pieces, bored a 1" hole in them, and installed two shims on port side and a single shim on starboard.  When I had the boat in the air, there was absolutely no slop with the keel, so I am anxious to test it out. 
                   
                   
                  Mark Vogelmeier
                  Rhumb and Coke
                  Ocean Springs MS

                  rogeliocalvo <rogeliocalvo@...> wrote:
                  Mark:

                  The Mirage looks "Fantastico"  better than original.  Great work and
                  craftmanship.  Do you have more detailed pictures of keel and trunk.

                  curious to know what you did about play in keel (banging noise when
                  hitting wake)

                  Let us know how it goes on your test sail after all the work.


                  Thanks,

                  Rogelio

                  SaiLaVie





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                • Marc Lipsius
                  You did a hell of a job-it looks great. What did you paint the interior and exterior with? It s so clean it s almost a shame to get it wet but I m sure when
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 8, 2006
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                    You did a hell of a job-it looks great. What did you paint the interior and exterior with? It's so clean it's almost a shame to get it wet but I'm sure when you get it in the water and sail, you'll love it even more, especially the compliments of fellow boaters.

                    Mark Vogelmeier <hydrofoil_sailor@...> wrote:
                    I don't have any better pics of the keel or trunk.  I simply repaired what was there, and replaced the pivot shaft with a 7/8 stainless steel rod.  I made a new stuffing tube from PVC and filled it with 5200 (being sure to run the cable through first, tensioning the cable to keep it centered).  I made the winch box from mahogany using standard furniture techniques. 
                     
                    I used an old 50 gallon plastic water barrel for shim materials.  I cut the plastic barrel into 6X6 pieces, bored a 1" hole in them, and installed two shims on port side and a single shim on starboard.  When I had the boat in the air, there was absolutely no slop with the keel, so I am anxious to test it out. 
                     
                     
                    Mark Vogelmeier
                    Rhumb and Coke
                    Ocean Springs MS

                    rogeliocalvo <rogeliocalvo@...> wrote:
                    Mark:

                    The Mirage looks "Fantastico"  better than original.  Great work and
                    craftmanship.  Do you have more detailed pictures of keel and trunk.

                    curious to know what you did about play in keel (banging noise when
                    hitting wake)

                    Let us know how it goes on your test sail after all the work.


                    Thanks,

                    Rogelio

                    SaiLaVie





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                  • Steve George
                    Mark, I just went to my inbox and read messages that had been collecting for some time. The work you have done on Rhumb and Coke is impressive, and the fact
                    Message 9 of 12 , Feb 9 5:43 PM
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                      Mark,
                       
                      I just went to my inbox and read messages that had been collecting for some time.  The work you have done on Rhumb and Coke is impressive, and the fact that it took you only three plus months makes it doubly so.  We are involved in the same kind of refurbishing, but I won't be able to compete with your speedy work rate until I retire and probably not even then.  I have been plagued with inclement weather, and I am also trying to do the work in my driveway.  Thanks for the post on how you used the 55 gallon drums to get the boat off the trailer.
                       
                      I do have a few questions for you as I am nearing the completion of my restoration.  By the way, what is your boat's model number; mine is also a 1979 and I think it's number 210.  Mine also has the plastic strip on the transom and no interior sink.  First, what did you do to smooth the interior before painting?  The interior sides of the hull on my boat are pretty rough.  Did you roll the paint on or use a spray gun?  Second, I'd be interested in how you fashioned and attached the mahogany piece on the transom. Did you use a backing piece on the inside?  Third, what led you to brace the cockpit from the inside?  Mine had the same problem, i.e., a weak cockpit floor.  The previous owner used a vertical piece of plywood (inside) to brace another plywood piece glued underneath the cockpit floor.  It was delaminated, so I ripped both pieces out.  But, then the floor felt really weak.  I stripped the top layer of fiberglass, on the outside, and found wet plywood underneath?#@!  Then, I basically replaced the whole cockpit floor, building up with marine grade plywood saturated with clear penetrating epoxy sealer, epoxy, and finally epoxy plus filler.  It seems to be good and sturdy now, but I'd thought about putting some kind of bracing underneath.  Could you explain what you did?  You might want to check and see if the plywood in your floor or in the cockpit seats is wet.  You don't need a big hole to use the CPES, as it wicks into all the wood and seals it against further moisture problems.  Did you paint the bottom and topsides yourself?  What kind of paint did you use and what method?  Fourth, I also notice that the metal casting for your rudder is shiny and seemingly without paint.  What did you do there?
                       
                      Sorry for all the questions, but I'm at the point in my project where I don't want to finish hurriedly and not do justice to the Mirage.  I wish that I could do the wood projects as quickly as you seem to be able to do them.  Just my varnishing can extend over weeks, as I wait for appropriate temperature and humidity conditions.  Anyway, thanks for the inspiration you've provided and for any tips you might suggest.
                       
                      Regards,
                       
                      Steve     "Argo"



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                    • Mark
                      Steve, My hull number is 212, mfr d June 79. I own a Porter Cable 6 random orbit, variable speed sander. (Caution, I build furniture on the side, so I try to
                      Message 10 of 12 , Feb 10 2:51 PM
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                        Steve,

                        My hull number is 212, mfr'd June '79.

                        I own a Porter Cable 6" random orbit, variable speed sander.
                        (Caution, I build furniture on the side, so I try to get tools that
                        are of high quality and forever reliable.) I used a 40 grit disk to
                        rough sand the entire interior of the boat. I performed all the
                        interior repairs needed. Next I sanded with a 60 grit disk, and
                        cleaned everything up. (As an aside, I bought a contractor grade
                        ShopVac, with HEPA filter bag. Not only did I connect my sander to
                        the ShopVac, but I used it to clean the boat (as I did all my
                        repairs in the back yard). I put down two coats of Kilz primer, and
                        then two coats of Pettit Easypoxy paint (using rollers). The above
                        process smoothed out everything to an acceptable level, and the
                        paint filled everything in nicely. FYI, I used 1.5 gallons of Kilz,
                        and 1.2 gallons of Easypoxy for the interior.

                        The mahogany was a piece of 4/4 (1" thick) by 8' long. I made
                        templates, which were then transferred to the board. I sanded and
                        routed the board, and eased the backside of the board. (By easing,
                        I mead I took the sander and sanded the back side of the board,
                        removing stock so the board will late flat agianst the contour of
                        the hull--warning, go slow.) I hate varnish, so I use clear Cetol
                        on everything. I did use a backing plate on the actuall hull. I
                        took two piece of 1/4" marine grade plywood, cut then to be at least
                        two inches larger than the hole in the hull. I then glued the two
                        seperated pieces of plywood (thus forming a stronger laminate), and
                        then screwed the wood backer in place with about 30 stainless steel
                        screws with washers and locknuts. I countersunk the bolts, and used
                        the mahogany to dress the entire transom.

                        My cockpit is wet and weak. I didn't feel like ripping the whole
                        thing out, and this will be good enough until next winter. I used
                        some leftover ash to create the side pieces and trusses. I secured
                        each side piece with two # 10 stainless steel screws with finish
                        washers. I used some 3/16" bolts to secure the trusses to the side
                        pieces. The hard part was deciding exactly where the pieces
                        belong. I basically "eye-balled" the first one, and then used a
                        bottle jack to raise the truss into place, and then positioned the
                        other side's brace. (I used a bottle jack, because of space
                        limitations and it was too cold for the wife to come out and help.)

                        I prep'd, sanded and painted the entire boat in the back yard (yet
                        agian, the Porter Cable sander and the new ShopVAC). 60 grit disk
                        on bottom, 150 grit everywhere else. Clean everything with acetone
                        and then de-waxer. I rolled everything, but on the hull and
                        topsides, I took a foam brush and genty removed the roller marks
                        from the hull. Two thin coats of Pettit Easypoxy, and done. (I've
                        used Easypoxy several times in the past, and have always had great
                        results.) I used a full gallon of Pettit ablative copper bottom
                        paint. For the hull, I used just over a 1/2 gallon of Easypoxy,
                        and the topsides needed just over 3/4 of a gallon.

                        For the rudder, I took a 4 1/2" disk grinder and installed a
                        contrator grade wire wheel onto it (available at Slowe', er I mean
                        Lowe's). I cleaned it up, and called it good enough. Make sure you
                        use a full size face shield.

                        I have pictures of just about everything I did. If there is
                        something particular you'd like to see (or anyone else), simply
                        ask. I can email them pretty much on demand.

                        Take your time. I know its hard to not hurry, but patience pays.

                        Best of luck,

                        Mark
                      • Steve George
                        Mark, Since you are so quick and a skilled craftsman, I was wondering if you could duplicate the box you built for the keel winch, as well as the six backing
                        Message 11 of 12 , Feb 11 1:36 PM
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                          Mark,
                           
                          Since you are so quick and a skilled craftsman, I was wondering if you could duplicate the box you built for the keel winch, as well as the six backing blocks for the mast side stay padeyes.  If that's a project you might take on, what would you charge?  Thanks for your helpful descriptions of the work you did on Rhumb and Coke.  I noticed that you put in a hatch in the Vee berth area.  Was there a reason you off-centered it?  Also, I've been looking into a system for dust collection for a power sander.  The contractor grade ShopVac you recommend along with the Porter Cable seems a reasonable price.  There is a Fein system on the market that gets high marks but at a lofty price.  With the Hepa filter attached, did you have any dust problems?  Again, thanks for taking the time to answer my queries.  I'm sure I'll have more as I begin the final stages of Argo's restoration.
                           
                          Steve              "Argo"

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                        • Mark
                          Steve, Sorry, I really don t have time to make stuff on the side. (My littlest one has Downs Syndrome, and time is a commodity that I never have enough of.) I
                          Message 12 of 12 , Feb 11 6:33 PM
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                            Steve,

                            Sorry, I really don't have time to make stuff on the side. (My
                            littlest one has Downs Syndrome, and time is a commodity that I
                            never have enough of.)

                            I will say that mahogany is easy to work with, and you could easily
                            build the same style box with some clamps, a straight edge, skill
                            saw with good blade, and a drill. In fact, it took me longer to
                            build up the deck for the box, than it did to build the box.
                            (Here's the secret to the deck. Build the box, test fit it, and
                            once your happy, wrap the bottom 5 inches in clear packaging tape.
                            Place the box in position, and then mix epoxy and cabosil until it
                            is the consistency of peanut butter. Fill all gaps between the deck
                            and the box with the epoxy. [Note that epoxy will not stick to the
                            tape.] Once that cures, mix up regular epoxy, and pour around the
                            the keel trunk so that it is about 1/2" high inside the keel box.
                            This trick will give the box a firm foundation and prevent
                            shifting. The only thing left to do is run some screws from below
                            the V-berth into the box to hold it in place.

                            Did I mention that I use Cetol on all my mahogany pieces. About 30
                            bucks for a quart, and that's usually enough for several years.
                            Some people don't care for it, as it has a slight yellow tinge, but
                            hell, once it's on there, it looks as good as varnish and last much
                            longer. I use it inside and out.

                            I did put a larger hatch forward. However, it is centered, so the
                            offset you mentioned is an illusion. I bought the hatch off eBay.
                            I put a two inch feature around it, and then installed the interior
                            trim piece. By making it so thick, it is very comfortable for me or
                            the kids to crawl in and out of (some boats, crawling out of the
                            hatch is like crawling over the knife edge of a hatch on an old Navy
                            destroyer -I like my system much better.).

                            You can't go wrong with the ShopVAC. The Fein is nice, but the
                            ShopVAC is much more versitile, and if you get the 16 gallon
                            contractor version, you can use it as a shop vac, de-watering pump
                            and blower. The HEPA bags are awesome, and run about $11 for two
                            bags. (I only used two bags for the entire boat, which I sanded
                            several times, and for all the sanding I did during fiberglass
                            repairs.) Not only did I appriciate the ShopVAC, but so did my
                            wife, family and neighbors.

                            Good luck, and if you have any questions, I'm always glad to share
                            my experience.

                            Mark,
                            Rhumb and Coke
                            Ocean Springs MS
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