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Thai Refit

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60 Christmas
59 Fair Sugar-Scoops
58 Finish Galley Wood
57 Deck Filler
56 Fire Golf!
55 Hull Joint
54 Sink Cabinet
53 New Eyebrows
52 Foredeck Work
51 New Hatches
50 Test Bimini
49 Fwd Cabin Hatches
48 Hatch Frames
47 Glass Scoops
46 Inject Bimini
45 Cockpit & Bimini
44 Scoop Steps
43 Bimini Mold
42 Level Ocelot
41 Mast Conduits
40 Replace Helm
32 Fly to USA
31 Raise Transoms
30 Foam Foredeck
29 Rebuild Engines
28 Grind Spars
27 Foredeck Repairs
26 Transom Walls
25 Foam Helm
24 Shape Transoms
23 Start Transoms
22 New Bows
21 Cockpit Surgery
20 Dismantle Cockpit
19 Fair Topsides
18 Remove Forebeam
17 Dismantle Engines
16 More Deck Work
15 Start Deck Repairs
14 Rip Apart Galley
13 Remove Decks
Xmas Break
4 Strip Ocelot
3 First Extension
2 Remove Teak Deck
1 Haul Out

26 Transom Walls

Lek & Baw glassing the insides of our extension wall
Lek & Baw glassing the insides of our extension wall

Summary:  Both walls going down to our transom extensions got their insides glassed with 3 layers of biaxial glass, and the port side wall was cut down to the correct size and shape before getting (most of) the top put on.  Max glassed in all the exposed foam around our helm, and also cut out a section of wall under our helm, foamed it, filled Jon's de‑coring holes with epoxy mud, glassed it in, and painted it with gelcoat.  Houa started working on the area in front of the salon, cutting open our new "secret compartments" and planning how we'll restore the area.  Jon started disassembling our bimini and planning how to build a new, solid bimini.

Max glassing in more of the foam around our helm area
Max glassing in more of the foam around our helm area

Monday, April 16:
After the 3‑day holiday and massive doses of vitamin‑C, Jon was finally over his head cold enough to come in to the boatyard.  Some good things got done but today was a bit slow, probably because some of our workers were suffering the aftershocks of holiday merriment.  Not Golf though, who enjoys a party but doesn't drink.

The biggest job today was glassing the inside of the exterior wall down to our starboard extension.  With the addition of the internal webs, this wall is now composed of 6 compartments.  Since some of them are quite deep, glassing them can get tricky.

We arrived to find Baw sanding down the edges in preparation for glassing.  Soon Baw and Lek were deep into the epoxy and glass.  And deep it is -- some of the framed compartments extend down almost the length of their arms!  They had to create some special epoxy rollers to get down in there.  They put in 3 layers of glass, both across and fore and aft in each compartment, and they were just finishing up the final (smallest, aft most) compartment when we walked back to the apartment at 5pm.

Jon removing steering gear (under hand) & autopilot motor
Jon removing steering gear (under hand) & autopilot motor

Max, as has become his modis operandi, was working alone in the cockpit.  He spent the day cutting and glassing 4 more walls on and near the helm area.  It's really nice to see this essential part of the cockpit coming back to life!

Jon braved the heat and sweat by climbing into the battery compartment where he (with a bit of help from Sue) removed the steering gear from the wall between the cockpit and the galley.  Then he talked to Max and marked out an area that Max will need to cut out so that we can attack more of the (known) wet balsa in this area.

Colorful Agama lizard, slowing less than half his tail
Colorful Agama lizard, slowing less than half his tail

We had a bit of excitement in the afternoon -- our friends on Katani 2 are right next to us, but their mast sticks out into the entrance road, so today we moved it next to Ocelot.  The mast is 73' (22m) long and weighs several hundred pounds, so this was an all‑hands operation.  Our mast was going to be moved next to theirs so they could be painted together, but there's not enough room.  Oh, well...

Elsewhere in the yard it was a good day for wildlife:  a snake was found under Ultimate Dream.  Surprisingly, Aussie Richard told his workers to "leave it alone."  But when he returned from an errand he found they had killed it.  We never did learn what it was.  Our own wildlife was considerably more benign:  a beautifully colorful lizard with a body about 6" (15cm) long and a 10" (25cm) tail, with a dragon‑like back and long toes that we found climbing one of the guy lines of our tent.

Baw & Lek glassing the cells inside the port extension wall
Baw & Lek glassing the cells inside the port extension wall

Since tomorrow is apparently a (rare) garbage pickup day, everyone pitched in at the end of the day to sweep all our discarded litter into plastic bags.  It's always nice to have a cleaner workspace, but it usually doesn't last very long.

Max's elaborate setup for grinding in the battery compartment
Max's elaborate setup for grinding in the battery compartment

Tuesday, April 17:
We're still suffering from a lack of workers.  Even Golf was late, and when he arrived he ordered plastic sheeting be put over the exposed foam, as Phuket Town was being drenched with rain.  We got a few drips and a drop, and we heard several loud peals of thunder, but we got no real rain.  Still, it was humid enough that any work produced an absolutely soaked T‑shirt.  Sweat didn't just flow out of us, it squirted out!

Baw and Lek were in early, working on the port‑side wall coming down to the new extensions.  After adding a small bit of foam up at the top of the wall, they cut up a big pile of biaxial glass.  Then they worked all day glassing the inside cells of the port‑side wall - exactly what they did for starboard side yesterday.  They're putting in 3 layers of glass, which seems a bit of overkill, but this area will get lots of bumps and bangs so perhaps a bit of overkill is good.

When Max arrived he immediately glassed in the foam at the helm station, mudding in the areas where Jon had cut the foam back for the steering gear.  Even with only 2 layers of biaxial glass and no support at the top, the wall is amazingly strong!

Ocelot being worked on - click for larger view
Ocelot being worked on - click for larger view

Then Max rigged up a temporary tent over our battery compartment, and covered everything in that compartment with plastic.  Yesterday we'd decided he needed to cut back a bit more of the wall between the cockpit and the galley, as there was still a bit of soft balsa.  In fact, the soft balsa didn't extend as far as we'd thought, so we didn't really need to remove the steering gear and autopilot motor, but getting that gear mounted on a foam‑sandwich wall instead of a balsa cored wall will make us feel better.  While Max had the evacuator all rigged up, he took the opportunity to also grind the gelcoat back on all the areas around his cuts, so the glass we'll be laying down will be grabbing onto existing fiberglass, not just gelcoat.

Lek glassing insides of port wall under a cloud of shade-tarps
Lek glassing insides of port wall under a cloud of shade-tarps

Having cleaned up the area, Max then cut the foam to go in where the balsa was, fitting it in just so, as he always does.  Jon cut a couple of big holes out of the foam where the bolts for the steering gear go through.  Max will fill them with epoxy mud when he puts the foam in, probably tomorrow.

Since Max had the whole ventilator setup, Jon took the opportunity to check some more of our balsa.  Our helm seat is a fairly elaborate affair that swings down to become a cockpit seat when we aren't sailing.  The seat sits on a big stainless steel frame that bolts through the deck, and Jon wanted to see if those bolt holes had leaked and damaged any of the balsa.  So he used a hole‑saw from underneath, in the battery compartment, to take out the cores around those bolt‑holes.  None of them showed any signs of water damage (Yes! ) so that's another concern off our minds.  The 4 de‑cored areas will get filled with epoxy mud and glassed over before we re‑drill the mounting holes for the helm seat.

Baw checking cuts on port wall, so we can start curving to the top
Baw checking cuts on port wall, so we can start curving to the top

Wednesday, April 18:
We still have a shortage of workers, but better excuses today.  Max took his wife for another pre‑natal checkup, as she's due in two weeks.

Sue is still suffering with a sinus infection so is taking it easy at the apartment.  When Jon arrived at the boatyard he met our mechanic, Hem, just leaving with our oil‑coolers.  He wants to get them all tested and cleaned up and painted.  Still no word on when he plans to reassemble our engines, but Golf assures us that with Hem, we don't have to worry.  He's a good mechanic, but very busy (as good mechanics are).  We're in no rush, but we hope he remembers where everything goes.  Jon did ask Golf to get someone to clean the engine rooms with a good degreaser, so Hem will have a clean area to work in.

Max's piece of new foam (orange) in the wall under the helm
Max's piece of new foam (orange) in the wall under the helm

Lek, Max's brother, was the only one at work when Jon arrived.  He was finishing up glassing the insides of the wall on port side, since it got too dark for them to finish last night.  He'd rigged up a sun‑shade from the shredded remains of an old tarp, but it was billowing right where he wanted to work, so Jon drove a couple stakes into the ground & tied some lines so Lek could work without having to fight with the tarp too much.

Golf spent most of the day spraying the final coats of paint on a neighboring boat.  It looks great from 10' (3m) away or further, but Jon was a bit surprised to see that there was still a pronounced orange‑peel effect when you got up close.  Golf put it down to the fact that the owners didn't want to wait for a primer coat, so they just wanted the final coats sprayed right over the high‑build coats.  Golf says that it will actually get better by itself over the next month or so.  All a bit over our heads, but it's apparent that there's a lot of science to the art of painting.  Golf spends a LOT of time adjusting his gun before he sprays.

When Max arrived he immediately started setting up to epoxy in the foam that he'd cut yesterday.  Since the existing fiberglass on that wall between the battery compartment and the galley is so flimsy, he had to reinforce it with braces and supports, so he could push the foam into the glass.  Once everything was braced, he laid in a sheet of biaxial glass and some epoxy mud onto the wall and squooshed the foam into the mud.  Then he put together an interesting assemblage of braces to force the foam onto the wall while the epoxy cured.

Baw carefully trimming down the inside of the port side wall
Baw carefully trimming down the inside of the port side wall

Tomorrow Jon will drill out the holes for the steering gear bolts, and Max will fill those with epoxy mud before glassing the foam in.  We'll probably ask Max to give the area around the steering gear a bit more glass, as that takes some load.

Houa worked mostly on the cockpit teak of a neighboring boat, but he spared a bit of time to plan out where we want to cut down the outer walls going down to our new extensions.  The walls will actually get cut down quite a bit, and then have the tops built up with several layers of foam, to match the large‑radius curve that Ocelot has going from her hulls to the decks.  This curve has a radius of almost 2" (5cm) which we would have thought would be difficult to duplicate, but Golf assures us that it's actually easier than a sharp corner.

Houa working in our port-side "secret compartment"
Houa working in our port-side "secret compartment"

Thursday, April 19:
Cooler today but also wetter, as we had a couple of good squalls blow through.  Sure are glad we have a tent over Ocelot.  Still, lots of interesting things happened.

Baw was working all day on the wall coming down to the port extension.  Houa is actually directing the work here.  We've told him that we'd like the outer corner to be rounded, like the rest of Ocelot, but the inner edge to be more squared off, to mirror the inside wall (which is retaining its original shape).  We also want the top to be flat and horizontal, tilting neither to the inside nor to the outside.  Baw cut down the outer wall yesterday to indicate where he needs to start the curve up to the top of the wall.  Today he was working on cutting down the inside of the wall, trimming it down and cutting down the inside webs as well.  He's going very slowly and carefully, with lots of thought between each step, which is what we like to see.  Unfortunately, Baw understands a bit of English but doesn't speak it, so he tends not to ask questions, which means that we need to keep an eye on his work.  This wall will define the shape of Ocelot's profile, so we'd like it to be pleasing to the eye.

Max applying epoxy mud to where the bolt holes will go
Max applying epoxy mud to where the bolt holes will go

Somewhat surprisingly, our mechanic, Hem, showed up today with several of our engine parts all nicely painted up.  He spent the day ensconced in the starboard engine room, putting things back together.  He apparently had the whole injector pump reworked, as he didn't like the looks of some of the internal components.  Hem claims that they look like they've been damaged by water in the fuel, which is possible, but any water should have been taken out by the water‑trap in the fuel line.  The injectors he had rebuilt instead of replaced.

Jon was also doing some engine work.  He drained the oil out of the starboard sail‑drive and then refilled it.  Since it was between rain storms, he was in a bit of a hurry and managed to pour some used gear‑oil down his leg, but the clothes can be washed at the apartment.

Houa opening up access to our starboard "secret compartment"
Houa opening up access to our starboard "secret compartment"

Max ground back and prepared the foam that he'd epoxied in yesterday.  Unfortunately, the rain prevented him from covering the foam with fiberglass, but he did mix up a big batch of epoxy‑mud to fill the 4 bolt‑holes in the foam that hold the steering gear, as well as the 4 bolt‑holes that Jon had drilled on Tuesday, that hold the helm seat.  Hopefully we'll be able to glass all those areas tomorrow.

Another interesting bit was that Houa started working on the area in front of the salon.  This area had all the wet balsa removed ages ago, but it's been left alone while other work was done.  Now Houa opened up the hole we cut into the area containing our new tanks on port side, and ground off the silly screws that are sticking out of the wall.  Further grinding on that wall revealed that there's a thin (and unnecessary) layer of fiberglass there, just next to a heavy plywood wall.  Houa removed a small section of the fiberglass to verify that the plywood is just under it.  So we'll probably remove the thin fiberglass and simply fiberglass in the plywood wall, which will make it both waterproof and stronger.

Baw & Lek grinding down the foam to fit the new top of the wall
Baw & Lek grinding down the foam to fit the new top of the wall

Houa also cut open the same area on starboard side, giving us our first view of the new tank there.  Strangely, this tank actually has the outlet connected, even though the fill fitting on deck has been filled with epoxy to make it unusable.  Otherwise, it looks like the mirror image of port side.  We'll probably use these new tanks for diesel, and run a hose from them aft to our main tanks, with a stop‑cock to control the flow.

Friday, April 20:
Had another 2 squalls blow through today.  Are we noticing a pattern?  Hope not.  Pretty much all work stops when it rains, even though we're under a big tent.  Golf has plans to expand our tent, and maybe that will allow some work to proceed when it rains.

Max's glassed in foam in the galley wall - note white bolt holes
Max's glassed in foam in the galley wall - note white bolt holes

The big work today was building the top of the wall going down to our port extension.  This will actually be at least 2 layers of foam, and possibly 3.  Lek and Baw first ground down the edge of the outer wall, measured everything to make sure the bed for the wall is flat, and then started machining down the foam that will become the top of the wall.  Apparently the bottom will get glassed, the 2 pieces of foam will be epoxied together, and then it will be fitted to Ocelot.  Should be interesting.

The rain hampered Max a bit, as he wanted to glass in the foam he'd epoxied in earlier this week.  He was finally able to do so in the afternoon, after the rains had left.  While he was in the battery compartment, he also glassed over the 4 areas where the helm seat bolts through.

Max also cut out a drain for our entryway door.  The track that the entryway door runs in has always collected water, which then sometimes finds its way into the aft cabin.  This drain should get rid of the water before it can get into trouble.

Baw & Lek fitting the foam for the top of the extension wall
Baw & Lek fitting the foam for the top of the extension wall

Jon took a big step and started disassembling our bimini (cockpit shade) frame.  These are big aluminum tubes that are held together with big stainless steel bolts.  The bolts seem impossible for mere mortals to position correctly and assemble, as some of them come out from the middle of a 10' (3m) long tube.  How can you hold the nut when it's so far down a round tube?  So disassembling the bimini means we're relying on Golf to build us a new foam‑sandwich bimini.  Jon also removed the plastic slides for the dinghy from Ocelot's transom.  Golf seems determined to strip EVERYTHING off Ocelot...

Houa was working on the teak on a neighboring catamaran today, but tomorrow he'll be back to work on our newly discovered secret compartments, and putting that part of Ocelot back together again.

Baw trimming the foam for the top of the wall
Baw trimming the foam for the top of the wall

Saturday, April 21:
Sue is finally feeling a bit better so she came into the boatyard today, after being absent for most of the week.

Major accomplishment today!  Baw and Lek have been working on the top of the port wall going to our transom extensions for several days, trimming the supports and trimming the foam that will become the top of the wall.  Today they glassed what will become the inside (underside) of the foam that will become the top of the wall, so we knew they were getting close.  But before the epoxy was even cured, they started mudding up the top of the wall and the next thing we knew, they'd started sticking the top down on the wall!

Baw mudding the foam & sticking it down on top of the wall
Baw mudding the foam & sticking it down on top of the wall

They didn't have a real plan for holding the foam down, so Jon went to help them.  The wall doesn't have enough supports to hold the top down with water jugs, as we've done elsewhere, so Jon found the supports inside the wall and screwed the foam down to those supports.  Once the epoxy is cured, we can pull the screws out.

In the end, we put 2 layers of foam down, each with a layer of biaxial glass on the underside.  The foam comes all the way up past our fuel‑fill, right up to deck level.  The outside of the wall, where it makes a gentle curve down to the vertical hull still needs to be covered, but that should be easy.  The foam comes down to a bit sharper point than we were planning where it connects to the new extensions, but Golf says they'll just put another sheet of foam there and shape it to what we want (we want the wall to rise vertically for an inch or so before curving over and rising towards the deck).

Max mudding a joint line in our newly discovered compartments
Max mudding a joint line in our newly discovered compartments

Not satisfied with these accomplishments, Baw and Lek immediately started working on the starboard wall, cutting it down to the matching height and preparing it for its top.

Elsewhere, Max sanded the glass he'd laid down in the battery compartment and rolled on 3 coats of gelcoat.  Where he's painted looks great, but it's only a small part of the battery compartment.  This makes the rest of the battery compartment look a bit shabby in comparison, but I guess there's no help for it.

Top of wall screwed down to cure in the correct shape
Top of wall screwed down to cure in the correct shape

When the gelcoat has cured, Jon will remount the steering gear with the autopilot motor and reduction gear to that wall.  Then we'll move some of our big batteries so Max can start working on the wood that holds the batteries in place.  This wood is just covered in gelcoat and it's starting to deteriorate.  We'll rip the wood out and replace it with foam and fiberglass and epoxy.

Up forward, Houa was working in our newly discovered compartments forward of the salon.  He opened up both access holes to as large as the surrounding frame members permit, then he squeezed inside and ground off the flimsy fiberglass on the outside wall.  Under the glass was a heavy plywood wall that forms the inside wall of the forward bunks.  We'll glass in the plywood and then start working on rebuilding the deck.  We'd like access to these 2 compartments, which will mean new hatches just outside our forward salon ports.  These still need to be designed, but they should be relatively simple.

Thai Refit: Next | Up | Previous | 60 Christmas | 59 Fair Sugar-Scoops | 58 Finish Galley Wood | 57 Deck Filler | 56 Fire Golf! | 55 Hull Joint | 54 Sink Cabinet | 53 New Eyebrows | 52 Foredeck Work | 51 New Hatches | 50 Test Bimini | 49 Fwd Cabin Hatches | 48 Hatch Frames | 47 Glass Scoops | 46 Inject Bimini | 45 Cockpit & Bimini | 44 Scoop Steps | 43 Bimini Mold | 42 Level Ocelot | 41 Mast Conduits | 40 Replace Helm | 32 Fly to USA | 31 Raise Transoms | 30 Foam Foredeck | 29 Rebuild Engines | 28 Grind Spars | 27 Foredeck Repairs | 26 Transom Walls | 25 Foam Helm | 24 Shape Transoms | 23 Start Transoms | 22 New Bows | 21 Cockpit Surgery | 20 Dismantle Cockpit | 19 Fair Topsides | 18 Remove Forebeam | 17 Dismantle Engines | 16 More Deck Work | 15 Start Deck Repairs | 14 Rip Apart Galley | 13 Remove Decks | Xmas Break | 4 Strip Ocelot | 3 First Extension | 2 Remove Teak Deck | 1 Haul Out

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