Top Level

Home
Destinations
Cruising Info
Underwater
Yacht Ocelot
Ocelot's Crew
Site Map

Ocelot Pages

Up
Rebuild Decks
Transoms
Cockpit Area
Below Waterline
Bimini
Spars
Deck Hardware
Exterior Lockers
Salon
Galley
Cabins
Heads
Interior Floors
Electrical
Maintenance
Weekly Logs 2012
Weekly Logs 2013

Thai Refit

Next
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

47 Glass Scoops

Jon & Baw lay a sheet of biaxial glass on the bimini
Jon & Baw lay a sheet of biaxial glass on the bimini

Summary:  A week plagued with bad weather and Golf being out with a head cold, but we still made some progress.  We laid a sheet of glass on top of the port side of the bimini and tested it for strength, but that was about all we could do on the bimini.  Since we've been building the bimini under our neighbor's boat and they're coming back next week, we moved our bimini work area to under Ocelot.  Baw and Houa finished glassing the starboard sugar‑scoop, thereby finishing the structural work on the sugar‑scoops.  Baw tried patching some of the many screw‑holes in Ocelot's flanks but had problems with the epoxy not curing, and many patches had to be ripped out, some of them twice.  Sue did a bit of glassing on the pad‑eye mounts for the prod up in the very bows, but she was worried that the moisture in the air would also affect her epoxy.  Houa cut back the mounting area for the swim‑ladders and then glassed over his cuts, so the ladders will mount flush with the swim‑platform.  Jon discovered some new, softer polishing pads and spent a lot of time removing corrosion pits and grinder marks in polishing the mast.  Sue found some left over paint stripper and used it to take the remainder of the paint off the mast, in those fiddly places that the grinders couldn't reach.  The big news is that Houa and Baw started working on the hatches, cutting the openings and preparing the new foam risers that the hatches will sit on.  They also outlined where the new, larger hatches will go in the forward cabins.  Finally, Golf and Jon met with Num, the new Yard Manager, to work out how business will be conducted at Coconuts in the future.

Trying to tame unruly fiberglass on the starboard sugar-scoop
Trying to tame unruly fiberglass on the starboard sugar-scoop

Monday, September 24:
Bit of a slow start to the week, probably because Golf wasn't feeling well.  He came by the yard in the morning to drop off some epoxy but then went home again.  We had some rain over lunch, but not much during the actual work day, thank goodness.

As soon as we got to the yard we asked Baw to mix us some epoxy so we could lay a sheet of biaxial glass on the port side of the bimini.  We did the starboard side last Saturday, but ran out epoxy to do port.  We gloved up, rolled the first pot of epoxy on the bimini itself, and then laid out the glass, making sure it went down with no wrinkles.  30 minutes later we'd finished, with Baw wrapping the glass nicely around the forward reinforcing rib.  We let it cure all day, and tomorrow we'll see how strong it is.

Sue smearing epoxy mud into the hole for the stbd pad-eye
Sue smearing epoxy mud into the hole for the stbd pad-eye

We had quiche lunches at a favorite bakery with a new friend and when we returned to the boatyard Baw and Houa were busy glassing the starboard sugar‑scoop.  They'd already laid a couple of small sheets over the exposed foam on the inside of the swim‑platform and were wrestling with a much larger sheet of glass that started at the wall, ran across the top of the swim‑platform, and then wrapped around the bottom of the sugar‑scoop.  This sheet had to go over and around several complex curves, and was being a bit unruly about laying down smoothly, so Jon quickly gloved up and grabbed a roller to help.  With 3 the work went much faster and we quickly beat the glass into submission.

Sue decided to attack the pad‑eye reinforcement points up in the very fronts of the fo'c's'ls.  Port side is almost finished but starboard has only been ground out, so that's where she started, paddling some mud into the cracks and then laying 2 small sheets of biaxial glass and several pieces of chopped strand mat into the hole.  She didn't try to fill the hole, as the epoxy was already getting warm when she moved over to the port side, adding a few more bits of chopped strand mat there.  Both sides still need more work, but we don't want too much wet epoxy in those holes or it goes off too quickly and then we have to rip it all out and start over.

Baw re-epoxying patches over screw holes in Ocelot's flank
Baw re-epoxying patches over screw holes in Ocelot's flank

Houa and Baw sanded the outside of port sugar‑scoop a bit and Jon finished the day sanding the mast, trying to get rid of the grinder marks from when they took the paint off.

Tuesday, September 25:
It was a strange day of many small detailed jobs, but the net result felt like progress.  Golf is still down with a bad cold, but he made a brief appearance to make sure there were no problems.

Houa's work on the mounting points for the swim ladders
Houa's work on the mounting points for the swim ladders

An unforeseen setback was that the epoxy used to patch the many little screw holes in the transoms last week had not cured.  Houa said it might have to do with some water in the hardener.  Whatever, it meant that Baw spent the day grinding out all the patches, then meticulously mixing epoxy (no water!) and re-patching all those little screw holes.  Even though we hate the 1 step backwards feeling, we were glad that the guys took the initiative to note the hardness of the epoxy, and then go ahead and take it all out and start over.

Sue took advantage of Baw's epoxy mixing to beg a few little capfuls and attack the pad eye bolt holes way up forward.  Port is almost done, except for a last over laying piece of biaxial cloth, but starboard still has a ways to go.

Houa worked mostly on the port transom.  We want to get some fiberglass under where the swim‑ladders bolt down, lest we get a crack there later.  So Houa ground the area back and laid in some glass strips.

We wanted to test how strong the bimini is now that we've joined the 2 layers of foam better and put a second skin of glass on the top, so we put it on the ground with the front corners supported by paint cans to simulate the future attachments in the front.  Jon and Baw walked on it to see how much it flexed.  We had surprisingly little sag in the front when Jon stepped onto it, maybe " or 1cm.  This is good.  But we will still probably put two more long sheets of glass on the underside to increase rigidity.

Testing the strength of the bimini by seeing how much it bends
Testing the strength of the bimini by seeing how much it bends

We've been thinking about how we want to attach the bimini to the targa‑bar.  The bimini will be bolted to the top of the targa‑bar at the back, and supported by arms coming down to the top of the cabin at the 2 front corners.  But the question is whether to:

  1. Cut the foam out of the back 4" (10cm) of the bimini so we're just bolting through solid glass (about 10 sheets), or
  2. Leave the foam in, making the bimini 1.3" (33mm) thick all the way back.
How should we handle the foam at the back of the bimini?
How should we handle the foam at the back of the bimini?

Option #1 is what we've planned to do all along, tapering the foam and then glassing it in.  This would probably look a bit better, but we're worried that cutting the foam out may decrease the strength at the back.

Option #2 is probably less work, although we'd have to drill out the bolt holes and fill them with epoxy mud before laying on the final skins of glass on the underside.  The bimini was not designed to come horizontally off the top of the targa‑bar, which option #2 would demand.  But this might be good, as it would add some pre‑bend at the back.  This would stress the back (and the targa‑bar) more, which would probably be OK, and it might help reduce flexing when someone walks on the bimini.  We'll need to walk up there twice each time we sail, as we have to climb up onto the boom - via the bimini - to unzip and then zip up the sail‑bag for the mainsail.

For now we're sleeping on this decision, but if anyone has any ideas or worthwhile opinions, please let us know.

Grinding corrosion & grinder marks out of the mast
Grinding corrosion & grinder marks out of the mast
Jon's new best friend for polishing the mast
Jon's new best friend for polishing the mast

Jon spent most of the afternoon on the mast, working with a wonderful new "soft" grinding pad, made of tough purple plastic.  It seems to take out the deep gouges left by the heavy duty grinder that was used to remove the paint, and it also cuts through the corrosion holes better than anything else we've found.  A bit of sanding with increasingly finer sand paper (60, 150, 220) should give us a gorgeous polished mast.  Sue used some leftover paint‑stripper to remove some of the remaining paint from the corners of the mast.

Mast before, with dark corrosion & (bright) grinder marks
Mast before, with dark corrosion & (bright) grinder marks
Same spot on mast after grinding (right) & sanding (left)
Same spot on mast after grinding (right) & sanding (left)

Before the daily rain hit, Jon got time to do some cosmetic sanding on the new glass we laid yesterday.

Houa sanding the glass patches on Ocelot's starboard flank
Houa sanding the glass patches on Ocelot's starboard flank

Thursday, September 27:
It's been raining cats and dogs for the last 2 days, so not much has been happening on Ocelot.

We had a bit of political intrigue today.  The 2 brothers who own Coconuts Boatyard, Manoon and Manop, don't really know much about running a business and they're very slack about billing people, so even though the boatyard is full, they're not making much money.  A friend of ours who lives on the property, Num (or Cris), has been setting up a financial system for them.  Num has recently declared himself the Yard Manager, and said that all work has to go through him.  If a boat isn't getting work done through Num, it never gets scheduled to be hauled out.  This has already happened to one of Golfs customers on a French catamaran.

Epoxy that has set correctly could never be taken off this easily
Epoxy that has set correctly could never be taken off this easily

Needless to say, Golf is a bit concerned about this, so Golf and Jon went to talk to Num.  The conversation was mostly in Thai and seemed amicable, but obviously there's more to come.  Golf has been his own boss for several years and likes it that way, so he's not sure he wants another boss over him, especially one who does no real work except siphoning off cash.  But Golf needs to know more about the financial side of running a business, and Num has a Business degree from California.  Num doesn't know much about boats, and Golf probably knows more than anyone else at the boatyard.  Golf also has a certain amount of fame (through this website) which has already brought several boats to Coconuts.  Hopefully the 2 of them can come to a good working relationship and learn to respect the other's knowledge and abilities.  We Shall See...

Several of the glass patches over the screw holes in Ocelot's flank still didn't harden correctly, so they had to be removed.  This is almost certainly due to the moist atmosphere and all the rain, which epoxy hates.  So Houa was checking the patches and sanding the good ones flush with the hull while digging out the bad ones to be redone when the rain stops.  Baw was sanding much of the old gelcoat in the cockpit, presumably preparing it to get more gelcoat.  Jon spent much of the day sanding the mast, trying to get the grinder marks out of it.

Feathers show that the sander isn't cutting cleanly - bad epoxy
Feathers show that the sander isn't cutting cleanly - bad epoxy

We've decided to cut the foam out of the back of the bimini (option #1, above).  Leaving the foam in would have created quite a shear stress between the fiberglass skins at the back, which apparently isn't good.  We'll have to cut the glass on the underside of the bimini and taper the foam carefully to the upper skin, to make sure there are no sudden discontinuities that would create stress concentrations.  The foam is just over 1" (30mm) thick, so we'll taper it over 3" (75mm).  We plan to cut the glass with a router and then shape the foam with a sanding pad on a grinder.  Today Jon marked the underside where he wants to make his router cuts, but the router itself was in the shop, getting its brushes replaced.

Once the foam has been shaped correctly, we'll epoxy a full sheet of glass over the entire underside, and then epoxy 3‑4 increasingly wider strips of glass along the back edge and over the taper.  This should reinforce that back lip and provide a good bolting surface, so we can bolt the back to the targa‑bar.  And even those 10 layers of glass will bend enough that the sandwich part of the bimini won't be under undue stress.

Baw checking the fit on a hatch riser after cutting out the holes
Baw checking the fit on a hatch riser after cutting out the holes

Friday, September 28:
Finally, a beautiful day to work!  Cloudy all day (so cooler) but no rain at all.

Our big news is that Houa and Baw started on the hatches!  The openings were glassed over when we did the deck, and we've left them covered as the rain sometimes blows under the tent.  So they started on starboard side, away from the wind (and rain) and cut open 5 hatch openings, all but the forward one over our bed.  The forward hatches on each side we want to replace with big Lewmar hatches that we've been carrying around for 12 years(!) waiting for a good time to install them.  These hatches should bring better ventilation to the forward cabins, and they'll let us climb out through them if we need to.

Sue putting paint stripper on the fiddly bits of the mast
Sue putting paint stripper on the fiddly bits of the mast

After the guys cut out the fiberglass fluff from the middle of the openings, they went below and drilled several holes outlining the old opening.  Then they "joined the dots" with a jig‑saw before sanding the openings to the correct size.  The old hatches were simply screwed down to our old teak decks, but Golf says the hatches will look better mounted on small risers.  So several months ago he had several risers built out of foam.  They'll need to be trimmed down to the right height, reinforced where the mounting bolts go through them, and they'll need a couple of layers of glass over them, but they should look nice.

Placement of the forward hatches was a bit of a challenge.  We want to use some of the original (small) hole, but expand the hole forward and inboard.  Houa originally wanted the hatch to align with the toe‑rail, and we spent some time looking at his proposal, but then we realized that we'll be looking at the underside whenever we're in bed, and we want it to align with the headliners (which will need some work) which are aligned with the hulls.  Once the outline for the hatch is cut out, we'll need to cut back the foam from underneath, taper it, and then lay a couple of glass strips to cover the foam and to provided a good bolting surface.

Jon & his new polishing pad, working scratches out of the mast
Jon & his new polishing pad, working scratches out of the mast

Jon wanted to cut the fiberglass at the back of the bimini today, but apparently the router is in Bangkok getting a whole new motor (under warrantee, as it's almost new).  Burning out motors is one of the costs of doing business here, as the voltage at the boatyard is only about 170vAC and that puts a big strain on motors.

So we spent most of the day on the mast.  Sue donned plastic gloves and dabbed paint stripper on those places that still had paint, where the grinders couldn't reach.

At the email suggestion of a friend (who we've never met - isn't the internet wonderful!) Jon went to the hardware store and came back with a couple of different pads for the grinder.  He found the coarser one to work very well, polishing the mast and also taking out any scratches from the grinders that took the paint off.  After finishing a small section, we rubbed it down with #320 and then #440 paper and water, which got rid of all grinder marks and left a beautiful finish.

Using a strip of fiberglass to keep from damaging the sail-track
Using a strip of fiberglass to keep from damaging the sail-track

But working a powerful grinder all day is tiring - Jon's arm was ready to fall off by the end of the day, and he'd only done about 10' (3m) and for only the 1/3 of the way around the mast that was closest to him.  Let's see now, the mast is 60' (18m) long so it should only take Jon another ... 17 full days...

Saturday, September 29:
Another beautiful day, with blue skies even!  It seems a shame to "waste" such beautiful weather and not lay any fiberglass, but we have nothing ready to glass.

Baw trimming hatch openings for the brown foam coamings
Baw trimming hatch openings for the brown foam coamings

Our neighbors are coming back to their boat on Monday, so we had to move out from under their boat, where we've been building our bimini.  This morning we moved 2 work tables and our bimini out from under their boat and cleaned the area up so they'll be ready to work right away.  We also moved our boom and forebeam and the bimini mold out from under Ocelot so we could set the tables and the bimini up there.  A bit more cramped then we were (our neighbor's catamaran is 60' long) but we'll make do.

We had hoped to cut the fiberglass at the back of the bimini so we could taper the foam to match the targa‑bar, but the guy who has the circular saw isn't around.  So today was another grinding‑the‑mast day for Jon.  Sue spent much of the day dabbing paint stripper on the mast to scrape off the last of the paint, but the undercoat is being obstreperous.

Baw and Houa continued to work on the deck hatches.  They're being very careful and meticulous about where they cut, making sure the hatches are correctly aligned (with the boat, not the toe‑rail) and go back exactly where they were before.  Baw cut out the 3 hatch openings for the port‑aft cabin while Houa was carefully trimming the openings to be the right size and orientation.  They've taped plastic garbage bags under the openings, so all the fiberglass dust and trimmings don't fall into the cabins.

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

Ocelot Pages: Rebuild Decks | Transoms | Cockpit Area | Below Waterline | Bimini | Spars | Deck Hardware | Exterior Lockers | Salon | Galley | Cabins | Heads | Interior Floors | Electrical | Maintenance | Weekly Logs 2012 | Weekly Logs 2013

Top Level: Home | Destinations | Cruising Info | Underwater | Boat Guests | Ocelot | Sue | Jon | Amanda | Chris | Site Map | Make a Comment


The Triton - Nautical News for Captains and Crews
If our information is useful,
you can help by making a donation

Copyright  2000‑2017  Contact: Jon and Sue Hacking -- HackingFamily.com, svOcelot.comAll rights reserved.