Monday, September 30, 2013

Cosmetics for ‘Minnow’

A lady likes to feel good. Treat her to a new dress; let her choose a handbag to match and pay for it; escort her to a hair salon and meet the bill; buy her expensive perfume and take her out for a meal; on the way stop at a jewellers for a surprise gift; then she’ll love you until you do it all again.

‘Minnow’ has never had that sort of attention, except on her honeymoon. Not long after that time of bliss, Plain Jane was given a mop and told to get on with it. Her new master found her a few trinkets, but after being worked hard she became frayed at the edges, so he bandaged her together to keep her going. Eventually he lost interest and sought another slave. Meanwhile she forlornly awaited her fate, but a stroke of good fortune led Cinderella to her Prince Charming.

Her new love and benefactor appreciated her inherent strength and trustworthy character, so he took her into his care. He saw a beauty that others did not see. Since meeting her Prince Charming she has never had it so good – glass slippers galore! She knows she has a rosy future with a partner who cares - one who will foot the bills and keep her as a lady should be kept.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

More than Cosmetic Surgery for 'Minnow'

Continuing surgical procedures for curing the leak, I performed another operation on ‘Minnow’, this time on her throat to sew together a slash that was haemorrhaging. This was part cosmetic, but it was also necessary to ensure water entering the vent from above deck would not find its way into the cabin or bilge.

Likewise, I sanded the seat and gave it an undercoat of Pre-Kote for practical and aesthetic reasons. I shall add two upper coats of grey Toplac - grey to disguise dirt and abrasions, but it will look smart in contrast to the lighter coloured magnolia bulkhead that separates the lazarette from the cabin. When not in use, the seat can be stowed upright against the bulkhead.

I shall be painting the port and starboard storage bins with two coats of magnolia paint manufactured by Dulux. I have not yet decided how to finish the floorboards. I could choose varnish or paint for smartening them.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two Operations on ‘Minnow’

Appendix before

Appendix after 

I conducted two operations on ‘Minnow’: The removal of her appendix and the reshaping of her bowels. My scalpel was a one inch chisel and I substituted a needle and gut with epoxy putty. I sealed the wounds with epoxy.

The appendix was a small lump of epoxied woven roving in the recess of the mast step. Unless I removed this foreign body I would not be able to fully insert the mast into the step. I found that I could chomp away the unwanted mass with a chisel. I had to seal the drainpipe with epoxy and epoxy putty. The operation was a complete success.
Bowels before
Bowels after
My next operation took place in the bowels of the boat where there was a ghastly mess of misshapen resin-saturated woven roving. This tangled, unsatisfactory sheathing over the block through which the drainpipe runs was contorted and had vicious spikes. It had been placed there to prevent water seeping into the forward port hand locker via crevasses and through pores in the wood. Water was entering the bilge via the hole for the drainpipe between the outside surface of the pipe and the hole through which it passes.

By patiently working with the chisel I was able to remove most of the offending mess and replace it with epoxy and epoxy putty.

Having completed both operations, I have two more to do for curing the leak problem: My next operation will be sealing joins between panels comprising the vent box, followed by another operation to seal the gap between the drainpipe and the sides of the hole through which it passes. I shall not be able to do the latter operation until I can raise the boat high enough to get under her.

Friday, September 27, 2013

More Painting of ‘Minnow’

I managed to find time for painting a second upper coat over what I painted yesterday. The finish is a lot better, and of course, the paint will preserve the wood from the sun’s rays and moisture from condensation within the cabin. Condensation can be a problem with a Paradox, on account of the large area of her windows. Matt’s design incorporates drip trays below the windows. If the weather is cold, and the interior of the boat is warm when the hatch is closed, a fair amount of condensation can accumulate, but it can easily be mopped up with a cloth or a sponge.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Painting the Interior of ‘Minnow’


Today I started painting 'Minnow’s cabin interior. Finding old-fashioned, oil based paint was a problem. I eventually discovered that my local Homebase was able to mix Dulux paint to whatever colour I wanted, which happened to be magnolia.

This good quality paint for interior or exterior use is ideal for the ‘Minnow’s’ cabin. I prefer it to the one-coat water based paints that are widely available. One-coat paints seldom work, and I find that they do not flow off the brush smoothly. I cannot handle one-coat paint with precision, which is necessary when painting edge to edge, i.e., that’s where two surfaces come together and they are different colours or one surface is varnished and the other is painted.

I removed the shelving and racks for painting them, and having them out of the cabin makes it easier for me to move around. I also have better access to the base of the vent box where there is a proper mess that needs sorting. There and under it in the bilge is where water was entering the boat. I should really have made sorting the leak a priority, but at least, the wood has had time to dry.

I can’t paint the base of the vent box until I have repaired it.

Improving the finish in the bilge under the vent will take a bit of doing, but it’s not critical or even necessary, because after I have sealed the outside of the drain pipe to the block through which it passes, no more water will be able to enter the boat, except through unsealed joins between the panels of the vent box. If these are sealed, there should no longer be any leaks.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Little Things for 'Minnow'

Each step of the way advances the end of a trek. Numerous small things often contribute towards making the whole of an object. A boat is comprised of components, and without them being assembled she cannot be built. When renovating a boat, various parts may have to be dissembled, reassembled or replaced, and this is what I have been doing today.

Here’s a list of the tasks accomplished:

I replaced the metal runners for the hatch.

I cut off ugly and potentially dangerous u-bolt extensions intruding into the cabin – these were the threaded parts of two safety harness fixtures either side of the washboard hatchway.

I simplified the transom air vent by removing the locking mechanism. I also took off the old seal from the Perspex lid, and glued a new one into the recess in the transom.

I varnished the grab handles and the wooden trim, for the third and final time.

I epoxied the drain holes for a second time - three of them either side of the hatch recess.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

‘Minnow’ is Looking Better

The weather has allowed me to keep the momentum going. Every day I manage to do more renovation on ‘Minnow’. I kept promising myself I would epoxy the drain holes that pass through the fore and aft members either side of the hatchway.  With the afternoon temperature in the region of 18 degrees Celsius I was able to keep my promise. I’ll need to epoxy the drains twice more to ensure water will be prevented from seeping into the wood. When I first had ‘Minnow’, two of the drains were completely blocked, and the other four had debris in them.

A number of holes had been made in the carlines by various screws securing brackets for I know not what, and a pouch possibly for tools or cutlery. This morning I filled the holes and sanded the wood to prepare it for painting. I also applied a second coat of varnish to the grab handles and trims.

The result of all this is that ‘Minnow’ is looking much better, and when I’ve finished painting her interior she will even look attractive!

Monday, September 23, 2013

More Jobs on ‘Minnow’

 Here’s a list of jobs done today:

I cleaned the metal runners for the hatch.

I painted the exterior of the cabin top with the first upper coat.

I sanded parts of the interior.

I varnished a few things in the cabin.

I removed the compass, and found that it had been set at an angle away from the centreline.

There will be a considerable amount to do within the boat to improve the appearance. If I remove the polystyrene, it will entail a fair amount of effort, and I have no idea what I’ll find.

The compass will have to be remounted, preferably not blocking vision through the forward window. The offset mast and the compass combine to make a blind spot. Another problem with having the compass there is that it cannot be read because of light coming through the window and the lack of light within the sphere of the compass. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Undercoat for ‘Minnow’s’ Cabin Top


After sanding both epoxy fillets that I applied yesterday, I painted the exterior of the cabin top with International Pre-Kote. I also painted the supports for the hatch metal sliders. Two coats of grey Toplac will complete the job of painting the exterior of the boat.

I didn’t paint the upper surface of the arched beam at the forward end of the hatchway recess, because I shall be gluing a baffle to it to stop water entering the cabin. There will also be another baffle at the forward end of the hatch itself. This combination of baffles should prevent water entering the cabin from forward. In heavy seas a wave might break over the cabin from forward; therefore I shall fit the baffles according to Matt Layden’s Paradox drawings.

There are a few bits and pieces inside the boat that I shall varnish, e.g., trims either side of the hatchway and grab handles.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

‘Minnow’s’ Cabin Top

Silicone sealant filled gaps between the hatch slider supports and the exterior of the cabin top, but the sealant was peeling and it looked untidy. I’ve made a better job of it by extracting the sealant and replacing it with epoxy fillets.

When the fillets harden, I’ll be able to lightly sand the cabin top and paint it with Pre-Kote in preparation for applying two upper coats of Toplac.

I also removed the metal sliders so that I shall be able to sand and paint the wooden supports. I noticed that drain holes through the supports were blocked; therefore I cleaned them ready for coating them with epoxy. Unless they are coated with epoxy, rainwater could soak into the wood and cause rot.

Yesterday, in the Comments section Steve Carey asked if I used a small paint roller. I have used paint rollers for apply antifouling, but I much prefer painting with brushes.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Final Upper Coat for ‘Minnow’

The paint went on better today, since the air temperature reached 17 degrees Celsius. The previous two days it barely touched 13 degrees. No more painting is required on the exterior, apart from the cabin top and the supports for the hatch runners.

I’ll be able to concentrate on painting the interior, but first I shall have to decide whether to remove the Polystyrene buoyancy that also insulates the cabin, forecastle and lazarette. The Polystyrene is a fire hazard, and unless I can isolate the cooker from it, the only safe thing to do is to remove the Polystyrene from the vicinity of the cooker.

The boat plans show a gimballed cooker in the lazarette. On ‘Faith’, my old Paradox, I found that arrangement fairly satisfactory.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Upper Coat for 'Minnow'

Today I applied the first upper coat of International Toplac to ‘Minnow’s’ hull, cabin trunk, hatch and rudder stock. I’ll giver them a second upper coat for a better and more lasting finish. The boat will be well and truly sealed against the elements and she’ll be cushioned against accidental abrasion during use.

The upper coat is International’s Atlantic Grey which is lighter than their Pre-Kote undercoat, but this lighter grey will reflect more sunlight, which can only be a good thing for reducing surface temperature when the boat is exposed to the full glare of sunshine. Dark colours will absorb more of the sun’s rays than lighter ones. In this respect, black is the worst for a boat. Initially it looks smart, but it quickly loses its gloss, and seawater coats it with salt stains. It also tends to bleach the paint. If she’s a wooden boat and caulked, the sun will play havoc, because of the differences of heat conduction between the two materials. The surface paint will expand and contract at different rates, causing it to fracture.

The only concern I have regarding grey, is that the boat will to a certain extent camouflage her when at sea. On the other hand, her red sail should make her clearly visible. I am torn between painting the mast and spars with orange or yellow paint to increase the boat’s visibility, and coating them with Deks Olije because it is easy to maintain and it looks attractive – and it is an exceptionally good preservative. I could combine the two, by applying Deks Olije to the most part of the mast and orange or yellow to the top. The boom and yard are already painted, so perhaps a coating of orange or yellow paint on the exposed parts might be in order.

Most of the interior I shall paint with a fairly neutral light colour – cream or off-white is hard to beat. A darker colour is better for the floorboards and the bilges. Epoxy is good, but expensive. International, Danboline is excellent for bilges.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Undercoat for ‘Minnow’

Today I painted most of the exterior of the boat with International Pre-Kote. This is a top quality undercoat for International Toplac. I also did the hatch and rudder stock. I didn’t paint the cabin top or the hatch runner supports, because I must first prepare them. I have to remove the silicone sealant that runs along the joins between the cabin top and the hatch runner supports and replace them with something more substantial, perhaps epoxy fillets.

The undercoat makes the boat look so much better, and of course it seals the fibreglassing and woodwork, and it provides an excellent base for the first upper coat.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Finished Sanding ‘Minnow’s’ Topsides

This will look much better when painted.

Note that the copper antifouling is still good.

Wear caused by a fender.

After two-and-a-half hours I finished sanding ‘Minnow’s’ topsides. If I sanded too vigorously I would reveal the heads of copper tacks or bronze nails; therefore I had to take care by sanding just enough for keying the surface in readiness for a coating of Pre-Kote, an undercoat made by International Yacht Paint for their Toplac range.


International Yacht Paint