Saturday, November 8, 2014

Glassing, grinding, fairing

Most of the glass has been applied to the starboard extension.  There will be many hours of sanding in my future.

 Foam in place for the port transom.  The foam is incredibly easy to shape by hand sanding with a block and a straight edge for a reference.
The overall length of the boat now measures 41.5ft, and it looks like we will have 11 inches of overhang at the transoms, but we won't know for sure until we launch.  A new copper bottom coating will be applied before the gel coat work begins.  The copper coat is epoxy based so it will bond nicely to the epoxy filler and form a watertight barrier coat.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Building the mold for the urethane foam.

The foam is incredibly strong, considering it weighs so little.  The force of expansion popped out some of the screws that held the mold.  No problem, too much foam is easily sanded away in minutes.
In this picture you can see the glass and filler covering the factory exhaust holes.  Since we purchased Sunny Ray we have glassed over 14 factory holes in our boat!!!  Holes are just simply not good things in boats.  We almost sunk due to a through hull failure in the Gulf of Mexico, so I am happy to seal up any unnecessary holes.

I decided to use filler over the foam to help the shaping process and to aid in sealing the foam so no water works it's way in over the years.  The sanded and shaped filler will provide a good base for the layers of biaxial glass which will come later.  The rail along the deck will be screwed into base plates not allowing the screws to penetrate the deck Nidacore.  The base plates are pre-drilled, bored out and filled with epoxy.  After the glass and gel coat work is finished I'll re-drill the holes only deep enough for 3/4" screws so the watertight deck will not be compromised with screw holes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

One piece at a time


Vertical bulkheads, and decks glassed in place.

 Starboard transom piece with mounts for swim ladder in progress.
 Port transom with outboard engine transom board receiver mount in progress.
Nidacore is amazingly strong, light and stiff building material.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Transom extension work, first step.

Transom extension work underway at St. Augustine Marine Center, FL.



Today I will install the starboard deck, and start cutting out the new transom faces.  Waterline is not where it appears.  The normal waterline is at the bottom of the blue stripe.  The bottom paint has been slurry blasted off and the remaining black color is an epoxy copper coating that was likely applied when the boat was new.  Based on our best estimates we should have a 6 inch overhang when the boat is fully loaded.  No more slimy green bottom steps, and hopefully a smoother faster ride offshore.






In the last second of this video you can see water backwash up to the second step of the original transom.  The video shows about 6-7 knots of boat speed.  At speeds less than 5 knots, in large waves water would cycle on and off the bottom step, generating lots of turbulence and slowing our boat. It felt like we were towing buckets each time it happened.  The new transoms should eliminate this.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fun in the Turks and Caicos.  Revisiting good friends.
 Beautiful Venice the amazing Haitian chef.  She owns a cute little restaurant at the marina. Her husband Paul is a Marine Police officer and his station is right next to the restaurant.  In fact the marine patrol boat is docked just steps away.  Venice cooks incredibly delicious food and serves it with a smile. Ray, Dale and I love the fried pork and plantains.
 Sprucing up the restaurant.

 Dale and Evanson eating fried pork and plantains.  Evanson got a bit of paint on himself while helping to paint the resaurant.
 The mysterious shark sub.  Paul has been fixing it up for the owner.

 Good friends we will miss until the next visit.
Paul, Venice and Evanson with the crazy crew of Sunny Ray in Paul and Venice's front yard
Taking a break from painting.

.Sunny Ray tied up to the dock in front of the marine police station and marina office.
Cruising downwind with our favorite sail combo, the "Spin jib" rig.  With this sail combo our main is lowered and furled to the boom.  The main halyard is fastened to the end of the boom providing a backstay to help stabilize the mast in case we get hit with strong winds before we have time to roll up the code zero spinnaker.  Makes for an incredibly smooth ride surfing down waves with the auto pilot rarely moving the steering wheel.  It's downwind all the way from the Virgins to Florida a wonderful trip if you ever get the chance.






My niece Jillian and her boyfriend Caleb came to visit us at Lake Worth Florida.  We had a great time cruising the ICW and offshore fishing.





Jillian really loves fish.
Gorgeous bull Dorado, AKA Mahi Mahi.

Olivia with her new tube set.  She finally holds air. 




Dale and Ray sailing Pearl in the ICW, near Cape Canaveral, FL.


Manatee's in Titusville Florida 


Dolphins North of the Berry Islands, Bahamas.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Santa Dale




Santa Dale made and gave this necklace to me for Christmas.











It was decided that these meatballs must be the largest meatballs on Hassel Island.  
(Since there aren't many people on Hassel Island)














Armories at Hassel Island








After our visitors left, we spent 2 weeks hunkered down in St. John, Tortola, Virgin Gorda & Marina Cay as the "Disneyland of sailing" had turned into a rodeo of windiness.  We headed for Charlotte Amalie in the hopes of finding convenient dinghy docks.  On the way, Ray & Dan both noticed a strange vibration.  After investigating, Dan found a crack in a weld dire to attaching our mainsheet to our rigid bimini.  Once again, we felt lucky to be in a place where we could get repairs done.  In this case, aluminum welding.  But, because it was the holidays, we were in town (where the cruise ships come in) for longer than we planned.
The city of Charlotte Amalie.... not only does it have giant cruise ships docked (and anchored), sailboat of all kinds, ferries that leave large wakes and jetskis, but it also has a floatplane that lands & takes off in this bay.
The floatplane comes through a cut between the town and Hassel Island, then turns to land in the bay (which the pilot can't possibly see if it's clear ahead of time).  (And Ken, the landings are incredible!)
Check out what we were tied up next to when we were having the welding done.  This dock submerges to go under the vessels, divers set the struts holding them and then the dock rises up.  
Dale got to ride her favorite horse Pepper before we left St. Thomas.
We also got to spend time with fun friends at Hassel Island, whom we knew from the homeschool group here.  Circe, Tim, Zach, Ollie & Asher, we will miss you!  Missed out on seeing Julia too.  
Very nice to catch Leslie, David & Richie with a little time off.
Richie helped us ring in the new year by watching fireworks with us on a sleepover.
The original Sunny Ray

We feel so fortunate to have such wonderful friends & family in our lives.  Thank you all for being part of it.  Happy 2014!!  Wishing you health & smooth sailing!