Thursday, May 27, 2010


Well, it is now May 26th, but I write this post for the launching which happened on Monday May 10, 2010 . Pompano is in the water in Chatham and its almost been two weeks since i've even seen her, and that is a shame.

My last few days with Pompano were spent moving out of my cottage, cleaning up my tent, organizing my tools, and double checking the bilge pump. Everything seemed to be in order, and I went to Nantucket on Saturday for my brother's 25th birthday which was on Sunday, then doubled back to Chatham Monday morning to meet Nauset Marine at 12 noon. They came early, and I had cut away the front of my tent so they could back the trailer right in and pull her out. It was pretty amazing how it all worked. The driver had his helper just hold on to Pompano as I removed all four jack stands. There was just one hand keeping her up right as the driver backed in and set up keel blocks and the after pads. It was the same driver that picked her up in Woods Hole 8 months ago and he had some nice things to say about the way she now looks.

He pulled out and I drove the yard's work boat over to the launch ramp to meet him. And along with a few guests, Brad Pease, Kitty, and Jerry, Pompano was launched. It had been nearly 10 years since she's seen water, and leaked very minimally. The pumped didnt even come on until I had her back at the boatyard's pier. She floats very nicely on her lines and the next day Drew helped me step the mast and connect the shrouds.

Although this is a MAJOR step in my work on Pompano, and I have received many congratulations, it is bittersweet for me. She is in the water, yes, but still needs much work to be sailing. The seats need to be made, the coamings need to be finished, the raised deck needs to be built and dynel covered, as well as the bulkhead. These things may not seem like a lot compared to the amount that i've done over the past few months, but it will be daunting work while she is in the water and I am occupied with a real job. But stay tuned, and hopefully by the end of the summer, she will be in sailing shape.


One person keeps Pompano upright as they back the trailer in around her.

Pompano sees the light of day after 8 months in the shed.

And nice she certainly looks.

Pretty big truck for that boat, but it got the job done just fine.

Backing down the ramp at the harbor master's pier.

Afloat after 8-10 years of sitting on land.

On a mooring at Pease Boat Yard in Chatham.

The yard in the background.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Week 13

The final week before Pompano is launched is mostly successful with some snags. I hired Brendan to come by and paint the name, Pompano, on the transom. I knew she couldn't be launched without a name, and Brendan came by and did a wonderful job. It was perfect because I was having wisdom teeth pulled so I was away from the boat which gave Brendan some time to work without distraction.

The big project this week was installing the rub rails which went on mostly without incident. I installed them fair to the eye and put a 1 1/4" SS screw every 7 inches and shaped them at the bow and stern. There are little notches cut out at the bow for bronze plated to act as chafe gear for the bow lines.

I worked a lot on the coamings this week. I searched through the boatyards stock of air dried white oak, to find that I wouldnt be able to work around the sap wood and knots for my long and wide coaming boards. Brad helped me pick out some beautiful Philippine Mahogany. So I traced out my patterns, cut out the wood and got it in the steam box. After about 40 minutes, Brad, Mike, and Dave helped me bend them into the boat, but with a little bit of pressure, the first boat exploded in half. The kiln dried wood was just too stiff and even after steaming, wouldnt take the bend. So I had to start from scratch. Thankfully, Brad helped me rebound and selected some beautiful Wana from a 30' long board that he re-sawed with me to make my new pieces. The next day we had the steamed in and clamped in place. Unfortunately, I ran out of time with them and will have to finish them up when the boat is in the water.

I also got a lot of varnishing done this week. The toe rails, overall, recieved 3 coats of Allspar and 4 coats of Epiphanes varnish. The rub rails got 2 coats of Allspar and 3 coats of Epiphanes. I also spent some time installing hardware. The bow cleat and thru port were bedded and installed as well as the after spinnaker cleats and deck mounts on either side. I basically wanted enough hardware installed for the launching and towing of the boat from the ramp to the boatyard, where I could easily finish installing the rest of the hardware.

The most important thing for the launch, however, is probably the bilge pump, which I installed and wired to the batter and a three way switch mounted on the inner bulkhead. With that in and working, I feel confident that she wont sink after being launched. With that, the rudder was hung and the tiller put on, and a general clean up. Then, on Monday the 10th and 12:30pm she will be picked up by Nauset Marine and launched at the town ramp. Lets hope she floats as well as I wish!

week 13

Brendan came by and sketched out the name on the transom.

The paper he traced from.

Prepping for paint.

The final product, looks amazing.

The rub rail is installed and shaped at the bow.

rub rails are on and bunged.

7 coats of varnish on the toe rails and 5 on the rub rails.

The bow cleat is installed as well as the thru port.

I made sure to get the bilge pump wired and working.

A shot of the battery and pump.

A pattern for the coamings is clamped in place for shaping

Port side coaming pattern.

Searching through the yard's air dried oak with not much success.

Picked out some nice philippine mahogany.

And steamed it for 40 minutes to only have it break during installation.

Brad helped me scramble and re-saw some beautiful Wana for the coamings after the break.

The Wana is steamed in and secured with clamps and tie downs.

A view from the bow.

Friday, April 30, 2010

week 12

This week was all about painting. I mixed the topsides paint, Interlux Hatteras Off White 1990 with a white primer and rolled it on the topsides and boot. This was sanded, and I managed to brush on 3 coats of the off white sanding inbetween with a scotch brite. The resulting finish looks really nice. Its not perfect, but its really nice. Then, I brushed on two coats of red boot stripe, cutting up to the topsides paint. With this finished, the paint job is essentially complete, besides the jackstand spots on the bottom and where the keel is blocked up that need touching up before she goes in the water. I moved all four jack stands to patch their spots with seam compound and paint, but the keel areas will have to wait until the day of the launch.

My next project was working on the toe rails. I already made and sanded them last week, so i just needed to fit them up on the boat with the bow chocks and fasten them down. This went pretty quickly and really adds a nice touch to the look of the boat. I bedded them down with natural bedding, bunged the screw holes, and hot coated three coats of Allspar varnish. The first coat was thinned with the elixir mix to help seal the wood.

At the end of the week, I took the boatyard's advice and filled the boat up with water on the inside. This is done before an old boat goes in the water to see if there are going to be any surprises when shes launched and also to help the wood swell before she is totally submerged. I was expecting a rush of water to pour out of the seams but to my surprise only a few trickles came out of the keelson seam. Once the keelson swells, this will be reduced even more. I am taking this as a good sign and it is easing my mind since she is due to launch on May 10th.

Next up are the rub rails and cockpit coamings. If I can get these two things on before she's launched I will be a very happy guy.

week 12

A coat of 50/50 primer and topsides paint is brushed on to the hull

STBD side 2nd coat of primer.

And here are 3 coats of finish paint.

looking at the bow, 3 coats of interlux Hatteras Off White 1990.

Its always satisfying to pull the tape.

The red boot gets cut up to the topsides.

Here is one coat...another to go.

The bronze rudder fitting is screwed back on.

Tape is being pulled off the boot after two coats of paint.

Now begins work on the toe rails and bow chocks.

Both sides dry fit and two finish coats of interior paint.

A shot of the port chock and toe rail.

They are removed and reinstalled with natural bedding compound, and bunged.

The interior got a finish coat of paint as well, and after the hull was done, I filled up the bilge with water.

To my surprise, she only leaked a little from the keelson. I expected a lot more water then this.

By the end of the day, the new toe rails had 3 coats of varnish hot coated.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Week 11

To start the week off I was able to roll the first coat of primer on the topsides. Although I hadn't filled any seams yet, and still had some work to do on the hull, it was good to get the primer in any open seams. While that was drying, I got a couple coats of red boot stripe on the rudder and some bottom paint. Then, I got some purple micro balloons mixed with epoxy spread over the transom to begin the process of fairing that out. Once fair, I installed the vertical support beams as well as the backing block. These were bedded with natural bedding compound. My bilge pump arrived in the mail, something I will surely need for the launch day, and so I was sure to install that in the lowest part of the bilge and install the thru-hull for its output.

Then, to get back to work on the hull, I added a spline that had appeared to have fallen out at a seam forward on the STBD side that left a wide open seam, probably a full 1/4". So I glued in a nice Cedar spline to reduce the gap to 1/8" on the outside to nothing inboard. While that was drying, I went around the boat and rolled in cotton to any open seams that needed it. In some cases, where the cotton and compound were loose, I had to reef out the seam and add new cotton, but this was not necessary in many places. Constantly, between jobs, I was mixing up body filling material to cover screw holes, pin pricks, or any indentations in the planking to get her as fair as possible before painting. As far as the seams, there are two different compounds used, one for anything below the waterline, and another for seams above. Above the waterline you use straight seam compound. For below the waterline, there is a special seam compound designed to be underwater, and to flavor it up a little, 1/3 roofing cement and a dobble of Pine Tar is used. Brad taught me this mixture, and says it has been used for ages, and the pine tar especially reminds me of what an old sailing ship smells like. These compounds are pushed into the open seams with a putty knife, then wiped clean with thinner. While that stuff drying, I got out my Fir and cut out the Port and STBD toe rails, shaped the ends where the chocks fit in and scarphed on longer pieces to make them roughly 16 ft long. Then I milled out Fir for the rub rails and scarphed together two pieces to get abour 24 feet. These are dry now, and will be dealt with once painting is finished.

The painting really started today, Friday, with a coat of primer to the interior. This was pretty tedious and took most of the day and a quart and a half of primer. This work was really taxing on my knees, and although it will need to be completely sanded down, painted, and sanded again before the final coat, it feels good to have it done. After this was on, I went around the bottom with my green Interlux CSC bottom paint and got the first coat on. A good way to end the week...although all my weeks blurr together. The boat is really starting to look fresh and by the end of the week she should be completely painted.

Week 11

First coat of primer goes on the topsides

A shot of the bow, primed.

The rudder gets bottom paint, boot strip and primer.

The transom was faired after being skreeted with fairing compound. The two vertical supports and backing block are installed.

A Rule bilge pump is installed in the bilge. This will be an important tool.

The new thru hull fitting for the bilge pump.

From the outside.

A new spline is added to the garboard forward on the STBD side to close the gap some more.

Cotton is rolled in where needed.

And filling the seams being. Here, Sika Flex is squeezed in between the ballast and keelson.

For under the waterline, a mixture of water proof seam compound, roofing cement, and pine tar is used.

Above the water is simply seam compound.

I cut new toe rails out of Fir and fit the bow chocks in.

The interior is prepped for primer. The teak sole is covered with paper.

A coat of primer is applied to the entire interior.

A shot looking aft of the finished coat of primer.

and....BOTTOM PAINT! I can't believe I am at this stage.

It is extremely satisfying to see the entire bottom covered with new paint. Tomorrow the second coat will go on followed by the topsides and boot stripe.