2008 Boat Projects

New Tools

1/10/08 I have just purchased a Bosch 6 inch random orbit sander and a Fein 8 inch random orbit sander both with dust collection ports. Vacuum collection while sanding is the way to go I have found out. I have to say the $280.00 Bosch is easier to handle and takes off material faster than the $800.00 Fein. Another drawback on the Fein is that the sandpaper that fits this machine is outrageously expensive. I wish I would have purchased just the Bosch. The bosch is easy to control and there is little chance to gouge the hull with this sander. Time will tell if the Fein makes the grade. Oddly enough, I found the best price from Amazon. I received a sail quote from North Sails. $8,000 will get me a new main, 150% furling jib, and a gennaker. Money is starting to pour into this boat.

My three workhorses

Picture: my sanders Bosch random orbit sander- the most versatile of the three. A must have tool for boat work. Festool orbital sander-great tool that is easy to handle and many uses. Fien 8 inch random orbit sander-my least favorite of the three and would not have purchased if I knew what I know now.

More Bottom Paint Stripping

2/17/08 I have about 3/4 of the bottom sanded to the gel coat. The Fein does a pretty good job cutting through the 5 layers of bottom paint with 36 grit sand paper with minimal dust and the Bosch does a great job of finishing up with 60 grit on what paint is left and getting down to just the gel coat. If you don't want to cut into the gel coat, you better find another way than sanding with 36 grit paper. But I plan to add a barrier coat. If I had to have one sander it would definitely be the Bosch 6 inch orbital. It has a nice rotary mode that takes off a lot of paint and is much easier to hold and control than the 8 inch Fein. I have also taken more hardware off: cleats, winches, wood trim in cockpit, and hardware on the mast. I have taken all of the chainplates off and cleaned and inspected them. They all look in good condition and usable. The only difficult chainplate to take off was the port/aft chainplate. I had to cut the 1/4 inch ply self that runs the length of the cabin in half at the chainplate so I could rotate that chainplate out of the deck slot. The repair will be minor. None of the deck hardware has backing plates and only the stanchion bases were backed up by washers. Everything else was just a bolt and nut. I will reinstall all the hardware with a backing plate where possible.

Bulkhead Rot

I have found some rot on the bottom of the forward bulkhead. It runs about 5 inches up from the bottom of the hull and about 3 feet across the bottom. I plan to keep the bulkhead in place and grind out the rot and replace with fiberglass/wood/resin makeup. That will force me to paint the bulkhead, but I thought I would do that anyway to brighten up the inside. We will see.

Mystery Groove

I found a groove running down the centerline of the boat on the bottom about 3/8 inches wide that had been patched with grey epoxy putty. The putty was getting old and flaking a bit. I wondered if it was from construction or damage so I emailed Hallberg-Rassy and they gave me a prompt response. The Rasmus is built in halves and the halves are bonded together, thus the patch running down the centerline of the boat. You learn something everyday! I will dig out the flaking putty and apply a new patch, probably with thickened epoxy.

The Hoist Works!

2/24/08 I read in the Rasmus owners manual pertaining to where the support blocks need to be placed under the keel. I had placed the aft block in the wrong place so I used my hoists to lift the aft end of the boat and move the block. It worked great and took very little muscle to lift the 12,000 lb boat.

Removed Old Volvo MD 21A

Took the old engine out using my homemade hoist. Worked great.

Saving Money

3/1/08 I have been amazed at the money you can save searching the internet for deals. I picked up two ICP Sunseu SE-8000 130 Watt solar panels for 50% percent off what most retailers were selling them for. I bought them at Amazon.com. I went back to the same site a few days later to buy two more and they had gone from $599 to $1200. I then searched for several days to find another good deal on them and found the same panels for $416.00. We will see if they come in good condition. I have noticed that most of the items I have purchased at significantly reduced prices have had some flaws, usually chipped, scratched or dented, but all items have worked properly and I have been more than happy to keep these damaged items at their huge discount prices.

I have used Defender Marine for most of my purchases. Their prices seemed to be quite a bit better than West Marine. I told Defender I was doing an extensive restoration and gave them an approximate dollar value I would be spending and they promptly gave me a 10 percent builders discount.

12/4/08 It's been 9 months since my last entry. Time flys! Below is a list of things I have done in nine months.

Bottom Paint is Gone!

I have finished removing the bottom paint by sanding. I used a carbide scraper to get as much off as possible and then sanded with 60 grit using a Bosch 6 inch orbital sander mentioned above. I have since purchased a Festool RAS 115.04 E Rotary sander with vacuum that I will use to remove the gel coat. It is the most aggressive and user friendly sander I have ever used. Can?t say enough good about it. If I were doing it over, I would have not purchased the Fein 8 inch sander and would have replaced it with the Festool.

New Floor Timbers

I replaced the old rotten softwood floor timbers with some new beefed up white oak timbers. I laid the edges in a bed of thickened epoxy and pressed down to get the correct height and then fiberglassed them in place with 3 layers of cloth and epoxy. This has been the most challenging time so far mentally. The interior of the boat is so dusty and dirty and it's hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. I will be glad to get through this period of the restoration.

New Galley Cabinets and Ice Box

Before and after pictures of the Galley. I built all new cabinets and added a refrigerator box with 4 inches insulation. The cabinets were made using African mahogany. Staining the mahogany with Minwax Cherry stain matched the original mahogany well. I will finish this with a high quality polyurathane. Oh, and by the way, don't use polyester resin on styrofoam, it will melt! Should have known that. Epoxy resin works great on styrofoam for fiberglassing the interior surface of the icebox. I placed three layers of laminate on the interior of the ice box.

Painted Interior Hull

I removed all of the interior mahogany slats,cleaned, and applied 3 coats of single part polyurathane paint.

Replaced Rotten Wood in Bilge Area

Some of the thresholds of the passageways were rotted out. I replaced them using mahogany and cherry. Here is a new threshold for the forward bearth.

Refinished Cockpit Trim

The mahogany cockpit trim cleaned up pretty nice. The Fein mulitool worked great for sanding tight areas.

New Teak Cockpit Seats

Before and after pics of cockpit area. The bottom picture was taken before the deck was painted.

Refinished Interior Floor Boards

With 2008 coming to a close it was nice to get the interior of the Rasmus cleaned up and looking much better. The new galley cabinets and refinished floors are in place and my spirits high from finally seeing some good results.