First Splash

First Splash

Monday, 12 August 2019

The Murphy Vortex of Lateness

 "How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it is afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn." Dr. Seuss 

I cannot believe that is is already August! I kept telling myself that I would write the blog then it was four month later and people that take the time to read our story had no idea if we were able to finish our little winter project. Here is another installment (not the last) in the long saga of Restless. 

We finished planking in the bow (you can see some of the dead planks on the trailer).
We needed to add a bit more onto the cut water. The cut water is there for exactly what the name suggests. It cuts through the water instead of having a blunt bow.

You can see from the photo that we had a bit of sculpting to do. I teased Ted saying that we should just leave it like that. He was not amused by the idea. The bow feels a lot better now. New stem, new planks, and new sister ribs! 

Finally sculpted it down, there were a few places that needed a just a bit of filler but it looks just like the old one but in better shape! 

Once the filler was dry I began to pay the cotton. It is amazingly satisfying to do. I have gotten faster at it compared to last year. This year I had a few more planks to do so I had more practice!

Ted and I made about 500 plugs. Between the new planks and the sister ribs there were a lot of screw heads to hide. We went a bit crazy because we used different sized screws depending on the rib and then we had all the bolt heads from the butt blocks. Needless to say we were very happy once they were all in. It took several passes to find them all!

I went down one night to do the night shift and I was enjoying the look of it! 

Once all the plugs were cut and the cotton paid out above the water line we had the expert (my mom) come and help us get the waterline straight. Restless always had a little 'woggle' that I was never able to get out and I wanted to raise the water line. Now she has about an inch of blue showing when she is at the mooring and I am not constantly thinking that she is sinking at the mooring.  

We were moved into a heated room while we did the paint. It was great! It made us work a bit faster because we didn't want to stay in the warm room for very long. Restless  really started to dry out in there!

It was time to say good-bye to our camouflaged boat!  

I was very happy with the first coat

Ted then painted the bottom. Usually bottom paint doesn't bother me that much. But we use VC Offshore and that stuff most be some of the most potent smelling anti-fouling there is! We only had one vapour mask so I decided to take a walk while he was doing it. 

On my little outing a saw a boat that was ready the big flood! 

First coat on everything! Getting back to how we remember her!

To say I was happy to do the final coat was an understatement! 

Ted wanted to film me doing this. I was so nervous that the tape was going to take all the paint off. I had this happen the last time I painted her. Happy to say that didn't happen this time! 

The photo does not give the waterline justice! I had the sharpest line I have ever had on that boat. Yes I am tooting my own horn. I have no pictures of the boat being launched. We went in ahead of our own schedule. I believe we were in the week before the long weekend in May. 

Once in the water Ted and I didn't really do anything with the boat. We put the sails on a day before our first Chester IOD fleet regatta the first weekend in July and then sailed her home to Martins River. 

We went to Nantucket for the North American Invitational. Our first reward for all the work we did

The first day had Minette and me swimming off the boat

The second day had us feeling like we were swimming! They had to call off the last race. We also needed to don our favorite Key-hole life jackets

We were able to snatch the first place thanks to the heavy air day! 
Left to right: Jamie Blunden, Dave Wedlake, Minette Murphy, Ted Murphy, Mat Murphy, and ME

Ted has a J24 called Juvenile Delinquent that we race with bank robbers. We sailed J24 with 6 people. There is a class weight limited of 882lbs we all got a bit skinny to make weight! We have been enjoying putting it back on.

We just raced in the National Championship. We came second -  thanks to a heavy air day! 
Left to right: Jamie Blunden, Anna Miller, ME (being weird), Rachel Erskin, Ted Murphy, and Hugh Layton 

Restless is turning 60 this year! She was built in Fredrikstad, Norway in 1959 and when Ted and I were in Sweden last year for the IOD Worlds we made the trek up to Norway to visit the yard where she was built!

Friday, 19 April 2019

The Plight of the Planks

Before I begin, I know what you are going to say... I lied to you! I promised a new blog a week or so ago and then nothing! But don't blame me - blame the taskmaster forcing me to make ribs in the evenings. 

As of the last blog, we had started replanking and the stem was installed but there were still some gaping holes in the side of the boat, not quite ready for the racing season, but parts were being installed rather than removed. Things have begun to become a bit more routine and for the most part we have not found any more nasty surprises to date; maybe I shouldn't have said that! However, before I dive into the progress an introduction is needed...


May I introduce the hardest working tube of 5200 I have ever seen! This tube is from last year and the nozzle had dried up. The only way we could access the 5200 was to slice the tube and the extract it by stepping on it. GLAMOROUS! But then how to keep it from drying up? Wrapping it in plastic and for the last two months it has worked. Ted keeps trying to throw it away on me but its still good! Actually it is just about empty but I continue to use it like a tube of toothpaste. 

We have been using the 5200 on the tips of the planks that go against the stem. We are determined not to leak this year! 

Happiness is a warm room and a paint brush. The last years I have been painting the interior of the boat white. One reason is to try and protect the wood in the cockpit from the sun and the other is to lighten up the boat down below. Going below on Restless was like entering the deepest ring of hell. Now she is quite cheery down below for the people that have to stay below deck on light air days. It is a lot easier painting the planks before they are installed than climbing into the tiny bow to paint!

It is getting darker in the bow compared to the last post. And harder to pass tools through. I guess that is a good thing?

Another plank in! 

When we are not working on Restless we are coming up with new ways to amuse ourselves. This was a self proclaimed snow day. It was too slippery in the morning to drive so we had to challenge ourselves in other ways. 

So after being snowed in the next weekend we were planked in! 

We made "friends" with a squirrel but he was too shy to have his photo taken properly 

The Starboard side is ready to go! Just need to put in all the butt blocks and fasten the one green plank between the new ones. After that I will fair the planks down. The planks on this boat used to be 3/4" and in most places they still are but over the years of sanding they are slightly thinner but not uniformly so. Once the cut-water and the butt blocks are in, I will fair the planks down and pay the cotton. 

We made large piles of expensive chicken coup shavings. 

That is about half of the rotten parts we have removed this year. Ted refuses to let me throw them away. But I think they would make perfect wood for a sock burning party! 

**Sock Burning party is when deck shoe season has begun and you no longer need to wear socks

Being able to put clamps in to hold the plank makes life a bit easier when we are fastening the new planks. We also use bracing to bend the plank ends to match the hull curve before we fasten when a clamp will not fit or is not enough. We set the bracing up by using a piece of lead that has been cut off an old keel, we are able to drag it across the floor together. We then use a long piece of wood as a brace and wedge the plank into place (you can see it next to Ted in the picture). The screws are not strong enough on their own to pull the plank in. 

The plank that Ted is putting in here was the first plank we removed back in December 2018.

The Port side is looking pretty good here! That small hole had Ted and I debating for an entire weekend. He wanted to cut the plank back farther because the short plank is just over one foot long. But there was no rot in the little plank. The plank behind is a bit suspect but it can last another year at least. And seeing as were are getting closer to sailing season we decided to keep it for now. There is also another reason we decided not to do it....

We moved to the back of the boat and took out 3 more planks. They were leaking during the summer and suspect in the ends sitting against the horn timber. We do not want to have to replace the horn timber in a few years. Fortunately, when we took the planks off the horn timber looked great! Unlike that pesky bow stem.   

We were able to finish the stern fairly quickly... Leaving time for....

Removing more planks at the front! We decided to keep the short plank above. But there were two further down that were just begging to be replaced. After taking them out we realized that they may have been the worst ones on the port side. But honestly, it is hard to keep track!

But not to worry, we finished those pretty quickly. Ted and I had decided that all the planking needed to be finished by the end of March. Even with all the extra planks we removed we were able to meet that deadline. I may still have to stop Ted from removing more planks reminding him there is always next year! I believe in the saying 'My Aim is Perfection, My Goal is Completion' 

This was certainly not what we had planned to do this year. We did not realize that we were opening a can of worms when we removed the first two planks at the bow in December. But I think we are both happy that we did and more than that we are impressed Restless was able to survive the harsh sailing we have put her through now knowing the condition she was in!

What did you think I was done? Remember the reason for the late blog?  Eight sister ribs freshly made ready to install. The goal is have the ribs done by the end of April. We have 11 to do and eight are already in the boat. We might be able to do it... but I have been proven wrong before... so... knock on wood. I made the last 3 last night. They will be ready to go in the boat on Sunday. 

We purposely did not completely install the old planks that are going back in the boat so putting in some of the ribs would be easier. 

Time to think about the cut-water

Facebook reminded me that this time two  years ago I was at Antigua Classics. That is past Dayna knowing what future Dayna was going to be doing. I don't need your pity past Dayna! 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!

The reason for the delay between posts is because only recently can you really see progress of what we have done and I forgot my phone and couldn't take pictures for one weekend. I may have also had been so cold one weekend that I refused to take my gloves off and couldn't open my phone. We can't take photo's on Ted's phone because he doesn't have any space. So if you want to blame someone for the lack of posting blame Ted and his addiction to apps! 

So, when I posted last we had discovered that part of our bow stem was rotten - not good! We have removed the rotten section, we were lucky that the stem was made out of several layers of wood. The rot only ruined two of the layers and we were able to salvage the top two layers. Trust me we made sure that the wood we left was in perfect condition because this is not a job I want to do again on Restless! We are hopeful that this repair will fix the river of water that has been coming in when we sail. When we first started exploring the bow we thought we had to replace some of the planking because there was epoxy in the seams which caused the planks to rot at the front. As we removed more and more planks we discovered more and more rot! As much as we wanted to ignore the fact that the boat was once again out to ruin our lives we decided to do the right thing and remove the rot. I can't remember how many planks we took off the front but I think it is about 5 per side...maybe more? We are hoping that we will be able to close the bow in in the next two weeks and then move on to other rotten planks that we want to replace! We have our eyes on at least 6 more this season. 

Ted with the saws-all to start the scarf to repair the stem. Pretty sure I was ready to unplug him if things started to go sideways!

For strength you need to do these angled cuts (scarfs) in the wood. There would be no strength just butting the joints together. If you think about the strength needed in this part of the boat for when Ted cranks on the backstay then we need all the strength we can get as this is where the forestay is attached. After advice from my father we ended up bulking up the section we replaced. 

Working on the scarf to go in

Action shot! Being the clever person I am I set myself up in the heated section of the shop to do this. Well Ted was freezing in the other room I felt like I was on a tropical island. All that was missing was a beer and a sunburn. We used to drink beer when we worked but last year we decided that the more technical the work and the more power tools we were using, the chance of making a mistake was greater. We also found that when we are not looking for our beer we work a lot faster! 

While I was in the heated room Ted was getting in touch with his artsy side. This is an up-shot of the stem. I think he was working on getting the scarf on the boat started. 

First Scarf fitted! I like Ted creeping in the background

Sometime we get elves to come and help us! Anna and Jamie spent some time removing the epoxy from the seams in hopes that we can save the other planks. I should note that epoxy doesn't make wood rot. What happens is that each year the planks swell when the boat goes in the water and shrink when the boat comes out for the winter. Epoxy is hard and glues to the wood and when the planks swell it can crush the wood and over time the damaged wood begins to rot. I am learning to build boats as my fathers apprentice and I use the methods that he teaches me, which at the moment is composite construction. For this repair we do use epoxy but we use it to our advantage not in a way that can damage the boat. 

Scarf number two complete and ready to be installed. Ted is in the boat drilling the holes for the bolts before we laminate the stem (laminating glues the wood together - effectively making different pieces of wood one piece - this is the same way we make our ribs.)

I would be lying if I said that Ted and I did not get covered in epoxy when were doing this. Gluing upside down and making sure the bolt holes are lined up was hell. We dry fitted everything and drilled the holes because we didn't want to be fiddling with lining everything up perfectly and being dripped on. I think it was the right way to do it because we have a great fit. 
So that plank you can see hanging out the side... I used it as a block so we didn't dent the new stem. 

A little break from the bow! Laminating ribs. We use thin strips of white oak and bend them into shape. Laminating ribs like this is said to be stronger then steam bent ribs. This is more time consuming and expensive. We have to buy special epoxy that can withstand the acidity of the white oak. If you use the epoxy that we used on the bow stem (which is made from mahogany) the acid in the oak would basically eat the epoxy.

One morning was very cold and I refused to leave for the boat and made Ted play Scrabble. And yes, that X landed on the triple word score. 

Finally dried after a week of mild temperatures 

Rabbet (the grove that the front of the planks fit into) is complete and the planks are ready to be fitted and put in. I think we were able to save two planks. The others were either rotten or way to short.

First plank almost ready!

Ta-daa! Just needs some fancy bronze jewelry. 

This is the before shot from last weekend. We had the luxury of being in the heated section of the shop. It was pure bliss! And the lighting was far superior. 

Just so you understand how nice it is to be in a heated shop. Will be a few months before it is warm enough to launch!

Getting started on more planks. It is really nice having the space to be able to clamp the plank down and have a look at what needs to be planed down. 

It is a bit daunting sitting at the front of the boat. I always worry that I am going to slip out. 

Ted was impressed at my idea to use the trailer as a prop for painting the floor that we had taken out. We took this floor out because the bolt that was through it to the bow stem was broken. It was also not fitting so one of the elves (Jamie) spent some time making it fit.  

Leaving the boat Saturday night. I gave her a hair cut and a colour. We had the cotton caulking hanging out at long lengths. She looked a little rough and I was using a router to cut back some of the planks and I didn't want to get tangled in the cotton. We took the heated room opportunity to paint everything at the front as well. 

We had the paparazzi down on Sunday to take some stellar shots of me and Ted. The first plank is going in - I don't know what we are looking at. But I know that there is a photo of me as a child with the exact same face.  

The paparazzi paparazzing themselves! Take note, these are also the elves.  

The power of plaid! Ted and I some how both have plaid working jackets (totally on purpose). My head is inside the boat as I fit a butt block and Ted is preparing to fasten the second plank. He got worried when I was doing this and he started using the drill. 

Last summer I noticed that the chain plates were leaving the hull.  This year I have decided to remove the current bolts and re-bolt them and I sent Jamie to start finding the right plugs. This meant that he had to figure out which were plugs for the frames and which were plugs for the chain plates. 

Ted looks like he had a tough day. We have three planks in now and the 4th, 5th, and 6th should be going in this coming weekend! Don't worry, I took him out for a beer after this. 

Back in the unheated shed for the week and slightly more whole! 

The Murphy Vortex of Lateness

 "How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it is afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the...