New addition to the fleet

25 11 2012

Here is the latest addition to the fleet, a 1979 27′ Watkins Yacht. She need’s lots of work, but with any luck I’ll be ready to sail to the bahama’s in about a year.


Long hiatus

18 08 2012

Ok, so it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here and I need to bring it up to date, just in case someone is actually reading this.

The Mermaid has undergone an amazing transformation the last few months as I’ve modified her rigging and purpose in life. She’s being changed to a pirate sloop, the rigging is being changed to a lanteen rig. This version is for show only as she’ll be powered by an outboard for most manuvers, but I hope to secure the rigging in such a way that she’ll be able to sail under the lanteen rigging. I’m loving the way she’s looking currently and hope that she’ll look just as lovely once the mast is up (this mast is a show mast only.)

2011 in review

31 12 2011

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Topside paint – a masterpiece

23 06 2011

Ok, so I got the topside painting done, ready to start putting the hardware back on. Since I don’t have the wood for the rub guard just yet, I decided to paint a strip to help improve the appearance along the hull joint. I went with Navy blue since I plan to paint the bottom blue (has nothing to do with my old alma matter US Navy…) I think it looks pretty spiffy. I hope to get the bottom paint on sometime over the next couple of weeks. I will have to rebuild the rudder, but I knew that going in. I’m also adding a bow spirit to the bow (it would look pretty questionable at the stern) and I’m building a new boomkin out of oak. I’m hoping it will work out ok in the long run.

I’m liking it so far. Also, and this is the exciting part, I plan to replace the cleats on the foward cockpit bulkhead with pin rails and belaying pins. It should add some old salt charm to the mighty gal! They’ll be made of oak, each 16″ wide with three belaying pins in each. There being two pin rails, one port and one starboard. I plan to use one for the main and the other for the jib, probably port being jib, not sure that’s the final deck plan, but it’s the working version for now.

Now for the hard part, where to find a Mermaid figure head that fits my vision and budget.

She’s a fine looking vessel…..

And then the rain came….

27 05 2011
So the last two days I’ve gotten more done than I have in the past few months. Borrowed a generator from a freind so I got the sanding done above the water line in record time. Turned my attention to the cockpit late yesterday and today. Got some of the wood sanded and all of the cockpit, except under the benches. I think I’ll leave that as is for now. I plan to do more work to the cockpit this fall.
Port sided bulkhead

Port side bulkhead


Cokpit all painted

Cockpit looking port forward.

Starboard cockpit forward

Forward bulkhead from the cockpit, starboard side.

Starboard bulkhead

Starboard bulkhead


Teak seat slates

Teak seat slates


Interior bulkhead

Interior bulkhead

 So after I got the paint on the cockpit, I wrapped stuff up and went in for lunch. Whilst partaking in a well deserved snooze following a bit to eat, I noticed this odd sound coming from outside. I dashed to the porthole and what did I see? The heavens had opened up and dumped the sorely needed water upon us. What of the paint job you wonder? Well, the paint had plenty of time to dry so it’s just fine.

Love Bugs and Sanding Dust

17 05 2011

Ok, so I’ve been neglegent in my duties as skipper and yard bird. But it’s getting done slowly and surely.
Here are some photos of the duraglass topping. The hull repair went really well, the duraglass curing predictably and timely, sanded and shapped, good job. The cosmetic repairs above the waterline, well, it’s a learning curve afterall. I didn’t get enough hardner mixed in and it wasn’t setting up the way it should have. After consulting with a body guy who knows glass work, I began scraping the non-hardend filler out. But, after several days of procrastination, I went back today to scrape more out and presto chango, it was hard as a rock and wonderfully sandable. So now instead of a pile of rubbery filler, it’s a nicely filled repair job now. Had to fill in some gouges with epoxy filler to smooth it out, but it’s getting there.
I hope to have a couple of quarts of paint at the end of next week and I can start putting some topside paint on over memorial weekend. That’s the hope anyway.

Photos of what I’ve been doing

1 01 2011

Here are the afore mentioned photos of what I’ve done to the Mermaid over the last couple of days.

 I used epoxy putty to fill in the dings and gouges in the hull. One patch still needs some major sanding, the others (lower left in the photo) are pretty well ready for primer and paint.

The port side kitchen area before cleaning and painting. You can see the discoloration and stains from the previous submarine adventures.

The aft bulkhead after cleaning and painting. Looks lots better, don’t cha agree? I’m thinking about painting this bulkhead a really nice caribbean blue. Maybe not, but I do have the paint left over from another project, so maybe yes.

Port side seat/bunk with the new hatch cover primed and in place.

New cafe style doors covering the access ‘hole’ to the engine room/bilge. I decided to go with cafe style doors thinking that it will be easier to access when underway or when there’s lots of ‘stuff’ on board. This hatchway will be behind the ladderway when everythings done.

Starboard before cleaning and painting.

An overall view of the aft bulkhead before cleaning and painting. It’ll look better after. What do you think? Caribbean blue?

Ok, so they could be sorted better, but the it takes longer than I want to put in on organizing a blog. So this is what I did today. Most of yesterday was spent cleaning, stripping hardware and cleaning.

Here is a photo of the hole in the keel with a couple of layers of fiberglass over it. A freindly neighbor is going to be getting me some commercial grade glass mat. I plan to put a total of about 8 layers of glass to keep the water and bilge rats out. With the commercial grade (used in the boat building shops for hull construction) the last 6 layers should be enough to keep the urchins out.

Now, what to do to it next… Bottom paint will be coming at the end of Jan., topside paint I hope to have by the end of Feb. Major interior rebuild will be put off until the end of the year. It’s always tricky writting that during the transitional period of the year, did I mean that to be 2010 or 2011? What date did I put on that check today? BTW, notice the 1/1/11 date today, only once in a millenium can you do that. The next time, 1/1/2111, I hope to be working on another boat 🙂