First weekend of the refit..

Work starts..

Well, kinda..

At this point I'm completely overwhelmed by the entire project. I've really no idea where to start. I haven't even found a ladder to get up on deck. Here's Julie, waiting patiently for me to get my head in gear.

The most brainless and obvious first task, after finding a ladder, is cleaning out all the junk inside. So that's where things will start.

Found a ladder!

Ok, I can do this.. Of course the kids want to get up there and try falling off so they can kill themselves.

We brought the kids's bikes so they can entertain themselves riding around. This works out pretty well. As long as at least one grownup is keepin' an eye on them. Of course, Dan tries to get himself run over by a truck.

At least now the project is beginning to move forward.

With perfect timing Don (Squirt) shows up bringing his daughter Chelsea. Chelsea and Alex hang together and entertain the younger kiddies. Don takes a tour of the boat's cabin. He can not believe we'd go out in the ocean in this machine. Don's sailed through far scarier ocean areas than I. (North Coast California & Oregon) In a power boat no less. I'd be scared to death taking a power boat out to sea. I think he's nuts. So I guess we're even.

Here's Don working on the prop. He does a great job of kickin' me in the butt and getting me moving on the stuff I have to work on.

Here's the main problem that needs to be focused on. The gelcoat's blistered off the lead of the keel. Just a nasty mess. Lucky there is no hull blistering in the glass itself. So all I really have to deal with is a cosmetic mess. (Whew!)


One of the bigger blisters.

But then it started to rain and everyone wanted pizza. Things like that happen in boat yards. We went and had a nice quiet dinner of pizza and beer while the kids terrorized the pizza parlor.

The next day it looked like it was going to rain, or maybe clear up? Make up your mind weather!

While waiting for the weather to decide what it was going to do, I checked Spit-N-Bailingwire (The Jetboat). Found water up to the oil pan. "Whoops, better pump this out!" Fired up the bilge pump then thought. "Maybe I should start the motor so pumping the bilge doesn't run the battery down?" Flipped the key and..


"Oh no! The engine's full of rainwater!"

Sunday morning was spent drying out Spit's motor and getting it going again.

By that afternoon the storm had pretty much broken up. So we headed back to the boatyard.

Don had loaned me a sander and I, of course, bought the wrong sand paper for it. This is as far as I got using my little orbital sander. Better than nothing. The kids were driving Julie batty and we had to got to dinner at her Dad's house that evening. I felt lucky to get anything done at all.

New zinc, shined up shaft. The strut is just beginning to clean up. When I need to think I work on cleaning up the strut. I'm still wondering if I should pull the prop off and rebuild/clean it up.

Lucky for us we were nearly the only people at the boatyard. So the kids didn't get anyone mad at us running amok. In fact its oddly lonesome out there. Do they work on the boats during the week? Donno' I'll find out Monday.


Lets add Monday & Wednesday.

Its Monday and I'm waiting for Julie to come home so I can go back up and spend the afternoon/evening sanding. I finally got the correct sandpaper for Don's sander. Dyin' to see how it works on the keel. The garage is full of cushions being cleaned up. Julie's old foulies disintegrated in the wash. The list grows on and on.

Grind grind grind..

Don's borrowed sander worked great! But, as the sun set Monday evening, so did Don's sander. Its poor internals froze up. So I went home.

Wednesday, I bought a new sander. But, it takes a different type of sandpaper. By now I have a substantial supply of wrong sizes or types of sand paper. Some is velcro, some is glue on, some is round, some square.. Some is too fine.

I've never seen any that's too coarse.

I was able to finish up the starboard side late Wednesday afternoon.

Then the port side was started. This is where I ran into the "too fine" sandpaper problem. All I had left was 60 grit. It kinda' shines things up, but just doesn't get in there and cut like I'd like.

You can kinda' see how things are being done. I mark out a rectangle and grind the edges. Then slowly grind out the middle "island" until its all clear. At that point its a good time to walk around a little, go back, mark the next rectangle, do it all over again.. It was the middle of the second rectangle when I ran out of 40 grit paper and daylight, and I didn't want to sand anymore anyway.

Time to call it a night..

After running out of paper and ambition, it was time to stroll about the boatyard. Its always fun to check out the other boats. I love boatyards, always have.

This is an Islander 36. Always thought that these were cool boats. This one seemed really sweet.

Lets take a close look at its keel..

Oh dear, its just as bad as mine! Misery loves company. I wonder about the fact that you can see where the lead and the hull come together. Is it working loose? Or, is this normal?

I've never heard of a I-36 loosing a keel. So maybe this is normal?

There are other J/35 people on the net! Well actually, I always figured there would be. I just never bothered going out and looking for them. They even have a discussion forum for askin' J/35 type questions. This is good, maybe someone out there can tell me how to finish this keel project. Oh yeah, and how to seal up the mast boot. That has been a problem ever since we bought this silly machine.


++ The beginning ++

Next weekend >>

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