Friday, July 03, 2015

Waterway Taping & Matte Non-Skid Application

With the initial hardware placement sorted, it's time to get down to the business of establishing waterways and taping around the hardware.  Placement of every piece of deck hardware was considered, careful attention paid to insure no sheets chafe, and each lead is fair.

The decision was made to have a three inch waterway along the toerail, expanding to 4-1/2 inches at the transom.  The radius at the bow was carefully taped to 3/4" matching the line on the aft side of the bow chalks.

With the deck hardware going down it seemed a good time to get the copper tubes for the dorade boxes sorted.

The hand made copper vent tube for the forward dorade ventilator was fit after silver soldering a traditional sweat joint with the bronze deck fitting.  Proportions for the tube height are detailed in Olin Stephens' original type plan which is available from Sparkman & Stephens.

The completed fitting is screwed in place and bedded in butyl rubber tape.


The cabin top dorade boxes were also installed with their requisite copper tubing in place.  Like the originals, the cabin top boxes fully encapsulate the vent tubing, insuring there is no chance of water ingress into the cabintop.  The boxes themselves are bedded in a healthy quantity of butyl to insure no moisture can ever make it under the boxes.



The forward bases for the bow pulpit are bolted through the deck and screwed into the toerail using bronze tapped inserts.  These allow for easy removal when varnishing.  As the pulpit is wired for navigation lights, a small tube protrudes from the base to allow for wiring to enter the pulpit cleanly from under deck.  The wires are never exposed.  Typical Nevins, elegant and clean.



Small cover plates screw into the deck for each shroud tang.  Like all the deck hardware, these are original.


Remaining hardware was all taped 3/4 inch once the waterways were established along the toerail.

Paint & Griptex Application


For the deck we chose Awlgrip.  The color is a custom mixture of Grand Banks Beige and Stark White. They were blended by eye until we achieved the hue of bleached & silvered teak, carefully matching the hue of the paint on the hull as no white is truly white.  This was applied to a chip which was sent to Awlgrip who then created a custom color for their catalogue called Bonne Amie Beige.

The original decks were made by Nevins from plywood covered in No. 10 Cotton Duck cloth, bedded in white lead.  For obvious reasons this is no longer a viable way to cover a deck.  Beyond the obvious long term toxic consequences of bedding cloth in white lead, cotton covered decks fail with frightening frequency once the cloth is compromised.

Both Olin & Mitch raised the issue more than once during my visits back to Maine & Newport.  Both strongly encouraged this concession to authenticity in the restoration which is why the deck remains the only place in the boat where we've used epoxy and glass. 

Once all the the deck was taped a full coat of Awlgrip was rolled onto the deck, one person on port working in tandem with other to starboard.

A coating of Awlgrip Griptex texture beads were sprayed directly onto the wet paint using a simple, low cost, wall texture gun.  After curing over night, excess beads were carefully vacuumed off the deck prior to top coating.

Over each of the two successive days additional coats of matte finish Awlgrip were applied to the non-skid.

Once the deck is fully cured the waterways will be cut in with the same color gloss Awlgrip.

Port side deck jewelry
After curing overnight we pulled 'most' of the tape, and carefully positioned all the deck hardware.  Tape was pulled using a 'floatie' to avoid walking on the still curing paint.  Any remaining bits of tape will be pulled after a few days.  A great deal of tape residue is remains, but it's better to wait a few days. Better safe than sorry.

Port side water tank fill. Some glossy patches remain visible as the flattening agent rises to the surface as the Awlgrip cures, a many day long process.

Foredeck with forward dorade box fitted & chromed cleat pad, note holes for windlass
Starboard side deck


Tom's taping turned out perfect.  The hardware all looks stunning on the freshly painted deck.

Thursday afternoon, as the sun emerged on cue for the Fourth of July weekend, Bonne Amie was moved into the sun to help cure the new paint.  We may spend part of the day sunning in the cockpit tomorrow :)

Nanami approves

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Deck Hardware Placement

After meeting with the sailmaker last week to determine clew heights, sheeting positions, etc. we began the long process of determining the placement for all the deck hardware.

On the surface this seems like an easy enough task.  In reality, twin primaries create some real problems leading sheets fairly to the turning blocks, lead positions for the smaller headsails, and spinnaker blocks aft.  A number of placement choices result in sheets chafing spars, coamings, or create any number of interference issues with other winches, stanchions, etc.

From the forward most lead position for the #1 and AP Genoas the sheet just clears the lifeline stanchions. Note that the winch handles turn neatly inside the lifelines but the top of the handle still remains below the top lifeline.  This image shows one of the oft overlooked details of Olin Stephens' genius. Note how the radius of the coamings flows neatly into the radius of the brow on the aft side of the cabin trunk.



Starting with lifeline stanchions, we placed each base along the toerail.  Once placed & measured, it's critical to insure the stanchions are outboard far enough to not interefere with the genoa when sailing upwind.  The foot of the #1 genoa seals to the deck creating a proper end plate to minimize pressure loss between the two sides of the sail, maximizing drive.  

Aft of the forward face of the cabin trunk, where end plate seal is less of a concern, the foot is radiused (raising the clew) to allow it to pass over the lifelines as the genoa track is mounted to the toerail.  This requires the shanchion bases aft of the aft lowers be brought inboard a tiny distance to allow the sheet to clear the lifelines.

Fair sheet lead to the genoa sheet turning block.

Once this is done the bases aft are placed to insure lifelines follow a smooth arc aft from the bow, careful attention paid to where the #1 genoa sheets pass to the turning block.

The lead to the original Nevins forward primary just clears the aft winch base.
With the hardware positioned we can drill the fastener holes and temporarily fasten all the deck hardware before taping off the waterways for application of non-skid.  With some luck the deck will be completed next week.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tiller Restoration

Thanks to Stephen Olson in Maine, we have an original tiller end fitting from one of the other original Nevins 40's.  This was the single most difficult piece of hardware for us to locate.  

With this part in hand we're able to begin the new tiller.  Once again, Ted Pike from Edensaw in Port Townsend came through for us, supplying a massive white ash timber (far more than I can ever use).  Peter and I cut a six foot length for the new tiller handle (using a mere quarter of the original timber, let me know if anyone needs any tiller stock).


Ted selected a perfect, clear, straight-grain piece which will steam bend nicely once it's been turned.

The tiller is constructed to S&S's original type plan No. 91 (used originally for the NY32's in 1935).  As Nevins built both the NY32's (Design No. 125) and the 40's, the tiller's are nearly identical.



Andy Wickert turned the tiller on his extra-long lathe, built by joining two individual lathes together.  The tiller is only four feet long, but still longer than the lathes at the yard, and we wanted extra length for steaming.  Using Andy's setup allowed us to turn the full 6 foot timber.


Andy's the consummate perfectionist, but even after three hours of painstaking effort he maintains the mildest, kindest demeanor you could hope for.  The taper was re-worked two or three times until the entire shape was perfect and well proportioned to both eye and hand.


Once the taper was complete the tip of the handle was turned to the plan and then fit carefully to my hand, a nice personal touch I'm sure we'll both remember for a long time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

E. S. Ritchie Globemaster Compass Restoration - Part II

Below are images of the completed compass which was picked up today.  Bill at Island Marine Instruments did an amazing job, Rod would have been proud of the work done to restore this unit.

As tested it gimbals to nearly 90° and will gimbal without deviation to just past 45°.


    The original etched plaque from E.S. Ritchie & Sons, Inc.

    Beautiful new 2° card with points and a felur de lis at north, note the bronze retainer for the shadow pin

Friday, May 09, 2014

E. S. Ritchie Globemaster Compass Restoration - Part I

During this past Seattle Boat Show we stopped by to see the wonderful folks at Ritchie Navigation of Pembroke, MA regarding a compass for Bonne Amie.  We were introduced to the folks at Island Marine Instrument Co Inc., whom it turned out, had an original 6" Globemaster compass in inventory suitable for restoration.


Rod Stephens was a great fan of the compasses made by E. S. Ritchie, Inc. and had them fitted to a number of custom S&S yachts over the years.   In his unpublished memoirs Rod noted:
I learned to navigate offshore and to pilot alongshore before the days of navigational electronics, all these simple electronic solutions to these problems, so I developed a tremendous respect for a well installed, high class magnetic steering compass.
If adjusting is necessary I have found the Ritchie compass to provide a very good mounting unit, which has a number of advantages. First and foremost, it has, small tubes one on each quarter from the forward and aft centerline, one on the starboard and port side centerline for East and West, and then you put any minor corrections, I know in my own boat I had something like a very fine Eversharp pencil refill that was a magnet and that went in for the North and South where I had about a half a degree error and I put tape around it and put it in the little tube with plastic caps and I need nothing on East and West and I have never had any measurable deviation on any course under any condition.
- Rod Stephens                          

These older units are very sought after for their beautiful craftsmanship and precision, therefore quite difficult to locate in condition suited to restoration.

Bill and I discussed our project, Bonne Amie's history, and came to an agreeable figure, and Bonne Amie had her compass.

The compass itself was in very good external condition so the housing could, with a little effort, be returned to pristine condition, while internals could be rebuilt with new-old-stock parts to essentially construct a brand new, vintage compass.  Newer versions of these compasses are available, but many of the original bronze components are now made of modern materials.

The original compass featured a traditional 2° card with points.  These beautiful, classic cards are recognizable by the fleur-de-lis at north. We opted to use this same card with a polished bronze shadow pin as used in Ritchie's hand made Superyacht Compasses. Given Bonne Amie's name how could we forgo the Fleur-de-lis?

Bronze shadow pin & 2° card with points in a new hand build Ritchie Superyacht Compass
The compass was disassembled and the housing shipped to Circle Polishing in Newburyport, MA. Circle Polishing does all the restoration chrome for Ritchie Navigation and has a proprietary process for non-magnetic chrome (as opposed to more typical industrial hard chrome processes).  Mary at Circle Polishing was extremely helpful and stayed in close touch throughout the restoration process and chroming.

Once complete, Mary sent an image of the completed parts as they came out of quality control. Simply, remarkable.

We anticipate arrival of the parts Friday, May 16 and will pick up the completed assembly Monday, May 19.  Stay tuned for images.