I finally got ahead of the development curve on the two software packages I am supposed to deliver on 17 July, and decided that it was a good day to finally get some rest and finish my little lady.
Since my last post, I had to give her 3 weeks to cure before I could flip her back upright. Once back on the trailer, I got in with some Worst Marine textured deck paint in off white and twice coated all the cockpit surfaces save for the actual footwells, which were never textured to begin with, and I wanted to ba able to clean the floors of any dirt, soda, beer, food, etc. depending on who is with me that day. The end result is even more classy than I had originally envisioned. The off white complements the blue pearl really nicely and ties the deck rails in with the cream waterline stripes and bottom. The deck coating is actually really nice to apply, as it rolls out with a textured wool roller, and appears to be self levelling. The end result is a nice even texture (I was really concerned about applying this coating after my little fiasco with the primers and such before). My fears nullified as soon as the second coat went down and I saw that the pumice evened out very nicely and the paint covered well. Note to self.... Calculate square footage for paint and then double it before calculating paint requirements. I did a very thorough calculation on the interior and decks, and then calculated for two coats based on the manufacturer's instructions and that turned out to only cover once. Apparently the wool roller I was using puts down a heavier coat than the foam rollers I think they were probably considering. Oh well, at least it was off-the-shelf and was a fast trip to pick up another quart. The net result is a very durable, very safe and very nice looking completion to my little restoration job. Even when new, this Sailnetics FJ NEVER looked this good.
The rigging effort was actually spread out over two weekends (albeit over a month apart), but I finally got in and finished it up today. A month ago, I got in and ran all the 1/4 inch poly. This included the jib cunningham, the hiking strap shrouds, the boom vang, the main cunningham, the centerboard control, and the traveller. Interestingly enough, the boat came with a lot of very high end hardware. I know that Sailnetics had a reputation for shipping their boats with all Ronstan or Harken rigging depending on customer choice. Somewhere along the lines, the boat has been completely re-rigged with all original hardware (good stuff) upgraded with all the best Harken ratcheting blocks, Ronstan self-guiding cam-cleats, and a very high end (for a dinghy) reciprocating ball traveller and compund block with tailing cam-cleat. All of this made me start adding up all the replacement const for all these race-rig parts and the final number was up around half of the replacement cost of the boat new from H&H Sailcraft in Ohio (the only certified FJ builder in the US). Needless to say, when I found out that the traveller needed some attention (all the balls in the traveller had eroded and were pitted) it was a no brainer to go ahead and rebuild with new parts. Needless to say, the balance of the rigging hardware is in like-new condition so all I ended up replacing was the poly stock.
I found out that the best way to fly when replacing sheets and halyards is to go to Worst marine and look over their closeout and clearance stock. It is usually pretty impressive when one can find 200 feet of premium 3/8 line at 38 cents per foot, especially when it goes for three times that price when you have it cut off the spool. Regardless, my trip ended up netting me 130 feet of 3/8 and 70 feet of 1/4 New England "Sta-Set" for right at 75 dollars. I scanned the net and couldn't even come close to this anywhere else. Can you believe it? I actually got a good deal at West, for once.
Anyway when I resumed work today, I started with the spyderlines for the mast rig, which is currently not being used, however may be reemployed ata later date for trapeze control or maybe even go back to mast tuning. After I finished dealing with that and getting the thru-hull fixtures back in place, I raised the mast and hoisted the sails. The sails you are seeing in the pics are the original stock that came with the boat. I am going to burn these out until such time as I am forced to bring out the new NorthSails compliment, or I decide to start club racing again... This time with my own boat and not the club owned boats that never get rigged right. With the flying stock raised and ready for action, it was time to build new sheets. First I grabbed a new set of aluminum snap hooks, and then set out to measure a new mainsheet and jibsheets. I love working with triplebraid line, as opposed to dinghy line. Being of much higher quality, it doesn't unravel as bad, and melts nicely to finish off the cut ends so it doesn't fray. I was glad to get rid of the garbage that was there before.
Now that the lines were sized, cut and installed, it was time for the fun part... optimizing the rig. There are about 20 different ways to rig this boat, so I played with several until I figured out that the last person to rig the boat had done so to accommodate multiple scenarios... Single handed with the skipper seated anywhere aft of the traveller, and all lines running conveniently aft for ease of use; Double handed cruising, with the jib sheets running through a set of blocks and easily led across the boat from the car tracks through a set of cam-cletes mounted to the centerboard tunnel; and double-handed race with trapeze (this includes utilization of cars that carry a block on one side and a cam-clete on the opposite side for best access when hanging off the rails from the wires. I figure these first two setups will be employed most often unless something happens and we start getting really competetive.
Anyway, check out what a fully race-rigged Olympic class dinghy entails... Even the Laser Bahias I was racing in Berkeley didn't have so many ways to fine-tune the running rig... Now if I can just remember what all those damn lines do when the situation demands it, and hopefully not get all tangled up in it and end up going overboard... eesh!
Seriously, this is going to be a fun boat to sail... it should be close to the Lasers but heads and shoulders beyond the Lido I sailed as a kid.
Now to find a pace to take it out (that isn't the river running with a 2-5 knot current, depending on the tides) where I can learn how she behaves and what to expect from her under various conditions. Once the familiarization is complete, the Stockton Deep Water Channel and Turning Basin should be good, with easy access and right up the raod from home. No more hour and a half drive just to go get wet.
Anyway, enjoy the pics... This was a fun project and I enjoyed every minute of the restoration... The result is really nice, classy and clean. Now if I could just get another weekend off to go sailing...