Time is getting short
18 May 2009 | n41 50 49.9 w87 39 0.6
There has been a considerable amount of action around Lucky Bird. Last week end Alice and I decided to install our Hydrovane self-steering device. The job went like clockwork do to the excellant engineering and very thoughtful design of this incredible machine. The most difficult aspect was mounting the fist bracket, the "H" bracket, because of the location. It has to be mounted on the lowest part of the transom which is also the farthest reach from inside the lazarette. Once the H bracket was in place we used a 1 1/2 inch piece of pvc pipe to achieve vertical alignment and to measure and cut the "E" bracket arms. Hydrovane has done an extraordinary job engineering this unit down to a means for expanding the brackets to provide for more easily sliding the rudder shaft and flange. The whole project took four hours with a break for lunch and a beer. Not too shabby for us older folks.
Once that task was complete we moved on to the bottom. I really wanted to see what the boat looked like under the paint so we started stripping. First by sanding with an orbital sander and 40 grit paper. Far too slow and costly in terms of paper. Then we found Petit Bio Blast paint remover and we were off to the races, well sort of. We painted on a layer of the remover, waited and then exerted an awful lot of energy to strip away a paint layer or two, then another coat of the remover and repeat the process. A 42 foot boat looks very large when removing four layers of paint a few inches at a time. A final ordibtal sanding with 80 grit cleans up the gel coat and we are now ready for three to four layers of barrier coat and three of antifouling.
I've also started work on the aft arch having mounted our KISS wind generator and brought down to the boat our new Furuno radar. We'll have the wind gen, the radar, a solar panel, two GPS antennas, two VHF antennas and a WIFI antenna mounted back there on the arch. Just imaging the fun wiring all these devices and building a NMEA 2k and NMEA 0183 network all hopefully before we splash Lucky Bird around June 16th.