Friday, August 30, 2013

Destroying a boat


A friend has(had) a 31 ft Corvette sailboat that needed to be scraped. It took a bit of work but after 12 hr’s of hard labor I separated  the lead keel from the hull and removed all of the good fittings and hardware from the boat.
I used a bottle jack to lift the hull so that I could pry the lead away from the bottom of the boat.

I had to cut several of the bolts that held the lead to the bottom before it would let go.I've got strong straps on the lead since it weighs about 4000 lbs!

Some thru hulls I simply cut out of the hull rather than take the time to carefully remove them. Afterwards, I strapped the boat to the trailer and headed to the dump.
notice how thick the hull is? This was a well made boat.

My friend Ralph is beat after helping me in the high heat and high humidity. The boat is ready to head for the dump.
 For a price they lifted the boat off from the trailer and off it went into the big landfill.
I used plenty of straps and they effortlessly lifted it off from the trailer

and onto the ground.
All I had left of the corvette was the lead keel, and the mast. 
The lead strapped and ready to go to the recyclers

One last stop to pick up the mast and boom.

I took the lead to the metal scrap yard and the mast home with me. In the old days, many old of the wooden boats boats simply sank to the bottom and were “recycled” by marine life today though, it’s to the dump for those tough old fiberglass hulls. The only question I have now is “anyone need a 34 ft aluminum mast?”

Monday, August 26, 2013



It’s been a busy month of work for me. After Ginger got into the water I went to work on some contracting jobs that I had agreed to. I had a worn out deck to replace in one case and all of the deck railings on the 2ndfloor decks to remove and replace with new ones

old rails that had to be removed

Finished product, new deck and new rail system on the decks.
 That’s a lot of stuff that has to be tore down and carried down 2 flights of steps then everything carried up two flights of steps. Far too much work for an old retired guy like me but, on the other hand, all of this contraction has given me a GREAT set of muscles.
Another result of the work is that the summer flew by. In another 8 weeks (or so) I will be going back down to Snow Goose to get her ready for the winter while Anna stays up in Michigan until Dec. She is taking a master gardener’s course and won’t be finished until Dec. 1st.I hope that your summer has been a bit less demanding than this one has been on us.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ginger rebuild XII


Well, after a week to let her swell up Ginger was ready to go. Bob and I added the gaff jaws to the gaff boom and laced the sail on to the boat she was ready to sail. The little 8 HP yanmar engine ran perfectly as we left the marina and died once we were out on the lake. There is an air leak in the fuel lines so the pump fuel couldn’t pump fuel from the tank to the motor… So we sailed. The wind died just as we entered the marina but we got a tow in. An auspicious start to the year.
Thanks for taking a look at this rebuild, hope that you enjoyed it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ginger rebuild XI


With the hull and the interior completed I now had to decide what to do with the lead. Ginger uses about 400 lbs of lead to help keep her upright against the pressure of the wind. This lead had been kept on the inside of the boat under the floor but I dislike having hundreds of lbs of loose lead that could shift about the boat in bad weather. So, I decided to melt all of the lead and recast it into 4 long keel weights that I could bolt to the bottom of the keel… easy to say, hard to do.

First, I had to build forms for the new ballast weight then I had to melt 400+ lbs of lead and pour it into the forms. After a day to cool and a bit of shaping I had new ballast lead ready to mount onto the bottom of the boat. I had cast notches into the lead to provide an overlap with the one in front. I took a sludge hammer to the lead and bent it to the curve of the keel. Then with help from Bob, I jacked the lead up to the bottom of Ginger, built bolts and bolted it into place. All that was left was a bit of trailer work and after a 5 year wait, Ginger went back into the water.

To all of you who have waded thru this very long series of blogs, I hope that you enjoyed them. It was a long, difficult project to rebuild 58 year old Ginger but as the results show, well worth it. I will give you a report on how well she sails in a few weeks. Until then, I hope that all of you enjoy the remaining summer, I know that I will!

The form was built on OSB, 2 1/2 inch deep.

I used this (close to) 100 year old stove to melt the lead on.

Very tricky business, each container weighed about 50lb of HOT molten lead

The finished product then had to be shaped, I used an electric hand planner to do the work.

To fit the lead to the bottom of Ginger I had to bend it. Notice the gap under the level?

This doesn't look like much but drilling lead is very tricky, the lead quickly melts and locks the bit into the lead. To prevent this you have to drip Acetone into the drill hole. It cools the bit and makes drilling lead from a pain in the a-- to a dream.

Good shot of the cast overlap in the lead.

All four pieces set up in their proper places ready to be mounted. There is a gap in the center because Ginger has a center board that you can drop down and so had to have a split ballast down the middle of the keel.

Fitting the lead onto the bottom of the boat.

Bob making bolts out of bronze rods. He's threaded the end, put a nut on and is pounding the end over so that the nut will never come off.

Spreading roofing tar onto the top of the lead just before raising it into place.

Pounding the bolts into place.

Finished !!!

One happy man!!!!

Because of the added distance from the lead, we had to take the wheels off from the trailer to roll it back under the boat.

Ginger on the trailer, masts loaded and ready to go.

Ta Da !!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ginger rebuild Part X


Now that the hull was now done all that was left was the inside. Ginger is only 19 feet long so the inside work wasn’t as daunting as it was when I rebuilt the Snow Goose. First, I had to complete the cockpit. I built new seating and changed the seats by making the seat tops into opening lids instead of the old  front access panels that it originally had. The engine slid back into place and started right up. I built a drain for the engine lid (to keep the rain out) and with a coat of paint, the cockpit was complete.

The area inside of the seats got a coat of paint and the seats took shape.

The front panel is installed and the seat drains were started.

I built slooping drains under the seat lids.

Port side finished ready for paint.

The engine went in...

And the engine box was framed out.



Then it was time to reinstall the interior. With only a few modifications I reinstalled the original interior inside of the boat. The original layout worked well and I didn’t see any use in changing things around. Ginger did get a new set of doors on the forward cubby and I painted the bulkheads “teal” to offset all of the interior white paint. Ginger will also get new cushions for sitting/sleeping on (as soon as I finish sewing them). Next, I had to get the lead out.
Empty insides
All done with a new coat of paint.