Welding Chainplates

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We teamed up with Rolf again, this time for the chainplates. We had the chainplates bent out of stock mild steel flat bar with Van Bebber but we needed to weld on the bit that the bolt securing the dead eyes to the chainplates attaches to.

Garrett got to pull out this bad boy, a horizontal bandsaw. I don’t know much about these machines but it cut through the steel like nothing. It was easier than slicing hard cheddar at work. The blade, with water running continuously, basically laid on the steel and made a perfectly straight cut.

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<——- ┬áBEFORE

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AFTER ———–>

 

 

We have two chainplates per side per mast, that makes eight total. The mizzen chainplates are a little smaller at, I believe, 2 inches and the main chainplates are slightly larger, again Garrett will correct me but I believe, 2.5 inches wide.

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After Garrett cut each of the pieces to be welded out of bar stock inch and a quarter, Rolf used the old iron lady to bore the 1/2 inch hole we decided on to accept a half inch bolt to hold up the rigging. I do believe I heard a “bore-ing” joke escape Rolf’s mouth. But for me, I loved watching that beautiful faded green machine spin out product. I’m sure years and years and years from now I’d be equally bored…pun intended ­čśë

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There’s something entrancing about watching something do what it does so well. Just like a violinist with instrument in hand or a bartender sliding drinks to thirsty customers. Sure it has its moments of frustration and we all don’t want to get out of bed everyday with a smile but this is a piece of history. Rolf’s told me the story but alas it’s a blank but I do know she’s older than Rolf, so there you go.

So, Rolf drilled, cleaned, and rounded than threw it to Garret (literally) and he spun the bored tube on this cool sander thingy (technical term) and presto! With the rust blasted away it looks like we went to West Marine and paid $50ea. when in reality we found a 2 foot bar in a salvage yard for 8 bucks, so $1 per fitting. I like those numbers.

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Next step was to weld all 8 pieces to their respected chainplate. Babies for the mizzen and biggies for main.

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Rolf tacked the pieces in place then turned Garrett and I loose to weld the rest!

 

 

 

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Garrett and I have found

our new hobby. Although

Garrett learned quick that

he has to remember to eat

something! Shaky hands

makes for a grueling mastery of welding.

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Wicked fun!

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A great 3 hour work day! Next is to start positioning them on the hull. If you don’t remember, I know I haven’t forgotten, this is when Garrett says I can paint the hull!!!! He just wants to get the first holes drilled while he can still see the fasteners in the planking. The rest of the work on the chainplates thereafter can happen after we are in the water. We’ll have to create the metal straps that go around the lower dead eye which then attaches, by bolt, to the pieces we just welded onto the chainplates. Then we’ll have to make the dead eyes of course, and then the rigging which it still TBD but Garrett’s really contemplating kevlar rigging worm/parcel/and served. Our neighbor and buddy is doing that on his Aries 32 and we’ve been helping/watching the process and it seems super sweet but more on that at a later date. I gotta get home and make some dinner!
Cheers!
~Ruthie

Armor Plating

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Armor plating, also known as sheathing, has been our life for the last two weeks. We started at the waterline Saturday before last and we are blasting through it. We’ve now sheathed almost to the transom. Our goals have been waterline down then from boat stand to boat stand, day by day. This is day one:

The Young Salt and the Tar Queen

Getting the first three planks on took the longest as we had to test fit then permanently tar and screw them in; setting the flow for the rest of the planks down to the chine. Now that I think about it I don’t know if I can call this day one… Days prior to this we had to sort and transport all the good┬ápieces of fir to the boat from their storage place at my parents then plane and mill those boards into 3 inch by 3/4 strips of sheathing planks.

You’re probably asking yourself why…? Why sheathing? What’s the purpose? Is that necessary?

We debated the same questions.

So the purpose: sheathing is essentially double planking an already beefy hull but the true purpose beyond extra strength and basically making the boat bulletproof is it is a sacrificial layer. Meaning worms, icebergs, pilings, partially sunk shipping containers, you name it could attack the sheathing leaving the main planking safe or at least keep us from leaking/sinking until we can repair damage. Most importantly, meaning Garrett’s number one concern, is the protection from worms. We plan to sail to the tropics. Lush beautiful crystal clear blue water but we’re not the only ones that thrive there;┬áteredo worms love it too. Interesting fact about marine worms is that they tend, when eating wood, to stay in one plank zig zagging back and forth up and down. This makes having a sacrificial layer distanced from your structural planking with heaps of tar a wonderful piece of mind that your home will be safe and its integrity held.

And is it necessary: Is building a boat?…

We’ve come this far why not a little further into insanity?

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Day two Garrett set a big goal, sheath all the way to the chine before days end. Garrett and I did ok, getting two full runs up by about 5 leaving only 2ish runs left to reach the chine. But we were pooped! Thanks to our amazing neighbor who cranked up the

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sea shanty tunes and kicked our butts into gear for a final push. With his help and every minute of daylight

we achieved that goal.

 

…We really wore Swab out!

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The following day was a video making day for me and a trimming day for Garrett.

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We’re really happy with how the sheathing is coming. Garrett just hates the sticky… It’s going to be so great when it’s complete and a huge mental ease for Garrett knowing it’s below us. Speaking of below us, so presently it is gravel but she is a boat and one day she’ll float! This project is the last major one before launching day. After the sheathing is finished we’ll be ready to slap some bottom paint on her and wheel her to the ramp. A few odds and ends remain but no more cabin modifications or holes–I probably shouldn’t say that out loud—good thing I just wrote it ­čśë

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Chainplates in Progress

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Garrett made the templates long ago, while we were still in the middle of the cabin remodel, and ultimately decided to let someone else bend the chainplates into shape. With the advice from Rolf, He and Garrett went to Van Bebber in Petaluma.

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Since the steel we are using is pretty beefy it was wise to go to an industrial place that was made to manipulate metal. The added benefit to taking it someplace else to have done was that it freed Garrett up for other projects in the meantime.

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We got the call that our order was ready and ran out to grab our chainplates earlier this week!

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Garrett was really excited to test fit them against the hull and channels and see just how close Van Bebber was able to get them to the templates he made. The plates were spot on!

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They’re not done yet but now we are ready to drill the holes for the fasteners and weld the tube to receive the bolt for the dead eyes. Instead of turnbuckles we are going the traditional route. We still have so much locust (which we used for the bulwark stantions) left to turn out some beautiful proper dead eyes. With Rolf’s help he and Garrett will make the metal wrapping to go around the dead eyes and lock into the chainplates. So first, we will have to customize the chainplate before installing onto the boat…which means I still have to wait to paint the hull…but it won’t be long now! Stay tuned. Things are about to get real sexy

 

 

 

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