Log of SV Free Spirit and ships company

The chronicles of the schooner Free Spirit and her crew, embarking on an open ended journey upon the great rolling heap. Free Spirit is currently pursuing humanitarian and commercial goals in the Dominican Republic, on the island of Hispaniola. Working under the Ocean Reach USA and Paradigm Research banners, she is serving as logistics headquarters, workshop, and development laboratory for many ongoing projects. This is the log of her journey.....

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Beautiful Skylight

The beginning..... Nathalie and Olivier have spent the last few years refurbishing a wooden boat that is in France. Nathalie was a huge wealth of information, and taught us how to do this job correctly.

The first step was sanding every surface of the skylight, and then washing it down with soap and water.

The main repair that was needed was reinforcement of the base where it seats on the deck of the boat. Here we are applying the first layer of fiberglass with epoxy. First, you apply a layer of 2 part epoxy, then you lay the pre-cut piece of fiberglass over that area. The next step is brushing on epoxy until you cant really see the fiberglass any more. In the heat, it was quite a tricky operation, because the epoxy would cure in minutes.

Brush on......

After about 3 coats of epoxy it is time to re-sand every surface and prepare for varnishing.

Sanding away! It was kind of tricky to sand off the waxy layer of epoxy, without sanding through any part of the fiberglass.

As I have pointed out before... My dear Nathalie always has a beautiful smile on :-)

Oh ya... The doors for the skylight all had to be done as well! Although they did not require any fiberglass, they still needed to be applied with epoxy and sanded between every layer.
Here is Tamer test fitting the doors, they were marked when they were removed months ago, but the markings had weathered off.

First coat of varnish finished!

First side finished!

Installed, and awaiting one more sanding and coat of varnish. One thing that I learned from this project, was that it is well worth investing in an expensive varnish. It is really easy to apply, and dries super smooth and without brush strokes.

I did not remember to take a picture of the doors installed before we left the boat, I will have to get one when we return!

Collection... For Lack Of A Better Word

Here is our good friend Raoul, doing some inspection of the mast hardware on Memorial Day.

Here is our pet gator, Bob! Take note of the beautiful dragonfly on his eye...

Swim, Bob swim!!

The boys' biggest catch yet!! Could be an award winning large mouth bass :-)

The "Three Amigos" together once again, after 15 years! Raoul finally gets the front seat :-) Tamer tries to collapse the ceiling with his glamorous hat! Jon, with his wonderful laughter, enjoying the moment...

A brother moment....

Drake, using all his might, to push us off for a day sail.

The spotter, taking his job very seriously as he searches off the bow for dangers.

Valin, getting his first chance with the motor! Vroom-vroom!!

Blayde, as always, impressing us with his great captaining abilities. He takes great pride in his little ship, and manages his crew very well!

Windows & Hatches

The following posts are obviously a little late :-) Please attempt the closest thing to time travel available to you, and enjoy the moment!

Here are my long awaited new windows, sealed and not rusty! We are super happy with the job Alliance Glass in Fort Myers did for us, each piece fit perfectly! We still have one more to install when we return in the fall, because a unbroken piece was accidentally broken while being stored for re-installation.

There are 7 hatches all together on the boat. 1 forward, 4 on the salon cabin top, and 2 on the aft deck. All of them needed the steel prepped and the glass replaced. As shown in a previous post, we also installed new hinges on all of them. Here I am doing the very un-natural task of busting the old glass out of the frames.

Drake, watching and waiting for any excuse to use his hammer on this job :-)

Removing the old sealant.

Hmmm... Rusty, difficult to grind and full of glass slivers; Just how I wanted to spend the next few days......

Hmmm... Maybe in the right setting I could sell this as an art form. I have in my travels seen many sculptures that I would not consider a prettier form of art. Each on of these hatch covers did in fact take about 6 to 7 hours after the final coat of paint was applied.

Here are Tamer and Raoul installing the glass in the salon top hatches. Keep in mind that at this point in the day, it had probably peaked at about 98 degrees with a humidity of 90%. Also, most of the time, the daily thunderstorms only made the atmosphere more intolerable.

This is before the razor blade clean up around the edges of the sealant.

Cleaning up.... They turned out so beautifully! I couldn't be more happy with the end result! They are sooooo clear, and crack free too! (Nancy Reagan would be proud)

The new hatches even received a new latching system. The old ones were of a very bad design, hard for the kids to use, and an intrusion into the interior.

You can see here, that the gas struts are attached with a movable stainless steel plate, that rotates freely, depending on how much the hatch is open.

Fully opened... It is not shown, but there is a small rope that cleats to the interior to latch them shut.

Preparing the aft deck and final 2 hatches was a task that we had to finish before Tamer left for Alaska. The last of the big leaks! When we started removing the rust scale from the small space between the outer piece and the inner structural wall, we found that the port side was rusted through in many places. You can see here at the bottom of the picture, that Tamer has already cut off the section with the grinder. I am cleaning up the deck side of the cuts, and prepping the surface for welding on the new piece.

Blayde and Tamer heating and bending the new piece of flat bar to fit the space.

My amazing man welding on the new piece... I must point out (as I probably already have many times), this is the beauty of steel. If you have a bad piece, you cut it out, and weld in a new one!

The starboard side was not near as bad, and I was able to prep like the others. Here I am doing the thing that everyone within 100 feet cannot stand... Air chiseling! It is very affective, but by far the noisiest method to remove scale!

Saaannnddiinnnggg........ Takes me away, to where I'm going...........

Awww, what a cute couple :-)

Here are the deck sides, done and ready for the hatches to be put on. You can also see the skylight hatches on the cabin top, ready to be installed.

WOW! What a difference.....

Free Spirit Power Company

Well, first of all this is not generator 3..... We will only have 2 aboard :-) This is the Onan 6.5kw generator that we removed a couple of months ago from the starboard side of the engine. It had been recently inhabited by a pack rat and needed a thorough tune-up. We were not sure that it even ran when we purchased the boat, so we are excited that it works so well.

After the overhaul, being put back into the boat, to be installed just aft of where it was before. We needed to move it there, to allow better access to the engine, and to utilize the keel cooler.

Guiding it into place.

Looking to port from the far aft starboard corner of the salon.

If you look carefully just to the right of the generator, you will see the access hole for the keel cooler. I would also like to point out that Tamer had to use his amazing talent to get this to fit into it's new home. The salon floor had to be modified a bit, and there is not an inch to spare....

Generator 2, a Northern Lights 4 kw, was purchased in Fairbanks, hauled all the way to Hood River, Oregon, and then shipped to West Palm Beach in January. It will serve as our secondary means of generation, and be installed on the deck opposite of the cockpit.

Blayde, managing the tag line while they hauled it up on deck. I sure am impressed by how big that boys muscles are getting :-)

Tamer, my project manager... I could not ask for a better leader for the boys. He does such a good job of teaching the boys when they are doing any task. I recognize that sometimes it might be easier to just 'get the job done'. He goes above and beyond, to take the time needed for them to really understand what they are doing. Thank you love!

Here it is!

Introducing Propcalc 4.0

Use Propcalc to easily match your hull with your engine, transmission, and propeller
Put the known data in the top fields, then hit the Update button to get the answers.
Results, of course, should be verified by a Naval Architect or qualified surveyor.
Data is provided for three bladed propellers of average type
For two or four bladed props, use the modifiers shown below.

Fill out the fields as follows:

Vessel LWL (ft) = Waterline length
Vessel Disp (lbs) = Vessel displacement
(max) HP = Rated Engine Max HP
Engine RPM max = Engine RPM at Max HP
Engine RPM cruise = Desired or estimated cruise rpm
(Cruise or Max) Kts = Speed to work the calculations for
Slip = Propeller efficience. 45% is average for a displacement cruiser.
Gear ratio = 1: Gear ratio of transmission
SL Ratio Adj. = This value will be added (or subtracted, if a negative value) to the calculated S/L ratio.

Key information:

If the "hp required" is greater than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too low for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is significantly less than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too high for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is greater than the "Max HP", then your target speed is too high for your engine/hull parameters.
The S/L ratio is calculated automaticaly based on your input. It can be adjusted if necessary, but normally it should be left alone.
If the calculated S/L ratio exceeds S/L MAX, then the results are likely to be non-predictive. Try a lower speed requirement.
SL Ratios of 1.1 - 1.4 are typical of displacement hulls. Semiplaning or planing hulls can go higher.

Typical propeller slip values:

Sailing auxiliary, barges, etc less than 9 Kts............45%
Heavy powerboats, workboats 9 - 15 Kts....................26%
Powerboats, Lightweight Cruisers 15 - 30 Kts..............24%
High speed planing boats 30 - 45 Kts......................20%
V bottom race boats 45 - 90 Kts...........................10%


it is possible to get irrational answers by irrational input , I.E specifying excessive speed for hull type and length
Any attempt to exceed hull speed (1.34 times the square root of the waterline length in feet) with a displacement hull are likely
to fail unless the hull is extremely fine (multihull) or otherwise exceptional. In such cases, an S/L adjustment would be in order.

2 and 4 bladed props:

For two bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by 1.05, and the pitch by 1.01
For four bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by .94, and the pitch by .98

Vessel LWL (ft) =
Vessel Disp (lbs) =
  (max) HP =
  Engine RPM max =
  Engine RPM cruise =
  (Cruise or Max) Kts =
  Slip =
  Gear ratio = 1:
  SL Ratio Adj. =
  Prop rpm max =
  Prop rpm cruise =
  Pitch =
  Diameter =
  Static Thrust =
  Cruise HP =
  Cruise HP% =
  SL Ratio =
  DL Ratio =
  SL Max =
  HP Required =