Early this week I got a BeagleBoard-xM and some other parts in the mail, to use as the main logging/display computer in the boatlogger project Lee and I are working on. It’s a pretty cool little machine: 1GHz ARM CPU and 512MB RAM running Linux from a bootable microSD card, all for around 4W typical power consumption. Got it up and running Thursday, and will soon start writing some code to capture NMEA 2000 data coming from Lee’s microcontroller board. I also ordered a batch of the Hall effect current sensor boards Lee designed.
Yesterday and today’s boat activities were mostly dinghy-related. I originally had wanted to get rid of the horrible old black rubber rub rail that left marks on everything it touched. That expanded into a more general dinghy fixup and painting job since the whole thing was looking kind of dilapidated, and I wanted something kind of innocuous to practice painting on anyway.
Last week I ripped off the old rub rail, which was screwed and glued on. Here it is lying on the dock:
Now it’s in the trash — good riddance. Unfortunately when I removed it it brought along some chunks of the dinghy with it:
I spent much of yesterday cleaning up the rub rail area and repairing missing chunks with epoxy putty. After the putty set and I did some sanding, things started to look a little better, although of course not perfect:
Then I sanded down the entire outside of the dinghy, first with 80 grit (the surface was in pretty rough shape), then with 180 grit, and finally 220. I really like my orbital sander (a Hitachi), although its built in vacuum attachment isn’t really all that great at sucking up material:
Doug and I took a trip to Marintech (the best chandlery I’ve found in Singapore) in Jalan Besar. Turns out they don’t keep paint in stock but they can get it the next day. I nearly ordered 2.5L of Toplac for S$160 (only smaller size was 750mL, not quite enough, for S$60) but Doug smartly asked if they carried anything cheaper but similar. I ended up picking up 1L of Ocean Master Marine Gloss, which is basically the same stuff, for a fraction of the price. Even so I might stick with International Paints for non-dinghy work, since it’s a known quantity. It’s a shame it’s so outrageously expensive.
Today around 5pm (once the dock started to get some shade) I cleaned off the hull, and we laid down a drop cloth on the dock and put on a coat of paint. Probably I used a little more thinner than I should have, but it still went on reasonably well. I was using a 4 in semi-fuzzy roller that was shedding way too much; will look for a foam roller before the next coat. Doug followed with a brush. It looks pretty good considering how beat up the dinghy was:
It’ll need at least one more coat, if not two. I’m a little worried about painting so late in the day because of condensation at night; but the temperature here is hot enough that the paint should be pretty much dry within 6 hours or so. We’ll see how it looks tomorrow.
I’m thinking next week I’ll flip it over and paint the interior, probably with some matting additive to reduce the glare if I can find some anywhere.