It was a busy long weekend at the boat (Monday was Labor Day in Singapore). I started Saturday by making my usual rounds at Jalan Besar looking for various hardware. I was surprised to find that even Poey Huat, which is where I can usually find any old obscure fastener I need, didn’t have 45mm M6 SS truss-head bolts, which I need for installing my new dodger windows. In fact, the guy I talked to there was kind of a jerk about it and insisted that nowhere in Singapore would I find what I need, so I should just give up. Even shops that are sometimes quite good can occasionally be really bad here, which is frustrating: when you get really bad service you don’t want to go back, but sometimes your options are kind of limited.
However, some asking around other shops yielded Central Engineering nearby, which seems like a better alternative than Poey Huat. They had the bolts I needed but needed to deliver them from their warehouse. Should be able to pick them up this week. So much for “nowhere in Singapore”.
Oia‘s galley is pretty much the hottest part of the boat: at the dock, it’s farthest from the air conditioner; under power, it’s right on top of the engine; and in any case whenever you’re cooking the stove is pretty hot. So I removed the crappy paper towel holder and put a new Hella fan in its place:
It ended up being a pretty simple wiring job. The fan really cools the galley down a lot. Charlene was certainly happy with it. She was pretty active in the galley this weekend, cooking up some yummy meals and (finally) baking something in the oven — biscuits:
… which she then turned into a scrumptious mango-and-blueberry shortcake — extreme deliciousness:
I also mounted a little bulletin board I bought a few weeks ago, above the nav station:
It’ll be pretty useful for tacking up navigational and other notes that normally are all strewn around the nav table when we’re underway.
Aside from those little jobs, most of the work I did this weekend was on the new dodger windows. I’m starting cautiously, just doing one of the smaller front windows to get the process down. First I removed the old acrylic window, which was just sealed in place. The sealant was pretty well delaminated from the window so it came out easily:
Cleaning all the remaining sealant out of the window frame was another matter. It took the better part of a day and a variety of attempts for me to find the best strategy. Chemical solutions (3M adhesive remover, acetone) didn’t have much effect. A razor blade and putty knife worked pretty well on the macro level but left a lot of residue. A grinding disc sort of worked but seemed a bit too laborious. A stiff wire brush drill bit ended up doing the trick pretty well, although I had to be careful to keep it moving to avoid ravaging the underlying wood too much. In the end I got most of the old sealant off:
After that I started filling in the inset ledge with epoxy putty. My plan is to build it out flush with the exterior surface, grind and sand it down nice and flat, put a coat of primer on the surface a bit past where the window will rest, spray paint a UV-protective trim strip on the inner surface of the window, and then bolt and seal the window in place. So far there are a couple layers of epoxy putty around the frame; I ran out and need to get more. I haven’t found a good source for larger quantities of the stuff, which is making the job kind of expensive since I’m using a bunch of 6 oz kits. The new windows are 12mm polycarbonate, which is serious stuff — basically bulletproof glass — nice and secure. I’m probably going to try Sikasil SG-20 as the sealant if I can get my hands on it; if not I’ll just use Sikaflex 295-UV. I picked up some all-surface Rustoleum for the trim strip and tested it on a scrap piece of polycarbonate; it seems to work pretty well and doesn’t react with the plastic.
I also took a look at the old foot pump in the galley. I was hoping to get it hooked up since the electric pump is currently dead and I won’t get a new one until I’m in the US next month. The foot pump is a Whale Tiptoe Mk IV. I temporarily plumbed it to the water tanks; it appeared to have no suction. I removed and partly disassembled the pump. A lot of its parts are in really bad shape, including some not available in a service kit, so I think I’ll just get a new one; the same pump is still available and not too expensive. Upside: shiny new pump. Downside: definitely no moving water on board until I get back from the US. Here’s the old pump:
I do like the Tiptoe pump: it’s got a (super) low profile, pumps a reasonable quantity of water when it works, and can do both freshwater and saltwater. I think I will probably try to get it plumbed with a Y-valve to switch between freshwater and saltwater so we can use saltwater for dish washing. That may require another through-hull, though.
We finished off the weekend by giving the dinghy a bath. It was pretty filthy, and I wanted to take some photos of it so I can put it up for sale (or maybe just try to convince someone to take it in exchange for something useful, like a fender or two). I dragged Charlene away from her cozy spot in the V-berth to help me scrub:
Here’s a clean dinghy:
If you happen to be in Singapore and want (or know anyone who wants) this dinghy (7 ft, 4 ft beam, fiberglass over ply, in pretty good condition aside from a couple small fixable cosmetic defects, two high quality aluminum/PVC oars included, easily holds 2-3 people), let me know. It’s a fine dinghy, but I don’t have any immediate use for it, it has been getting in my way a lot lately, and I think an inflatable is better suited for my needs.
Today I found out I can get 2x Kyocera KC-85T 85W solar panels, which will be an almost perfect fit to replace my 3x ancient/dying 43W panels, for a pretty good price direct from Kyocera here in Singapore. So, I’ll probably pick those up soon, and that may be my next project after installing new dodger windows.
I have also started interacting with various riggers, sailmakers, shipyards, mechanics, and the like up in Phuket to start planning all sorts of other jobs I’m hoping to do late this year.