Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

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Bob McGovern
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Location: Wyoming, USA

Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by Bob McGovern » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:09 pm

Finally anticipating enough progress on our Ballad to post some photos in one place. While we still need to address some structural issues in the bilge, efforts are moving ahead on the interior refit and deck arrangements. The port aft (nav station) bulkhead is moving forward two inches, to match the starboard side bulkhead. We are making it taller for privacy (the head is going in the nav station) and to supply a full height grab bar. Here's a Photoshopped mockup in cardboard:
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The little swoop on the top bar is purely to keep the thing from looking too massive. And here it is in 3/4" (19mm) mahogany ply, looking too massive & awaiting its wooden bits. The indexing blocks along the hull are just hot-melt glued in place & will come off once the actual tabbing begins.
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A custom-built 31 gallon (117 l) water tank goes under the settee on this side of the bulkhead. It is built, the inside is coated with Sikagard 62 epoxy coating (not shown), and it awaits final assembly:
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One of the things it is waiting for is the positioning of the bulkhead, which may make obvious where the tank fittings need to go. On the opposite side of the bulkhead, we plan a combination nav station bench and homemade composting toilet. Second prototype/pattern:
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There will be a comfortable bench seat that flips up to access the head. You could almost fit a commercial composter (like the Nature's Head or AirHead or C-Head) in that space, but most of them are very tall. A shorter marine head with holding tank would fit easily. Given how simple and expensive they are and our obsession with maximizing space on the Ballad, we are going to make our own. And use it. :D If it works, we save $750. If it doesn't, we yank it out and buy a commercial unit.

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dahlke
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Re: Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by dahlke » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:38 pm

I'm very much looking forward to seeing how Fionn turns out. Very interesting plans! :-) What are your plans for the old location of the head? Are you planning on keeping the galley in its original configuration?

That water tank looks gorgeous - good job :-)
Mads
Ballad #332 (aka. Obelix)
Restoration blog
Boat and restoration pictures

Bob McGovern
Posts: 277
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:08 am
Location: Wyoming, USA

Re: Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by Bob McGovern » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:46 pm

There's a shocking amount of biaxial cloth and epoxy in that water tank. It's somewhat heavy -- though its weight will vanish when it has 100kg of water in it. We could have bought a factory-made polyethylene tank that almost fits under the settees for rather less money, but we either had to accept much taller settees or 20 litres less storage. We're cruising in a place that gets 2-5" of rain per year; settlements are far between & those are mostly very poor fishing villages that have their drinking water trucked in or brought by supply boat. I'd feel bad asking for water. If we want to stay out for a month at a time, away from more developed areas -- or if we want to cross an ocean -- we need more water than the V-berth tank provides. If we aren't using the tank for water, we could store other provisions inside it: it has two 4" access hatches.

The galley is staying as it is. Much better icebox insulation, maybe a pullout where the trash door is now. But otherwise, pretty standard. Our nav station is one of the old ones that faced aft; there was a small bench seat not all that different from the one shown in the photo above. Our reasoning was, if there's already a seat next to the companionway and it has good head & knee room, let's make that seat into the toilet.:) I'm a small person, but that forward head compartment was very awkward. I can only imagine how difficult it is to use in any kind of waves. We will convert the old head compartment into shelves, mostly for clothes storage and other soft goods.

The nav station desk will slide forward a foot or two into the cockpit locker. I'm not fond of rigid doors on boats, so there will be a simple curtain to close off the head. My partner & I are not body-shy, and any guests staying aboard will need to leave their hang-ups on the dock. :lol: Most of our friends are climbers, backpackers, backcountry skiers, or other outdoorsy people. Walking past them with a bottle full of urine will not make them blush. :oops:

Bob McGovern
Posts: 277
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:08 am
Location: Wyoming, USA

Re: Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by Bob McGovern » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:44 pm

Water tank photos:
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The lid will be bedded with epoxy, riveted to the flanges, then the outer joint taped over with a couple layers of 10oz. Still not sure where the outlet should go. Our choices are through the bulkhead aft, down under the floors and over to the galley, or forward to join the V-berth tank. In retrospect, we should have put it under the starboard settee. (Duh, Bob.)

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dahlke
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Re: Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by dahlke » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:38 pm

Looking good, Bob. I'm sure you'll find a good solution for routing a hose to the galley :-)
Mads
Ballad #332 (aka. Obelix)
Restoration blog
Boat and restoration pictures

Bob McGovern
Posts: 277
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:08 am
Location: Wyoming, USA

Racing the winter

Post by Bob McGovern » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:55 pm

More photos from Fionn. We've solved the drifting bulkhead issues in the most drastic fashion possible (that may be our signature around here. :lol: ) Cleaned up old plywood & repaired any structural issues; ground away paint on the hull; epoxied plywood to the existing tabs using waxed bolts as clamps; popped out bolts and tabbed the other face of the plywood right to the hull, pretty much around its entire border. Epoxy on the old tabbing:
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Bolts as clamps:
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Bedding in the biaxial tape:
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Aaaaannnnd... done.
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Bolts to go back in eventually, making the whole thing about as secure and rigid as possible. The new tabbing is two layers of 6" wide, 18oz biaxial tape, with a top layer of 4"w 10oz cloth tape overlapped in the corner to add extra stiffness. Glass that heavy is never transparent, so any tabbing visible after the woodwork goes in may need to be painted or covered up with little woody strips. Here's a longer view of the port side:
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The small bulkhead for the aft chainplate is 'sistered' to the old one and then tabbed to the hull and deck all around. Our Ballad came with pilot berths & so we had to add the full-height bulkhead. There will also be a stiffening rib added between that area and the keel sump. What is the green stuff under the side decks, you ask? A look at the starboard side:
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Over a year ago, we completely peeled the inner skins from main bulkheads to companionway bulkhead, after finding the core was saturated from leaking chainplates, windows, and genoa tracks. Probably we should have only removed the skins around those items, but we thought we were in a hurry to dry everything out. Ha. Ha. :oops:

A year and a half later... we had to supply all new inner skins. The old ones were in poor shape, and only 3mm thick -- one layer of roving, the rest chopped strand mat. Not worth re-using. The new inner skin is 4mm thick, all biaxial fabric and 10oz cloth, with epoxy rather than polyester resin. I just lapped the pieces in a staggered pattern , which is why the layup is slightly bumpy. Let's call them 'stiffening ribs.' ;) It will be blended into the coachroof under the windows, and we took the opportunity to fillet the hull-to-deck joint with epoxy, too. The genoa track cores are high-density foam; the dark square patch foreground is 1"t phenolic material, where the chainplate bolt passes thru.

MarkRyan1981
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Re: Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by MarkRyan1981 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:11 am

Awesome stuff Bob, you've got lots of fun work to do there! I will look to emulate your 'top hat' of the bulkhead without removing them.

Bob McGovern
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:08 am
Location: Wyoming, USA

Re: Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by Bob McGovern » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:18 pm

MarkRyan1981 wrote:Awesome stuff Bob, you've got lots of fun work to do there! I will look to emulate your 'top hat' of the bulkhead without removing them.
Should be able to reinforce the bulkheads without pulling the mast, Mark. Just do 2-3 bolt's worth at a time. :) Maybe back off the rig tension a bit? Dunno. Anyway: if a bolt can be removed without jamming, it isn't loaded in shear & you could safely tab where it lives. Then replace those bolts & move on to the next 2-3 bolts. Or the quick & dirty method, just add big heavy fender washers & a dab of bog under 'em. :D Two inch (5cm) diameter washers will quadruple the bearing surface of the bolt heads.

I don't recommend anyone completely peel and re-skin the sidedecks from below, however. Not unless there's really no alternative. Working with heavy FRP overhead is tedious. I'm very happy with the result, and the whole job cost $350US in materials, but it may be some while before my spine straightens out. :lol: If anyone's side decks are full of water like ours, I bet that owner could selectively remove the FRP around the genoa track and chainplate areas & all the foam would dry out over the winter. The key is to stop new water from coming in: we were still seeing some damp foam after 1.5 years fully exposed. It was caused by leaking port lights. There is a thin line of exposed foam at the window openings, which was transporting water down into the decks. Once we pulled the port lights, gouged out the foam, and filled the gap with epoxy, the last water intrusion ceased & we were able to fiberglass the underside.

Bob McGovern
Posts: 277
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:08 am
Location: Wyoming, USA

Re: Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by Bob McGovern » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:38 pm

A few more photos to annoy you with. ;) Final test fit of the port side furniture. All major bulkheads are now glassed in place, may they never move again. Yay.

One hundred fifteen liters of water, smack beneath a sleeper's ear:

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Luckily, the head is now just around the other side of the partition ...

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...with standing headroom, yes! Looking aft at the new bulkheads:

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And here is the foot of the settee, which I broke over at a 30 degree angle to improve access to the V berth:

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It all has to come back out for final cleanup and hull painting, but at least some kind of progress has been made. *sigh*

MarkRyan1981
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Re: Restoring Fionn (1972 Ballad #18(?))

Post by MarkRyan1981 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:12 am

I love the detailing on the grab rail and the top of the bulkhead. What wood did you use? What are you using the space under the V berth in the forecabin for now you have your new wizard holding tank in the main saloon?

Great progress! When are you hoping to have her ready to go?

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