C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sunfish Rudder

Since all my recent C'est la Vie projects have involved fiberglass and epoxy work, I included some rudder repairs for Phoenix, a 1970's era sunfish.  The wooden rudder was cracked longitunally near 3/4 of the length and the hole for mounting the pindle plate was expanduing due to rotten wood.

I drilled a stop hole a the terminus of the crack and removed all the rotten wood.  I then filled the stop hole and void left from removing the wood with thickened epoxy.  The next step was to laminated the entire rudder with a layer of fiberglass mat. The final step was to fair the entire project in with epoxy.  In a effort to retain the beauty of the wood, I did not thicken the epoxy.  This allowed the final product to retain the appearance of the original wood.

Hopefully the project list and winds will allow me to post some images of Phoenix once again rising from the ashes and back on the water.


On both the generator box and the boom gallows bases, I continue to fair out (or should I say in?) the projects.  This means I am using thickened epoxy to smooth out rough edges and make things look aesthetically pleasing.

Well on the generator box is a bit more than just aesthetics.  I did smooth out the upper edge of the box.  Since the box must be air tight, the quality of this edge is very important as it will press against the gasket material to form the air tight seal.  I used epoxy thickened with 407 filler to create the edge.  Once the epoxy had begun the kick I used denatured alcohol, my fingers, and a razor knife to sculpt the edge.  A bit of sanding a few hours later and val la...

Meanwhile after a similar process on the gallows bases...

The next step on both of these projects will be to use 3M filler for the final fairing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

back to the bases

After spending the afternoon yesterday in Ft Lauderdale waiting on Nance and Underwood rigging shop to modify the lifelines and this morning focused on NOCBS' responsibilities, I made some progress on the bases for the new boom gallows this afternoon.

The image above is of the bases after removing the modeling clay mold and some sanding.  The cream colored base consists hardened epoxy thickened with a high density/structural thickener. This will provide a strong platform on which the base of the gallows will rest.

I then taped off the surrounding area in preparation for adding some epoxy thickened with a less dense/fairing thickener.  This will allow me to sand down the fillets and base to provide a nice cosmetic finish.

With the epoxy applied it is now a waiting game until I can begin sanding.  Since I used a slow hardener and we are nearing bug hour here in the Everglades, the sanding will happen tomorrow morning.

Monday, April 26, 2010

two epoxy project does slow going make....

Each project that involves fiberglass and epoxy work in which I engage definitely increases my skills with the medium, but I have yet to gain much ground in the efficiently arena.  I continue to make slow progress on both the generator box and the gallows bases.

Here is the box..   Since the last update I have added mat to the sides and outside edges.  I have also begun to fillet in the inside corners. The brown areas are fared in using west 407 density filler.  This will enable my to give the finished box a smooth surface.

The next steps are to cover the top edge with mat and finish the interior corner fillets.  Once these tasks are complete then I will begin work on the lid.

And here on the gallows bases... After cleaning, sanding, and filling the bolt holes left from the old stanchion bases,  I created a mold for the new bases out of modeling clay.  The template for the mold was a bowl from the kitchen (don't worry Anne approved) and a straight edge.  Once the molds were complete I then poured in thickened epoxy.  I did two separate pours to avoid excess heat generation caused by the exothermic reaction of the curing epoxy.  Heavy layups of thick epoxy can generate enough heat to damage the deck and compromise the integrity of the curing epoxy.  Two pours also provided me with greater control over the accuracy of the coverage and thickness of the layup.  The next step on this project will be to remove the mold and fair in the new bases.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

good progress on both projects

Making progress on both the boom gallows and the generator box.  This morning, the inner, cardboard mold slid easily out of the generator box.  I must admit I was a bit worried that the epoxy the dripped through the joints would make this a nightmare, but my fears were unfounded.

Anne and I also removed the stanchions and bases at the site of the boom gallows on C'est la Vie.  With Anne's assistance this also went much more smoothly than anticipated.