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.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

bedding & backing

Anne and I spent the day bedding - filling any voids in the assembly and holes in the deck that may allow water penetration - and then installing backing plates - 1/4" thick metal plates that are mounted below decks to insure forces placed on gallows are distributed over a large area of the hull.

First we started below decks and used cardboard replicas of the backing plates to locate where on the plates we would need to drill holes for the machine screws.  Once we confirmed the hole patterns in the backing plates were correct, we loosened the nuts on the screws currently holding gallow's bases to the deck of the boat. With nuts backed out to the end of the treads we went topsides and used the main and jib halyards to lift the gallows bases off the deck.  This gave us approximately 3/4" of a gap between the deck of the boat and wooden base of the gallows - see image below. 

After taping off the surrounding area, Anne brushed unthickened epoxy into the gap - see image below.

We then mixed up a batch of thickened epoxy and used a syringe to inject the thickened epoxy under the base. Easing the halyards lowered the assembled gallows back down onto the deck and as expected the thicken epoxy oozed out around the bases.  This will create a watertight joint with the deck - see finished product in image below.

With the base sealed to the deck we then turned our attention back to the plates below deck.  We mixed up batches of thickened epoxy and spread this atop the backing plates.  As we tightened down the plates using the machine screws, pulling the plates in contact with the underside of the deck, the epoxy filled any voids between the backing plate and the underside of the deck.  Once cured the epoxy will create a uniform surface between the plates and the deck.  The image below is of the port backing plate installed.

a leap forward

Yesterday, May 7th, we moved the boat over to a friend's dock on the mainland and Greg from Paradise welding traveled down to Everglades City to install the metal post and braces for C'est la Vie's new gallows.

Greg is pictured in the image above welding on the extensions to our existing stern railings.  These extensions provide more security in the cockpit and bracing for the gallows.

Once the welds were completed then the polishing began.

We still have numerous facets of this projects to complete - polish the welds, finish the cross brace, install backing plates, bed the thru deck bolts, but it does feel like we made a leap forward yesterday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Paint, primer, and progress

Progress, progress and the project lists continues to shrink. 
Anne has repainted the floor and engine room wall in the quarter berth (a.k.a. the guest suite).

And I continue to prime the gallows bases...

above is pictured coat #3 of primer. I also continue to fair out the generator box with filler to provide a smooth finish and neat corners.


We are awaiting Greg from Paradise Welding to make the trip down to Everglades City for the installation of the stainless steel posts for the boom gallows.  Tentatively he is scheduled to work on site either later today, Wednesday, or Friday.  Our plan is to ferry C'est la Vie over to our mainland neighbor's dock for the installation.  We will keep you all updated.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

teamwork to tackle the backing plates

Anne and I worked together to create templates for the boom gallows backing plates and to install a port and starboard headsail sheet blocks.  These aft mounted blocks will replace the snatch blocks we are currently using to redirect the headsail sheets to the cockpit wenches..  This will afford us two snatch blocks for spares or for the hope of someday running twin headsails. 

Anne worked above decks to measure and install the blocks.

While I worked below decks to measure out the backing plates (we are having backing plates made for the blocks and the gallows) and to sand away the area in preparation for installation.

time to focus some attention below decks

Due to a plumbing emergency on Sunset Island my time for boat projects was reduced yesterday.  I resolved the plumbing leak late in the afternoon and decided the countdown to bug hour here on the island would not provide me with the window necessary to continue fairing the gallows bases.  Thus I choose to focus my energies below decks.
The gallows will require a sizable backing plate below decks.  The backing plate will need to sit flush against the underside of the deck.  This required me to cut away a section of the existing headliner below each of the bases. Fortunately these cutouts are in less visible locations - the starboard quaterberth and a port side storage area.  Based on my experience cutting away the decking during a project to re-core some of our decks, I chose to use a 4" grinder with the cut off wheel to remove the liner.  After marking off the section to be removed, I sealed off my work space using masking tape and plastic sheeting.   The image is of the starboard side quaterberth.  My goal is to reduce the amount of dust circulating below decks - cutting fiberglass is a dusty job. 
Once the area was cut away I used the orbital sander, lower center of image, to sand down the exposed surfaces in preparation for filling irregularities and voids with epoxy.  Since the area was tapped off and I had a sander in-hand.  I could not resist expanding my project to include sanding and repainting the floor of the quaterberth and the engine room wall.  No time like the present... right?

Along with concerns over dust in the boat, I certainly do not want to inhale any of the byproducts so appropriate safety equipment is necessary.  The images above are post cutting and sanding.