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, September 17, 2011

Rainy day progress

The 70% chance of rain materialized as a day of incessant drizzle.   The drizzle worked in my favor as it kept temps cooler yet allowed me to leave C'est la Vie's leeward ports open.  An autumn like breeze ventilated the cabin.  Under these conditions and I applied the final coat of paint to the head lockers and began build up the mast step with fiberglass.

The fresh paint in the lockers now highlights the need to refinish the wood trim and replace the dingy lid on the head.  I'm unsure if time will allow us to complete either of these tasks before we need to began our trip back to Florida.

While the paint dried in the head, I changed venues and begin to build up the old mast step.  The compression post we plan to add below decks will require a level surface on which to mount.  The current step slopes aft.  We will use sections of mat left over from the cloth cut for creating the new mast step on deck to build up the old, interior mast step.  Initially I laid out the dry mat on the step to figure out the best pattern for the cloth.  I then numbered the sections as they were removed from the step.  Before applying the new cloth, I used thickened epoxy and a syringe to fill old bolt holes and irregularities in the step.

Applying the 12 pieces of fiberglass mat went smoothly, but I was a bit disappointed by how little this work did to reduce the slope on the step.  I will definitely be adding more cloth once this application cures.  By tomorrow I will be able to set a level on the area to get an accurate assessment of how much remains.

Note the fresh coats of paint along the walls of the mast channel in the image above.  This area was painted in conjunction with the head lockers.

The rain is forecast to end by tomorrow morning with cooler temps remaining in the area.  Hopefully tomorrow, Anne and I can team up to begin fabricating the new mast step on deck.

Friday, September 16, 2011

making 'head'way

The majority of my energy over the past couple days has gone into tasks associated with refinishing the head.  I have poured more effort into this project since I realized the chain plates must be re-installed prior to re-stepping the mast.  Since the port side chain plates are in the head I need to at least finish painting the lockers so the chain plates can be installed.

I did manage to complete two coats of Kilz 2 primer and one top coat of an exterior, oilbased semi-gloss.   Darkness caught up with me prior to completing the second top coat.  I continue to underestimate the time, effort, and quantity of  paint it takes to recoat lockers.  Painting small enclosed spaces - lockers- is a different beast that large enclosed spaces - rooms in a house.

Thanks to a great  deal of assistance from Tipper, the counter top for the head is progressing quickly.
Above are four sections of  Sapele that we are laminating into a single piece.  Once the glue is dry we will sand down the face.  Once finished it should be difficult to see any joints.

Our weekend forecast is calling for rain.  Knowing that the weather will limit me to inside projects, I purchased all the hoses, clamps, and fittings necessary to re-plumb the head.  Rain or shine we have boat projects at the ready.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

still plugging away at boat projects

I've kept plenty busy with boat projects over the past couple days, but none of my progress has made good fodder for blog posts or generated images of amazing progress.  I continue to add images of my progress on a daily basis to the Rigging Repairs and Modifications -2011 and the Head Refinishing - 2011 photo albums.

In the past couple days sanding has occupied more of my time than any other project.  The lockers in the head are ready for primer and paint.

 I believe that Anne is going to take on the brush work.  Hopefully by Friday afternoon I will be able to post images of freshly painted head lockers.

We plan to resurface the counter in wood.  I purchased approx 10 board feet of Sapele for the counter top and a couple of other side projects.  A local friend is allowing me to use his wood shop to fabricate the counter top. We do not plan to install a sink in the head.  After issues with salt water back flowing through the head sink drain when heeled to port, we keep the sea cock closed.  We use the galley sink instead.  Thus for the the past couple years the head sink has remained unused.

I began cutting cloth for the new mast step this afternoon.  This is going to take more time & cloth than I initially anticipated.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A day for templates

Completing the painting and shelf for the vee berth lockers allowed me to create some work space.  The open waist high surface of the forward berth proved useful for laying out templates for other projects.

A cardbord template for an aesthetic piece of trim that also displays our documentation number along the main bulkhead...

A butcher paper template for the new counter top in the the head...

And a cardboard template for the multiple layers of fiberglass mat that will be used to create the new mast step.