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, October 1, 2011

Definitely a two person job

Notice anything different in the image above?  Well yes, Anne is holding up the severed lower 6 feet of C'est la Vie's mast.  But is that really all that unusual?  How about that fleece jacket Anne is wearing?  That's right autumn temps are finally here in the OBX.

Backed by temps in the low 50's, armed with a fish tape and some p-cord on loan from Omar Sails, Anne and I confidently stepped up to the task of threading messenger lines from the top of the mast to the proper exit holes near deck level on the mast.

Being a boat project this task consumed much more time than originally budgeted.  We learned that compression tubes, PVC conduit, internal sleeves, and bolt studs are infinitely attractive to the end of the fish tape than the proper exit hole on the mast.

By nearly noon we successfully threaded the final halyard messenger and had moved on to the electrical wiring in the mast.  We removed some old, unused co-axial cable to make room for a NMEA 2000 line that will transmit data from our new Garmin GWS 10 Wind Sensor stationed atop the mast to the display in our cockpit.  As expected it is easier to remove old wires that to pull new.  Anne's smaller hands saved the day by enabling her to reach blindly into the top of the mast and thread wires to the proper exit.

Stepping back is not an option now

Friday afternoon, Paul from Omar Sails came out and cut the mast just above the damaged area.  Now we are fully committed to deck stepping the mast.

While working on site, Paul, also located and cut the exit holes for the internal halyards.  I was surprised to discover that standard woodworking bits and blades were used on the mast.  He simply used a jig saw with a 10 tooth per inch wood cutting blade for making the cuts on the mast.

Once Paul departed I used a dremel tool with a cut off wheel to reach inside the mast and carefully cut the PVC pipe that serves as a conduit for the electrical lines running inside the mast.  Now it is up to Anne and I to thread through the length of the mast the small diameter messenger lines.  The messenger lines will be used to pull the new halyards through the mast and out the proper exit hole.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Better weather allows progress both inside and out

Clear skies have finally returned to the area.  Anne and I were finally able to build the deck mast step up to 25 layers.  Once the epoxy cured, I ground out the high spots and discovered that we will need to add more mat to ensure the mast is not reduced in height when we complete this conversion.
We cut 5 more layers of mat and plan to add those to the step over the weekend.

Meanwhile below decks a bit of sanding plus a few coats paint and  the holes filled in the port, forward bulkhead are now gone...
Once the paint dried we drilled the new, lower hole to allow a 1 1/2" diameter line to pass between the holding tank and the pumpout fittings.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Filling and Drilling Holes in my Head

When I began route hoses to the new, 50% larger holding tank, my hope of utilizing the existing holes in the forward bulkhead evaporated.  The line in (deposit) hose lines up well with the hole in the upper, left of the image above.  The line out (withdraw) hose will require a new hole 15" below the upper hole.  I could not bring myself to drill anew without first filling in the existing holes. In the image above, the four holes filled are filled with epoxy thickened by mixed it with chopped up fiberglass mat.

Once the plugs in the holes cured, I used epoxy thickened with west systems 405 filler (brown) to fair out the surface of  each side of the bulkhead.  While the fairing remained wet, I applied a layer of mat to each side of the bulkhead.  The mat will bond the repairs to the entire bulkhead and hopefully return some measure of strength lost when each hole is drilled.

Tomorrow we will return to C'est la Vie a drill a couple new holes.

Of course this process took place in the freshly painted vee berth and head lockers.  Once this repair has cured and the new hole is drilled we will need to break out the primer and paint - again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rain, rain, rain

Heavy, daily rains have retarded progress on repairs.  For the last 6 days we have waited to add to the 18 layers of mat in place on the base for the new on deck mast step.
We estimate the base will require 25 layers of mat to bring the layup level with the existing lip.  Once the two are level we will then fair out the new base.  The new compression post will drop down through the hole and rest on the original mast step.  A half inch stainless steel plate caps the new compression post.  This plate will rest flush on the base seen above.  If all this is confusing, then stay tuned.  With the forecast improving we should begin to pick up some speed on this project.

Down below I am beginning to re-install the plumbing and electrical ripped out of the vee berth and head to facilitate painting the lockers.  Today I completed rewiring the AC outlets and lights in both the head and the vee berth.
Tomorrow I hope to make progress on the plumbing.