The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2022.11.22 - What to do Next?

With Naiad now in the process of drying out and the Christmas Present construction completed, I have to decide just what to do next. The tasks to be done, in no particular order, are:

  • *Replace Naiad's chainplates
  • **Sheathe Naiad's repaired hull with glass mat and epoxy
  • **Recoat those areas needing it with copper epoxy
  • *Make the chain locker half or three-quarter height
  • *Replace the bobstay fitting on the stem with a through bolt
  • *Make a dedicated haul-out bridle so that the bobstay fitting is not used
  • *Fit Naiad's new AIS transmitter
  • ***Repair the hull-transom leak
  • *Repaint hull
  • Make a mount for the Tripltek Navigation Tablet
  • Make the new dinghy

Where * indicates that Naiad needs to be the right way up, ** indicates that Naiad should be upside down and *** indicates that Naiad to be both, but not at the same time.

Some things need to be done before others. The new sheathing comes before the copper epoxy for example as does the hull-transom leak repair. The bobstay stem fitting comes before repainting the hull. The chain locker needs to be removed before the new bobstay fitting can be installed. However, most of the others can be carried out in any order.

Let's look at the tasks in more details.

Replace Naiad's Chainplates

As I have mentioned before, the chainplates on Naiad presently are not the longest I could buy because I thought that 8" in length would be enough and at the time I couldn't afford the longer 12" ones. However, I am convinced enough that the 8" length is not really sufficient so I have purchased the longer ones and now need to put those on instead of the 8" ones. 

To do this I have to remove each of the existing chainplates in turn and, using the shorter one as a template, drill the holes in the new one. Doing this one at a time accounts for any minor variations in the position of the holes in the hull. A new backing pad has to be made to replace the existing one, the gap in the rubbing strake widened as the new plates are a bit wider that the old ones. A new hole in both the chainplate, backing pad and hull needs to be drilled and when that is all done, the chain plate and backing pad can be mounted on the hull and bolted into place. 

I need to check that I have four sets of bronze bolts, washers and nuts and get more if I am short.

Sheathe Naiad's Repaired Hull with Glass Matt and Epoxy

When I repaired Naiad's hull I didn't sheathe the hull and in retrospect this was a mistake. Since I have to turn Naiad over to repair the hull-transom leak I have the opportunity to rectify this mistake. 

Naiad's hull will need to be cleaned, sanded and a piece of glass mat cut to size and dry fitted. Then the hull will be coated with epoxy, the glass mat laid in place, more epoxy applied whilst the first layer is still green so that the glass mat is fully encapsulated in the epoxy and left for about 30 minutes. 

Yet more epoxy is then applied and peel ply laid onto the new surface and even more epoxy applied over that. The whole thing is then left for several days to fully cure before the peel ply is pulled off leaving a surface that is immediately ready for the copper epoxy antifouling with no further treatment, washing or sanding.

Recoat Those areas Needing it with Copper Epoxy

The resheating and the hull-transom repair both remove or cover the existing copper epoxy and this will need to be replaced before Naiad is relaunched. This is a fairly simple process since after the sheathing and repair the hull will be ready for coating.

Make the Chain Locker Half or Three-Quarter Height

Whilst the chain locker as it stands does the job it suffers from two problems. 

Firstly, if the chain piles up in one spot and stops more chain from being fed in via the hawse pipe, there is no way to rearrange the chain since the gap between the top of the locker and the underside of the deck is only wide enough for a finger. 

Secondly, when water gets into the locker, either from the wet chain or from waves or rain getting in the hawse pipe, it cannot be removed. The locker needs to be removed and cut down to allow access. To get the locker out the sampson post needs to be unbolted and lifted out.

Replace the Bobstay Fitting on the Stem with a Through Bolt

The nice steel fitting I had made has been quite good but now that it is in salt water it has started to corrode away significantly since it spends a lot of the time immersed in the sea. I will remove it and fill the screw holes and replace it with a galvanised eye bolt that passes right through the stem and is bolted from the inside. 

This new fitting will be placed a little higher than the existing fitting so that at rest it is not half underwater as is the existing fitting. This will be a little tricky since the hole for the bolt must be drilled exactly perpendicular to the front edge of the stem so that it exits the stem on the inside in the centre of the width of the timber. The hole will be made over size, the liberally greased fitting put in place and the hole around the fitting filled with thickened epoxy. Once the epoxy has cured the eyebolt will be remove and degreased. The inside of the hole through the epoxy will also be degreased and the ends of the epoxy sanded flush with the stem. 

A wooden surround for the eye of the bolt will be made, probably from Purpleheart, so that the eye is reinforced as the pull from the bobstay will be at an angle to the bolt. The reinforcement will be sealed and bonded to the stem and hull with epoxy before the eyebolt is out in place with a lot of sealant and bolted. 

The epoxy reinforced hole prevents water from saturating the stem through the hole and also prevents the partially upward pull on the eye from damaging the wooden stem.

Make a Dedicated Haul-Out Bridle

Each time Naiad has been hauled out I have lashed together a temporary bridle that reaches from the winch on the trailer around Naiad's stern and back to the winch on the other side so that the winch is not trying to pull Naiad out of the water and onto the trailer by the bobstay stem fitting since it is not really strong enough to take such a strain. I now need to make a dedicated bridle complete with padding where it rounds the transom and from a non-stretch rope so that I don't have to rush around trying to make the bridle each time.

Fit Naiad's New AIS Transmitter

Naiad does not have any fitted navigation equipment and this includes not having a chartplotter with and integrated Automatic Identification System (AIS). I could put one in but these things are very expensive, probably costing more that Naiad herself. I have a handheld marine VHF radio that also plots nearby AIS transmissions which I can take home with me and not leave on Naiad to be stolen. The AIS transmitter was a trickier problem. 

Now Naiad is not required to have an AIS transmitter but it is a good idea to have one anyway since all commercial shipping has one by law and that includes a plotter that displays nearby AIS transmitters. For an example of this take a look at the Marine Traffic website which shows the world's shipping from the AIS transmissions. Having an AIS transmitter on Naiad means that all ships nearby will be able to detect Naiad even though they may not be able to see her. This is a good thing. 

Fortunately a sailor in America had the same problem a few years ago and built an AIS transmitter kit for small watercraft which he now makes available for a price that although not cheap is considerably cheaper than a fixed chartplotter. European sailors can get this AIS system from OpenMarine as I have done. The system is supplied as a kit but all that is required to put it together is a heat gun or a decent hair dryer.  So I have to decide where to put the aerial and cable for this transmitter.

Repair the Hull-Transom Leak

Since I do not want to remove the transom in order to fix the leak, a difficult and time consuming project, I need to make the repair a different way. Once the wood has been thoroughly dried I will open up the split on the outside a little and drill in a few 1mm holes around the area and then fill the opened split and holes with a penetrating epoxy sealer. This is a very thin epoxy, as thin as water, and the wood will be saturated with the sealer by making a small cofferdam around the leak in the outside of the hull and filling this with the epoxy. 

The sealer will run into the split and the holes and soak into the dry wood. By keeping some sealer in the cofferdam I can ensure that the wood in the area of the leak is saturated with the epoxy. Once the epoxy has cured any excess will be remove and epoxy thickened with colloidal silica to form a putty the consistency of peanut butter will be forced into any remaining holes and the split with a putty knife. This will be carried out whilst Naiad is the right way up.

Once Naiad is inverted the area around the repair will be sanded back to bare wood, coated with epoxy and a second coat of epoxy while the first is still green, a layer of glass mat put on and saturated with more epoxy. After about 30 minutes more epoxy will be applied, peel ply laid into this layer of expos and more epoxy put on top of that and the whole lot left to cure for several days after which the peel ply will be removed.

Repaint Hull

This may be carried out with the hull either way up but is probably better done with Naiad the right way up so that the strops used to turn her over do not damage the soft new paint.

Make a Mount for the Tripltek Navigation Tablet

Although I bought this tablet for flying drones, it makes a very good navigation aid as it can function as a chart plotter. It does have the annoying problem that when laid on the cockpit seat any rocking causes the display to rotate and that resets the chart to show the entire World instead of the area in which Naiad is sailing. So, I need to make a mount that will fix to the aft side of the cabin upstand into which the table will be placed. This will prevent the screen rotation problem and also keep the tablet secured.

Make the New Dinghy

This is not a Naiad job per se, but I would like to get it done before Naiad is launched again if I can. The dinghy can be made whilst other jobs are being carried out on Naiad since the strongback upon which the dinghy will be constructed is on wheels allowing it to be moved in and out of the workshop as required. Even with Naiad in the workshop the dinghy construction can be continued, say when waiting for various epoxy layers to cure, as the dinghy will be moved into the Hay Barn where Naiad is currently placed.

I think that the best way forward would be to remove the sampson post and chain locker first. Making the strongback and molds for the dinghy should be done early in the project since once this is completed the remainder of the dinghy construction is less complicated as the "scaffolding" for the boat will be in place. Each of the chain plates can be done as a separate task and once the first one is done the remainder should be quicker as all the steps will have been worked out for the first.