Are Boats supposed to be See-Through?

Now, I’m not saying my Friend Joe McGriff who said: “cut out some rust it will make you feel better”  is a goddamned dirty liar, because that would be rude.   All I am saying is that I was God-Damned lied to!

You can see the teeny tiny hole that started this mess in the center. I began by chipping away the fairing compound (Bondo) that turns out to be 1/2″ thick!!!

Which revealed a second hole, where the scale rust on the inside of the stringer has popped a rivet!

I considered leaving it and just weldng the hole, because the steel itself is quite good, but decided I needed to get back behind it.


So now I have this:

Fuck you Joe.  i feel bad!  Really really bad!!!!


Got nothing done, feel kinda good about it.

One issue of concern I’ve had with the boat since I got it are the chainplates; which connect the mast/rig to the hull.

Everywhere the rigging is attached to the boat on Oceana is painted steel, and the rig moves and so the turnbuckles rub off the paint, then rust sets in and then the rust turns into scale with steel flaking off in huge chunks.

So ever since I’ve first set eyes on her, I’ve wanted to replace these parts with stainless steel.  And in all likelihood I could probably just cut them off and weld on a new tab.  But Chainplates take an ENORMOUS amount of load from the sails, and it wouldn’t be a good idea for a real welder much less a terrible one like me.

The problem you see is that belowdecks the chainplate is MASSIVE, 1/2″ thick steel, which is curved to the hull 

If you look at the last picture, it’s hard to tell but you can sorta see the problem.   ***IF*** I could somehow manage to cut that out without mangling the hull, it’s so close to the ribs that I’d never be able to weld in the replacement, there’s simply no space for a welding rod much less a MIG gun.

Today while looking at bowsprits (another ongoing nightmare I’ve been having!) I saw a boat that moved the chainplates to the exterior.  Whoalah!!  This solves all my problems.  I can leave the existing chainplates belowdeck, and use them as massive backing plates.  And I can probably get away with slightly smaller 1/4″ plates on the exterior.

So anyway, I’m pretty excited that I at least sort of have a plan now!

I guess it solves another problem I’ve been struggling with too: I’ve been reluctant to rip out the teak railing.  It’s in poor shape, but at the same time it’s still teak and would be nice if I could salvage it.  But I guess if I’m changing all the plates the wood no longer fits which means tomorrow I’m chiseling it off without trying to save it.  Because it’s a 40 minute ordeal to get EACH screw out.

oh no… Yay!

The bad news is that the hatches I installed are FULL of water. Meaning that the seals… Don’t.

And/or my install might be a little too tight.

Of course, the GOOD news is that they are FULL of water meaning that the most involved, hardest  most complicated welding project  I did last year actually worked and is now water tight!!


“No Loitering” – No Shit?

At the US-Mexico Border, in a 10′ wide “DMZ”  after standing in line for like a 1/2 hour. on the left, is a one way gate, you can’t go back.  On the right is the entrance to the building with another 40 or so people ahead, and they say “No Loitering” and no obstruction of the entrance.   Well Played Homeland Security, make us all break the rules before we even enter the country!

In today’s episode of “those Lying Liars”

Instead of using that expensive welding cable, I had the genius idea to use some inexpensive jumper cables to wire the solar panels on the trailer.

It was a perfect plan, right up until I tried to affix a 4 gauge connector (left) to the supposedly 4 gauge wire…IMAG0091

“450 Amp – Heavy duty”


Tank troubles.

So, I decided that I’m sick of the crappy CARB compliant bullshit tanks we have to use in .ca and wa, and I wanted to get a nice matched set of proper race fuel tanks  for my little toy hauler trailer. Since I’m building this thing custom I want a matched set that I can make lock. I want red for gas for the bike(s) and outboard, yellow for diesel for the sprinter and eventually to run my little generator, and blue to carry some extra water.


Seems like a simple project, right? 

So first I  go to the 4×4 shop, they specialize in trucks so but they do not have yellow. I don’t buy the red because I want the same brand and not try to mix/match sizes, and I’ve actually looked at like four other places but nobody has yellow for some reason. 

They send me to a dune buggy place that specializes in quads and motorcycles. Bizarrely they have yellow and clear but not red, again because I guess sand quads are all diesel right? So I go to the ranch store , where they sell stuff for tractors and trucks , and all they have are green and blue. Because I guess ranchers don’t use diesel or gas.  So back to the first place to get the red that started it all.

That’s just how I do though, go to four stores to buy 3 simple things.

Lets get Blasted!

I met a girl, and we were going to spend a week camping together next week and so I got super motivated to get the little solar/boat/bike hauler trailer road worthy and bring it along. I was able to get it titled and plated fairly easily, (scary easy honestly, the woman didn’t look at a damned thing, I’m thinking stolen trailers would be a good business!!)

But anyway in Yuma the place to get stuff sandblased is also the dune buggy shop, which sort of makes sense,  so after i got it plated i was going to grt it blasted and powdercoated, but i though better of it because i realized that like the boat, this project will never actually be “finished”. I like tinkering on this little trailer and so i decided to paint it so that later i can cut and weld and just re-spray rather than dealing with powdecoat. Plus, it was super expensive.

Its kinda funny to totally half-ass install the lights with packing tape on the wires etc to pass dmv, then take all that off and drive it 20 miles to the buggy shop :)

So anyway i go to the buggy place and they take me back to show what they did. I was honestly shocked that they sand-blasted it outdoors just in the backyard of their shop in a commercial area right in town! Pretty sure that would land you in prison if you tried it in Seattle!

But they did a great job, and $150 later here it is:

I was actually considering buying like 30 cans of $1 spray paint at Wal-Mart but the buggy guy told me that the auto-body place had an inexpensive water-based industrial paint that held up to the AZ sun pretty good, and was only like $30 a gallon so thinking I need a sprayor for the boat anyhow i went to harbor freight and picked up a little sprayer on sale for $15.99.  You gotta love HF’s sales :)  (cept I don’t but that’s a nuther topic!)

But anyway, for $15.99 it’s actually a damned nice unit and it did a fantastic job!  At that price it’s almost not worth cleaning the damned thing, just get a new one!I also loved that paint, covered well and I guess it didn’t hurt that it was like 97 degrees out and the buggy guys got me thinking and so I just sprayed it right in the yard on the main drag :)

Overspray schomerspay!  all the snowbirds have already left so there are actually no neighbors here to complain.   I really should prolly bring the boat down here and work on it.


Anyway, gotta say, my little $75 trailer it looks pretty great for about $700 all-in  New tires, bearings fenders etc go on tomorrow and then the solar cells, wire it to the van, load the boat etc.  And then gonna start working on the generator thingy!   I think I will even make the deadline for the big date that got cancelled!


The “Get outta Dodge” Dodge



Whelp…   The hated head-banger broke-back 11.5 MPG Rialta was sold for a $1.5k profit when some lady randomly knocked on my door and handed me some money.

Today I bought…   Er I mean I STOLE an ’04 Dodge Sprinter Van for only 8k. Unlike the rialta everything actually works AND I have $1500 left over for toys!
IMG_0118It’s had a DIY camper conversion with all of the hard bits I wanted to do, already done so now I don’t have to do them!  It’s my favorite camper color: White it’s the tall roof and 1 ton dually chassis so even though only 2wd I have pretty high hopes for its capabilities off-road.   Certainly better than the Rialta’s 3.5″ of ground clearance!!!

IMG_0114_2It has a huge (working!!)  fridge, along with a complete propane system to run it, (omg Yay!!) 120v shore power with AC and heat, Insulated walls and floor,  a 50-70 watt solar system, sink/running water, some spartan but well made cabinetry and storage and a pretty decent bed!  She ain’t perfect by any stretch but finally have a cool rig I don’t mind actually putting some slightly more permanent mods into! The only real negative is no Cruise, but I think that’s a pretty easy mod, and unlike the VW I’m pretty sure I can actually get parts for it!    I’m beyond excited and can’t wait to take her out to the boonies!!!  And it’sIMG_0116_2pretty low key if I wanna urban camp too (though the big ole winged solar/boat/motorcycle trailer might give me away a lil bit 😉

B-B-B-B-Bad… Bad to the bjorn

So a couple days before Christmas, I was in the RV parked outside REI.  It has dark tinted windows so from the outside just looks like a small van.

A guy parks next to me and as soon as he emerges from the car I instantly profile him and decide he’s just sketchy lookin. He looks like every Gary Ridgeway, Dahmer, Bundy or Dexter looking guy you’ve ever seen,  Middle aged, white guy, kinda scrawny kinda getting a bald spot combover deal, thick glasses,  whiter than Casper in the Arizona sun.  Total Creeper.  Totally out of place.

So he’s standing rummaging through the back seat for a LONNNG time, and then he stands up, looks around all fidgety and weird again to see if anybody noticed him, and pulls out this massive black cordura body armor!  W.   T.    F!!!!!!    He spends a few minutes adjusting and fidgeting with in, making sure the ballistic plate is adjusted on his sternum correctly and then looks around all sketchy again before going disappearing again in the rear seat. Shit’s about to go down.

So I think, Wow, OK this is how I am gonna die.  Shot dead in the crossfire a little strip mall in a mass shooting in Phoenix reminiscent of the Gabby Giffords shooting in Tucson.

I was really surprised when instead of an AK he popped back up with an infant that he strapped to his chest.  They really should put a little orange tag or something on those things to make em look less menacing.  Just sayin.