I recently found out that the shop where I had planned on taking my Mariner 4 hp outboard will not look at it. So, I did my own tune-up. One new sparkplug, dumped the old gas, cleaned the little screen in the bottom of the tank, ran a shot of Seafoam through it to clean out the pipes and changed the gear oil. I ran it for over 30 minutes in a barrel of water and it looks ready to go. I also bought a new impeller to install, but I’m going to wait on that one for now.
There were many nicks in the gelcoat that needed to be fixed. A couple were deep enough to see the fiberglass below. I used Andy Miller’s Boatwork’s Today videos to attempt to color match the Harpoon off-white color. It’s a slow process mixing and I only mixed two, 2 oz. batches. I probably used less than half before it began to set. The color came out pretty close. I still have a lot of cosmetic “age” cracks that need attention.
I debated messing with the red boot stripe but once I had the bottom looking so nice it had to be done. More tape, more hand sanding with 150 grit and a wipe down of 202. I went with Rustoleum’s Topside bright red. The paint was so thick I had to water it down with mineral spirits. Starting at the bow and working toward the stern, I used a new, small 4 inch foam roller for each side. It was getting very sticky by the time I was finished. The port side was rougher as there were many spots that were sanded down to the gelcoat.
I picked up my new companionway cover just in time for a good round of storms coming through over the next few days. It fit pretty much as I had planned. Yes, the window flap is upside down. It’s getting fixed now. I didn’t want to add anymore snaps to the boat, so it’s pinched in place by the hinged top board and held down at the bottom by tucking it under the cooler cover lid.
I setup the dodger and boom tent to see how it looks. Apparently the boom vang cannot be used, if the dodger is on! I also found out that the 303 I carefully applied to the dodger didn’t stop the rain. It slowed it down but by the pools of water on the new companionway cover shows – it leaks bad. I’ve decided that the boom tent will be rarely used. While it does protect the cockpit mostly, it’s a pain to take on and off. And since I’ll be stepping off the pier onto the bow, it would be difficult to get in the back door.
I also rigged up the Gerr downhaul on the jib. The stainless steel blocks I bought might be larger than needed, but they were a great price. It looks like it will work to douse the jib while sailing one-handed. I won’t know for sure until I get it out on the water.
Before starting to paint the final two coats of paint on the bottom, I did a quick search online for Interlux Bottomkote NT painting tips. I’m glad I did. I found a forum post where someone had primered their boat in the fall, then applied the bottom paint the next spring. When he pulled the boat at the end of the season, big flakes of the bottom paint had fell off!
I contacted Interlux’s help line and was told that it would need to be sanded again and wiped down with Interlux’s 216 solvent. I thought since I had recently applied the primer that I could paint away. We got started early and was ready to slap paint a little after noon. This gave me a chance to get the second coat on about six hours later.
I’ve never seen the boat with the mast up and needed to figure out the rigging and lines, so up it must go. I thought between my wife and I and the poorly written factory documents that we could get it up on our own. I assumed that the standing rigging was adjusted correctly, but that wasn’t the case. Once we eventually man-handled it up into the air with the help of a young lad, I remembered that the shrouds were reversed from when I took them off many months ago. In making it right, the top shrouds in the aft holes on the chainplates were now too short. After loosening the turn-buckles, i was able to pin in the forestay and we could walk-away for a quick beer break.
I took a chance raising the old set of sails just to be sure I understood that process. The boat is strapped to the trailer and I was careful not to pull them in tight just in case the boat would heel over from a strong gust from the southwest. There was an extra block and tackle attached to the transom that I wasn’t sure what it was for until once the backstay was in place, I realized it’s a backstay adjuster.
The bailers are also installed now using 3M 4200 sealant. I also added some handmade anchor rode hangers made from aluminum 1/8 in x 1 in bar stock. I screwed them to the supports on the inside of the anchor locker cover. I’m hoping it keeps the rode organized and dry when not in use. I set the Mariner 4 hp outboard on the mount and it looks like it was a perfect fit.
Having finished with the four coats of primer, I turned my attention to replacing the halyards. My first attempt in ordering the correct size line was a bust. I never could find any specific documentation for the Harpoon 6.2 so I measured the old stuff and placed an order with Defender for some Sampson Ropes, 3/8 in. (10 mm), double-braided rope in four different tracer colors (green = main to starboard aft, red = head to port aft, yellow = topping to starboard fwd. and blue = spinnaker to port fwd.). I couldn’t justify the cost of pre-assembled halyards with new shackles, so I decided that I would learn how to eye splice the old, good condition, shackles onto the new halyards. Easy right? WRONG!
I had watched several different YouTube videos and found the cheapest plastic fids in a local hardware store so I thought I was ready. When the rope arrived, I attempted my first eye splice which turned out to be a total failure. The plastic fids were too fat and too short to use with the rope. I soon realized I needed the “real” thing. That’s also when I found out that 3/8 in. was too big to fit it on the pulleys in the mast! I took a chance and contacted Defender to see if I could return them. Their answer was well, maybe – YES!
I kept the one piece of red 3/8 in. rope that I had already practiced on and it now serves as new mainsheet. I ordered four new 5/16 in. (8 mm) ropes and a set of five stainless steel fids made by Selma. After many more videos and several attempts, I actually got it figured out. The best video I found was done by Marlow Ropes. There are many different ways to do a double-braid eye splice but they’re all basically the same.
I managed to bring the mast inside the garage to run the new halyards and reinstall the standing rigging. I also replaced the old stainless steel wire on the spreader ends and added two large rubber spreader boots. I have a 22 x 22 foot garage so it will just fit if it is put in diagonally. It was a cold and windy week finishing off with a day of snow yesterday!
I also reinstalled the hatch after I first needed to reseat two screws due to wood rot. The mast base was a little more difficult. The mahogany core had been wet for a long time under the base. I picked out all the rotten wood I could, let it dry out, then packed it full of the JB Weld Wood Restore Premium Epoxy Putty. I used the butyl tape to rebed both the hatch and mast base. All I need now is to leak test again.
I also scrubbed the old sails with the Iosso Mold & Mildew Stain Remover. They do look brighter, but the stains are still there. Looks like warmer weather is on the horizon so next up is two coats of black bottom paint.
I decided to take advantage of a three-day stretch of warm weather and get the first of four coats of Interlux Interprotect e2000 High Performance Epoxy Primer on the bottom. But first I had to run to my local Ace to buy paint rollers and measuring buckets so I could measure three parts base (3 pints) to one part activator (1 pint).
By the time I had the hull cleaned and taped it was already 5:00 pm before I started rolling. The weather report was calling for t-storms after 11 pm so I figured it should be fine. I told my first mate that I was going to sleep on the boat (first time since I’ve had it) to check for leaks since it was uncovered. She said she would join me only because it was my birthday.
I now have a few new items to add to my list. It leaked at the hatch, the mast base, and a little bit at the chain plates which I already sealed with 3M Marine Grade Clear Silicone. Looks like the mast base and hatch will need to be rebedded with Lifesafe Butyl Caulking Tape . It did storm about 2 am and dumped an 1-1/4 inch rain in about three hours. I knew the companionway would probably leak, so I draped it with clear plastic and closed the top only. Somehow water still made it in and since the boat has a slight list sitting on the trailer it dripped off the companionway pad onto the first mate. Good thing my emergency poop bucket was handy. I picked a plastic toilet seat with lid that fits a short 5-gallon bucket at a sporting goods store and found that it fits nicely under the starboard side table. It can also be used to store gear when not in use. We also found out how tight the cabin is for two people and their gear.
The second gray coat went on the next day after everything dried out. It was a little warmer and windier so the quicker it could be rolled on the better. Today’s third white coat should be better. The fourth last gray coat looks like it will have to wait. The weather is turning cold and wet again.
By the way, the black stripe is on!
I’ve been wanting to put these on since I bought them almost two years ago. These are the set that I ordered from Magic Brush Signs in Florida. I followed the directions that came with my registration numbers and striping from BoatUS and had no problems.
It wasn’t too hard to locate them on the hull since I could never get all of the shadow from the old graphics buffed out. I did notice that these are not the same size as the originals. The Whaler decal is just a little smaller and the Harpoon letters are just a little fatter.
I still have the one inch black stripe that runs under the rubrail to put back today I hope.