Modification 1

No doubt about it, a boat building project never finishes; it just goes through different phases. So here I will list the work I've done to the boat since launching it.

Cockpit Hatches

My solution for securing the hatches, shown again here, was inexpensive, ingenious, and totally useless. I couldn't get them tight enough, even with weather stripping, to prevent them from leaking. Actually, "leaking" is probably not a strong enough word.

During a cruise in May 2002, it rained overnight while I was at anchor. I stayed warm and perfectly dry in the cabin, but in the morning I was sponging 3 inches of water out of each locker. If this wasn't bad enough, all the exposed bolt ends where the hardware was attached were poking holes in cushions, pants, and flesh.

The latter problem I fixed with shorter bolts and cap nuts. And after finding a good deal on some brass cam-style latches, I dispensed with the line-and-cleat disaster. The appearance of the cockpit has gone from chintzy to nautical.

Here's a picture after the conversion. With application of rubber gasket around the edges, I'm happy to report that the hatches are now mostly rain proof. Notice I didn't say waterproof.

One additional thing I've done is beef up some weak areas of the rudder. I've been keeping a close eye on it, since several places suffer more strain than others. So far, two hairline cracks have appeared in the rudder box, one near the tiller, and another at the bottom forward section where it was separating from a glue joint. Adding a layer of fiberglass at the stressed area seemed to stop the problem.

Several Projects

During the winter of 2003/2004 I tackled a number of outstanding projects. I was never happy with the finish of the hull, so it was time to strip off the paint and fair out all the rough spots. It took many hours of sanding, spreading on compound, and more sanding, which is exactly why I didn't do it originally.

The plywood portholes and the aft bulkhead of the cabin started to check (display cracks in the veneer, so it was time to solve that. In the process of taking the ports off, the ply broke, so I made new ports from MDO. That stuff shouldn't check, and it holds up better to bolt heads than ply (see earlier comments). As for the bulkhead, there was no choice but to sand down to bare wood and fiberglass everything.

I even fiberglassed the dropboard trim. I was unhappy with was the original grey color I picked for painting the trim and other highlights. It was not dark enough to show much of a contrast with the white hull. So I went with a darker grey color and repainted all the relevant surfaces.

My bride had complained about the lack of shelf space in the boat, so I proceeded to install 5 of them peppered about the cabin. All of them have the obligatory fiddles so things won't be tempted to fly around. It does make the cabin a bit more liveable.

Another nitpicky item was the ballast. Egia has always listed a few degrees to starboard, mostly likely due to the weight of the off-center board. I took this opportunity to move some of the ballast to port and forward (which required some new tie-downs, etc). Now it seems more correctly level. It will certainly make it easier to row.

In 2012 I sold the boat to a family in New York. Long live Norwalk Islands Sharpies!