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Thread: Commander #155 'Mephisto Cat'

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Scarborough, Maine
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    1,435
    Wow! Very verrrrrrryy niiiiice!
    Mike
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,549

    Rico's Commander mast base

    That aluminum mast base is absolutely gorgeous! Lucky Boat!
    You came out the egg, as you say, an engineer - how you created such a controlled and sharp-edge curve on the bottom is masterful.
    Actually unbelievable.

    We have a Grizzly vertical milling machine now in the shop here and Mike has just set it up with a digital controller. I mean I can visualize machining process now that I see how it's done in person and do menial tasks on the thing - but he too would be impressed with the difficulty of producing that curve on the bottom of the mast step.

    Since my egg was cube shaped, my method would probably be something like a half-round metal file mounted on a swing arm activated by a bicycle pedal crank and chain and a sort of tilting table that the operator by eye would move into the swing file. The machine would be marketed under the Chimp logo.

    Altogether the piece is brilliant
    Last edited by ebb; 05-22-2008 at 07:08 PM.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Posts
    430

    The Dinghy...

    Thanks for the comments above... The process was actually much less graceful than you'd imagine. It is actually closer to EBB's Chimp branded contraption! It involved an angle grinder and some patience. I cannot take much credit for the piece other than the design, final fine fitting/sanding, the holes, etc... Others (who shall sail with me soon!) took care of the Fabrication & machining.
    ----------------------------------------



    The Dinghy:

    I found a beat-up old fiberglass dinghy which I thought had a nice shape to complement C-155's hull lines...

    - A 'Fatty Knees', or 'Whitehall Dinghy' it is not, but it is very light (about 75 lbs) and it has a handy, built-in retractable keel for sailing. I just need a mast & Sail. I do have a nice 'shippy' mahogany rudder for it.

    LOA = about 8' and it looks like it should tow quite well (This is yet to be determined). It was apparently made in 1990 by "Jolly Boats" (?) per a logo moulded on the seat.

    Since it had a very 'attractive price', I ended up with it...

    A bit of Glass and gelcoat handiwork by my friend 'Schilaka' and it ended up looking amazing. I should polish the gray gel coat a bit more to get the real shine out of it, and I'll need to find a mast & sail for it.

    ...but I've dilly-dallyed enough! - It is time to get the 'Mephisto Cat' in the water already!!

    This should really get a nice BIG rubrail - Anyone know where one buys 'rub-rail'? to prevent any dings & scratches on the Mephisto Cat's shiny new Gelcoat... I have also been considering getting a beat-up old 8' or 10' inflatable as there would be much less risk of dings & scratches towing a rubber inflatable. But I'd likely sell this nice little sailboat in that case, and it would be nice to have this for gunkholing...

    I do not think that I need a dinghy on a regular basis for day sailing and coastal cruising, (I never had one while I was in SF bay) but I'm thinking that on the trip from Mexico to San Francisco it would be wise to have one.

    Any thoughts on the issues in BLUE?
    Attached Images    
    Last edited by Rico; 02-20-2010 at 12:22 PM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Posts
    430

    The shiny bits...

    Ah, the shiny bits!

    I was very lucky with respect to the shiny bits... I really had no expectations of being able to get all these parts this pretty, but an acquaintance of my aunt's pulled through on this one...

    I went with the idea of getting the bow fitting re-plated or maybe just polished... and MAYBE do the same with the tiller fitting as I looked at that, (and felt sorry for,) the most while sailing!

    The gent that owned the shop ended up telling me he'd be happy to re-plate them... And his price was not bad at all... then he proceeded to tell me to just leave the whole box of parts I had with me and he'd do the LOT... To top it off, the work is amazing!

    This was around x-mas time last year... I wonder if... Santa...??? - Naaah! - I wasn't that good!

    The pictures do the parts no justice. I think I want to have one of these winches as a desk ornament in my office!

    Note the Stern light fitting. My original was in sad shape. It was hanging on by the wires, a bit bent, and green as all the chrome was gone...
    I got this replacement by chance off e-bay which came from a 1950's Chris-Craft motorboat. This was shortly after I bought C-155... It sat around for quite a while waiting to be useful again!

    The design is almost identical, (the size pretty much the same) but this is significantly heavier and a bit curvier (prettier) than the original Pearson Fitting.

    C-155's Flagpole fitting had already fallen off when I came upon her... I have the original 1" Dia. Aluminum part, but I struggled wether to use this original, or go with larger fitting that would allow me to use my flagpoles; A small 3' one that came with the boat, and a lovely 4' -maybe even 4-1/2' long one that my rigger gave me. These are both great and made out of Teak.

    I went with the shiny large chromed brass flagpole fitting to match the rest of the shiny parts... With a BIG backing plate as I do not want it falling off again!
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by Rico; 07-09-2008 at 06:52 PM.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Scarborough, Maine
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    S-W-E-E-T!!!!!!

    Of course we'll be expecting lots of pictures of C-155 showing off all her shiny bling...
    Mike
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Northern MN
    Posts
    1,099
    Sweet indeed! WOW!!

    That dinghy looks simply fine. Have you had it in the water yet? If so, did you like the stability? Looks like it should get you to the beach and back, haul groceries and a little fuel/petro....maybe some spirits if you so desired. The ability to sail it would be a big plus. Add the rub-rail without a doubt.

    Yeah, an inflatable would sure be nice. An eight footer would be about as large as you would want to tow don't you think? And if you were to deflate for stowing on deck I'm not sure if there is a 'big' difference between eight or ten footers rolled up but there isn't a whole lot of room up front anyway. Wait a minute...you have that king-sized cockpit.

    Then there's locomotion to thnk about. If I recall correctly, hard bottom dinks with a little chine/keel row better. If you want to carry a smaller outboard the inflatables (with rigid bottom) plane better. I think someone here once proposed using the mothership's outboard for the dinghy. That might be practical with a 6hp, but, anything bigger somedays the back sez, "no you don't, fool!"

    That's just my two cents, Rico.

    P.s. I really like the shiney stuff! Send more pics.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Winyah Bay, SC
    Posts
    579
    Oh, wow.

    Rico is winning the picture contest, hands down.
    Kurt - Ariel #422 Katie Marie
    --------------------------------------------------
    sailFar.net
    Small boats, long distances...

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Posts
    430

    Mast

    The Mast before:
    Note globs of silicone...
    And the corrosion on the sheave plates. They were not too bad off considering, but I decided to clean them up and paint them.






    The mast After:

    Acid-etched, Primed (2 coats), and painted with Interlux "Perfection" 2-part Polyurethane (3 Coats) -This stuff is Very Shiny & HARD!

    I had some one-part polyurethane paint in red that allowed for further procrastination... Now this commander will be recognized from a distance...

    I also painted the propeller red, but then I put all the paint away before I got carried away!

    - Note the nicely cleaned rigging and new topping lift block & windvane (the old windex was reduced to the rear end of the arrow and some twisted bits of metal - it was very sad.)

    I also replaced the Jib Halyard block as the one in place had a sheave for a wire halyard. It is a nice block and is in great shape. This is now to be the muilti-use spare block on board.

    The windvane & my handheld VHF are the highest 'tech' pieces of equipment on this Commander!

    The nicely finished Teak coambings are now installed and I plan on installing my new traveler base & tuning the rig this weekend.






    Yes... the mast is on!
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by Rico; 04-14-2009 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Tried to use a link for picture... Got it! (3rd try!)

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Excelsior, Minnesota
    Posts
    323

    Cool idea!!!

    Thats it, I'm taking my mast down today and copying you!

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,549

    Commander mast epaulet

    You may have started something there!!!!

    For instance I have a little bird outline that would fit perfectly on A-338
    Last edited by ebb; 08-01-2008 at 07:13 AM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,549

    jib halyard tang

    In case anyone missed what I found on 338's mast -

    That fitting that attaches the jib halyard block to the mast over the big wire sheave was badly corroded. Dangerously corroded.
    (post 23 - on the underside in the before shot
    and on the top of the spar in the after shot.)

    The tang was held on with 4 #12 machine screws. On my mast the aluminum was just about completely reduced to white powder under the fitting.

    I think it's worth taking a look under this tang.
    Last edited by ebb; 11-21-2008 at 10:18 AM.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Posts
    430

    Red face Transom / Lazarette Structural reinforcement

    Ebb; I saw the same type of isolating material underneath this tang as I found underneath the sailtrack on the mast... I am puzzled by the apparent switch in production tactics by the pearson factory... e.g. Aluminum vs SS spreader bases; Al Rivets, vs SS screws for the mast track, etc.???
    Perhaps a previous owner's solution for the fastening of your mast's tang??

    I think that the little bird outline will look great on 'Little Gull's' mast. I knew I wanted to do something there... but it took me a while to figure out what to do. Then the obvious came to me!

    It is amazing how hard it is to spot familiar boats out in the bay... I figure this would be a great help. Maybe this way I can actually get some pictures of the 'Mephisto Cat' actually sailing!

    C-227: Feel free to copy... but royalties may be in order!




    The Mephisto Cat is now wet, the mast is stepped, and it is ready for a bit of sailing to tune the rig...

    But we are NOT there yet... I'll first post a bit about the improvements in the lazarette...

    The middle picture is the 'before' condition.
    I'd not yet taken the mast down from the carrier and we'd already started to dig into the demo scope. (This picture was taken about 8 months ago!!) The first step was the famed weak point: The Backstay chainplate in the lazarette...

    But in getting to this and since I'd had my eye on this bit of a moist spot on the floor of the lazarette we got a bit distracted; A bit of poking around resulted in what you see... Water had found its way into the void under the lazarette floor and the foam filling was pretty soaked on the starboard side.

    This was cleaned out, to find everything else in good order. The floor of the lazarette was replaced with new plywood & glass and then new foam was injected.


    This brings us to the initial issue - the backstay chainplate:
    Note the small Brass screws in the 2nd Picture. These are the standard fasteners to the small knee /brace. There are 3 of these bolts, but I had already removed one before I remembered to take a pic....

    You can also see the top edge of the knee... Not the strongest design. There was not really any sign of stress or fatigue to indicate an issue, but this element always seemed to be a bit undersized... A jolt could break this structure and I can imagine the whole thing pulled apart...

    Note the original Pearson finish in this pic. - I wish I knew the history of this Commander, but it seems to have been pretty well taken care of considering its 40+ year history.

    The new design is seen in the 3rd picture. Some strategically placed plywood and fiberglass. All covered with a bit of mat for good measure.

    This was taken before we decided to fill the small gap between the rear edge/lip of the well and the transom. This area is /was always hard to reach and tended to collect muck... It is no longer accessible... Now the rear 'lip' of the well continues aft where it meets the transom.

    I feel much better about this configuration. Likely overbuilt for a production run, but we only have one backstay!
    Now I will have many other things to worry about, and will likely need to abandon ship before even starting to worry about this chainplate failing... -Knocking on wood...
    Attached Images      
    Last edited by Rico; 08-05-2008 at 08:26 AM.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Posts
    430

    Chainplates

    The old and the new...

    The original chainplate is 1/8" SS plate. I used 3/16" 316 SS plate for the new one. This was mostly because I wanted some increased torsional rigidity as I thought that this was the original design's biggest weakness. A sudden jolt that pulls in a direction that is out of line with the axis of the thin plate would make it twist and fail... Unlikely, but this is how this would fail...

    In the picture, you can see the 6 little chainplates to replace the original bronze ones, and the original backstay chainplate lying between two copies of the new design. (Which I'll .pdf and post for reference.) Missing is the top plate. The one that covers-up the opening as the chainplate comes through the deck. This ia also a bit larger than the original which is only there for looks...

    There are two new chainplates in the picture. I still only have one backstay, but I ended up with two copies of the new design due to an order mishap...

    I cleaned & polished the tips so that they are shiny-er on top...

    In the next picture you can see the finished reinforced lazarette. (Note the covered area behind the OB Well).

    You can see how I ground off a portion of the lateral reinforcing in order to fit the new chainplate. In the end I covered the exposed wood with fiberglass and made up the difference by grinding a small curve into the back of the chainplate. This worked quite well...

    I drilled the new holes and used SS bolts to complete the assembly.

    Lastly, you can see the final results...

    (See Post #37 for the files containing the template for this bigger backstay chainplate)
    Attached Images        
    Last edited by Rico; 04-14-2009 at 04:17 PM.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    1,823
    Quote Originally Posted by epiphany View Post
    Oh, wow.

    Rico is winning the picture contest, hands down.
    Now he's going for the prettiest Commander and Dink Award


    Very nice

    For the dinghy rubrail maybe you could use some sort of white rubber trim. Took a quick look at McMaster.com...something along these lines, with or w/o the core, and UV resistant

    Self-Gripping Vinyl Edge Trim with Metal Core
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by commanderpete; 08-05-2008 at 07:16 AM.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,549
    what's the 'metal core'?

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