Monday, October 24, 2005

Time is flying by as we cram as much into each Saturday as possible. It would be too easy to just abandon every other project and commitment and just spend every available moment on the boat. I'd be happy with a cot in the barn so I could spend every Saturday night there, working both days full time, but Barb has more sense and limits us to five to eight hours per weekend, on a "not to interfere" basis with our social life. She knows it would be easy to get burned out on the project and it's a marathon, not a sprint.

We've tried several methods of scrubbing the oil-stained teak just above the cabin sole (i.e. interior deck for landlubbers): auto shop "kitty litter" absorbent, citrus degreaser, acetone and water with TSP, but none seem to budge the stain. It looks like our best bet is to just cover it with a thin teak "baseboard" about four inches high to encapsulate it, and on the interior of the storage compartments we can seal it with a half-dosen coats of Kilz stain blocker. It's not a problem since the interior of the compartments will be painted white anyway and then the hull interior will be lined with 1/4-inch closed-cell foam for insulation.

Over the weekend of October 15th (Tom's birthday) we played host to two of our children and their families: Michael and his wife, Marianne and daughter Elizabeth; and Rebecca and her husband, Chris and son Thomas. We still made the trip to the boat-barn since everyone wanted to see it. Everyone seemed favorably impressed with the size and general condition of the boat. Like an old house that needs restoration, they could visualize the finished product, and if they thought we were nuts at least they were kind enough not to say it out loud! Michael helped me cut and fit replacement bilge covering boards. At one point we had seven adults in the cabin chatting and it didn't even seem crowded.

We've sorted through all the teak strips and plywood scraps that we pulled out of the hull in bundles and have found to our delight that it's all the trim (uncut) straight from the Westsail factory over 30 years ago! Nearly all of it is in good condition, with the exception of some raw teak boards and cabin sole decking that was totally soaked in oily water - easily replaceable (but not cheap)! We brought home the drawers and cupboard doors and sanded and oiled them - Wow, what a difference - the rich teak finish really popped out and they smell great now too.

Further sorting and searching for the rudder pintles has turned up virtually all the running rigging fittings, such as jam cleats, blocks, winches, etc. On the other hand, the bronze pintles are missing. We suspect that they were too eroded by galvanic action and were just discarded when the rudder was removed. If we can photograph and measure some originals we can easily have them reproduced. We're lucky to have found another Westsail 32 kit in a backyard about 20 miles away and we plan to visit the owners on Saturday, October 29th, to check it out.

On Saturday, October 22nd, I changed out shoplights in the barn, built a decent workbench with storage shelves, sorted more trim, and pitched more junk, while Barb sanded for hours in the boat. Men, you know it's a good project when your wife wants to go to the hardware store to buy power tools! Barb insisted on looking at power sanders and picked out a compact Makita finishing sander for the interior woodwork. With the orbital sander, they both will get a heavy workout on this project.

I've printed nearly all the hull and system-related pages of the Westsail factory construction manual and along with Don Casey's books ("This Old Boat" and other wonderful titles, such as "Hull Refinishing", "Boat Electrical Systems, and Boat Plumbing", etc.), we're now armed and dangerous. Stay tuned for more adventures in boat revival!

As a footnote, I want to express my thanks to Troy Boyer, his father, Rex, and the young neighbor, Garret, who were so helpful in getting the barn ready - without them we'd still be waiting for the boat to ship! Thanks, guys!


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8:36 PM  
Blogger sila said...

hello tom and barb, i found your blog while searching for fred and kitty phillips website about s/v mariah, which is unfortunately no longer online. i am going to replace my headliner soon with formica and i remembered that mariah had insulation above the formica that sounded really easy to install and that the phillips were really pleased with it. was wondering if you knew the name of this product or if you had contact with the phillips to ask them. you project looks like an adventure and i hope its coming along well. regards and smooth sailing, sila thielke, w32 amable.

11:58 AM  

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