Friday, December 01, 2006

So much time has passed since my last post, and so many people have told me they're waiting to see what's been happening! Well, it's been a lightning-fast summer, with few chances to get down to the barn (remember, it's 30 miles from home), and it seems that I never remember to take the camera with me. To recap what's been done, since we pulled the engine I've sanded the caprails and bedlog (the teak framing for the main companionway hatch), pulled the mysterious thru-hull fitting beneath the starboard transom berth, pulled the bowsprit (the tip of the fir beam is rotted beneath the stainless cap and needs to be replaced), carefully measured the countertops in the galley and nav station so templates can be made, and spent about 20 hours cleaning the interior of the hull with straight acetone to cut and remove the wax coating.

This wax is mixed with the final coat of fiberglass resin as it's sprayed on in layup to aid in curing and eventually "floats" to the top and turns a dark brown. It has to be removed to bond additional fiberglass resin and paint! The respirator saves the lungs, but I found that acetone that worked it's way onto my wrists and forearms created a rash not unlike poison ivy - very nasty. The fumes inside the small lockers also irritated my eyes and a couple of minutes at a time was all I could stand.

The teak wood trim cleans up nicely and will eventually get a high gloss top coat of a varnish-like product called Armada. Surprisingly, the main companionway hatch was not even securely engaged with the bedlog slide and came right off with my first lift! No problem, since it will be replaced with a new teak hatch cover. Same thing with the forward hatch, which will be replaced with a new custom-made teak-framed skylight. A second, very similar but slightly larger skylight may be installed in the cabin top above the main salon.

I pulled the bowsprit to clear the foc's'le deck for work on the caprail and the deck itself. I was forewarned about dryrot beneath the stainless cap, and sure enough, it was rotted out. I'll be replacing it with a new stainless steel bowsprit to which I can remount the refinished teak side-mounted foot grates.

The rudder is sound, but needs a new epoxy finish coat and new cheek pieces, which are just cosmetic coverings for the stainless steel box fitting into which the tiller mounts. This will have to wait until late next summer, since the interior is my next task.

The interior is now clean, although not pretty. I carefully measured the countertops for replacement. We are seriously considering using Corian, approximately 1/2" thick, instead of a plastic laminate. A Westsail in New Zealand has this upgrade and it's beautiful! One of my old industrial customers is a fab-shop for Corian kitchen and bath cabinets for RVs and can make them up to my specs and install them, so I'll at least get the pricing.

The vertical faces of the interior, as well as the wood trim framing will all be refinished in a cream enamel paint, with the tongue and goove cabin overhead lining will be finished in a pale blue-gray. The teak doors, locker doors and drawer faces are already refinished in teak oil, as will be the teak counter edging, ladder and hatch/skylight frames. Since the barn is too cold to paint in the winter, this will have to wait until spring. The winter months will be consumed with woodwork: new hatches, laminated cabin coachroof beams, companionway ladder, galley and nav station shelves, rebuilding the winches and anchor windlass, repacking thru-hulls fittings and restoring the propane stove/oven.