Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Boat project week

We arrived at Plumper Cove last Thursday and I expect we will be here until Friday or maybe even Saturday before we finish up all the projects we have on the go.  We came here to connect with Bruce so he could do some sewing.  In addition to building us a canvas cover for the underside of the solar panels he re-sewn all the main canvas covers that we use regularly on the boat.  The canvas is more or less still in good shape but a lot of the stitching had rotted out and was letting go.  We should be able to get many more years out of the re-sewn canvas but if we hadn’t done something it would have started to rapidly deteriorate.

I’ve been making good use of the dry sunshine to get some varnish brought back into condition.  Varnished teak is the bane of boat owners.  It looks great until the varnish starts to deteriorate and then it looks like hell.  Overall ours was somewhere between looking good and looking like hell but rapidly moving toward the wrong end of the spectrum. 

I started with the worst of it which happened to be a teak accent rail that runs completely around the boat above the side doors.  First I scraped it down to bare wood, then I coated the wood with two layers of West System epoxy using their 207 coating hardener and now I’m building up layers of polyurethane exterior varnish.  Its coming up to a nice gloss which I hope will hold better than if I had just put the varnish directly onto the wood.  Time will tell.  At the same time as the trim piece I did the starboard side sliding door, taking it down to bare wood and rebuilding it.  I have also recoated the front window trim but it was still in good shape so I am adding varnish over the existing coating.

Today I installed a pair of halogen running lights for those occasions when we need to sneak home in the dark (or when we have an early morning departure to make a slack tide somewhere).  I’ll have to wait until dark to aim them but other than that they are ready to go.  They cost me $5.99 each at Princess Auto – my kind of marine hardware.  And it turned out I had an unused panel toggle switch on the flybridge so I don’t have much cost in the project.

Yesterday we traded Bruce a couple of crab traps that we didn’t like anyway for a seized Mercury outboard which should cough up several spare parts for our outboard.  Marilyn has been in a cleaning frenzy on the flybridge and she is waiting for me to get done on the main deck so she can clean there as well. 

Last night Bruce invited us out for Chinese dinner in Gibsons.  That was very pleasant.  It took us about half an hour to grind across the strait in our little dinghy because we couldn’t get up on plane with three people onboard.  But it was a lovely evening for a boat ride and by the time we came home it was almost glassy calm.  

The forecast for the weekend is for a return to normal BC weather – wet in other words.  So I need to wrap up my varnish projects prior to the weekend.

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