Well, actually, it is still December, but just by a day.
This time last year, we had only had one big snow storm (at halloween) and the rest of the winter was very light. I don’t think that will be the pattern this year, as we have had 2 storms just this past week, with a total of well over a foot of snow. The driveway’s been plowed 3 times, and mornings are down around 10 degrees, sometimes colder!
But we are moving into another phase with the boat – reassembly, at least of certain things. Below are photos of re-bedding the hinges on the skylights. We don’t know for sure, but assume that they leak, so hinges came off for the brightwork, and now are being replaced with a new covering, so that they will (hopefully) be dry. We have had to make the hatches and skylights a priority so that we can close the boat up, which should then allow us to have a small space heater running below so that I can finish up the varnish. I’m done with the paint, but the varnish needs many, many more coats, and unless I can get the wood somewhat warm before I apply the varnish, and then have the ambiant air temperature fairly warm, there’s no point in even attempting to varnish. I’m done on deck for a while, although on sunny days, we have a few hours of temps approaching 50. I need to address the deck seams, but don’t dare do more than a small 2 or 3 foot square section at a time. I also don’t want to leave the painter’s tape on the deck for long, so this will be a weather-watching game. I will have to see when I’m going to have a sunny day, and then tape the seams, and then time the caulking so that I have a few hours of temps above 40. We’ll see – I’m cautious, and suspect that most of this will have to wait until March.
In the meantime, Henry has sanded much of the hull. He still has the topsides on the starboard side to finish refastening, and we also want to wood that side, so we will be able to address that even in the cold. We’ve had to re-install a tent on the interior of the boat shed, because we are back to interior rain/snow whenever the temperature in the shed changes, which is does rather dramatically on sunny days. We also have other projects at hand, like figuring out how to add insulation to the fridges, what heating system to use, and we have the head to buy and install. Then there’s all the bright work left on deck. Based on how the drawer fronts look, I need to plan on about another 6 coats on deck, so I’ll need a stretch of sunny days once the temperature had come back up a bit. That’s a few months away. Trying to figure out what we can do, and when, is a bit tricky. Sometimes, even on these bitterly cold days, when the sun is out, it is fairly nice inside the shed. So we just have to grab those moments, and focus on wooding the topsides, getting the fastenings finished, and sanding. Again, the fastenings can’t always be done unless it is warm enough for the epoxy to set, so we are at weather’s mercy.
I can still sand all the deck beams, which are yet to be completely prepped, and I am planning to install a layer of insulation on the interior of the fridges, which may require taking off the coldplate and reattaching it with longer fastening. I need to explore that all a bit more. We’re also exploring the heating system. We have a diesel heater, which is a stove essentially, but we’re thinking of a different system, a hot air unit by Webasto. We think we can install this in the engine room, and have vents go both forward and aft, which will solve the problem of how to get heat into two different parts of the boat with one unit.
So, still plenty left to do – some seams to recaulk on the hull, and then, of course, the spars to be repaired and painted, not to mention the hull prepped for sanding and painting. I am planning on putting seam compound in every seam, prior to painting and launching, so there’s no way around the fact that we still have plenty left to do before launching, but at least we can see that we are getting into a phase of prepping for launch, instead of pulling things apart for repair.
Bedding the hinge covering
One side of the hinges reinstalled