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Under cover!

December 15, 2011

What a push! Nothing quite like the threat of rain and snow (again) to get things done. img_0384-2_med-3

The boat, as of 6 pm last night, is under cover. This building, amazingly, is even bigger than the bow roof shed – 86 feet long, as opposed to 60 feet long. The roof slopes, so there’s not as much clearance, but we think we have what we need to get the various projects done.

I will never take a building for granted again! We had so much confidence in the first building, and to see it lifted away by a storm was a bit unsettling. This morning we awoke to rain, and it took us 2 cups of coffee before we had the fortitude to head outside and see how the cover was bearing up. All is fine, we’re pretty sure – can’t get inside until we cut out the second door, and put handles on it and the first door. The only glitch seems to be where we had to make pleats in the covering – the wind is pulling them apart. We think we can get those big pressure clamps (the heavy clamps we use on the fronts of horse blankets, although I’m sure they actually have some sort of ‘official’ hardware store name). We think we can gather up some of the excess, and clamp it to the pipes from the inside. We’ll see. At least the wind can’t get in underneath. Plus, on this shed, Henry made wooden stakes, about 3 feet long, and drove them all the way into the ground. The ground is also not quite as wet in this location as out in the field.

So now the fun stuff can begin. We will start by extracting some fastenings, and also getting some stuff from Smith. They make a wood-based epoxy, which swells, and also is flexible, and Henry will use that to impregnate the horn timber until we can get a place and time to replace it. The rudder will also have some ‘buy-us-some-time’ repairs, but will eventually be rebuilt. Henry’s primary focus is on refastening and re-planking, where needed.

My focus will be on sanding and stripping the interior of the hull, down into the bilge, and also cleaning and refinishing all of the interior wood. Last, but not least, we’ll move on to the exterior, and I’ll get the interior of the bulwarks sanded/stripped/cleaned and re-painted, and address the brightwork. It is in such bad shape that it will strip off fairly easily. We bought something called a silent paint stripper, which uses heat along with a certain light frequency, to remove old paint and varnish. I’ve played around with it a few evenings, on the skylight covers, and it is amazing. No chemicals, and the stuff just bubbles up and peels off. The one thing we know about this boat is the wood used to build her is absolutely beautiful, very old (most of it is from 1936) and in the case of the teak deck, very thick. We’re pretty sure the deck is about 3 inches thick! All the wood needs, in most cases, is to be cleaned. I did treat myself to using Teka on the galley table, some floor boards, and a few covers. Once the wood was clean, it was absolutely beautiful, so I’m pretty excited to see what will happen when we get it all clean! I think the floor boards are going to be the most impressive of all – 75 years of grime makes for a pretty dark cabin sole, and these boards are very old, lovely mahogany (we think – can’t quite see the grain through the grime).

Today, in the end, will be a day off, to give our tired and achy bodies a day of physical rest. It is also just a few days before Christmas, and, needless to say, we haven’t done much on that front, so we’re taking advantage of a rainy day to go get some shopping done. Hope to also visit our new distributor, and help her connect with two people in her town.


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