“Inside every simple boat project is a big problem, waiting to get out”. (Mike & Lori, ex s/v Cheshire)
Since we arrived back at Sionna on January 16th, we’ve been hard at it pretty much continuously, moving from one task to the next, sometimes, and sometimes from one aspect of a task to something else, then back to the first project, and then…
Where epoxy and paint are concerned, you have to allow time for things to set and dry, of course. But more importantly you sometimes need to protect your mental and physical health by changing tasks for a bit. Get up and stretch, go think about something else for a while, then come back later, refreshed and comfortable, to continue where you left off.
One of the first things we noticed on arrival was the stains on the deck that seemed to have no source. Closer examination showed that we have a problem – those stains are actually from a corroded screw buried in the fiberglass, and the closer we looked, the more we found.
To date, I’ve drilled 20 holes in the deck, each 1/2″ diameter, and then filled the hole with epoxy. Where an old fastener was we fill and fair, then nearby we drill for a new screw, install that, then epoxy over the hole and paint the whole area. It’s labor intensive, but should result in the same strength as the original construction which – after all – lasted for over 50 years.
While I’ve been drilling holes in the boat, Nicki has been a cleaning-white-tornado. The boat kept pretty well, all things considered, but still there’s a layer of grime on everything, and in some corners and overhead surfaces there’s a bit of mold, so she’s been over absolutely the whole boat interior with a fine-toothed brush-and-rag, and the difference is stunning. Sionna looks like a home again – she’s even started polishing and waxing the topsides!
And it finally feels like we’re getting ahead of our work list. What started out as 10 items (compiled before we left Maine) naturally expanded to a full page-plus when we arrived.
Then for about a week we were regularly checking things off, but we added even more items as we noticed them – including a couple of leaks, as I mentioned – so it was hard to see much progress there for a while.
But now we’re winding down. Saturday I re-finished and reinstalled the deck box (above, with our secondary anchor in place), and yesterday Nicki cleaned in the aft cabin, then waxed part of the prow while I re-coated the inside of the fridge with epoxy, filled holes in the deck, and scrubbed the entire bottom in preparation for repainting with anti-fouling – a big nasty job. I was streaked and spotted blue by the time I escaped and Nicki’s arms were turning to jelly, but the bottom looks good and the hull is beginning to sparkle.
It won’t be long now…
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