Claire and I said farewell to my Father. A great asset once again to our cruising lifestyle. He has helped us both out so much. Now time to clean out the boat, stow our cruising gear, and pull out all our tools.
The rest of August and into September was extremely hot. Beautiful weather, but still the big rain storms passing by most days of the week. This made timing of deck work difficult, quite a few times we had to drop what we were doing and clean everything up. Hiding power tools from the downpours, once they passed, waiting for a quick dry from the sun. Nothing like working on the deck of a boat in humid Florida!
Ok, so here are a few projects with photos in progression. I’ll never claim to be the most professional of handy-men. But hey, at least I attempt to do all my own work. I research the “right way” to do it, and in most cases there are more than one way to skin a cat. So sure, it could be a flawless shiny repair, but where’s the character in that? Let’s start with the bow that got smashed up in our grounding.
It took a few days of grinding and cleaning. Not to mention constant on and off rain. Which meant I had to cover the raw fiberglass with a big black trash bag weighed down by chain, to protect it from getting wet.
I had to go inside the chain locker on my back, look up, and lay a thin ceiling of fiberglass. Once that dried, I could work from outside on deck without it leaking and dripping all inside.
I decided to lay wood down between the repaired holes in the deck, and a new thick layer of glass above that. This way when we put the anchor mount back on, it has a solid wood base beneath the glass.
Repairing the bow was a major issue. It was letting in a lot of unwanted moisture, which could have caused a lot more damage in the long run. After beefing that up and repairing it to a good stopping point, Claire and I moved on to other parts of the deck.
Deciding that now was a great time to remove all the stanchions, stern rails, and other various metal pieces on deck. This way I could glass over all the bolt-holes. Living aboard this vessel for almost 5 years now, we have a lot of upgrades in mind. Some of which involves new metal work. We would like to relocate certain pieces, plus a lot of the bolt-holes through the deck are so old and worn that they were letting in moisture. So with a hot Florida sun, we let those dry and I filled them in for a completely new flush deck.
With all that patching behind us, we began prepping to paint. Before leaving Texas we purchased our Sunflower Yellow topside paint. I like to have a few projects purchased and stowed away, so when we get free time it is ready to be tackled.
April 2014 we re-painted Splendid Isolation. Read about that here. The teal hull is holding up pretty well. The yellow topside paint has faded quite a bit, it has even rub bare in some places. The gray grip deck has gotten on our last nerve. Like walking on coals, the time has finally come to fix all of this.
Once the boat’s topside was repainted, we let that dry for a few good days, being oil-based paint. Removed all the tape to re-tape for the grip decks. I had also purchased a pound of pumice while in Texas. I had saved almost a gallon of exterior acrylic paint that we had used while painting the interior last winter. We did a first coat on deck with just paint. Using a drill and a paint whisk, I mixed the pumice into the bucket for the second coat.
In the photo above, notice no stanchions or other on-deck metal. Holes have been glassed and painted over. Our decks are once again sealed and tight. The new white grip-deck feels amazing on bare-feet. It stays cool even in the heat of the afternoon, the extra pumice has extreme grip. The best part of all, the inside of the boat is at least 10 degrees cooler, no joke. It stays cool inside until afternoon, which used to be even unbearable. Now our afternoons are a cool breeze. The cats really appreciate it.
With this huge task behind us, we are at a good stopping point. Job hunting has begun. Once a little more established in the area, we plan to start working on the boat again. All the projects that we have held off since basically California, are now back on the to-do list. One of the biggest anticipations is getting new stanchions and fabricating an arc for the stern of the boat. This way we can add one more solar panel, plus have space to mount things off the deck. Providing a sturdier and more comfortable sailing experience.