Warmer days this time of year and then of course summer is so short we hate to lose time when we could be reaping the rewards of owning a sailboat. We should just dump her in the water and do the work next year but putting things off until tomorrow that should be done today is usually a bad pattern that ensures nothing ever gets done. So we have to do these jobs no matter how much time they take away from playtime. The hatches were so cracked and crazed that we could no longer see out of them so they had to be replaced. The teak all needed stripping, the eyebrow all around the cabin and there is a piece in the stern that both had to be done on site. They are stripped but not varnished, that job should take about two weeks. There are repairs to the gelcoat and then the bottom has to be painted and the topsides needs buffing to remove the oxidization and then waxed and polished to a mirror finish. Gregg and friend Chris cut a hole in the boat and recessed the ignition panel so now someone can sit in front of it. No fun with a key stuck in your back. That still needs a bit of work painting and sanding. Where Gregg removed the dorade vent teak and hand rails all needs to be cleaned. The 5200 goop that adheres them is nasty to remove. The cove stripes need repainting, the wide navy one under the gunnel and then the thin strip of red below it. These things will really go a long way of bringing her back to some of her former glory. The other teak in the garage can be done in the evenings after we work on her during the days. Only the wheel will be needed once we launch her, the rest will come shortly after.
I’ve also been trying to work in the gardens. The new growth is such that everything is getting almost too tall to clean around. I run the risk of damaging the plants if I use a rake so it’s all hand pulling. I'm cursing for not winterizing the gardens in the fall to start fresh this year. I really didn’t want to fuss so much this year with the shop and the boat but I look at the state of things and my poor plants deserve better. They didn’t ask to be planted so now I have to be their caretaker. Surely we will entertain this summer and our gardens are always so attractive and colourful it would be a shame to lock our company in the house so they don’t see the poor conditions outside. We are hoping to have an anniversary party in June for our 25th so the property has to look somewhat cared for or my pride will take a hit. I would like to do less with flowers and introduce shrubs over the next few years so there is less work as I age. Summers are always really busy with the shop so if I have sailing and rug hooking that is enough on my plate.
The weather has also let me down. It’s sucked for over a week with damp, rain and humidly which does little to promote varnish curing. I need to apply eight coats on all the teak I stripped so the pieces can be installed back on the boat before we take the cover off, but it takes days between coats in this weather so I’m only at #2, usually it should take 24 hours before the next application. I’ve been keeping a fire going in the garage to beat back the moisture but it’s not really enough. I have a fan blowing as well to move the air around but I might as well blow on it myself for all the good it did. I’m about to go out in the garage and apply coat #3, the humidity has cracked so hopefully the process speeds up a bit, fingers crossed. It’s looking smart; so fresh and clean and rich with a luscious patina. Teak is a beautiful wood, not only to look at but work with as well. I could work in a boat yard, do this for a living and feel very satisfied.
I made a quick trip to Halifax Tuesday to the Specialty Hardwood store to purchase teak to replace a piece that got broken when removing it from the bow pulpit. Yowsa, it’s not cheap by any means! A small piece was $52.00! It was more than I needed so there is a small piece left over for other uses but wow, I wouldn’t want to have to equip the entire boat, why we’d have to remortgage the house! The piece was only about 8” x 18”!
I was very comfortable in that store, the smell of all the wood was intoxicating. Beautiful woods in various colours and graining, I could see sweet hook handles and all kinds of wonderful things turned from them. Then I spied a lovely piece of Mahogany and a light bulb went off. The cabin below is mostly in mahogany, it’s out of the weather so teak isn’t necessary. I always planned to do some carving for the boat and I thought a mermaid twisting around the barometer and the ship’s clock would be a fun project. Of course all the functional boat stuff has to be done first and then I can play on rainy days when we can’t sail or garden; I’m pretty sure there will be a few.
I’m waiting for samples to arrive of cockpit cushion fabric. I thought navy Phifertex would be nice with a red piping for trim. I like to be different whenever possible and this will vary from the commonly used white with navy trim. The boat has a lot of navy on it with the Bimini and Dodger covers and the sail bag but considering the entire boat is an off-white it can use added colour. And of course, you can’t get more nautical than navy and I think the red piping will be sizzling, dark and rich. The cushions below deck are all red so it will compliment nicely and be a blend throughout. The Phifertex is a vinyl mesh with small holes to allow air in to dry easily if they get wet and the sample is to ensure it will cover the foam without it showing through. That is what the boat came with except it was white with a navy trim and it had been left in the cockpit exposed to the elements and between the wear and tear and the sun beating down on it, they became discoloured and look grungy. They get walked on as you come aboard so shoe dirt from shore muddied it over time as well. I plan on storing the cushions below when we are off the boat to maximize the longevity. Once I receive the sample and verify that it is solid enough to not see the foam through the mesh, I’ll place my order and a local sewer is going to do the stitching. Some things are better left to the experts. I don’t have the proper sewing machine or the patience for that kind of work and besides, I have a million other things on the list that take precedence.