Hey again!  Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve posted.  Things got busy, I left for Singapore for three months, etc etc…   Before we put the boat back in the water this spring, we wanted to get a few things done.  Our boat project list is crazy long, so we decided to start with things to do while the boat was out of the water.  Here is what we’ve gotten done in no particular order:

Gelcoat Refresh

The gelcoat on the hull is pretty oxidized.  It is thick, though, so I felt free to sand off the top layer.  I tried to wet sand and polish it last year, but I just didn’t have enough time, and I was doing it by hand.  This spring I used my DA buffer to sand and polish.  The results were much better!

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You can see the difference!  The oxidation seems to whiten and ‘speckle’ the gelcoat.  You can see a bit of it is left over in this after picture:

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It is much shinier! The shine should help protect it from UV a bit better as it reflects more light.  You can see another before and after shot below (along with me specked with blue gelcoat) below.

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I realized that the sandpaper I used this year was too fine (1200 grit) and left some oxidation ‘speckles’; next year I’ll use a two stage process with a coarser grit first. Overall, however, the boat looks much better! Next year we will sand and repaint the waterline. It should look great then!

Sand/Varnish the Tiller

Another cosmetic project was the tiller.  The wood on the tiller was still in good condition, but the varnish was flaking in many spots.

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I used a heat gun and a paint scraper and the varnish came off easily.  I then sanded the tiller with 220 grit sandpaper to even out the grain and finish.

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I varnished and sanded 6 times.  You can still see a bit a grain, but it was nice and smooth to the touch and should protect the wood for years to come.

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Miscellaneous Other Projects

  •  The caulking around the companion way hatch cover was long overdue to be replaced. I replaced this with some silicon caulk, but might have to go back and use a marine grade clear caulk.
  • The port outer side stay needed a piece of the turnbuckle replaced. It was bent, though not sure why.
  • I wet sanded and polished the Plexiglas windows. They look much better now. You can actually see through them!IMG_0650
  • We got a 55lbs trolling motor to use as propulsion. The diesel still doesn’t work, and is a project for this season. If I can get it running while the boat is in the water, great!  Otherwise I’m contemplating taking it out and rebuilding it in our basement over the winter. We will put together another post on the trolling motor as this isn’t something I’ve seen many others do and it works great!
  • I got a new piece for the starboard side lifeline turnbuckle. The old piece snapped off as I was tightening it. We are contemplating replacing the lifelines with dacron line as the vinyl coated stainless is starting to rust.
  • I repainted the Maireholm plaques on each side of the boat. A nice, little touch that makes the boat look a bit better.

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That’s all for now.  Look for more sailing updates this season!