For a new reader to this fascinating blog . . . the title refers to a great deal, a really great deal of Sanding, and Washing, and Painting and Sanding and Washing and Varnishing, and Removing and Repairing and Replacing.
Despite a winter of mucking about with the COLUMBIA III, the real work starts in earnest April 1st with Farlyn and Steve and Luke showing up for work at 8-9am and I have to have something for them to do. This year I upgraded to a dry erase board to ensure they never stressed for lack of gainful tasks. This board was upgraded hourly . . . for the month of April.
So first things first, the “crew” and I walk around the boat and determine how much time we have, how much money I have and what we think is the most pressing areas of the boat. There are always areas that we worked on diligently last winter and only require a reasonably quick S&P. . . and there are always, (always!) areas on a +50 year old wooden boat that need extra work. We try to strip some sections of the boat down to bare wood each year to prevent the paint from building up too thickly. A really thick coat of paint holds the moisture in against the wood and causes rot. And, its just too much work to strip the whole boat down to bare wood so we just do some of the boat each year. This year it was decided to work on some areas of the bulwarks. We use heat guns and (sparingly) propane torches for removing the paint accumulation.
I seem to spend a great deal of time running errands for the crew; finding the right paint, or more sand paper etc, etc, but still I have my own list of dedicated tasks. A fairly major project this winter was the installation of a new primary radar. The old one was just getting too weak and it wasn’t worth further investment in repairs. But cutting all the wire bundles to remove the old radar and installing the new radar put the wheelhouse into a “tizzy”. With the new radar being connected to the GPS, the AIS, the heading indicator in the lower reaches of the boat as well as the ship’s computer and the radar antenna on the roof, I had all the floor boards and wire bundles cut loose to restring the appropriate cables.
Unfortunately, the new radar came with enough cable to reach the mast top of a sail boat so I had to shorten the cable. As I am only a casual electrician, I ccccaaaarrreeefffullllllyyyyyy cut all the wires and respliced the cable. I did this after the regular work day ended so I could work without interruption.
From chaos arises . . .
Our son-in-law, Luke, has a special skill set which I shamelessly employ. Besides the usual sanding and painting, I use Luke for projects that require that extra measure of care and quality woodworking. So as the team proceeds with the general S&W&P&V, I create a list of projects for Luke. When we were in the shipyard for the refastening, we had to cut a hole in the floor of one stateroom to gain access to the cooling pipe attachment bolts. So Luke was tasked with creating a new floor hatch to match those already existing on the CIII.
I missed the polishing action as I was in town on errands, but here the brass guard strip goes back on the table. The polishing is pretty messy, so we remove the table to the workshop for the actual polishing.
We often paint in a team of 3. The roller, the “cutter” (brushing the tricky bits) and “tipping” (brushing with even steady strokes to remove the roller stipple and to leave a uniform finish). Here the team start the starboard hull.
We always remove as much hardware as is physically possible before we paint. It just makes for a much tidier job. But it feels great to see the brass door handles, catches, and hooks going back on again. The boat starts to look like a beautiful heritage vessel again. Here the bell gets screwed back on . . . things are starting to look “shiny”. This is a good thing!
I redid the bottom half of the shower stall as well. It’s sort of cheating to do only half, but the painting last year didn’t adhere as well as I wanted near the bottom, so I got lazy and only redid that section.
Holy! The boat is starting to look sharp! It’s quite a transformation from the shipyard in February.
There’s a few shots for the curious. Of course, 3-5 workers for the month of April do a zillion small and large jobs. Food lockers are scrubbed and painted. Chipped paint in the galley gets repaired. Main engine filters are changed. Fern works on menus, recipes, cook books and huge food orders. Deck chairs are refinished. Staterooms are cleaned and smoke detectors are given new batteries. This is a “detail intensive” business. Marine medicals are renewed. Crew are sent out for marine training upgrades. A kayak guide gets a Bear Viewing Assistant Guide training.
16′ 6″ feet wide x 68′ long. And a whole lot of energy poured into a small area!