Wash and Sand and Wash and Paint and Varnish and Cetol and . . . .

OK! OK! The COLUMBIA III  season has begun. She is already up the coast with guests aboard. Farlyn is skippering and I have a few days to finish this spring-painting blog before it all gets too stale in my mind . . .  One last bloggy push at the keyboard. Hang on to your hats, more super boring, behind the scenes wooden boat invisible magic . . . .

So the boat returns to the shed after the ship yard stint. Now the real fun begins!

The general plan is to start on the roof and work down.  We sand all the  painted surfaces and then wash. We do not sand the brightwork surfaces at this time as the fine paint dust seems to get embedded into the brightwork if the paint dust lands on the sanded varnish. So we sand the painted areas, then wash and usually paint before we even touch the brightwork. It is best to have the boat all freshly painted and clean before we take on the brightwork. We then clean the decks and do them last after we are done dripping and spilling.`

It is never good for finishes on a wooden boat to get too thick. Actually this is a very common mistake. Heavy layers of paint actually lock the moisture in the wood and hasten rot. Therefore we have a loose system of stripping some portion of the boat to bare wood each year. 2018 was the year to do the inside surface of the bulwarks on the forward 2/3’s of the ship. We did the aft 1/3 a few years ago and Luke had already been working on the bulwarks so this was the natural time to torch off the old white paint . . .

This is also a great way to check for deteriorating wood. Here you can see some staining by a hawse hole ring. The wood is still completely sound but that dark stain needs to be watched closely.

And the hull gets its annual S&P.

Ace kayak guide Robin Humphreys decided to learn more about the process that keeps her mothership looking so shiny!

Last year we experimented with trying to get two seasons out of the wheelhouse paint job. It worked well enough, but now we had to do the entire wheelhouse again. Hopefully we won’t do the wheel house white again until 2020.

The 60+ year old “smoke stack” had some crummy rusty spots on the metal so Luke ground them out and filled the area in with epoxy. The “stack” is an aesthetic accouterment.

Many small components are transferred to the workshop for sanding and refinishing. In the first weeks of April the  3-6 degree C outside temperature in the boat shed can mean slow drying times for washing, filling and painting. Its good to have some projects in the shop . . . beside the wood stove! Here Farlyn and Robin try to look busy when I walk in with the camera.

Hatches, cupboard doors . . .

stairs, running light boxes, hand rails . . .

more back-deck cupboard doors . . .

life jacket boxes and fire bucket boxes, freezer box lid . . . .

kayak life jacket racks . . .

Aft deck drawer fronts . . .

. . .  ship’s lettering . . . See the toy tugboat on the shop window sill! I made that for Miray in 1984 when she turned one. It’s in for an “overhaul”.

And then the first paint starts to go on!!! No more dust!!

This and Robin and Steve with their “It’s almost quitting time!!” smiles . . .

Even Skye wanted part of the fun . . .  it is always good to share . . .

Hey that Brightsides green gloss paint is pretty darn shiny!

. . . . and the white . . .

Of course the “office” never sleeps! Steve, Farlyn and I are up for lunch and Miray stops by to help keep ahead of bookkeeping, parks permits and emails . . . ..Yes, I know we don’t always return emails as quickly as we might!

The guard rails get scuffed by tie up lines and fenders. So, despite crew protests, (“Dad, they look fine for another year!” ) I forced the crews to strip the guards to bare wood, re-sand, re-stain and re-finish with 2 coats of Cetol marine gloss clear.

  

Of course I was NOT loafing. The finishing touches when into the C02 cylinder relocation. . .

These are high pressure hoses that needed a hydrostatic test to ensure they were still in good working condition.

Another little upgrade. A tank level monitor for fuel and black water . . .

And I had some rewiring in the main AC panel to make the #1 inverter easier to remove for maintenance . . . ie the wires were too short when I installed the new inverters last spring and it bugged me!           

The continuing saga of the blackwater system upgrade. Here the tanks are getting re-installed.

New work bench matting as the fittings on the new tank ended up in just a bit different places . .

matting installed . . .

Small project # 445283. I installed a new aft kayak hoist and upgraded the control cords. I think 96.3% of all tools in the engine room are used on every project . . . but I always bring them up one at a time!

And as the painting gets completed (ie no more dust) we can sand and varnish the exterior bright work.

The galley is a very high-use area. It takes the most wear and tear of the inside of the ship. Here, Robin and Farlyn strip wires and shelving and sand a portion of the galley walls.

When the bulk of the drippy painting is done, the decks get “de-specked”, vacuumed and masked off for the non-skid coat. We re-do the non-skid every two years. The decks get too slippery if we leave it for three years.

Here one crew rolls, one cuts the edges and one sprinkles sand onto the fresh finish.

And then 2 days later the decks get done again to seal down the non-skid sand.

With winch painted and the decks done, Farlyn and Steve roll the cable and chain rode back onto the anchor winch drum.

Just to add to the mayhem, Nick on the research vessel ACHIEVER came for a week to use our shop and tools. It was our small way of helping support  the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

The Achiever pulls out of Diamond Bay with a few improvements to help them meet Transport Canada compliance.

Our salon table gets refinished and re-polished almost every year. Last year we tried a new epoxy finish designed to last YEARS on hard wood floors. Tavish and master table refinisher, Luke Hyatt, inspect the table closely for signs of wear and unsightly tear. This cracked team of experts concluded the table refinishing could wait until next year . . .  then they quit for the day . . . .

Well, perhaps Luke went and finished installing the new cabinet he made to fit the spot the C02 cylinders occupied for the last 30 years.

Another skipper-behind-the-scenes project. The galley faucet was getting loose and worn and I decided it was best to replace it now rather than at some awkward time mid season. But of course the exact replacement faucet was new and improved and its dimensions were different . . . So I spent quite a bit of time IN the sink cabinet chiselling wood and “stuff”.

And every year I lift the engine room aluminum floor plates and vacuum and hand scrub the bilge. It’s a good time to check for wear and tear . . . . You can see one of the lighter coloured planks we installed a few years back.

The tender is painted and lowered back into the water to make room for the COLUMBIA III to leave the shed.

Oh this is EXCITING!!! we are getting down to the little details!!

And the gate gets opened . . . .

ALL HANDS ON DECK !!!!!

THE COLUMBIA III IS COMING OUT OF THE SHED FOR THE NEXT 5 MONTHS!!!!

(God willing, as my mother use to say!)

Pull THEO!                           56 tons vs 56 pounds . . . .

“Grandpa!!!! I can’t hold it!!!”

AHHHHH!!!!!! The boat is finally out of the shed! This is HUGE! This is AMAZING! I feel like crying and laughing but I just gaze down from my window and sigh . . . “What a lot of work . . . ”

Of course, we’re not done. Just the projects are less dusty. Hundreds of little details to attend to. Here Theo, assisted with a small bowl of raisins, is learning how to lash kayak paddle racks onto a stanchion. Tavish does the neatest lashing so he has become the “go-to” man for all the lashing.

All the emergency flashlights (with glow in the dark markings) have the batteries preemptively replaced at the start of every season.

Here’s a make work project. I noticed a small kerosene leak under the roof top day tank. This supplies the cozy “fireplace” with fuel. We keep this stove going 24/7/365. I erroneously thought a fitting was loose . . . but upon removing the tank to investigate I found a small corrosion pit in the aluminum side wall of the tank . . . . oopsey! My screw driver pushed right through in several spots! The 1/4″ thick aluminum was shot.

So I sketched up a plan to give a metal fabricator in Campbell River . . . .

Fitted out with the appropriate bits . . .

Raised onto the roof and . . .

. . . magically installed back on the roof.

And Theo hands Steve screws, one at a time . . .  The final brass rub strips go back onto the guards.

I spliced new hand lines on the tender . . .

A season’s worth of wine is stored . . .

3 new double kayaks to keep our fleet in top form . . .

. . .  and a final inspection by Transport Canada. The boat shiny and all safety gear was on display . . .

So this blog post draws to a close . . .

Here’s a cool shot. This is taken from Miray’s living room window.

All of time is a river, and paths cross and uncross. This is one of those note-worthy intersections. The fish boat in the foreground is my skipper, Dennis’s. At 83, Dennis is Theo’s great grand uncle. The next vessel is Luke’s dad’s sailboat, Theo’s other grandpa. The next boat is Uncle Tavish’s and then the Columbia III sits ready for the 2018 season. What are the odds that Theo might end up with a boat in his future??

So the COLUMBIA III is ready for another season. We do not own the COLUMBIA III. We are her custodians for this portion of her existence. We hope she will be sailing long after I have retired and gone to the happy Sea in the Sky. Here Farlyn leaves Diamond Bay on her own with the COLUMBIA III. If all goes well the ship will not be back home until mid October, almost 5 months from now.

As Farlyn is skippering the first tour of the season I am home alone. I awoke that first morning with a start looking down from my bedroom window.

Where’s the COLUMBIA III ?????”

Ahhh, off with Farlyn. All well.

May our 2018 season be safe and fun and viable for all: Guests, Crews, Ship, and all sundry folks and boats that cross paths with the COLUMBIA III this 2018 Spring, Summer and Fall.

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email