Again, we work almost every day of the year on the Columbia III, in one manner or another. Having the boat tied in front of our house means it is easy (maybe too easy!) to keep the various projects underway.
This year we had some woodworking that needed attention. As a 50+ year old boat, it takes constant vigilance to keep her in tip-top shape. And at times, one can’t be shy. If it needs to be fixed, it has GOT to get fixed. So we dove in, so to speak, with saws and drills and removed some tired wood and rebuilt and returned the boat to perfection.
But the real pay off is in knowing the job is well done and the Columbia III is one more step on her way to her 100th birthday celebration in 2056!
The first major project of the fall was to replace two planks in the foredeck. One had a longitudinal crack that looked like it would cause trouble in the future and one had been the source of our only drip below decks and it needed attention. There must be some glamour in taking things apart, because the whole crew seemed to appear from nowhere to help drill, chisel, pry and saw.
But the old planks came out cleanly and the the surrounding wood was wonderfully sound.
We are blessed with an uncle/neighbour who has built and repaired wooden vessels his whole life on the BC coast, and he provides us with our expertise. Dennis oversaw the decking repairs and gave a “clinic” when it came time to caulk the seams with cotton and then oakum.
Project No: 253,335.02
One corner of the aft deck roof was “tired”, and needed “a little help”. There was the preliminary surgery and then the reconstructive work began. We had been preparing for this for well over a year, so we we had the clear fir and yellow cedar dry and ready for the job.
One can never have enough tools and we make thousands of trips between the shop at the head of the dock and the boat fetching just one more thing we need. The pile just seems to get bigger and bigger!
Then the rewarding work begins. The old is replaced with the new clear wood, and there is something profoundly satisfying about doing the job well, especially for an honoured gal like the Columbia III.
It feels really good when the paint starts to go back on, though it is a shame to cover all that clear yellow cedar!