July 2007

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In addition to other ongoing projects, during this last week I’ve started re-bedding my portlights (windows) again. The first time (many months ago now) was as part of a general replacement, as the old plexiglass lenses had gotten crazed and murky. I bought a quarter-sheet of bonzed Lexan sheet, and cut out five new windows, cleaned up the old screw-holes and bronze frames, then put the works back together with what I had been informed was “the bomb” solution for Lexan; some Sikaflex “product”.
I say “product”, but it was more like “junk”, the same as most any other Sika product I’ve tried. Further research has shown that the Sika product intended for Lexan requires the mating surfaces to all be doped with acrylic primer prior to installation. Grrrrrr… What’s the point of buying $25 tubes of goop if you need $20 flasks of primer to make them stick?
The ports started leaking a few months in. Not only did this leave me with the inevitable interior drips, but the water was getting into the screw holes, then into the laminate, and pushing off the new cabinside paint. Shit.
So this week, extending into this weekend, I’ve pulled the bronze frames and Lexan, removed the Sikashit (crumbly and dry on the Lexan, completely un-cured and goopy on the bronze, and somewhere in-between on the fiberglass), and am re-bedding with BoatLife’s Lifecaulk. Will it work? Who knows for sure, but the BoatLife goop says “for Lexan” right on the tube, no primers, and “only” $24/tube (three tubes needed).
The other part of The Great Re-Do? I’m scrapping the screws; I’ve re-drilled and countersunk the bronze frames for 1/4″ bolts with stainless T-nuts inside the cabin. The T-nuts are visually ugly, but pretty much flush to the touch, and very strong. Also very expensive… The oval-head bolts were 35 cents a piece, but the nuts are a whopping $2.15 each! Not so bad, except that I need 50 to get the ports bolted back in. Just like that, another $200…
I’ve only gotten two of the five ports re-done, at the cost of hours or foul cursing, hammering, sweating, over-heating, sweating, cursing, getting covered in goop, sweating, etc.

Now as if all that wasn’t enough to keep my spirits soaring, I discovered that the water in my shower sump is not coming from rain through the head dorade, but actually from my midships water tank. Yay! Repairing this, of course, necessitates the removal of all the furniture in the main salon not permanently ‘glassed to the hull… After sweating and cursing through the removal of all this woodwork, I’m seriously debating deleting the folding table from the salon.

Over the last week, I’ve finally gotten rid of the last vestiges of the old nav-station, and gotten in a new one.
I didn’t get into the whole “before” pics thing until partway through the demo, but you can get the idea. The old station featured a small chart table with an even smaller lift-up portion for chart /papers/old dead flashlights/random junk access.
As well, the old nav-station was almost entirely incompatible with the new quarterberth area layout. Oh yes, and it was ugly.
The old electrical centre was a mess; weird old ceramic fuse-holders, poor access, disorganized wiring, and taking up a huge amount of volume for a relatively small amount of wiring. The new panel is still uber-simple; eschewing the usual $400+ breaker panel, I installed a pair of $21 6-circuit switched fuse panels into the new electrical box door.
The new chart table is slanted… This configuration is largely a matter of personal preference. To favour it in my eyes, the slanted top allows: greater internal storage volume, a slightly larger surface for the area footprint, and easier working, as the top of the chart is closer to the eyes/hands than on a flat table.
A large fiddle at the bottom keeps charts/pencils/rules/loose screws from sliding off, and a fiddle at the top forms a trough for the other usual nav-station effluvia: broken elastic bands, flashlights, pens, cockroach bait tablets, etc.
You’ll also notice an additional access panel in the deck of the storage space. This leads to a previously-inaccessible area behind the drawers. A really large space, at that, large enough for an inverter/charger or additional battery, or maybe just a couple reserve cases of Red Bull… Never too many storage nooks’n’crannies on a boat.
On the to-do list, I’m still wiring, and the bare wood needs a little oil to accent my lousy sanding, which will in turn distract the eye from the even lousier paintjob. Oh, and I guess a few skullskate stickers to jazz it up a bit…
As usual, click through for a closer look.

When I listen to the music, I don’t listen to the music. I hear the sound of the feeling from the song, from before…
David Grey is quiet moment stolen from the children, loosed off the boat for an afternoon in Ganges, Mike kicking back with a smile and a tea. Norah Jones is a summer afternoon in my mother’s home, Long Island Iced Tea being stirred up in the background. Bedouin Soundclash will always be the best few months of my life on Tortola; Gillian, Clive, Galit, and afternoons wasted, simply wasted at Smuggler’s. 311 is always heading down the freeway in the Civic with Kiffy, speakers just barely drowning out the new SuperTrapp, crashing at his friend’s in Abbotsford, commuting into town to look at every damn Honda and Volkswagen for sale in Vancouver, until finding that one, the black one on 2nd Ave. NOFX is singing Linoleum to myself over and over, walking into town from Pine Valley. Less Than Jake is always Scott’s house on S. 2nd past Boundary, Gary, Josh, and the boys, BMXing into Glendale. Bob Marley is on the tapedeck in the Jetta, a fresh driver’s licence on the way to and from Rose Lake. Dead Milkmen a time with Rob and Leigh, singing in Dana’s kitchen (Life Is Shit!) Ha! Lynn, Dana, and Karen singing Oh Canada in the next room… Metallica puts me right there in Shaun’s basement, a picture-perfect rememberance. Nirvana varies song to song… Smells Like Teen Spirit is the first moment I completely heard it, in Robin White’s Renault, driving out of the back parking lot at Columneetza, passing the windows of Mr. Allnut’s classroom (Doubleblock spare! Headed to the newly-opened Timmy Ho…). Heart Shaped Box is finding out that quiet Krista liked grunge too… and another with her, Lemonheads on an afternoon drive from Nelson to Ainsworth and back, always aware that the music was, in turn, taking her to somewhere else entire. Queen always plays loud and happy in Anna’s Western Ave. family house. Oh, and yes! Nine Inch Nails is a naked bike ride around the Bethel across the street, with a similarly naked Rob jogging behind. Operation Ivy… well shit, besides getting pumped up every trip to Timothy, it’s a certian moment with Take Warning at 11 in the Jenkin’s van heading to Prince George with Cory. Seal’s Crazy, fresh on radio, stuck stuck stuck in my head, walking too many miles from Crescent Valley to Bonnington on a sprained ankle to see Kyla. Another NOFX; coming back from Nelson in Todd’s van, August heat, unwashed bodies, singing at the top of our lungs, driving like fuckers, a load of confused hippie hitchhikers in the back. Moby has me back at The Templeton, along with any other song on their jukebox… The Rebel Spell… any song, anytime, anywhere, and I’m back in Todd’s kitchen off Commercial, listening to the pre-press tape, suddenly transitioning from liking them ’cause they’re my friends to liking them because they fucking rock! And oh shit, anything Troi plays and it’s Hectic Days at the Hectic House (why do good things have to end?). Fugazi is right in harmony with the tattoo machine at Brian’s shop. Macy Gray is my face against the Greyhound glass, earphones, and knowing I was heading south for a break-up. India Arie is heading north with fears confirmed. Did I mention that The Rebel Spell fucking rocks? I’m listening to that right now… Social Distortion are always on the tapedeck on the shelf above the water filter above the patchwork cement above the pit in the Jenkin’s garage; have I listened to them anywhere else? Bad Religion is a fast and nasty drive in Chad’s Suburban; oh yeah, you were there too! Great Big Sea is waking up too early, and in turn, waking up a whole troop of 15-yr old kids too early for day of working the ropes (but don’t forget the captain’s coffee!). Black Crowes is Hot To Handle in the old yellow HiFi Express van, delivering home stereos at excessive speed and volume. Burning Spear and I’m driving back from Chimney with Callie. Interpol and whew, it’s 8 meals in 10 days at DV8, not to mention a night or two falling asleep to it in Carrot Bay, wondering whatever really happened to that Jesse. Fiona Apple is a moment of dejection in Stacey’s bedroom. Jamiroquai is a silly hopeless stupic exstatic moment with her in mine. Breeders is a singular moment on South Lakeside Drive, the curve before the store, realizing that I could play that music too.System Of A Down plays from nowhere in my mind than from the speaker’s of Brian’s van, heading to Rose Lake. Scissor Sisters brings a flash of a forced and plastic downtown westend cocktail party, then a fuller broader rememberance of “The Lounge” with Colleen, Van, Bakes, and Sonja. Peter Tosh, the first CD I ever owned, catching a ride from a neighbor into school. Motley Crue, Whitesnake, shit any hairband, and I’m back in grade 9 on the morning schoolbus. Trooper, yes live Trooper, and I’m right back there at the prom in Fraser Lake… (you know your star is fading when you’re playing for a 40-student grad class in bumfuck nowhere). Speaking of which, Donovan (Mellow Yellow, anyone?) and it’s folding chairs in the old WLJS gym. Funny, out of all possible memories, hearing NSQ always ALWAYS takes me back to that Battle of the Bands, seeing Candice for the first time in ages, walking through the crowd (cardigan, long khaki skirt, a pair of square silver sequins in the eyeliner)(why/how do I remember this shit?). Yeah, where do the memories come from? What about all the other tossed thoughts that come only when the sounds are heard? Play me another song, and I’ll tell you what I see.
Scent would be a whole other discussion, more nebulous, more passionate, more intense and yet diffuse; could we relate at all? But we all hear the music, concrete rockin’ music, a pulse in the blood… we all hear the memories… or is it just me? What do you remember?

salon beforeAfter examining the bulkheads in the boat, I’ve determined that they were originally all painted. Some previous owner must have preferred the look of wood, and scraped/sanded 99% of the paint off, revealing some nice teak face-veneer under it.

salon after paintI like wood inside boats, but let’s be here: small boat+plenty of dark wood=living in a cave. The veneers are nice teak, but I wanted to re-apply paint. Besides, the screw holes of the original construction had been filled for paint instead of plugged as they would have been for a “bright” finish.

v-berth before aKnowing I didn’t need a veneer-perfect surface, I happily bored away for new screws where needed, and filled with epoxy filler and nitrostan under the paint. Simple. I used EasyPoxy for the coating; 2-3 coats of their white undercoater as needed, then two coats of Off-White gloss. This is a one-part linear polyurethane; mid-range for an exterior paint, but utterly bomb-proof as an interior paint.

v-berth after AThe primer really fills the grain, providing “hide”, and the gloss flows out very well thinned 10-20% with mineral spirits. That percentage sounds really high, I know, but here in the tropics, with the crazy heat and humidity, you need all the help you can get. This way, even hack painters like myself can avoid brush marks.

v-berth before bThese are, obviously, before-and-after pics, showing the main salon and V-berth area. I have since painted the galley faceframes and aft salon bulkeads as well. The new starboard quarterberth area has also been painted, and the nav-station is primed. I’ll wait until the rest of the nav station is back in place before finishing the topcoats there.

v-berth after bAs you can see, it makes a huge difference! There is still plenty of solid teak trim around the bulkheads, as well as all teak panels behind the settees and as locker doors.
As always, click through for a closer look…

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