Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A little progress and a lot of sawdust

I’m back in the land of Internet. My two-day foray into refinishing the interior of the boat didn’t go as well as I planned. I severely underestimated the time as well as the mess involved with sanding down all of the interior trim.

It was a late start Monday and getting dark as I arrived at the marina. We left the boat an absolute mess Sunday, so I had to spend some time cleaning up just so I could walk through it. Then I installed the salon shelves to both get them out of the way and to create some space where I could set things while I worked on the trim.

From Starwind 27

Most of the larger boats I’ve seen actually have little cabinets/closets behind the seats, so we may eventually do that, but for now the shelves are a big improvement.

Tuesday morning I got up early to enjoy the cool of the morning and to try out the new percolator. This was actually a double test. I wasn’t just trying out the coffee pot, I was trying out the alcohol stove for the first time. I would have probably tried it long ago, but the legend of the lady who burned her boat down with the alcohol stove had been told to me by about five different residents. Of course, I’ve got a stainless steel pan under the burners. Even if I leak alcohol, it still has to fill up the pan before getting to anything flammable. I bravely poured some fuel into one of the burner and lit her up. No problems. The stove worked great. The percolator worked great. For the first time ever, I enjoy a nice big cup of coffee on the boat.

From Starwind 27

Note in that photo that the cupboard is in pieces. The original top had rotted away, so I ended up making a new one. It was tricky as the old screws didn’t want to be drilled out, so I ended up having to cut them off, but I finally got that put together.

From Starwind 27

Then I started sanding. Some of the more worn trim pieces went fast, but anything that still had lacquer on it took forever. The lacquer would gum up the sandpaper rendering it useless after just a couple passes. Then there was the dust ...

Normally I sand things outdoors or in a large garage. I was sanding most everything inside the boat because it would cause too much damage to most of the trim to drill out the screws and remove it. Despite having the hatches open, the sawdust was creating a thick cloud that made it hard to breathe. After a very slow first hour that involved frequent trips outside for air, I went to Home Depot and got a respirator. Unfortunately I’m still coughing up weird things and blowing black chunkies out of my nose. Lesson learned.

Since I had to work with the companionway open, the AC wasn’t doing much to cool the boat. About 4 p.m. I realized I had dry mouth and felt nauseous. I really hadn’t stopped to drink water all day. I’d just been sanding and sweating. I stopped working, made myself drink some water and then collapsed under the A/C in the v-berth. Despite the bed being covered in sawdust, it didn’t take me long to pass out. That was the end of work on Tuesday. I woke back up around 8 p.m. feeling much better and took a neighbor on a beer and dinner run. Then we sat around for a couple hours talking about boats until the splashing fish just could not be ignored. Something big was chasing the smaller fish around, so we all grabbed our poles in hopes of catching it. No luck. We all got stupid little catfish. However, a gar has taken up residence by the boat and was cruising along the dog. I draped my minnow over his head as he swam by, and he took it right off my hook. Then when we dumped our minnows back in the water, we watched him cruise back by, eating them like popcorn. It was a very cool sight. It was one of those moments that I knew I would have never experienced if I hadn’t turned to the life aquatic.

I was back in bed by 10:30 and again had no trouble falling asleep despite the bed being covered in dust. Unfortunately today my sinuses are killing me, though. I should have probably shaken things out.

I didn’t feel like cleaning all the dust off the stove and the coffee pot to make coffee again. I went with water and lots of it this morning. I finished sanding the last bits of trim in the salon and then spent the better part of an hour vacuuming up as much dust as I could. Then I realized I hadn’t even gotten to the 12 large trim pieces on the walls under the windows. Nor did I make it to the head or the V-berth. I had envisioned not only sanding, but also staining and sealing everything. I was rather disappointed with my slowness. However, I’m sure motivation will return in a week or two.

I’m doing laundry and packing for the trip to Lubbock. My cousins have children I’ve never met. That’s probably an indicator that I should visit the family more often.
Post a Comment