Sunday, September 15, 2013

Project updates: Painting, hunting and gathering

Making a maple cutting board for Oceanus - total joy; finding a machine screw - total PITA!
Virginia and I spent Saturday painting the deck house and the water channels on Oceanus and she is looking good! We are using white Interlux Brightside polyurethane paint on the glossy parts of the deck and topsides. That will be followed up by an industrial non-skid paint for the parts you walk on.

Head painter Virginia spent hours on her hands and knees for the last few weekends sanding and stripping old paint off the decks. I've also put in my time filling, fairing and sanding. The part of the project that had us concerned was getting the old paint out of the molded-in pattern on the non-skid parts of the deck. The original baby-blue non-skid was painted at least twice (grey and then white) by previous owners. The paint filled in the pattern in the non-skid rendering it non non skid.

The deck in the bottom of the photo is stripped and ready for painting.
We finally hit upon using an environmentally-friendly stripper and a stiff wire brush to get the old paint out of the non-skid pattern. It worked like a charm, with work being the key word. Virginia contributed the most elbow grease while I was doing other projects. She worked steadily last weekend while I was teaching a Family Crabbing Workshop for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The payoff was this weekend as we finished painting the deckhouse and water channels on the deck. It looks great! (I forgot my camera. Sorry. I'll snap some photos later.) We thought doing the glossy parts first would be easiest when it came time to tape them off before we applied the non-skid, which must be done with a roller.

We also spent some time last weekend fitting the beautiful new dodger Virginia has been working on for months. The cabin top needed to be painted before we attached the fasteners for it. (Virginia is working on a post, or a series of posts, on making the dodger.)
A fitting session for the new dodger. Notice the color of the dodger and the bulwarks. That is no accident. 
I'm also reattaching some of Oceanus' deck hardware, specifically her sheet winches and cleats. Most of the bolts were in the boxes that came with the boat, but I did have to hunt up some new ones that were MIA. The one that gave me the most trouble was the 5-inch, 5/7ths, slot-headed machine screw for one of the cleats. I finally found one in Portland, two hours away. It did give us a chance to hunt and gather some more items we needed for the boat, but it felt like an unnecessary trip.

This brings up something that I've complained of before when I was building Ravn, my 19-foot faering. It seems like much of my time building (or rebuilding) boats is spent hunting, gathering and making the many specialized parts required for the projects. These can be pretty esoteric and hard to find.

Sometimes it's easy and fun. Like making a maple cutting board to fit over the stove top. The wood for the cutting board was kicking around my shop for longer than a decade just waiting for a project. I knew exactly where it was and it was just the right size. Cutting to rough size, jointing the edges and glue up took about an hour, even counting mixing up a small batch of epoxy. The next day I sanded, cut to final size, bull-nosed the edges, gave it a final sand and ragged on some cutting-board oil -- maybe two hours. That's a total of three fun hours on something I know we will enjoy looking at and using nearly every day for years. (I never tire of the beautiful figure in tiger-stripped maple.)

Finding the machine screw for the cleat took days. First checking with all the local sources, then scouring the internet and catalogs until I found one. Topped off by a four-hour round-trip to Portland, and shelling out nearly 20 bucks, because you can't just buy one. All for a little, but critical, part that we hardly notice.

This frustrating, time-consuming, expensive crap is why projects on a boat are twice as expensive and take three times as long as you think they will.