Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

I don't even know where to begin. Suffice it to say we got a LOT done this weekend. Hooray for long weekends (and thank you, Veterans, for our freedom - you get a big Z-snap from me!).

Because I am mentally and physically exhausted, I will charm you with a photo montage of work. We calculated that over 36 man hours went into our boat this weekend. Here is photo evidence of what we did, complete with witty and pithy captions IF I can come up with some...I inhaled and absorbed a LOT of toxins this weekend.  I apologize in advance.  Level on toxic scale:  10 out of 10.  For sure.

First, we re-bedded the fuel tank cover. To give you perspective, this is looking down into our (empty) engine compartment from our cockpit. The cover itself was machined specifically for us, and the caulk is boat life I think. Either way, it is very sticky and gooey.
BONUS: This bad boy is NOT going to leak.
At least that's the idea.

 Easy as 1, 2, 3!!

We then cleaned off all of the through hulls (aka, holes that go "through" the "hull" of the boat) with acetone and alcohol, sanded them down, added new teak backing plates, and caulked the bejeezus out of them so that they stay in place for another 35 years.
BONUS: Scott got to finger paint with caulk.

        Step 1                            Step 2                           Step 3              
We also painted the engine room. Two coats of epoxy paint (white) to be exact.  It looks so nice and clean and ready for a brand new engine! Vroom vroom!
BONUS:  An engine room to make someone with OCD proud.

Note:  Next time more fans are needed.  Daddy got a little loopy from the fumes. Another Note:  Do NOT do this hungover. 

We then chiseled the ENTIRE bottom of the boat with 1" chisels. I will repeat this for effect and so you know *just* how insane this job is.  We CHISELED the ENTIRE BOTTOM OF THE BOAT with ONE INCH CHISELS.  This was either incredibly foolish or really smart. People around the boat yard kept coming up to us, checking our progress and asking what we were using. Then, with an approving nod of their heads they'd say "Wow, some people spend a whole season doing what you are doing in 2 days!". This sort of made us proud, but then made us wonder, "what ARE we doing exactly?!"

Further research into "scraping paint of the bottom of a boat" (actual Google search) had one site mention dry scraping (what we did) as "masochistic":
Dry scraping: The ultimate nightmare. Not only a great way of damaging your boat, but also exhausting, slow and painful. I generally recommend this technique only for small dinghies and people with a lot of time and too much energy. The advantage of this technique is that it requires neither fancy equipment, nor anything seriously dangerous or unhealthy.  If you are masochistic enough to strip your boat by dry scraping it, make sure that you are using quality tools.
Yes. I would agree with that. The pictures below do not do it justice.
As far as boat work goes, so far this is pretty much the worst yet.

  I had paint chips EVERYWHERE on my body.  I mean EVERYWHERE.  It gets in your pores, in the nook of your arm, in your eyes, between your toes, in your ears....and it ITCHES (did I mention it was 90 degrees this particular day?  Yeah).  Scott broke out in a mystery rash.  I would also recommend wearing gloves, as my hand above had been washed about 5 or 6 times before that photo was taken (I, of course, did NOT wear gloves).  I STILL have paint under my nails. 
BONUS:  The shower afterward, despite being 40 minutes of scrubbing your skin raw to get it clean, is heaven.

Sigh.  My little sister Chelsea is a trooper.  She REALLY helped make this job more fun.  Quite a feat.
Post work beers are in order.  Daddy and his daughters.  Mmmmmm......beer.

As if all THAT wasn't enough.  We didn't stop there...oh no!  We were like workers on speed.  My amazing sister Chelsea and I (after Scott and I scraped the rest of the hull clean) sanded the entire bottom with orbital hand sanders and 80 grit sand paper.  This job also requires a lot of patience, safety goggles, face masks, and some serious arm muscles (thank heaven for Bikram yoga).  I am so sore today - typing hurts.  I also just sneezed and I'm 100% sure paint powder came out. 
BONUS: MAJOR full body work-out.  Pretty sure we burned at LEAST 1000 calories doing this for 5 hours.

Oh, and remember the grabrails from a couple of weeks ago?  Yeah, we put those back on!! Hooray for putting things back ON the boat.  This was kind of a big deal for us since all we seem to be doing is removing stuff. 
BONUS: DUH!  Putting stuff ON the boat!

 Hi there!!  We are back and SNAG FREE NOW!! Hooray!

We also scraped the plastic covering off our lifelines to see what kind of shape they were in.  Surprisingly, they are in great shape.  We are just going to leave them uncovered because a) it looks cooler b)  we will NEVER be hiking out on this boat (the days of hiking so hard my lower half goes numb are over!!) and c) we'll be able to actually see the corrosion when it happens.
BONUS: Scott did this, not me.  He doesn't like me with sharp objects in my hand because he thinks I use knives carelessly.

Why HELLO there little life line.  Lookin' good!

So - while everyone  else was at the beach, out and about, enjoying bbq's and reveling in this beautiful 3 day weekend, we were working in a boat shed on the south side.  We put blood, sweat and tears into our little boat.  Well - no one actually cried.  But both Scott and I did go a little "mental" on day 2 of chiseling.  Luckily, our breakdowns were at different times so we were able to talk each other off the ledge which worked out perfectly.  Either way, it felt AMAZING to be at the yard, working away - inching closer and closer to the finish line.
BONUS:  New friends at the boat yard.  Love boat people.

This entire weekend made me think about a marathon, and how you just have to focus on the mile at hand, chunk by chunk, and just plug along.  You couldn't look at the whole hull and grab chisel in hand and just go at it.  You needed to break it up into "digestible" sections.  And the next thing you know, the job is done. 
BONUS:  Beer, no matter how cheap, really DOES taste sooooo good after a long days work.

I felt a lot like the little engine that could this weekend.

 MAJOR props must go to my dad and sister, Chelsea, who took time out of their weekends to work on our boat.   We are eternally grateful and love you both to BITS...bits I tell you.

Brittany & Scott


Philippe said...

Wow, that's impressive for a 3 days weekend, especially stripping the paint.

Quick question: How much was it to get a machine new fuel tank cover?

Thanks for your blog, it's great fun to read.

Windtraveler said...

Hi Phillipe! Thanks- it was QUITE a weekend...the fuel tank was compliments of my dad, his company has an R&D department and access to steel and all the neccessary tools to machine something like this. SCORE! Good luck to you! I'll keep my eyes on you guys!

Verena said...

Amazing job you guys! I'm sure the beers in the Caribbean will be equally good when you get there. Always love to read your blog. While you slaved away we were "sailing" the San Juan Islands.

Lisa Hanneman said...

I'm tired just reading this and it makes me want to get started on all the house work we have. (kinda the same thing, right?)

On a side note, love your crafty photo blocks - All that work AND your found time for creativity... Nice.

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Wow! Ya'll did get a lot done. We know the feeling. We were working on our sailboat too! No barbecues for us.

Sea Bungalow said...

Brings back memories, when we bought our boat we did big orbital sanders and ground all the paint and the gelcoat off, but we had blisters. We spent MONTHS taking the boat apart, like you said, it felt great to put things back on.

Good job. It is also exciting to see some young cruisers out there - so many we meet are a lot older than us, so maybe we'll bump into each other somewhere out there and share a beer.

Cheers, from Ken & Tammy on s/v Sea Bungalow www.seabungalow.com

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