June 5-13, 2017: Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug

And I’m proud to say that over the last eight days, we have most assuredly been the windshield.  We have been kicking some serious butt on the exterior of the boat:  hull, boot stripe, caprail, and bottom.

First we dealt with removing the existing finish from the caprail.  Since all of the junk I washed off and the harsh-ish chemicals would be coursing down the hull, we wanted to get that out of the way first. I scrubbed all of the Semco off of the caprail and bowsprit using boat soap and a 3M green scrub pad.  (As an aside, whoever invented those deserves a medal; they are the handiest, most versatile thing.)  Anyway, then I cleaned and brightened the caprail and bowsprit using Starbrite Teak Cleaner and Starbrite Teak Brightener.  Once the caprail and bowsprit dried, I sanded them using 220 grit sandpaper and my brand new 5 inch random orbital sander.  Christmas came early on Kestrel for the First Mate, and I looooove my new sander.  I’m trying to figure out how to paint flames on it.

We gave the caprail a rest and moved on to cleaning the hull of all of the grime and crud that it attracts.  We applied FSR to the entire hull using a wide chip brush, and it did a great job of cutting through the grunge.  It also got any rust that had accumulated in screw heads.

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Grime along the boot stripe on the right, FSR on the left (before being rinsed off).

Now that the hull was squeaky clean, the Captain began applying Finesse-It to the hull with the buffer.  Finesse-It is a polish, so it’s less aggressive than compound; having just compounded a few years ago, we didn’t want to put the gel coat through that level of grinding again.  However, the surface started looking cloudy as the Finesse-It was applied.  The yard guys that specialize in hull work came to our rescue and recommended 3M Marine Restorer and Wax due to the oxidation on the hull.  It worked great! It cut through the chalkiness and left a nice, shiny hull behind.  I am not normally a fan of “all in one” products, but this one did what it said it would.

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The buffer hasn’t gotten any lighter, unfortunately.

I began hand waxing behind the Captain as he buffed; I was using my favorite Collinite Fleetwax Paste.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea because it’s a paste wax and time-consuming to apply, but I believe the protection that it offers cannot be beaten.   The plan is to put three coats on the hull.  That will happen over the next couple of weeks, depending on weather and the status of other projects.

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I know I get excited about weird stuff, but would you look at that reflection? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!

I applied one maintenance coat of Cetol Marine Gloss to the handrails, eyebrows, and cockpit combings.  They are looking fine, although someday soon I’d love to strip the cockpit combings and refinish those.  In the meantime, however, those areas needed refreshing and protection.

The Captain put bottom paint over the barrier coat that he had previously applied to some gouges and dings in the bottom.  He also painted the rudder and the middle “spine” of the keel.  His plan is to have multiple coats of bottom paint on the areas of the bottom that take the most abuse.

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Barrier coat-ed patches to the left, bottom coat-ed patches to the right.  The dings aren’t that big, but each patch gets larger and larger . . .

While the Captain was painting, over three days I applied three successive coats of Cetol Marine Natural Teak to the caprail and bowsprit.  I am so in love with how it looks!

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Here’s a comparison of the Cetol on the bowsprit against the bare teak of the starboard caprail. The color is rich and deep and lets the grain of the wood show through, which I love.

The Captain helped by applying the Cetol under the rubrail, and between the two of us, we can get the entire caprail and bowsprit done in about 2.5 hours.  We have some rainy weather coming, so we are going to let the Cetol cure until that’s done; then I will apply two coats of gloss over the tint.

I’ve also been stripping and refinishing removable teak items such as the helm seat, hatch boards, and swim ladder steps.  They are all in different stages but will have three coats of tint and three coats of gloss once everything is said and done.

Today we began painting the boot stripe.  We had previously sanded it, and today we taped off and applied our first coat of paint.  We will apply three coats total over three days.

The Captain spliced eyes in our new main halyard, topping lift, and lazy jack lines.  We replaced the halyard for a number of reasons including age and how slippery it was.  The topping lift and lazy jack lines were ancient and stiff and had seen better days.  I’ll be excited to get those new lines installed.

Our (okay, really my) new Dickinson Mediterranean stove was delivered, and I am absolutely giddy with excitement.  We have it stored in the yard’s garage now as we can’t install it until we get back into the water.  Getting the old stove out and putting the new stove in is best done at ground level.  I got to see it when we inspected it on delivery, and it looks so awesome.  I just can’t wait to have a stove that heats reliably and consistently.  I don’t mean to insult my existing stove, but hey, just calling it like I see it.  Between the stove and the random orbital sander, I am living high on the hog.

We have some rainy days coming up, so I see a lot of waxing in our future.  That’s a great rainy day project because it can easily be started and stopped.  There’s also rigging inspection, installing the new running rigging, and lubing blocks.

Island Packet reports that one item should be done by the end of this week, and the other one should be done next week.  We’ll see.

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