Friday, May 18, 2012

Contortionist Not

New Bern, NC
35 05.91 N 077 01.95 W 

If I could average 3-4 hours per day on boat projects, I could keep well ahead of the list.  In reality, I typically do only 1-3 hours work per day on work days.  On travel days I do zero.  Therefore, I keep up with the list only barely.

Some boat projects are difficult to do except when at a dock.  That includes work on the dinghy, projects that need electric power, and those which require that we vacate the boat.   This month in New Bern I'm doing a little of each.

I sanded the bottom of the dinghy.  Then, Libby and I put a new layer of fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin on the bottom.  I sanded it again, and then put on two coats of antifouling bottom paint.   Finally, I overcoat the portion above the waterline with a lighter color.  Bottom paint only comes in dark colors.  The reason for all this is that our dinghy needs reinforcement.  It is made of fiberglass, and it tends to get crushed at dinghy docks like at Vero and Marathon.   Getting squeezed between other dinghies creates longitudinal cracks in the hull, which eventually leak water.   Also, I'm hoping that use of antifouling paint may help in Vero and Marathon where the dinghy sits for long times in subtropical water.

This week, I'm refinishing the floor in Tarwathie's main cabin.  The floor finish seems to last only two years.  I've used polyurethane and bowling alley varnish -- same result.  I'm sure it would last longer if Libby and I could ever learn the habit of never wearing the same shoes on board as on shore.  We've tried and tried to acquire that habit, using various memory jogging crutches, but it never stuck.

Actually varnishing the floor means we must evacuate the boat until the finish dries.   It also means that I must paint myself into a dead-end.  A dead-end that ends with a ladder.  Then I have to paint the floor right up to the end and the ladder itself.  If I were in my 20s, I could hang the paint bucket on a string from my neck, then do one-armed handstands to support my body as I painted with the other hand, and do it all as I hand-standed myself up that ladder.   Well, I'm 67 years old so acrobatics like that are beyond imagination.  Still, via all sorts of contortions and Spider Man type tricks, I mange to accomplish the painting job.  I can't describe in words how I do it.  Too bad I can't take a video of myself doing that.  I'm sure you would enjoy it.  By the way, I have to do it all three times to put down three coats.

I'm considering a totally different approach.  I could open the portholes and hatches for ventilation, then paint down the ladder and across the floor until I painted myself into a corner where I could crawl up into bed.  Then after a good night's sleep, we could walk on the floor again come morning.  Assuming the ventilation is sufficient, it might be a better way.

1 comment:

  1. For painting the sole, why not lay a plank across the berth and settee in the main cabin, then another plank longitudinally, laying it on the first plank at the forward end and on the ladder step aft. sitting or standing on this second plank (or two) you could reach down to paint the floor. No?


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