Now that we’ve finished scraping the bottom of the boat, it’s time to turn our attention to sanding. Scraping doesn’t get rid of all of the paint, and before we put the barrier coat on the bottom needs to be paint free – down to the gelcoat.
We only had one sander, so initially Jeff gamely sanded on his own while I worked inside the boat. The inside of the VHF cabinet needed to be cleaned, along with the area where the Origo is inserted, so I broke out our trusty Clorox Clean-up and got to work. I was very pleased with the difference in the VHF cabinet (“before” is on the left”):
I also started working on wiring diagrams for our 12 volt electrical system. We still are complete novices when it comes to all things electric, but bit-by-bit we’re learning.
It was clear after a few trips to Shenny that we needed to get another sander if we wanted to be finished any time in the near future, so after the obligatory trip to Home Depot we were back at Shenny last weekend ready to get back at it. This was going to be my first time sanding, so Jeff showed me the ropes and we got to it.
I have to say, I really liked sanding. When I told Jeff, he said I was a freak to which I absolutely agreed. There’s something about it. Rhythmically working the area, watching the paint disappear. It was almost zen-like. A noisy zen, but a zen nevertheless. I think this bodes well for my interest in varnishing.
After an hour or so, I told Jeff that I thought we could get the starboard side done that day. Jeff had already done the rudder and part of the hull during our two previous trips, and it was going MUCH faster with two people. He was skeptical, but I was determined. Three hours later (for a total of four), we were finished. Completely wiped out, but finished. By the end, we had a small area that we kept trading off – one minute I would work on it while Jeff rested, then he worked on it for one minute while I rested. We. Were. Tired. But we were halfway done! Granted, it hurt to raise my arms over my head the next day – but we had done it!
Four hours is definitely our limit, but I think we can wrap this part of the project up in two more trips. Then we’ll be finished with working on the bottom until the spring when we’ll begin putting on the barrier coat.
Besides sanding, Jeff was able to demonstrate his excellent MacGyver skills once again last Sunday. It was entirely too windy to sand, but we went down to Shenny to help take down the Christmas decorations. We also figured we would measure the charge on our two batteries with our multimeter.
We climbed up onto the boat and went down below. At that point, I heard an odd noise. Did I mention it was windy? Gusts over 20 mph? I climbed into the cockpit and looked over the side to see this:
Yep. The wind blew the ladder over.
We looked at each other and thought, “How are we going to get off of the boat?” No one was around the yard. Fortunately I had my phone, so I figured worse-case scenario we’d call the police. But even more fortunately, Jeff is a real-life MacGyver.
We don’t have much on the boat right now, but we had a boat hook, a dock line, and electrical tape. A few minutes later, and Jeff had created this:
He used the line to drop the boat hook down, easily hooked the ladder, and lifted it back up, where we promptly tied it to a cleat. Lesson learned. It’s always an adventure!