Mother Nature conspired against us this past weekend to ensure that it was not a particularly productive two days. Going into it we knew that Saturday was going to be cold and rainy all day, and Sunday was going to be even colder (upper 30’s) with wind gusts over 50 mph. So we did what we could.
Saturday we drove down to Defender for the annual Warehouse sale. Armed with our list, we debated asking for Defender’s checking account number so we could simply have our next paycheck direct deposited into their account. We settled for giving them our credit card instead.
Once that was finished we decided to drive to the boat to drop off our items and putter around a bit. We discovered that the bathroom sink we bought was too big (the last one was too small), so the sink and drain were immediately set aside to return to Defender next week during our weekly visit. We also installed the LED bulbs in the bulkhead, but they didn’t work. Some quick research when we got home led us to discover that LED bulbs are polarity sensitive, so next weekend we’ll swap the positive and negative wires in the fixtures and see if that works. With that, we called it a day and drove home.
On Sunday we already knew we weren’t going to drive down to Shenny, so instead we decided to finish cutting foam and inserting it into the last of the interior cushions.
Like everything else on Pegu Club, the interior cushions smelled when we bought her. Figuring we already had enough things to do this winter, we really didn’t want to add making new cushions to the list. Instead, we focused on rehabilitating them as best as we could.
I started with an ill-fated attempt at washing the foam. I had read somewhere on the internet about soaking the foam in the bathtub with laundry detergent, rinsing it well, and letting it dry. Let’s just say that was a bad idea. I ended up with a stinking, sopping wet cushion that the heat from a thousand suns wouldn’t have been able to dry. At that point we decided to buy new foam.
As for the covers, those were individually washed in the washing machine on gentle cycle. After they came out of the wash, some Clorox Clean-up removed the last of the mildew and Extra-Strength Febreeze took care of the residual scent. A few of them needed some repairs (a new zipper for one, a patch for another), but for the most part they were in serviceable shape. I’m hoping they’ll last through the season without disintegrating, and then next winter we can make brand new cushions on the Sailrite.
Once the covers were clean we set the old foam on top of the new foam, traced the shape with a Sharpie, and used a serrated bread knife to cut each new piece. Then we needed to get the foam into the cover.
Jeff wasn’t home for my first few attempts. Embarking on what turned out to be an aerobic workout, I wrestled with the foam, struggled with the cover, wrestled and struggled, taking off more and more layers of clothing as I grew increasingly sweaty despite our keeping the thermostat at 66 degrees during the winter. After two cushions I decided this job thoroughly sucked and tried to figure out a better way.
Salvation came in the form of a tip from our winter boat neighbors, David and Pat. They told us that Sailrite sold a cushion wrap silk film that would make the job a snap. One look at Sailrite’s video and I placed our order.
The film is oh-so-light (the term gossamer wings came to mind when we first unrolled it), and it gets wrapped around the foam. Then a vacuum hose gets inserted against the cushion, and as soon as you turn the vacuum on it sucks all of the air out of the cushion. It ends up significantly smaller, and once you turn off the vacuum there is sufficient time to shove the cushion into the cover and let it expand. It’s like magic, and was So. Much. Easier.
The cushion project is something we’ve been working on sporadically over the winter, and for the past few weeks we’ve brought the finished ones onto the boat. With these last two complete, we can now check this project off of the list. That is, until we make new ones next winter. Three weekends to go!