Jeff and I have an ambitious offseason planned, hoping to knock as many #1 items off of our category one to-do list as we can. I took it as a good omen that our offseason began with a sunny, warm weekend. In fact, with temperatures in the mid-to-high 80’s, it was the warmest weekend we’ve had in a few months! Project number one was to glass over another thruhull. What were we getting rid of? Well, read on.
Our wind instrument was very unreliable this past season, often choosing to give us either no wind reading or the wind direction arrow would be 180 degrees from reality (literally – if the wind was blowing from the north, the arrow would be pointing south). While Little Bristol didn’t have a wind instrument and I would never consider it a “must”, we had grown to like it very much. The Raymarine model that came with Pegu Club was rather old, and a Google search revealed many people having similar problems.
We weren’t planning on replacing it until I went on Defender’s website one day and saw that they were blowing out B&G’s discontinued T41 model. A wind instrument, transducer, plus speed/depth/temperature display were selling for $899. Typically that would be the price for the transducer and display alone, so it was like getting the wind instrument thrown in for free.
It was a splurge – we didn’t NEED it to cut the lines – but like I said, we do like the wind instrument, and our other displays and transducers are so old that you can’t even find the product information on the internet. I’ve also been lusting after the ability to tell the temperature of the water (After all, how else will we know whether to bother pulling out the swim ladder? And how cool will it be to sail through the Gulf Stream and watch the temperature rise??!!). Plus, it would let us remove another thruhull, because currently we have two transducers – one for speed and one for depth – and this would be an all-in-one. Basically, we did an excellent job of rationalizing the purchase! So that’s how we ended up needing to glass over another thruhull.
After arriving at Dutch Wharf on Saturday morning and figuring out where the electrical outlets and water spigots were, we got to work. We started by removing the two existing transducers which went MUCH more smoothly then Jeff had thought it would. In fact, it took more time to trace and remove the wiring running through the boat then it did to remove the transducers themselves.
After that, since it had been two years since we glassed over four thruhulls on Pegu Club, we re-read the instructions from West Systems and our This Old Boat book by Don Casey before digging in. Before we knew it, Jeff had beveled the hole at the recommended 12:1 ratio and we were ready to wipe the area clean, back the hole, and lay the fiberglass cloth. One small problem, however. We hadn’t brought those supplies because we didn’t think we would be finished that quickly!
Hmmm. What to do, what to do. We couldn’t start replacing the electric panel because we hadn’t ordered the necessary crimping tool (plus, we hadn’t brought the panel down with us). Well, it’s warm out. Let’s bust out the heat gun and start stripping the Cetol off of the toe rail!
Pegu Club’s previous owner used Cetol on all of her woodwork, and I wasn’t a fan. I’ve been wanting to strip everything and properly varnish, but the other work we’ve been doing on her has had a much higher priority than cosmetics. Looks like this was the weekend to get started! By the end of the day we had stripped the top of the toe rail – only the inside and outside to go.
Sunday was even warmer than Saturday, so by the time we finished cutting circles of fiberglass cloth we decided we should hold off on the epoxy until next weekend when the highs are forecast to be in the 60’s (typical New England – mid-80’s one weekend, mid-60’s the next). Given that we only have fast-curing resin, waiting would make for a more relaxed epoxy-fest. Back to the toe rail!
It was HOT, so I held an umbrella over Jeff while he worked on stripping the inside of the toe rail. It went a bit slower than stripping the top because we didn’t want to use the heat gun and potentially damage the deck. He also had to take his time while he worked around the stanchions and navigation lights. Eventually though, with several breaks built in, he was finished. Only the outside to go – maybe next weekend. Even without it being sanded or varnished, it already looks substantially nicer with its natural color than it used to.
Overall, it was a fairly productive weekend and things went smoothly. I’m taking it as a sign that the rest of our offseason will go equally well! Heh-heh. We’ll see.