Fabulous Weather — Work Continues
The weather in Florida these past few months has been fabulous. Dry, slightly breezy and temperatures ranging from the mid 60’s to mid 70’s (Fahrenheit), has allowed me to tackle additional projects. This in addition to sneaking out for a quick sail to check out the motor has made my time on my little boat truly enjoyable. Living aboard has been an absolute pleasure! On this post, I will focus on ongoing projects but hope to soon do a bit more about sailing and publish results on the electric motor as I have received a lot of queries about this.
Wookie’s bowsprit has been needing attention for some time. I sense this has held up so well because of the materials and workmanship used by the “Old” Pacific Seacraft factory in California. The centre of the bowsprit is a 4X4-inch thick solid piece of oak and either side is 2-inch thick solid mahogany all thru-bolted and glued together. It was suggested that I remove the bowsprit to do all of the work but as the wood and hardware were in good condition I did not see a need for this. Looking back now, I believe this was the right decision.
The steps I took to recondition the bowsprit were as follows.
Step 1 – Sanding And Coating With Resin
My first step was to sand and clean the wood thoroughly. Note: I only used a brush, soap and water to clean the wood as I did not want any chemicals running onto Wookie’s deck.
Step 2 – Sanding, Filling Holes and Coating With More Resin
I allowed the resin at all stages to dry thoroughly (24 hours) before sanding and further coating.
Step 3 – Priming
It is important to use a primer before painting over the resin. Depending on the type of resin used, I would suggest researching to make sure a compatible primer and paint is used.
Step 4 – Painting
I found this to be the most difficult part of the process as I believe brushing paint is a lot more difficult than spray painting. One has to be concerned with the brush, the temperature, wind and for the boat to sit still (at times I felt as if Wookie was sitting in a dentist chair). I used good brushes and these only once, as I found this polyurethane paint difficult to remove. I applied three coats of paint and the first was only a very light coat. The second was a little bit thicker, which I allowed a full week to dry. I then wet sanded with 360-grit sandpaper before applying the final coat.
Finally – Installing The Anchor Roller
Overall I was satisfied with the finished product. It is hoped this will hold up for many years but expect to have to touch up where the anchor rode scratches the paint in the future. (Note: I used the stainless pieces to hide the bolt holes made by the last owner. I like what he did so I slightly modified the shape and had these buffed/polished to match the rest of the stainless).
The Galley Taps
Sadly my old tap reconditioned at Pacific Seacraft failed consequently, I needed to replace this. As these taps are difficult to source nowadays I feel fortunate to have found one, plus the necessary gaskets and other parts for future maintenance. This also presented me an opportunity to add a second tap plumbed directly to the icebox. I have always been irritated that melting ice drained into the bilge (Wookie has a dry bilge at all times). On my last boat, I found this system very handy and used the melted ice to wash dishes, do laundry and to fill my shower container.
The Hanging Locker
The Flicka hanging locker is usually found behind the head. Clothing, foul weather jackets, life jackets, are normally hung on a rod, which runs across this locker (starboard to port). I have never been fond of this system because these items have a tendency to bunch to one side due to the shape of the hull. Unfortunately, this is where Wookie’s battery chargers are mounted and where I want to maintain an area of space.
My solution to this was to fabricate a single stainless steel piece made of 1-inch tubing specifically for two life jackets and several hangers for clothing/jackets. I also wanted these stainless rods to face forward thus maintaining a gap between the hangers and the battery chargers.
To my delight, this seems to be working very well and allows my locker to remain tidy and well ventilated for the battery chargers.