January 24, 2024
Calliope Girl 50
When I’d demo’d most of the rest of the interior of the boat and done my bulk surface prep and sanding early in the project, the narrow quarterberth had been inaccessible to me, behind a tall bulkhead at the aft end of the then-nav station. So I’d left that area for some other time, and in the meantime, it’d been mocking me in its undone-ness, fairly defying me to put it off any longer. Despite this, I managed to pretend it wasn’t there for quite some time. But with new construction progressing, it was getting harder and harder to ignore the last vestige of peeling paint and despair, and now, with a short day on tap thanks to an afternoon commitment, I decided the time was nigh to get the job done.
I’d not been looking forward to getting in there, and I came close to putting it off for another time, but eventually I buckled down and got it done as I’d planned all week. As it happened, it turned out to go more quickly and less messily than I’d feared (it’d been making a humongous mess that had been the most dreadful part as I imagined the job), as most of the residual dust ended up staying pretty trapped in the small compartment thanks to my own effectiveness as a dust-blocker by virtue of simply being in the space and bodily taking up most of the opening. This space was to be utility only going forward–with a to-be-built propane locker located in the after portion, and storage (hopefully accessed from the cockpit) in the forward section–so the surface prep needed only to remove loose and flaking paint and generally clean up the space to be ready for bilge and locker paint, at best. So as with many things in life, the anticipation ended up being worse than the work itself, and once I’d cleaned up I was happy to have the job behind me. Sometime later (soon), I’d get in there and install some new wire mounts and relocate the wire bundle up along the gunwale somewhere out of the way.
For the remainder of the morning, I focused back on the settee upper lockers, starting with a light (hand) sanding of the new tabbing securing the dividers.
Next, I measured, cut, and began to install the support cleats required for the upper cabinets on each end. Cleats can be time-consuming, especially when most of them, as in this case, required a 10° angle on their edges to match the angle formed between the main bulkheads and shelf, and these angles required notations first so I’d remember which orientation the cleat for each place had to be, since they were different on each side of the boat and often depending on which side of the dividers they were placed on–impossible to reconcile on the fly when making the cuts down in the woodshop. The forwardmost vertical cleat, located on the main bulkhead just outboard of the chainplates, required an additional cleat thickness since I planned to hold the forward panel just aft of the bulkhead to allow chainplate clearance (which gap would later be covered by teak trim).
In the event, it took the remainder of the morning to install most of the cleats on the port side (excepting the two overhead cleats), and while I had the cleats cut for the starboard side, their installation would have to wait till next time.
To finish up my brief day, I mixed and applied 2-part epoxy primer to the shelf and upper bulkhead tabbing to prepare the areas for locker paint soon. I only apply this primer as the final thing in any day, or at least if I plan not to be back in the cabin, as the fumes would otherwise drive me out anyway.
Total time billed on this job today: 3.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 23°, partly cloudy. Forecast for the day: Mostly cloudy, chance of light snow, 31°