Now that the varnish work on the companionway doors and hatches was complete, I reassembled the pieces with their hinges and reinstalled them on the boat. I chose to replace all the original slotted bronze screws in the hinges and elsewhere with new Freason head screws, as I had long tired of fighting the old screws’ shallow slots.
This wrapped up the brightwork, and the bulk of the project overall. I inspected and checked over all the through hulls and seacocks for the owner, and installed the batteries he’d brought along with the boat. The boat would be going straight to launch when she departed here in a week or so. I found that one of the plastic battery hold-downs had been broken, perhaps during removal or at some other time, and part of the hold-down screw was broken off inside the threaded hole on the battery tray itself. I was able to remove the broken plastic stud by hammering in a flathead screwdriver and then removing the screw. I ordered a replacement, but it wouldn’t arrive for a week or so in our new world of longer, old-fashioned (and somehow strangely tolerable) shipping times.
After buttoning up the boat for the most part, the final job remaining was to paint the bottom. After masking off the boottop with some gentle-surface tape (which I hate, but I didn’t want to risk real tape on the fresh boottop), I applied two coats of green antifouling to the newly-stripped bottom.
Total time billed on this job today: 4.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 28°, clear. Forecast for the day: Mostly sunny, 60°
With at least two maintenance coats of varnish on all parts of the windshield, the usual prescription, and no issues with the last coat I’d put down, I could call this year’s maintenance complete and remove all the masking tape and clean up any gunk in the corners and so forth.
During much of the rest of the rest of the morning, I worked to reinstall hardware that I’d removed for the varnish maintenance, including canvas snaps, bow frame, the masthead light, anchor roller and anchor, bronze chafe guards, and some of the removable trim pieces in the cockpit.
The companionway hatch and bifold doors required a light sanding and another coat on their main surfaces, which I hoped and expected would be the final varnish on these pieces for now.
To finish up the day, I replaced the worn shaft and rudder zincs with new ones, and installed at the owner’s request a line cutter on the shaft just forward of the propeller. This was a split version that allowed installation without removing the propeller, a much more convenient alternative (especially since I was prop puller-challenged at the moment, having broken my puller when I tried to remove the propeller from another boat a while back, and had yet to replace).
Total time billed on this job today: 5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 42°, partly cloudy. Forecast for the day: Partly sunny, 54°
I began as usual by lightly sanding all the brightwork currently underway, now mainly the windshield and the companionway doors and hatches, as many of the other small parts were now deemed complete after their two maintenance coats. Because the narrow cockpit edge trim pieces were continual trouble spots, I decided to continue and apply additional coats of varnish as long as I was also varnishing other parts of the boat.
As always, varnishing the first (back) side of the louvered doors created some drips beneath that I now had to scrape and sand clean so I could complete the maintenance coats on the main side. I also masked off various areas of the doors so that any stray drips as I worked on the top side would not sully the completed varnish beneath.
After vacuuming, solvent-washing, and, eventually, tacking off, I applied another full-strength coat of varnish to all the trim pieces, and to all surfaces of the windshield inside and out.
Total time billed on this job today: 4.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 45°, mainly cloudy. Forecast for the day: Clouds then becoming mostly sunny, chance of a shower, 60°
After two coats of new varnish on the various trim that was already in good condition–coachroof handrails, forward hatch trim, anchor platform, and the helm and companionway trim–I deemed this year’s maintenance on those areas complete and removed masking tape to the extent possible.
I was ready to start applying full maintenance coats to the windshield after 4 or 5 initial patch coats on the isolated bare areas I’d scraped, but since the fresh varnish on the nearby trim was still young and on the delicate side, and there was no way to reach the windshield without leaning over, into, and even on the fresh trim, I reluctantly decided to wait another day before continuing with the windshield, which still required 2 or more maintenance coats over the whole thing.
Instead, I turned to the bottom and boottop. The boottop was in poor-ish condition with old and worn–though mostly sound–paint, and required a spruce-up for the season, although with plans to paint the entire hull (including the boottop) coming up for next winter’s round of maintenance work, no heroic measures were needed on the boottop. The media blasting of the old bottom paint had left a narrow strip just below the boottop that still required removal.
To begin, I scraped away the remnants of bottom paint, not worrying particularly if I scraped a bit of the boottop paint in the process. I removed the loose and thick layers of old bottom paint–probably a buildup since the boat’s construction in 1987–as far as the gray barrier coat, which was still sound. With plans to sand and paint the topsides during the 2020-2021 winter, I knew I’d be able to further sand and clean up this area then. Once I’d removed the bottom paint and cleaned up the messy spoils, I lightly sanded the boottop as needed to accept new paint–paint that just had to work for this season, so my level of preparation reflected the immediate future plans.
After cleaning up the boat and shop, I turned to the day’s coat of maintenance varnish. This time, I applied another coat to the after piece of engine box trim (which I’d stripped bare a few days earlier), a second coat on the back sides of the bi-fold companionway doors and overhead hatch, and a first coat of maintenance varnish on the remaining small parts: rod holders, binocular case, cockpit trim pieces, and access hatches.
Next, I masked off both sides of the boottop and applied a coat of gloss white paint, the first of probably two total coats needed.
Total time billed on this job today: 6.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 37° Forecast for the day: Cloudy, 48°
I got started by sanding the new varnish I’d put down last time, including the windshield patch repairs; handrails; forward hatch frame; anchor platform; helm trim; companionway; and the engine box trim. Once the sanding was complete, I vacuumed and solvent-washed as needed.
Later, after final preparations, I applied another coat of varnish to these areas.
In the time between sanding and varnishing the trim on the boat herself, I worked in the woodshop to clean up the shop and benches and vacuum and solvent-wash all the companionway and loose trim parts that I’d sanded earlier. With things thusly prepared, I applied a coat of varnish to the back sides of the louvered companionway doors and the companionway hatch covers. I left the remaining small pieces for another time.
Total time billed on this job today: 4.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 30°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, 58°
I finished up with the masking around the inside of the windshield, helm area, and the engine box, then moved out on deck and masked the windshield as needed in all areas. With that complete, I could lightly sand the small spots of varnish I’d repaired in various areas, and apply a second coat. I hoped to get a third coat on later in the day.
Meanwhile, I finished up the masking around the forward hatch, handrails, and anchor platform.
After final surface preparation, I applied the first maintenance coat of varnish to the helm and companionway trim, handrails, engine box, forward hatch, and anchor platform, along with a third spot coat on the windshield repairs (and aft piece of engine box trim).
To finish up the day, in the woodshop I sanded all the loose trim pieces I’d removed earlier, preparing them for their own maintenance coats of varnish in the near future.
Total time billed on this job today: 7 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 30°, cloudy, light dusting of snow overnight. Forecast for the day: Cloudy with chance of rain or snow, windy, 53°
Picking up where I left off, I began by stripping, then sanding smooth and clean, the port toerail. The owner was seriously considering leaving the toerail bare, as he was intrigued by the combination appearance of some bright/some natural (not to mention the ongoing problem with the toerail varnish failing at the deck edge), so I over-documented the condition of the rail from various angles to show the condition and character of the bare wood.
To augment pictures from last time of the starboard toerail:
Similarly, the owner was contemplating whether to also leave the eyebrow bare, so I took additional photos of the trim’s condition on both sides.
Moving on, I worked next on the handrails, forward sides of the windshield, and the forward hatch surround, sanding these as needed to prepare them for maintenance coats of varnish. I had to scrape away a few small areas of failed varnish on the windshield, mainly at the wood seams near the corners; this coating was getting rather long in the tooth after 11 years since the last total re-do, but the owner wanted to stretch it out for another year or two based on his long-term plans and upgrades to the boat, so I planned to patch in these small bare areas before recoating the entire windshield with several maintenance coats this time around. This treatment was far from idea, but it was what was needed at the moment.
I also removed the anchor roller and sanded the varnished anchor platform, which we’d decided to leave bright, as needed to prepare it for maintenance coats, though I didn’t seem to take any pictures of this.
Continuing, I moved into the cockpit and worked on all the necessary prepwork on the inside faces of the windshield, plus the companionway trim, engine box, and adjacent areas as needed. I had to strip the after piece of trim on the engine box, as this was in poor condition, and also spot-scraped a few small areas on the windshield, much as I’d done on the forward sides.
After vacuuming and solvent-washing all areas, I got started on some of the masking, beginning with the tightest, most difficult areas on the aft side of the windshield and behind the helm area, along with the engine box trim and some of the other windshield areas.
After a while of this, and with the day growing short, I wanted to get a sealer coat of varnish on the various bare patches I’d scraped and sanded on the windshield and elsewhere, so before knocking off I took care of this. I wanted to get several spot coats on these areas before I started with full maintenance coats.
Total time billed on this job today: 7.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 35°, rain. Forecast for the day: Rain, maybe some snow, windy (surprise!), 35°
I spent the day working on the eyebrow trim and toerails, where the old varnish had failed substantially (in the case of the eyebrows), or begun to fail in certain areas (toerails, mostly at the bottom edge where they met the deck–a notorious failure starting point). The varnish on the toerails was only 18 months old, which was disappointing (who did that work?), but the eyebrows’ last total strip and re-do dated to 2009, so that wasn’t bad.
In any event, over the course of the day I stripped and sanded smooth the eyebrow on both sides and along the forward end of the cabin trunk, and stripped and sanded clean the starboard toerail. The wood beneath was in good condition. I did a little early work on some of the nearby trim as well, including the sides of the windshield where there were some spot failures near some of the seams. The owner wanted to postpone a major re-do of the windshield for the moment, and with most of the assembly still in pretty good condition, I planned to repair the areas I’d scraped and add several coats of varnish over all areas thereafter.
Total time billed on this job today: 5.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 25°, mainly cloudy. Forecast for the day: Partly sunny, 52°