February 16, 2021
One item I wanted to finish before I actually got to the painting inside the boat was to install new support cleats in the various cockpit sole openings. Early in the project, I’d removed (and others had self-removed) several of the old cleats, which had been rotten and poorly adhered and downright dangerous.
From scrap lumber–this happened to be teak–I milled new cleats as needed for the various openings. I set these aside for now, as I couldn’t install them till late in the day when I didn’t need to get around inside the boat anymore, but I’d be back to them later.
Meanwhile, in measuring the openings for the cleats needed, I’d noticed a number of the old screws and nails that had secured the original cleats were still hanging down beneath the sole, so I pulled these all out to leave the way clear for the new installations.
In other preparatory work, I prepared a series of fiberglass assemblies that I intended to use for the surround/coaming of the newly-cut lazarette hatch in the poop deck, which would provide access for generator storage. I knew I already had to slightly expand the opening, which I’d made only just wide enough to fit the generator, in order to fit the coamings (which would provide a water dam and also secure the eventual lid), but I still wanted to minimize the width of the opening, so for the coamings I planned a design with a notch or rabbet that would overlap the opening and provide bearing on the deck surface without taking up too much room. From 1/8″ fiberglass sheets on hand, I used three wider strips and three narrower strips to glue up, with epoxy, enough raw material for the coamings. This gave me 1/4″ width on top, but the portion that would be inside the hatch opening would only require 1/8″ on each side, so I wouldn’t have to enlarge the opening much or possibly even at all. There’d be more work on the hatch opening and storage space in the coming days.
I was awaiting a can of paint needed for the first rounds of interior painting–expected later in the day–so now I turned to the final interior preparations, including another round of vacuuming and then solvent-washing the whole interior of the boat from overhead to bilge and stem to stern, other than the lazarette, where there was more work to be done.
Once the main bulkhead, faced in mahogany, was solvent-washed and appropriately evaporated, I applied a thinned coat of varnish to seal the wood.
At the end of the day, with no more work needed inside the boat, I epoxied the new wooden support cleats beneath the cabin sole in the various bilge openings, clamping them tightly and cleaning up the excess epoxy that squeezed out along the cleats. I’d done what I could to prepare the underside of the sole for the epoxy, and used abundant amounts of the thickened mixture to ensure that the cleats would end up well secured.
Total time billed on this job today: 5.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 25°, sleet. Forecast for the day: Sleet, snow (yeah, right), maybe some freezing rain, gross, 30°