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Project Log:  Tuesday, February 18, 2014

After water-washing, I lightly sanded the new fiberglass on the battery boxes to remove any sharp spots and prepare for the next steps.  Then, I prepared two mahogany cleats for the port box, to raise the box high enough to avoid contact with the hull at the after corner.  This simple project ended up requiring a number of trips up and down to the engine room, checking the fit, before I found the right combination of height and length.  My first attempt didn't raise the box enough; then, a new, higher set of cleats was too long, so the cleat itself hit the hull at the after location.  Finally, after shortening the after cleat, I got the right combination.

To permanently attach the cleats, I set them in thickened epoxy adhesive, and secured with screws from beneath.


Next, I epoxy-coated the cleats, then turned the boxes over and coated the inside surfaces, as well as another coat on the exterior.



I'd hoped to be done (such as exterior varnish work is ever truly "done") with the running boards, but upon inspection I found one holiday I couldn't live with, so I sanded again and applied another coat.

I masked off around the bulwark planks and rubrails--the spaces between the bulwarks were too narrow for any tape I had, so I left those areas untaped--and cleaned up the surfaces to prepare for their varnish buildup.  Then, in a long varnishing session, I revarnished the caprails, and applied a coat to the bulwarks and rubrails on both sides.  No direct pictures of the caprails this time since I'd removed the ladder for access to the bulwarks, and didn't want to move it around again and risk shaking up dust afterwards.

I used different concentrations of varnish for the two jobs, since the caprails were well advanced in their buildup (and I was using barely-thinned varnish there), and the bulwarks were at an earlier stage and required thinner varnish still.




With an hour left in the day, I turned to the handrails.  On this boat, the handrails were simple planks, about 1-1/2" wide, that attached over raised, molded risers in the coachroof and pilothouse, and I'd removed them very early in the project, sticking them deep into storage somewhere.  I'd anticipated building new ones, but when I pulled out the originals I was surprised to find that, old finish notwithstanding, they looked pretty decent, so I decided to reuse them.  All the old teak on this boat had plenty of character, to say the least, and while none was perfect, it was all perfectly fine.

In the event, I quickly stripped the remaining finish (Cetol, yuck) and the worst of the gray weathering with coarse paper on a more aggressive sander, then finish-sanded the four pieces with a vibrating sander, working through the grits to remove old finish, weathering, and clean up and smooth the surfaces. 


Total Time Today:  5 hours

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