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A rare ensignia

insignia

Crispy new main and stay sail!

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What does it look like under that teak?

September is bring the promise of needed rain in the PNW, and the summer has gotten away from us. So we just jumped into this project last week! When we got the boat surveyed there was much concern about coring rot under these old teak combing boards.

Lacking a spanner to get the winch off, we came up with the idea to use two drill bit held by a portable bench vise! Worked like a charm. We pulled out a total of 80 bungs per side! The port side bungs were pretty difficult to remove as some previous shipwright had put epoxy on top of the screw heads! With gentle coaxing the old boards parted from their sticky bedding. After scraping, scratching and scrubbing like fiends we got the gelcoat really clean and ready for new non skid. Our girl is breathing a sigh of relief now with all this gone. Michael got busy  injecting epoxy into all those screw holes, sealing gel coat cracks and fairing over the previous repairs with a thicker layer of epoxy.

 

We’ll post pictures when the combing is finished. Spice Packet is just getting better and better!

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Butterflies are Free

With cracked and crazed plexiglass, and light showing through the wood joinery, our butterfly hatch was leaking in many places. We started dismantling and refinishing in June and it wasn’t done until August!

assemblyAfter disassembling the windows, which required de-bunging and removing about 40 screws per side, we had the old plexiglass out and got new thicker panels cut to size at Tapp Plastics.

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To get accurate hole placement, we borrowed these punches from our pirate friend Blue. He also happens to have a drill press, so we took our replacement plexi-windows to his workshop and started drilling the holes. We learned that you can’t use regular drill bits, because they can crack the plexiglass. Thanks again Blue, for all the great help.

 

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Blue gave us more useful help in marking all the holes exactly on blue tape and drawing circles around them so everything is clear.

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Michael finishes all four panels – but it took some time as the holes had to each be countersunk after they were drilled.

 

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After sanding all the old finish off the beautiful golden teak emerged. The windows are at the end of their service life, but replacing them is not an option at this point in our budget so Michael got out the west systems and we started filling in the gaps and holes with plenty of epoxy! More sanding a cleaning and plenty of coats of Cetol and they are ready to take on the elements again!

 

 

 

 

Adventures in Kiwi-Grip

At last we had some warm and dry weather to get our deck coating on. We kept cleaning and fairing and cleaning and fairing to the point where the decks looked fine enough that we considered just painting. The Kiwi Grip proved to be the right choice. It reminds me of thickened artists paint – something I’m very comfortable with.

Since we were thinking this would be covering our pretty deep waffle type non-skid we laid it on a pretty thick on the first section. Time settles the material and the waffle showed through – but not in a bad way at all.

We saved the large area of the cockpit floor for last, thinking that our technique might improve. We did a very accurate job of drafting our edges, using circle templates and spacer tools to achieve uniform borders and curves. I traced the first cockpit drain curve, flipped it and fit it to the second one. To make sure we got a really good bond at the edge, we faired the painted edge where the teak used to be and drew the line over all that into the clean border. A multitude of sins gone!

Masking all those curves was tedious but light work and took most of the time. You have to pull the masking tape off while the stuff is wet so the edge can slump over and round itself off. So you have to put the tape down in a certain way as to get a good clean pull off in the right direction so you don’t get the stuff all over everything.

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Luckily Kiwi-Grip is water soluble so cleanup is easy and it is easy to rub off, especially before it is allowed to set up all the way.

We decided to do our cockpit floor in four sections and to work our way towards the companionway. We got everthing masked off and realized that we were probably not going to have enough left of the gallon. So we spread it sort of thin in the last quarter and put down a touch-up second coat two weeks later during the next weather window. Adding a second coat was easy and helped to cover the much more bumpy sections where bigger holes were repaired.

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