Monday, June 29, 2015

Making the best of a rainy weekend.

The weather wasn't looking good on Saturday morning so we decided to do some upgrades to the interior of our boat. The "wallpaper," if that's what you call it, was in poor shape. It is some kind of textured stuff originally installed when the boat was built and now could use some work. A few years ago during the winter, we painted the same material on each of the door panels and we liked the color, so we decided to do some big sections, like the one in our galley.

We repaired all of the little nicks and tears, washed the wall down with Folex and then began the taping, which would allow us to paint the wall and not the mahogany trim.

Frances is a taping expert and she took several hours to get the wall ready for paint. We used blue painter's tape and Frances likes to apply it in short sections to keep it right up against the molding.

Next we began to apply the paint. We used a three-inch roller and went very slowly to avoid spattering paint all over the place. We  cut in against the tape with a one-inch brush.

The paint (Sherwood Williams) went on without issue but once the wall was covered, we noticed a few spots that could use a second coat so we went over the entire wall again. Frances inspected and pronounced the wall as "looking good."

On Sunday morning, we shifted our attention to the wall that surrounds the lower helm. Again, this required a lot of masking and this time, in some very difficult areas.

The lower helm is hinged at the bottom and no, we didn't attempt to paint the portion of the wall that is behind the helm. There is a lot of wiring back there and since you can't see this area, there was no reason to paint it.

Once the paint had dried, we removed the masking tape and closed the helm. The time we took to mask that area was a good investment. It looked very good. In fact, the casual observer would probably never notice the fact that it had been painted.

 As noted above, we cleaned the walls with Folex, a stain remover that we originally learned about from someone at the Silverton Owner's Club. Since we still had some time on Sunday, Frances began applying the Folex to some spots on the walls of the cabin that had what looked like they might have been water stains.

Folex really works. Just rub some on with a sponge and let it sit for a while.

All in all, it was a rainy weekend well spent. In fact, we decided that the next time it rains on our boating plans, we'll tackle the walls and trim in the head. That's going to require a lot more work but it's something that we have wanted to do for some time.

Here's some video of the weekend effort:

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Big party but we weren't invited

 We were planning to take a short cruise to Stonington this weekend but the remnants of Tropical Depression "Bill" promised to dump a bunch of rain on us so we decided to stay put. That turned out to be a good decision and while Saturday was mostly warm and sunny, the rain came Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

That's fine with us. We were on our boat and there was a dock full of friends. What could be bad about that?

We had been notified that many of the facilities at our marina would be closed on Saturday night because of a "private event." That turned out to be the 50th birthday of the guy who owns the marina. This guy isn't what you'd envision when you think of a typical New England marina owner. Instead, he's a wealthy business owner from out-of-state and for his birthday, he invited a couple hundred of his best buddies (or clients) to come and party with him.

It soon became apparent this this was going to be a big party. Trucks arrived and set up lights and party decorations. The big tent in the marina was blacked out with curtains so us locals couldn't really see in. A barge anchored in the harbor to stage fireworks. As the guests began to arrive, the parking lot filled to overflow with BMWs, Mercedes and even a few Audis. The guest of honor brought is best ride, a Rolls Royce.

We wondered what he drives when he just wants to pick up a loaf of bread at the nearest 7-11? Guess he has a small Mercedes for errands like that.

Anyway, the party went on until about 1 a.m. By then, we were asleep.

On Sunday morning, as the large crew disassembled the party site, Frances observed that if she had just had her "little black dress" with her, she could have crashed the party and danced up a storm. Don't laugh. She would have done it.

We didn't shoot any video of the party since we weren't invited and didn't want to be intrusive. But on Sunday morning, we shot just a few minutes of Norwich Harbor. We think it one of the nicest in Connecticut and while the air was so humid, you could cut it with a knife, it was still fun for us to find our two favorite harbor locations (River Avenue and the top of Cedar Street) and show what it looks like on the first day of Summer after a big rain storm.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Finishing up those last few things...

We're heading out next weekend and that means we have to take care of a few last things and make sure that all the mechanical stuff works.

The inside of the boat is finally getting back to normal. We think we've finally put away just about everything and now we even have places to sit.

There is a section of rub rail on our starboard side that we couldn't remove a re-caulk last winter because we were too close to the boat next to us. Fine, but now was the time to get that done, so on Saturday, we pulled out all those old screws, applied new caulk to the hull-deck joint and re-screwed it back down. Fun job, if you like 3M 4000 fast cure caulk. We also polished off the old stains and rust on the rub rail. No one will ever notice, but it made us feel good to get this completed.

Saturday night, Frances made a great dinner and we enjoyed it in an air conditioned cabin. Bill turns the air conditioning up and Frances turns it down. We make a great couple!

On Sunday, Bill cleaned the windows on the fly bridge and Frances vacuumed the boat. We also tried to put a new cover (if that what it's called) on our old sofa that we named Klobo, after its manufacturer. The two small pieces of carpet shown in the picture were there just temporarily.

Unfortunately, the new cover was too big. Frances says she can return it. Seems to us that the old sofa looks fine even if it does have a stain or two. Stains? Hey, that boating!

On Sunday, we opened the engine hatches and made sure the engines, v-drives and transmissions were functioning and were full of lubricant. One pair of batteries needed a little water. The batteries are now six years old so we'll have to watch them more carefully. We also checked the steering and made sure the heat exchangers were full.

The old Chryslers fired up and we ran them long enough to get about as warm as they get at the dock. It will be good to get them up to speed next weekend. In our view, nothing damages a marine engine faster than not being used.

Next weekend, we're off to Stonington, Conn and Dodson's boatyard where we'll dock and then go see a group of people give a mini-concert on the beach. That group is led by the guy who worked on our air conditioner a couple of weeks ago.

We're going to have to give the old boat about $500 worth of gas. We've calculated that we have about 45 gallons remaining in the tank. It will be interesting to see how good our numbers are.

The video isn't very exciting but what we don't need right now is any boat-related excitement.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Frances gets ready to move onto the boat

Frances spent a lot of time this this past week cleaning the boat interior and putting things away. When we arrived on Saturday morning, everything looked great. We had two things left on our list: caulk under one section of the rub rail on the starboard side and install some lights in the various cabinets and storage spaces.

The caulking project didn't get very far. We arrived on Saturday with new screws and our caulking gun that contained a tube of 3M 4000 caulk but when we tried to use it, we found that most of caulking material had cured in the cartridge, so it was time to find some more. There was none to be found in Norwich, so we planned a short ride to Defender Marine on Sunday to get another cartridge.

That left the lighting project, and since we had all the stuff we needed, we began the installation.

We should explain that getting some light in the cabinets and other storage places on the boat is something that we have wanted to do for some time. We got to talking about it last winter and found some LED lights on the Internet that looked like they would work. They were battery-powered and we normally aren't fans of battery-powered accessories, but running wires to all of these spaces would be a big job so we ordered some of these battery powered lights. Actually, to save on shipping, we ordered quite a few.

These lights look pretty good. They each use three AAA batteries and have a clever mounting plate that has two adhesive strips attached. We have no faith in adhesive strips on a boat, so we mounted the backing plates for each light with a #6 half-inch long flat head screw as well as the adhesive.

Frances decided where she wanted the lights mounted and Bill crawled around and mounted them. There's no fancy door switch; when you want to see what's in the cabinet. you reach in and push the button in the middle of the light.

Of course, you have to remember to turn them off but from what we saw, they really light up the inside of a dark cabinet or clothes locker. We put in a dozen of them and we'll just have to wait and see if they can withstand the marine environment. Our guess is that inside the boat, they will probably be OK.

As you may know, we get nothing for mentioning these things. We just thought that for those that have larger boats and actually spend a lot of time on them, these lights might be useful.

Last winter, we paid $9.95 for a bubble pack of three lights. Now they are available everywhere, including Wal Mart. but are now $13.99, but even at that, they just might bring light to your cabinets.

Next weekend we finish the rub rail caulking project and get ready to cruise to Stonington, about 12 miles to our east. We're looking forward to dropping the lines and going somewhere!