Sunday, July 26, 2015

Work-wise, that's it for this summer

Frances was invited by a friend to a concert in Saturday night, so we did our best to finish up our various project in one day.

We started early, finishing the masking and painting parts of the cabin walls that only we will probably ever see. It is amazing how much new paint refreshes old surfaces, especially if you take your time doing it. We love the way it looks even if only we know that it was painted.

 Meanwhile, Frances doesn't go to just any concert. On Saturday night she and her friend Diane went to Infinity Hall in Hartford.

Frances said the food was tasteless but the entertainment was not. Aaron Neville was on tap and the ladies got to meet him up close and personal.

Time well spent, Frances!

Back at the boat: Our inflatable, which we had hoped to take to Block Island, developed a leak (or two) and will have to be professionally repaired. That means pumping the air out of the damn thing, folding it up and getting it up to the car. Luckily, our friend Bob gave us a welcome hand with that task.

Some time ago, we bought some white Sunbrella material and had our friend, "Canvas John," turned it into a cover for the hatch over our v-berth. We spent an hour mounting the snaps that hold the cover down and it looks great. Now we have nice, diffused light in our v-berth rather than direct sunlight.

Next weekend, we'll get the interior of the boat straightened away and fill the old girl with gas. During the week of August 3, we're heading to Block Island for a week of doing as little as possible. As we write this, we're discussing what we'll have for dinner on Block. Could there be a better topic for a Sunday night that that?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

One more weekend of work

The weather wasn't good on Saturday so we decided to spend our time masking off the teak trim in the cabin and, after cleaning and sanding, applying some Sikken Cetrol. That went well enough although it always amazes us how much painter's tape it takes to mask what doesn't look like much trim. We learned from experience that you can't rush projects like this. We won't be able to mask off the teak and paint the wall surfaces until next weekend.

On Sunday morning, we began finding and fixing the leak in our old inflatable, which we will use at Block Island in a couple of weeks. We manged to get the inflatable off the back of the boat, pump it up and soon found the leak. It was at a seam but it appeared to be something we could fix with a patch.  We've done this several times before on this thing so we thought it would be something we could do in an afternoon.

Unfortunately, our patch kit didn't have any more of the needed adhesive so we drove to Defender Marine in Waterford for another patch kit. We found one immediately but once we got it back to the boat, we found that it didn't include the adhesive we needed. Frances jumped on the phone and was told that they had removed the adhesive from each kit because they weren't happy with its performance.

Unfortunately, they forgot to put new adhesive in the kits in their warehouse outlet so once we got back to the boat, we had nothing to complete the patch.

We put some green painter's tape on the leak, pumped the inflatable back up and put it back on the davits on the back of the boat. Defender promised to send us the right adhesive this week so we'll get everything fixed next weekend.

Once we finish these last few projects, we're off for a few days in Greenport, one of our favorite places. Then we're heading off for a week on Block Island, where we won't fix anything but just enjoy ourselves.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Where we are with this blog

We started writing these blog posts in May, 2010 and we did it as a way to communicate with our boating friends and to keep track of all the stuff we were doing to this old Silverton. As we did this we promised ourselves that we would keep it up for as long as we could. We've seen too many blogs that started out with energy and then faded.

Since we started, we've posted 305 blog entries and those had 31,248 page views, meaning that at least that many people looked at the blog, although not necessarily read the post  all the way through.

This cost us nothing (except for our time) and that's thanks to Google, which hosts everything we write and every picture we post. Blogs can make money but ours doesn't. The last time we looked, we had earned $31.05 and we have no idea how to collect that sum. That's not a problem for us because we didn't start this blog to make money.

Blogs aren't as popular as they were. We'd probably get more exposure though a Facebook page but that's not important to us. will continue to do nicely for us.

About three years ago, we began to post some video as part of our blog. The logical place to host those videos was Youtube, which had been acquired by Google. Youtube was a monster compared to our blog. In no time, we had accumulated 237 subscribers to our Youtube "channel" and they and others viewed our videos more than 890,000 times as of today. Let's face it: our videos are meant for our blog, not for general consumption, but somehow some of the stuff we posted on Youtube got a lot of traffic. One, named "Block Island 2014," garnered a lot of views as did one we did just for boaters like us that was titled "Puppy Pads."

YouTube is a source of big income for a lot of people and our personal email has lately had messages from people who claim they can make us real money with our videos. Sorry, that's not us.

We're happy to continue to post our boat life and during the winter, our off-boat life. That's how we began and that will be the way we will continue to use Google Blogspot.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Finally completing the rehab of our head

We have devoted two good summer weekends to bring our head back from old to new. This weekend, we finished the damned thing and it looks OK... in fact, better that just OK.

Last weekend, we masked and then applied two costs of Sikkens Cetol to the old teak trim, after carefully cleaning it. That looked fine, so this weekend, we begged off a cruise with our dockmates to Nappatree Point and settled down to spend most of our weekend in the head. That meant doing the reverse of last weekend: Mask off the newly refinished teak trim so we could paint the walls.

Those walls have a a wall covering that Silverton used back when this boat was built. It was dark and had some mold or other stains, much of which Frances scrubbed off. It was time to brighten things up with the same paint we used in the galley and in the door panels.

So, on Saturday morning, we turned on the AC (and public radio) and started taping. It is amazing how much detail there is in that head. Two plus hours later, we were ready to apply some Sherwin Williams paint. It's a mystery color that Frances came up with several years ago and in this boat, it looks great.

We used a small roller (very slowly) to do the wide surfaces and a one-inch brush for the edges and once we had the walls covered (with a second coat on some spots), our head looked really good.

The video shows a little bit more about how this project went.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Refinishing the head

We've done a lot to this boat since we bought it seven years ago but we haven't yet gotten to the head. Sure, we replaced the marine toilet, pulled out all the old and now illegal overboard pump out lines and replaced everything with a new holding tank.

But so far, we haven't done much with how the head looked. It was OK, but needed an upgrade to include refinishing the teak trim and painting the wall covering as we did in the galley.

We've also been experimenting with Folex, a cleaner that seems to be very effective at removing discoloration from the walls, which are covered with a glue-on fabric that back then, Silverton seemed to favor. We bought a gallon of Folex at Home Depot and so far, it really seems to work.

We began with this in the head, probably mostly mold.

Folex removed it completely and without scrubbing.

This week was devoted to simply refinishing the teak trim in the head. We cleaned it first and then masked the trim from the wall.

The head was clean but looked a little old.

This was going to have to be a two-step process. Mask the walls and apply apply two coats of Sikkens Cetol Marine light to all of the teak trim and then reverse the process (after the Sikkens had dried thoroughly) and mask the trim so the walls could be painted.

Applying masking tape to even a small space like this is not joke. It took an entire roll of masking tape and about two hours to get it done. Some of the corners and other places were difficult to do but we found it was better to step back and if it wasn't right, do it again.

After one coat of Sikkens on Saturday, it was time to go back and do it again on Sunday morning. By then, the trim had absorbed the Sikkens and it now began to build up on the surface.

Next weekend, we reverse the process and mask to trim so we can paint the wall covering the same color we painted the galley, which looks great. Hopefully, by next Sunday night, we'll be through with the head rehab and can go for a cruise.

We've included a brief video of Bob and his new sailboat, which he built at home during the winter. We wish we had the talent to do work this good.