The shortest day of the year had sunshine long enough for me to roll Spartina out of the garage and begin the off season maintenance. The main effort will be repainting the interior and replacing the five large deck plates.
Sanding has never been a favorite task, but working out in the sunshine was nice. It felt good and reminded me of how much I enjoyed building Spartina. I used both a palm sander and a new random orbit sander to rough up or remove the old steel grey paint. I had touched up the cockpit a few times over the years, but it looked like it had been touched up and really needed to be completely repainted. I pulled off a lot, but not all of the hardware. Some of the larger stainless steel screw, #14's I think, I don't want to mess with. With the smaller screws I'll drill out the holes and epoxy in hardwood dowels so that the screw, when replaced, will go into solid wood. The epoxy work and painting will have to wait for March.
I did take off one deck plate, which was more work than I expected. You can see the missing plate on the right in the image below. I did not use high tech sealant, like 3M's 5200, and I am glad for that. It was difficult enough to remove the plate using just basic bathroom sealant. Four more plates to go, which I expect will happen Christmas Day after gifts and before dinner.
Taking the boat apart always makes me nervous. When will I get it back together again? No later that April 1, I hope.