Sunday, November 29, 2009

boat work

My neighbor walked over this afternoon and asked me why I wasn't sailing today. I should have been. It was in the high 60's, blue skies and a nice gentle breeze. But I had made a commitment to myself to start refinishing Spartina. There is a lot of wear and tear on the boat after four years of sailing. Nice warm weather, while excellent for sailing, is also great epoxy weather.
It felt good to be doing some boat work out in the garage again. I spent 20 months building Spartina there. In fact the little newspaper clips, two seasons worth of local sunday football radio broadcasts, still hang on a nail out there. I worked on the boat seven days a week. On sundays mornings in the fall I would tear the nfl radio guide from the sports pages and hang it on that nail so I would know where to tune for what game as the afternoon went by. On a nearby cabinet are baseball schedules. I don't know that I could have built the boat without sports radio and 60's music. I have a lot of great memories of that time. Those bits of newspaper will probably hang there as long as I'm around.
I pulled the main sheet and jib sheets off the sails, washed them in the washing machine with the docklines. I might have to replace the jib sheets by spring, they looked pretty worn. But the other lines are in good shape.
And I sanded down the rub rails to refinish them with epoxy and varnish. The WEST system epoxy is now four years old. The hardener oxidizes after a while and gives the epoxy a nice reddish gold color. This does not affect the epoxy, but on bright work it adds a nice rich tone. That, plus six or seven coats of spar varnish, should make the rub rails look pretty nice by spring time.
Check out that tee-shirt below, a nice thank you from the Eye of the World Expedition that left out of nearby Hampton a few weeks ago (I made a small donation). If you were fortunate enough to have had an adventure after getting out of college (I know I did), or if you even dreamed of having that adventure, you ought to check out these guys (and maybe consider a donation) - a round the world trip on a classic yawl that is now floating classroom. This is a good time to tune in to their blog - they are in Miami and celebrating the birthday of the boat's namesake.
I should have been sailing, but at the same time I had a great day working on the boat.


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