(Year Three, summer and fall)
The new 10″ cleats forward. The original cleats were a weathered teak 1″ dowel held by cast stainless steel with only two integral bolts, which I might clean up and use in the interior as handholds. I’m not sure if the second cleat, aft, will get in the way, but I figured the only way to know for sure would be to put it there and see.
The galley shelves with the lamination finished.
The starboard galley counter and shelves. Hook up the sink, add a little trim, and they’re done!
The port galley counter and shelves.
The dinette table, open and with hinged top in place. The leg and table are removable; the tabletop will sit on the two seats, making another bunk (for short people.)
Some friends came by to help (that is, help eat Girl Scout cookies, apparently.)
A helper, a.k.a. Little Miss Mischief–Face.
This pic was taken long after installation. The original teak hatch covers were worn and suspect, so I rebuilt them out of Starboard. (By the way, have I mentioned that it is a mistake to assume that port and starboard are symmetrically identical?)
I like how they turned out, but, if I were to do it all over again, I’d use hardwood plywood coated with resin and glass. Two reasons: first, although Starboard is pretty strong and used for locker lids all the time, the label on it says “not for structural use,” which does not worry me when I’m stepping on it but just makes me wonder; and second, it seems to collect moisture (on the inside of the lids) and grow things.
(TIP: By the way, to clean it, forget about the high-priced chemical cleaners: use white vinegar to do a better job. Once, on someone else’s boat, he tried all kinds of stuff and was getting ready to sand down a layer when I happened by and suggested trying white vinegar. He wiped it on, wiped it off, and then just about kissed my feet. White vinegar, less than $3 for two gallons at Sam’s Club: a boat builder’s best friend and mold’s worst enemy.)
The interior pad for the motor mount. The horseshoe shapes are to add a little firmness to the form. I should have used just regular old household string, but I had 1/8″ cord handy. I wanted a little ridge to maintain the structure of the curves, but the cord was just a bit thick, making it hard to get no air pockets over the little rise. I had to open them up afterward.
I could have completely skipped making this pad; anything – including just a piece of plywood – would have distributed the load on the bolts. However, by putting a little wax on the boat and “painting” the rough-weave fiberglass with resin, I was able to make a form-fitting flat surface that perfectly the slight curve of the transom, on to which I mounted a large backing plate.
If I remember correctly, the mounting instructions read, “Be sure to mount bracket at the correct height above waterline.” Uh-huh. “Correct height”? Okay, let’s think about this . . .
The new hatchboards and handholds. The original (1971) teak frame was intact but of questionable remaining strength, and also held in place by just a few screws. I removed it, sandwiched each side of the companionway with 1/8” thick, 4” wide strips of aluminum, and through–bolted it. I’m not so sure the aluminum is strong enough for heavy seas, but I’ll revisit that and all the hatches before I cross any oceans. Btw, making hatchboards (or as some call them, washboards) fit snugly is not as easy as it seems it would be. After all, the sides of your companionway are parallel, and the thickness of each bulkhead (and therefore your slide space) is uniform, isn’t it? It is, is it? Ya, I thought so, too.
The hatchboards from the inside. Don’t dismiss the design: it began with cutting a small groove to mark the top of each board, which comes in very handy when placing them in the slots in the dark. (Besides, if you don’t amuse yourself you can’t fairly expect anyone else to do it for you, now can you?)
The new grabrails, made from stanchion bases and stainless steel tubing. Note: just because the original teak handrails were straight after you took them off does not mean they were perfectly straight when they were attached to the boat. FYI, wood is more flexible than stainless steel.
These stainless steel grabrails were not my first try. I had the original teak handrails, but they were noticeably worn. They were, of course, a different size and spacing from any replacements I could find, so I sanded them, covered them in two layers of fiberglass cloth and resin (fyi, fiberglass cloth goes on flat or gently curving round surfaces so much easier than it wraps around small diameter rods and tightly curving base corners), sanded the rough fiberglass protrusions, primed them, and painted them. Oh, and I filled the original, loose screw holes with resin and filler. Then I went in search of new bronze screws long and thick enough to reach through the interior handholds, the cabin roof, and into the exterior handholds. I finally settled for stainless steel. Even with a jig to hold your drill for the pilot hole, it is very hard to place and set the long screws in two dimensions. I did the first handrail, and it felt solid, but after all that work, I just didn’t trust the screws.
Making cushions . . . whoopee!
No. Note: not “make cushions, whoopee!”; “make whoopee! with cushions!” Ah, well, live and learn . . .
When working with big pieces of canvas spread over the floor, a “helper” like this will plop himself down right on top of your work (with his favorite toy), and look at you with a quizzical, “What? In this whole big house, right now, I belong right here; I’ll wait patiently for you to get out of my way, my poor human” expression. Petey the Dog would often inadvertently remind me of why I was rebuilding a boat – to get away from him!
Okay, okay, he’s my buddy. But you gotta know, some of the nicknames given to him by his “mother” are: Little Barking Bastard, Goon, Ass-Biting Monkey Boy, Cretin, The Oddity, Grub, Dummy, Weirdo, 4-Legged Furry Tapeworm, and Goat-Dog.
The port bunk. Lots of stowage underneath (for sails, overnight bags, and bags of refreshements, all of which tend to accumulate and slide off regular settee bunks. Btw, you can wedge yourself into the space under the side deck, if you were ever trying to get a little sleep while the boat was bouncing along on a starboard tack.
V berth cushions. The brown cushions leaning against the hull are closed-cell foam for the cockpit.