Foam and Fiberglass

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View from our “tree house”

November 11, 2019

Today was a big day.

Today we filled the hole.

Even though Eric came down with the crud that has been kicking my butt the past three weeks, we’ve pushed ahead.

We woke up at six am to cut foam and fiberglass. We suited up, Mark mixed up the schmu, and we got to work rolling on the resin, laying up another layer of fiberglass, and then packing the foam core in the gap cleared of rotted wood.

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Like a well-oiled machine, we finished this step of the process by 1pm!

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Ecstatic! We have foam!

It’s a very messy process, and although we tried to stay covered with the white suits, Mark ended up with resin in his hair. Nothing a bit of acetone won’t fix? I hope his wife didn’t need to cut out more of his hair today… apparently she had to take a chunk out from the last time we did fiberglass work over our heads. With the assistance of a friend’s oven, I made him banana bread as a thank you for all his help.

While soaking up the last of the warm sun and ecstatic about completing this big hurdle, we grabbed lines at the dock for another boat as they came in to get hauled out at the boat yard.

Then we re-sealed another window – four done, four more to go. I’ll have to be careful with timing of the other windows as the sealant wants to be applied in above 40 degrees… and the weather forecast is not looking good this week.

But today was gorgeous.

After finishing the window Eric decided it was time to go up the mast. We threw on our climbing gear, and after Eric hacked up a lung, I hoisted him up. He inspected the old radar (we’re pretty sure it’s ancient – the inside component is a large box computer screen with green text).  We’ve never successfully used it. We made a pitiful attempt during the fog of Charleston Harbor in December of 2018, and since then we’ve turned it on a handful of times but never been able to make it do anything.

Eric decided that radar was coming down, now.

So we tore apart the ceiling of our already messy cabin to get a better look at the wiring situation. Not pleasant, but not as bad as we feared. We mutter under our breaths that a previous owner was a psychopath – the ceiling tiles are held up with both phillips and flathead screws, who does that?! We successfully disconnected the computer monitor, and we did end up having to cut the wire in one strategic location. Then it was back up the mast.

At this point the sun had sunk behind the trees, the boat yard emptied of people. Without the direct sunlight the cold creeps back in. Eric tied a spare halyard to the radar and unbolts it from the mast. Very carefully, I lower both the radar and him back down.

The ceiling is still in pieces, our main cabin is a disaster zone, but today was a good day.

 

November 16, 2019

We made it through the brutal cold this week.

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Dreary, cold and wet at the boat yard.

Rain and cold slowed down our progress this week, although we did what we could inside the boat to deal with improving our electrical system, and preparing to install our diesel heater for the chilly trip south.

I don’t know what was worse – the pile of slush in our cockpit, or the two large ceiling panels that obstructed our ability to move around the main cabin. I could either sit on the couch, or go into the kitchen, but we could not do both at the same time. The panels would block one path in order to open access to the other. Due to the weather the panels did not belong outside, and we couldn’t bring ourselves to return the panels above after taking down the old radar wire – once we had exposed the disaster-waiting-to-happen, we were unable ignore it.

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A glance at the wiring in the ceiling to the mast

I couldn’t even bear to take a picture of the mess of wires that hides behind our control panel. Just know that it was electrifyingly terrible.

With the forecast to blow up to 40 knots at the boatyard this weekend, we decided to high tail it back to Maryland. At least the boatyard isn’t due to freeze, so we don’t have to worry about our pipes.

Today I enjoyed relaxing with my folks, walking the family dog, an evening writing by the fire, and roasted marshmallows.

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Here’s hoping our boat doesn’t burn down from an electrical fire while we’re gone.

 

November 17, 2019

Even when we’re away from the boat, the boat projects never end. Today I cut foam to replace some of the cushions I recently re-covered. An electric bread knife worked surprisingly well for this endeavor.

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The knife’s electric motor only smelled like burning… most of the time. But it got the job done!

I try to enjoy the warmth of being indoors before we go back to the boat.

 

November 18, 2019

The bimini only partially ripped off in the wind while we were gone. Eric managed to shove it roughly back in place.

I’m back at the sewing machine our friends at Dulcinea are so graciously letting me borrow, while Eric keeps grinding. I might be getting a little loopy, but I’m making progress on the wind shield, an amalgamation of clear plastic and canvas. This burly machine is capable of sewing through layers and layers of canvas, it’s awesome.

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Loopy?
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Sanding to make a rough but flat surface in preparation for the next layer of fiberglass.

The lack of sunlight is really getting me down.

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