Saturday, September 26, 2009

How to...Make a beautiful boat ugly

Feel the need to improve your boat? I can help. Just read along and enjoy.

Having spent all day puttering on the boat, it occured to me this evening that what I had accomplished was not what I had set out to do...but instead I had made my beautiful boat ugly in just a few short hours, in just a few easy steps. So, follow along, read between the lines, and by the end of the day you can have an ugly boat as well.

Now, one might say that this is all in the name of progress - the goal is to give Arden a new coat of paint, but after many hours of sanding, many more sheets of sand paper, and just a mere gallon or so of paint remover, I realize now that what should have been a simple task of strip, sand, and paint has become a really major undertaking. Strip, sand and paint. Sounds easy enough, much like coloring between the lines. Believe me, I had been mislead, most probably by myself. Perhaps it is because what is under a perfect paint job, (or maybe nearly perfect, perhaps almost perfect, well heck, pretty good will work just as well) is not nearly as nice as what you see when you are done. It doesn't help forward progress when one is as easily distracted as I am. (and I am distracted right now, so bear with me) Lets face it, I am a glutton for punishment, perhaps bordering on masochistic, because I am a fool for brightwork. Nothing says nautical like Captains Varnish. Thats why is is called Captains Varnish. It isnt called farmers varnish or old crazy guy in the woods varnish. It is Captains Varnish, and it belongs on a boat. It is the key to any and all brightwork. So here I am stripping, sanding and looking forward to painting. Then I realized that the grab rails Gary had so carefully painted years ago, to avoid the painful process of frequent upkeep that is the backbone of good brightwork, were originally varnished, were most certainly made of teak, and by God, they should be varnished once again! So introduced another 2 or 3 hours of stripping, sanding, and waiting to paint. Notice painting has become waiting to paint. And as I was sanding on these handrails, I rememered my Dorade box in the galley had been leaking, was in the way of the sanding, and it too was originally varnished. So out comes the drill, the bungs covering the mounting screws are removed, and off comes the Dorade box. Can you see a pattern developing? A leads to B, B leads to K and from there we are off to Z. My dad taught high school math, and even though I am no whiz, I can see the Algebra in this. To think I had thought I would never, ever see a real world need for algebra, and lo and behold, here it is in the middle of a paint job. (shazamm!!!)

To make a longer story a bit shorter, as the day wore on, I kept on sanding and stripping, and had yet to start painting. Wasn't that the original goal? And to think I thought I'd be done by lunch. So hours later here I am, with a partially sanded boat, and not a drop of paint applied. But there is consolation in the fact I am making more improvements as I go, and improved boat was the desired end result in the grand scheme of things. So all is not lost, we are moving forward, aren't we?

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