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Date Posted: - Wednesday - 08/20/08 - 1:01am
Author: Randall
Subject: REPORT #14: Moving to the Exterior
In reply to: Randall, M31, Murre 's message, "Aft Cabin Bulkhead Replacement" on - Monday - 01/21/08 - 9:56pm

These remarks pertain to work done in the first weeks of June:

It would be easy to imagine from that most previous report and its final photo (an interior varnish shot so glossy as to be almost pornographic) that the job’s end was in sight. And so it was, but only with a fairly powerful set of binoculars and an active imagination.

While I could confidently walk away from the interior, there was plenty left to complete outside the boat.

For one, I decided to seal the bulkhead’s exterior joint with two layers of 6” tape.

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Here, the cabin-top sheathing had been pulled away a few inches to allow the tape and revealed the mahogany ply and putty over the many ring-nail fasteners. Remember, the new bulkhead slides under the coach roof lip, so the graining you see at the joint is rounded off mahogany coach roof wood.



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And sanded.


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And puttied.


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And primer going on.



Late in the game I decided not to re-sheath the entire cabin top. This turned out to be a great relief to my neighbor Mike, who had lobbied me hard not to attack that job, but rather simply to paint and get on with my life.

“But look, it’s springy,” I said one afternoon, jumpy up and down on the coach roof while Mike looked on, “it needs new glass.”

“What the f*ck are you doing?”, he cried, “get off there; it’s fine. I’ve seen boats come in here with holes in the ply, with glass cracked and pealing. It’s not like you’re gunna have a party up there. Paint and be done already!”

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And I followed his advice—this year, anyway. After all, it was already June.


It is strange how much thought can go into choosing a shade of white, or for that matter, how many shades of white exist. I have used “blue glow-white”, “white”, “off-white”, “cream”, and “Hatteras white” on Murre at various times and have not been particularly happy with any of them. Wanting something softer than pure white but not as creamy as cream or Hatteras, I mixed one part Interlux Brightside Hatteras with two parts Interlux Brightside White, and am pleased with the result.

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Next came calking the exterior deck-to-cabin side seam. I had used plenty of epoxy on the joint when gluing up and so had to go back with the Fein Master and dig out a trough for calk. I then poured in black LIQUID Life Calk to just below the deck level, the thinking being that I wanted the calk to fill all the nooks and crannies and to create the essential seal. After that had cured I applied a layer of regular Life Calk as a “top coat”.

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The seam I laid was a thing of beauty—clean lines and an even curve along its entire run—until I stepped in it two hours later, destroying its perfection and tracking black tar all over the cockpit teak.



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The port light had been permanently installed from the inside on a previous weekend. Even so, calking and then screwing the exterior frame into place turned out to be a messy job. I used lots of 3M 101 to create the seal, then turned the piece in place (remember, it screws on like a brass barometer face), wiping up excess goop as I went along. Because of the viscosity of the calk and the mess, getting a bite on the frame for that last turn was a challenge. I put a screw driver against the fastener holes and whacked with a hammer until the frame was tight and even.


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In contrast, the eyebrows were eyeballed in place and went on cleanly, only requiring the courage to drill fastener holes in one’s shiny new bulkhead. The bend in the port eyebrow will straighten out while off the boat, so start fastening at the outboard edge and work your way inboard drilling and fastening as you go. Be VERY careful when inserting the wood plugs at the outer edges of the eyebrow as the wood will split with the least provocation.



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Before removal, I had measured closely the location of the propane box, but when it came time for the return, it was obvious where it went. For some reason, hooking up the propane felt like a major step. It cleaned up the “construction mess” considerably and I had the immediate satisfaction of boiling up a cup of coffee.

One didn’t need binoculars to see the end now!

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Replies:

[> REPORT #15: Glory Shots -- Randall, - Wednesday - 08/20/08 - 1:10am

These remarks pertain to work (and play) toward the end of June:


So the bulkhead job was finally completed, but the masts, wrapped all winter, needed a coat of paint, as did the bum. Those two operations took two more weekends, but being out of the shed—out in the sun and near others in the yard who were working to prepare their boats for the water—was a great relief.

We stepped the masts on a Friday evening and by 2pm the next day Murre was returned to the bird she is, bursting into sail like a phoenix, tugging at her tethers to be off into the summer’s breeze.

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I flew the sails all afternoon at dock while I worked getting ready for the next day’s departure, occasionally (frequently, more like) stepping away to admire their whiteness, their draw, the life they’d put back into Murre.

“She’s really pretty,” said a man from the next finger over. He’d been leaning on a piling, smoking a cigarette, and admiring Murre for some minutes, which pleased me no end.

“Where’d you get such a boat?” he said.

“She’s Japanese built, 1972.” I said.

“Really?,” he said, “that’s kinda old for such a little thing, isn’t it?.”

“Pardon?” I said, preparing to be offended.

“The dingy.” He said. “She’s a really pretty thing nestled against your sail boat. Where’d you get that dingy?”

--

Next day James, Cody, and I motored away from the San Rafael Yacht Harbor crane dock for a “sea trail” sail and delivery of Murre back to Sausalito. James owns Malolo, M31 #14, and had her in the San Rafael yard for a refit. We’d only met a couple weeks before, but it was gratifying to see another Mariner receiving meticulous care. Cody, James dog, is in charge of quality assurance on the Malolo project, and so was a required participant on Murre’s brisk sail home.

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And after an exhilarating sail, and after dropping James and Cody, Murre and I dashed back out to Paradise Cove for an overnight … because for reasons that I can’t quite explain, it’s not just about the sailing, it’s about sailing to a place where one can anchor overnight, and there is something about anchoring overnight that resets the world’s clock to just the right minute.

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The end, by god!


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