Since the boat purchase officially closed on Tuesday 5/19. I spent a couple of hours Wednesday, Thursday and Friday going through the boat in detail, taking inventory, assessing condition, and prioritizing work to be done. In order to knock out a couple of quick items and begin with a little momentum, I decided to cherry pick the "Master Work List" and pick a couple of things that are easy and quick to complete. I replaced the 2 low pressure fire extinguishers and flares as well as the red navigation bulb on the bow - 3 for 3 .. an artificial good start but a good start none the less!
The next item on the list is the removal of the cracked, faded, and aged decals. I watched a few videos on youtube and it looked pretty straight forward. Use a heat gun and plastic scraper to peel the decal up and off. Upon execution, I found this method to be very slow and not effective in areas where the decals are cracked. On one of the forums, I found a post about a rubber wheel that you secure in a drill that looked to speedily disintegrate the decal. It's called the "Whizzy Wheel".
I bought the whizzy wheel after spending all day Saturday peeling decals 1/4" at a time from one side of the boat. Wow, what a time saver! The whizzy wheel completely removed the remaining hull decals from the other side in less than an hour. An added bonus is that it also removed about 90% of the sticker residue. With all of the decals removed, the only thing left was to remove the sticker residue. I had a spray can of goof off and made quick work of this task.
The next item up on the priority list is the coaming bolsters. I imagine the original coaming bolsters rotted out and were removed. From the photos below, you can see the screw holes and the rust marks left by these screws. There are a myriad of options ranging from restoring to the original coaming bolsters to having some custom made to using a company who already manufactures a universal solution to this problem. I am opting for the universal solution approach. There is a company called SeaDeck ( www.seadeck.com ) who has solved this problem and it's reasonably priced (compared to the other 2 options). I've measured and ordered the material for the pieces that I can cut myself. The rail on the stern is not in the shape of a rectangle so I ordered the template kit and will make a stencil of the piece. I'll send the completed template back to SeaDeck and the piece will likely take 3-4 weeks to get back to me. This delay is the reason why this part is a high priority.
The first step to preparing the surfaces for the SeaDeck coaming bolsters is to clean the surfaces. My goal was to remove all the rust markings and to patch the screw holes. This is probably overkill as the SeaDeck material will cover the stains and holes but I will always know the holes and the stains are behind the SeaDeck material and that would bother me. I've read about acetone being a good cleaner so I started with this. The acetone actually did a fairly decent job of removing most of the rust stains. With a little more elbow grease, I was able to remove a little more. I did reach a point of diminishing returns and I could still see some of the stains although they were much fainter. I tried goof off with no success. I finally decided to try sanding these out with a fine grit sand paper and voila ... I was able to remove all of the stains. I mixed up some epoxy and filled the screw holes and sanded these out smooth the next day. The final results are shown below.
Last but not least, my wife Patricia joined me on Sunday to help with the boat. She spent all day in the cabin cleaning and organizing. By the time she finished, I couldn't believe the difference. Nice work Patry!
This week is the week for bottom painting, the 2 big exterior fiberglass repairs and the pulpit repair. I would have done the bottom painting myself but I don't have a hoist and they won't allow bottom painting at the storage yard because of the nastiness of the paint. The 2 exterior fiberglass repairs are things that I could have perhaps done myself, but in the interests of time and efficiency, I decided to hire this out. The same goes for the pulpit. The boat will be ready for me on Tuesday 6/2/15. The SeaDeck is projected to arrive on 6/2 as well so with a little luck, I'll be cutting and applying SeaDeck material Tuesday afternoon. Next week, I'll finish buffing and polishing the exterior so I can reapply the new decals and then wax the exterior. That's about it on the status update for the Memorial Day weekend work. Until next time ...