Fisherman's Harbor Port Alberni, BC
Anyone you pass in a marina will be sure to remind you that a wood boat is a constant source of work. Blogs, books and the inevitable internet experts are also quick to warn, "never ever buy a wooden boat". Well I have a few opinions on all that. To me, working on a wooden boat is labor of love (may it long last). Don't get me wrong, sanding and varnishing is hard work. In my humble opinion, when put up against fiberglass or steel there is a great deal of tactile and visual satisfaction in a varnish job well done. Redoing fiberglass serves its functional purpose sure but I've never said to myself, "Wow that looks good" upon repairing a bit of fiberglass.
And as I step down off my soapbox i'll let you know what I've been doing on the boat so far. A fair bit of interior cleaning was done to fight the winter build up of mildew and boat smell. Cleaning in such a small space consists of moving the mess from one area to another, cleaning and shifting the mess back. You learn quickly what would be a minor if not insignificant mess in a house is magnified one hundred fold in a boat. There is no hiding it. I think/hope as the bright work projects subside I will be able to implement a more rigid organization and cleaning system.
Sanding and varnishing on the above deck bright work has begun. I dug the sander out from deep in the bowels of Big Red (my truck) and spent a bill and fifty on sandpaper. I started on the rub rail just to see what I was dealing with. I must say it is a shame the original bright work was let go because you can tell it was as near perfection as a finish can come. The hard labor comes in the fact that all of it must be removed in order to get a respectable finish applied. Any remnant of old finish shines bright through the new varnish and doesn't look great as I learned on the rub rail. Though I certainly appreciate a very fine finish, I know I will not be able to match the glory of the original. I think I can content myself on a functional, '30 footer' type finish and be happy in knowing the wood is protected. After doing all the bright work, I'll shift to outdoor house paint for the sides and deck houses. Otto is not much help in matters of bright work as you'll see in the photos.
If you have an affinity for sanding, painting and varnishing you're more than welcome to come lend a hand :)