Monday, July 25, 2011

Tara's Booty

We have been taking it easier this  this summer, much more so then any summer since the boats came into our lives. Part of it is that we just cannot keep the kind of pace we had going, where we would drive two hours to spend the weekend working on Me Voy, then come back to Tara and do something stupid like install a new plywood deck. Cheesh, who are these people in our archives?

We do, however,  recognize the danger of slacking off too much. Its very easy to loose momentum, and get behind on maintenance or loose focus and never finish what we started.  As history would have it, we have both started ambitious projects in the past, only to never see them through to completion. That is not an option for us with these boats, but it is something we are both aware of.

One of my recent  projects was the transom on Tara. There was nothing wrong with it in terms of rot or damage, it was just ugly. And the reason it was ugly was entirely my fault.

It began with temporarily painting the name on the transom. By temporarily I mean I thought I was going to be able to sand it off without going thru the varnish. I would then slap a coat or two of varnish and everything would be beautiful. Ooops. What I didn't take into account was the small detail of our transom being stained. That meant when I sanded the letters off, I inevitably went through to the wood below, and left two giant spots of unstained wood where the letters were. Oooops. Ok my options were to sand everything, re-stain and re-varnish, or try to match the stain and move on with life. I chose the latter, but long story short, it was impossible to match exactly the shade of red mahogany. Can you see the darker spots on the transom in the picture? Well they just kept getting worse,  and  I just couldn't live with that. So I decided I was going to start from scratch and do it right. Btw, if you are thinking of temporary letters on your boat, for God's sake use masking tape, or stickers, don't paint it on!

I've already written about Citrus Strip and how much I like it, but this was going to be a real good test for  this miracle striper. I was about to take off six layers of Epifanes varnish.

I wasn't real impressed after the first application. Only some sections of the transom began to bubble up. I scraped those off, and applied more Citrus Strip.

The second application worked much better. Almost all of the varnish was bubbling up. I applied Citrus Strip to the stubborn areas and waited. This stuff works really fast.After ten minutes I was ready to scrape off the stripper.

Here again I have to say, I love this stuff. Notice the orange gloves that I'm not using? Don't need them! Other then a rather itchy smell, this stuff doesn't burn the skin like most other strippers. 

After a few hours I was done with the stripping and sanding. There is no way I would be finished so quickly if it wasn't for the Citrus Strip. 

Travis helped me stain and brush the first coat of very Epifanes. We thinned this first coat liberally to let it really soak into the wood.

I'm spraying the remaining coats, one every morning, or every other morning. The beauty of Epifanes is that it requires no sanding in between coats if reapplied within 72 hrs. This saves a lot of time, and energy, as does spraying. Previously it took me about 3 hrs to brush a coat  on the transom, as opposed to fifteen minutes of spraying, and fifteen minutes of cleaning the gun. That's a huge difference!  Plus, the compressor makes a lot of noise and creates a very festive atmosphere. I really do like using loud tools. Must be a girl thing.


jomamma said...

Nice work, you know how I love a good home improvement project! I also like that little privacy screen thing you have going on there on the back deck of the boat.... one could sit back there scantly clad and the neighbors would never know. Kind of like I do in the backyard.

Travis and Maggie said...

He he he, you'd never get away with that here. Our boat is on the main drag and everyone passes it on the way to wherever. Definately not your secluded hideaway, however there is one spot on the deck where these IS total privacy. That's where we'd plant your scantily clad self :) But I gotta say the canvassing the back deck has made a huge difference. We can actually use that room now in all kinds of weather. If I was a little more um, insane, I would take on some of the sewing jobs that people around here ask if I could do. Evidently canvas work is expensive.

jomamma said...

Well, you can always give it a try and if they say anything then just do like I do, tell them to get back in their house/boat. Quit lookin' if you don't wanna be seein'.

I'll remember that canvas sewing in case I ever need a job when I live on a boat. I would really like something roomy like Tara, but I do like sailing.

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Wow, you're doing a great job! Tara's booty is looking good! =) The galley pic from previous post is sweet ... really nice looking!