Hot Days and Split-Shifts by Scott Maxwell

Amatheia DE32

We learned about sanding, sanding and more sanding. We also learned about filling, fairing, priming and taping. We stripped the cap-rail and removed the old sealant from the inner and outer edges. We removed anything from the cabin and decks that had not already been removed. We hired Brooks from Charlot Marine to spray the primer and finish coats. We dry fit all the cabin and deck hardware and brightwork and drilled out their respective fastener holes through the epoxy plugs we had made.

We had been warned that repainting the cabin and decks would be a time consuming process. True to the prediction it took an incredible amount of time. Truly incredible. It would be easier the 2nd or 3rd time, but not really knowing what to do sure helped make it a long experience. After the first prime coat we found all of our imperfections, well almost all. After the 2nd coat we found some more, and we found yet a few more after the 3rd coat.

Finally the top coat, Awlcraft 2000. It sure looked good, not perfect but good. We have a drip to try to sand out and a couple other problems but it looks good. Hopefully it will stay on long enough that I won’t have to do that again real soon.

We had lots of hot days, mid-90’s by noon. We started at dawn and either came back in the evening or simply laid off at 2 or 3 for the day.

Once the non-skid was done it was time for assembly. We fit and installed each fitting, mounted winches and etc. In spite of the dry fitting and drilling a few pieces took some additional steps. All were bedded with polysulfide. We first dry fit and taped, then assembled finger tight with sealant, then tightened the next day and trimmed after a week.

We had Leonard French, our resident stainless steel fabricator, build 1/8 plates to go between the companionway cover tracks and the cabin top. The companionway cover used to ride directly on the cabin top, wearing grooves in the cabin top. These seem to have worked well for this.

It sure has been great to have Leonard nearby. He fabricated all of the backing plates for winches and deck fittings, fabricated the deck fittings for the bitts and has been generally essential in a number of ways. It always a pleasure to visit Leonard’s shop over in the corner of the boatyard. Squirrels and birds visit periodically to see if he has any nuts for them, and there is always something interesting to look at.

Lots of osprey families, and all day they provided a steady backdrop of busy calls.

The cap rail was treated with Cetol. We put a new bead of polysulfide all along the inner edge of the cap rail. We’ll see how long this lasts.

The stanchions were remounted in what seemed to be one of the messiest operations we have had. We used gobs of polysulfide.

The chainplates were installed, ours are through the cap rail. We bedded each plate in the cap rail with black polysulfide. I bet we’ll rebed this spot frequently.

As the weather changed so did our bird visitors. The ospreys finally left, and hundreds of blackbirds called noisily each day from the cottonwoods toward the river.

David convinced me to put a fillet of epoxy with fairing filler added around the outside edge of the cap rail. We did just that, and it really filled the gap we had in a number of areas between the cap rail and the top of the bulwark. I’m hoping the gap left is small enough that the cetol will fill it but we may have to run a bead of poly here as well.

We should have torn the cap rail off and sealed the hull to deck joint as much as possible and rebed the rail. But we didn’t and hopefully that project is at least several years in the future.

The (modified) goal for this summer/fall was to get the top done. We didn’t get it all but we sure got most of it. Left to do to complete the cabin and decks outside:

  • Mount butterfly hatch
  • Install all window ports (waiting on completion of cabin-side interior)
  • Mount deck iron for stovepipe
  • Put copper caps on the bitts and stainless plates on the mounting holes
  • Mount compass
  • Mount tiller head (slides on rudder shaft)

And that’s about it!

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