Friday, July 25, 2014

IT has begun

Yesterday I started the repair of the Venture 21 by taking the old winch rig for the centerboard off and sizing up the new replacement one.  I also bailed out all of the water that had leaked in over the past couple of months during the heavy rain storms, about 10 gallons.  I have been leaving the hatches open to dry it all out.
I also took off the starboard forward lifeline stanchion and straightened it out, almost to what it was.  It is plenty good enough.  I took off the remaining wire life line in preparation for replacing those lines with rope.  In my thinking rope is plenty strong enough and it has more elasticity.  Stanchions are know to rip out or bend and at least leak after being worked by force on the lines.  On my larger boat the lifelines are rope and have served just fine.

Today I got the grinder out and ground down the spots on the deck that will need to be repaired with fiberglass and epoxy patches.  The four points where the bow pulpit was and the mast step.  I intend to use just fiberglass to repair even where it was cored with plywood.  I like my repairs to be stronger than original if possible.

Getting all the gear together and protection for myself I was reminded of how much I hate working with fiberglass. This alone is enough of a reason to get rid of my glass boats and make the fleet all wood.  Upon starting in with the grinder I was immediately taken back to the days when I remodeled my Bristol by cutting out the cockpit and making a flush deck, by the smell of melting/grinding gel coat and polyester resin.  It isn't a totally unpleasant smell in that it has connotations of really great times doing fun and crazy things with boats back when I first started boating.  It is really the dust that goes everywhere and is always itchy later on.  I have found the best way to get if off is to shower in COLD water with shampoo to float all of the dust off.  The cold water keeps your pores from opening up and letting the dust get deeper in to your skin.

It is good to see these great big holes in the deck right now because I know that they mean progress.  In truth I'd much rather just scrap this boat and build a wooden replacement for it, but I hate just throwing things out when they can be made useful.  Nobody nibbled at the Craig's list add for the boat, so I guess that I am stuck with it for now.

I am thinking of it as the "Frankenstein" boat.  I will patch it, and get it back on the water with whatever can be had for free or really cheap.  I intend not to do anything about the accommodations below.  The boat is just to get me on the water as cheaply and easily as possible for daysails.  If I stick to this line of thought I might just get back on the water for Fall sailing.

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