Friday, 29 April 2011

Spring Maintenance

Its that time of year again. The weather is warm and strong breezes are blowing. Iris is sitting waiting for launch in mid May once the marina is opened again.

We have received our slip assignment for 2011 - we will be on the big-boat dock this year which means we will have hydro at our slip. I don't know who our neighbours will be. Things look good. I like being the little boat on the big boat dock. It means we get all the amenities without the hassles. Much better than being the biggest boat on the little boat dock where we stick out and look awkward - like a teen who doesn't fit their outfit quite right.

Since the weather has improved, I have started down this year's list of projects. The top of the list right now include refinishing the interior teak and making the 12 volt electric system run a little closer to what Catalina intended when Iris was built.

The 12 volt system is mostly running now, but I will defer comment until I get the last of the bugs ironed out. The teak is ongoing.

For the interior teak I have elected to go the spar varnish route. In the past, Iris' teak was maintained through an annual (bi-annual?) treatment of teak oil. I found a recipe online to lift the oil using TSP, vinegar, and warm water in a vigorous wipe down. This seems to work. my rags are stained with oil and dirt built up over the years, and after being wiped down the teak looks dry.

After the oil is lifted, each piece is left to dry for a day or two, then sanded with 120 grit sandpaper and wiped again to remove the dust. A base coat of spar varnish is applied, slightly thinned with varsol, and again the piece is left to dry overnight.

Sanding and varnishing is repeated until a high gloss is reached - usually 3 to 5 coats of varnish, then the woodwork is replaced and another piece or two comes in the house so the process can be repeated. Large areas will get a satin finish as opposed to the gloss finish I am going for on the trim pieces.

Those pieces I have completed so far look really good, and the return on investment is great. for 30 minutes of effort each night, this is well worth it. I begin to wonder why I didn't do this earlier.

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