Monday, July 30, 2012

One weekend every year

Five rolls of tape.

1 quart of varnish.

Three days - that's less than 1% of the year - doesn't seem like a lot.  That's what it takes to keep the exterior teak on Eolian gleaming.  It's not so much, is it?  Modern boats have completely eliminated the task by eliminating exterior teak altogether (and interior teak, for that matter).

It doesn't seem like a big committment, except that those three days have to come in summertime conditions, and that they require 100% dedication to the task, and the boat is a complete disaster area until the task is completed.  As I sit typing this evening, my arms have barely the strength to keep at the keyboard.  But Alleluia, it is done.

Here's the drill:
  • Day one:
    • Tape off the hand rails, the eyebrow, and the caprail.  This involves a lot of wedging of bodies into narrow side deck spaces, on top of non-skid that threatens to non-skid off your skin.  The starboard side of the boat has to be done from the dinghy - especially tiring because of the d#@! laws of physics require every action to have a reaction.  Push against the boat to secure the tape and the dinghy (and you!) scoot away.
    • Sand everything with 150 grit sandpaper.  I think that this is the most exhausting part of the whole job.
    • Wipe everything down to get the sanding dust off.
    • Put on a coat of varnish
    •  Go back and clean up any drips
  • Day two:
    • Put on a coat of varnish.  Ditto on body wedging and skin removal.
    • Go back and clean up any drips
  • Day three:
    • Put on a coat of varnish.  Ditto on body wedging and skin removal.
    •  Go back and clean up any drips
    • Wait several hours
    • Pull the tape.  Ditto on body wedging and skin removal.  Ditto on physics lesson.
It is a dedicated weekend.  If you had anything else planned, you'll be too tired to do it after the day's varnishing tasks are done.


But still, it is less than 1% of the year (albeit more like 5% of the best part of the year).  And you get to make this really neat ball of blue tape at the end. 

And the teak looks nice for another year.

    After putting this up, I noticed that I had written almost the same post earlier, in 2010.  Except that then I claimed that the work took 4 days.  I guess we're getting more efficient.  Yeah, that's it.
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    4 comments:

    middlebaysailing said...

    You're too modest to say "and my teak looks stunning" but it really is. Your teak is beautiful!

    Rick

    Nicole said...

    Looks great! You're so right about the need to make this part of the boat maintenance routine. It's a chore, but it's worth it to see the shiny, beautiful results. I know the task well; in fact, I just added 6 fresh coats to Bella Star last week! Gotta love teak. :)
    -Nicole
    s/v Bella Star

    bob said...

    Rick -

    *blush*

    bob said...

    Nicole -

    Wow - 6 coats sounds like you started from bare wood. And I'll bet it takes you more than one weekend a year to keep ahead of the sun damage down there in the tropics!

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