Doing Small Winter Projects
Winters in Maryland are dreary. The leaves completely fall off the trees around Thanksgiving as the nights begin to get cold. While there are some nice days every now and then, overcast skies, rain, slushy snow, and early morning fog are typical this time of year. We seldom get enough snow to make it interesting. Freezing rain is forecast for this weekend--this always makes driving a challenge. In the mornings, there is a thin layer of ice on the creeks just off of the Chesapeake. By March 1, the weather generally improves and the days are longer and warmer. Only 2-1/2 more months!
The new fuel tank is not due to arrive until December 16 or 17--a little over a week away from now. The old tank has not been removed from the boat yet but probably will be out by the time the new tank arrives, if everything goes according to plan. I met with the guy at the boatyard (Glenn) who will be doing the fuel tank replacement and we poked a screw driver in the limber hole just forward of the fuel tank and diesel fuel dripped out--so, it confirmed that the tank does, in fact, have a hole in the bottom. The yellow-colored closed cell foam under the tank was saturated with salt water and some diesel fuel. It is always good to know that the expensive project that is about to be started is really needed!
The tank will not be able to be removed thru the cockpit locker as I thought--it must be removed through the area where the water heater is located and into the cabin and then removed thru the companionway. We discussed a couple different ideas (including removing the engine) and finally settled on cutting away the plywood bulkhead just forward of the tank and then replacing it once the new tank is on place--this will save some disassembly above the tank. We won't know for sure if this idea will work until the old tank is out.
Another matter we discussed was the presence of a sludge in various areas between the engine and the bilge--it does not smell like diesel fuel but I can't figure out where it comes from. It DOES have an oily component.
|Refinishing the cockpit table at home over the winter|
In my home workshop, I have been refinishing the cockpit table that we purchased used at Bacon's--it was made by Edson. Several weeks ago during a short period of warm weather, I stripped off the old oil finish using West Marine's two-part teak cleaner. The first part bleaches the teak and then turns a dark oily color and the second part neutralizes the first part restoring the teak to its beautiful natural color. After several days of drying time, I have been applying coats of EPIPHANES high-gloss clear varnish, sanding between each coat. I generally apply one coat each day (to either the top or the bottom) and then allow the varnish to dry overnight. It is a long process but in the end it will look great! Maggie will be making a fabric cover for the table. I expect that the cockpit table will be completely finished around the end of December.
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