Boat Maintenance Day


Ahhh, the feeling of sore muscles and a stiff neck from a day of boat maintenance. That must mean that boating season is right around the corner. Since Moonrise is for sale, we are trying to keep her looking extra spiffy, and catch up on a few minor repairs we’ve been meaning to do. What is it about boats and houses that make people, like us, put off the small things until it’s time to sell? It’s not like we wouldn’t enjoy the benefits of having things like nice looking exterior teak.

So we had a list of things to accomplish, and if it weren’t for the fact that it is so gosh darn cold, we probably would have put them off and gone sailing. Perfect wind today, and not raining. But we decided to be responsible instead. We stayed tied to the dock. I just hate when that happens.

While Mike worked on his stuff inside the cabin, I was busy up top sanding the teak handholds, trim, and rails that hold the companionway hatch in place. Let me show you my favorite tool. If you own a boat and you don’t have one of these, you are missing out.

Handy electric multi tool.

This tool is similar to this one, sold by Fisheries Supply for over $200. We got ours at Harbor Freight for about 40$ and it’s been great. We used it to cut away the heavy fiberglass on the sole of the cabin when we took out the ungainly table, and it makes short work of a sanding job like I had today. Well, maybe not exactly ‘short’, but certainly short-er! I figure if we burn it out, we can buy almost three of them for the cost of the Fein one. No pun intended.

So I got the teak sanded, but I cannot put any kind of a finish on it in this cold, wet weather. Still, it looks a heck of a lot better without the flaking Cetol. Frankly I hate Cetol and cannot understand why it’s the finish of choice for so many sailors. I prefer oiled teak, or raw teak because I do not enjoy having to sand off layers of old finish when it starts to flake. I’m leaving the teak raw until it warms up, then I’m going to oil it.

And what was Mike working on? First, he was hoping to replace the curved teak piece on the bulkhead. I bought some pieces that might work when I was up at Fisheries Supply. Alas, they were all the wrong size, just enough off that it would have looked wierd. We stared at it together for awhile, quietly, studiously, but in the end Mike made measurements and we’ll try to find something that won’t have to be retrofitted.

He's only looking happy for the camera. There's nothing happy about having to go searching for another piece of wood.

You might be curious how that little piece of wood came off. That’s what happens when one is standing in the companionway and the boat hits a wave. You fall backward and your hind end hits that little curve of wood, breaking the wood off, and leaving a wonderfully colorful bruise on said rear. Apparently it was not attached correctly in the first place.

Mike did a little engine maintenance as well. He cleaned the raw water strainer and although he explained to me all the other things he did, all I remember is “anode”, something something, “pump”, etc.  My mind is like a steel sieve when he begins to talk engine talk.





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