Lots of wooden boat owners can not afford the major refit option here in New York. Many of us realize that plugging away in Martha Stewart style is the way to go. Some of us keep lists with structure being the priority. Not to many, plunk money in the cushions and varnish while ignoring bleeding fasteners, broken ribs and cheesy looking planks. Every wooden boat owner has a plan and we often stick to it.
Urbanboatworks ( thats us Julien & dana) is honored and pleased to keep these New York Wooden boats alive & sailing. Check us out at www.urbanboatworks.com if your in need of help and live in New York or CT.
Heavy Duty Utility Canvas French Sailing- Fisherman’s Smocks
Coming soon to WWW.WORLDSENDNY.COM
As owner’s of a wooden boat, Julien & I understand varnish and the stable surface that needs to exist below the varnish. We address the under lying cause of varnish failure. ( caulk seam gone bad, bad bung, leaking port lights, not enough build up) When perfection is not required, we know how to lay on for protection. Prepping and painting wooden hulls – cold molded, plank on frame or strip construction is our pleasure. We work with Awlgrip, Kirby Paints and Fine Paints of Europe. Varnish is always Epifanes.
Late fall is always a time for me to work on my own boat. The build up on TIGER MARU was thick. It had been 8 years since the last strip. I use an inferred heater to strip large surfaces. The build up was thick but it only took a half hour to strip the cabin sides. Next I cabinet scraper the wood back to a uniform red color. If not done properly yellow oxidized wood will remain. The scraper ( when sharp) levels the wood out to an even plane. When the sun hits the varnish the rays will bounce off. If the surface is not fair then the rays will absorb into the wood. After the scraping I check to make sure everything is fair. You can run your hand over the surface with your eyes closed. I promise you will feel divits, high and low spots. Scrape away until it feels even. Then I sand with 150-180 to make sure all marks are out. Next comes the varnish which is played on across the grain and thinned for the first 3 coats. This ensures all the pores are filled. Full strength varnish is played on and sanded back with 320 sand paper until the build up looks right. Round eyebrows and the top of coamings gets more coats and is sanded back with a 400 grit sponge.
although our 5o foot wooden mast is springy and 500 pounds, that doesn’t stop my dear darling from pulling it from a floating dock in the wake infested Hudson River with a 30 foot derrick made of repurposed 2 by 8’s.
here are the steps:
spend 5 hours making a wooden frame derrick from 2 by 8’s. cross bracing made from 2 by 6’s.
next bring to the site and bolt together the two half’s.
Then stand it up with the halyards of the mast. guy lines going back- tied and fastened to the dock. we borrowed a power winch for the lifting operation. We mounted the winch on the bottom cross brace and used a lift line for the mast which the winch cable was tied to. The cable was not long enough to go thru the block and back down. When we were ready with the set up we then unpinned all the rigging. Jay worked the winch while we guided the mast.
It was nerve wracking to say the least- as our wooden mast is very slinky. Motor boat wakes didn’t not help.
at one point when the mast was nearly out of the deck we had some troubles. The dock was under water and the derrick was lifting off the dock. Julien and I were so hyper focused that we did not notice the halyard was still attacked to the pulpit. Thank god Etna was around and saw the trouble.
Out and down the mast came.
It was a really good experience but i begged julien to find a crane to put the newly varnish mast back. And that he did. Steve with a crane on a barge came to the rescue. It was slick as snot and I did not have to worry about people knocking there teeth out or losing a months pay due to injury. After all Julien is batting about a 600 as he has dropped it twice and broken it once under sail.
IF YOU ARE INNEED OF PROPER MAST REMOVAL, WOOD ROT ,REPAIR & VARNISH HEAD TO WWW.URBANBOATWORKS.COM
It’s not every day that some one comes along and wants a new cockpit. The owner of this almost 100 year old S Boat ALLEGRO did.
Julien loves to builds cockpits. He says ” i have always enjoyed rebuilding cockpits. Normally I am trying to keep boats afloat. Cockpits are the fluff. You have to get it right. It needs to fit. Basically that’s were you spend all your time.”
If you are in the New York area and have a wooden boat contact us thru our website at www.urbanboatworks.com
For the past three years I have been collecting old wooden boat photographs. I scour ebay and etsy, as well as spend hours thumbing thru boxes at junk and antique stores . Most often there is no indication of where or what vessel it is. Sometimes i can find a sail number or something scribbled on the back.
They are all snap shots. Taken by everyday people. They all tell a story. Why am I obsessed with these little tiny photographs of people and places and boats that I do not know?
Bait Shacks litter the Maine Islands. Some have been converted into seriously small homes or weekend getaways. My friends on Little Cranberry Island converted their bait shack years ago. Bait Shacks are long shacks on piers with a huge hole in the floor. Live bait was pulled out when needed. The Avery’s bait shack now houses one composting toilet, one bedroom and bed loft, a kitchen and living room with a back workshop office.
I have been jazzing everything up in my life with manila line for years. Partly because I own a boat and always have it around and partly because its cheap and make’s a great make do material. If and when I get around to finding the PROPER ( boring) replacement I do not feel bad, nor have I lost much money or time. When In my twenty’s, on my first boat, I would make marvelous items out of old line and manila. I used Hervey Garrett Smith’s book The Marlinspike Sailor. Much better then Ashleys book of knots.(way to complicated for my tropic drenched brain)