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
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Brightwork is finiky work. As an offshore sailor who is pretty rough and tumble, I consider my varnish protection first, perfection second. As a wooden boat owner I am aware not only of the movement of the wood on the boat but also the area’s that take the abuse. Therefor I do things like coat all rounds and surfaces that lay flat to the sun several times. A typical cabinside will get two or three coats on the waterways and eyebrows- to one coat on the horizontal grained cabin wood. Some places will get three cost while others will get one.
Here are a few tricks I have learned over the years that make it a but easier.
- Clean your surface ( after Sanding ) 3 times. Once with a vacuum, then with a rag with spirits on it and lastly with a fresh tack rag.
I use to tell the people that worked with me doing brightwork in the tropics ” it is all about cleaning” and i would tell my clients “your paying for more then a seasonal coat. Your also getting a complete wash down to your openings including screens, tiles and walls. ”
- Wait until the pollen has passed and there is no wind
Everyone is in a rush to get evrything knocked off there list for boat season. It pays to do your brightwork on the perfect day with no wind, early in the morning but not so early that dew is around.
- Always buy and use a new brush.
I now charge one new brush to each job for the last coat. After someone has spent good money on sanding and cleaning they should not have a problem paying 12-18 bucks extra for a new brush, with no dust.
The colors of natural dyes can not be beat. As a novice dyer of wool and cotton, I am astounded by the color combinations that the Indian and Tibetans can achieve. My brothers knowledge of color and old recipes have created his to die for collection of rugs. Sure its in the design but the craftsmanship and quality have to be there also. You will not see that in many manufactures of rugs today. His carpets truly have SOUL. visit www.carinilang.com for the real story.
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
to buy hand blocked pajama’s check out World’s End ny
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