In the Spring of 2014 we started on the removal of the leaking teak decks over the V-berth and side decks. We popped out all the teak plugs, removed all the screws, and pried up each plank. The layer of black adhesive was scraped off and the fiberglass underneath sanded smooth. The screw holes were drilled out to verify the condition of the “balsa” core (ranging from soaking wet to bone dry), then filled temporarily with a thickened mix of epoxy to strengthen the outer fiberglass skin and keep any additional rain water out.
During the summer of 2015 we cut through the top skin of the deck at the forepeak. We already knew the core was wet so we replaced it with new balsa. Then we cut the side decks open to about the forward shroud. Those were wet too, but not as bad. We completely replaced the port side; we jigsaw-puzzled in the new pieces on the starboard side because the old pieces were not coming out easily. After those areas were done, we put the original skin back, Rich ground a bevel on each edge, and it was stitched the together with fiberglass tape and epoxy.
It was kind of a nightmare job so we decided that’s enough of that and we’re going to leave the remaining side decks as they are. Overall it’s a pretty small area so it shouldn’t be too big of a problem. I doubt we’ll finish figerglassing and fairing the decks this year, but they’re water-tight for now.
The non-skid and paint on the cabin top (also called the coachroof) was abominable when we bought Ramble On. I mean, really bad. Every time we would hose off the boat, a white layer of flaking paint would rain down on the dock and neighboring boats. I scraped the flaking top layer off Spring 2015. Underneath were 2-3 layers of various shades of tan paint and non-skid that appeared to be fairly well adhered to the surface. We were originally going to use Brightside and Kiwigrip for the entire boat like we did in the cockpit, but we’re not happy with the results so we decided to change tactics.
Rich did a chemical test on the remaining layers of paint, and it appears one of the layers is a one-part paint. We switched to using a two-part paint (Interlux Perfection) which cannot be used over a one-part. So we had to strip off more layers of paint and non-skid. We tried using a heat gun and scraper, but for me it was a non-starter. It took me over an hour to do about a one square foot section. We decided to use a chemical stripper called TotalStrip by TotalBoat from Jamestown Distributors. It worked great and was not that messy. We’re still working on this project and are hoping to get at least a coat of primer on before winter. We’ll update as we go.
We did get a coat of Interlux Primekote on the cabin top before winter last year. Over the past couple of weeks Rich has been prepping the cabin top for paint and non-skid. We used Interlux Perfection for the shiny parts that won’t get the non-skid and gray Interlux Intergrip for the non-skid areas (the same as we used on the Sea Hood).
As we removed the teak from the cockpit we found rotten teak and mahogany and a few areas where water was leaking into the boat. We cut off the tops of the cockpit combings to remove the rotten wood, built new, bigger scuppers, repaired all the leaks, then built new cockpit combings, and finally added a shitload of epoxy to everything. We painted the areas that didn’t get non-skid with Interlux Brightsides then masked it off and painted it with Kiwi Grip. At first we thought it was great. But it hasn’t held up well at all. The Brightsides paint has several chips and scratches that won’t come out. The Kiwi Grip has several stains (especially under the barbecue) that we can’t get out and on several areas it looks like there was an air bubble under the peak on the Kiwi Grip; when the bubble popped it left a void which is now filled with dirt that won’t come out.
I’m glad we did just the cockpit before we determined we didn’t like this combination. We’re going to use a two-part paint and a different non-skid from now on, but we’re going to leave the cockpit as is. It’ still functional, just not as pretty as we would like.
We finally installed the teak cockpit coaming caps, which means we can now install the jib winches, which means we are that much closer to being able to take this girl out for a spin.