How ’bout that feeling you get when you work on something for months and are finally rewarded with success?
I have to say, I’m pretty stoked to be on the downhill run when it comes to wrapping up this coaming project. Oh sure, I still need to purchase, cut, install, and varnish the teak caps. Then I can mount the winches and cleats. And finally, I can relocate the shore power inlet to the outside of the new coaming and get that damn cord [read: trip hazard] out of the cockpit. But at least for now she’s pretty much dry and watertight.
I built the coaming extensions a little large just to be safe, so it took a bit of grinding and carving to get them to fit correctly. Most of that dusty mess took place down at my workshop, but I still had to make a pretty good mess inside the cockpit as well. Jeni helped suck up most of the dust by holding the vacuum nozzle while I went at it with the angle grinder, but it was still a pretty huge mess to clean up when we finished.
I scored some excellent mahogany planks from a buddy of mine a couple months ago. He had an old wooden powerboat sitting in his driveway, and after he sold the engines he cut up the rest of the boat with a Sawzall and salvaged most of the planking. One by twelve straight-grained old-growth Philippine mahogany in various lengths. After a little cleaning up with a heat gun and putty knife and some aggressive sanding with the grinder, the wood turned out absolutely beautiful. This is some serious furniture grade lumber. Seems a shame to bury them inside the new coamings for structural blocking, but I needed wood for the insides and this is what I had available. Plus, it was free.
The extensions are now securely attached to the boat with thickened epoxy, and the curved teak end caps that I saved actually fit right back in their old spots. I still need to do the fiberglass tape along all the seams that join the new with the old. Then there’s a whole lot of filling, sanding, and fairing to smooth out the joints, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project.