These old boats have a lot of teak trim. Someone took absolutely no time to take care of ours. Mud-brown Cetol has been slathered all over the place. The one benefit of the old Cetol is it’s so thick it covers all the nicks, gouges and holes. That’s right, I found some holes that were totally invisible until I removed the Cetol.
2014 was the “Summer of Scraping” which turned into the “Fall of Forgotten Projects” and the “Winter of My Discontent” (with myself for not finishing the teak project). But it was the dawn of a new day in 2015 when I decided to complete the blasted teak project once and for all (well, not really, because there is constant maintenance with teak).
After everything was scraped free of Cetol and sanded, Rich repaired the dings, bungs, and gouges. Then we sat on our hands wondering what to use on the teak. We decided on Cetol Natural with the Gloss coat over the top. Rich applied it to the boom gallows and the companionway hatch. It looked ok but was a pain to apply because we could only do one coat a day and it felt tacky for weeks.
Star Brite Teak Oil and Sealer
Back to Googling teak treatments where I stumbled on a Pacific Seacraft blog where they described using Star Brite Teak Oil and Sealer. They had used Cetol first and it promptly went to shit in the brutal Mexico sun so they had to scrape it all off. They claimed the Star Brite Teak Oil and Sealer was easy to apply. It lasted about six months in the tropics. And best of all, it never needs to be scraped off. If we didn’t like it, we could either let it fade away over several months, or we could use a teak cleaner to remove it. No scraping? Sold!
We started to apply the teak oil and sealer using small foam brushes. Some of the small trim on the cabin top was hard to cut in so we masked off part of it. Plus a little masking in the cockpit, but that was the only masking we had to do. It took Rich and me about two hours to put the first coat on the entire boat. We thought about applying a second coat but decided to wait to see how long this stuff lasted.
At the end of the summer it was still holding up fine. I put another two coats on everything in time for the winter weather. I had to clean the teak, let it dry then apply the sealer. Start to finish took me about six hours. So far it has held up great. Water beads off nicely. The only complaint is where we step on the toe rail gets a bit grimy and when I scrub it some of the sealer comes off so I have to apply a thin coat on that area periodically.
It took about two pints and six foam brushes to do the first coat and less than a pint to do the second two coats. Application and cleanup is a breeze (I just throw the foam brushes out). I really dig this stuff.
The sea hood is a cover over the companionway hatch that’s permanently affixed to the cabin top. It’s sometimes called a turtle or sea turtle because it acts as the shell and the hatch slides in and out like a turtle’s head. Its purpose is to protect the gap between the cabin top and the hatch and prevents water from getting inside.
Our original sea hood was basically a teak box. It was a lot bigger than it needed to be and it leaked where it was affixed to the cabin top. When we decided to change the original traveler arch, we realized the sea hood would be too big to fit under the new arch. So Rich decided to fabricate a new one out of fiberglass and polyester resin.
He made a mold out of plywood, then laid in four layers of woven cloth, and three layers of random strand mat. After it cured for a day or two we popped it out of the mold. It looked nice but felt a little flimsy on the top. Rich stood on it and it would hold his weight but it sagged quite a bit. To fix this Rich epoxied and screwed some teak strips across the top and covered them with a layer 3″ and 4″ fiberglass. We also added a tapered flange at the aft edge for the future mounting of the dodger hardware.
After a little fairing with thickened epoxy and lots of sanding Rich used Interlux Epoxy Primkote, Interlux Perfection and Interlux InterGrip for the non-skid. Finally, we drilled holes through the outer flange for the bolts that would affix it to the cabin top.
Our boat came with virtually NO canvas. No dodger, nothing to protect any of the teak. It did have a hideous brown mainsail cover that was thin and falling apart and an ill-fitting interior cover for the forward hatch. The mainsail cover hung on for a couple of years, but finally disintegrated Spring 2017 so we took the mainsail completely off the boat.
Our plan was to get an Iverson Dodger, but after a lot of back and forth on the phone with them we decided it wasn’t worth the extra $1,000 they were going to charge us because we’re too far from the Bay Area (we’re about 57 miles from Alameda). We still don’t have a dodger, but it’s high on the priority list before we go. If we don’t have a dodger before we head to the Bay Area on our way south we might still be able to make the Iverson Dodger work (and save ourselves an EXTRA $1,000).
We’re still not sure if we’ll get a bimini. It would be nice to have the shade over helm, but I’m not sure how sturdy it would be. The radar tower and wind generator (we have one we haven’t installed yet) are at the back of the cockpit. So it might be too crowded for a bimini structure.
We’ll obviously have to get a new mainsail cover and are pretty positive we’re going to get a StackPack from Doyle Sails. I like the Mack Pack from Mack Sails better, but they’re in Florida and Doyle Sails is in the Bay Area.
We don’t have any covers for our winches or any other exterior canvas and I’m not sure we’re going to get any. The problem with all that canvas is you have to stow it when you want to use it.
We do plan to get covers for the two hatches, but they won’t be canvas. We’re going to try the Outland Hatch Covers. They’re made of PVC material that reflects the sun and is UV protected. Plus there are no strings or cords to obstruct the opening and closing of the hatches.
In early 2014 we bought two awnings from Shadetree that cover nearly the whole boat and have tons of headroom so we don’t have to crouch. We got one forward panel, and one for aft of the mast. It all stows in a roll smaller than a storm jib. Sectioned fiberglass “tent poles” slide into pockets that fasten over the lifelines. Velcro slits in the top of the arch allow for adjustments around furlers, back stays, topping lifts, etc. They also include a bunch of cool grippy clamps and bungee cords for further “custom adjustment”.
We’ve used the aft cover every summer and it’s great. We did use it for two winters and decided it wasn’t really made for our windy winters. The winds from the east or west caused it to chafe on the boom gallows. We haven’t really used the forward cover because we have a Breeze Bandit we hang over the forward hatch and the two won’t work together. Hopefully we’ll use it more while anchored.
Dinghy & Outboard
In 2014 we bought a used 11’3″ Achilles dinghy and 9.9 HP Honda motor off Craig’s List. The dinghy has had a few leaks we’ve patched, but overall it’s worked great. The Honda is great, so reliable. We’re going to eventually get a smaller dinghy because this one is just too big to fit on the boat. The Honda we’ll probably keep.
Sometime before we bought the boat we had already decided on the name. Our reasons on the name are here. Shortly after we bought the boat we bought the lettering from Boat US. A year or two later, we finally put the name on. Rich and I, along with the buffer, various bonnets and buffing compounds, climbed in the dinghy and went to work trying to get the hull prepped. We started with an aggressive rubbing compound and a wool bonnet in a 4’x4′ area where the name was to go. After the rubbing compound we used a polish and a different wool bonnet.
After both sides were nice and shiny we applied the stickers. The directions looked simple – “Peel off backing paper, align to desired location, stick in place and pull off the top paper liner.” Where we went wrong, we think, was in ordering them a year or more before we used them. The backing paper wouldn’t come off. We ended up having to pick the edges with a knife then slowly pull the backing paper off. There was a lot of frustration with air bubbles, a little torn vinyl, and lots of squeegee-ing. After about two hours we had the name and hailing port safely adhered to both sides of the hull.