“Ship shape and Bristol fashion”

“Ship shape and Bristol fashion”

Many have debated the origin of this expression- I don’t really care. I’m not usually so callous with language. In fact I’m rather a huge fan of how things are said and what meaning they carry. But I feel like with any art, what is observed from one person to the next can be different.

All I know is that I’m a fan of this expression for describing a boat, ship, or craft that has had lots of care put into its appearance and functionality.

I have acquired a 16’ sloop. Wooden hull with fiberglass sheathing, gaff rigged, with lovely lines. She is sound and just needs cosmetic work: sanding, painting, and a small amount of patching up fiberglass on her port rub rail.

My goal is clear to me- restore her, get her into the water and explore the lake. Maybe even coastal sailing after I have the feel of her and confidence to match.

This work would not be at all daunting to most, but I’ve never done it before. I know how to weld, and as far as carpentry I have attempted the obligatory spice rack as well as a rickety trestle table. However my trestle table and spice rack never had to worry about if they could float or not. My spice rack never had rigging or complicated lines to care for. My Trestle table never had a sail.

My deadline:

Late summer/early fall for initial refit completion and launch. To be certain- she is, as many are, a work in progress and I can see this work continuing on longer than this deadline.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

At the end of the day

So it's been a full day of it. 80 degrees out and I'm crawling around inside a boat wearing a respirator and work clothes with my trusty cup of bleach in hand to take some mold out. After a few minutes of work I had to take a break and drink about 3 gallons of water. I do have to say it worked better than I hoped (as you can see from the photo).
I will also post a before and after shot of the deck clean up to get a better idea of how well my bleach mix worked.
Since the cabin only had surface mold it actually didn't take too long to clean up... thankfully.
The rest of my time in the hot sun was spent sanding and scraping. A big pile of paint chips and lots of dust revealed a far cleaner deck than what was there before.
As a side note, while I was working I felt like I was being watched. I looked up to see a man (probably in his 20's) standing there. Shirtless, wearing a backpack, with ball cap and shades. I stopped sanding and fully prepared myself for him to offer me some kind of literature- possibly about how I can find inner peace by also walking about shirtless with a backpack. Not really my scene as I know I would not appreciate a fat pale man showing up on my doorstep man boobs proudly displayed for all to see.
Much to my surprise this young man just asked for a drink of water. He obviously had been walking in the heat for some time and well far be it from me to turn him down... however I told him to stay put in the driveway and you can bet that I didn't turn my back at any time.
He drank his water, thanked me, handed me back the glass, and began walking down my driveway towards the road. Just about half way down the drive he stopped, turned around, and asked me if I wanted a doughnut. I just chuckled patted my belly and said, "thanks, but I've got this thing to work off". He smiled and went on his way.
Ahhh people are fun aren't they?
All the same it was a nice break from the heat and the work.
Scraping paint of the boat sort of reminded me of picking skin off a sun burn- I know it's nasty, but at one point a large peal of paint came off and I just couldn't resist the comparison.
I hated putting the tarps back on her, but there could be some storms tonight and as much as I want her to breathe, I don't want her to get wet in her current state.
More tomorrow I'm sure.
Good night.

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