“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.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oh Holly Crap!

so I'm long over due a post as well as an apology to my two, maybe three readers, but I have found a few moments here and there to work on the boat. I figured you probably didn't want to read through posts that all basically said "too busy/too much work to do before I can work on the boat- silly lawn needing to be trimmed, house work to do" etc etc etc.

Well I will make up for all of that inaction with a dramatic post. So I'm scraping loose paint off and just happened to put my hand on the starboard rub rail- it felt spongy... not a good sign. So I decided to risk some exploratory surgery and made a small cut in the fiberglass (not much of a risk since the glass on the larboard side (sorry port) needed patching anyway).

Just as I neatly removed a one inch by one inch square- a bit of crumbling wood fell out and hit the ground. A bad sign to say the least.

So I had to widen my exploration. I started removing bit by bit until I met with solid stable wood. Three feet of rub rail had turned into mush and dust.

This called for speedy action... to the marine supply store I flew.

A gentleman there... I will call Schmidty (all names changed to protect the innocent and all), brilliant and knowledgeable helped me select some rot kill compound and a small container of fairing/filler compound (lots of compounds going on here).

The two photos I've included are before and afters- one of the rot laid bare before the world and the other with the rot kill on it.

My next steps- reapply the rot kill for good measure, use the fairing compound to build up the surface evenly, then replace the rub rail with some ash round stock.

Thankfully I have many clamps and week off coming up soon- you will be sure I'll be working on the boat.

I don't foresee this putting my goal of having her in the water for a run by early fall, but I must certainly focus on the work to meet that goal.

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