Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Waxed, Repacked Rudder

Clean, Wax, Repack Rudder, 3/28/2009

Washed and waxed the hull (below the rubrail) over the weekend. Black streaks from rain run-off continue to plague me. A simple wash and wax didn't really do a very good job of removing the streaks. I'm not really keen on doing another cleaner/restorer pass, so this will have to do for this season. In the future, I think I'll try a more aggressive cleaner in these areas. Another guy in the yard used softscrub to remove the streaks, and it looked good. I'm sure it removes wax, but I'd follow with wax again anyway. I didn't bother washing and waxing the transom at this point, since I didn't want to get the unfinished swim platform wet.

I also repacked the rudder stuffing box, again, since it's still leaking. I was new at that chore last time, so maybe I messed it up. Or maybe the bearing needs replacing... but thought I'd give the repacking another try first.

Platform Scrubbed Clean

Scrubbed Swim Platform, 3/16/2009

We plan to be away over the weekend, so I wanted to finish cleaning the swim platform before then, so it would have nearly two weeks to completely dry before we start coating it with Cetol.

I mixed up TSP and bleach in a bucket with water (gloves are a must), and thoroughly scrubbed the platform: top, bottom, sides, and in the slats. I used a scrubby pad with a little abrasiveness and really worked in the cleanser, thoroughly rinsed, and recovered with our winter cover. It looked really good -- very clean, mildew free. I'm optimistic it will hold up better.

Sanded Swim Platform (Again)

Sanded Swim Platform, March 2009

One of the more difficult, labor intensive jobs we've tackled was refinishing the swim platform. Sanding it to bare wood was very difficult work, mainly because of the slats. Michele put a lot of effort into this last year, so we were especially sad to see the finish failing after such a short time. Within months, we noticed black spots spreading throughout the finish. The spots are mildew, growing beneath the Cetol. In addition, the Cetol was peeling off in various places.

My guess is it failed for two reasons: 1) we didn't adequately prep the wood, and 2) we didn't apply enough Cetol. Ducks using our platform as their toilet probably doesn't help, either!

I took two weekends in early March and began the process again. I sanded the entire top surface to bare wood, and did a light sanding over the rest of it (inside the slats, and the underside). I plan to do a more serious cleaning of the top surface, and let it thoroughly dry before starting again with Cetol.