Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Zen and relentless pounding

It is morning in the marina and I can actually hear the bristles of my brush as they flow across the toe rail, leaving a coat of shiny in their wake. Day two of a mid-week sojourn means the clear coat is going on. Four more hours, maybe five, and the exterior teak will be done. There is no way to hurry the process. Wipe three sections with thinner, block sand where necessary, coat two sections with deliberate care, slide down the deck taking tool bucket, brush and paint can along, wipe three sections. Repeat from bow to stern on the starboard side, from stern to bow on the port side; 42 feet and a little more each way. Same as yesterday.

There are few people in the marina at mid-week. Those who are around are mostly working just as hard on their own projects. Friend Donna has borrowed our little pressure washer to start the cleanup on her just-raised-off-the-bottom C&C. She is in a much better mood than I would be if our roles were reversed. Two mechanics are sweating over the C&C's little engine, flushing out the bad to bring it back to life. Friend Schmidty is struggling with a flat tire on the lift. Repeated blows with a sledge hammer evidence the fact that it has been many decades and uncounted dunkings since the the axle was last removed. Schmidty will eventually prevail, but the axle hangs on for nearly 6 hours before finally giving way. The lift will be back in service before next day's noon.

Bright work is the Zen of boat maintenance but also on my list this mid-week is a completely blocked sink drain. Experience suggests it will be the opposite of Zen, and I expect a frustrating repair on a hacked together, spooged-up, probably factory installed bit of ugly awaits. I am not disappointed. Said drain turns out to be a 60 inch length of engine exhaust hose clamped to pipe thread fitting on the through-hull end and squished-clamped onto the sink PVC at the other. The only way to get it out of the boat is to cut it in three pieces, side cutters brought into play to chop through the wire reinforcing. It turns out the cloth inside, designed to withstand hot exhaust gases not soak in sink scum, had rotted into sink plugging, scuzz collecting little bits. Thank you Mr. Tartan - it is a good thing your boats sail better than they work.

Clean cross section cut of the clog

What was dug out.
There were multiple hunks of fabric hose lining.

Also on the list was the window repair. Even as I type the scarfed in bit of trim is clamped in place, mondo-sticky stuff hardening into a perminate bond. With a little luck and careful choice of stain color, the cabin should be shed of duct tape by weekend's end.

I'm back in the city now with work work rather than boat work the focus of the rest of the week. But it was a good couple of days. Kintala feels more and more like a boat that is getting done rather than a project that has no end. Anything that is a machine will always need maintenance, but much like the axle on the lift, the big items are slowly giving way under relentless pounding. It is reported that a wise man once said those who win are not always the fastest or the strongest or the brightest, just the ones not smart enough to quit. I'm guessing I qualify.

(Of course another wise man once said the race doesn't always go to the swift, or the fight to the strong, but that is the way to bet! Still, I'm feeling like Kintala is coming my way, finally.)


S/V Veranda said...

We feel your pain. Our galley sink "drain" is 11 feet long and virtually horizontal....

TJ said...

Ouch...glad I'm not changing that one! This one is bad enough. I have it working but the through-hull end will need redone. Right now its just a soft-rubber step-down fitting. Okay for the lake so long as we keep the through-hull closed when its not in use. But I need to come up with some kind of hard fitting to barb for under the waterline. Some things on boats make me think of having quick disconnects on airplane wings ... just a really bad idea.