My First Night at Sea

October 28, 2008

…well not exactly at sea (docked at Mariner’s Bay) but the boat was in the ocean and I grabbed a solid 6 hours of zzzz’s.  It was the first night I’ve spent on my new (old) boat and it was fantastic.  A sleeping bag on plywood beats anything that crap Westin has to offer

I replaced the “bed” (see new plywood under the sleeping bag) by tracing the old pieces on new 4×8 sheets of 3/4″ plywood and using an orbital jig saw to make the cuts ($40 at Home Depot).  Also notice the “white”… kind of… walls.  For that project:

I sanded and cleaned the area to be painted

Filled the holes with stainable (therefore paintable) wood filler, painted (using an exterior, water based all-in-one paint/primer) and then filled some more (picture above).

Painting was easiest with a roller + sponge brush.  I used the sponge to get corners and small areas and then rolled over everything for a clean look.

Filling was even easier, I just grabbed a $0.78 plastic putty knife and went to town – pushed filler into the hole, scraped away most of the excess, waited 30 minutes for filler to harden, and sanded for a smooth finish.

Other points of interest:

The project was running a little behind schedule so I employed some child labor

I found this while tearing out the desk (no it’s not mine)

But this is what it’s all about…

My Boat Stage 1: Demolition

October 8, 2008

After the previous owner cleared out, here’s what I was left with.  Time to get to work…



The urine yellow foam mattress looked less than desirable so I cut it into manageable pieces with a razor blade and threw it away.  After that I started looking at the ugly gray felt and realized it was only attached to the hull by industrial staples.  Naturally I pulled them out…



… to reveal black paint.  No problem, I figured I could sand it off or paint over it – either option would be better than that hideous felt.  Next I looked at the wood the mattress had been sitting on.  It was in fine shape but plywood is pretty cheap and I want a fresh, clean place to sleep so I decided that should go too.

If you look closely at the picture you can see the “bed” is split down the middle into two pieces of wood.  The left side was only secured by two screws and came up easily.  The right side was secured by 350,789 enormous screws that conveniently were old enough to strip quite easily (meaning they were impossible to unscrew).  I yelled, screamed, pummeled small children for a few hours, and finally summoned up enough strength to rip the piece of wood through the screws with brute force and a screwdriver.


With the bed demon conquered, I tried my hand at sanding off the black paint.  My goal was to take all the paint off, get down to the original wood and stain it to match the rest of the boat.



As you can see that didn’t work out so well.  The paint was thicker than a linebacker’s neck and wasn’t going anywhere any time soon.  No problem, I sanded it the best I could, gave it a good wipe down and vacuum and now it’s ready to paint.

While I was working on the bed I was also splitting time with the desk and partition between the state room (downstairs, forward bedding area) and galley (upstairs, rear kitchen area).  Regrettably I don’t have a picture of what the partition looked like before but these should give you some idea

see edge of partition on right

see edge of partition on right

Desk on left, butts up to edge of partition

Desk on left, butts up to edge of partition

What these pictures don’t show is a dilapidated air conditioning unit and a car stereo deck with a cassette player – yes, a cassette player – that were poorly mounted into the middle of the partition.

So I got to thinking. (1) I’ve had a desk in my bedroom for as long as I can remember and have never used it. (2) I don’t want to keep the AC unit or the stereo and they’re taking up a lot of room that could be put to a much better use… maybe like supporting a 48″ plasma HD TV :). With that in mind the only reasonable solution then was to (yes, all together now) RIP – IT – OUT!

Large hole where AC unit was, desk still intact

Large hole where AC unit was, desk still intact

No more desk.  Nice, clean partition after removing 100ft of wire

No more desk. Nice, clean partition after removing 100ft of wire

The area formerly known as desk.  The red cables on the floor power the winch for the anchor (what pulls the anchor up)

The area formerly known as desk. The red cables on the floor power the winch for the anchor (what pulls the anchor up)

Galley side of the partition, hole was for the excommunicated AC unit

Galley side of the partition, hole was to vent the excommunicated AC unit

Now it’s all set to be rewired (cue the electrician), painted, and put back together.  Uhhh about that….

long face after a long day

long face after a long day

My 1964 Jeffries

September 22, 2008

I generally don’t write about my personal life here but in this case I’m making an exception.

Last week I bought a 35′ 1964 Jeffries (pictured below) and starting October 23 the boat will be my primary residence.  There isn’t much information available online about the process of buying and reconditioning boats so I’m going to post my experiences here; possibly to be used as reference by anyone trying to do the same in the future, but more realistically to serve as comedic relief for my friends and family…