Thursday, April 29, 2010

Preparation and Progress

Mr WK was done with his solid two weeks of working nights on Monday. And we're both back on our normal-for-us schedule. Now we can both work on Spray although this week we haven't done anything other than take the rudder off and bring it home.

Despite all the work I've done on Spray lately, I am getting in some knitting, mostly on the third Dr Who Scarf—the acrylic one. The knitting is almost 40% complete. I've knit 384 row out of 1,042. If you're in the Dr Who Scarf know, starting from the end with the wider purple stripe, I'm on the first wide tan stripe after the wide green stripe.

I'm also weaving in the ends as I go so the progress is a little slower. With this scarf I'm usually parked in front of the TV. When I'm knitting something this mindless I can watch the TV more than I need to watch the knitting. However, when a commercial airs, I pick up the tapestry needle and weave in an end. Every time I start a new stripe color I have an end and every time I end a stripe color I have an end; so every stripe color as two ends to weave in. I can weave in the ends more quickly than I change stripe colors so when I'm caught up in the acrylic scarf I pick up the wool Dr Who Scarf and start on those ends.

Since I began doing this about two weeks ago, I'm almost done weaving in the ends on the second scarf. I've only got about four more to do. Then I'll wait for a sunny, breezy day to wash and lightly block it. The next step will be to make and attach 19 tassels on each end.

Prior to this week work on Spray was progressing nicely. I'd been writing up my progress each time and taking photos and videos so Mr WK can feel like he's there. As with any major project there are always surprises. The standing water in the cockpit was only the first.

Those black dots are lichens growing in the non-skid on the sliding hatch cover.

For a couple of years we've seen a gradual increase in the lichens on the non-skid on the deck. And last year we didn't do anything to it and the lichens grew. I tried several things scrubbing with a stiff brush, rinsing well between different chemicals; Soft Scrub, then Simple Green, a spray Oxyclean product, CLR and even a little chlorine bleach.

Lichen and moss kill in progress

NOTHING got rid of them completely.

Better but still there

By the time the experiment was complete the lichens and moss were greatly reduced but still there. Hmmm. What was left looked like gray and black freckles.

What to do? What to do? While I was pondering my next move, I idly dug around in a lichen-filled non-skid groove with my fingernail and the lichen reside was gone. I tried another.with the same result Then a couple more. Gone and Clean. I clambered down off the boat and fetched a 2mm / US 0 bamboo dpn (Double Pointed knitting Needle). What? Doesn't everyone carry spare sock needles with them?

Note how clean the non-skid looks around the end of the jenny track.

I used the point to dig out several more grooves in the non-skid. Success! And it didn't blunt or break the tip of the needle.

Now that that problem has been solved I can move on. Mr WK and I can work on the lichens a bit every time we come out to the boat. Both of us spending 20 minutes or so each time will knock it out in no time.

I'd been sanding something almost every time I came out to work on Spray. I'd done both sides of the companionway hatchboard keeper, the starboard main cabin hatch slide and hand rail and about half the handrail on the port side. I'd picked up a one-step environmentally-friendly teak cleaner. I didn't expect much. I used about half the bottle, a lot of elbow grease scrubbing with and across the grain with a still nylon brush and ended up with this.

The top photo is what the teak looked like before we did anything. It had sealer on it but it hadn't been kept up and was three years old. Quite a bit had peeled off. In the middle photo the teak has been sanded. In the bottom photo the teak is wet and it's been cleaned.

See those
black lines in the middle and bottom photo? you may need to click for bigger on bottom photo that's dirt embedded in the teak. In the past it would take a couple ofapplications of a two-part cleaner and vigorous scrubbing with a brass brush to get those out. So I'm going to clean it again, this time with a brass brush. But that's not too bad.

The color of the wet, cleaned teak is what it will look like when it's been sealed.

My next project was to see if the Contractor's Solvent I'd
bought would
remove the dried silicone around the windows we replaced a couple of years ago. By spraying it on my work cloth I was able to reduce overspray and it worked a treat. Smells nice, too — like that Fast Orange cleaner.

By the end of my last evening, I was so sore, from polishing on the fiberglass, sanding and scrubbing on the teak.

I've got a lot done so what's left doesn't look impossible. This is what I've done so far:
  • got the boat ready to be worked on
  • the smooth gelcoat on the deck has all been polished; bow, all the side decks, coachhouse roof and the cockpit
  • the waterline stains are gone
  • the anchor locker & cockpit are clean
  • all the excess silicone on the window that's not being replaced is gone
  • most of the teak has been sanded
  • some of the teak has been cleaned once
  • figured out how to remove the lichen
Left to do:
  • paint the bottom
  • finished sanding the teak, clean it, 3 coats of sealer
  • replace the cracked port cabin window
  • polish the sides and stern
  • clean the interior
  • put everything back in and on the boat (groan!)
  • launch
Depending on Mr WK''s schedule and the weather I'm hoping we can launch Spray in a few weeks. The bottom paint will take an afternoon and the other person can work on the teak, the window will probably be a two part process and will take both of us both times. We can both polish, one run the polisher on the sides and other work on the stern. When the stern is done, back up and work on the teak. The day we have the generator and the polisher I'll also bring the shop vac and clean the interior. It's not bad, mostly tracked in dirt and a couple of water trails from leaks we can't seem to find and fix.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Price of Malice by Archer Mayor (a Joe Gunther mystery)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money." President Obama

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Messing About in a Boat

Mr WK is just over the halfway point in this [now] 14-day stint of working nights. It was 13 days as initially he was to have Saturday night off, but that was changed Friday night. Including tonight, he has only eight more nights left. Yea!!

After he leaves, I've been working to get Spray, our 23' Precision sailboat ready to launch this spring. I've been out four evenings and have made quite a bit of progress. I decided to start at the stern this year instead of the bow.

Good thing, too as this is what I found the very first evening.

Spray is parked against a fence and just across the access road that leads to a field where all the empty trailers are parked for the summer is a wooded area. The cockpit drains were clogged with tree seeds and leaf litter. YUCK! What a slimy mess and not a nice smell either. Luckily the water was below all access to the cabin, but just barely. That black circle on the wall in the stern is an access port to the rudder fittings on the back of the boat. The water was just below the lip of the port. I unplugged the cockpit drains and scooped out the slimy half-decomposed leaves.

I was left with this.

and this—and this is cleaned up a bit.

I cleaned the worst of it that evening but on Friday I really cleaned now we have this

This is the cleaner gas locker.
Still need to get some Clorox on the lid though.

Well, THAT was fun! [eye roll] Just getting the boat undone enough TO clean took a couple of days. The first day, I dealt with the flooded cockpit and sponged up the water in the cabin where we always get water when it rains. We'd disarranged all the cabin cushions so none of them were wet. I wrestled the battery up and out along with two of the main cabin cushions and the large cooler that you step on to get into the cabin to take home. I put the battery on a trickle charge the next and it's still good. Yea!!

The next time I came out (stayed home the previous day to mow the grass) I brought out 23 half gallon milk jugs that I was saving for targets, filled with water. There is no water or electricity up in the dry storage area.

took the boom with the mainsail and cover off the boat along with the rest of the cabin cushions. With the boom on the boat it's difficult to move around anywhere behind the mast without either have to duck under it or climb over it. All of the fittings were stiff and it took some time and tools to get them all off.

I used almost all the shock cords I had on the boat to secure the sail to the boom then stuck the front of the boom with most of the sail through the back window of the truck. Then I used line already attached to the sail to secure the back of the mainsail more firmly to the boom then used that along with a couple more shock cords to secure the back of the boom to the back of the truck. That boom wasn't going anywhere the back of the truck wasn't.

My little truck is almost too short to hold the boom so this was the best solution. The boom is sitting on the cabin cushions. Spray is directly behind the truck.

I took all the lines off of the mainsheet blocks, the boom vang and the traveler off to take home to soak and wash. They are stiff with dirt and grit. When we bought the boat used five years ago, the lines were in worse shape. Pre-soaking in a bucket filled with water, laundry detergent and Clorox2 then washing in the washing machine a couple of times with some towels cleaned and softened them. Worked this time, too.

As I'd been out there twice and hadn't cleaned hardly anything I had to clean something before I left.



I needed to get on the road before well dark on day 2 as I had the boom sticking out at least a yard over the back end of my truck. I didn't trust folks not to see it in daylight although I had TWO red shop rags tied to the end let alone at dusk.

When I got home, I took the boom out the back window and out of the bed of the truck. I wouldn't be able to close the garage door with it sticking out like that. I balanced the boom and sail on top of the cab for the night.

Thursday morning, I took the boom with the sail still attached out to the backyard and took the sail off the boom and folded it. There were no critters living in its folds and no stains from any mud daubers nests. Yea! There is one tiny hole where the sail cover rubbed on a part of the sail that poked out but I can fix that for the season with some sail repair tape. In the fall, I'll take it to a local sailmaker so he/she can patch it properly.

On Thursday, I took a night off and drove to Topeka to help run an IDPA Classifier match. Still polishing my Safety Officer skills, I ran the timer some but mostly the clipboard with the score sheets.

Friday, it was back to the boat. This time I spent most of the time actually cleaning rather than preparing to clean. It had rained Thursday night and thankfully there was no tree litter clogging the cockpit drains.

Several years ago, we'd put a sealer on the teak trim on the deck but hadn't kept it up. Now it's peeling and flaking off and looks terrible. I'm going to sand it off, clean the teak, lightly sand it again then reseal it. I'm going to sand one piece each time I go out. Both of the pieces of teak on either side of the companionway have now been sanded; one on Wednesday and the other side on Friday.

before ..................................................... after

I began polishing the starboard side of the cockpit and by the time I was ready to quit for evening I had almost the entire right side of the cockpit and deck polished. I'm only polishing the smooth gelcoat not the non-skid. I didn't polish the very back of the right side of the cockpit. Water always collects there and has stained the fiberglass. You can see a bit of it in the top left corner of the first two photos on this post.

Ooo! Shiny!!

Before I left for the night, I wanted to see if an application of CLR which works great on the waterline stains could do any good here. I put on my rubber gloves and poured some onto a sponge and set to work. I knew it would work better if I let it sit for a bit so I climbed down off the boat and put applied some of the CLR to some of the waterline stains at the stern. There is about an inch of cream fiberglass between the waterline stripe and the bottom paint. That area gets discolored from sitting in the water. By the time I climbed back up into the cockpit and rinsed the seat I could see it was working but would need another application. It was starting to get dark so I packed up and went home.

More shiny!

As I mentioned under clean cockpit floor photo above, I scrubbed the cockpit floor, the gas locker and lid again on Friday and "officially" made the boat a no shoes zone. I also finished polishing the port side of the cockpit and deck. In addition I polished the front of the cockpit just under the companionway entrance and across the top of the rear of the cockpit. All I need to do now, is polish the seat area at the back on the right side where the water sits and the back wall of the cockpit. After that, it's on to the deck.

I reapplied some CLR to the stain on the cockpit seat and let it sit while I did the entire waterline on the starboard side. With my trusty bight yellow rubber gloves, I poured some CLR onto a sponge then wiped down two to three feet of waterline at a time. I get five or six feet past where I started then go back and reapply it. When I got to the bow I went back up in the cockpit, rinsed the area well and the stain on the seat is gone. There is a light gray "bathtub" ring on the wall but I may be able to Soft Scrub that out. Then I went back down and rinsed the CLR off the waterline. Everything came out except for a few stubborn stains right at the bow. I'll treat those when I do the waterline on the other side. By the time I'd started on the waterline, the light on the side I was working (the shady side) was enough to work by but not enough for a decent photo. I'll try to remember to get a before and after of the port side.

Between scrubbing the cockpit floor, gas locker and lid and the rinsing the CLR treated areas well, I have only 10 of my half gallons of water left. I'll need to bring more out the next time.

I'm taking a night off to stay home and do dishes, laundry, vacuum and other noisy things I can't do while Mr WK is sleeping during the day.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Death of an Expert Witness by P D James (an Adam Dalgliesh mystery)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower" ~ President Obama 4/13/10

Friday, April 9, 2010

Night and Day

There is nothing like being totally involved in getting ready for an event and that preparation being completely invisible to anyone outside of the planning. Which, when I thing about it, is that way with most folks. All we see is that little bit at the coffee shop, at work, at the grocery store — while the rest of that person's life is mostly hidden from us.

What Mr WK and I are prepping for is this. This weekend Mr WK has been staying up as late as possible and sleeping as much as he can during the day. His first night is Monday. But Monday morning at 6:30am he has to meet the day shift person and show them where to go and some of the ropes. Then it's back home to bed.

As far as gathering stuff for Mr WK to do, I've been doing the same thing this year except burning them onto DVD's instead of CD's. I've got everything I found last year and the year before that along with everything I have this year. I've collected over 13gb [yes, gigabytes] of things this year. That doesn't include all the shooting video and photos I and other folks shot this year and last year.

If you like old black and white early 50's TV shows and Republic serials, I found this channel on YouTube: The Gene Autry Show, The Cisco Kid (early color), Dragnet, The Three Musketeers, Dick Tracy from the late '30s, The Jack Benny Program, Sky King from the mid '50s, I Married Joan from the mid '50s, The Red Skelton Show (early color), Bonanza from the early 60s and lots more.

As for the Republic serials, The Phantom Empire from 1935, Fighting Discman from Mars from
One Step beyond Doomsday from the late '50s, The Veil from the mid '50s and lots more.

As you can imagine almost everything else has been put on hold. Spending most of my free hours at home on the computer for the last few weeks has put a dent in my knitting time. While Mr WK is either sleeping during the day or working I will have most of the next two weeks to myself. I have lots planned. I need to be around the house during the day, to run interference while he's sleeping. I'll have his work cell phone to intercept stray calls and re-direct them. No sense in him waking up for that so I'll need to stay a home during the day. That'll be my knitting time. Any errands I need to run I'll do when he leaves in the late afternoon.

And when he leaves I'm going to be heading out to the lake to work on Spray
—mostly cleaning — washing and polishing / waxing the deck by hand. The spaces needing to be polished / waxed are too small to use a rotary polisher. I'm hoping all I need to do is wax and not much polishing with rubbing compound. Then there is the inside. Again not much probably just clean up from sitting for two years.

I am moving along well on both Dr Who Scarves considering I haven't worked on them much. The third Dr Who Scarf has been officially cast on (for about the fifth time) on 4/8. The purple and red I'd originally chosen were way too close in color which you think I would have noticed before I cast on and knit 36 rows with the purple and then attached the red, knit about a half a row and thought . . . DARN!! these colors are way too close. By itself the purple looked like dark wine, next to the red, cranberry. And the red was more burgundy than brick red so it was wrong, too. So I went back to Hobby Lobby and purchased a better purple and a better red. I ripped out the little I did and started over with the new yarn. Starting from the end with the wider purple stripe I am now on the brown stripe. Still over 1,000 rows to go.

As to the second Dr Who scarf, an exact copy of the first one, I've started weaving in the many, many, many ends. It's not difficult, just tedious. Not nearly as much fun or relaxing as just knitting. I've got just a little under a month and half before my hard deadline of May 23. But I know how quickly that can creep up on a person.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Highly Effective Detective Plays the Fool by Richard Yancy (a Highly Effective Detective mystery)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Palin is exactly right. How do you learn about nukes as a community organizer?" ~ Rush Limbaugh from Friday's show.