Finally Some Time for Decorating

First of all, apologies for a belated update on the status of our engine bed modifications. We managed to hunt down all the materials, already got the steal angles from Chinese machinist Mr. Chin on Wednesday, but are still waiting for the engine mounts, without which we cannot start. Impatiently we follow our shipment using the UPS tracking information and can’t but marvel at their wondrous “travels”. First they toured the various cities and states of America and then they suddenly appeared in Koln, Germany. Friday evening we almost started celebrating, when we found out that the mounts already arrived at Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia. The original estimated time of delivery was Wednesday (23 October), by the end of day. Now it seemed we could have our mounts on weekend! Yet for some mysterious reason, on Saturday morning our shipment found itself arriving to Shenzhen in Mainland China…

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Meanwhile we chiseled off some old paint from the current engine bed and filled most of the holes for the original screws that held the old engine mounts. Then Petr took our grinder and grinded the top surfaces before we fill the rest of the holes with epoxy filler. Originally we wanted to paint the whole engine room as well – now that the engine is out of the boat, it’s a good opportunity to do it. Luckily we soon realized that it is possible that we will have to modify the current fiberglass bed after the mounts arrive and we try to assemble the whole thing inside the boat. If it really comes to this, all our efforts would be wasted.

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But the idea of painting was already firmly planted in my head. Plus we already bought the paint and brushes. All I had to do was to find an object that would benefit from some painting. That part was easy! In fact, after going through our floating home from bow to stern, it soon became obvious that I would have to start making a list and decide where exactly to begin. After all Janna is almost 40 years old now and all the repairs and upgrades we have done so far were more of a structural and functional kind, e.g. new rigging (both standing and running), new sails, proper seacocks etc. With the exception of the reconstruction of our teak cockpit, there just never was any time for “cosmetics”.

Until now that is! And so to kill time while waiting for the new engine mounts and with Petr fully occupied by programming a simple home inventory app astorage, I jumped onto my bike and went for yet another trip to the local hardware shop to buy a new orbital sender (we burnt the last one during our first major refit in Singapore) and began the redecorating of our V-berth.

The walls inside of the boat (apart from most of the bulkheads of course) are covered with some kind of vinyl wallpaper. After 40 years, it’s quite shabby and yellow in color though, not to mention that it peels off at various places. One of the previous owners clearly ripped off the one above the V-berth and simply painted the fiberglass underneath with white paint. Yet after couple of years, the concave spaces between the fibers filled with dirt that just couldn’t be cleaned no matter how hard I’ve tried. It had to be sanded off. So first I covered the whole V-berth with big garbage bags that I cut into large rectangular sheets and then lowered myself into this plastic hole through the hatch with my new orbital sender.

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After two hours of sending I reemerged through the same hatch all covered with white fiberglass dust and went straight to the shower rooms. The next day I sanded few hardly accessible places by hand and all was ready for painting.

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The first coat took me more than one hour during which I cursed and swore like a trooper – the damn brush just kept on shedding hair and I had to pick these from the quickly hardening paint. After 30 minutes or so I was fed up with painting and wanted to throw everything into the dust bin and just walk away. Who on Earth gave me the idea of painting!?

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The second day I was cleverer. Instead of the bloody paintbrush I used a roller and a tray and what a difference that made! Suddenly I enjoyed painting again. In no more than five minutes I had the ceiling painted and after another 15 minutes the whole V-berth was done.

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In the afternoon I put on the third coat and in the evening we reassembled everything back to its original state. Now that our V-berth is nice and shiny, it’s time for our closet, i.e. the previous head area. But that will be covered in another post. Right now the chisel and hammer already beckon and it’s time to start with the preparatory demolition…

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