Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-Nine

We were blessed with another perfect painting day so that's what we did! After a little hand sanding in the morning, the rest of the day was spent varnishing the masts from the tables to the wedges, painting the aft side of the head house, the top of the log rail, cabins, the grub beam around the mid-ship house, and the top rail. Rockland resident and Evans guest, Alan Athearn, showed up to help us out for a few hours. Thanks, Alan! It's always great to see your smiling face and we appreciate your help.

You can see from the pictures that the schooner still looks very much like a construction site. The mast hoops are now dry and released from the messenger lines that held them up. You can see where I sanded and primed on the starboard quarter and scraped in other areas in preparation for sanding. Don't worry that gray is just a primer coat! There is a lot of flaking paint and still much sanding and painting to do...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-Eight

My morning was interrupted by a doctor's appointment...a necessary step for my Coast Guard license renewal. But everyone got right to it while I was away with, you guessed it, more sanding!

We've yet to get a satisfactory final coat on the back of the head house so that was sanded and painted again today. The stanchions all received cosmetic fixes before they were painted. We now have a paint float in the water and sanding has started on the hull. I was able to sand, prep, and prime the starboard side up to the main chain plates. Brian prepped and painted the inside of the heads as well as the head doors in the varnish room.

The masts are now completely done from the tables up with the portion below where the winter cover was, scraped, sealed, and slushed. Even the mast hoops are all April!

The clouds rolled in by the end of the day and threatened rain but it never materialized. It did get windy though.

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-Seven

Ahhh, Monday. It really doesn't matter what day it is during spring outfitting. It's more about what the weather is and what we can do based on the forecast. Thankfully we've had a great stretch of painting weather.

John, Jackie, and Mike proceeded with more sanding. Today they sanded the log rail and hand-sanded the primer coat on the stanchions. They primed all the bare spots on the log rail while Brian painted the strong back, davits, and supporting poles.

I worked on the yawl boat topsides, dealing with some marine putty for cosmetic fills, and seam compound between some of the planks. I also did some repair to the bottom of one of our row boats (Daniel), sanded the galley sole, and applied the first coat of polyurethane.

We still have a lot of items in the varnish room that are getting neglected because the weather has been so nice. We did some moving and reorganizing to open up space for others to use. I'm going to have to budget an hour or so at the end of my days to work on at least one item so we can start cycling things out of that room and back on to the boat!

Sorry no pictures today.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-Six

With Aiden enjoying the last day of her school vacation and the rest of the crew off as well, it was hard to focus on doing much boat work. We did a lot laundry and I planted a bunch of wildflower seeds and a couple blueberry plants that I'm not sure are going to make it.

Brian went to the shipyard and varnished some hatch covers in the varnish room and painted the head doors. Hopefully those pieces are all now worthy of being moved to the "done" pile. He also helped on the railway for the next schooner that was hauled out.

We brought the trail board pieces home so I could put the finishing touches on them in our kitchen. Our illustrious cook from 2001 and 2007, Margi, and her sister Vicki, started the process for us. I even spent a little time on the back deck with them so I could enjoy the sun while I was painting but it was a little to breezy and I didn't stay long.

Izze got to play at the park. We went out for breakfast. We went to a movie. We grilled chicken kabobs on the back deck. And we reviewed job applications for Rendezvous. It was nice to not be on the schooner all day and it was nice to get a few things done at home too.

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-Five

The crew showed up to move the Evans out of the way as we were in another schooner's "parking spot" while they were hauled out. While that schooner put the finishing touches on their bottom paint, Brian and Aiden primed the sanded mast hoops, Michael painted the aft side of the head house, Jackie varnished the last of the oars, and I put the finishing touches on the spars. After we were back in our winter berth, we said good bye to Aiden as she was wrapping up the last days of her school vacation, and Brian vacuumed the foredeck so I could paint the galley grub. Not bad for a "day off" and not bad for two hours of work.

Notice the switch from the knit cap to the ball cap! It was a gorgeous day!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-Four

There are still 6 more days in April! The list of things that are getting done already that have never been done in April is getting longer and longer! And all I can say in response to the question on Mike's shirt is, "I am!"

The crew sanded all the turned stanchions while I filled spots with marine putty in the top rail and margin planks. I also hooked up the hose for fresh water and started to fill our water tanks after putting all the plumbing back together. The pump works but the system needs a few tweaks. I need to replace the cold water pressure valve (and I may do the hot water valve at the same time to avoid having to do it mid-season) to see if that solves the problem.

Then I painted the margin planks...

...while Jackie and Mike primed the stanchions.

John sanded the strong-back, yawl boat davits, and the mid-ship house, then primed the strong back and applied the final coat to the mid-ship house.

Aiden scraped and sanded the mast hoops on both masts and they are now ready for priming and painting.

Brian painted the red stars on the spars and put the first coat of paint on Rebecca. He also removed the winter bow lines and chain for storage in the loft.

Everyone was involved in putting the winter cover away. It gets stored in one of the dock buildings and some boats had to be moved first so we'd have access to an area large enough for all the pieces.

It was a little windy when we were painting in the afternoon and little black bugs were landing in our paint. At one point I joked that I had decided we were going to put the cover back on to keep the bugs out of the paint. No one believed me. I guess I have to work on my delivery!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-Three

Today was cover day...and, gosh, I wish it went on as quickly as it comes off! I budgeted one full day for the removal of the cover but it was're not going to believe noon! We started at about 8:15 and by noon everything was off the boat, cleared of nails, and neatly stacked. Nails were removed from all the battens that we used to hold the plastic on the cover and they were broken into stove-sized pieces. They will be recycled as kindling to start the cook stove every day this summer! All the plastic was even taken to the dump before noon!

That left all afternoon for other projects including a deck wash, sanding primer in the main cabins, priming the topsides of the yawl boat and sanding and priming the top rail (where the cover used to sit). Rebecca's primer was hand-sanded and is ready for the first coat of paint.

I think I was able to get some finish coats of varnish on several pieces in the varnish room. I'm pretty sure the wheel got it's final coat today.

Awesome work, crew!

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-Two

We've run out of space in the varnish room so we've resorted to varnishing in the dock building in the interest of time. Here Brian applies a coat to some hatch covers.

John put the final coat on the spars.

Jackie and Mike sanded the yawl boat (inside and out) and scraped the bottom.

Apprentice Aiden is on spring break (8th grade!) and joined us today. She sanded the water barrell, primed the metal bands, and in this photo is preparing to prime the bare wood spots.

Izze discovered that pulling on the toilet paper is fun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty-One

You've probably noticed by now that spring outfitting is a lot of sanding and painting. That's pretty much what we've been doing for three weeks now. It was raining today so we worked inside with doors, hatches, deck boxes, and such as well as our side boats Daniel and Rebecca and our yawl boat Tug 'N' Grunt. Yup, more sanding!

This rowboat is also a sailboat (built by Capt. Ed Glaser and named after his daughter). Rebecca was sanded and primed today (just the white to start).

Everything in the varnish room was hand sanded for additional coats. We're still not happy with the dust that is settling in our varnish so we were only able to remove a few small pieces. The room is getting crowded!

Here's John painting the head doors.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Twenty

The main cabin top was varnished today.

And lots of painting took place too as we knew there was rain and wind in the forecast.

-margin planks on the galley house
-red around the fore peak hatch and the galley skylight
-all the priming in the main cabin
-starboard timber heads
-the breaks in the deck
-the bow sprit
-the pawl post was primed
-the white on all the spars
-clear sealer on the foremast
-primer on all the metal work around the mast and mast tables
-inside the port head

It's looking like the cover can come off next week!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Eighteen and Nineteen

It's the weekend so we have the days off, right? Well, the crew did but we had projects to tend to and the weather was perfect for getting it done.

We had a yard-and-a-half of screened loam delivered...

...and we rented a monster tiller.

Izze helped!

We moved the loam, a shovel-full at a time, and wheeled it to the raised beds...

...until they were both full.

We had enough loam left over to create a wild-flower area along the edge of the property near the tree line. I tilled it and then we covered it over with the loam. We also mulched all the trees and shrubs in the yard and this is what everything looked like at the end of Sunday.

We took Izze to the park three times this weekend and we all took a nap or two. Brian watched the Red Sox and I watched a couple movies. So it wasn't all work.

There's rain and wind in the forecast for Tuesday so Monday we'll be taking advantage of the sunshine and try to get some painting done on the schooner.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Seventeen

Trevor made a guest appearance for day seventeen of spring outfitting! Trevor has worked on schooners for years but now works at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard dealing with submarines. He took advantage of a lovely spring day to leave the desk behind and come to Rockland to get dusty with us. Thanks Trevor! Here he is finishing the sanding of the main cabin top.

And here's John, laying down on the job, taking care of the other side of the main cabin.

Because we're replacing some of the galley sole, I stripped the remaining pieces so we could bleach them. Our hope is that the older pieces lighten up a little bit to better match the new pieces. Here is Jackie (trust me, it's her!), also laying down on the job, cleaning up in preparation for applying the oxalic acid.

Jackie and Mike finished sanding all the white paint in cabins #5 through #12. That's a lot of overhead sanding! Next will be to clean up and prime any bare spots before it all gets a nice new coat of paint.

Mike wasn't feeling well today but you wouldn't know it from this picture. He hung in there, got the job done, and even varnished a couple pieces in the varnish room at the end of the day. I love that he works in that jacket!

The crew has the next two days off but visit to see what Brian and I get accomplished. We will be meeting with the captain we've hired to run Rendezvous to establish a spring outfitting list for that boat. And we're planning to till for the garden. What else? Maybe a nap? Yeah, that's sounds nice!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Sixteen

Small steps today added up to progress by the end of the day. Lots of hand sanding and paint scraping happened before the primer (that Brian is admiring at the end of the day) could be applied.

The second timber head was a bear to remove but it is finally out. Two waist planks were removed also and now we begin the process of putting it all back together.

Jackie painted the overhead in the main cabin (after sanding and cleaning up for the bulwark project) and is almost done with that.

Two pieces of the sole in the galley were removed to reveal piles of old food, grease, and other debris. That was all scraped up and vacuumed away and the sole pieces will be replaced so that accumulation doesn't happen again. The remaining sole pieces will get stripped and bleached to match the new ones as best we can.

When we got home after a long day at the boat we put together the two frames for our raised bed garden. We will till the ground on Saturday, set the frames in, fill with the loam we had delivered this week, and start planting. Veggies, herbs, and flowers for the boat...yeah!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Fifteen

You've heard the expression, I'm sure..."One step forward and two steps back"? Well, things were going so well that it was bound to happen. All the cabin houses have been sanded, painted, and varnished (main cabin needs varnish) as well as the main boom, the battery box, the wheel box, the travelers, the fore peak hatch, and the skylight hatches. So we moved on to sanding and prepping the bulwarks today. And that's when the trouble began.

The answer to the question on John's shirt is, quite simply, "Yes!" And, just in case you can't read what the shirt says..."Got Rot?"

Yes, yes, we do.

So what we're looking at here is two timber heads that are obviously rotten. These two timber heads just happen to be the two where the cavil cleat for the jib sheet was fastened. Doug (who, with his wife Linda, rebuilt the Evans in the early 70s) explained that they hadn't replaced these during the rebuild. He said they were made out of New Jersey white oak and his best guess was that they were from the early 50s. We found the rot this afternoon and had the forward timber head out by the end of the day and had started on the other one. The second one is putting up a bit of a fight, proving to be pretty solid below the covering board, but it has to come out. You'll notice that there is considerable rot in the bulwark planking where the timber heads were so those may need to be replaced as well but that decision hasn't been made yet. The challenge right now is to replace the timber heads without taking too much else apart...a geometry challenge. Watch right here for the exciting updates...

Wordless Wednesday

Spring Outfitting - Day Fourteen

My day started with installing three new chafe slats on the main mast. That area is where the main gaff rides when the sail is up and these slats are sacrificial and relatively easy to replace. Much easier than having the mast wear away and then having to replace the mast! I was doing this while John and Mike were applying grease to the fore mast. Then we switched and I went up the fore to tar while they slushed the main.

We use a boatswain's chair for tarring. I did all the head rigging, stays, and fore shrouds and John took care of the main. We were stylin'!

I tried to cover as much skin as possible!

Those black marks on my face are drips of tar...and those pants are yellow (were).

This is our outfit after John finished with it. His sneakers used to be white!
And, yes, we threw all that stuff away when we were done.

That's Brian in the background. It's hot under the cover and he worked most of the day without his shirt on. The main cabin got a first coat of paint (thanks to Jackie and Mike), and the main boom got a last coat. The battery box got an almost finish coat but it needs a touch-up where someone leaned on it shortly after the varnish went on. The topmast got sanded again and received it's final coat as well.

One of the hard parts of spring outfitting is keeping everyone going without being in each other's way. We have five people working all the time and an occasional sixth or even seventh. Planning the day so we're not all on top of each other can be difficult. We have to make sure that someone isn't sanding while someone else is painting. And we want to stay away from newly painted or varnished surfaces. It doesn't always worked perfectly though!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Thirteen

The progress continues! Margi (cook, '01 and '07, and dear friend!) and Vicki (her sister and partner in crime!) came by to deliver lovely loaves of fresh-baked bread and Margi commented on our great progress. She has done spring outfitting before and thinks we're way ahead of what she experienced.

John and Mike spent the day aloft. They scraped both masts with 2" scrapers and coated each in a turpentine mixture to seal the wood grain. Tomorrow they will head back up to apply a layer of grease (slush). We may also attempt to tar the rig tomorrow if time and wind permit. A close-by schooner has their cover off and we don't want to cover their decks in tar. At the end of the day today we went over to sweep up any mast scrapings that made it over their way because it was very windy.

Jackie hand-sanded primer, primed the main cabin over head and applied the first (and maybe final) coat of semi-gloss white in the galley. At the end of the day she hand-sanded the primer that she had applied earlier in the day so when she arrives tomorrow morning she'll start right in on the painting. Sand and paint, sand and paint.

Brian hand-sanded the sides of the galley house, the head house, and the mid-ship cabin, cleaned up and prepped everything for painting. He painted the mid-ship house, the fore peak hatch, and the galley hatch. He tended the aloft crew all day as they proceeded down the masts.

I sat in the chaise lounge back by the wheel and ate bon-bons.

No, just kidding. I painted the galley house and the head house. I varnished the mid-ship cabin and fore traveler. I replaced the sink stopper, strainer, and plumbing in one of the galley sinks. I painted the red star on the end of the main boom. I cut all the lumber for the two raised-bed gardens we're building.

Bob repaired a rot spot I found in one of the deck houses. I'll fair it in tomorrow and caulk it so we can paint that area.

Another great day...that sun sure helps!

The port side of the head house after the second coat of semi-gloss white.

The mid-ship cabin top after the first coat of varnish...shiny!

The mast cages at the end of the day...two trips up each mast...
one to scrape, one to apply the turpentine.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Twelve

It's Easter! Everyone has the day off.

We're heading out to visit my parents and my brother. I'm sure Mom has prepared something wonderful...ham?

Spring Outfitting - Day Eleven

Brian was the only one that worked at the shipyard today. It was pretty cold and gray so he worked in the varnish room. He hand-sanded all the varnish pieces in preparation for the next coat.

We interviewed a potential deckhand for Rendezvous.

I went shopping! I picked up the replacement sink parts for the galley sink and all the PVC pieces to reconnect the drain. I also picked up all the lumber for two raised bed gardens. I planted peas, beans, beets, summer squash, and zucchini. The herbs are all doing well...they are in flats by a big window and I turn them every day so we can see them lean toward the light. It's pretty cool. I'll be ordering some loam for filling the raised beds tomorrow and hopefully borrowing a tiller to prepare the ground underneath. Then I can plant the onion sets, gladiolus, iris, and dahlias. Oh, and wildflower seeds will go out next week!

Spring Outfitting - Day Ten

John finished the mast head project on Friday. That's him aloft painting. It was pretty windy so he had a lot of paint on him when he came down but we didn't get any photos of that. Notice the platform around the mast now (we call it a cage). We set that up in preparation for scraping the masts on Monday. For years one person would scrape each mast sitting in a boatswain's chair but for the last few years we've borrowed these cages from another schooner at the shipyard. Two people can work on a mast at once and, because each person is standing, they can get better leverage for scraping. It's waaaay easier on the legs!
Here's Jackie after a day of hand sanding all of the primer. Each time we paint we go through the same preparation process of vacuuming to remove as much dust as possible, then everything gets wiped down with denatured alcohol followed by a tack cloth. Only then are we ready to paint or varnish. We've emptied the vacuums because the filters were so full of sanding dust.

Every day we're a little closer to sailing!

Friday, April 10, 2009

"Best of the Best" Results

Village Soup has announced the winners in the "Best of the Best" polling! You can view all of the results here: .

They added a few new categories this year including "Schooner" and "Harbor Cruises". We are thrilled to report that in the first year of polling, the Schooner Isaac H. Evans placed second in the "Schooner" category and M/V Rendezvous (after only one partial season!) placed third in "Harbor Cruises".

Thank you to everyone that voted! We're honored to be among the "Best of the Best"!

Spring Outfitting - Day Nine

Mastheads were started today. Every year they get sanded, primed, and painted before the masts get scraped and slushed and the rig gets tarred. That's John atop the main mast. It was cold and windy so the painting didn't get done but all the sanding and priming did.

Jackie started sanding in her beloved galley and then Mike and John joined her when the mastheads were done. We want to get that squared away as soon as possible so we can hook the stove up and get the water system going so she can start practicing. It's also easier for the crew to move aboard if there isn't sanding and painting going on in the spaces where they are trying to live. All the white overhead was sanded and primed and they started in the main cabin. Overhead sanding isn't's tiring for the arms and it's best to wear goggles because paint flakes and sanding dust like to settle in your eyes. Overhead painting isn't easy either but we're sure they'll do great!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Spring Outfitting - Day Eight

Brian and I spent most of the day at the Business Showcase at the Samoset Resort. We had lots of visitors to our Maine Boating Adventures booth and now have lots of partnering projects to work on with other local businesses. We tossed around some great ideas and learned that there is still a fair amount of optimism in the tourism industry.

The crew put in a long day without us there (except for a while in the morning) and got a lot done. The first coat of paint went on the spars, the first coat of varnish on the topmast, the main cabin, wheel box, and main traveler were all sanded, and they primed all the bare wood. No pics...I had the camera with me but I left the memory card at home, doh!