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2013 is all but over.  I’ve not posted to my blog in a while…almost exclusively because back in late August my computer conked.  Both me and my husband needed new laptops; he ordered us two new ones.  The issue is that my new computer didn’t have MSWord.  And, considering that I type my posts to Word and then paste into the blog that became a problem.  Anyway, here is an update on how things are going with out boat.

Once we brought the boat back from Florida there were many things that needed to be done…I think the current list of things to do on the boat totals around 50 items.  Most things are related to just maintenance and are not huge projects to complete.  But, there are a couple of things that we knew would take some time.  As this is not our first time around a boat, we took a deep breath and dived in…me tackling the brightwork, caprails, and stanchions…Captain Husband taking the mechanical issues.

The mighty T52 stanchions as they are being removed before caprail coating.

The mighty T52 stanchions as they are being removed before caprail coating.




…more, after.


I completely refinished the inside of our previous boat so the topsides brightwork went well, in spite of being hot as hell during July and August.  There is really not much topsides brightwork on our boat.  But, the issue is our boat is just over 52′-0 long.  It took almost all of July and August for me (with a bit of help from my guy) to remove, rebed, and reinstall all of the stanchions and lifelines and to remove the old varnish and recoat all of the brightwork with 14 coats of polyurethane.  Because the recoating required the boat be masked off for days on end, we only went sailing one time in all of July and August…it was a great sail.

In mid September, my husband and I decided to take the boat (and Spookie, our cat) for an overnighter somewhere down on the coast.  We provisioned for a long weekend and shoved off.  Halfway across Galveston Bay, a raw water supply hose split, destroying the muffler, sending steam everywhere and bringing our weekend to a halt even before we really got started.

It was at this time my husband decided to bite the bullet and jump right into the cooling issues with the engine and generator.  As for me…well, the weather had cooled and there was more than a little coating that needed to be done below decks.  So, while my husband removed the generator from the engine compartment as a prelude to gaining access to the engine, I started removing locker doors and drawers.

This is the sea chest supply line sitting in the garbage...notice how clogged up it is.  The sea chest furnishes raw water to all the cooling systems.

This is the sea chest supply line sitting in the garbage…notice how clogged up it is. The sea chest furnishes raw water to all the cooling systems.

Over the next couple of months my husband completely replaced all of the engine hoses with brand new…keeping the old hoses as spares.  All three generator and engine heat exchangers were removed, taken to a radiator shop, cleaned, refurbished and painted.  The sea chest was removed and inspected…it was extremely dirty and the main hose access from the sea cock to the sea chest itself was almost completely clogged up with mud/algae/trash.  A new mixing elbow was installed, the old one kept as a spare.  The water pump was inspected.  A new muffler was installed.  The generator was removed…the steel generator mounting and drip pan (along with our Bruce anchor) was taken to a local vendor and hot-dipped galvanized.  All of this took a couple of months of weekends.  However, yesterday, when all put back together again, the engine started right up and ran cool at varying RPMs at the dock.  Next, the generator needs to be reinstalled…that’s next weekend.

As for me, I’ve spent the past couple of months doing what I enjoy…refinishing the joinery.  Most don’t care for doing this type of work…I love it.  So far, I’ve either completed or am almost complete with all of the cabinet doors and drawers from the forward sail locker room and the main salon and galley, as well as the salon table.  I’m doing the drawers and cabinet doors first because they are, by far, the most difficult to both sand and coat.  For the first time, I’m spraying the coating.  All of the joinery on our boat is teak, some of it veneer…most of it solid.  And, it is drop dead gorgeous when finished correctly.

The coating procedure below decks? 

For me, the standard:  sand the piece down to bare wood with progressively finer grit, finishing up with 320 grit…apply 8-10 coats of polyurethane, sanding between coats with 320 grit sandpaper…before last coat sand with 400 grit sandpaper.  I use high gloss polyurethane instead of a matte finish.  I like a high gloss finish better than matte and have found that not using high gloss because one might think a scratch shows up more is not really a good reason.  I think the real reason people don’t use more high gloss is not because of scratches but because it is much more difficult to apply a high gloss finish than a matte.  It’s very true that a high gloss finish takes more time to apply correctly.  But, to me, it’s worth it.

The salon table showing the finish before and after.

The salon table showing the finish before and after.

Sanding the louvers and doors takes a lot of its been cold...I moved things inside.

Sanding the louvers and doors takes a lot of time…as its been cold…I moved things inside.

I have two previous owners of my boat.  The original owner is most helpful; he bought the boat brand new and had it for over twenty years or so.  The gentleman I bought the boat from was, however, a bit overwhelmed by the T52 and can offer little useful information.  If we want to know anything about out new boat we try to contact the original owner.  The interior of our boat looks absolutely fabulous as it is, but there is really no debate that a refinishing would greatly increase it’s appeal.  It will take a while to do, but I like doing it and have a lot of time. 


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