Restore a Sailboat - December 2019

WelcomeIt is amazing to me that after 2-1/2 years, I still find things that aren’t quite right that get added to the list. None of them major, just minor annoying things that don’t take a lot of time to fix.  One cotter pin at the deck holding an upper shroud is about 1/2″ overlength and looks corny.  Not a big thing, just the time to measure, find a right priced replacement, loosen the shroud, remove the old pin, install the new pin, tape it, and re-tighten the shroud. And this is “minor work!”

My goal at the start of this month was to get out of the “40’s” projects to go (actually started the month with 45 projects), and get into the “30’s” projects to go. I need this feel good. It doesn’t happen, with family and other things happening.  Only one is knocked off the list for the month.

288. The boot stripe on the boat was driving me crazy. It was about 12″ above the waterline at the bow, and water lapping on it under the stern. Climbing up and down the ladder during the winter was when I could see that the boot stripe takes a turn downwards amidships. It’s not straight, it’s not level to the water. I was told the prior owner raised the boot stripe, but apparently only on the front half of the boat.

I want to lower it on the bow, and raise it on the back end. The old boot stripe is a vinyl tape. Peeling it with the finger, razor or scraper doesn’t work as it comes off in small pieces. Chemicals don’t do a thing. Using a heat gun just causes it to fall apart faster than being cold. In 1.5 hours, I made 2′ of removal of 70′. What to do? I remembered that 3M makes wheel eraser that goes into a drill just for removing vinyl decals and the such. The eraser does the job and I get half way down one side in a little over an hour.

Lo and behold, when I step back, the boat looks bigger, more powerful and more modern without the boot stripe. I take pictures and send it to the crew, they agree.  No more boot stripe. This lessens the size of this project by a metric ton.

We asked the shipyard not to pressure wash the bottom when the boat came out of the water. This was done to see the scum line to use as a reference to the boot stripe. The front half of the boat is reasonably parallel, the back half of the boat not. I use a laser level starting the laser at the midship point having it wrap around the back end of the boat on both sides, making a pencil line on the laser. Then masking tape all the way around.  I sand the increased bottom area where bottom paint goes, wipe it clean with solvent, and put on two coats of bottom paint. This turned out so much better than I had planned.





Boot stripe removed. We agree the boat looks bigger, more powerful, cleaner, and more modern without a bootstripe.



At the bow with the bottom paint starting at the old level, then about 1″ higher amidships and about 4-1/2″ vertically higher at the back end of the boat.



The old 4″ wide bootstripe tape, cut in short pieces attempting to make a curve, but  jaggedy, under the back end of the boat.




The bootstripe tape removed, top edge of bottom paint moved up vertically about 4-1/2″ and diagonally about 8″. The bootstripe was so low under the back end of the boat that seaweed would grow on the red tape. Bottom paint with algae killer infused should make this cleaner.




Come summer, if I am off anywhere making this line level with the water level, I can jump in the water with a pencil and make some tick marks where adjustments can be made when the boat is pulled out next fall.  But I’m betting I pretty much nailed it.  And it really helped that it was 64-degrees on December 25, 2019 to do the painting!


The next owner is really going to enjoy this boat.

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