Monday, July 18, 2016

Side Repairs Begin

Let's see, where to begin this.  You may remember--at least those of you who have been with us from the first (looking at YOU Jarm)--that the exterior of the boat was originally a waterproof okumi plywood, very thin, and dressed with stain and four coats of spar varnish.  We really loved the look.

Siding during the original construction in 2014
It was rustic and steampunkish and pretty.

The Floating Empire just after launch.  Nice, hunh?
The trouble was, the stuff didn't hold up worth a damn.  By six months in we had done a FIFTH coat of spar varnish, and then tried exterior fencing preservative.  Nothing seemed to work, and the boat looked like hell.

By the end of the first winter, the wood was already breakiing down.
In desperation, we painted the outside with a satin finish exterior housepaint, which bought us another year and stopped the thing from looking ghastly.

Heartbreaking to paint her, but we really had no choice.
Ultimately, though, even a quality latex house paint wasn't enough to stop the crappy supposedly waterproof wood from deteriorating.  We wound up dutch mending portions of the sides (painting down pieces of muslin to seal parts of the surface), but finally even that became useless.  We were kind of at a loss as to what to do, save rebuilding the whole exterior of the boat.  Going back over my notes, I remembered that one of our original ideas was to bring the membrane all the way down to the water line.  So we checked online and found some membrane, a bit lighter than the ultra durable stuff we had on the roof, but still UV resistant.

The sides.  Literally, you could push your finger through it.
The bad wood stripped to the insulation.
So, of course, in 109 degree real-feel temperatures, we launched into it, ripping out the shredding wood, tucking the new membrane under the edge of the roof membrane to form an overlap for rain, and stapling the new stuff in place.

The new membrane with the window cut through.  Molding will go over the top to hold it down.
We had hoped to get at least one side done today, but it was harder than we'd anticipated, and the heat was killing.  So we got the worst of it covered, and will attack it earlier tomorrow.

Sigh. . . .getting there
Not as elegant as the original, surely, but it'll get us a couple more years of waterproofing.  Now if this heat wave will just break at bit. . . .

More shortly.  Hey, some new book promotions coming over at Wild Shore Press on my stuff, check it out.

More shortly.

M the overheated

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