Thu-Mon, July 31st-August 4th - Boat Chores and Explorations
Something that had been bothering us quite a bit were the "headliners" in
the aft cabins. When Beneteau built the boat, they glued this foam-backed
vinyl up to the walls and ceilings throughout the boat, and in many places
the foam had disintegrated and the liner was falling down. It was very
messy, as the decomposing foam made a noxious dust that would fall down
every time you even so much as touched the headliner. I had, in the past,
tried re-gluing the liner to the walls and ceiling, but with limited success.
The glue I used did not seem able to put up with the heat and humidity here in the
tropics, and now the headliner in the port cabin, which is our "guest" room,
had reached a point where it was really bothersome. There was dirty foam and
glue bits all over the back cabin, and not at all the kind of place you'd
invite guests to stay the night. So on Thursday I decided to rip it all out,
clean the surfaces and paint them.
What sounds like a fairly straightforward task took me almost 5 days of
unpleasant labor. After ripping out the headliners and cleaning up the resultant
mess from the foam dust and glue, I realized that before I could paint I'd have to remove
all of the old adhesive, including that which I'd added during my various efforts to
re-affix the liners. So I spent the following day and a half, the rest of Thursday
and all day Friday, scraping the old adhesive off the fiberglass. It was
painstaking and boring work.
Even after the scraping, the fiberglass still wasn't clean enough to paint,
so I spent Saturday and half of Sunday cleaning the walls and ceilings of any remaining
glue with pure acetone. In the first place, it was hard to find
enough Acetone to do the job and I had to spend nearly a half a day on
Saturday afternoon, just rounding up more.
In the second place, it was really hard work. The acetone evaporates very
quickly, so you can only do a few square inches at a time. Also the fumes are
very noxious. Thank goodness I had an organic vapor mask on the boat,
because after 1/2 hour working with the acetone the first day, without the mask,
I was pretty high and nearly sick from the fumes. The next day, wearing the mask,
I was able to work for nearly 8 straight hours cleaning the sticky glue off.
On Sunday, after much scraping and acetoning, I thought I was ready
to paint, but at that point I was unhappy with the paint I had bought
previously (a household primer and enamel). I wanted something tougher, so
before I could paint, I spent another several hours that morning going back to various
hardware stores (dinghy-taxi-taxi-dinghy), until I finally found some white
2-part epoxy paint that fit the bill. Returning to the boat about noon,
I prepped the room - taping off the windows and so on and putting down
drop cloths. Finally, around 2 pm on Sunday I was ready to paint it.
The actual painting only took about 5 hours, with a 2 hour break between.
I put two good coats on, and boy was I happy when it was done!
I spent most of Monday finishing off the job -
taking down all the prep work and taking it to shore to throw it away,
and putting the port cabin back together (I had to disassemble the closet,
light fixtures and so on to paint it). Then I cleaned all the
wood with Murphy Oil, washed the windows, and re-inventoried all of the spare
parts stored under the beds, before finally bringing the matresses back into the room.
I'd only planned on spending 1-2 days on this task, but when all was said and
done it took me nearly 5 days. But it's like everything else on a boat
... it's twice as hard as you think it is!
I mean, not only do you have take taxis and dinghies to get anywhere,
but the work is usually in very tight spaces, and often the boat is rocking
the whole time you're working, making everything just that much more difficult.
In the meantime, I was "enjoying cruising while getting the cabin
Images from the Artisan Fair