We’ve finally managed to reduce the number of boats in the shop, so we can get each one finished and returned to the owner more quickly. When I started here a year ago, we had two guys in the shop and about twenty-four boats. We’ve since let our waiting list grow a bit in order to finish the projects in our shop and tackle the old projects we hadn’t been able to work on in a few years. Currently, we have about 12 boats in the shop and 3.5 people working on them. So, while we have plenty to do, we actually have the manpower to make more significant progress and start filtering in some new projects as we finish what we have. This may be very boring information, but it means you’ll start seeing more progress each week and, if you’re on our wait list, we are doing our best to get you in!
On the Continental, Nicolas (pronounced NEE-koh-la for those who have wondered) took inventory of all chrome and bronze hardware to prepare it for re-chroming or polishing, as needed. He brushed and buffed the bronze to prepare it for re-installation. He cleaned, sorted, and packaged the chrome to send off to our plating specialists. Nicolas made all the grooves on the entire deck for the aesthetic caulk lines. He then sanded off the under deck areas to clean up the old caulk and even everything out. Shane finished hand sanding the ceiling boards with 120 grit sandpaper (the final grit before varnishing) and used a flashlight to check each board for any remaining swirls from the sander. He then bunged the screw holes that are bisected by splits and sanded the bungs flush with the boards. He filled the cracks, nicks, and splits with wood filler and finished sanding the boards. He then was ready to stain the boards, allow it to set, and applied the first coat of varnish.
On the Celebrity, Nicolas has been applying more varnish to the mast and trims and I’ve started detail-sanding the deck and rails for the final coat of varnish.
On the 26’ Sea Skiff, Shane routed the toe rails and shaped the splash rails, which he then started drilling and fastening to the hull. Jack has been working on the windshield frame all week, making final adjustments, dry-fitting, cleaning, and sanding. It’s a lot of making adjustments on the work bench, assembling it, fitting it onto the deck, marking areas, and then removing and disassembling to make further adjustments on the workbench again.
On the 18’ Sea Skiff, Jack organized the interior to prepare it for further installations while I sanded, stained, and made repairs to the old engine box.
Gary and I finished sanding the mast of the Windjammer using the custom sanding block made to fit perfectly around the curves. The mast is now shaped and Gary has begun the sealing process. Sarah came by for moral support.
That’s it for this week; look forward to next week's post, in which the crew works on boats.
Our first cool week in the shop seemed to speed things along for us! Grateful we'll have heat this year so we can continue varnishing through the winter, but right now the cool breeze is so nice.
Nicolas was out this week, so Shane took over some work on the Continental by stripping and sanding the ceiling boards and filling the cracks with epoxy in preparation for fresh varnish. He also cleaned, prepped, and painted the bilge, interior side planks, and keel as needed.
For the 26’ Sea Skiff, Shane cut and shaped the bow light housing to fit the deck and cut and shaped new toe rails. He then planed the toe rail feel to the proper angle as well as the bow light housing block.
Shane sanded the first coat of epoxy on the deck of the Pelican, re-taped the edges with painter’s tape, and applied the second coat of epoxy. Now it will need some time to cure.
Gary and Shane pulled out the "Piglet" from storage at the rear of the shop and spent some time dusting it off to bring it back into rotation. We’ve had a few boats in storage that we’ve been waiting to work on, but we’ve been so overloaded with work we just haven’t been able to. Now that we’ve gotten a few out, we can get started on those and then make our way through the waiting list. We sure are grateful for the steady business, and wish we could get everyone in all at once!
Jack spent the week wiring the 18’Sea Skiff and getting things secured beautifully. He ran the remaining new wiring from the engine to the dash panel and wrapped them in wire loom and secured them to the frames. He drilled a hole through the bulk head to accommodate the instrument cluster and its wires. He made custom brackets for mounting the dash panel to the bulk head and a custom polished aluminum strap to secure the dash panel to the steering column with a leather shroud. The dash panel is intended to float, so Jack took extra care with the wiring and looming. He installed all the gauges along with fuse panels and a negative bus. He also put a fitting on the oil pressure pipe and made a hold through the bulkhead to receive it. To properly secure the rear seat to safely hold passengers, he made a pair of custom seat brackets and varnished them.
I spent some time sanding and prepping the spars and toe rails of the Celebrity for the final coat. However, due to the massive amount of sanding in the shop this week, we are waiting for the dust to settle before applying the next coat. I’ve also continued sanding and prepping interior pieces and the steering wheel for the 18’ Sea Skiff. Gary has completed shaping the mast for the Windjammer, so he and I have been sanding it smooth to remove the horizontal marks from rough sanding. Gary also used the belt sander on the Lyman to keep up some progress in Nicolas’s absence. We’re all looking forward to his return!
This update covers two weeks, so get ready for some progress!
Last week, we completed work on three boats. I think that's a record! We said goodbye to the Ski Boat, the Lily Electric, and the Whirlwind.
We also hired a new employee all the way from the NC Coast, Shane! He has been working primarily on the Pelican while he gets his feet wet. On the Pelican, he sanded, taped, cleaned, and painted a top coat for the hull. He then flipped the boat (with help) and masked off varnished area so he could begin the process of removing the deck paint and widening the cracks to fill with new epoxy. This is the process for ensuring all the existing cracks don't come back.
Shane has also been given a kit boat to work on for the course of his training. This week, he sanded the interior seams to prep for adding fillets and glass tape, cut and prepped the glass tape and finished sanding prep. He’s currently applying the fillets to the interior seams.
Jack powered through some major installations for the 18’ Sea Skiff the last two weeks. He installed the strut, began the process of aligning the engine, bunged and epoxied old bolt holes for the engine mount. He did some minor keel repair and installed the fuel tank. When the old bolt holes were dried, he finished aligning the engine and installed new fitting and hoses for the engine. He installed the temp sensor and removed the old plug, installed the blower, wired the blower and the stern light, secured the wires, and installed the speedometer cable. To get the steering set up, he painted the steering column, shaft, and non-stainless hardware. He then installed the steering box, steering column, and steering column bezel. He also installed the exhaust pipe, the fuel tank filler weck, the fuel tank straps, and the bilge siphon. He made and installed mounting brackets for the fuel filter housing. He fit the aft seat shelf to accommodate the blower hose and tied down all hoses and wires that he ran. He also polished the fuel tank vent hardware and started making brackets for the instrument cluster, onto which he mounted the gauges. Whoo did you follow all that? He’s been busy.
On the Lilly, Jack varnished the deck and re-installed the rub rails, some varnished pieces, and the deck cleats. He also redistributed the weight and the team took her out for a sea trial. Then Mike Gregson came by to add some beautiful lettering to her transom.
Gary has been hard at work on the Mast, it’s starting to look like it could hold up a sail!
I worked on the 18’ Sea Skiff, adding a final coat of varnish to some pieces and smoothing down the worn edges of the engine box. I also removed all the old hardware and insulation for the box to prep the interior for paint and fresh insulation.
Nicolas made new frames No. 1 and 3 for the Lyman, which are the “cornerstone” of the entire structure. He also made plans for a new keel, built a new keel base, and cleaned the original keel pieces that can be reused.
For the International 12, Nicolas has been preparing for the keel installation. He found rot last week and had to cut off the infected part and glue a new piece in its place made of oak. He also drilled new holes for the carriage bolts at the rear end of the keel.
Nicolas prepped the edge of the deck by removing all the old upholstery nails and getting all the boards into a cohesive shape. He then used a router all along the interior to trim the deck.
It's been a full two weeks at the shop. Thanks for reading!
Check back weekly for updates about our current projects and shop happenings!