Imagine this. You're on an antihistamine to keep you from puking while sailing, and all you want to do is sleep. Now imagine there is no where to lay down.
Is it gross if I am motivated by laziness and the pursuit of absolute comfort? Because that is how we got a place to lay down in the cockpit.
I'd seen some cockpit bench "bridges" on a blog by Elegant'sea, who also have my dream cockpit floor. I decided to try to copy their concept, so I broke out the cardboard and scissors and mocked up a little template.
I assumed both sides would be the same, just flipped. Nope. The starboard side got its template and then I had to craft another for the port side.
We took the cardboard home and headed to the hardware store to get some marine plywood. Except they didn't have it. Instead we settled for 1/2" thick pine (I think), which should be enough to support weight over the expanse and hopefully not break if someone steps down on it carelessly. Time will let us know if we are fools.
They are a little big and weird to store, but I'm hoping since they are flat I can find a way to slide them into a little nook somewhere. Right now they are living in the port lazarette by themselves, but that took a strange turn to get them in there and I doubt they'll be easy to get out if anything else goes in that lazarette with them. We threw a coat of outdoor spray paint on them as a little extra protection from the elements. The plan is to turn the rear cushion sideways to make a little mattress covering the expanse.
I cannot wait for my next nap...
A Little Massaging
Back when Kenutu was a newborn baby, there were tube televisions. Kenutu was so fancy that she had a built-in television stand in her salon. This technological support system, thanks to flat screen televisions, is now just a place to hit your head or knock your shoulder when you're lounging in the dining area. It's time to massage the rough spots a little bit.
First up was removing the little support frame, which were a couple of pieces of wood screwed in below the shelf. Next up was reconfiguring the cushion, which had a chunk out of it to accommodate the shelf. I had some leftover fabric from the original cushion update, and it, coupled with the parts I was able to salvage from the existing cushion, was juuuuusssst enough to make it work.
I didn't bother recutting a wood back frame or buying new foam. Instead, I pulled out the duct tape, every master's tool, and secured a piece of foam to the back piece of wood. Then I made the panel of fabric long enough to staple over it. That oughtta do the trick, right? JUST DON'T LOOK BACK THERE DAMMIT.
I gotta say, this little touch up made this space much more useful. I can see in that storage nook in the corner now, and you can recline against the corner without always worrying you're going to smack your head when you get up. I'm thinking I may even massage the wood into a little collapsible counter space... oh god another project just showed up.
Laying it on thick.
Kenutu looks good on the surface, maybe even perfect. But underneath, whoa, the girl needed some work.
A couple weeks ago, I finally got to it. I broke out the Bilgekote, the masks, the gloves, the paint rollers, and the mineral spirits. I got the scraper and the sander and the microfiber cloths. And I got down under and dirty.
I finished all the compartments in the bathroom this time and pulled up some floorboards and shoved my hands into some scary dark holes. The old paint came off in chunks. Everything got vacuumed up and wiped down. Then the paint got coated on with the magic product that gives you juuuuuust a little brain poisoning.
I also finished up the salon cabinets and storage. One cabinet over the oven had a wood divider in it that we used to the heat gun to pull out. It was good at keeping things secure, but it was hard to see where things were behind the wood screen and because it was so dark inside. We pulled it out and it's so much better now.
I also threw a couple coats on the storage behind the settee. I didn't store anything there yet, mostly because it's too dark to see whatever is in there. Now, though, Mack's electrician tools and all my puzzles have a great new home. And the cabinet that houses my mixing bowls and storage containers is, dare I say, beautiful. Maybe I'm just high from fumes.
Under the Covers
A couple weeks ago I went to visit Kenutu to make sure she was tolerating the crazy rain we've been having and I discovered this.
Dan and the Harbor Custom Canvas crew had been doing some sneaky work on the dodger and had the new stainless frame on the boat just waiting for the bimini. I could hardly believe my eyes it looked so good... and it was half finished!
The quality was way better than the old dodger, complete with these brilliant little zipper flaps to keep them protected from the elements and some amazing, super clear "glass".
I was so giddy at how amazing Kenutu looked I actually squealed as I was calling Mack to tell him about it. Squealing on a dock by yourself is not at all embarrassing.
In the midst of the work, we continued to get rain. And then more rain. And then we moved our slip from Repo Row to Z-dock, which has so many sailboats it looks like a military salute when you go there at night. Dan called wondering where Kenutu went, and the next day, we had this.
I had no idea how much the bimini would change Kenutu's whole look. With her top on, she looks like she's ready for anything. She looks like she knows what she's doing, like she'll handle whatever comes her way. Her bimini has an adorable window on top so you can see the sail and top of the mast when you're underway... we call it the sun roof. We also got an interstitial piece so the whole cockpit can be in the shade. As a bonus, Dan threw in the wheel cover, a dinghy cover, and wench covers in exchange for same day payment. The rain had put him behind on more than just getting work done, and that put us on the winning end of a deal.
Of course, the new bimini, dodger, and jib sail cover in their new beige color made the main sail cover come into focus. I'm pretty sure we'll be having a chat with Quantum Sails before the summer is over. This girl is getting all sorts of love!
Working the pole
Mack has been wanting to scale Kenutu's mast for a while. He claims it's so he can inspect the stuff at the top and make sure the blocks aren't about to break in half, but I know it's really some grand gesture of love for his boat.
After much hemming and hawing, he made the jump and bought a bosun's chair. Specifically the ATN MastClimber. It's basically a seat and a foot rest that you maneuver so that you can climb up the rope. It costs about $400, but this video made it look so easy a kid could do it that we dropped the dough.
It's a pretty cool feat of engineering physics. It has a belt around the waist that is also attached to the seat and a couple straps that are for your feet. Then you have a metal clamp thing on the seat and one on the feet that locks with tension to a rope. To climb or descend, you transfer your weight to your feet or the seat and move the other part up or down. It also comes with a handy storage bag that you can clamp to yourself and use as a tool bag.
We latched the spinnaker line to one of the grab rails to create a climbing line. And then we attached the halyard line to Mack in case something gave out. Then, because he trusts no one and nothing at more than 10 feet, we tied the climbing line to two back up spots. As he went up, I pulled the slack out of the halyard. He yelled down panicked orders, I followed them. Nothing happened except he kept going up. And then this happened.
The higher he went, the better he was at using the Mastclimber. Also, the less faith he had in the block at the top. Sometimes it's hard to shut out the catastrophic thoughts, and most of those times come when you are dangling 30 feet above a hard uneven surface with metal cords everywhere and the threat of drowning.
Once he made it to the top and saw the block was in great shape, his worry washed away. And next thing I knew, I was sending light bulbs and tools up to him so he could do some work.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.
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