Construction in the Middle of Destruction

There was something final about buying the windlass. That flurry of texts and the resulting spending of a major chunk of cash somehow made this plan of ours seem more real.

Which seems like a dumb thing to say, since we’ve been planning and plotting and prepping for years. Why would we go through all of that if we were not going to go?

But buying the windlass spurred activity. Nothing like spending money to want to spend MORE money, I always say.

This might not be totally fair, blaming our action-taking on an innocent, gleaming, hunk of chromed bronze that’s sitting in its box in the office/guest room. In the middle of all the hoopla of the boat show, we got a text from our friends Dave and Carol, the ones who’ve asked us to house sit for their place on the Piankatank River. They will return to the States on December 7.

The bunk project has a timeline. A quick timeline. A looming deadline.

View from the river house. Lucky us.

View from the river house. Lucky us.

As we’ve been talking about the project, a number of other parts to it have loomed. (This is ALWAYS how boat projects work. One thing leads to another, or one thing uncovers another. Be prepared for this reality.)

When we bought the boat, the interior was largely unfinished except for some basic cabinetry, and we even ripped out some of THAT over the years. The “outward appearance” of part of the bulkheads, the parts that were never supposed to be behind cabinets - that is beautifully finished in 3” wide tongue and groove cedar, painted white. The parts behind the cabinets? Not so much. Cough - bare fiberglass?

We’ve been unable to find anything close to the single tongue and groove cedar. Beadboard is the closest thing and readily available, but it looks tacky and off, both in width and in the “bead” part of it. We’ve opted to leave the bare fiberglass bare, reasoning that we’ll get to finishing it “someday.”

Someday has arrived. Our new bunk will put my head and body in really close proximity to that bare fiberglass, and I want my small space to be beautiful to look at as well as touch. It’ll be easier to deal with this wood finishing BEFORE we put in the new bunk plywood; it’ll also be easier to do the fiberglass tabbing that’s needed to do the hull strips.

Jeremy found some close-enough wood that he cut to size, ripping it in half as well as putting a routed edge on it to simulate the tongue and groove.


This is what we were trying to match, at least as close as we could:

“Wide” cedar plants in a tongue and groove pattern - painted!

“Wide” cedar plants in a tongue and groove pattern - painted!

Yeah, we’re still in the middle of the destruction. We’ve got more galley ripping out to do. Holes to cut for that windlass. Rigging to replace yadayadayada.

This last weekend, though? We started back on CONSTRUCTION.

Before. Note gaps, bare fiberglass, and blue tape marking measurements.

Before. Note gaps, bare fiberglass, and blue tape marking measurements.

Had to clean up the edges. Remove the partial pieces left. At least we didn't have to remove all the adhesive left on the bulkheads! Just knock down the high spots.

I was the able assistant; Jeremy was the carpenter.

Note: horizontal boards are there just holding the new wood in place.

Note: horizontal boards are there just holding the new wood in place.

And voila.

Yeah, it needs to be painted.

Yeah, we still have to put the strips on the hull (the bare fiberglass seen on the right side of the photo).

But check out how good the tongue and groove looks. Check out how well it’s fitting.

Check out the NO BARE FIBERGLASS!!!!!

Bring on the construction. Getting things built again feels like massive progress.

Almost as real-making as buying that windlass.

See you out there!