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Monday, May 04, 2009

May 1, 2009-Change in Plans

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Definitely not habitable

Friday morning, arriving at Wings for a three day weekend, we had plans to complete some mechanical projects and possibly admire some shiny new varnish work.

We had no idea we’d find the varnish worker still there, the work unfinished, and the boat totally uninhabitable.

Flexibility, that’s the key.

With the interior completely disassembled, the boat covered in dust, and a man with sandpaper busy making more, we quickly realized we wouldn’t be staying on Wings that night and we couldn’t dig into the mechanical work either but we still had three days to kill.

What to do?

Within 30 minutes we had rented a car and we were headed out for a three day drive with a map of Thailand, a camera, and no fixed itinerary or destination.

It turned out to be a fun trip and a good adventure. We’ll have a report and some photos soon. Meanwhile click here for some more photos of our interior project.

We’ve been looking at a bad paint job on Wings’ interior walls since they were sloppily done by a so-called painter we hired in Sydney in 2001. When the results are bad and you have to look at it day after day, year after year, you really come to regret not getting right the first time. Our walls had runs, bubbles, wrinkles, and after 8 years were turning dingy yellow. We knew the only way was to tear into a big sanding job. David Nutt tipped me off on how to do this when we spent some time with the Nutt family of the yacht Danza in Mooloolaba that same year.

“How do you sand the walls without making a huge mess with sanding dust?” I asked.

David said, “Wet sanding keeps the dust down.”

“What about the water?”

“Just put down a towel at the base of the wall where you are working.”

Well David was a boat builder and a competent guy so I stored away that bit of instruction. Now in 2009 it was time to put it to the test. We bought a sleeve of 80 grit wet and dry, found two good sanding blocks, and got at it.

The results were immediately promising; by the next day we had sanded one wall, two surfaces out of 21 in the main cabin, and they were very smooth. But this used up the weekend and I had to head back to work in Bangkok. To keep the project going Judy stayed on the boat and we hired Hasan and his various nephews to spend the next week sanding and we showed Hasan how to use a powerful work light to cast a shadow which revealed any slight waviness. We were determined to have a great job.

When I returned the cabin was ready for paint. Working slowly, with high quality enamel and small foam rollers, we repainted the walls. It took three coats, and lots of care to get a shiny, high gloss, surface but in the end we had the nice walls that we wanted (OK, bulkheads for you die-hard boating terminology fans).

Now we needed to re-do the varnish trim.

For this we hired Mali and his crew. That was three weeks ago, and it brings us full circle to today.

Our interior project still includes upholstery, lighting, new shelves and taps in the galley, and we don’t know what else, and there will be plenty of mechanical projects later too.

But, by remaining flexible we turned a setback in our plans into an opportunity.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket

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