August 13, 2016 Hours spent building to date: 2,793
Until now, we’ve had a beautiful summer — not too hot, very dry. But we’re currently stuck in a high pressure area that will last for many days more. Every afternoon Long Island heats up, the Sound remains cool, and the resultant southwest wind drags moisture in from the ocean. 95 degrees and thunderstorms day after day.
This makes painting very difficult and by 2 p.m. my normally cool shop is dripping with moisture. Earlier in the week, I was trying to paint the foredeck well and cabin top, but as soon as I opened the can, I felt the moisture loading up in the paint. So I added some Interlux kerosene-based thinner to Total Boat paint, because I didn’t have Total Boat proprietary xylene (naptha) based thinner on hand. Not a good idea, since it took three days for the paint to dry.
I soldiered on by coming in early before the heat and humidity built up, and at last got two coats onto the foredeck and forecabin roof. For those who know me “coming in early” is not a natural act. But I was pushing the paint when I probably should have been at home making jam (or sleeping), because I really needed to get the butterfly hatch onto the foredeck with help from son John before he goes back to college.
But we sweated it out today, and the hatch is on. It looks just stunning, another tribute to Mark’s artistry. I was afraid it would block vision from the helm, but as you can see from the picture, the actual sightline is just below the level of the forward bulwark. The hatch actually raises pretty easily to “open” position on the very fancy bronze hinges I got from Sailors’ Solutions. Eventually I may get some brass hatch lifters, but for now a notched mahogany stick should work just fine.
Another pleasant surprise was the “egress” mode. I built the hatch a couple inches wide, so I could use it to get to the deck from a ladder coming up from the forecabin. But I had no idea whether it would actually work. But I think just out of luck, the hatch balances perfectly opened all the way at just a few degrees away from vertical. I attached a small, angled block to the deck for it to rest on and will add a metal rod to hold it firmly against a wind gust.
Until the heat breaks, I will be showing the boat to visitors and messing around with cabin trim since any heavy work is just out of the question.