Around here (in Seabrook, Texas) there are pelican statues of various styles posing through out the small city. When my parents arrived from Minnesota, we went to the visitor’s center and found an illustrated book of the 40 pelicans and a map to hunt them all down.
Driving around to check out the pelicans was a fun way to spend the afternoon and we found other interesting sights in the city, like parks, biking paths, boutiques and new restaurants to try. Below are some of my favorite Pelicans.
From the Pelican Spotting Boat Wife
These guys are even well read. This one’s by the library.
What is so sexy about handrails? Nothing…unless you have newly varnished handrails that don’t leak. Now that’s sexy!
Handrails won’t be in a 40 shades of gray setting (unless they also have straps). But if your gal is a Boat Wife, (like me) she knows that handrails are sexy because they can keep her safe and it’s something to hold onto while sailing. How sexy is that? Sailing in Safety!
Handrails can be found inside the cabin and on deck. A couple of our handrails on the deck would leak (during sultry thunder storms) into the interior. One of the leaks happened to be over the Captain’s side of the bunk.
This fix went to the top of the list.
After taking the rails off the deck, Capt. Kelly sanded them down. He applied several coats of varnish…about six coats.
After prepping the rails, we were ready to install them. Capt. was on top putting down the bedding compound and the trusty Boat Wife was below to tighten the bolts.
Installed, the rails look new.
The fix worked! After the first shower, there wasn’t a leak and there hasn’t been one since.
Now the handrails are doing the job they are meant to do. Isn’t that Sexy!
To liven up this blog and to avoid some boat projects, or what I think of as “hard labor” imposed by the Captain, I am starting an Around Here topic. A topic I had copied from my older sister’s blog (goshery).
The location Around Here is the Houston Bay Area. An area described as the Redneck Riviera. So…
Around Here: Mud Bugs are in Season
For about $4.99 to $6.99 per pound, many local restaurants are serving up crawfish. Boiled in seasoning, served with a side of Cajun seasoning and melted butter, these little guys are sweet and delicious.
But if you are squeamish about touching your food or looking into the eyes of the critter before you rip off it’s tail and shell to eat the meat, then suck the head…well, this isn’t the dish for you.
I’ve heard locals say the first part of the season had big crawfish since we had a few warm weeks. As the weather cools, the crawfish get smaller. So these guys are a little small since we had some cold days this week. But I look forward to trying this local delicacy while I can.
Swamp Shack is where we got our Mud Bugs. Very tasty.
The restaurant overlooks the Kemah Boardwalk Marina and on busy weekends you can hear the screams from people riding the roller coaster (in the background) at the Kemah Boardwalk.
Last week in our Weeks of Leaks – Part 2 project, we just needed to paint our final coat on the cap rail. Which we did. See the Before and After photos below.
Now that the front half of the port side is complete, we started on the aft port side. This should be finished by the weekend. Then in the coming weeks we’ll tackle the rest of the boat.
As Boat Wife of this vessel, let me tell you how tired I am of this project. So next week I am going to start adding a new topic called Around Here.
I got the idea from my sister Nancy in Minnesota. She has a crafting site & sells hand made cards called Goshery (Check it out, it’s a fun blog) where she highlights the events and happenings in the town we grew up in. I never new it could be such a fun place until I started reading her blog.
In last week’s post, Weeks of Leaks-Part 1, we thought we had fixed the leak in our forward stateroom to discover we still had a leak in another spot when it rained. The leak was coming from the cap rail of our boat.
To remedy this leak issue, the cap rail needed to come off. There is over 90 feet of cap rail on this boat. The cap rail material consists of teak wood. Let me clarify. 35 year old teak.
The wood’s condition is in poor shape and for many years had lacked a proper coat of varnish to protect it from the elements. Also the years of sanding and varnishing have left this wood thin.
The best solution would be to replace the rail. But it would cost thousands of dollars for professionals to purchase and fit the wood to our boat.
After much consideration we decided the next best solution, a budget friendly solution, was to strengthen the wood with epoxy. Then decide between varnishing the wood or painting it.
Varnishing the wood has it’s pros and cons.
Varnish Pros – Protects the epoxy and wood from weather & shows the beautiful honey colored finish of teak.
Varnish Cons- Even with several layers of varnish, a coat or two of varnish would need to be reapplied yearly. Too much work.
Painting the wood also has pros and cons
Painting Pros – Once applied the paint should last several years and may only need to be touched up in spots.
Painting Cons – It’s a shame to cover pretty wood with paint and doesn’t look as nice as varnish.
This was our dilemma. To choose between paint and varnish was a topic of conversation for several days (thrilling I know).
When we come across these sorts of boat-altering decisions, we take our time and just start with the first step. Which was to take off without breaking it.
We decided to take up the wood in sections and took off the two teak planks on the port and starboard side of the bow and then two more planks on the port side of the boat, which meant we also had to take off the sail-track attached to the rail.
Taking off the sail track wasn’t an easy task. The track is through-bolted to the deck of the boat. To access the nuts on the bolts we had to take apart cabinetry inside the cabin. The pictures below should give a better idea of what we did.
After the teak wood was carefully pried off by the Captain, he then mixed up a solution of epoxy to seal up the rivets and bolts on the cap rail. Over the course of the next few days, he sanded the top and bottom of the teak which took off the old sealant, cleaned the teak with Teak Brightener and let it dry. (I have a very industrious Captain)
I then applied epoxy to the wood. This also took several days since we needed sunny warm weather for the epoxy to set up.
The epoxy strengthened the teak. We still hadn’t decided to varnish or paint the wood. But first the teak needed to be lightly sanded. We finally decided to paint them.
The paint dried and needs a second coat, which we will apply after we put the board back on the boat.
So back on the boat!
In order for the teak to adhere to the cap rail, we put adhesive sealant on the boat and the wood.
Once the teak wood was on, we had to put on the sail-track.
Okay, are you still with me? Now that the track was on, we had to address the screw holes in the teak. They needed to be plugged up.
We used Six 10. An epoxy that mixes within the blue tip. It provided more control in applying the epoxy in these small wholes.
We had to stop after the plugs were applied due to rain. But we have good news. We had no leaks in the forward cabin. The sweat equity paid off.
However, we are not done. A second coat of paint is needed. So the next warm day we should be finished….that is on this part of the boat. We need to tackle the starboard side and it’s sail-track.
Old sailboats have leaks. New sailboats can have leaks too…maybe not the first few months, but eventually leaks will develop even on a brand new boat.
Bottom line…if you got a boat, you got a leak. The best thing a boat owner can do is reduce the amount of leaks they have.
Our 35 year old boat, Trini has her share. We knew this when we purchased her. What we didn’t know is how much work it would take to repair a specific leak we found a few weeks ago. So I will begin with our first naive attempt to repair the leak we found.
The V-berth was damp after it rained. Upon inspection we found the source of the water in our chain locker located forward of the V-berth.
The leak was coming from several bolts out of the top deck.
These bolts secure the bow pulpit, cleats, windlass, padeye, and anchor pad. Over time the bedding compound (it’s like a silicone), wear outs and allows water to seep in.
To get better access to the bolts, Captain Kelly took out all the chain and cleaned out the chain locker.
He needed someone in the locker to hold the bolt nut while he was on the deck taking off the bolt.
To entice me (his adorable boat wife) to help he placed a couple of old blankets into the locker so I would be more comfortable stuffed in the small space.
On deck there were four pads to take off and clean up. He scraped off the old bedding compound and dirt. Then applied new bedding compound.
A neighbor came by to watch his progress.
This leak repair was quick. All the bolts came out easily and we were able to get the job done in one afternoon.
A few days later, a day of heavy rain revealed we had correctly sealed the leaks. Unfortunately, water was still coming into the V-berth. We found the second source of water. It was coming from the cap rail.
The cap rail is located under a piece of teak wood that lines the whole boat. There’s 90 feet of teak we need to take up in order to access the cap rail.
What is a cap rail? The cap rail secures the boat’s hull to its deck. Our cap rail has both rivets and bolts securing it.
I will have more details of our leak repairs in our next post, Weeks of Leaks, Part 2.
As the cold rain beats against the deck while I write this post, it brings home the fact that weather is important on a boat. Especially a sailboat.
Under sail, weather determines how to set your sails (full sail or reefed sails), what to wear (foulies or shorts)and if you’re going to have a fun ride with a brisk wind or a bumpy ride with high winds and large seas.
When living on the boat weather isn’t as big of a concern (well…unless a hurricane is coming). To avoid cabin fever, in today’s soggy weather, I will need to put on a rain coat, (no umbrella – the wind will blow it away) and walk with a fast pace to the car located in the parking lot, about a 100 miles away. (Okay, it’s only a distance of a city block or two but feels like 100 miles in this weather.)
On the boat, when it’s gusty, the boat rocks around from the waves created by the wind. At night it can be hard to sleep when the rigging whistles from hollowing wind that blows through it.
So you get my point about weather on boat, right? Great!
Over the years I’ve labeled weather.
Storms are angry
Sunny days are happy
Wind is energetic
Rain is depressing or therapeutic (this depends on my mood)
Fog…well, fog is creepy
Why is fog creepy? When the thick white wall creeps in, sound is muted. Your visibility is limited and everything you pass looks ghost-like.
We all know this. But when on a boat and you’re caught in fog, it’s better to be at the dock then on a passage in a busy shipping channel…that’s just scary.
Below are some recent photos of our fog covered marina and some without.