What needs to be fixed on the inside

To really get my boat working again I knew that I would need to tear most of it apart. I’ve essentially gutted it. If this were a car I would currently be almost to what you’d call a frame-up restoration (but not quite). I removed everything that was broken and then cataloged everything I was removing. I knew the carpet needed to be replaced so that meant removing all the chairs and other parts. The more I dug around the more I found that needed to be removed to be cleaned, repaired or replaced. Below is a WordPress gallery of the interior of my boat as I tore it down. If you click on the gallery and move through the pictures I’ve created comments to explain things as you move through the days it took me to do this.

One fun story: One day I was looking at the carpet and at some carpet samples that had been mailed to me. I could not decide which one matched the best (turns out I had the wrong samples). Susie came out to the garage to see what I was up to now so I asked her opinion. She said, “Aren’t you going to replace all the carpet?” “Yes”, I replied as that was the plan. Susie responded, “Then pick a color that you really like and do an upgrade!” My wife = AWESOME!

Next bog I’ll get you up-to-date and then my blogs can become real-time from this point forward.

What needs to be fixed

So, back to my boat. After the initial clean-up I set about figuring out what needed to be fixed. It might be easier to list what didn’t need to be fixed, but since I’m blogging here I can just post pictures. 🙂 First off, the hull, while structurally sound, was rough around the edges. The outside of any fiberglass boat made since the early 80’s or so is a material called gelcoat. Gelcoat is crazy stuff to work with. More on that later. Some images of problem gelcoat areas on my boat:

The poor boat's nose was damaged
Some nasty gashes on the side
More chips and scrapes
Note how the hull basically looks OK, even glossy, but the edges are damaged

And, the most ugly scar of all was this spot where the nose must have been repeatedly rubbed on a dock, or a beach or something. It wore through the gelcoat and even through the first layer of fiberglass. It is somewhat interesting to look at the pattern of the weave on the fiberglass and see how the boat is constructed. Happily, the only damage here is to the the outer layer of fiberglass which is more of a filler type of material, but the woven stuff underneath is still solid as a rock.

The ugly part on the bow
I still wonder how this happened

So, that’s the outside. The inside wasn’t a whole lot better. That’s next.

In Greece, Day Two

After some business meetings the evening of the first day (this is work, after all), our group set out for our second day. I had no idea how AMAZING this day was going to be. The night before we were told, “We will be going out on a boat to an island, having lunch and coming home.” Sounded easy enough.

I woke to find this boat in the bay in front of our hotel. We puttered out to the boat and set off on our adventure.

Our boat ready to go out in the bay
Too pretty not to take a picture
Puttering out to the boat
Water, a beautiful house up on the hill... what a life

 

The fist step in our adventure was a stop in Delios, which is an ancient Greek ruin on its own island. It was AMAZING. I took tons of pictures in Delios, but without a narrative it would be difficult to describe. It was so incredible to walk on streets that were used before Jesus was born, and to know that this place existed and was a functional city during the entire New Testament era. To say it was incredible would not even begin to do it justice.

Our group listening to our guide at the ruins
I was there
Our enthusiastic guide
Note how the marble steps are worn down from 100's of years of use where people walk, away from the pillars
This well still produces water, and has for 1000's of years
An ancient street in Delios
Ancient ruins everywhere. The place was huge.

 

After that, our day somehow got even more amazing. We puttered over to the private beach of the owner / operator of our boat and spend the afternoon swimming, relaxing on the beach and then had a wonderful BBQ meal that he cooked for us over an open pit. Some pictures from our afternoon.

Note how BLUE the water looked here:

Really, really blue water

 

Some scenes from the day:

I went swimming here.
It was that beautiful
Our guide showing us his place on the island. Note the view we had in the background while eating lunch.
More rock walls
A close-up of the wall

 

Finally it was time to leave. We had a REALLY rockin’ ride back home. The seas were quite agitated that day. But we made it home and everybody agreed it was an unforgettable day. One of the group summed it up best, “When I get home I am going to struggle to put into words what this was like.” I completely agree. Even with these pictures it is no where near as amazing as seeing it in person.

Time to leave, but nobody wanted to go.

 

Side trip to Greece, Day 1

This has nothing to do with my boat, except that I’ve made no progress on the project in the last week. I work for Boeing, and they send me all around the world to help sell airplanes. In my current job, I travel to a few places quite often, but this last trip I got to go to Greece. I went to an island called Mykonos. While there I got to do and see some amazing things. I forgot my camera so I had to use my tiny cell phone camera to take pictures of everything. But, as you can see, it is breathtakingly beautiful there.

On my first day there I got to go to a beach for the majority of the day. It was really fun to just sit on a beach chair and soak up the warmth and breeze. It actually got really windy during the mid-afternoon. Swimming in the ocean here is a lot of fun. The water is really salty, and so you can float with practically no effort at all. So much so that even swimming is more like relaxing instead of exercise!

What I did last summer

I suppose the usual idea is to buy a boat in the spring and then use it during the warm summer months. As you can likely already tell that’s not what I did with my boat last summer. 🙂

First step was to start to take it apart and clean. The boat was really grimy. The more I took apart the more there was to clean.

Leaves, needles, slime - and that's about 3/4 a tank of really old gasoline
Propeller shaft and exhaust tube - the brass part is a water inlet for engine cooling
Leaves way up in the bow
Close up of the fuel tank top
Yup, it's grimy

After a lot of taking things apart and scrubbing everywhere the boat started to get clean. A funny story from this early stage: One of the first things I did was clean the bilge (the bottom of the boat). When I was done the bottom would be clean and dry, but the next morning there would be more water in the bilge. Some mornings enough leeched out to actually make a puddle on the floor of our garage. I started to look for the source of the water. First I pulled up the ice chest area. It was a little grimy, but not bad. Forward of that is where the battery goes. It was FULL of smelly, brown, nasty and gross water. I got a cup from somewhere in the garage and began to bail out the battery hold. The water really stunk and the leaves settled on the bottom were mush. I was almost completely done pulling out the water and suddenly I saw something move. I thought I was seeing things, but then it moved again. There was a tadpole swimming in my boat!

Ice box and battery compartment
The forward (left) compartment had my swimming friend in it

There is a drain at the back of these two compartments, but both were plugged with grime and leaves. I cleaned them out as best I could. No more water drained from the boat so I finally found the source of water.

Next post: A list of things that need to be fixed.

Where it all began

As I mentioned before, I’ve been thinking about boats for a long time. I did my research and finally found the deal I was looking for on Craigslist. Up in Bellingham a guy was selling a 1993 Ski Nautique without an engine or transmission, or a trailer. He wanted $2,500 for the boat. I emailed him and we started a conversation. I wanted to go look at the boat in person, but Bellingham isn’t exactly right next door so he emailed me some pictures. As advertised, the boat was kinda’ rough. It obviously had just been sitting outside for a long time:

The boat was an ex-ski-school machine. It had tons of hours on it (hours on boats are like miles on a car). I was still curious though because it was a Ski Nautique and it was cheap. The seller had somebody else interested in the boat but gave me “first dibs”. I’m not sure how serious the other guy was so we started to negotiate on price and eventually the seller dropped to $1800 and said he would deliver the boat. Before he did that he actually got out some tools and cleaned up the boat quite a bit. He sent me these photos. He removed the ski-school graphics and even vacuumed it out a bit.

I saw these and went ahead and purchased the boat. My wife very graciously allowed this as she saw the passion in my eyes. It’s the same passion I see in her eyes when we talk about cars from Mini (I think that will be our next car purchase – but maybe that’s another blog). We got the boat to our house and you saw those pictures in my first post. The one in the rain was taken literally minutes after I signed the papers and wrote a big check (big for me).

Next, I pulled it into the garage. If you are reading closely you’ll note that I don’t own the trailer the boat is sitting on out there in the rain. With Susie’s help I was able to BARELY fit the boat and trailer into the garage. I got out the camera and started to snap shots.

If you’d like to know how to get a boat off a trailer I can tell you that unless you have a large crane it involves a lot of jacks, some blocks of wood and concrete, and a lot of effort. My final post today is a picture of me and my friend Robert who came over with two jacks, a lot of wood and some clear thinking that helped us free the trailer from the boat. The boat is still sitting in this exact location in our garage.

Next post – the inventory of things I need to fix begins.

Welcome to my new blog about the boat

Last summer while I was in Scotland visiting family I agreed to buy a boat. I agreed to buy a boat that needed a lot of work. I’m going to attempt to blog here about what I’m doing and where I’m going with this project. For today, I’m just going to show where things were and how things started.
1993 Ski Nautique

It is a 1993 Ski Nautique. It needs a lot of work, even though in this photo it looks quite good. Stay tuned.

A WordPress blog about boat

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The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance - Psalm 16

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