The destruction continues…

I’m counting the days until Annabel Lee emerges from the shed and returns to the realm of sunlight and tides. The quiet corner where she’s dwelled, once solitary and serene, has over the last few months become a somewhat hellish place of earsplitting noise as compressors, grinders and sanders all tear into hurricane damaged hulls, and a constant layer of gritty white dust that coats everything and everyone. These days, I can’t even hear the passing freight trains — I only know they’re rumbling past when the boat begins to shake.  But progress continues. The bridge is solid, smooth, and sealed up tight as a duck’s rear end. Likewise for the transmission, along with much of the other leaks in the engine room. The salon windows will receive some temporary attention until we can focus on them further. But as our days with the boat indoors, under a roof and out of the weather count down, there’s one last region of leaks I’d intended on eradicating, and though I knew it wouldn’t be pleasant, it had to be done. The forward and side decks.

I’m sure thirty-five years ago these decks looked lovely and seemed like a good idea. True, they had their charm, but at present they weren’t far behind the bridge, and left unattended I knew only too well where their advancing leaks would lead. It was time to be ruthless.

It was painful, ripping the first planks up. But before long I was discovering how many fasteners were all but gone. These decks were on their last days, with or without my help. And in short time, I’d already cleared a large area.

Once all the teak is gone, I’ll strip off the bedding, drill and fill the holes, and this time around it should (theoretically) be a simple case of laying down some biaxial cloth with yet more epoxy, and finishing it off with some non-skid.  After the structural issues entailed in reconstructing the bridge, this should be a whole lot simpler, easier, and faster. At least, that’s my hope, but whatever the case, it needed to be done. I’m just looking forward to the days when I’ll have more time to focus on my writing, aboard a tranquilly floating, dust-free and relatively leak-free boat.

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3 responses to “The destruction continues…

  1. Love seeing the new pics! If you are ever coastal North Carolina, Please look us up. My family and I will take you for a ride on our Cheoy Lee 32. She is getting some minor work done but is in the water and ready!

    Roger

    Ps. I met with the owner of Cheoy Lee in Miami. He told me all about the 32 Cheoy Lee trawler. When he was a boy he worked the line under his grandfathers supervision.

    Roger Grear New Bern, NC

  2. You’re doing a great job CE and…You have put me off buying a bargain priced older timber built boat. Think I’ll go back to plan A and search for a well built Ferro Cement boat, just to much work in an older timber boat for this old salt 🙂
    Keep-up the great work CE.
    Bill
    Australia

  3. Thanks, both of you! As I said yesterday, I’m catching up on some long long overdue updates to this blog. In the coming weeks the truly amazing pictures will start to appear, and while we still have far to go, it was time to fill in the gaps before I moved forward.

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