I hope this finds you all well and staying safe in this difficult time. The work that our key workers are doing is unbelievable – especially in hospitals.
While I am staying at home to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus I may as well have a go at some of the winter maintenance that I didn’t get around to just yet. It was going to be sorted after the last two Sailing South West which unfortunately were cancelled.
This year, I needed to varnish the deck. Last year I did a very quick emergency job. It was a poor quality job covered in runs and let water in in a couple of spots through the year. I will also do the standard touch up of all of the high wear areas like the thwart.
I now need to do a couple of very very minor epoxy repairs before I begin varnishing. I am going to try a new tactic this time to get many thin coats of varnish. I am going to roll it on with a gloss roller and then brush it over with a foam brush to keep it smooth.
I will update as we go on….
Oh yes – it is in a cheap gazebo… I have butted a 6x3m and 3x3m gazebos together and lashed it down with some additional waterproof layers. It has successfully kept Lyonesse dry (mostly) since early November now though as you can see it has needed some agricultural reinforcements after the roof collapsed twice. It has now survived the last few storms without a glitch so it will stay up until it is replaced with something a bit more permanent.
I will post my progress but why not share some of your winter labour with us. Comment below or email me with your story and I will add in our news section.
I have now grooved the joins in the ply and epoxied them along with other small abused areas that I found. This is all rubbed down ready for varnish.
Also, as I was finishing the last bit of sanding I had visitors to the gazebo today… I think she will make a trapeze artist in time.
I then went to check on the varnish to find that my remaining stock had spoilt. While you can’t go into the shop at the moment, I have been able to order it online. Mothballed for 3-5 days then.
Update – 17/06/20
It has not been a while since I last updated this story but I am pleased to say that I am now finished and back on the water.
Once the varnish arrived I managed to get 5 coats of Epifanes traditional rapid clear varnish on. This is great as it allows multiple coats without having to sand in between. It is a semi-gloss and obviously without sanding between coats you do not eliminate the imperfections that you create with each coat. It also allows 2 coats per day. As it was during lockdown and I knew I was not going sailing any time soon I took my time and only varnished on dry, warm, windless days.
Once the layers were developed I gave it another thorough sand and followed with two coats of Epifanes traditional high gloss with a 320 grit wet sand between the coats.
It has come out reasonably well but is not without imperfections – sadly. Most importantly, it is protected and looks reasonable.
This is from my second sail of the season – recreational sailing only, socially distanced and only with those from your household. In our case as Ellie is still a little young that means going out on my own for now. More on that another time.
How have your winter maintenance projects developed through lockdown? We would love to hear from you either through the comments or by e-mail.