When we bought Madrigal, the previous owner had just replaced all of the portlights with nice new opening ports. All of them came with bug screens that you can insert when the port is open. That's a nice perk, but the companionway and the two cabintop hatches are all wide open to bugs. Luckily, bugs aren't a problem in downtown Boston. We've never needed a single screen. Although, as you may already know, we are planning to move the boat to Weymouth this summer. We'll be a good ways up a river with brackish water and quite possibly many more bugs than we are used to. With that in mind, Jenny has set to work making bug screens.
We've asked around on different methods for how to do this, and it seems that the best method is to use flexible screen and sew a border around it with weights. Then you just open the hatch and throw the weighted screen over it. Neat. Simple. Effective. We like it.
It was nice and warm out under the shrink wrap over the weekend, so Jenny was able to work outside and hang out with Willie and me.
Here she is looking very pretty.
And then there is the project I've been working on for weeks. Our decks are in rough, very rough, cosmetic shape. They are solid, with no core rot, but the gel coat is scratched and worn away. Somebody had put a primer coat on it years ago but never painted it. The nonskid squares are all worn down and ugly. There seems to be spraypaint(!) around the mast boot. The list goes on. Well, since we intend to epoxypaint it soon, I want to take care of all the blemishes first.
Here are a couple pictures of an old chainplate hole. I'm not sure what that chainplate was ever used for, but it is certainly not necessary anymore and they were beginning to leak (there is one on both sides of the boat). So I ground the holes out, filled them with some hardwood and then fiberglassed the remaining gap until it was flush with the deck.
here's a close up of one.
Then, the biggest part of the project is the cockpit. All the seams were starting to get stress cracks and a couple were even beginning to leak. I ground them all out a few inches and have been in the process of fiberglass reinforcing all the seams. You can also see in the top right corner of the picture below where there were some gauges in the wall (what is the boat term for that part of the bulkhead next to the companionway?). I took those 3 old wind and speed gauges out and had to grind huge holes so that new fiberglass has something to hold on to. (Thanks to Dave from the Fitzcarraldo for the fiberglassing lessons)
Anyhow, I have most everything glassed now. It just needs to be sanded down smooth. Faired in with fairing putty, and then I can start to paint. It is supposed to be nice this weekend. If all goes well I can get the first coat of paint on.