This is the new couch for the salon. The old one was so bad we had to cover it with a sheet. As a sleeper sofa, it was small, uncomfortable, and weighed more than a car. Good riddance. We pitched it off the boat onto the hard ground and it landed with a satisfying crunch. Now comes the tough part: installing the new couch.
How do you lift a seven-foot couch up over a railing that’s ten feet off the ground? Very carefully. The XO got the bright idea of using the old couch to stand on. She heaved it upward while I stood on the deck and pulled it over the railing.
We pick a cool but sunny day to perform our next trick: the dreaded painting of the bottom. Unless you remove your boat from the water after every use, this is a chore that all boaters must do. For us, it’s every two years. This year we’re trying a new water-based multi-season ablative from Petit.
The XO masks off the waterline while I scrape and wire-brush a few parts of the hull that didn’t come clean from last falls powerwashing.
I love this new paint! It rolls on wicked easy like interior house paint. We get the whole job done in an hour, and clean up with water. The stuff we used to use was so sticky and gummy it took forever to apply it, and smelled so toxic we needed masks.
Normally, this time of year, we would have completely removed the winter shrink wrapping, but we’re leaving it on so we can coat the deck and gunwales with Kiwigrip. It’s a thick, non skid coating that we hope will improve the look and feel of our aging gel-coat. We did all the online research (and by “we” I mean the XO) and this stuff comes highly recommended.
It’s early, and being a weekday, I’m the only soul in the whole marina. It’s time to prep the decks for the Kiwigrip. “This shouldn’t take too long,” I say to myself as I crawl up through the forward hatch. With the shrink-wrap still on, the strong April sun is turning the enclosed space into a sauna. “Jeez it’s hot in here,” I say out loud as I pull off my sweatshirt. Escaping the morning chill feels good on my bones for about five minutes, then It’s time to do something about it. I snap open my pocket knife and cut two vee shaped vents into the white shrink-wrap.
I mix up a small batch of Marine-Tex and fill all the small holes and cracks, then mask off all the areas I don’t want coated, and scrub everything with a Scotch-Brite pad and Zep cleaner/degreaser. That last sentence describes six-and-a-half hours of knuckle scraping work crawling on my knees. I drag my aching body home and plunk myself on the couch with two Aleve and a cold beer. I’m not gonna move for the rest of the day. Except maybe to get another beer.
The next day the XO and I are back at Moby Dick Marina to apply the Kiwigrip. The manufacturer says you need two people: a “slather-er” (the actual term used in the instructions) or someone to goop the product on with a trowel, and another person to immediately give it texture with a roller tool before it dries. I will call that person the “texture-er”.
Kiwigrip has the consistency of canned vanilla cake frosting. It’s real easy to work with. We do a small 2 foot section, remove the masking tape, and move on down the line until it’s all covered. It probably took a couple of hours. The end result is lookin’ good. I’ll let ya know how it holds up to the marine environment. But since it was developed in New Zealand for racing sailboats, I remain optimistic.