Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

Back from the Boat

Last year I picked up a gig refinishing the rails on a 44ft trawler, this year I got to work on it again, and build on last years repairs.

Whoever did the work previously coated the teak rails in some kind of urethane which managed to make the rails look plastic without giving them much protection. The seams had started to weather leaving ugly grey sections and soft spots around the guard rail posts.

So, for five days I hand scrapped the resin until I had all the teak exposed, then sealed it for the season.

This year, I was able to pick up from last season. I scraped again, but this time I was able to smooth out sections I couldn’t get last year and do a proper redressing of all the rails. I also sanded and resealed the flying bridge table and the stairs leading to the bridge.

Brightwork, the name for polishing and cleaning of boat bits, is a seasonal job, and often sequential. Scraping and sanding too much in a given year wears out the wood, as each cleaning removes some amount of material. It’s much better to establish a profile once, and then work to maintain it.

Last year was all back work, undoing the mistakes of the previous brightworker. This year was the first I got to see progress. It was incredibly satisfying seeing seeing the rails back to their proper shape and color, and to see what I’d started last year pay off this season.

Looking forward to seeing how they hold up, and to making them look even better next year.