Refinishing Yacht Windows
By the time my parents arrived, Jeffrey and I had decided that we’d take the skylights and all the windows from around the settee to the shop where Mom and I would sand them. The settee area has seven windows and the skylights each have two. I was so excited to get started. I set out both of the random orbit sanders and the triangle sander. It had been a while since Mom had used them. She was cautious to make sure every window she worked on was sanded perfectly. It took us four days to take all the windows down to bare wood. The outside faces took a lot of work. We had let the teak gray while we attended to other projects over the last seven winters. This was the first time they had been refinished since our friend Aaron built them.
On New Years Eve we finished sanding. There was dust everywhere. Mom went inside (our shop is in our backyard) for a nap so she could stay awake for midnight festivities. I began to clean the shop. I took the air hose and dusted off the high areas and then swept the floor. I dusted everything so that we’d be ready for varnish the next day.
It was noon on New Years Day when Mom and I made it into the shop. I opened the big garage door and sunlight filled the shop. The windows all seemed to glow. I did a little more dusting with the air hose while Mom prepared each window for finish. This included wiping them down with rubbing alcohol and taping foam blocks to the glass so we could work on both sides of the panes. By four o’clock we were ready to apply our first coat of finish.
The afternoon went by fast. For the first time in five days we were able to work without hearing protectors and dust masks and chat as we worked. It grew dark and I closed the overhead door to the cold. Jeffrey and I use Deks Olje for our brightwork. It’s a two part oil based product which has a nice color tint and is easy to fix in the middle of a busy summer when we’re full with passengers. We got started and immediately felt the sense of accomplishment as the oil soaked in to the wood. The color change gave us a preview of what the end product would look like. It was so satisfying to see the transformation.
By six o’clock we’d finished a couple coats and it was time for my parents to leave. I was so grateful to them for spending their vacation time with us and for doing so much work. As their car disappeared into the night, I couldn’t help but think how nice it was to be able to ring in a new year with a renewed feeling of optimism. Having Mom help reset my routine. With the craziness of December over and with Mom’s labor I’m a little ahead of where I planned to be. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks of applying layers of Deks 2 to build up gloss. With the holidays over, Jeffrey and I will settle back into our routine, and if I’m lucky, my mom will want to come back for her spring break. I’ve still got eight more pilothouse windows, the trunk cabin, cap rail, and guard on her to-do list.
Sea Sense instructors will be in the Pacific Northwest, New England this summer.
The crew of the yacht David B shares tips for sanding skylights.
So many of you have written to ask about the mighty Bossanova, my beloved steel trawler, that I thought I’d bring you up to date. This part is the bad news. Editor's Letter from our September 2012 issue.