Springing into the Boating Season

Mounds of snow retreated to the sewers, the once frozen ground was now soft beneath my boots and the sound of a circular saw pierced the still morning air. All of this could mean only one thing: Spring had finally arrived at Jamestown’s Clark Boat Yard. And with that, it was time to get back to work on the Karen Marie.

Among this year’s many projects, one of the most pressing is to refinish the interior, starting with the ceiling. Over the years the roof coring (the plywood center in-between two outer layers of fiberglass) has rotted due to a number of small leaks. Layer upon layer of fiberglass strips, wood, paint, plastic headliner, nails, screws and bolts had been affixed, like a Frankenstein gone wrong, to fix (read: hide) the leaks.

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In the battle of water vs. roof, water was clearly winning.

Armed with a scraper, my faithful orbital sander, and plenty of 60-grit paper, Karen and I began grinding down the many layers of debris. We worked in shifts so that sander was running constantly while the other person cleaned up the debris and attempted to pick up some of the dust that settled on, well, everything. After about 10 total hours, the ceiling was finally smoothed out and numerous holes were sealed with silicone. The next step is to adhere a Sailright fabric headliner to the top.

It was a weekend filled with hard and dirty work, but I type this entry with sore shoulders and a smirk on my face. Boating season is here at last.

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If you couldn’t tell, there is still a lot of sanding left to do.

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Even with the respirator and goggles, the interior work has been a dirty job so far.

8 thoughts on “Springing into the Boating Season

      • Thankfully I only had to do that in the forward corner on the starboard side where I needed to fix a decent leak. The rest of the fiberglass (even with questionable coring) is strong and doesn’t need replacing…yet!

  1. It never ceases to amaze me just how much sanding is involved in boat ownership. It would be interesting to see the average (hours sanding):(hours sailing) ratio!

  2. OMG…what a job and what a mess. All I can say is that Karen is certainly earning her name on the back of the boat….go Karen and Daniel, too. Enjoy your boating season…whenever winter decides to retreat. Love, Grandma

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