80 Feet of Wood and Strange Wire
09 March 2012 | Wilmington, NC
Overcast and rainy
80 FEET OF WOOD AND STRANGE WIRE
March 9, 2012
The toe rail, cap rail or whatever you call it is two decorative pieces of beautiful teak about four inches wide that caps the deck/hull joint (outside edge of the deck). There is much discussion among cruisers as to whether or not it is fitting and functional to keep it varnished. Some boats manufacturers have eliminated that wood in favor of a way more useful aluminum extrusion that needs no upkeep and is handy to attach rigging. During our days of weekending, Bear insisted on that wood being bright and shiny which is no small task. That wood takes a beating if one sails much. Or at least it did with us. Finally, after years of negotiation with Bear, I was allowed to let it weather, to shed the Honey Teak finish. In so doing, it became less than attractive. I know, I know if I had done annual maintenance on the finish, it would still be nice. Remember the mindset that one should never do today what one can do tomorrow? Classic example, huh?
I must admit that the silver look of weathered teak is attractive but not with touches of bright varnish like stuff randomly sprinkled about. I ran across a boat in the islands that had her toe rails simply cleaned and oiled. Thinks I: now there seems to be a grand, relatively easy solution. Besides that, the oil has to be good for the wood. As I found out, it better be at $30 a liter. So now and for the next few days, old Bligh is preparing the 80 feet of wood for the oil which means taking a scraper and knife to the wood to remove all the little specs of leftover varnish. Then the rail is carefully sanded. To me it is sort of like polishing railroad tracks. The end is nowhere in sight. Wish me luck since neither Bear nor Scurv want any part of the exercise and my A.D.H.D. is barely under control.
Last rain event, we had the usual drips which are all on the list of things to fix. One new one was really strange. Just at the place where the mast wiring enters the main cabin, I noticed a drop of water on the cover plate on the inside. I removed the cover plate thus exposing the wiring. There are six of them. One has a large radio connector which was taped to prevent any corrosion. But the really unusual thing was evidence that water was dripping out of the tape. Further investigation (sounds scientific, huh) revealed that indeed water was dripping out of the connector. Might we have found a dual use cable? Water and radio signals from the same wire? That one will keep me busy for a bit. Not a good thing and most likely the work of Little Prick our boat troll. Can’t you just see him on the masthead with a tiny little funnel pouring water in the other end of that cable?
PS: I would be posing more photos except I left a critical cable at home and am waiting for it to catch up.