Blog post way over due...................

I am a bit overwhelmed by the number of people that have sent us an email asking that this blog be updated. We sincerely appreciate the interest. No excuses! We have been very busy working lots of hours to get our finances in order after a several month hiatus to get Mary Rose ready to sail and then sail her to the new home port. The Admiral has started her new job and has worked very long hours. She has already made a positive impact in her new job and management is very happy to have her highly developed skills and exceptional work ethic in their unit. The captain has been busy with "Handy Man" work that came by way of Craigslist.com. I am booked out at least three weeks now and more coming this way. In addition to regular work for $$$$$$$$$$, we started some extensive maintenance projects on Mary Rose.

The first project completed was the all natural teak decks. Much of the caulking in the seams was loose and we replaced close to 50 or 60% of the seams and 100% of the outside seams of the teak deck. For the reader that have boats I will give some details. The rest of you can skip this part. The process is quite involved and requires...
1. Removing loose caulk.
a. a screw driver with a 3/16 head bent to a 90 degree angle at the tip was recommended by Teak Decking System (TDS). They call it a reefing tool.
2. Sanding the grooves after the caulk is out.
a. 80 grit sand paper wrapped around a wood paint stir works well for this.
3. Increasing the depth of the groove if needed with a router.
a. a 3/16 router bit in a Rotozip tool was perfect for this.
4. Cleaning the grooves with acetone.
a. a clean rag wrapped around the wood paint stir and soaked in Acetone worked well.
5. Placing a strip of fineline masking tape in the bottom of the seam.
a. this keeps the caulk from sticking to the bottom of the groove the next time it needs to be replaced.
6. Masking both sides of the grooves with great precision.
7. Filling the prepared groove with caulking obtained from (TDS)
a. this must be done very carefully as air can be trapped and cause additional problems
8. Remove the masking tape once the new caulking cures slightly so the caulking is not disturbed.
a. I found that temperature and humidity had a great deal to do with how long to wait for the tape removal.
9. Wait 24 hours and then sand the seams with an orbital sander and 120 grit paper.
10. Wait 2-3 weeks for the newly sanded wood to weather and then then seal the entire deck with Simco natural teak deck sealer.
This process took all of our free time for two full weeks. Teak Decking Systems in Sarasota, FL has a great web site with lots of helpful information. http://www.teakdecking.com/

We worked hard as there was a Westsail Rendezvous on February 16 and 17 in none other than Boca Grande at Charlotte Harbor. If you have read the earlier post then you will remember that Boca Grande was where we were making a night landfall when we were hit with a healthy squall. Well of course we had to go back and show off our new girl....Mary Rose.

We were honored as a great sailor and friend, Mike DeGeorge from Kansas City, join us as we sailed to Boca Grande. It was a great trip and I will add a post in the near future on that trip. In short it was about 180 nautical miles over four days. The day we returned my daughter Shannon and her two children came to go sailing with us on Tampa Bay. We had a blast and I will post more on that also.

So to sum it up we have been working our butts off at work and on the boat and also have managed to get in some extended sailing time.

We will make more frequent updates to this blog as we now know that there is an interest.

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