Turn your back for one minute and, VOILA! The workshop is a mess.
OK, I admit it. I messed it up. I had to build a new boat-roof and that means carpentry and f’glassing and sanding and painting and well, it just never ends. This is a miserable little project but I will share it with you.
I (we) drive a small runabout. It’s fine. Nice little boat. Great engine. It’s all good but, of course, small runabouts are ‘convertibles’ as a rule and, if there is any kind of shelter tacked on, you can’t see through the windshield in bad weather and so those little covers are more trouble than they are worth. Unless, of course, it is dark, freezing and the howling wind is slanting the ice-rain in your face. That usually brings a few second thoughts.
One of our neighbours dealt with the problem very nicely. She has to do a ten mile run just to get within hailing distance of another OTG’er and so her boat trip is a bit more challenging and a lot more wet than ours. We travel faster, for a shorter distance and the waters are not usually too crazy. She, on the other hand, has to navigate ‘Crazy’ Channel and, in the winter, she has had to detour around water spouts sprinkling her designated route. Little water tornadoes 20 plus feet high! Several of ’em! She has had ice forming on her boat! Her little boat is maybe 14 feet long, very low in the water and has no ‘protection’ whatsoever. No lights either.
Anyway, she wears a motorcycle helmet in the winter, complete with ‘visor’ or ski goggles. And that, she claims, is all that is needed. That and multiple layers of clothing under a top notch wet weather outfit (and a little fluffy dog stuffed in there somewhere).
I thought I’d try something else. Last year I built a little metal roof-support structure and, on the top, placed a lightweight plywood roof. Small. Two feet by 5 feet. It sits higher than normal little rooftops so that I can get in and out without hitting my head and so that I can still see over the windshield in bad weather. It was good. But, but, but…..
Good isn’t always good enough. I did not f’glass the first ‘prototype’ simply because I did not expect the first one to be perfect. And it is not. It should extend a bit further out over the windshield, be a smidge wider and, since I wanted it light, I used only ‘doorskin’ for the roof and just painted it. This time, all those deficiencies have been corrected. Within a week I will have a better roof over my head. And, of course, I’ll send a pic.
But here’s the point of the story – not that there is much of a point at all – I undertook this new project without double checking my materials. I figured to ‘cobble’ it up if I had to. But Sal went onto the neighbouring island the other day and came back with some doorskins for me. Wahoo! I was ‘on my way’. And I progressed rather quickly…….(quick is very unlike me but the workshop was clean and ordered and that really sped up the process….who knew?). I already have the roof half-made. And yesterday, I started to f’glass it.
So, who has a bunch of resin and mat and cloth and, most important, hardener for the resin on hand….just layin’ around? Turns out…I do!
Yeah. In my ‘accumulation’ of bits, parts, supplies and crappola over the years I have also added all that is needed for f’glassing. Not enough resin to do anything HUGE but I have enough cloth and mat to build a small boat! Of course, it was not readily found. Sal and I first went on a ‘hunt’ for what we ‘kinda felt’ was there somewhere. And we found several stashes of f’glass materials and enough resin to do the job. Having all the stuff was very, very satisfying.
“Dave! That is NOT a story!”
I guess not. Apologies. It is just that Dave’s hardware collection has not let me down in 18 years. I have junk. I have stuff. I have crappola. My work may suck but I can keep on going and that’s half the battle.
The other half is keeping the workshop tidy….
PS: minor dilemma……….the catalyst may have gone stale over time. I may have counted the drops per ounce of resin out wrong. It may be too cold in the workshop (altho I fired up the kerosene heater and it felt warm)….regardless…..it has been almost 20 hours and the ‘glass’ has not fully kicked off. It’s half-set but not hard-set. That is a setback. I am gonna crank up the heat and NOT work on the roof today….give ‘er a chance to set up. I hope. Please God. If the workshop is a mess now, a half-set f’glass project is a colossal mess!
PPS: There is a God! It kicked off! All is good. Well, it is still really bad workmanship but good enough for the standards I work to…..virtually none….if it stands on its own and doesn’t fall down, it is good enough!