My friend Dan came with me for a short boat ride to the slings. On Tuesday morning, May 31st, we motored upriver and slipped into the lowered slings of the Toledo boat lift. They yard guys came down and measured the boat alongside the pier and looked at some old photos to determine where to place the slings. They then slowly lift the boat up until the bow is almost at the pier in front, so the crew can step off onto dry land. Then it’s up, up and away until the boat hangs over the pressure washing pad.
This was our first glimpse at the bottom, and it looked pretty good. As usual with old wooden boats in the northwest, they are better preserved underwater. The only planks that needed to be replaced were above the waterline.
While she was having her bottom pressure washed, Celeste and I made a speed run to the valley to pick up a decent ladder and scaffolding from Home Depot. The Toledo boat yard charges a daily rate to rent the ladder and scaffolding, which was new to me. So I figured we would pay for them in the first two years – and I can loan them out to friends so they don’t have to pay either. This pad next to the shipwright’s whop would be her home for the next 9 days. Here’s the boss inspecting the bottom:
I did find a couple of butt seams that got some new cotton while we were out:
Here’s some pictured of the some of the new wood we installed. I’ll go over how planks are cut and installed in another post, but the short of it is you expend a lot of energy removing the old planks and old fasteners, add new framed or ribs if possible, then pattern and cut new planks to replace them.
All told about 80 feel of new planks were added and 175 feet of seams were caulked.
It made for some very long days. Out of the water I usually worked until 8 or 9:00 at night. The heat during the day was horrible – for 5 days it went over 90 degrees during the day, so I would switch sides and hide from the sun. I did have some occasional helpers…
Eventually she got a new $1000.00 coat of bottom paint, and I spent half a day cleaning the propeller. The new zincs went on and she was ready to go back in to the water…After paying the yard bill, which was over $3800.00 for 9 days.
A quick splash, and then it was back to the service dock to keep an eye on the planks while she swelled back up. The planks had shrunk quite a bit in the 9 hot and dry days we were out. most wood boats were trying to haul out day one, paint & zinc day two, and go back in the water day three in this weather. The pumps had quite a workout the first night. The main float switch stopped working so I had to stay onboard and get up once an hour to pump her out.
After a pump replacement on Friday and the planks swelling up for 36 hours I could finally go home and relax. Saturday morning we took a quick boat ride down the river, making 7.3 knots at 600 rpm. Uncle Pat came along as engineer, and went around checking things and greasing the shaft. It felt good for the old girl to stretch her legs. This was her first real voyage in over a decade, 11 river miles to South Beach.
After an uneventful hour and a half, Pat and I tied up at the end of A dock in South Beach. There’s plenty of work left to do, but all the people who thought she would never leave Toledo were thankfully proved wrong. Thank you to my beautiful bride for being patient for the last three months as I’ve literally spent seven days a week either at work or at the boat in Toledo. It was all worth it though, as we will one day have a sturdy and beautiful family cruiser.