A small project that turned into something bigger!

As we were putting away our gear we decided that instead of using the starboard pilot berth as storage only, we should also set it up for sleeping during sailing passages.  To our dismay, we encountered a bigger job than expected. The area had a very old-looking carpet (most likely came with the boat in the ‘70s) that was glued down to the bottom.  When the carpet was slowly peeled away, it started to crumble in our hands showing us just how old it really was.  Underneath the carpet, we found another but not huge surprise – black mildew or even worse, mold!  So this is when a supposedly small project, turned into something bigger!

Pilot Berth Area

Pilot Berth Area with the black mildew/mold

The area was first soaked with a bleach solution, cleaned with hot water, soaked with Spray Nine (our favourite cleaner on the boat), followed by sanding and painting the surface with a latex paint that supposedly works well on boats.  After the decision was made to paint the pilot berth, I decided that I (Sophia) might as well start and paint the salon area to replace the interesting orange and yellow colours painted by the previous owners.  The head and v-berth is an interesting green colour and the area across from the head is a purple colour.   We are planning on repainting these areas eventually as well.

Cleaning the pilot berth and getting it ready for painting!

Cleaning the pilot berth and getting it ready for painting!

Painting is never an easy job and is even more difficult when it has to be done a very small space that you live in.  It has taken two days to paint just the starboard side of the salon area.  As I was nearly finishing painting the second coat, Rob found out that the latex paint we were using might not be the right type for the marine environment and for a boat, especially if we were painting over an oil-base paint.  Luckily, I did not paint too many surfaces but as mentioned before it takes time to paint, especially the prep work of sanding the surfaces and I don’t feel like redoing it especially after having to get into all the awkward positions to paint.

Sophia painting

Sophia painting


While I was doing this, Rob decided that it was a good time to tackle the head – we are replacing the original fuel day tank for our cabin heater as it ended up leaking on us when we were on the boat last June.  When we designed the new fuel tank, we decided to make it bigger, which meant that the new one had to be placed on the opposite wall in the head over the head.  This also would save us some space in the head.  To do this, Rob had to pull out the old teak toiletry rack, ending up with several new holes in the wall. This has been patched up with wood filler but we are now waiting for this to dry before sanding and painting!  So now it looks like our boat exploded with everything from the starboard settee area and the head on the floor or stashed away as we wait for the paint and the wood filler to dry.

The first stage of getting the head area ready.  Using wood filler for all the holes

The first stage of getting the head area ready. Using wood filler for all the holes

Deciding the new colours for the head

Deciding the new colours for the head

Wondering if the orange colour would be better?

Wondering if the orange colour would be better for the head area?

To top it off, it also rained yesterday and discovered that our main salon hatch leaks in two different places (at least it’s an even number).  Sigh, one more project to work on but we might be able to hold off for a bit and try to get in some sailing in between all the projects that might pop up. ~ Sophia & Rob