Category Archives: boat maintenance

start again!

I spread the plastic out last night and it miraculously cleared overnight! My best guess is that water got in the pores (pores? does plastic have pores? yuck) and it took a few hours to completely dry out.

Get the sewing machine out! Re-thread with dacron! Turn on some tunes! The sewing will re-commence!


starting . . . and stopping.

1:30PM: My Sunday afternoon is free and clear. I’ve had lunch; Hans is at the library all day; and the weather is perfect. Time to finish stinkpot’s canvas project.

2:00 PM: I’ve taken the bimini down and have measured the zippers.

sewing the zipper on the bimini

2:40 PM: the zippers have been sewn onto the bimini. With Patty’s help (from s/v Full Circle), I’ve put the bimini back up and am ready to measure and cut for the windows.

3:00 PM: I unroll the plastipane window material. It’s white. Sure, you can see through it, barely. It should be clear.  These are going to be windows!

yes, you can see the mum behind the plastic, but it's a bit foggy, wouldn't you say?

3:30 PM: I wash, I scrub, I scratch with my fingernail. The white stubbornly remains in place.

3:40PM: Erin–who is struggling with rotten gunwales on her wooden powerboat–commiserates with me: boat projects are never easy.

3:50 PM: I post to anybody know how to de-fog plastipane?

4:00 PM: I shrug my shoulders, mutter a few expletives at the white plastic, put away the sewing machine, put a load of laundry in the machine.

Looks like I’ll need to place another order with Sailrite. Yet again.

stinkpot (aka m/v Rhumb Line)

A brief boating history:

Last May (2009) we sailed  s/v Whisper from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia. Hans started school a week after we arrived. After a couple weeks living aboard Whisper tied up to a dock in the middle of a big city, it was quickly apparent that we needed a little more space. We reluctantly put Whisper up for sale on ebay and started our new search. We sold Whisper in July 2009 and bought m/v Rhumb Line, a 36′ Carver aft cabin (powerboat).  As sailors, we affectionately call Rhumb Line: stinkpot. Stinkpot is a 1988 vintage and the interior furnishings and textiles reflected this. In June 2010 we spent three straight weeks updating the interior. New hardwood floors, freshly painted white walls, stripped and oiled wood, new deck furniture and I have been diligently working away at the back deck and bridge canvas/plastic window enclosure. (Nearly done, just in time for winter!)

Can you see my spirit?

a sewing room with a view

A major, seemingly endless, project on m/v Stinkpot is the canvas enclosure for the back deck and the flybridge. I’ve been working on this in earnest for the past few days and I’ve relocated my sewing workshop to the marina’s deck. Everyone who has a boat here passes by me to get in and out of the marina and I’ve received some funny comments:

  • Looks like we have a tailor shop here.
  • Do you do buttons?
  • Pier 3 Sweatshop
  • I made one of those for my boat, but I used a hot glue gun and grommets instead of sewing.
  • Looks like you’ve got quite a project there.
  • I like your spirit, you’ve got the spirit!
  • You go girl!
  • Watcha workin’ on?
  • Ahh, you sew canvas? I’ve got a couple rips in my dodger (bimini, awning, etc.), do you think you could look at it for me? I’d pay you and provide the materials.
  • Do you know how to get to the tour buses at Independence Hall?
  • Wow! What a beautiful machine you have.  An old Singer…it’s in pristine condition.
  • They don’t make those machines like they used to–do you know that is made out of iron?
  • You could sell that machine on ebay and make a bundle.
  • What fabric are you using? Is that strataglass?

I love the comments!  My favorite, by far, is the spirit comment.  How fabulous to be told that I have spirit! (In actual fact, I welcome the comments because they give me a break from my back breaking work.)

plastic windows

The current, never-ending project on m/v Stinkpot (besides fixing leaks), is sewing an enclosure for the back and top decks.  We have completed the back deck enclosure and are now working on sewing the connecting piece between the hard-top to the back deck and the bimini which is over the top deck (cockpit).  We have a large piece of Sunbrella that fits and needs to be tailored to the space.  Yesterday I sewed a plastic window into the back.  Since Hans was studying all day, I had to tackle my lack of spatial awareness.  I lay the piece of sunbrella across the back deck, lay the window across the top and then had to determine how to cut out the hole in the Sunbrella while leaving space to hem and attached the window.  Sunbrella costs over $15/yd so I didn’t want to miscalculate.  Crawling across the back deck on my knees (proof of this task is visible in the bruises in my knees today), I measured two 5/8″ hems, plus an additional 1/4″ seam to attach the window.  I connected the dots with a black permanent marker (permanent? since when do boaters use anything ‘permanent’ on the first try at  project?!), and ended up with a rectangle within a rectangle.  I walked around the canvas a couple times, analyzing and talking to myself, convincing myself that it was time to cut.  Out came the scissors.  I ironed the hem twice, sewed the hem and dragged the canvas back outside, crossing my fingers that my calculations were correct.  Ta da!  the window fit perfectly.  I affixed it with seamstick, dragged it back inside and sewed the window to the canvas.

we’re one step closer to having a dry cockpit!