What A Difference A Month Makes!

Those of you who live with snow will understand this. One day you are shoveling your driveway and a week later you are wearing shorts. I was at the marina in mid March and took this photo which you saw in my last post ….

… a month later the ice is out of the bay and the docks are ready for boats.

We are allowed to access our boats to get them ready for launching but that is it. We are expecting to be in the water sometime in the next few weeks and won’t be able to access it once it is. At the moment it looks like it will be May 20th (at the earliest) before the restrictions will be lifted but at least we got some things done yesterday.

The marina had to remove our platform in order to fit it into their shop. This gave us the opportunity to … I have to choose my words carefully here … reattach it properly. The platform itself is great but the brackets were just screwed on to the transom. In the past, when platforms were smaller, this might have worked but now the transoms are bigger with bigger toys on them. Last summer the platform started pulling away.

Now that we had the chance we attached it with 1/4″ aluminum brackets with 1/4″ plates on the interior side of the transom. We used 3/8″ stainless bolts with washers and locknuts.

These photos show the brackets and plates but not the washers and bolts.

I did this one on my own last weekend and realized that the bolts I bought weren’t long enough. This week Donald joined me and we got it finished off.

We also took this opportunity to install the centre hardwood piece in the windlass area. I now have to position the template for the holes and will cut them out when we are ready to install the windlass.

I brought the transom caps up to fit them as well.

I was pretty happy with how they turned out. Now I can finish sanding them and spray them with the gel-coat that the marina is supplying. They will blend into the transom nicely now. I need to have these reinstalled before we head to Lefroy to get fitted for the new bimini.

I will be able to glue and screw these down and fill in the screw holes with gelcoat. If it goes to plan we won’t be able to see where we fastened them down.

Here are some more up to date shots of the body work done over the winter.

These exhaust ports were pretty rotten. They look like new now.

We took off the transom door and will replace it with a much smaller one. Originally it looked like this …

It was a very heavy door that we had to lift onto a little shelf when we wanted to close it. It was big and sagged when open … a terrible design. We had the marina fill in that little ledge and match the profile of the transom. They did a great job.

I made a new door and temporarily installed it to fit it. I will now glass it and spray it with gelcoat.

I also replaced the old black water pump. I thought I could save it but it stopped working at the end of last summer and, since I am not mechanically inclined, I decided it was money well spent to have a brand new pump on board.

If you have been following along with us on this journey you might remember what the name of our boat will be. The unofficial name is Becky but the official name is Family Ties. It has come to the point where we needed to design the sign for the transom. All along we knew we would be using the font from the 80’s TV show but we had to figure out the size.

I printed out a template at work and thought for sure this would be big enough … and before someone out there asks … yes … there will be a red leaf over the first “i”. I couldn’t find the one I printed out.

It definitely wasn’t big enough. I have this one at 39″ from the F to the s and it looks small on the boat.

I will try again at around 50″ wide and see what that looks like and will have that on the next post.

Finally here is a shot of the helm all new and shiny. On the side is the end panel that we had covered in the same fabric that is on the seats. The tops pieces are finished in the same way. The panel has stitching on the edges and fits perfectly. The gelcoat on the helm matched the piece of fabric that is stretched over the helm which is one shade lighter than the seats. It’s hard to tell in the light but it is a great match. Once we have the gauges in place I will take a better shot. Very happy with how it turned out.

Once again I have come to the end of another blog post. I know I’m not alone when I say that we are really looking forward to the start of this boating season. It will be our first full year as boaters and we have a lot to learn.

I hope you all continue to stay safe and healthy and will soon be enjoying the open water.

5 Replies to “What A Difference A Month Makes!”

    1. Hi Chris,
      You are welcome. As much as we have enjoyed the project we are ready to be finished. I was hoping that it would be by the end of June but I think we will be doing some things into next spring. Then the maintenance begins…



  1. The progress looks great and I’m sure you are feeling satisfaction to see the results of your planning. She will be floating soon enough and then the next phases begin.


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