Saturday, April 14, 2012

Paneling the Head

I didn't write a blog yesterday.  For some reason, I slept in until 10 AM, which is way past when I usually rise.   I walked the dogs and on my return the marina was moving Drift Away across the fairway from C dock to D dock.  I guess we've been demoted.   I needed to adjust my lines, move my steps, set my fenders, etc.  Then Pam's stepson Larry, daughter-in-law Shana, and grandkids Brennon and Bailey visited on their way from Florida to New  York..   We took them to Savannah's River Street for lunch and had a great time.  It seemed a little odd to me being a  tour guide in a place that we're still exploring ourselves. 

After they left, it was happy three hours and there went the day.  But the following was what I was going to post about what I did the day before.

To set the stage for any of you who are new to this blog, Pam and I bought an old neglected trawler that sat on the hard, uncovered, for over twenty years.  Connecticut weather had taken its toll on Drift Away, then called Tinee Liner.  Any sane person would have taken a chain saw to the boat, but Pam and I have never been accused of being sane and we saw an opportunity to get a great boat at a great price.  All it would take to make it seaworthy again was hard work and wheel barrows full of money.

A few days ago, I had taken the Groco toilet out of the master stateroom's head to rebuild it.  I soon realized that this was a fool's errand, an impossible task.  I ordered a new toilet, and with the toilet out of the way and awaiting the new one, took the opportunity to restore the head.

I had started putting up paneling, a nice white wainscoting, a couple of days ago.  Now it was time to finish.

We had pulled the original teak paneling off long ago.  It had been damaged by the leaking decks.  What was left was the fiberglass hull and wooden stringers that the old paneling was attached to.  The stringers were rotten too, but I decided to leave them in place and soak them with Git Rot, a two part penetrating epoxy.   I've used Git Rot on many boat and house projects over the years and I've been very pleased with it.  The stringers aren't structural and only serve as something to attach paneling to.

I removed the port, measured and cut the panel for the back wall, and put it in place.  I then went outside the boat and traced the cutout for the port with a sharpie.  Easy job.  The rest of the panels were a little tricky because I wanted a fairly tight fit, but not so tight that I couldn't get the panels in place.

All the panels were in.  I just had to wait for the construction adhesive to dry.  I laid squares of the tiles in to see how they'll look.  I think it will look pretty nice.  I'm debating on whether to use molding in the corners and seams or to caulk it.  I think the molding might be too much in so small a space and so I'm leaning towards caulk.  If the caulk doesn't look right, I can always put molding on later, I suppose.

We had a diver clean Drift Away's bottom yesterday.  He said there was so much growth of sea grapes that he couldn't see the propellers and rudder.  Keep in mind that we've been here only two months.  We'll need to get the boat cleaned every month during the summer.

Today I'll install the new head and toss the Grocco, which has been sitting on our foredeck for a few days, getting curious looks from passersby.  Maybe I should put it on the dock next to our steps and plant petunias in it.


  1. What an improvement! Caulk is good as long as joints are not much bigger than a 1/4" or so. Tape both edges(paneling and tile) so you can get a clean edge. Can you mark and get the tile cut nearby Dave?

    1. Hey Tom,

      I've never cut tile. I thought I'd give it a go myself. Youtube videos make it look easy. :)

  2. Dave: I found some neat 1/2" white VINYL quarter-round molding at Lowes. It is really easy to work with and can be cut and trimmed with a utility knife.

  3. That looks fantastic Dave! I see Gerty was a good helper too :-)

  4. Wow, nice job Dave! Sorry about the demotion to D Dock - you had a perfect spot.

  5. Nice job Dave. I see the project manager (Gertie) was doing a quality control inspection! :-)

    Technically speaking "wooden stringers that the old paneling was attached to" are called "furring strips". Just sayin'! :-)

  6. WOW...Nice job Dave, pat yourself on the back and have a victory beer! Or 3